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Mar 31, 2015 8:23 AM

Landrigan: NH Democrats attack Ayotte fundraising source


CONCORD - State Democratic leaders criticized Sen. Kelly Ayotte's move to stage a New York City fund-raiser today with a mega-donor who opposed Wall Street reforms.

Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley noted the event comes two weeks after Ayotte supported an amendment to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"Kelly Ayotte has consistently proven that she will always put her special interest donors first while making New Hampshire consumers pay the price,'' Buckley said.

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is critical for protecting the financial well being of our citizens from the worst practices of Wall Street, yet Ayotte is now taking even more money from Wall Street mega donors trying to bring the CFPB down."

An Ayotte spokeswoman said the amendment Ayotte supported would bring financial accountability to the consumer bureau which currently does not have any congressional oversight.

``This Democrat attack is false. New Hampshire's community bankers have told Senator Ayotte that CFPB's broad and unchecked regulatory authority makes it harder for them to do business,'' said Ayotte spokeswoman Liz Johnson.

``That's why she voted to support robust congressional oversight of CFPB to ensure accountability of this agency, which has virtually limitless regulatory jurisdiction over our financial marketplace and collects large amounts of data on consumers in New Hampshire and across the country."

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau comes under the Federal Reserve which makes it impervious to congressional budgeting.

The sponsor of today's event is Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who has a history of opposing Wall Street reforms.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Singer is also Ayotte's single biggest donor having given her more than $95,000 during her Senate career.

"While Ayotte's staunch opposition to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be popular with her Wall Street mega donors, New Hampshire voters will not forget that Ayotte sold us out to protect her Wall Street cronies," Buckley added.

Today's luncheon known as "Winning Women 2016" is also called to support Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-AK along with freshmen Congresswomen Elise Stefanik of New York, Martha McSally of Arizona and Barbara Comstock of Virginia.

The event seeks donations up to $5,400 per candidate.

Singer, the chief executive of Elliott Management Corp., became known to New Hampshire campaigns in 2012 when he gave $100,000 to support mailings for Republicans who supported gay rights issues.

Then-Attorney General Michael Delaney's office ruled that there was no limit on how much individuals could give to political action committees that make independent expenditures in campaigns.



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