Here is letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid prompted by a Ryan Grim article (

Dear Senator Harry Reid,

I am writing with great concern regarding the prospective opening of the Banking Committee chairmanship in the coming year, and the practice of assigning such positions based on seniority.  I am particularly concerned that Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota NOT get the chairmanship.  Given his state’s status as a home to many credit card giants and “liberal” state laws on banking, I believe that Mr. Johnson has an effective conflict of interest.  My concern is reinforced by Mr. Johnson’s poor legislative history on consumer protection and credit card regulation issues.

As you know there is a push through sweeping financial regulations`reforms in the coming year, including the creation of a government panel that would regulate financial products with an eye toward consumer protection. All of that would go through the Banking Committee.

There is a very inappropriate arbitrariness to assigning power positions purely based on seniority.  While I do not support the practice in general, I think the results would be particularly egregious in this case.  Please do not destroy this historic opportunity to advance major financial industry reforms by assigning the fox the chairmanship of the henhouse.

Many thanks for all your hard work promoting progressive reforms for America

Best Regards,
Paul R. Frank