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Occupy Protester and “Progressive Republican” Challenges Rep. Capito’s Bank Ties

May 1, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - He calls it Davis verses Goliath. An Elkins "Occupy" protester and progressive Republican, Michael Davis, is challenging incumbent Shelley Moore Capito for the U.S. House nomination in the Second District. He says it's because she's far too cozy with the big banks she should be regulating.

Michael Davis admits he has little chance of unseating the congresswoman, now seeking her seventh term. But Davis says it's not right for a woman married to an executive at one of the nation's largest banks, and who takes a lot of campaign money from the industry, to sit on the House Financial Services Committee. He says she did nothing to protect Americans from the abuses of the big banks.

"It was Ms. Capito's job to step in there and enforce the regulations that were in place, and she didn't do it. She didn't push for it, she never talked about it. It certainly looks like a conflict."

Her campaign denies that she's too close to the industry she's regulating. Spokesman Ken Gates says there is no reason for her to leave the Financial Services Committee.

"I don't know that she's that close to the industry, I mean, and that she understands the issues, and she works hard, so I think that on the whole she's been a very productive and effective member of the committee. So why wouldn't she stay on that committee?"

But to Davis that's part of the point. He says he decided to run after seeing the outpouring of support for the Occupy/99 Percent movement. He says it gave him the sense that citizens in the Second Congressional District realize that the system is designed to favor the rich, especially when it comes to funding campaigns.

"Right now I feel like we have government of the wealthy, by the wealthy. Really, what money does is it covers up the truth, it covers up the facts."

Capito's husband Charles works for Wells Fargo. The website reports that since 2000 the congresswoman has received more than $2 million in donations from the banking and finance industries.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV