AS HILLARY CLINTON questions rival Bernie Sanders over the depth of his financial reform ideas this week, a group of former government officials — once tasked with regulating Wall Street and now working in the financial industry or as Wall Street lobbyists — are participating in a fundraiser for her in the nation’s capital.
The invitation for the April 6 fundraiser, obtained by Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time, describes a “conversation” with the Clinton campaign’s chief financial officer, Gary Gensler, and Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Carl Levin, D-Mich.
The host: Julie Chon, a former Senate Banking Committee staffer who today is a managing director at the New York hedge fund Perry Capital.
Finance chair Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs staffer who later joined the Obama administration as a financial regulator.
Several members of the organizing committee are now either advocating for corporate clients or advising them how to best work with and around the regulations they once enforced.
One member of the committee is Raj Date. Date was the deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tasked with reining in Wall Street abuses. In January 2013, he left the bureau and by April started a new lending firm, Fenway Summer. He then became an adviser to Promontory Financial Group, which pitches Date as advising its “clients on complying with consumer protection regulation and managing complex risks.”
Another member of the organizing committee is Bob Heckart. Heckart is a former Senate staffer who, according to his bio, worked on the “implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Volker Rule, tax reform legislation, abuse of corporate tax loopholes, securities markets regulation, and other financial policy issues” for Sen. Levin. Prior to that, he was senior adviser for economic and financial policy for then-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and served as “her liaison with Wall Street.” Today, he is a senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, the same major Wall Street law firm he worked for before getting hired by Gillibrand. His practice focuses on hedge funds, capital markets, credit, and real estate.
Tyler Gellasch, another organizer of the fundraiser, also worked for Levin. His biography describes him as having been “intimately involved in drafting several high-profile pieces of legislation, including the Volcker Rule provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, the crowdfunding provisions of the JOBS Act, and the securities law provisions of the STOCK Act.” Gellasch today works for the Healthy Markets Association, a group that advocates for its members, which include various financial firms.
Organizer Dan M. Berkovitz was the general counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2013. Today, he is a partner at WilmerHale LLP, which says his “clients, both domestic and international, include entities in ongoing U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigations, multi-national swap dealers, managed funds, a major U.S. manufacturer, and industry trade and advocacy associations.”
Organizer Shawn Maher worked for the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee during the height of the financial crisis years, between 2007 and 2009. Since 2011, he has been a lobbyist for both RBC Capital Markets and the Royal Bank of Canada.