National

Kentucky congressman favorite of financial services donors

As the financial system began to collapse this year, U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., collected tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds from the lobbyists, executives and political action committees of affected companies, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

Davis has been a voice for deregulation on the House Financial Services Committee, which is playing a key role in this week's debate over the proposed $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

In private invitations sent around Washington in recent months, Davis' re-election campaign touted his committee membership and then offered interested parties a chance to bend his ear for up to $1,000 per person or $2,000 per PAC. At least one event was hosted by Wall Street lobbyists now in the thick of the bailout debate.

The meals and cocktail parties would be "intimate," involving only five to 10 donors at a time, the invitations promised.

"We want to keep these events small so you can get some good time with Geoff," wrote Republican fund-raiser Mike Gula, who works for Davis, in one e-mail this summer. Gula listed four July events for Davis at upscale Washington restaurants and wine bars, then added: "If these dates don't work, I can get you some one-on-one times."

Gula concluded the e-mail: "Congressman Davis is on the following committees and subcommittees: House Committee on Financial Services (Financial Institutions, Capital Markets, Housing and Community Opportunity). ... Please send checks made payable to 'Davis for Congress.'"

Gula did not return calls this week seeking comment.

Davis is seeking a third term Nov. 4 against Democratic challenger Michael Kelley, a La Grange doctor. Davis had raised $1.7 million as of June 30, dwarfing Kelley's $15,571.

Read the full story at kentucky.com.

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