Skip to comments.THE CONGRESSMAN AND THE SUBPRIME DEBACLE (how the US economy was devastated)
Posted on 04/20/2012 5:13:24 AM PDT by Liz
FACT SOURCE--EDITED EXCERPTS New York Times report: Lawmakers generosity on big corporations' tab. Copyright 2012 stltoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_dfea2768-b95b-11df-bd41-0017a4a78c22.html#ixzz1rfgdnEAe
NARRATIVE Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif 43rd) has achieved near celebrity status in his suburban LA district, as much for his record of giveaways turkeys, scholarships, boots for firefighters as for anything he has done in the US Congress.
Baca's generosity is made possible by The Joe Baca Foundation, a so-called "charity" he and his family set up circa 2008 under the pretext of "aiding" local organizations. The Joe Baca Foundation is run out of the family residence by Baca's son at a publicized salary of $51,800 (could be more, much more and could include numerous perks, credit cards, expense accounts, cars, free $5 gas fillups, health benefits, and so on). NOTE: Running a foundation out of a residence usually allows the resident to evade real estate taxes.
Perhaps nowhere is the mixing of charitable and political agendas more evident than with Baca's family-run The Joe Baca Foundation. Foundation's key function is to help the self-serving Democrat and Latino separatist run a near-permanent political campaign. Joe Baca T-shirts and caps are given out at district events, where banners display Baca's name. Local newspapers highlight The Joe Baca Foundations donations, and TV stations run appearances by Baca and his family at these "charitable" functions---amounting to free publicity for Baca's election campaigns .
Baca benefits from the good will corporate-financed philanthropy generates among his voting base b/c very little of the money to finance The Joe Baca Foundation's high-profile activities comes out of Bacas pocket. Instead, Baca appears to be engaged in multiple sub rosa activities----exchanging donations from local companies and major corporations in exchange for easy access to him. Baca's foundation donors step to the head of the line when needing Baca's assistance, and usually succeed in getting his Washington office to get the job done.
The Foundation prefers not to call attention to its finances, usually underplaying its size and influence, but the list of The Joe Baca Foundation corporate donors and supporter serves almost like a road map to Bacas major legislative actions in Congress.
<><>Coca-Cola donated $40,000 as it prepared to fight a proposal to prohibit the use of food stamps to buy sugary sodas, an issue before the Congressional agriculture subcommittee conveniently headed by Cong Joe Baca.
<><>The Lewis Group of Companies, a local development firm and a frequent sponsor of The Joe Baca Foundation events, will start construction on a 2,000-unit housing project built on land that Cong Joe Baca helped deliver by steering legislation through Congress to close the Rialto Municipal Airport, the current occupant.
<><> Baca secured an infamous Congrressional earmark in the amount of $500,000 for Telacu, a local housing group that donates to The Joe Baca Foundation.
<><> Another donor to The Joe Baca Foundation is Rentech, a California-based biofuels company that wants to build a new fuel plant in Bacas district. After it made two donations, Bacas son, who serves on the Rialto City Council (after losing reelction to the Calif state Assembly), voted to endorse federal tax dollars for the project. Eeven before the company had completed the local environmental permit reviews, Cong Baca sent a letter to the US Energy Department on his office stationery urging approval of the federal financial assistance.
Cong Bacas Washington office declined to address reporter's questions about the foundation, or about positions the congressman has taken that appear to benefit donors. They do a lot of great work, said Stephen Wall, a spokesman for Baca, referring to The Joe Baca Foundation. But as far as what we do, it is separate. Bacas son, who is paid to handle administrative matters at the Joe Baca Foundation, said many of the other donors were small California businesses with no issues before lawmakers in Washington.We have always been about giving back, Baca, Jr said. NB: The IRS has targeted non-profit foundations as RABID MONEY LAUNDRIES AND TAX EVASION MACHINES.
These subprime activities were not simply the mortgage market at work. They were fueled by avarice, greed, stupidity--all enabled by Congressmen and other groups which leave a trail at the door of Cong Joe Baca.
