House-Passed Perlmutter Bill Enriches Perlmutter, Family, Supporters

Speaker Pelosi, do you even remember promising to drain the swamp, and to turn ‘the most closed and corrupt Congress into the most open and honest Congress?’ If you even pretend to be serious about this, how can you allow the House of Representatives to vote on a bill that would put thousands (or millions) into the pockets of the sponsor, his wife, his father, and his campaign donors?

Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado inserted a provision into the recently passed House climate change bill that would drum up business for “green” banks, such as the one he has invested in and his family and a political donor helped found in San Francisco.

The bill calls on bank regulators to promote green banking and says federal dollars should be used to support energy-efficient home improvements at government-funded housing projects.

Mr. Perlmutter, a two-term Democrat, has two investments in the 3-year-old New Resource Bank, which calls itself the nation’s first green bank. Among other environmentally conscious banking products, the bank offers home equity loans for consumers to make their homes more energy efficient, in addition to construction loans for green builders…

New Resource also lists Deana Perlmutter, the congressman’s former spouse, and his father, Leonard Perlmutter, among those who have invested “seed capital and effort” to get the venture off the ground, according to the bank’s Web site…

Mr. Perlmutter’s GREEN Act was part of a 300-page amendment added at the last minute to the Waxman-Markey energy bill, which the House passed June 26 by a narrow 219-212 vote.

According to financial disclosure forms, Mr. Perlmutter holds shares in New Resource Bank valued between $15,001 and $50,000 through a trust for his children. His stake in a separate investment partnership totals between $1,001 and $15,000…

In addition to having family ties with New Resource, the congressman has received more than $6,000 in political contributions throughout the 2006 and 2008 election cycles from Daniel Yohannes, a seed investor and former board chairman, records show.

The 300-page amendment including Perlmutter’s ‘self-help’ legislation was introduced in the dead of night, and voted on a few hours later. Few had the chance to read it. Nevertheless, 217 Democrats voted for it. Each needs to explain why he or she voted to let Congressman Perlmutter line his pockets with taxpayer money.

Furthermore, it is not as if Democrats were unaware of the dangers of voting for a bill before reading it. Republicans opposed a quick vote on this bill, and reminded Democrats that many had inadvertently voted for AIG bonuses because they had not read the ‘stimulus’ bill. Now several hundred seem to have repeated the same error.

Isn’t it time to bring grown ups back to Congress?