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.
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]