Politicians – mostly Democrats, in this IBD poiece on the subject – have been on the take from mortgage companies for years.
There’s method, naturally, to the madness:
A number of top Democrats have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, suggesting corruption in the party linked to the recent home-mortgage meltdown. Will the mainstream media just ignore it?
We’ll come back to that.
The firing of Democrat insider and money-man Jim Johnson a week ago as head of Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee came as no surprise. Johnson, who served as chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae during much of Bill Clinton’s presidency, was discovered to have received a favorable mortgage loan from Countrywide Financial’s founder and CEO Angelo Mozilo…Now it turns out that Johnson wasn’t the only Democratic F.O.A. — friend of Angelo.
Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, head of the Senate Banking Committee that oversees Countrywide, also was a recipient of Mozilo’s mortgage largesse. So was Kent Conrad, the North Dakotan who chairs the Finance Committee and sits on the Budget Committee.
Both Dodd and Conrad, like Johnson, had potential clout in crafting legislation and regulations that would directly affect Countrywide’s future. And both got favorable loans through Countrywide’s now-infamous “V.I.P.” program.
Dodd’s case is illustrative. He took out two mortgages with no closing costs attached, at fixed rates of 4.25% and 4.5%. Sound like something you’d get?
Countrywide, you fat bastards? We gotta talk.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke also benefited, as did one prominent Republican — former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson.
Granted, both Shalala and Holbrooke had left public office when they got their deals. But it was reasonable for Mozilo to think they’d serve again in another Democratic administration.
And what, many wonder, was the quid pro quo for all this?
Oh, what do you think?
Just a month ago, in unusually harsh language, Dodd ripped into President Bush on the subprime mess and defended a $400 billion plan that would bail out the subprime lending industry — including Mozilo.
Friends of Angelo, indeed.
So the initial question was “why don’t the media cover this?” Indeed, why are so much of the “independent” media so very, very on board with legislation that would distort the mortgage market, to the benefit of the big mortgage companies? As the number of Tics with their hands in the jar grew, why were they trying to deflect blame to Republicans and past-their-shelf-date Democrats?
It’d be interesting to see what kind of mortgages the principals at Media Matters and the other attack-PR firms that control the lefty alternative media have.