Vote counting has been halted
in the race for Illinois' 8th Congressional District, where Democratic
incumbent Melissa Bean is trailing Republican Joe Walsh by a slim 350
votes. Clerks in Lake and McHenry counties say they'll wait until later this month to tally the
final ballots. Bean gained ground late last week
after provisional and absentee ballots were included in the tabulation.
If Bean can't overcome the deficit, she might have another job waiting for her. Politico reports
this morning that the suburban representative's name is being floated
to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent agency created
to protect vulnerable consumers as part of the federal financial reform
package. This would be a problematic hire. Bean, known to many on the
Hill as "Wall Street's favorite Democrat," worked hard to weaken the
regulatory agency as it was being constructed, authoring an amendment
that preempts stricter state regulation of national banks on a
case-by-case basis. The American Bankers Association lauded her efforts
in a memo to its members. As a member of the House Financial Services
Committee, she's raised millions from the financial and insurance
industries she'd be asked to police. While she deserves praise for
making tough votes on health care reform and the stimulus package, it'd be
difficult to recommend Bean for the new position.
UPDATE (11:39 a.m.): Wonk Room has more on a possible Bean appointment.