Posts Tagged ‘house financial services committee’

Spencer Bachus Hit with Ethics Probe

by , Feb 11, 2012 | 6:07 pm

Online pokerers can get their schadenfreude on, as one of our game’s staunchest opponents, Spencer Bachus (R-AL) faces a Congressional ethics probe for insider trading violations.

The independent, non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics believes Bachus was “betting” the stock market with privileged information, the Washington Post reports.

OCE says they’ve been looking at the current Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee for more than a year to confirm suspicions that, essentially, Bachus, an active trader, was operating like a stock-options superuser! OK, maybe not exactly, because you gotta think Bachus woulda banked more than a few thousand bucks here and there if he were truly the Russ Hamilton of Wall Street politics. But still …

DC Power Broker? A leader in the cause of stifling online poker, seen here with his wife at an event honoring Rafe Furst and Phil Gordon, two Full Tilt Poker pros.

Regardless of whether or not this level of OCE censure might ultimately land Bachus in prison a la Martha Stewart (it’s often a fine line between unethical and illegal) Bachus’ woe is a big win for poker because such allegations alone effectively neutralize his power and influence on Capitol Hill. In the War on Poker, Bachus has been a General for the other side post-UIGEA, and twice before has shown the ability to stop online poker legalization efforts in their tracks by persuading other members to line up behind him on our issue. But not this go-round, it would seem …

RE: HR 2267 Passes 41-22[-1]

Semi-bipartisan support: Who Voted How

by , Jul 29, 2010 | 10:16 pm

Here is the breakdown of yesterday’s vote in the House Financial Services Committee. I’m curious about those who chose NOT to vote, and libertarian-wise … Ron Paul’s declaration of “present” — despite his stated support of HR 2267 a week earlier. Obviously had to be a reason … and Paul’s generally not afraid of his voters turning on him, and his seat seems hardly in peril.

(I posed the question to him or his people on twitter. Will look for but not expect a response, despite < 140 words finagled to sound more constituenty ... #semibluff)

Data via the PPA.

HR 2267 Passes 41-22

by , Jul 28, 2010 | 1:42 pm

A press release from the PPA regarding the passage of HR 2267 from the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 41-22.


Markup of HR 2267 Tuesday

Vote appears too close to call

by , Jul 26, 2010 | 8:04 am

Watch the markup hearing here

The attempt to regulate and license Internet gambling tries to move another step forward on Tuesday with the markup of HR 2267 in the House Financial Services Subcommittee. The markup is scheduled to start at 10am ET, with HR 2267 currently listed third on the list of seven bills.

The last time a bill regarding Internet gambling made it to a markup vote in the Committee (2008), it “lost” by a vote of 32-32. Doing a little bit of research by using the PPA Congressional Ratings website, the 2008 markup vote, and previous hearings, there are currently 34 Yeas, 21 Nays, and 16 Undecided on the bill.

Democratic Yeas – Frank, Kanjorski, Gutierrez, Velazquez, Watt, Ackerman, Sherman, Moore (KS), Capuono, Hinojosa, Clay, McCarthy, Lynch, Green, Cleaver, Bean, Moore (WI), Hodes, Ellison, Klein, Wilson, Perlmutter, Donnelly, Foster, Carson, Childers, Minnick, Adler, Dreihaus, Himes, Maffei

Republican Yeas – King, Paul, Lance, Campbell, Lee

Democratic Nays – Meeks, Baca, Miller, Scott

Republican Nays – Bachus, Castle, Royce, Lucas, Manzullo, Jones, Miller, Capito, Hensarling, Garrett, Barrett, Neugebauer, Price, McHenry, Putnam, Bachmann, Marchant

Those listed as undecided include those who voted against the bill in 2008, but have either signed on as a co-sponsor to HR 2267 or sent a letter in support of Internet poker.

Democratic Undecided – Waters, Maloney, Speier, Kilroy, Kosmas, Grayson, Peters

Republican Undecided – Biggert, Gerlach, Campbell, McCotter, McCarthy, Posey, Jenkins, Paulsen

To add your voice of support of online poker, check out and call, write or Tweet your local member of Congress.

HR 2267 Hearing Recap

Congress Considers Poker Position in Online Gambling Regs

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 4:26 pm

Watch the archived hearing here

Wednesday’s hearing on HR 2267, which would regulate and license Internet gambling, brought out strong opinions from both sides in over two hours of testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee. The next step in the legislative process is a mark-up of the bill, tentatively planned for next week where members of the Committee can add amendments to the legislation, with a vote to move the bill out of Committee and have the full House of Representatives vote on the legislation later this year. A couple of items from the hearing:

Bachus v Duke on Ultimate Bet scandal

One of the more contentious moments of the hearing was when Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL) entered into evidence a two-year old article from discussing the Ultimate Bet superuser scandal. That article stated that over $75 million had been stolen from its players. Duke corrected Bachus, stating that the figure was $22 million, and the entire amount was refunded to its players. Duke also stated that the scandal was a reason why regulation would be beneficial to those who play online poker so that justice could be served for the parties responsible for the scandal.

Disagreement among opponents

Another point brought up during the hearing was while anti-terrorism/money laundering consultant Michael K. Fagan, a former US attorney, was against all forms of Internet gambling. Meanwhile, California cardroom executive Tom Malkasian was also against the legislation, but he and his coalition of California cardrooms and Native American casinos have been pushing hard for intrastate gambling in California. Another Native American executive, The Honorable Lynn Malerba of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut was for the legislation, but the tribes had to be on a level playing field. Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), who is against the legislation, got into a war of words with Malerba, stating the legislation could threaten the sovereignty of Native American casinos.

You can watch the hearing at the link above, and read the press release from the PPA regarding the hearing: