In 2013 I looked at all the Democratic freshmen who had been elected the year before and noted who were the best and who were the worst. Among the worst were Kyrsten Sinema (THE worst), Cheri Bustos, Scott Peters and Sean Patrick Maloney. Almost a decade on and Sinema has the second worst voting record— after Joe Manchin— of any Democrat in the Senate. The other 3— all graded “F” by Progressive Punch— still have among the worst voting records in the House. Peters has the 8th worst, Bustos has the 9th worst and Maloney has the 10th worst. Bustos was one of the least effective DCCC chairs in history and when she was booted out, Maloney took her job and will certainly go down as an even worse chair than she was.
A couple of months earlier I had noted that Maloney is openly gay and supports LGBT rights. That's about the only good thing you can say about his time in Congress. Maloney votes as though he were representing a deep red district and had to cater to wingnuts to keep his career going, even though Obama won the district both times he ran (as did Biden last year). That week Maloney was one of the 19 Democrats-- mostly Blue Dogs and frightened members from oil states-- who crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans on their unconstitutional scheme to take President Obama out of the Keystone XL pipeline decision-making process. Maloney has a lot of very wealthy friends. Last year an astronomical 72% of his campaign contributions were from big donors. Small contributions made up just 10%, one of the smallest numbers for any Democrat in Congress. That helps explain why he always votes in the interest of the wealthy and is as against normal working families as any garden variety Republican. But it isn't the full story. On his blog the day before, Robert Reich filled in another piece, although it wasn't just about Maloney but about bad Dems in general, and especially the Big Business-financed New Dems:
Who needs Republicans when Wall Street has the Democrats? With the help of congressional Democrats, the Street is rolling back financial reforms enacted after its near meltdown.
According to the New York Times, a bill that’s already moved through the House Financial Services Committee, allowing more of the very kind of derivatives trading (bets on bets) that got the Street into trouble, was drafted by Citigroup-- whose recommended language was copied nearly word for word in 70 lines of the 85-line bill.
Where were House Democrats? Right behind it. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York, a major recipient of the Street’s political largesse, co-sponsored it. [Reich didn't mention that Goldman Sachs was one of Maloney's Top half dozen contributors for 2012; I thought you'd want to know.] Most of the Democrats on the Committee, also receiving generous donations from the big banks, voted for it. Rep. Jim Himes, another proponent of the bill and a former banker at Goldman Sachs, now leads the Democrat’s fund-raising effort in the House.
Bob Rubin-- co-chair of Goldman before he joined the Clinton White House, and chair of Citigroup’s management committee after he left it-- is still influential in the Party, and his protégés are all over the Obama administration. I like Bob personally but I battled his Street-centric views the whole time I served, and soon after I left the administration he persuaded Clinton to support a repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.
Jack Lew, Obama’s current Treasury Secretary, was chief operating officer of Citigroup’s Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group, from 2006 to 2008, before he joined the Obama administration. Peter Orszag, Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, left the Obama Administration to become Citigroup’s vice chairman of corporate and investment banking, and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group.
All these men are honorable. [I have to interrupt again; that last sentence is crazy and it's wrong and Reich is jumping to conclusions because these are people he knows personally.] None has broken any law [as far as Reich knows]. But they and their ilk in Congress-- the Democrats who are now rolling back Dodd-Frank-- don’t seem to appreciate the extent to which Wall Street has harmed, and continues to harm, America.
It’s not entirely coincidental that the Obama Administration never put tough conditions on banks receiving bailout money, never prosecuted a single top Wall Street executive for the excesses that led to the near meltdown, and still refuses to support a tiny tax on financial transactions that would bring in tens of billions of dollars as well as discourage program trading.
Democrats can’t be trusted to control Wall Street. If there were ever an issue ripe for a third party, the Street would be it.
Sometimes you can tell how bad someone is by who’s behind them. Maloney’s pal Mark Mellman, the virulently anti-progressive head of DMFI endorsed him. The reactionary, Republican-oriented Police Benevolent Association endorsed him and has spent over $400,000 trying to get him reelected. The very conservative National Association of Realtors PAC is spending big money on his campaign. He’s also been endorsed by Hakeem Jeffries’ slime ball anti-progressive PAC. And, speaking of neo-liberals, Bill Clinton endorsed him. So did the NY Daily News and the NY Times. The News flat out lied, claiming that “Maloney is not hopelessly captive to corporate interests.” That’s exactly what he is. As part of The Times’ editorial board’s new “all white men all the time policy,” they just spewed shameless, hackish bullshit that brings all Times endorsements under suspicion.
The Times did note that Alessandra Biaggi, the candidate endorsed by Blue America— you can contribute to her campaign here—is “a worthy challenger [and] a rising star in New York politics who has championed proper ethics, women’s rights and abortion rights. She is known for passionately serving her constituents, and she understands the need to build trust with those who disagree with her. “We don’t always go into the rooms with people who might not either understand the policies that we’re trying to pass or [might] be angry about the policies that we’re trying to pass,” she told the editorial board.”