Women at Town Hall: I'm one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I'm exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for," a woman told President Obama at a town hall.
"My husband and I have joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans era of our lives, but, quite frankly, it's starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we're headed again, and, quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly. Is this my new reality?," she added.
"tingles" voters felt is gone and reality is setting in.
See Discoverthenetwork.org on Harry Reid:
In a 1998 real estate deal engineered by Jay Brown (a former casino lawyer and a longtime friend of Reid), the senator purchased two undeveloped residential-property lots on Las Vegas’ rapidly growing outskirts for approximately $400,000. Reid bought one of the parcels on his own, and the second one jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap supported by Reid. In 2001 Reid sold both of his lots for $400,000 to a limited liability corporation created by Jay Brown, but he never disclosed the sale on his annual public ethics report. Nor did he inform Congress that he held any stake in Brown's company. As far as Congress knew, Reid was still the owner of the two lots he had purchased three years earlier.
In 2004 Brown's company, having negotiated with local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, sold the land to other developers in a deal that earned Reid $1.1 million -- a $700,000 profit on his initial investment. Reid falsely reported the transaction to Congress as a personal land sale.
In 2001 Reid paid cash for a $750,000 condominium at the Washington, D.C. Ritz-Carlton where he resides. When he subsequently gave Christmas bonuses (in 2002, 2004, and 2005) to the doorman and other support staff at his building, he used $3,300 in campaign donations rather than his own separate funds -- in contravention of federal election law. Reid’s campaign falsely listed the bonuses as campaign “salary” expenditures for two of the years in question, and as a “contribution” for the other year. When news of Reid’s misappropriation of campaign funds became public in 2006, the senator’s office said the listing as salary had been a “clerical error.” Added Reid: “I am reimbursing the campaign from my own pocket to prevent this issue from being used in the current campaign season to deflect attention from Republican failures.”
In a $286 billion federal transportation bill passed by Congress in 2005, Reid secured $300 million in earmarks for projects in his home state, including $18 million to fund the construction of a bridge spanning the Colorado River. On the Arizona side of that bridge, Reid owned 160 acres of undeveloped land around which many new housing units were being built. Noting that the new bridge would cause the value of Reid’s property to skyrocket, Norman Ornstein, co-author of a book that examines earmarking, said: “It's a really bad idea for lawmakers to earmark projects when they have a financial interest that could in any way be affected by it.” Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, noted: “Unwittingly, the taxpayer may have helped inflate the value” of Reid's land.
Between 2002 and 2006, Reid intervened to gain monumental government concessions on behalf of a powerful Nevada land developer, Harvey Whittemore, who wished to build thousands of homes and numerous golf courses on 43,000 acres of barren land in an area called Coyote Springs, an hour northeast of Las Vegas. This land had a number of federal restrictions on its use: One-fourth of it was off-limits to developers because of federal protections for an “endangered” species of desert tortoise that dwelt there; another one-fourth was government-owned and was subject to a federal power-line right of way; and the territory overall was rife with streams and washes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had designated as crucial to the health of the desert’s ecosystem, and was therefore generally off-limits to construction.
Thanks to Senator Reid’s intercession, however, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to relocate the tortoises to an adjacent federal preserve, thereby opening that portion of Coyote Springs to developers.
In 2002 Reid inserted some obscure provisions into a land-management bill that relocated the aforementioned power corridor, thereby apparently freeing Whittemore to build on the 10,500-acre parcel he coveted. But the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee balked at the deal, and Reid in turn negotiated an alternate arrangement where Whittemore was permitted to purchase the land at a fair market rate while the government relocated the corridor.
Finally, in 2005 Reid and fellow Nevada Senator John Ensign used their influence with the EPA to eliminate the environmental-impact obstacle.
In return for Reid’s efforts, Whittemore gave tens of thousands of dollars to the senator’s political campaigns and to his leadership fund (which Reid used to help bankroll the campaigns of fellow Democrats). In addition, Whittemore gave $5,000 to each of Reid's two sons, to finance their efforts to win local political offices. The developer also hired one of those sons as his personal lawyer to represent him in his dealings with federal officials.
Between 2001 and 2004, