Monday, December 05, 2005

Sarbanes is a 'moderate'

Mr. Sarbanes, 72, a year away from retirement after five terms representing Maryland in the Senate, was speaking to a corporate governance class at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and giving an impassioned defense of his crowning achievement: the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Or at least as impassioned as Mr. Sarbanes, a polite, low-key, moderate Democrat, can get.

I do have the silly habit of reading the NYTimes at breakfast on Saturday. There are some nice features sections in the Times though the news is usually read with a shedful of salt. Calling Sarbanes a moderate Democrat is a joke. Sarbanes is one of the most reliably liberal Democrats in the Senate.

According to the Americans for Democratic Action, the liberal 'watchdog' group which rates US representatives and Senators on 20 votes a year, a score of 100 means the legislator voted 'with' the ADA on all 20 votes [5 points a vote], Sarbanes scored 100 in 2002-04. He scored either 95 or 100 every year from 1990 to 2001. His pre-1990 average was 91 who he'll probably retire with a lifetime average of 94-95 meaning he voted with the far left 95% of time. That's Ted Kennedy league.

That's a moderate Democrat? The Times is either ignorant of Sarbanes' voting record which is inexcusable or in their distorted view Sarbanes IS a moderate.

I'm not so sure about 'low-key' either. Sarbanes is legendary for haranguing retiring Fed chief Alan Greenspan over his belief that Greenspan valued inflation control over growth. Greenspan has forgotten more about economics and finance that Sarbanes has ever known.

On a aside, Sarbanes-Oxley is a monstrous overreach and won't likely be repealed until after the 2006 election cycle.

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