Collin Peterson vs. Obama: Minn. rep pulls a win


Our very own Rep. Collin Peterson, the agricultural heavy-hitter in the House of Representatives, picked a fight with President Obama over a financial proposal. And Peterson pulled off a win. We love party infighting.

Politico has a nitty-gritty look into the working of one financial proposal that had agricultural members fighting to stop it. They call Peterson an unlikely battle man, being a "guitar-playing, cigar-chomping" kind of dude.

The story is a great look into how the agricultural world took power over Wall Street regulations in a time when many Democrats aren't holding their ground against President Obama.

Peterson, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, was fighting the Obama administration over a regulatory agency he didn't want to see merged and essentially destroyed.

The main issue: The Obama administration wanted to merge the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the securities and Exchange Commission. This would merge "the oversight of securities, like stocks and bonds, and futures, which are contracts to buy specific items in the future," says Politico.

Futures have had a strong part in the agriculture business because farmers will purchase and sell contracts for certain products like corn or sugar beets. Merging these programs would mean a loss of power for Peterson in the global world of finances.

Did political donors have a hand in this fight? Cynics say they definitely did.

More from Politico:

One of the reasons it would have been such an enormous fight, say cynics, is the proposal would mean farm-state members would lose the campaign contributions that come with their financial oversight authority.

After all, farmers are not the biggest campaign contributors to members of the House and Senate Agriculture committees. Financiers are.

In the 2008 election cycle, reports, financial, insurance and real estate interests gave more than $28 million to members of the Senate Agriculture Committee in political action committee and individual contributions. Agribusiness interests were completely overshadowed, giving slightly more than $10.6 million.

The domination of financiers donations doesn't apply to Peterson's own fund and he claims donors had no say in this issue.

And how does he explain his win against the Obama administration? He says they are "pretty much back in line". That's our man.