Consumer groups release lobbyist report

March 4, 2009 5:25:15 PM PST
Two consumer groups released a scathing report on Wednesday blaming Wall Street lobbyists for the current economic woes.

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The two groups, Consumer Education Foundation and Essential Information, collected data showing Wall Street lobbyists spent $5 billion over 10 years to influence lawmakers.

The 230-page-report said financial institutions and insurance companies spent $3.4 billion on 3,000 lobbyists from 1998 to 2008.

The reports said another $1.7 billion was spent on campaign contributions. All of which lead to deregulation and eventually, the report contends, the economic collapse.

"$5 billion from the Wall Street people to the Washington people, from the lowliest congressman all the way to the President of the United States, and lo and behold they sold us out. That's why he who pays the piper calls the tune and that's what happened," said Harvey Rosenfield, from the Consumer Education Found.

What does the American Bankers Association say? ABC7 asked and told: "We work with members on both sides of the political aisle. All our contributions and lobbying disclosures are a matter of public record."

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