Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) confronted AIG CEO Edward Liddy during his House testimony today about a lawsuit involving many Ohio public employees’ pension fund, which lost $96 million to AIG fraud. The lawsuit has been dragging on since 2004, and Kucinich demanded answers.
“AIG cheated police, firemen, teachers and public employees in Ohio out of $96 million. That may not seem like a lot of money to a company that is used to dealing in trillions. But you cheated people who save lives and teach our children, and I want to know what you are going to do about it,” Kucinich said. The lawsuit revolves around practices that go back as far as 1999. It contends that AIG rigged bids, manipulated its own stock price, and is guilty of accounting fraud.
Kucinich pointed out that, “corporations in England, Germany, France and South America are getting dollar for dollar for their losses. Yet when it comes to police, firemen, teachers and other public figures it is ZERO, zero for the $96 million dollars they lost.” He also asked Liddy, “Can you name one thing that you have done to get this matter resolved with respect to AIG defrauding police, firemen, teachers and other public employees in the state of Ohio?”
The clip that is getting played on television is of Kucinich promising to not be a member that would be rolled on this, but this is the story behind his anger. This is also an example of what makes Kucinich great. He asked a question about the losses suffered by real working people. AIG has gotten tens of billions of dollars in government assistance, so I think that it is more than appropriate for the government to put pressure of the company to settle the lawsuit.
Every politician has expressed outrage over the bailouts, but this hasn’t stopped them from opening up the government checkbook. Real people have been hurt by the AIG fraud. They should be the focus of the investigation, because AIG did cheat people, and it is not right that they have been rewarded for their misdeeds. A lot of politicians talk about standing up for the little guy, but Dennis Kucinich actually does it. This is why Kucinich is a one of a kind member of Congress.