Rep. John Campbell is offering an amendment to legislation creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would provide a "special interest carve out" for auto dealers. The amendment would strip the the newly proposed agency of its ability to oversee financing by car dealers. Campbell is a former car dealer who currently rents out seven properties to car dealers or car repair shops. (Six car dealerships and one repair shop.)
The 2008 personal financial disclosure filed by Campbell earlier this year shows that the total value of the these properties is between $6,500,007 and $31,000,000 and his total income from the properties to be between $700,000 and $7,000,000. According to a release by Public Campaign and Common Cause, Campbell has received over $170,000 in campaign contributions from auto dealers over his career.
In December of 2008, Campbell stated that he would recuse himself from voting on any automotive bailout plans considering how close his personal finances are tied to the industry. When the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act (H.R. 7321) did come to a vote, Campbell voted "present," fulfilling his promise to avoid a conflict of interest. Now in the fall of 2009, Campbell has inserted himself directly into a conflict of interest situation by offering an amendment that could potentially affect his bottom line and those of his campaign contributors.
Maybe he should have kept the principled stance he had last year. Are you listening, man?