POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Senators denounce Wall Street reform

Georgia's senators voted against a federal financial reform bill last week, saying the so-called Wall Street Reform Bill would have too much of an impact on Main Street.

"Republicans have been painted as the 'party of Wall Street' and against reform, and I want folks to know this is disingenuous," U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said. "I believe that there is a need to respond to what went wrong in our financial system and I support doing so in a responsible way that will continue to allow Main Street businesses to manage their risk appropriately, hold those responsible for this mess accountable and not create huge new government bureaucracies. Unfortunately, this legislation falls far short of those goals."

Chambliss said he supported efforts to make make the market more transparent, but he said the legislation is overreaching.

Both Chambliss and his colleague, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who are Republicans, denounced the bill for failing to address problem-plagued Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government lenders.

"This rush to judgment on the financial regulatory bill is wrong. It is wrong because it excludes Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from any scrutiny or increased regulation," Isakson said on the Senate floor. "It is critical that we have all the players under scrutiny and all the players under regulation, not just trying to create a feel-good system where we reregulate those who are already regulated, saying we are doing something about the conditions in the market when, in fact, we are raising the cost of doing business, lowering the ability for banks and lending institutions to extend capital and, in fact, in some ways contributing to a continuation of the recession we experience today in America."

Thurmond appearing

in Gwinnett

Business leaders have the potential to meet the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond is likely to give a speech centered on jobs at this week's Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

But he is also the front runner in a two-man race for the Democratic ticket, which will be decided in Tuesday's primary. The winner will face Isakson in November.

The event, scheduled for noon at the 1818 Club in Duluth, costs $45 for Chamber members and $55 for non-members.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.