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New Mexico Congressional Candidate: Jail the Bankers | The Nation

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George Zornick

George Zornick

Action and dysfunction in the Beltway swamp. E-mail tips to george@thenation.com

New Mexico Congressional Candidate: Jail the Bankers

A candidate for Congress in New Mexico has an interesting new television ad out—one that, for the first time this cycle (as far as I’m aware) explicitly calls for criminal charges for Wall Street executives.

Eric Griego, currently a state senator, is competing in the Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional district in New Mexico against former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez and Michelle Lujan Grisham, a county commissioner. His ad, released today, features an angry Albuquerque couple who lost money in the financial collapse—and then Griego appears. “Wall Street has gotten away scot-free, and Congress has done nothing to hold them accountable,” he says. “I won’t stop until Wall Street bankers who broke the law go to jail.” Watch it:

Griego was the first candidate endorsed by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee this year, and Democracy for America has named him one of its top ten progressive House candidates. Griego is also part of a push to have fellow Democratic state legislators across the country drop any affiliation with ALEC.

Realistically, there’s little that a first-term Congressman could do to force criminal accountability for Wall Street bankers that helped cause the crash. Many of the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus already want to see jail sentences, as displayed during its meeting with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last month.

But of course there’s strength in numbers, and the more candidates that come to Congress with a demand for Wall Street accountability, the stronger the prospects ultimately get. In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is making that key to her campaign pitch, and it will be interesting to see if other progressive candidates take up this mantle as well.

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