revolving door politics

Former Goldman VP Got Sexy Name Change Before Getting Job in Congress

darrell issa before his face change operation in 1998.The weird mutants staffing Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee are for once being documented mutants: Issa staffer Peter Haller, who mostly scribbles furious letters to government regulators demanding they quit harassing Goldman Sachs with horrible strict rules like, “at least use condoms when you’re screwing everyone,” was also Peter Simonyi who dealt with government regulators as a VP at Goldman Sachs. He is like mutant Superman, for bankers! Or was that X-Men? Or both? That’s some weird sci-fi shit! 

Also weird, did you know the House Oversight Committee is no longer dedicated to its historical mission of investigating fraud, but instead to fighting regulations meant to reduce fraud? Another interesting mutation!

Anyway, Simonyi legally changed his last name to Haller after leaving Goldman Sachs and going to work for Issa, “for family reasons,” the usual political reason for everything. And now everyone is mad, but mostly at liberal bloggers for bothering to care.

From ThinkProgress:

ThinkProgess published a story about a top staffer to Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) who helped the congressman draft a letter to bank regulators, asking them to back off new rules for banks like Goldman Sachs. As we reported, the staffer is a former Goldman Sachs vice president with a history of spinning through the revolving door. (The staffer also had worked for a lobbying firm and for the Securities and Exchange Commission in the last 10 years.) The staffer’s background had not been noticed by the press for months because, as we found, he changed his name from Peter Simonyi to Peter Haller after working for Goldman Sachs.

Haller and Issa’s office did not respond to our requests for comment, but they both provided a statement to TalkingPointsMemo. Haller says he changed his name in 2008 to honor a last request of his grandfather, a Transylvanian who passed away in 1944 and had worked for Miklós Horthy. He further states that his name change was publicly identified on the website of his law firm employer, Brickfield Burchette Ritts & Stone.

Would it have made any difference if he had just said, “Yes, I changed my name to honor my grandfather from Gofuckoffistan?” Probably not/probably not but that would have sounded like “a real answer, at least.”

The NYTimes is not impressed with any of this reporting:

Readers were outraged. A shape-shifter on Capitol Hill! A Goldman mole in Congress!

Well, as it turns out, the story on Mr. Haller isn’t so scandalous after all. In an e-mailed statement, Mr. Haller told DealBook that he is a descendant of a Transylvanian count, and that he changed his name in 2008 to honor a long-held family promise.

So now, in 2011, the New York Times is mocking citizens for experiencing some kind of sentient outrage when they read, again, that Congress is stacked with Goldman lackeys. That’s so Apocalypse Yesterday. [ThinkProgress/NYT]

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    1. vodkamuppet

      Count Dracula learned everything he knew from Count Haller. And Count Shemp. Everyone always forgets about Shemp.

    2. horsedreamer_1

      Tepes libel!

      Seriously, Vlad was Romanian, Simonyi is Hungarian. And they take that distinction seriously in Romania.

    1. SorosBot

      Now maybe he's just descended from Count von Count. That's one subprime mortgage, two subprime mortgages, three subprime mortgages…

    2. arihaya

      i suppose he migrated from Transylvania to America inside a coffin full of soil

      somebody check this family Ellis Island records !!

  1. JoshuaNorton

    his grandfather, a Transylvanian

    I vant to suck your bloooood!

    Hey, whether your talking about a vampire or a republican, it works!

  2. Pragmatist2

    I, myself, am the descendant of German peasants whose graves were robbed. In their honor I have decided to change my name to Frankenstein.

  3. slithytoves

    It's true, I'm sitting here trying to work up interest/outrage, but. it's just. not. happening. *Sigh.* I used to be so good at this.

  4. MARCdMan

    Who was it that said Goldman-Sachs was like a Vampire Squid wrapped around the head of the country, jamming it's blood funnel into anything that smells like money?

  5. tihond

    Who hasn't had to change their name to work in government? Dick Armey used to go by Penis Soldiers, but changed his name to be more electable.

      1. OhNoGuy

        And then there's Jim Shit who changed his name……………………………….to John Shit. Still didn't get elected.

