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McCain's Fanny and Freddy Connections

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Sasquatch, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    John McCain railed against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the campaign trail today, saying that the CEOs that led the lenders to ruin "deserve nothing" and should have to pay back their severance packages. In an Wall Street Journal op-ed co-bylined by his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, McCain suggested bold reforms for Fannie and Freddie that would "terminate future lobbying, which was one of the primary contributors to this great debacle."

    If that's the case, McCain should look first to his campaign staffers as the cause of that debacle. One of them was Fannie Mae's head of lobbying, and spread tens of millions of dollars around Washington in the form of lobbying contracts. A number of McCain staffers were on the receiving end of those contracts, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the lenders to rep their interests. And McCain's campaign manager served as president of a lobbying association that fought to protect Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from the sort of regulation that McCain is now proposing.

    In McCain's op-ed in the Journal, he and Palin wrote:

    For years, Congress failed to act and it is deeply troubling that what we are seeing is an exercise in crisis management rather than sound planning, and at great cost to taxpayers.

    We promise the American people that our administration will be different. We have long records of standing up to special interests…

    But McCain's own campaign staffers are those special interests, a fact that casts doubt on both McCain's hiring judgment and his ability to pursue tough reforms of Fannie and Freddie.

    Aquiles Suarez, listed as an economic adviser to the McCain campaign in a July 2007 McCain press release, was formerly the director of government and industry relations for Fannie Mae. The Senate Lobbying Database says Suarez oversaw the lending giant's $47,510,000 lobbying campaign from 2003 to 2006.

    And other current McCain campaign staffers were the lobbyists receiving shares of that money. According to the Senate Lobbying Database, the lobbying firm of Charlie Black, one of McCain's top aides, made at least $820,000 working for Freddie Mac from 1999 to 2004. The McCain campaign's vice-chair Wayne Berman and its congressional liaison John Green made $1.14 million working on behalf of Fannie Mae for lobbying firm Ogilvy Government Relations. Green made an additional $180,000 from Freddie Mac. Arther B. Culvahouse Jr., the VP vetter who helped John McCain select Sarah Palin, earned $80,000 from Fannie Mae in 2003 and 2004, while working for lobbying and law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP. In addition, Politico reports that at least 20 McCain fundraisers have lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, pocketing at least $12.3 million over the last nine years.

    For years McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was head of the Homeownership Alliance, a lobbying association that included Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, real estate agents, homebuilders, and non-profits. According to Politico, the organization opposed congressional attempts at regulation of Fannie and Freddie, along the lines of what John McCain is currently proposing. In his capacity of president of the group, Davis went on record in 2003 and insisted that no further reform of the lenders was necessary, in contradiction to his current boss's sentiments. "[Fannie and Freddie] are subject to an innovative and stringent risk-based capital stress test," Davis wrote. "The toughest in the financial services industry."

    At a campaign rally Wednesday morning in Fairfax, Virginia, John McCain said that the heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ought to give back the millions of dollars they've earned. What about the lobbyists who helped Fannie and Freddie game the system? Maybe McCain can ask them — at the next campaign strategy meeting.
  2. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Obama has some ties of his own former member of Barack Obama’s VP search team, James A. Johnson, served as chairman of Fannie Mae. Although the Obama campaign doesn’t take contributions from lobbyists, it has received significant donations from both companies’ employees and PACs.
  3. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't lobbyists often hired specifically for their skills as lobbyists?

    Perhaps McCain's situation is similar to the Clinton administration bringing in Dick Morris and David Gergen as campaign and policy advisers. Neither man shared all the views of the administration, but they were acquired for a certain expertise they possessed. Dick Morris has been very critical of the Clintons in recent years, and Gergen served as an adviser for both Reagan and Clinton.

    The article raises some valid points, but I'm not certain they classify as genuine concerns or criticisms.
  4. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    If McCain is saying "saying that the CEOs that led the lenders to ruin "deserve nothing" and should have to pay back their severance packages. In an Wall Street Journal op-ed co-bylined by his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, McCain suggested bold reforms for Fannie and Freddie that would "terminate future lobbying, which was one of the primary contributors to this great debacle."

    It does not sound like they are getting a lot of bang for their buck. Taking campaign contributions is legal but I don't see where McCain is doing them a favor in return.
  5. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    The extreme Left is getting more and more desperate.
  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Unless he's talking out of his rear. And his longstanding associations with lobbyists, decried by some conservative posters on this very board in the past, suggest that a McCain presidency might not really shake up politics in Warshington after all.
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Obama had the former CEO of Fannie May on his VP team and has taken money from member through PACs and what is his stance on Fannie May and Freddie Mac? If McCain has received contribution evidently it is not paying off for Freddie Mac or Fannie May. You want to act like Obama money is forth right? Hell you may believe that BS but there are many ways around getting contribution for Trial Lawyers and finance institution and as CNN Lou Dobbs has show Obama has gotten his fair share. That does not bother me in the least Obama action towards these companies does matter
  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I did not mention Obama in my post. I merely posted an article indicating that McCain has close ties with the very people he lambastes on the campaign trail.
  9. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Tit for tat? What's wrong w/ that?


    Me thinks your agenda is showing. :)
  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I love that it shows me that he will do the right thing even over his own party or his own interest which he has done. You guys talk about him voting 90% with Bush but refuse to talk about the times and the issues he has voted against Bush and his own Party. This was the reason many Dems wanted him to change parties and have talked highly about him even in the early stages in this election now all of a sudden he is Bush II? You guys crack me up with this far reaching BS
  11. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Since it's so far-reaching, it shouldn't be difficult to enumerate all the major ideological and policy differences between McCain and Bush and compare them to the same differences between Obama and Bush.

    Having said that, I'm in no way affiliated with the Obama campaign, and plan to vote third party again this time around, as I've done the past three presidential elections.

    Obama is too far to the right of me. :D
  12. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    That theory has a familiar ring to it. Add (or Obama) to it and I might as well have said it.

    I will believe in reform when I actually see some happening. In 2000 I had Liberal voice mails telling me that if Bush won Roe vs. Wade would be overturned and he would put an end to Social Security benefits for the elderly.

    I either missed those monumental decisions or as I suspected they never happened. Just like the Computer in every classroom promise by Bill Clinton in 1992.

    Scare tactics and campaign promises and reformation of Washington = same old politics as usual.

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