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AARP on the Air for Financial Reform Bill

With Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) expected to introduce financial regulatory reform legislation this week, AARP is launching a 12-state television advertising campaign today pushing for enactment of the bill. The ad, which targets Wall Street firms as “fat cats,” will run in such states as Maine, Louisiana, South Dakota, Ohio and Indiana.

AARP, the association that represents the interests of people ages 50 and older, is taking a more active lobbying role in the fight over financial reform after its successful push on health care.

The group is targeting key Senators whose support they are trying to secure by underscoring how important the issue is, according to the AARP’s director of economic security, Cristina Martin Firvida. The ads will also run in Montana, Missouri, North Carolina, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Delaware and Virginia.

The ad features a musical ditty calling out banks for their largesse and for turning “our taxes into bonuses, too.”

“You act like you’re free of blame. But your profits, they grew while you broke every rule. We’re tired of playing your game,” the song says as a picture of money being flushed down the toilet plays. “Stop the fat cats from putting your money at risk. Tell your Senators to pass financial reform now,” a voice-over says at the end.

The ads, which are set to run through May 2, follow a national study that the group put out last month that found overwhelming support among its members for consumer financial protection reform. The survey found that 96 percent of the respondents favored requiring banks to explain the terms and conditions of loans in language that people can understand.

AARP is particularly concerned with making sure that brokers and financial advisers have the same fiduciary duty to investors. “We don’t feel like they are getting the best advice,” Firvida said.

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