Despite the incredible suffering the 2008 financial crisis caused on the traditional constituents of the Democratic Party it seems Wall Street still calls the shots. A letter sent to federal regulators from so-called progressive Democrats calling for weaker investor protections for retirement accounts was actually written by a Wall Street lobbyist.

A letter that a group of progressive Democrats sent to federal regulators opposing new protections for millions of Americans’ retirement accounts was drafted by a financial-industry lobbyist, according to documents obtained by Mother Jones…

The letter’s metadata indicates it was drafted by Robert Lewis, a lobbyist who works for the Financial Services Institute (FSI), an investment industry trade group.

Many congressmembers who signed the letter are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The rule is to prevent a conflict of interest regarding investment advice, something progressive members would in theory support.

“This rule is about protecting people from conflicts of interest,” says Phyllis Borzi, the Department of Labor’s assistant secretary for employee benefits security, who is spearheading the push for a stronger investment adviser rule. “Those conflicts harm everyone who is doing the right thing and trying to save.”…

FSI has expressed concern that the regulation would limit the types of fees advisers can collect for servicing retirement accounts. The trade group spent $196,000 on lobbying in the just the first quarter of 2013—that’s nearly half the the total it spent on lobbying in all of 2012. On a recent federal disclosure form, FSI listed the Labor Department’s investment adviser rule at the top of its lobbying issues.

Not surprisingly the members who signed the letter have taken money from Wall Street (who hasn’t?).

I know no one is really shocked by these stories anymore. In the struggle between corruption and justice it is clear that corruption won. But it is absolutely pathetic and should be unacceptable for the progressive caucus membership to be so eagerly prostituting themselves for Wall Street. Even invoking, gag, a concern for protecting racial minorities – or should I say allowing a Wall Street lobbyist to invoke those things – in a letter to serve finance capital.

This is low even for Congress.

Photo by Jonadab under Creative Commons license.