Rep. Michael Grimm (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

GOP Rep. Grimm’s indictment creates opening on Wall Street for opponent

With Grimm facing serious problems with the law, his Democratic challenger is now piquing Wall Street's interest



Elias Isquith
April 29, 2014 7:05PM (UTC)

GOP Rep. Michael Grimm was once one of Wall Street's favorite politicians, a distinction that earned him a spot on the House Financial Services Committee.

But no longer — on Monday, Grimm was indicted on 20 counts for various alleged illegal activities he did before joining Congress, when he was a health-food restaurateur.

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Grimm hasn't resigned from Congress, but he has stepped down from the Financial Services Committee, and his future in politics certainly looks bleak.

With Grimm likely on the way out, some of his former strongest backers on Wall Street have decided to give Grimm's Democratic opponent for 2014, Domenic Recchia, another look. And so far, according to Politico, they like what they see.

“Listen, financial institutions play a big role in our city here in New York,” Recchia told Politico. "I’ve always had a good relationship of working with them, and I will continue to have that relationship with them and moving forward once I’m a Congress member."

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Grimm entered Congress in 2011, and is therefore not a senior member of the GOP caucus. Nevertheless, he has pleased Wall Street backers by aggressively promoting their interests, specifically through supporting legislation to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which creates a government backstop on financial losses suffered from a terrorist attack.

“He’s someone that took on a lot of the issues that were important to the industry and was very aggressive in pursuing them,” one financial industry lobbyist said of Grimm. “I think that we’re all trying to figure out what this ultimately means for his political future and for the issues’ future.”

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[Recchia] insisted Monday that he has plenty of supporters in the banking industry who have helped raise money for his campaign.

Recchia also said he strongly supports extending TRIA for “many years,” and that, like Grimm, he’s also on board with the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

Though he called this week’s indictment “very troublesome,” Recchia said that only Grimm and his attorneys can decide whether the congressman should continue running for the House seat and that it also isn’t his place to comment on donors who may continue to give to Grimm.

“People have to decide what’s best for them and who they want to support,” Recchia said. “I’m focusing on me and what I’m doing.”

One Washington-based finance lobbyist said Monday that while Grimm’s indictment puts the race in “uncharted territory,” the troubles of one friendly congressman are hardly enough to make the industry panic.

“If he was our only champion, then I think the calculations would probably be a little different,” the lobbyist said.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Domenic Recchia Election 2014 Financial Services Inequality Michael Grimm One Percent Politico Wall Street

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