Between 2000 and 2009, Hispanic populations increased; but Hispanic home ownership grew even faster, increasing by 47%, to 6.1 million from 4.1 million, according to the US Census Bureau. Over that same period, homeownership nationally grew by an enemic 8%. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%; Latinos with multiple fraudulent identities in low-paying jobs obtainedg costly non-prime mortgages---soaring to a shocking 169%, (Research provided by Wall Street Journal)
The subprime mortgage bank fraud network was spearheaded by Cong Joe Baca (D-Calif 43rd), in his powerful position as chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Baca's district ranks No.5 among all US Congressional districts in percentage of home loans tailored to sub-prime borrowers. Baca used his the legislative power of his office and his leadership position in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to calculatedly launch a housing initiative called "HOGAR"-- Spanish for home. The entities engaged in conspiracies to collude with industry and community groups to increase mortgage lending to Latinos--knowing full well forged fraudulent identities and fasified mortgage applications were being used.
Mortgage lenders---lured by huge profits---eagerly provided funding to Baca's group, and fielded an army to bestow with mortgage loans on unquaified lations which were destined for default.
In years past, minority borrowers seeking loans were often stopped because banks and mortgage companies with sound business practices were reluctant to lend within particular low-income geographical areas. This reasonable business practice was mischaracterized as "racialist" as a way to intimidate lenders.
However, the soundness of the earlier business practices resonated as the subprime financial devastation began to wreak havoc on the nation's economy. Taxpayers were saddled with monstrous bills as defaults reached stratospheric heights.
Cong Baca's modus operandi and his collusive efforts to open the mortgage pipeline to unqualified borrowers proved highly successful.
BACA ORGANIZES A close look at the network Cong Baca organized, pushing for increased mortgage lending to unquaified buyers reveals a disturbing picture.
<><> HOGAR-—the initiative to promote Latino homeownership-—was created by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Inc., a non-profit entity founded and run by Baca and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus along with corporate and nonprofit representatives.
<><>Subprime-industry executives got in early, as advisers to “HOGAR” bankrolled more than $2 million of HOGAR’s flawed research (NOTE so-called “research money” could have been laundered into Baca-related entities).
<><>Lawmakers and latino advocacy groups pushed hard to weaken credit criteria that inexorably led to the subprime debacle.
<><>Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who received donations from the lending industry, stood idly by as their constituents moved into new homes bought with fraudulent documents and fasified mortgage apps. The lawmen had undermined US law by pushing for eased lending standards, which led to massive foreclosures, tax burdens, and UNTOLD DAMAGE TO THE US economy.
The Congressional Hispanic Institute, Inc, created by Baca’s Congressional Hispanic Caucus created “HOGAR” in 2003 to work with industry and community groups to increase mortgage lending to unqualified Latinos.
At that time, Baca hyped the fact that the national Latino homeownership rate was 47%, compared with 68% for the overall population. “HOGAR” called the figure “alarming,” and said a concerted effort was required to ensure that “by the end of the decade Latinos will share equally in
the American Dream of home ownership.”
Most of the “dreamers” were citizens of Third World countries who had violated US borders.
Predictably, HOGAR’s backers included mortgage companies that ran into big trouble: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both now under federal control after billions in taxpayer bailouts; Countrywide Financial Corp., sold to Bank of America Corp.; Washington Mutual Inc., taken over by the US government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest Mortgage Corp, both now defunct, killed by unpaid Latino mortgages.
HOGAR’s ties to the subprime industry were substantial. A Washington Mutual Bank vice president served as chairman of its advisory committee.
Bribery and self-dealing was rampant. Companies that donated $150,000 to Cong Baca got the right to place a research fellow who would conduct HOGAR’s fraudulent studies, which were used by industry lobbyists. For donations to Baca of $100,000 a year, HOGAR offered to provide optimistic news releases from Baca’s Hispanic Caucus promoting a lender’s commercial products for the Latino market, a shocking example of bribery well-substantitated by the group’s literature.
“HOGAR” worked with Freddie Mac on a self-serving two-year examination of Latino homeownership in 63 congressional districts.
The study found Hispanic ownership on the rise thanks to “new flexible mortgage loan products” that the industry was adopting at the urging of Cong Baca’s coterie. HOGAR recommended further easing of down-payment and underwriting standards.
However, as the subprime debacle ensued, representatives for HOGAR declined repeated requests for comment despite the economic havoc their activities precipitated.
Just 49 percent of homeowners in America now believe their home is worth more than they paid for it. Rasmussen Reports has asked that question for years, and it has never before fallen below the 50 percent mark. This represents a sea change in personal finances that challenges core assumptions about the way our economy works.
