Protesters demand other solutions to Wall Street crisis

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A group of protesters gathered outside Rep. Nita Lowey?s office Wednesday afternoon to voice their opposition to the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

Protesters say alternatives to the current bailout plan should be examined, including ways that would prevent struggling homeowners from losing their homes. They want Rep. Lowey and the rest of Congress to help the average homeowner instead of Wall Street financial firms.

"We want her to listen to the people who are being affected by these policies," says demonstrator Nick Mottern. "She?s very influential in the Congress."

According to the Web site OpenSecrets.org, Lowey's top campaign contributor this year was Bear Stearns, the former Wall Street firm that already received major financial help from the government. That is why Lowey?s Republican challenger, Jim Russell, thinks the congresswoman should not vote on a bailout.

"She had a vantage point in Washington,? Russell says. ?She could have started warning the people and introduced legislation to regulate the industry last summer."

Lowey's spokesperson, Patricia Keegan, appeared before protesters and read the Congresswoman?s statement, in which she says that ?Congress should not write the administration a blank check with no strings attached.?

Lowey is joined on Capitol Hill by other members of the New York delegation who are troubled by the lack of detail in the $700 billion financial rescue plan that remains a work in progress for both parties.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain announced Wednesday afternoon that he is suspending his campaign and called on his opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, to join him in Washington to develop a bipartisan bailout plan as soon as possible.

For extended footage of the protest against the $700 billion bailout plan in White Plains, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Channel 612.

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