Tom Carper and John Carney (D-Big Banks)

    Rob Tornoe’s editorial cartoon contribution this week looks at the relationship of Delaware, the banking industry, and the politicians who weave through all those land mines.


    Here’s Rob’s commentary to explain his drawing.

    As I was thinking about drawing this cartoon, I knew going into Memorial Day weekend, slamming two Delaware politicians as beholden to the states dominant banking interests might seem harsh. Maybe even misplaced. And certainly off the minds of most holiday-anxious Delawareans. 

    Believe me, I’d rather draw about folks trekking down Route 1 to spend their weekend building sand castles and chowing down on taffy. Heck, I’d rather be down their myself. Sadly, Rep. John Carney forced my hand. You see, Carney has joined forces with fellow Congressman Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Mike Conaway (R-Tx.) to add some bipartisan street cred to a bill that would weaken the already weakened and much maligned Dodd-Frank bill, which was designed to limit the power of Wall Street and the big banks in an attempt to prevent another financial collapse. Since its introduction in 2010, the bill has been systematically weakened by a swarming horde of Wall Street lobbyists, who have descended on D.C. and killed off punitive aspects of the bill piece-by-piece. Republicans have done everything within their power to stymie Dodd-Frank – even going so far as to suggest the bill is hurting the Congolese economy.  Carney’s bill would make restrictions on banks trading derivatives from foreign operations looser by presuming that international rules are comparable to our own, and making it hard for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) to decide otherwise.  “Congress and regulators must ensure that we’re protecting American consumers, ending future bailouts and maintaining American competitiveness in an increasingly global economy,” Carney said about his legislation in a press release.  See what he did there? Carney said nothing while throwing silly platitudes intended to ease the concerns of constituents still reeling from the economic recession caused by the entities he’s aligned himself with. After all, Congress introduced a very similar bill back in 2012, and financial reform advocates slammed it as a “race to the bottom” to lax regulations and overseas swaps.  I know Dodd-Frank is a bit in the weeds, and all this talk about derivatives and international rules makes my head spin. But it’s pretty important stuff that Delawareans should be aware of, especially when their elected representatives are siding with the big banks interests instead of their own. Sen. Carper has a long and documented history of supporting the big banks. Back in 2010, Carper’s “compromise” amendment on Dodd-Frank not only blocked class-action lawsuits by state Attorneys General against national banks, it allowed the feds to pre-empt regulation at the state level of consumer financial protection laws. Here’s what fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren said about the compromise: “The big banks and their army of lobbyists have fought aggressively to block states from being able to pass and enforce laws to protect their own citizens. No other industry gets the special exception from state law that the big banks demand.” Okay, that’s enough banking mumbo-jumbo for a holiday weekend. So what’s the message you can take away from my cartoon as you head into your Memorial Day weekend? Ted Kaufmann, 2016. —– Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a contributor. Check out more of his cartoons at, and follow him on Twitter @RobTornoe

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