Poll finds voters support consumer protection bureau

"There's a new consumer sheriff in town to take care of consumer's interests," CALPIRG spokesperson John Fox said.

The poll results and the new consumer agency were commemorated Thursday by members of CALPIRG, the state attorney general's office and four other consumer groups.

The poll of 800 voters found 74 percent support a new consumer agency, 49 percent of Republicans polled said they agreed that "we cannot get our economy back on track without strong financial reform."

The new agency will open an office in the Bay Area. "California was hit hardest than any other state during the mortgage fraud crisis and its going to be important to have a local presence here in California that's the federal cop on the beat," California attorney general spokesperson Mark Breckler said. Also Thursday, the Republican-controlled House passed a measure that could weaken the bureau by replacing the executive director with a five member panel. A watchdog group devoted to monitoring political contributions says banks have spent heavily to get that measure passed. "We found that banks gave about $11 million overall to members of Congress compared to the people who want consumer protections to stay strong," Maplight spokesperson Daniel Newman said. "I am not an advocate for no regulation, I'm an advocate for smarter and lighter regulation and I think this amendment meets that test," Rep. Scott Ridell, R-Virginia, said. The president says he will veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

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