Most Americans were brought up to believe the cornerstone of good financial planning was to buy a home, pay the mortgage on time and watch the equity grow. That doesn't work at a time when home values are declining.
Economists measure the lost equity in housing to be in the trillions of dollars. But the impact on individual families is even greater.
Consider this: Four years ago, 80 percent of homeowners thought their home was worth more than they paid for it. That number fell to 62 percent last fall and 49 percent today. In just four years, roughly one out of three homeowners went from having made money with a supposedly safe investment to seeing all the gains disappear. That's a stunning turnaround for people who thought they were doing the right thing and buying their share of the American Dream.
Adding to the sense of gloom, homeowners don't think we've hit bottom yet. Just 21 percent believe that their home will go up in value this year, while 25 percent expect further declines. Even looking ahead five years, only 46 percent believe their home will go up in value. Such a low number would have been unthinkable until recently, and it's one reason many homeowners feel trapped.
The housing crisis was triggered by a soft economy, and most Americans recognize that it won't be solved until the overall economy regains strength. They're not looking for a quick fix with some magical new housing policy. Instead, they have serious concerns about jobs, inflation, federal spending and deficits that cloud prospects for a robust recovery. But while the soft economy was the trigger, most homeowners recognize that the underlying cause of the housing crisis was a corrupt relationship between the federal government, elected politicians and well-connected financiers. While the housing market was collapsing, the financiers were getting bailed out.
Seventy-seven percent have an unfavorable opinion of Freddie Mac, and 73 percent say the same about Fannie Mae. Those two government-sponsored enterprises changed the rules of the mortgage game. One "innovation" was to encourage policies that let people buy a home with no money down. Most Americans reject that type of new math. Fannie and Freddie, encouraged by politicians from both parties, sought to make homeownership available to everyone. But only 26 percent of Americans believe that should be the guiding principal of federal housing policy. Sixty-three percent think the primary goal in issuing a housing loan should be whether the homeowner can repay it.
By ignoring generations of experience and the common-sense wisdom of the American people, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac broke the housing market. Even more, they turned the American Dream for millions into a financial nightmare. Adding insult to injury, Fannie and Freddie stuck taxpayers with a bailout bill currently estimated at more than $300 billion -- with no end in sight.
Cuomo's actions in combination with factors outlined herehelped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the sub-prime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments.
HUD Secy Cuomo turned the FHA mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded kickbacks to brokers that fueled the sale of loans.
Three to four million homes face foreclosure, because of Cuomo's ill-conceived policies.
<>Baca currently serves as chair of the CHC Corporate America Task Force, which focuses on increasing diversity and Latino recruitment and retention in board rooms and industries across the nation.
<> In November 2006, the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) elected Congressman Joe Baca (D-Calif 43rd) to serve as Chair.
Cong Baca led the group, which includes all Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate of Hispanic descent, during the 110th Congress (2007-2008).
<> During his time as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Baca successfully led efforts to fight back "harmful" English-only and anti-immigrant amendments offered in the House. He also guided the CHC in their successful efforts to ensure the contributions of Latino awere recognized in a PBS documentary.
<>Baca has served in Congress since winning a special election in 1999. Rep. Baca represents the 43rd District of California, which includes the cities of Colton, Fontana, Rialto, Ontario and San Bernardino, as well as the areas of Bloomington and Muscoy.
Cong Baca has received numerous honors for his "public service." Recent awards include:
1) the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President's Achievement Award,
2) the National Farmers Union Presidential Award for Leadership,
3) the Walter Kaitz Foundation Diversity Advocate Award,
4) the U.S. Department of Agriculture Coalition of Minority Employees Award of Excellence.
5) Latino Leaders Magazine lists Baca as one of the top 100 most influential Hispanic leaders in America,
6) ranked twelfth on the list of the top 42 Hispanics on the "Who's Hot" list,
7) the Joe Baca Senior Field at the Empire Center,Fontana; Joe Baca Field at the Rialto Boys and Girls Club.
8) Colton Joint Unified School District broke ground on the "Joe Baca Middle School" at 1640 S. Lilac Avenue in Rialto, Cali, to open for the 2012-2013 school year.
201 North "E" Street---Suite 102
San Bernardino, CA 92401
Tele (909) 885-BACA (2222)
Fax: (909) 888-5959
Washington, D.C. Office
2366 Rayburn House Off. Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20515-0542
Tele (202) 225-6161
Fax: (202) 225-8671
Cuomo reported income of nearly $50,000 from unspecified investments in bonds and in investments generally categorized as real estate or "royalties" in Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth and in Red Bank, N.J.
