Earlier this year, as the financial reform debate was taking shape in D.C., one idea on the table, promoted by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Sen. John McCain, was reinstituting the Glass-Steagall Act, a Depression-era reform that put a firewall between Wall Street investment banks and Main Street commercial banks. (Cantwell pitched us the idea back in February.)

The banks didn't like the idea, and it was abandoned by the Obama Administration for something called the Volcker rule, which puts limits on how much commercial deposits investment banks can gamble. (The Volcker rule itself was watered down to please Wall Street. Two great articles here and here explain it.)

Suzan DelBene, the Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, has, to her credit, criticized Obama's Wall Street reform from the left, saying she wants to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

On Saturday, Rep. Reichert, for his part, was caught at a candidate forum at the Newcastle chamber, clueless as to what Glass-Steagall even is.


From the vid:

Question from the audience: “I agree with you that overregulation is not a good thing, but do you think that they should reinstate The Glass-Steagall Act and at least separate the banks’ ability to gamble with our money?”

“Well, the Glass-Steagall Act is one that I’m not familiar with. I’m sorry I have to go back and look at that, but I do agree it’s something that we haven’t dealt with on the House side in committees that I’ve had, so I’d be happy to look at that and come back and give you an answer on that.”

When we interviewed DelBene on video in June, she pushed Glass-Steagall.