Senator Carl Levin has been the greatest champion of financial transparency in the United States Senate for over two decades. He will end his six-term career in two years, and will not run for reelection in 2014.
As Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he led efforts to investigate offshore abuse in the collapse of Enron, exposed rampant money-laundering facilitation on behalf of foreign dictators like Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang at Riggs National Bank, and more recently, held hearings revealing how companies like UBS helped foreign tax evaders hide money from the IRS and companies like Microsoft and HP abused tax havens to lower their tax bill. He has introduced key pieces of legislation to help fulfill Task Force recommendations of country-by-country reporting, beneficial ownership, and automatic exchange of tax information.
“This decision was extremely difficult because I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them,” Levin, a Democrat, said in a statement released after the close of business.
The longest-serving senator in Michigan history spent months under pressure to announce his intention, from Democrats in Washington and back in his state. Party leaders have pushed members to make their plans known by the spring so that they can recruit and prepare top-flight candidates. He said he talked with his wife, Barbara, at length about whether to run.
“We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for reelection,” Levin said.
Senator Levin will be missed, although we look forward to the the great work he has planned for the next two years. You can read Ann Hollingshead’s profile of the Senator here.
Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated to be the views of the Task Force, the opinions expressed on this blog are solely the opinions of the individual blogger and are not necessarily those of the Task Force on Financial Integrity & Economic Development.