The official invitations called the event a “breakfast fundraiser honoring Spencer Bachus”, but from where most Americans are coming from, what took place this morning doesn’t seem very honorable.
The fundraiser was held at the headquarters of the Alabama Bankers Association. Members of the banking industry paid money to the Spencer Bachus re-election campaign to be there, and have the chance to talk to Bachus and his aides..
It was an elitist affair, but then, many congressional fundraising events are. People with large amounts of disposable income get special access to members of Congress, and the rest of us are left out in the cold.
The Spencer Bachus breakfast fundraiser held this morning had an extra tone of arrogance, however. The fundraiser specifically organized payments to Spencer Bachus from the banking industry for a reason. The reason is that Spencer Bachus is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee.
The House Financial Services Committee is given the task of regulating the banking industry, to benefit the American people as a whole, not to serve the business interests of the banks and their executives. When Congressman Bachus takes money from the industry he is supposed to regulate, he creates the appearance of corruption, making it impossible for the American people to trust that his work in the House of Representatives is impartial.
Of course, we can’t say for certain that actual criminal corruption was involved in this morning’s breakfast of the American Bankers Association. The exchange of money and access was done in a manner that makes it difficult for voters in Alabama to tell exactly what was going on. That’s not a reason to withdraw scrutiny into questions of unethical dealings by Spencer Bachus, however. It’s a reason to increase that scrutiny.