    1. Tundra Grifter

      The tv guy Peter Marshall was born Ralph Pierre LaCock. His son Pete was a major league baseball player.

      Peter LaCock is a better even than Peter O'Toole!

  6. Hera Sent Me

    So he changed his name to honor his grandfather, who worked for the Hungarian dictator who allied his country to Nazi Germany in World War II? A dictator who was an admiral in the navy of a landlocked country. Who was the regent of a kingdom without a king.

    Sounds like he comes from a long line of unprincipled suck-ups to the rich and powerful.

    1. V572 T-Blow

      "unprincipled suck-ups to the rich and powerful" is the long term for "Republican legislators and lobbyists"

  7. iburl

    Who doesn't have to change their name in adulthood to please the last wishes of a Transylvanian Count who died 67 years ago? Such a hassle.

    1. OhNoGuy

      Nothing odd about that. Happens every day.
      Well, at least once or twice a week.
      For X-Goldman Sachs employees.

  8. Fawkdifiknow

    Changed his name from Simonyi to Haller? What kind of name is that? I'm still trying to figure out if it's the wops who should be offended.

  9. donner_froh

    Well, as it turns out, the story on Mr. Haller isn’t so scandalous after all.

    Haller/Simonyi doesn't even move the needle on the outrage meter. We are a nation unwilling to tax the wealthy and willing to let widows and orphans starve in the gutter.

    1. BeWoot

      My outrage needle is moving. I'm outraged at the Times for being so credulous. And when did they hire Timmy Geithner to play reporter, anyway?

  10. forgracie

    "When they looked from pig to man and man to pig, they realized they couldn't tell the difference between the two." George Orwell.

  11. weejee

    This is VP from Goldman Sucks, and Darrell does too. So why are we surprised?

    BTW is Peter related to Charles Simonyi, the former Microserf who was head honcho for their Orifice division?

    1. MozakiBlocks

      Well according to wikipedia, Chuck used to date Martha Stewart but married a woman 32 yrs younger than him and spends most of his time either on his 233-foot yacht or going into space courtesy of Space Adventures.

      Somebody who is more awake than I am this morning can take the snark from there.

  12. baconzgood

    To honor my grandfather's dying wishes I would respectfully request you all to cease calling Baconzgood and begin to call me by my new name. Slappy Throat-Punch McAwsomness!

    1. OneYieldRegular

      No joke – in Northern California I actually once met a guy who'd changed his name to Gnarly Wicked Awesome.

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      Was granpa by any chance from the Throat-Punches of southern Ontario? If so, Howdy, Cousin!

  13. Terry

    Sure, we believe you, Peter. In 2008, you SUDDENLY were overwhelmed with the urge to carry through a promise made before 1944. It makes total sense. Unless……..did Grandpa start haunting you to keep the promise?

        1. GOPCrusher

          Yeah, they were discussing this on All Things Considered yesterday. Seems the SEC has destroyed about 20 years of allegations that may or may not have been investigated.

      1. OhNoGuy

        Would someone pour Charlie a tall, cool glass of ethanol?
        I understand that's a cure for hypocrisy.

  14. Nothingisamiss

    Ok, it's hard (nay, impossible) for us to be shocked. But the fucking NYT—which I have loved—should bother with some outrage. For fuck's sake….Isn't there some sense at any large news organization that WE ARE FUCKED if even they don't give a shit?

    1. V572 T-Blow

      NYT is scoffing for the same reason people inside the Beltway aren't worried about 9 percent unemployment: not their problem.

  15. JoshuaNorton

    Politics, vampires, witches, shape shifters. The repugs are starting to sound an episode of "True Blood".

  16. Oblios_Cap

    My Old Grandpappy's dying wish was to change my last name back to "Walton" and claim my share of the family fortune.

    1. James Michael Curley

      Who will never be promoted to Lt. Col. as long as ex-PFC Wintergreen has anything to do about it.

    2. Negropolis

      Thank the FSM, but one of my cousins decided against her original intent to name her son "Mister".

  17. neiltheblaze

    Shorter New York Times: "The government and Wall Street are filled to the brim with charlatans, grifters, and con-men. So because it's no surprise any more, that means it's unsophisticated to be outraged."

