Democrats hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District voiced a variety of viewpoints about regulating Wall Street during recent candidate forums.
There are seven Democrats in the race. Each has nuanced views when it comes to the future of Dodd-Frank. The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation designed to ease Dodd-Frank rules.
The law was enacted in 2010 after a largely partisan vote. It created a slew of financial regulations and government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to oversee the conduct of banks and other financial institutions.
Matt Brolley said he would vote to preserve the bureau.
"The head of that agency requested a budget of zero," Brolley said. "(It) has saved and returned millions of dollars in wrongfully charged fees and fines to the citizens. We absolutely need a watchdog like that protecting us. If those banks were too big to fail before, they still ought to be."
Lauren Underwood said people on the political right seem intent on getting rid of Dodd-Frank in hopes Wall Street "will return to this unregulated free market yahoo that had been going on for decades." She said the consumer bureau has proved its value.
"We need to do our part to make sure it remains funded, that it remains staffed, and that they are able to do the job they were legislatively directed to do, which is look out for the best interests of consumers around the United States," she said.
Jim Walz has a section about Dodd-Frank under the "Economy" section of the issues tab on his website. His statement says the bureau is a favorite target for Republicans because it has uncovered so much fraud and deception by banks, credit card companies and debt collectors.
"When Wall Street's careless behavior sent the global economy into a crisis, the U.S. government acted forcefully and immediately to bail them out," Walz wrote. "Americans need protection and a strong discipline toward Wall Street to prevent a similar bailout from happening again."
George Weber said to know Dodd-Frank's value, just consider the holes in financial regulations that caused the Great Recession.
"It came about for a reason," Weber said. "I don't agree at all with the Trump administration getting rid of regulations willy-nilly."
John Hosta said Dodd-Frank is necessary because America's banking system is "corrupt."
"We are being held accountable for billions of dollars that they are risking," Hosta said. "There has to be stronger regulations against the banking industry taking huge risks. It's just another example of corruption in our system."
Daniel Roldan-Johnson said Americans can't afford a repeat of the Great Recession because the next time could plummet the economy into a full-blown Great Depression, part two.
"Dodd-Frank is about laws that were put in place, rightfully, to protect everyday people, the middle class," he said.
Victor Swanson said Dodd-Frank is a perfect example of why change is needed in the 14th Congressional District. He believes Hultgren receives too many campaign contributions from the banking and financial industry to allow for an objective view of any regulations that could affect such businesses.
"Dodd-Frank is there for the consumers," Swanson said. "We need to strengthen Dodd-Frank."