In line with the priorities that Democrats in Congress have set, the 31 Democratic state attorney generals are most likely to shift their focus away from abuses on Wall Street to populist concerns of consumer protection, health and safety, Forbes.com reports.
During Eliot Spitzer’s tenure as New York’s attorney general from 1998 to 2006, other state attorney generals followed his lead to focus on financial abuses at mutual fund companies and other investment firms. But now, they are likely to concentrate on the issues of lower-income constituents, such as student loans and property insurance. Already, Spitzer’s successor, Andrew Cuomo, has proven this to be the case—notable since New York is a state where the financial sector is one of the biggest industries.
And in California, former Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who brought numerous cases against mutual fund and other asset management firms, has been replaced by consensus-builder Jerry Brown. Strengthening environmental laws is among his chief concerns.
Truly, there is a shift in concerns among New York politicians, Democratic and Republican alike, for fear that the pendulum has swung in the direction of over-regulation, driving out businesses from New York.
Separately, The New York Times reports that as the governor of New York, Spitzer is now trying to keep those financial services firms in New York. He has just signed an executive order creating the New York State Commission to Modernize the Regulation of Financial Services. The new organization follows studies arguing that the U.S. and New York were losing their lead as global financial hubs.
“It no longer makes sense to regulate each of the separate areas as an independent business endeavor,” Spitzer said. “If we can come up with a structure that is going to be more coherent and makes us more competitive, that is critically important.”