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110,000+ Petition President Obama to Replace Mary Jo White as SEC Chair

By June 29, 2015 No Comments

“White’s entire career represents the worst of the revolving door between Wall Street and government.”

June 29, San Francisco – More than 110,000 people have signed a CREDO Action petition telling President Obama that it is time for Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White to be replaced by someone who is willing and able to take on Wall Street.

The petition, which can be found here, reads as follows: “Replace Mary Jo White as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission with someone who will stand up to Wall Street.”

As SEC chair, Mary Jo White has waived penalties for banks with criminal convictions, slow walked rules mandated by Dodd-Frank, and even lied to a U.S. senator about the status of pending regulatory matters,” said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action. “Mary Jo White’s entire career represents the worst of the revolving door between Wall Street and government – it’s long past time for her to go.

The petition follows a June 8 letter the Project on Government Oversight sent to President Obama arguing that the revolving door between industry and the SEC has irreparably undermined the tenure of SEC Chair Mary Jo White, and that she should be replaced as chair.

For far too long, the SEC’s work has been clouded by conflicts of interest among its top officials,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). “The public deserves an SEC chair who can provide real accountability on Wall Street and lead the agency with no strings attached.

The petition also came as Rootstrikers released an extensive 65-page report on June 16, detailing how Mary Jo White’s problematic revolving door background led to her Wall Street-friendly tenure at SEC. The report shows how White’s 20 years defending Wall Street at Debevoise left her with a pro-Wall Street worldview and, along with her husband’s clients at Cravath, have created intractable conflicts of interest that frequently deadlock the SEC.

Mary Jo White’s disappointing tenure is proof of why choosing revolving door regulators is so harmful to the public,” said Kurt Walters, campaign manager at Rootstrikers. “We hope the White House has learned from their unambiguous failure with Mary Jo White. The last thing we need is another fox guarding the hen house.

CREDO, POGO and Rootstrikers are part of a growing chorus of voices that have grown tired with business as usual at the SEC. The commission has failed to implement common-sense reforms and refused to crack down on criminal wrongdoing, and President Obama must now decide whether he wants his SEC to represent the interests of all Americans – or just Wall Street.

89,000 SIGN PETITION URGING PRESIDENT OBAMA TO BREAK WALL STREET’S GRIP ON THE SEC: In addition to calling for Mary Jo White to be replaced, more than 89,000 people have signed a CREDO Action petition urging President Obama to break Wall Street’s grip on the SEC by nominating “strong, independent voices with proven records of reform” on the commission. The petition asks President Obama to look to “Commissioner Kara Stein as the model of a tough reformer who puts Main Street first.”

73,000 SIGN PETITION FOR CEO-PAY DISCLOSURE RULE: Another 73,000 people have signed a CREDO Action petition telling the SEC to “implement, without any further delay, a forceful CEO pay-disclosure rule requiring companies to publicly release the ratio between their executive compensation and average employee pay.”