A group against what it calls "the corrupting influence of money in politics" is calling on supporters to "Stand with Warren against Obama," over a Treasury Department nomination, playing up the divisions within the Democratic Party. 

The email from Rootstrikers, a group founded by Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, a leading campaign finance reform advocate, calls on supporters to sign a petition against the nomination of Antonio Weiss to be undersecretary of domestic finance. 


The nomination of Weiss, an executive at the investment firm Lazard, has heightened tensions within the Democratic Party. Economic populists such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks MORE (D-Mass.) have been leading the fight against President Obama's nomination of Weiss, arguing someone from Wall Street should not be regulating Wall Street. 

"We can't let this corporate raider lead one of the most powerful federal departments," the Rootstrikers email states. 

"If we prevent him from assuming the post," the email adds, "we could start to stem the flow of industry representatives into the regulatory agencies designed to serve the American people."

The White House argues that there is still a good relationship between Obama and Warren. Press secretary Josh Earnest said earlier this month that the two “have the same kinds of goals and priorities.”

In addition to the efforts by Warren and Rootstrikers, liberal Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory MORE (D-Minn.) circulated a petition on Sunday against Weiss.

"We got into that mess because we were willing to let Wall Street police itself," Franken wrote, referring to the 2008 financial crash. "Foxes make poor guards of henhouses. We know that through bitter experience, and I’m not willing to let it happen again." 

The White House has defended Weiss, and his values. 

"He is somebody who has spent some time thinking about some of the issues that the president believes are critically important," Earnest said earlier this month. "For example, in 2012, Mr. Weiss co-authored a report called ['Reforming Our Tax System, Reducing Our Deficit']."

Earnest said Weiss's experience is an advantage. 

"This is somebody who has a very good knowledge of the way that the financial markets work," he said. "And that is critically important when you're asking somebody to take on a position in the federal government that has such a significant bearing on those markets."