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[Washington Babylon]

Dumb and Dumber: More UBS campaign contributions

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Back in mid-September I noted here that a number of members of congress had accepted hefty campaign contributions from the American subsidiary of Swiss giant UBS. That seemed odd since the company is the subject of a massive tax fraud investigation that was made public in June and was also the focus of a Senate hearing in July. A news report on the hearing said:

Federal regulators should consider revoking the US banking license of the giant Swiss Bank UBS because of its role in helping wealthy Americans evade billions of dollars in taxes, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told ABC News today. “I don’t think that any bank that goes to the extent that UBS has gone through to avoid doing what their agreements with the United States require them to do, should be allowed to continue to do business unless they clean up their act,” Levin said. UBS’s role in arranging “undeclared” accounts for an estimated 19,000 US citizens was one focus of a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Levin today.

It turns out that at least four House members, all from the Financial Services Committee (which regulates UBS), took money from UBS in late October. Among others, the company’s PAC (the Fund for Better Government) gave $2,500 to both Democrat David Scott and Republican Kevin McCarthy, who was just named by the GOP as the new Minority Chief Deputy Whip.

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