Senate candidate says banks were ‘forced’ to charge debit card fees

By | 10.07.11 | 8:59 am

GOP Senate candidate Adam Hasner (right), in a 2009 photo (Pic by Meredith Geddings, via myfloridahouse.gov)

In a recent fundraising email, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner has taken up a new conservative meme that blames the government for anger over newly proposed fees on debit cards.

In the email, Hasner says that banks were “forced to charge customers new fees due to the negative and costly requirements associated with the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, in particular the ‘Durbin Tax.’” Dodd-Frank legislation was a response to the country’s financial crisis that many economists say was partially caused by lax regulations on financial institutions.

The subject of new debit card fees is just one of the issues that has protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement rallying all over the country — including in Florida.

However, conservatives now say that new regulations from Dodd-Frank are solely to blame. The conservative website Town Hall features a new post aimed at Occupy Wall Street protesters.

The post says:

For the past few weeks we’ve seen hundreds of rich hipsters take to the streets, blocking the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, screaming about evil bankers, corporate greed and getting arrested….700 of them. Now, Benny Johnson from Accuracy in Media, takes a look at why fees at Bank of America are increasing and guess what? It’s not because of evil bankers, it is because of government regulation, regulation specifically written and supported by President Barack Obama and Democrat Dick Durbin.

Hasner sent out an email today making the same point. In his email, he uses the fact that Senate rival George LeMieux voted in favor of this tax as a senator as ammunition for his campaign.

Hasner’s email says, “At a time when Florida families can afford it the least, they will now be charged an extra $5 a month just to use their debit cards. That’s 60 hard earned dollars a year. And guess who voted for the ‘Durbin Tax’ …that’s right, Senator George LeMieux.”

It’s a particularly interesting position for any politician to take right now. The Occupy Wall Street rallies are currently gaining momentum all over the country (and in Florida) and they have been heavily focused on dissatisfaction with banks.

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