Mark my words ... Cuomo will be the 2016 Dem candidate for president.
..and there it is.
Cuomo won’t be the nominee, because the state is going to implode fiscally in the next few years...
There is no political corruption in the United States.
We live in a nation of filth that makes Nigeria look like a monastery.
As a national candidate that ugly thug face of his will get the same kind of love and success that his father got.
Since the RATS got stomped big time in 2010, how can Baca head this subcommittee? Perhaps the writer meant Baca is the minority lead.
Just another corrupt race pimp! Good money in that scam, huh?
<><>In 2005, mortgage banks and finance companies gave Baca at least $2.3 million dollars.
<><>In October 2008, a charitable foundation set up by Baca received $25,000 from AmeriDream Inc, a so-called " nonprofit" housing program (did AmeriDream get earmarks?).
<><> AmeriDream's activities included providing down-payment money to unqualified buyers, a cost that was covered by home builders in the form of "donations" to the nonprofit. (NOTE Such loans--known as bridge loans--are considered illegal.) New housing legislation circa 2009 outlawed the program.
<><> Undeterred, Baca then co-sponsored a bill that would allow AmeriDream and similar nonprofits to resume arranging illegal seller-financed down-payment assistance to low-income latino FHA borrowers. Such seller-financed loans to latinos comprise one-third of the loans backed by the FHA, and have defaulted at nearly triple the rate of other FHA-insured loans, according to FHA's William Glavin.
In a self-serving news release, the latino mortgage facilitator----AmeriDream---said its "donation" to The Joe Baca Foundation was intended to "fund the purchase of gear for firefighters" in Baca's district.
<><> Local news reports say the Joe Baca Foundation gave away a measly $36,000 in scholarships in 2009.
Cong Baca's office declined to comment on the AmeriDream contribution. Baca remains resolutely opposed to strict lending rules (especially since taxpayers are saddled with the billions in mortgage defaults). "We nhighly eed to keep credit easily accessible to our minority communities," Baca said in a statement released by his office.
IRS records indicate that Baca's son, Joe Baca Jr, pockets an annual salary of $51,800 as executive director of The Joe Baca Foundation, which is run out of the congressman's Caifornia home. Joe Baca Jr. insisted he takes half of the salary listed by the IRS. No word on the amount Baca Jr pays taxes on.
Mortgage lending to Hispanics took off between 2004 and 2007, powered by nonprime loans. The biggest jump occurred in 2005. The 169% increase in nonprime mortgages to Hispanics that year outpaced a 122% gain for blacks, and a 110% increase for whites, according to a Journal analysis of mortgage-industry and federal-housing data.
Nonprime mortgages carry high interest rates and are tailored to borrowers with low credit scores or few assets. Between 2004 and 2007, black borrowers were offere nonprime loans at a slightly higher rate than Hispanics, but the overall number of Hispanic borrowers was much larger. From 2004 to 2005, thanks to Baca, total nonprime home loans to Hispanics more than tripled to $69 billion from $19 billion, and peaked in 2006 at $73 billion.
It comes as no surprise that the race-based "La Raza" was given tax dollars and Congressionsl earmarks to finance its mortgage activities. La Raza's "strategic partnerships with Wachovia and Bank of America forced the lowering mortgage-application requirements and documentation standards. La Raza aided and abetted risky federal and private-home loans to latinos over the last decade thanks to the lending industrys version of dont ask, dont tell.
In addition to millions of federal rax dollars, La Raza also collected a $1 million Democratic earmark that funded community-development projects. Analysts report that much of it went to "mortgage counseling." Baca is quiet about his role in (a) financing, and, (b) earmarking La Raza.
You got that right-----and besides, Cuomo, once married to a Kennedy, will also have a problem explaining Sandra Lee's living arrangements to the voters.
REFERENCE HERE'S HOW CUOMO WORK THE CON GAME Cuomo The Ambitious (D-gov NY) went to Buffalo bearing govt gifts of a billion dollars---promising casinos and other goodies---all to be looted from dwindling tax coffers.
NY is deeply in debt....... but Democrat con artist Andrew Cuomo is thirsting for higher office. Ehat to do? Cuomno's piling on more debt.....debt that will finance his political ambitions for higher office.
