While President Obama has recently tried taking a more populist, "left-leaning" bent with his new tax proposals, one New York politician has rarely strayed from those roots: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Thanks to his refusal to back down on his investigation of a $20 billion dollar bank settlement, Schneiderman has been the subject of a raft of articles hailing him as one of the few leaders who practice their professed affinity with the left, along with Massachusetts senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. "Honestly, my day-to-day life hasn't changed," he tells the Times. "I'm doing my job as a prosecutor."
If the banks, which include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, get their way, they will pay $20 billion to settle claims regarding mortgage market misconduct. In return, they will receive immunity from future lawsuits, and thus any meaningful investigation. "There was a lot of misconduct, and it needs to be looked into." That misconduct includes forging or using "robo-signers" on foreclosure notices.
Schneiderman has been pushed by the White House to go forward with the deal, and was recently kicked off the committee of states attorneys general who are charged with reviewing the settlement's carefully negotiated terms. He's beginning to find supporters, such as the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Nevada, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Minnesota, and from regular citizens, who have donated $4,179 during two weeks in August and September. The donations came from 36 people in 34 cities in 19 different states.
Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, told the paper that Schneiderman's getting the reaction because "there's a reservoir of anger out there, which can quickly turn into support for those who are doing the right things." Anger? At Wall Street?