Left In Lowell

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October 17, 2012

Serious People for Warren

by at 4:24 pm.

I just returned from a roundtable event with Elizabeth Warren here in Lowell at Mambo Grill, focused on women-owned small businesses, where I got to both be at the table, and also tweet my little heart out. (Dick Howe Jr, sitting nearby, was likely feeling a bit smug over that.) ;) If you happened to catch my Twitter stream this afternoon, you would have been treated to quotes and photos from the event.

The local visit is part of the rolling out of the latest Warren endorsement - not only was Elizabeth joined by first-Congressperson-to-endorse Rep. Niki Tsongas, but also by Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC, a Republican who has never endorsed or campaigned for a Democrat but has decided to wade into this race. A G.W. Bush appointee, Bair worked with Warren on issues of stopping foreclosures and helping consumers during the financial meltdown, then also when Warren had oversight of the TARP program and the formation of the CFPB.

In the toss-around that is the rather tired old “bipartisan endorsement” game in the Commonwealth these days, why should you care about Sheila Bair’s? Because unlike other endorsements, this one has gravitas. It might not be a recognizable name to you, but in terms of really knowing Warren and her work, in places where it matters to average people, you can’t beat this former Chair of the FDIC.

It was great to hear Bair in person, and her reasons for endorsing Warren that go beyond party lines. For her, it’s about Warren’s real, tangible work on behalf of consumers, the middle class, homeowners, and squaring the financial system so that it’s fair for all. She said, specifically, that Warren is not anti-bank or anti-business, but rather is for an equal playing field for citizens and businesses alike.

Oh hell, I was on fire on my smartphone, I’m just going to include my own tweets here:

[Apologies, previous Tweet has a smartphone-induced typo in Bair’s name.]

When a reporter asked the obligatory question about bipartisaniness, Bair responded with concrete examples of why Elizabeth Warren was the one who would do the real work:

Two things of gleeful personal note: the silly press people had to ask Warren about the asbestos lawsuit thing, again, which I imagine has to be tiresome beyond belief, but in her response, Warren cited the asbestos union, the many victims, and the victims’ lawyers who’ve expressed dismay over Brown’s lies about the case. Glad to have helped with that.

Second, I got to ask a roundtable question, and I was debating talking about DBE issues (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, a designation for federal DOT work as a women- or minority-owned business, for which my business was certified for several years) but…I decided to air out a long-standing frustration I have with a simple and obvious way that Dems can combat the “deregulate and untax businesses and they’ll grow!” idiocy from Republicans. I mentioned my own personal experience - that it’s the DEMAND from customers, not taxes, which are the arbiters of whether or not I expand as a business. If I have more work than I can handle, I hire. If it dries up, I shrink. Taxes and regulation have very little to do with it. If I can make money by expanding, of course I will!

This has been annoying the hell out of me - it’s such a simple, easily understood concept Dems could use to whack their Ayn Randian Republican opponents over the head with in debates and on the stump. Warren was all over it - citing the jobs bills that Brown voted against and helped to kill, which would have increased spending money in the hands of the employed, indirectly helping even my B-to-B business, nevermind the construction and infrastructure jobs bill which, as a WBE/DBE at the time, might have helped me land some really big contracts. Which would have forced me to hire, in all likelihood.

[Note to LiL readers: if this sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve said it before, and certainly the Mr. has said it before, to whom I give original credit.]

Anyway, I was grateful to finally get that little gem out in a meaningful way. I hope it is useful to her and she uses it! Now I just need to find a roundtable with Obama that I can crash…

6 Responses to “Serious People for Warren”

  1. Joe S. Says:

    Nice point you made, and the rub is that unless the average American can prosper there will not be enough customers to keep the business economy running.

  2. Mr. Lynne Says:

    The way I usually put it is in response to tax cut dogma. “Nobody takes their tax cut and expands their business in a declining market. If anyone did so, you should pull your shares or fire management.”

  3. Jack Says:

    The New Sheriffs of Wall Street
    Thursday, May 13, 2010
    Unlike many of the men they oversee, the new sheriffs of Wall Street never aspired to eight-figure compensation packages or corporate suites. Bair, Schapiro and Warren all made their careers far from Manhattan, taking on new jobs during pregnancies and outhustling the men around them. But it is their willingness to break ranks and challenge the status quo that makes these increasingly powerful women different from their predecessors. As Washington gets down to the hard work of putting laws into place that are designed to prevent another crisis, they are shaping the way government will protect investors and consumers for the next generation. Under financial regulatory reform, which all three women support, both the SEC and the FDIC stand to win powerful new authority to limit and dismantle offenders. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a proposed body now working its way through the Senate, is the brainchild of Warren and is envisioned as a bulwark against what she calls the “tricks and traps” that banks hide in credit-card agreements and mortgages.

  4. Brian Flaherty Says:

    So if a Republican endorses a Democrat it’s meaningful, when a Democrat endorses a Republican, the Democrat is “fake” (Jack’s words).

  5. Jack Says:

    @BF Where did I say that? Context matters. I remember stating the obvious, that Brown is a “faux moderate.”

    My concern is not about cross party endorsements, it is more about elected officials breaking ranks. One enjoys many subsidies as an elected party member, it is not “cricket” to buddy fuck your crew.

    It was brazen of Nangle to flaunt his sense of electoral security. He must figure there is no threat to his seat, locally, and the Beacon Hill crew could care little to less. The transactional politician is not hung up by integrity or ideals.

    I don’t think Nangle is “fake.” I think he is making a play for something. What? That is the question.

  6. Lynne Says:

    Nangle was a DINO since like forever, where’ve you been?

    Also, I seem to remember stating specifically that Rita’s usually a decent Dem as far as party goes, but that her endorsement is specifically less meaningful because it’s about personal, local politics. What does Rita know about Brown? Just that Mayor Murphy endorsed his challenger, that’s what.

    I am making a case that Bair’s endorsement is more meaningful, yes, because Bair knows Warren’s work PERSONALLY. Go ahead and argue it’s not, but please actually have an argument rather than a useless canard attacking the messenger.

    If a moderate/center-left RINO (haha, are there any any more??) politician endorsed Warren, I’d post about it, yeah, but I’d hardly ascribe a lot of shock at it. It’d be more a post that says something on the order of, “duh.”

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