Cuomo The Ambitious, is a con man knows unions (and other voting blocs) will get a chunk of the billions---which will then be laundered into his campaign coffers as "contributions."
REFERENCE In 1997 Cuomo took over as HUD chief replacing Clinton appointee Henry Cisneros who was in deep doodoo. During Cisneros tenure he championed Clinton's goal of social engineering within the housing market forcing lenders to issue loans to those that would not financially qualify for the lending.
Cisneros left office in a scandal involving lying to the FBI over payouts to a mistress, Cisneros subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and though never sent to prison received a pardon from Bill Clinton in 2001.
Andrew Cuomo took the HUD reins and not only furthered Cisneros and Clinton's policies but greatly expanded them.
Henry Cisneros moved the GSEs toward a requirement that 42 percent of their mortgages serve low and moderate income families. Andrew Cuomo raised that number to 50 percent and dramatically hiked GSE mandates to buy mortgages for the "very-low-income."
These bad loans were purchased and sold throughout the secondary market and the pyramid grew and the bottom collapsed resulting in the subprime crisis we are still reeling from today.
In 2008, the Village Voice published a compelling report detailing Andrew Cuomo's policy decisions "that gave birth to the country's current crisis."
The report touched on how Cuomo's 187-page rules "opened the door to abuse." The rules explicitly rejected the idea of imposing any new reporting requirements on the GSEs. In other words, HUD wanted Fannie and Freddie to buy risky loans, but the department didn't want to hear just how risky they were.
During the gubernatorial race, New York voters were distracted by the gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's comments, and failed to see the harm caused by Cuomo's policies.
Back then, Hud Secy Cuomo's top aide said, "We believe that there are a lot of loans to black Americans that could be safely purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if these companies were more flexible." Andrew Cuomo doubled down and had this to say about his HUD standards, "GSE presence in the subprime market could be of significant benefit to lower-income families, minorities, and families living in underserved areas."
How's that working out for the minority community, where foreclosures and unemployment rates have hit the hardest as a result of such failed policies and blatant social engineering?
SOURCE http://voices.yahoo.com/cuomos-social-engineering-as-hud-chief-contributed- 7077218.html
The combined top tax rate for NYS and NYC..i.e, for all those wealthy 1% living in Manhattan, after consiering the effect of various deductions that high income earners lose, is about 15%..
Now, the top federal rate is 35% ( it's actually higher because at the top end they lose the ability to take certain deductions..but lets go with the 35%.
So. let's take our hypothetical couple with a net taxable income of $1 million..
( I'm rounding the numbers off here, obviously)
Net taxable income 1,000,000
Federal Income Tax 350,000
NY State & City Income tax 150,000
Total taxes paid 500,000
Now, eliminate the deductibility of state and local taxes:
The 150,000 isn't deductible, and the federal tax bill thus goes up by $50,000. That's a lot!
States that's do not have income taxes have , for years, been subsidizing the taxpayers of those states that do impose them.
Ryan's proposals, and others, will be tax neutral, for the most part, within the scope of the FEDXRAL return, by eliminating lots of deductions, and lowering tax rates across the board, but there is no way they can normalize, ( nor should they even try ) the effect of ending the deductibility of state and local taxes on the federal tax bill.
The other BIG problem facing Cuomo,and NY, is the likelihood that the GOP will end the bottomless pit that is Medicaid funding, and just block grant it to the states. The cost of Medicaid in NYS is so out of balanced with the rest of the country..(just try and close a hospital, even one that is way underused)that this alone will force NYS, and Cuomo to make some real, DEEP cuts...but they won't be able to do so..thus pushing NY into an even deeper hole.
Nope, Andy's ship has already sailed
NOTE Franklin Raines was fired from F/M for cooking the books to get fraudulent bonuses. Yet, he walked away from the job with an exit package of about $100 million (yes, one hudred million) dollars.
REFERENCES The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversights report reported that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives.
Franklin Raines, Fannie Maes former chief executive officer, OFHEOs report shows that over half of Mr. Raines compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets (by cooking the books).
Ex-Fannie CEO Franklin Raines (Clinton appointee) is a parasitic crook of the first order. This thief cooked the FM books precipitating losses of $9BILLION (that we know of) for the single purpose of creating $50 million fraudulent bonuses for himself (and millions for other F/M insiders).
