Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The purpose of this blog branch is to highlight State Street's pay for play tactics, its relationships with key political figures at the municipal, State, and Federal levels, and to draw attention to its requests for regulatory exemptions and its attempts to influence legislation.

Information is very welcome from lobbying groups that oppose State Street's regulatory and legislative lobbying, competitors of State Street who are tired of its pay for play tactics, and State Street insiders who've grown disillusioned with the company's attempts to rig American's financial and pension system.

Meanwhile, readers may remember that State Street bundled contributions for John McCain in 2000.

Tomorrow night the candidate will be in Boston for a fund-raiser at State Street Bank hosted by chairman and CEO Marshall Carter, Hale and Dorr partner Ernest Klein, and former Massachusetts GOP party chairman Jean Inman. -- McCain, fund reform advocate, launches 3-day fund-raiser, By Tina Cassidy, Globe Staff, 1/18/2000

Readers may also recall that State Street bundled contributions for one of Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief Pennsylvania surrogates, the very corrupt Catherine Baker Knoll. Knoll is now Lieutenant Governor of the Keystone State.

When Knoll was the Pennsylvania Treasurer, State Street showed off its pay for play tactics, garnering a sweetheart deal from Knoll during her lame duck period. That sweetheart contract - which jacked up fees on state and municipal employees' pensions (police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses, etc.) fivefold - was voided by a Pennsylvania court.

The Court's very blunt ruling came only after State Street sued its own client, (Knoll's successor as Treasurer, Barbara Hafer), to try to enforce the lame duck sweetheart deal that her predecessor (Knoll) inked with State Street on her way out of office.

Let's call a pig a pig. That was political payback - and it backfired, much more publicly than State Street or Knoll ever expected. The case was so bad, that even the SEC took notice, with one key SEC official at the time citing the case in public speeches about the practice of pay for play.

The Pennsylvania media is gearing up to remind voters about that story.

Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll Endorses Clinton

The Clinton Campaign today announced the endorsement of Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll.

"The time has passed for finger-pointing about what’s gone wrong in our country. The question before us is: "Who can make it right?" I have a two-word answer to that question: Hillary Clinton," Lt. Governor Knoll said. "She’s ready to lead this nation from her first day in the White House, like great leaders of another time, she is here when we need her most."

Catherine Baker Knoll was elected in 2003 and became the first woman Lieutenant Governor in Pennsylvania history. During her tenure, she has worked closely with Governor Ed Rendell to promote Prescription for Pennsylvania, which would provide healthcare coverage for everyone in the Keystone State. Baker Knoll has also led efforts to expand Pennsylvania’s use of alternative energies to reduce the state’s reliance on foreign oil.

The Lieutenant Governor serves as Chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, and has spearheaded a number of statewide initiatives such as Project ChildSafe through the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association.

Prior to becoming Lieutenant Governor, Knoll served as Pennsylvania Treasurer from 1989 to 1997, streamlining and modernizing the state’s financial operations and investing in new technologies. She was also instrumental in building a High Tech Investment Center that saved Pennsylvania hundreds of millions of dollars through increased efficiency by returning nearly two billion dollars in interest to the Commonwealth.

Baker Knoll has taken a leading role in Pennsylvania and nationally on issues important to her constituents, including: Serving on the AFL-CIO Housing and Building Board of Trustees; Chairing the Pension Committee of the National Association of State Treasurers; creating Pennsylvania's Student Tuition Account Program (TAP) and small business loan programs for women and minorities.

"Catherine has been a champion for Pennsylvania’s working families, and I’m delighted she’ll help lead our efforts in the Keystone State," Clinton said. -- Clinton Campaign press release, 09/25/07

No. Catherine is no champion for Pennsylvania's working families. She tried to jack up fees on Pennsylvanians' pensions, fivefold, as political payback for the bank whose former CEO (her political patron) literally wrote the book on Social Security privatization.

Pennsylvania voters deserve to know what Knoll's support of Clinton is really all about, and they deserve to know what State Street's relationship with John McCain is really all about, too.