Oct. 24, 2017

Monopoly Man Video Shows How Banks Get Their Way in Congress

Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform Release New Video

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a reprise of a “magical” performance that “won the Internet” earlier this month, the Monopoly Man delivered bags of money to U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) office in exchange for a Get Out of Jail Free card, in a new video released today. Cotton and more than 30 Republican senators are co-sponsoring a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would overturn the arbitration rule issued by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The rule would end the ability of companies like Equifax and Wells Fargo to evade accountability in court after ripping off and abusing customers. A vote may come as soon as tonight.

“In my new how-to video, citizens can learn how to influence legislation as we billionaires have done for generations – by delivering good old-fashioned campaign donations,” said the Monopoly Man, Amanda Werner, arbitration campaign manager for Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen. “Senator Cotton sponsored S.J. Res. 47, which is a Get Out of Jail Free card for financial giants like Wells Fargo and Equifax. I simply made sure the cash made its way to his office ahead of the vote tonight. After all, there is no such thing as ‘free parking’ in Washington.”

The fight over the arbitration rule gained national attention earlier this month when Werner dressed up as the Monopoly Man and sat directly behind Equifax CEO Richard Smith at a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing. Forced arbitration denies customers their day in court – requiring them to use a secretive, private arbitration system rigged to protect corporate wrongdoers. In response to this abusive practice, the CFPB issued a rule restoring consumers’ right to go to court. But tonight, the U.S. Senate may vote on a fast-tracked and filibuster-proof CRA resolution (S.J. Res. 47) that would strike down the rule.

Nearly 100,000 Americans have signed a petition opposing the financial industry’s efforts to overturn the rule. The petition bolsters recent survey findings from both progressive and conservative pollsters – as well as polls in Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, Maine and Ohio – showing strong bipartisan support for protections from forced arbitration. Senators from these states who vote against the rule are defying the wishes of their constituents by siding with big banks over consumers.

Today's video was produced by Chi/Donahoe, and additional collaborations with the Monopoly Man are planned in the near future.

NOTE: Werner identifies as genderqueer non-binary and requests the use of gender neutral pronouns: they/them/their. Please see here and here for additional guidance; see here and here for examples of correct usage.

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