Chris Dodd on Corporations

Democratic Sr Senator (CT)

Bankruptcy Reform Act hurt working class families

DODD: [to Edwards]: Back in 2001 the congress passed I think one of the worst pieces of legislation of all time: the so called the Bankruptcy Reform Act. Senators Clinton, Biden, and Edwards voted for that bill, which drove a lot of people working class families into poverty, & made it very difficult for them to manage their lives & to get back on their feet again. John, you made a big issue of poverty, something you have dedicated your life to. So could you explain to me why you’d vote for a piece of legislation like that which did so much damage to so many families in our country?

EDWARDS: Yeah, I was wrong. I was wrong and you were right Chris. I should not have voted for that bankruptcy bill. It was a bad, bad piece of legislation. I think any of us who voted for it were wrong to have voted for it. I think there were some good provisions in it but I think on the whole when you look it at it actually did damage to low income families and working families in this country.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Reliable vote for banking & insurance industries

Dodd’s [Senate vote] reliably corporate-friendly when it comes to the industries that matter most to him. The banking, investment, and insurance industries can count Dodd among their best friends on the left side of the aisle--and he, in turn, can count them among his leading campaign contributors. In the 2008 primary field, he stands out as the candidate of Wall Street.

In his election to Congress in 1974, Dodd represented Connecticut’s fairly conservative (and often Republican) second district, of the state’s eastern end. In 1980, he moved on to the Senate, thus expanding his constituency to include the bankers and brokers of the wealthy New York suburbs, and the insurance industry long based around Hartford.

Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.171-172 Nov 11, 2007

Co-sponsored bill to make suing corporations harder

Dodd has grown closer to Wall Street financial interests, doing the grunt work on Capitol Hill for legislation that reduces government oversight. He was an important player in the transformations of the 1990s, when banks and securities firms merged, and when the credit card became a principal means of debt financing the United States.

Dodd was an original co-sponsor of 1995 legislation making it more difficult for people to sue corporations, allowing judges to decide which plaintiffs were worthy, and limiting judgments in cases where the companies could successfully claim they didn’t know they were committing fraud. His defining moment came when Bill Clinton vetoed the bill. As the Journal of Accountancy noted, “perhaps the bill’s strongest supporter in Congress, Senator Christopher J. Dodd urged both House and Senate Democrats to override Clinton’s veto, even if it amounted to a defeat of the intent of his own party’s president.”

Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.174 Nov 11, 2007

Advocated against extreme predatory lending practices

Dodd’s [pro-corporate] record is not entirely one-sided. He has taken positions against extreme predatory lending practices, for example, and he voted against the 2005 bankruptcy bill, which was considered a gift to the credit card lenders at the expense of consumers.

But his close ties to the financial sector remain troubling, all the more so in view of his recent ascendancy to the chair of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, giving him oversight of the banking, financial services, and insurance industries. On the eve of the Democratic takeover of Congress (and of Dodd’s announcement of his candidacy), a government watchdog group said, “It’s a tightrope walk when you’re the chairman of a committee that regulates the industry that gives the most money to politics, in general. It has to be tempting to take a lot of money from the industry, because they want to give it so much.” Dodd, clearly, has long given in to temptation.

Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.175 Nov 11, 2007

We need Justice Department to deal with antitrust issues

Q: How do you plan to help small farms as the large companies take over more farms?

A: We’ve got to have a Justice Department that starts dealing with some of the antitrust issues in our country. It just doesn’t cover agriculture, but also a variety of other things, including media concentration here. The ability today of just concentrating power is making it very difficult for independents and smaller interests to be able to grow and to have the kind of economic success they’d like to have.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” Aug 19, 2007

Stop rewarding companies who create jobs offshore

One of the taxes that needs to be addressed--because we’re losing manufacturing jobs in this country. We today reward industries that leave America by giving them tax breaks. I would like to see us reward companies that stay in our inner cities, go to places where jobs ought to be created. That to be a part of our tax policy.
Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University Jun 28, 2007

Voted YES on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore.

Amendment to repeal the tax subsidy for certain domestic companies which move manufacturing operations and American jobs offshore.
Reference: Tax Subsidy for Domestic Companies Amendment; Bill S AMDT 210 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-63 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted NO on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions.

Amends Federal bankruptcy law to revamp guidelines governing dismissal or conversion of a Chapter 7 liquidation (complete relief in bankruptcy) to one under either Chapter 11 (Reorganization) or Chapter 13 (Adjustment of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income). Voting YES would:
Reference: Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005; Bill S 256 ; vote number 2005-44 on Mar 10, 2005

Voted NO on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy.

Vote to pass a bill that would require debtors able to repay $10,000 or 25 percent of their debts over five years to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization and repayment) rather than Chapter 7 (full discharge of debt).
Reference: Bill HR 333 ; vote number 2001-236 on Jul 17, 2001

Rated 32% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Dodd scores 32% by US Chamber of Commerce on business policy

Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.

Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Mission Statement:

"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: COC website 03n-COC on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Corporations: Chris Dodd on other issues:
CT Gubernatorial:
Jodi Rell
CT Senatorial:
Linda McMahon
Richard Blumenthal
Rob Simmons

Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:

DE:Kaufman (D)
CO:Bennet (D)
IL:Burris (D)
MA:Brown (R)
NY:Gillibrand (D)

Announced retirement as of 2010:
FL:Martinez (R)

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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2010