The SEC investigation freporte Raines broke accounting rules by playing with risky derivatives. The US Government filed suit against Franklin Raines when the depth of the F/M accounting scandal became clear.
READ IT HERE http://housingdoom.com/2006/12/18/fannie-charges/
The Government noted, The 101 charges reveal how the individuals improperly manipulated earnings to maximize their bonuses, while knowingly neglecting accounting systems and internal controls, misapplying over twenty accounting principles and misleading the regulator and the public.....explains how they submitted six years of misleading and inaccurate accounting statements and inaccurate capital reports that enabled them to grow Fannie Mae in an unsafe and unsound manner.These charges were made in 2006.
The Court ordered Raines to return $50 Million Dollars he received in bonuses based on the misstated Fannie Mae profits. (Soon going to trial?). On top of the $50M he looted from the govt (for cooking the books for which he was fired), Raines also walked away with a tax-paid exit package worth about $100 million.
THE DEMOCRATS' CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE / By Michelle Malkin
Fannie/Freddie are centerpieces of the criminal enterprise called the Democrat Party-where Dem cronies and collaborators loot the organization, get cushy jobs, bonuses, and the like.
Fannie Maes political machine dispensed campaign contributions, gave jobs to friends and relatives of legislators, hired armies of lobbyists (even paying lobbyists not to lobby against it), paid academics who wrote papers validating the home ownership mania, and spread charitable contributions to housing advocates across the congressional map.
Fannie Mae serves as an industrial-sized patronage factory sharing profits with political allies, spreading taxpayer funds to voting blocslike ethnic groups-and doling out jobs to left-wing academics, Washington has-beens and back-scratching buddies. Obama insider Fannie Mae exec Jim Johnson got sweetheart loans from shady subprime Countrywide. Pols raked in six-figure salaries as F/F engaged in Enron-sstyle accounting, plunged into debt and helped usher in the subprime housing meltdown through cockamamie lending practices.
Bill Clinton appointed Franklin Raines, Daley and Rahm Emanuel just as the quasi-governmental F/M engaged in rampant book-cooking so that F/M insider could help themselves to massive bonuses. The Chi/Tribune exposed how Emanuels profitable stint was low-show w/ no work involved. Emanuel was not even assigned to committees, according to company proxy statements.
Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other insiders qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, public records indicate. W/ Wall Street Emanuel there, accounting tricks were used to mislead shareholders about outsize profits F/M reaped from risky investments. The goal was to cook the books to keep fraudulent earnings on the books, to make Freddie Mac look profitable on paper-AND to fraudulently obtain humongous annual bonuses for political insiders.
Right-—b/c some of the data posted was from earlier reports-—I tried to addend some facts with dates-—guess I missed that one. Thanks.
The Office of Congressional Ethics, a quasi-independent House oversight group, twice investigated lawmakers “charities,” but took no action, in part because the House granted waivers exempting the congressmen from prohibitions against soliciting donations from companies with business before their committees.
The lawmakers defend the donations, saying they have no influence on the politicians positions on legislation or policy. They also say that they typically do not serve on the charities governing boards or solicit contributions themselves. But some current and former lawmakers, as well as ethics officials on Capitol Hill, find the charitable donations troubling, calling them one of the last major unregulated fronts in the pay to play culture in Washington.
The donations typically far exceed what companies are permitted to give to candidates in campaign contributions.
The donations by corporations and lobbyists to politiciansfavorite causes can create expectations that the lawmakers will return the favor, said Mickey Edwards, an Oklahoma Republican who served 16 years in the House. Almost all of these foundations, they were set up for a good purpose, Edwards said. But as soon as you take a donation, it creates a more than just an appearance problem for the member of Congress. It is a real conflict.
WARNINGS IGNORED Aracely Panameno, director of Latino affairs for the Center for Responsible Lending, an advocacy group, observed, “We saw what we refer to as reverse red-lining,” says. “Lenders were seeking out Latino borrowers for loans,” she says. Ms. Panameno says that during the height of the housing boom she sought to present Cong Baca’s Hispanic Caucus with data showing how many Latinos were being steered into risky and expensive subprime loans. Baca apparently directed HOGAR to decline her requests.
The scarry part is that he wants to be president some day, and the scarrier yet part, is that voters voted for Obama, and I wonder if they’ll ever learn.
Yup-—that is VERY scary.
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