MARCH 24, 2009
The senator responsible for the legislative changes that allowed executives of a bailed-out company to get millions of dollars in bonuses has received lucrative donations from the firm and his wife has strong financial ties to it.
No wonder Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd created a loophole in last month’s $787 billion stimulus bill to allow insurance giant American International Group (AIG) to keep its controversial bonuses. Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, slipped a last-minute exemption that permitted the financially ruined AIG to issue $165 million in bonuses after the government rescued it with $170 billion in taxpayer assistance.
The veteran Democrat lawmaker initially lied about his role in the scandal, but subsequently admitted it because the loophole had his paw prints all over it. This week a political news publication is shedding more light on the matter by revealing Dodd’s deep financial ties to AIG.
It turns out that AIG is one of Dodd’s top campaign contributors ($300,000 in the last decade) and his wife, Jackie Dodd, was for years on the board of directors of an AIG company based in Bermuda. During her final year on the board, she served on the powerful audit and investment committees.
Dodd, a Senator for nearly three decades, is also under a Senate ethics investigation for getting two heavily discounted mortgages from a lender (Countrywide) that offered certain politically connected VIPs preferential treatment. Once one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, Countrywide issued so many subprime loans it practically collapsed before getting purchased by another major bank.
Last year Dodd made Judicial Watch’s annual "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" list for, among other things, blocking reform proposals for corrupt institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they’re huge campaign donors.
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