    From the Paper of Record that brought you Judy Miller, everybody!!!

    1. prommie

      Do you mean that in United States, media is controlled by government and used to propagandize the workers? Comrade, say it ain't so!

      1. neiltheblaze

        Controlled by the government? I'm not sure about that – let's just say they're "cooperative". OK – they're in bed together and scrubbing like bunnies.

        1. prommie

          Ah! So newspapers are not controlled by government, instead, both government and newspapers are controlled by corporate oligarchy! Is all making sense now. This was premise of old TV show, we see on betamax, is called Max Headroom, you know of this show, yes?

  18. Tundra Grifter

    There is a Federal regulation titled "The Home Owners' Protection Act." Back in the day, it required Federally-regulated lenders to not loan money to borrowers who couldn't pay it back.

    Today, the Act requires lenders who put private mortgage insurance on home loans to take it off with a history of prompt payments and a combination of increased home value (joke!) and principal paydown (double joke!).

    Now, there's nothing wrong with making lenders remove PMI. But that isn't quite the protection furnished by the original terms of the Act. This whole GNoP de-regulation thing just doesn't work out very well – starting with St. Ronnie Reagan and the savings & loan financial debacle.

    1. prommie

      PMI is expensive, keeping it on unnecessarily is a way to gouge the consumer. The lender isn't paying for it, and I would presume that the lender would prefer that there is PMI on all its mortgages, why wouldn't it? So, I don't get how this regulation you speak of isn't anything but a consumer-borrower protection measure? Especially since it occurs long after the initial underwriting decision of whether to approve the loan or not. The majority of defaults occur pretty soon into a mortgage, even if there really isn't much change in the LTV, a history of prompt payment is a very legitimate reason to view the loan as less risky.

      1. Tundra Grifter

        prommie: First- or early-payment defaults are almost always fraud on the part of the borrower. I don't agree that's the majority – although it does happen. And I said there't nothing wrong with demanding a lender remove unncessary PMI.

        But that is a far cry from keeping the law that banks can't loan money to people who can't pay it back. Keeping – and enforcing – that single regulation would have greatly reduced the sub-prime disaster. Not avoided it, because so much of the predatory lending that brought it on wasn't by Federally-regulated lenders. I do believe it would have significantly reduced the negative impact.

  19. genxr

    "I was merely honoring a long standing request to stop using the family name, given that my lifetime career as a leech on society brings shame and dishonor to whatever name I use."

    The Count then went back to work, "One subprime mortgage-backed security, TWO subprime mortgage-backed securities. Ha ha ha ha!"

  20. chicken_thief

    By itself, this news would be depressing, but coupled with the news that Cantor is getting max contributions from a bank where his wife, chair of the board of a retirement fund, parks the funds cash is just too much. Shots, anyone?

  21. DemonicRage

    Why the need to find a slicker name? The ultimate Washington Insider got far, allowing his Master to call him "Turd Blossom."

  22. owhatever

    Oh, c'mon. This name change is like a ripe pimple on his forehead, and time has come to give it a sharp squeeze and see what pops out.

  23. GOPCrusher

    I thought Darell Issa was going to be investigating important stuff like Obama's Birf Certificate and school records?

  24. mavenmaven

    People do realize that Admiral Horthy was the Nazi puppet in Hungary?
    This is a Godwin Rule set up.

    1. prommie

      Is this guy related to one of George H.W. Bush's Nazis? HW was all mobbed up with the Nazis through his father and uncle and Brown Brothers Harriman, in his first campaign, 1979, I beleive that it even made the press, he had something like a half-dozen genuine old Nazis working on his campaign, he had to pretend to fire them. HW's father was a huge proponent of eugenics, sterilization and birth control used to control the population of undesireables, so they had a lot of common interests with the Nazis.

  25. ShaveTheWhales

    So what was the promise made in 1944? When you go to work for a government, use a fake name?

  26. ttommyunger

    I've seen this guy's picture. No matter what he calls himself, the first thing you think of when you see him has got to be "Douchebag".

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