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The Real Fraud That Needs Fighting Is William Galvin

Why Massachusetts Needs a New Secretary of the Commonwealth

William Galvin wants your money so he can help fight “fraud in the finance industry.”

As Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he claims he’s helping the little guy and average citizen by going after any and every financial services company.

In fact, he proudly portrays himself as “the most widely feared securities regulator.”

But what he’s really doing is hurting the American small business owner and hurting the American people.

Galvin is more interested in acting like Wall Street’s sheriff than reasonably investigating and prosecuting fraud.

Galvin forgets – or refuses to see – that not all business is bad. Some business is good, especially when it helps the American people. A rising tide does lift all boats – the economy is booming precisely because American businesses big and small are doing well.

For instance, Galvin has said bitcoin “doesn’t pass the smell test” because “There is no product here. This is entirely speculation. That’s already been proven by the high gyrations of the value. It’s also subject to manipulation, because no one can explain it no one can control it.”

In other words, Galvin instinctively wants to regulate what he doesn’t understand, even if it is a decentralized currency with great promise and the ability to enrich many Americans.

He’s not really interested in going after real fraud – he just wants the glory of being able to say he took down “Wall Street” while fighting for “Main Street.”

Galvin’s motto seems to be, “Regulate first, ask questions later.” Or in some cases, don’t ask questions at all, especially when it comes to elections.

In a new campaign ad Galvin claims to have succeeded in “protecting Massachusetts elections and setting a standard for the whole country.” But Galvin refused to allow a federal commission on election integrity to investigate voting fraud in Massachusetts, even though he has stated time and time again that he is opposed to Russian election meddling.

Isn’t more transparency better? Isn’t accountability needed more than ever in such uncertain times as these? What is Galvin hiding, and why is this the one instance of fraud he’s unwilling to go after?

Not even Galvin’s defeated Democratic opponent Josh Zakim – Galvin’s first real challenge in 24 years – hasn’t let his get away on this one: he’s criticized Galvin for failing to push harder to expand the vote with same-day registration and electronic voting.

In fact, Galvin set this year’s primary for Sept. 4 – right after Labor Day weekend, when many Americans are just returning to work from vacation. It looks like Galvin is only in favor of expanding the vote when it helps him win elections.

And another unanswered question: If Galvin is really a man of the people, why has he taken nearly a million dollars from lawyers, lobbyists, and the finance, insurance, and real estate industries throughout his time in public office?

It’s quite clear that Galvin is perfectly willing to step on the little guy if that means getting reelected – again, and again, and again. In fact, Galvin has been in been in his current office for nearly a quarter of a century.

Over the past 24 years, Galvin has attacked small financial companies repeatedly – whose actions and business practices are far from your typical Wall Street firms. According to DailyWire, “Galvin has pursued action surrounding companies like SII Investments, LPL Financial, and Securities America Inc. Yesterday, Galvin announced an investigation into brokers’ selling practices in connection with GPB Capital private placement offerings. GPB is a five-year-old Alternative Asset Management startup with interests in automotive dealers, waste management, and physical therapy practices. GPB’s offerings are now a victim of Galvin’s unsubstantiated claims towards those selling the product. Their site shows the company’s focus on investing in everyday Americans and their businesses — far from deserving of scrutiny.”

“Just recently, Galvin’s office has announced a sweep of 63 broker dealers who sell GPB’s private placements. In a statement, Galvin said, ‘While my Securities Division’s investigation is in the very nascent stages … I must also express my serious concerns regarding the expected proposal by the SEC to expand who can participate in private securities offerings. Without a strong fiduciary rule to prevent sales practice abuses, it is utter folly not to know that main street investors will be hurt.’”

If that doesn’t smell like the swamp, then I don’t know what does.

The people of Massachusetts deserve someone who isn’t in the pocket of those radical few who hate American small business owners just because they built what they own, and who’s genuinely interested in expanding the vote.

It’s time for a fresh face with fresh ideas. It’s time for real reform.

Written by Dan Weissman

Dan Weissman is the managing editor of The Schpiel.

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