Dodd just admitted on CNN that he inserted a loophole in the stimulus legislation that allowed million-dollar bonuses to insurance giant AIG to go forward – after previously denying any involvement in writing the controversial provision. .
“We wrote the language in the bill, the deal with bonuses, golden parachutes, excessive executive compensation that was adopted unanimously by the United States Senate in the stimulus bill,” Dodd told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this afternoon.
“But for that language, there would have been no language to deal with this at all.”
Dodd had previously said that he played no role in writing the controversial language, and was not a part of the conference committee that inserted the language in the bill. As late as today, Dodd’s spokeswoman denied the senator’s involvement.
Here’s his official statement:
“I’m the one who has led the fight against excessive executive compensation, often over the objections of many. I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment but I did so at the request of Administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG. Let me be clear – I was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses until I learned of them last week.
“Reports that I changed my position on this issue are simply untrue. I answered a question by CNN last night regarding whether or not a specific date was aimed at protecting AIG. When I saw that my comments had been misconstrued, I felt it was important to set the record straight – that this had nothing to do with AIG.
“Fortunately, we wrote this amendment in a way that allows the Treasury Department to go back and review these bonus contracts and seek to recover the money for taxpayers. Again, I have led the fight to curb excessive executive compensation, and will continue to do so.”
Let’s go to the videotape:
Dodd received $103,100 from AIG last year. Here’s the list of top AIG recipients for the 2008 campaign:
1. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., $103,100
2. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., $101,332
3. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., $59,499
4. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., $35,965
5. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., $24,750
6. Former Gov. Mitt Romney, (R) Pres $20,850
7. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., $19,975
8. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn, $19,750
9. Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., $18,500
10. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) Pres $13,200
11. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., $12,000
12. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., $11,000
Stephen Spruiell raises an interesting question,
But as for the politics, this AIG thing is blowing up in Obama’s face, and it looks an awful lot like his administration is trying to make Dodd the fall guy.
Last Tuesday I asked, Did anyone think of asking the AIG execs to forgo their bonuses? As you can see, that question has been answered.