On March 23rd, if you live in Utah, you can show up at your local precinct caucus meeting and become a delegate into the convention process. You will have the power to boot Bob Bennett from his seat.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the penultimate reason.

Bob Bennett voted for TARP. But he did not just vote for TARP, he made money off of the TARP recipients.

Bennett and his leadership PAC have accepted PAC contributions from TARP recipients in the amount of $125,800. They are:

  • Hartford Financial Services ($7,000)
  • Metlife ($2,000)
  • Bank of America ($18,000)
  • JP Morgan ($8,000)
  • Citigroup ($15,000)
  • Morgan Stanley ($17,000)
  • Zions Bancorp ($5,300)
  • American Express ($13,000)
  • Capital One Financial ($11,000)
  • Chrysler ($4,000)
  • Goldman Sachs ($9,500)
  • Discover Financial Services ($3,000)
  • AIG ($1,000), Investco Ltd ($2,000)
  • Wells Fargo ($5,000)
  • Merrill Lynch ($5,000)

This does not include the money Bennett has taken from lobbyists representing TARP recipients.

Bennett also holds stock in Morgan Stanley. He earned money from Wells Fargo & Co. last year via capital gains. He holds stock in Pimco Income Opportunity Fund, which invested in a heck of a lot of the TARP recipients.

On September 30, 2008, Bob Bennett went to the floor of the Senate and said, “Some will feel very virtuous about having voted against Wall Street and then turn around and find that their constituents generally have paid a huge price for that vote. The stock market took over $1 trillion worth of value out of the American economy in a matter of minutes on Monday afternoon. We must do everything we can to make sure that does not turn into $2 trillion, $3 trillion or $4 trillion wiped away because the Congress was not willing to stand up to its responsibilities.”

The stock market continued to fall well after Bennett voted for TARP. Nonetheless, Bennett told the Salt Lake Tribune on October 1, 2008, that “he $700 billion Wall Street bailout would make [the recession] less severe.” He has had no regrets.

Bennett has a long history of bailing out financial entities. He voted for the Resolution Trust Corporation Completion Act, which transferred RTC authority to the FDIC back in the day. He voted to require the feds to reimburse insurance companies for terrorism losses in 2002. He voted to establish a $1 billion emergency loan guarantee program to the steel industry, and an additional $500 million loan program for the oil and gas industries, as if they needed help.

He voted for a continuing appropriations bill that added billions in new spending, adding to the deficit, and also included $7.5 billion to finance $25 billion in Energy Department loans for the auto industry.

Since 2005, Bennett has taken in over $1 million from financial firms, banks and other companies that have a direct interest in the work of the Senate Banking Committee, on which he serves.

The Hill noted on July 12, 2000, that Bennett blocked efforts by the SEC to impose stricter reporting regulations on Arthur Anderson, before they went belly up.

Bob Bennett is bad for the free market and Bob Bennett must go.