Roxanne Conlin, a Democrat who hopes to unseat Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this fall, says Grassley failed Iowans when he voted “no” last night as the senate was poised to debate a financial report measure.

“Senator Grassley voted not even to allow the senate to proceed to discuss Wall Street reform,” Conlin says.  “We need to reign in Wall Street and we need to do it sooner rather than later.” 

Grassley says he chose to vote no last night in hopes of convincing Democrats to draft a bill that can win bipartisan support.  Grassley has supported key reforms, like new restrictions on transactions involving what are called derivatives. 

“He voted not even to debate derivative reform on the floor of the United States Senate at five o’clock,” Conlin says, “so whatever he was doing to get himself some credit, to get himself some notice, to get himself some credibility when he voted in the Agricultural Committee for derivative reform, he lost it yesterday by voting not even to debate the bill.” 

The Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate has scheduled another vote this afternoon to try to allow debate of the proposals. “My greatest fear is that behind closed doors, at some point along the way, the bill will be watered down to an unrecognizable form that won’t do what we, the America people, need it to do to keep Wall Street from taking us over a cliff again,” Conlin says. 

Conlin favors creation of a consumer financial protection agency to police the financial industry as well as new public disclosure requirements for derivative transactions so regulators, the media and the public can see what’s going on with the complicated financial instruments that many argue were at the center of the recent Wall Street meltdown. 

Conlin faces competitors Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause in the June 8th Democratic Primary.  This morning, Conlin is “live blogging” on the Daily Kos website, talking about Grassley’s vote yesterday.