By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
In the 2010 election, Stan Cooke ran an insurgent Republican primary campaign against 6th Congressional incumbent Congressman Spencer Bachus. Cooke said that Bachus outspent him by over a million dollars. Despite being incredibly outspent, Cooke was buoyed by local Tea Party support and Cook says that in the recount that he received almost 41 percent of the primary vote in 2010.
Cooke is running for Congress again and believes that he accomplished a lot in the last campaign, he said, “We feel like we got our name out there.”
Since the last election the State of Alabama has been redistricted. The Sixth District has lost St. Clair County and part of Tuscaloosa County, but has gained most of Blount County. He feels that redistricting worked to his advantage. “Lots of people know me in Blount County.”
Cooke accused Bachus of using his office in the U.S. Congress for personal gain. Cooke claimed that Bachus as the ranking Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee announced investigative hearings into possible misconduct by the Swiss bank, UBS Swiss. He alleges that Bachus used the bad press from the hearing to short the stock of UBS Swiss before the hearings. After the hearings, Bachus then bought the stock. Cooke accused Bachus of using his words to influence the stock price while he was trading the stock. Ultimately, UBS Swiss was fined by the federal government. Cooke said that they gave $20,000 to Spencer Bachus’ reelection campaign. Many of these allegations have also been reported in other news sources including the CBS News program, ‘60 Minutes.’
Cooke said that this would be illegal insider trading if carried out by someone in one of the companies. The law prohibits the president from actively trading in the stock market while in office. In fact the President’s assets are normally put inside a blind trust. Cooke said that congressmen however can compel corporate officers to testify about their corporation under oath and then some congressmen can legally use the information they gain from the hearings to buy and sell stocks in their personal portfolios.
Cooke said that Congress has exempted himself or herself from the insider trading law. Cooke has accused Bachus and Barney Frank, the ranking Democrat, of using their powerful positions on the financial services committee for their own personal benefit. Cooke favors legislation that would place limits on Congressional stock trading.
Cooke also said that Congressman Bachus was instrumental in getting Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) passed. Cooke also blamed Bachus for being responsible for the repeal of the Glass-Steagell Act, which prevented consumer banks from also selling securities and insurance. Cooke believes that that deregulation ultimately led to the 2008 economic collapse.
Cooke said that foreign banks received $7 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve and that Congressman Bachus has received campaign contributions from banks that got TARP bailout money.
Cooke said that the leadership of the Alabama Republican Party did not want him to run.
Cooke said that legislation sponsored or supported by Bachus he disagrees with include the Global Poverty Act, the Jubilee Act, the TARP bailout, ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ the ‘Education For All Act,’ and the Serve America Act.
On the issue of Congressional term limits, Cooke said, “Inside of me I believe in term limits. I will serve a maximum of 8 years. “ In the Senate, Cooke supports limiting senators to two terms for a maximum of 12 years in the Senate.
On the budget, Cooke said there should never have been a super committee. The entire House and Senate should decide the budget. Cooke said that the nation needs a balanced budget amendment.
On the issue of immigration, Cooke said that if elected to Congress, he would support the federal government placing troops on the border, building the border fence, deporting all illegal aliens, and making it a federal crime to hire, rent to, or issue a credit card or a wire transfer to an illegal alien.
On State House Bill 56, however, he predicted that the Supreme Court will overturn it. “Here is the problem. The state can only write laws that do not conflict with federal law.” Mr. Cooke believes there are a lot of things that they could have done, but that he believes that HB 56 violates the Supremacy Act which makes federal law supreme over state law. Cooke said that he thinks both the Alabama and Arizona illegal immigration bills will be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Cook said that repealing both the Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Acts would be priorities in the next Congress. Cooke said that there needs to be a document published listing all the bills that will be repealed “there needs to be a broad stroke approach to this.”
Cooke said that he had “no anticipation of a Democrat entering the race. The 6th District is the second most Republican District in the United States and it is 90 percent white.” Cooke doesn’t believe that a Democrat could win the district and feels that having an unpopular President Barack Obama at the top of the 2012 general election ticket helps the Republican Party candidate.
Al Mickle is also running as a Republican for Congress to represent the 6th Congressional District.
For more information about Cooke and his campaign go to www.vote.com
The deadline to qualify for the Republican Primary is Jan 12.