Skip to comments.Obama's VP adviser from Minnesota suddenly in middle of political firestorm
Posted on 06/10/2008 11:09:54 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB
Minnesotan Jim Johnson, the disciplined, discreet and obsessively meticulous vice presidential vetter for Barack Obama, is a stalwart of the Washington establishment.
In the mid-1990s, he headed up a power trifecta: mortgage giant Fannie Mae, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Brookings Institution, one of the city's most prominent think tanks. At various times, political insiders have floated his name in Democratic administrations for White House chief of staff, Treasury secretary and president of the World Bank.
His circumspect ways - rare in a town known for its shameless attention seekers - have helped make the reserved Johnson, who served as an aide to Vice President Walter Mondale, one of Washington's most influential powerbrokers and an early pick by the Obama campaign to handle the sensitive search for a running mate.
Yet despite Johnson's legendary fastidiousness, his high-profile campaign role has suddenly exposed him to questions about his financial dealings.
(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...
“That’s not the Jim Johnson I knew.”
So what else is new? The guy has friends that an average person would call ‘seedy”. I don’t think my mother would have let me hang out with him because of his friends. So why not just let him be president and maybe he’ll get rid of his friends? NOT!
For those who like Bilderberger/Trilateral stuff, Johnson is discussed in the last section of this Slate piece of yesterday:
The Bilderberg” Blackout”
The press corps’ noncoverage of that weekend conference in Chantilly, Va.
By Jack Shafer
Monday, June 9, 2008, at 8:32 PM ET
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Feels like there is more here than meets the eye. I seem to recall that Fannie Mae’s executive team was caught cooking the books to inflate profits and pad bonuses.
High Pay at Fannie Mae For the Well-Connected
Many Former Officials Landed Jobs There
By Albert B. Crenshaw
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 23, 2004; Page E03
“. . . Fannie Mae reported paying bonuses in 1998 to Johnson, who received $1.932 million; Raines, who then was chairman-designate, $1.11 million; Chief Operating Officer Lawrence M. Small, $1.108 million; Vice Chairman Jamie S. Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general, $779,625; Chief Financial Officer J. Timothy Howard, $493,750; and Robert J. Levin, who was executive vice president for housing and community development, $493,750. . . “
Jamie Gorelick's law firm represents Fannie Mae, which cooked books, gave Gorelick big bonus 12/30/2004 | syriacus
". . . Stockholders may be upset with a $14-billion decline in the value of Fannie Mae’s stock, but what may end up being more interesting is the rise and fall of careers amid allegations that the company cooked its books to justify big executive bonuses.
Three of those who profited from the bonuses are Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, and Jamie Gorelick; all three looked to be important Cabinet members should John Kerry be elected president. . . . "
Over the weekend of May 15th -18th, 2003.
For the Obama campaign, the flap emerged as an unwelcome distraction as he kicked off a two-week economic tour in North Carolinaone which threatened to seriously undermine his message.
"It's the height of hypocrisy for the McCain campaign to try and make (the loans) an issue when John Green, one of John McCain's top advisers, lobbied for Ameriquest, which was one of the nation's largest subprime lenders and a key player in the mortgage crisis," responded the Obama campaign, which described the media scrutiny of the loans as "overblown and irrelevant."
Signaling the campaign's intention to fan the flames over Johnson's ties to Countrywide, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds issued the following statement in response.
"There is nothing 'overblown and irrelevant' about millions of Americans facing foreclosure and Barack Obama entrusting his most important decision as a presidential candidate to a man who has accepted millions in special loans from a subprime mortgage lender." [My note: According to this article, Johnson got at least 4 of those $7 million sweetheart loans while he was either the CEO of, or an outside consultant for, Fannie Mae. And that adds to the stench of the scandal]
Johnson, who is a vice chairman of the private banking firm Perseus LLC, did not return calls for comment.
Despite the controversy, Democratic insiders maintain that Johnson is highly-skilled at the vetting process, having handled the responsibilities for Mondale in 1984 and John Kerry in 2004.
Well, we can all hope that he chooses as wisely for Osama/Obama as he did for Mondale and Kerry.
B Hussein’s veep committee is like a new mayor having the mafia pick his new police commissioner.
it’s the Chicago way.
I waiting for the "whitey" tapes to come out and with trepidation, the inevitable disclaimer from Obama...
Fannie Mae will be bust in six months. Hopefully, so will Obama.
Oooooo... can you say “Perp-walk for Gorelick”? I knew you could.
Obama may be many things, but all his "street savvy" is strictly an affectation. He has no clue.
Obambi in the Headlights, Chapter 59.
...And they haven’t even begun on Eric Holder, The Pardon Purveyor.
Do you suspect that the people of MN were always for Oprah’s Obama even before they ever heard of him? He, in their minds, justifies their half century + of liberalism.
if Oprah says it, it must be true.
I’m at the point I’d possibly vote for Jesse Ventura if he ran for Senate here.
Norm disappoints me and Weird Al is just a Hollyweird carpetbagger.
Can you add me to your list please?