Scott Sipprelle has been explaining his donations to Democratic members of congress by rationalizing that "90%" of his political donations have been to Republican and conservative causes, and that he donated recently to conservative "blue dog" Democrats in an effort to get them to oppose Obamacare. 2 of the blue dogs Sipprelle donated to voted for Obamacare.
But he always gets testy when asked about his donations to Chuck Schumer.
Wednesday night at the Middletown Republican Club's candidates night a club member asked Sipprelle about his donations. He gave his "90%-blue dog" stump answer. When the questioner followed up with "but you gave money to Chuck Schumer," Sipprelle raised his voice and said "I reject your hypothesis" and went on to condemn excess congressional spending when Republicans were in control during the Bush Administration. He has a point about the excess spending, but that was not the woman's hypothesis. His answer fell flat on the crowd and Middletown GOP chairman Peter Carton attempted to provide damage control.
Back in January, just after Sipprelle got into the race for the GOP nomination to challenge Rush Holt, he told Tea Party activist (and now a candidate for the GOP nomination for Middlesex County sheriff) John Mennella that he donated to Schumer because his boss at Morgan Stanley pressured him to. Sipprelle said he quit Morgan as a result. MoreMonmouthMusings discovered that was not possible, as Sipprelle left Morgan in 1998 but donated to Schumer in 2002.
Why does Sipprelle have such a hard time explaining his relationship with Schumer? Why does he get testy when someone brings it up?
Given Sipprelle's explanation for the "blue dog" donations, i.e. that he was trying to save us from Obamacare, I figured I'd look into what Schumer was up to in 2002 to get insight into why Sipprelle was attempting to influence Schumer.
In 2001 and 2002, Schumer sponsored several bills that were responses to the 9/11 attacks. Bills to strengthen port security, improve law enforcement and intelligence sharing and to provide financial assistance to the families of victims of the attacks. If that is what Sipprelle was supporting, why doesn't he just say so?
Schumer and Dick Durbin were the Democratic leaders in the Senate that arranged for the filibuster against Miguel Estrada's appointment to the U.S. Appellate Court. Democrats were threatened that a Hispanic conservative would be appointed to the nations second highest court. I can't imagine that Sipprelle supported those efforts. But who knows? He won't tell us.
Schumer sponsored legislation to prevent oil and gas drilling on federal land around the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Sipprelle went to college in upstate New York. Maybe he just wanted to keep his alma mater pretty. I can get that. Why not say so?
Schumer sponsored legislation to amend the IRS code in a way that would support the hotel and restaurant industries in post 9/11 New York. Maybe Sipprelle wanted to deduct his lunch or help out the owner of his favorite watering hole. Who knows? He won't tell us.
Maybe this is it:
Schumer sponsored a series of bills that made home mortgages easier to get. 1% down payments and loan guarantees. Preservation of defenses with respect to the sale or transfer of predatory loans. He also sponsored legislation making it easier for credit reporting agencies to disclose consumer credit scores. Was Sipprelle's hedge fund trading sub-prime mortgages? We don't know. He won't tell us.
Sipprelle closed his hedge fund in 2007. Credit spreads were widening on securitized mortgages at that time, an early indication that the bubble was under stress. I don't know if Sipprelle was trading sub-prime mortgages. He won't say. I bet Rush Holt will be looking into it if Sipprelle is the GOP nominee.
Here's a list of Schumer's legislative activity from back then.
We still don't know why Sipprelle donated to Schumer. He should stop getting testy when the subject is brought up and just answer the question.
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