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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

For a GOP gov hopeful, Levy sounds unusual alarm

It may be worth wondering whether or how the Republican National Committee or other national party icons (Mitt Romney? Sarah Palin? Rudy Giuliani? John McCain? G.W. Bush?) would respond to this broadside by Steve Levy, given his campaign's citation of  the purportedly politically-correct mainstream media like, uh, Time Magazine, to take a populist shot at financial deregulation -- and at ex- GOP Congressman Rick Lazio.

On this one issue, Levy is saying things you'd expect to hear Democrat Andrew Cuomo to be saying, even if D.C. Dems had plenty themselves to do with dismantling Glass Stegall. Good stuff for Levy in a blue-state general election, maybe, but will it win him love from rank-and-file Republicans in the primary he's predicting?

The strategic timing, we will guess until corrected, is related to the Goldman Sachs litigation.

At least credit the Levy team for having some fun, letting it fly, and breaking from the predictable:

New York State Gubernatorial candidate Steve Levy's campaign today called upon lobbyist Rick Lazio to remove Lewis Ranieri and Phil Gramm from his campaign's finance committee.

In February 2009, Time Magazine listed both Ranieri and Gramm on their Top 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis.

Mr. Ranieri is the creator of mortgage-backed securities, the root cause of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which was the catalyst for overall economic collapse.

As a U.S Senator, Phil Gramm was a leading advocate for financial services deregulation and played a key role in repealing the Glass Steagall Act, which removed protections between commercial and investment banks. Many believe the removal of those protections directly led to the economic meltdown. Rick Lazio was among the leading sponsors of the Gramm-Leach bill in the House of Representatives.

Among the many ways lobbyist Rick Lazio is tied to the collapse of our economy, we can now add that his financial advisors include individuals whose actions directly or indirectly led to the worldwide economic collapse that has unemployed nearly 1 million New Yorkers according to Lazio himself, said Mike Dawidziak, general consultant to the Levy campaign. The lack of judgment displayed by Mr. Lazio is very troubling and does not bode well for his economic bona fides or ethics.

Recent media reports have exposed Mr. Lazio's own lobbying activities in just the past year as well as his close ties to and influence by banking industry lobbyists. It has also been revealed that the biggest contributors to his Congressional and 2000 Senate campaigns were banking industry giants who received taxpayer-funded government bailout money. In fact, reports show that Mr. Lazio's campaign donations from the moneyed industry were tops in Congress while he was Chairman of the House Banking Subcommittee.

When you connect the dots between Mr. Lazio's own lobbying activities, his efforts in Congress to repeal Glass Steagall, his campaign contributions from those firms that benefited from Gramm-Leach, his subsequent fortune making and reported low-interest loans, and now his financial counsel from the men who brought NY to the center of the worldwide economic collapse, it couldn't be more clear that Mr. Lazio does not possess the economic ethics to lead New York State back from the brink of bankruptcy, Mr. Dawidziak said. If he wants to be taken seriously as a financial reformer, he would not have a finance committee that included some of the very engineers of our economy's collapse.


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