After years of bipartisan policymaking, veteran lawmaker Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)Read it at Republic Report
is expected to go[went] down in defeat in his primary election today. With the likely defeat of Lugar, political observers are sure to start speculating over the meaning of the election. Is it a rebound for the Tea Party? Is bipartisanship dead? Was Richard Mourdock, Lugar’s opponent, unpatriotic for deceitfully smearing Lugar for working with Obama to secure loose nuclear weapons?
These are legitimate questions.
But it’s worth noting that a primary factor in Lugar’s desperate fight for reelection stems from the power of banking lobbyists. The Indiana Republican can be viewed as a demonstration of Wall Street’s political muscle. In the words of Politico, “The banking industry is making an example of Sen. Dick Lugar.”
In a rare loss for Wall Street, the Senate last year rejected legislation to delay a rule to limit the amount banks can charge businesses for credit card swipe fees. The financial industry mounted an incredible lobbying campaign — as Bloomberg reported, banks hired high priced K Street hacks, used conservative blogs like RedState, and developed Beltway advertising — to pass the measure. But a coalition of big box retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, along with small businesses and other vendors, persuaded enough legislators from both sides of the aisle to kill the measure and limit the fees. The rule affected some $16 billion in bank profits.
Bank Lobbyists Coordinated “Tea Party” Challenge To Senator Lugar To Punish Him For Voting Against Wall Street
By Lee Fang
They also put the seat in play for the Democrats.