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Franken to Obama: Knock Off Your Wall Street Love Affair

Franken is fed up with Obama filling his cabinet with Wall Street alums

Franken is fed up with Obama filling his cabinet with Wall Street alums

A growing faction of big-name Democrats, including Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, are lining up to block President Obama from appointing another Wall Street guy to a gig within the Treasury Department.

On Wednesday Franken issued a statement opposing the nomination of Antonio Weiss for Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. Interestingly enough, Weiss works for the same finance company (Lazard Middle Market) Mike McFadden, Franken's opponent in the last election, used to work for. See also: Al Franken Grills Uber Over Privacy Policy

However, it seems more likely that Franken has decided to join the growing faction of Democratic senators fed up with Obama's love for Wall Street. In the Senate it's been reported by numerous national outlets that Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Dick Durbin, and Jeanne Shaheen have all joined Franken in his opposition to Weiss.

"Wall Street's perspective is already well-represented in the Administration," Franken wrote in the release.

The newly reelected senator also wrote that he doesn't like Weiss's history working on international mergers for a Bermuda-based investment firm and "so-called inversion deals that allow corporations to change their address and avoid their U.S. tax responsibilities."

Bloomberg News is reporting Weiss could make up to $21.2 million in severance pay if he gets the job.

As Vox notes, this seems like a pretty big problem:

Lazard will offer him up to $21 million as a special "parting payment." Companies don't normally pay people bonuses for quitting, but it's become common for financial firms to offer these payments in the specific event that an employee leaves to go work for the government. It gives the impression that firms believe they'll get special treatment if the government is packed with their alumni.

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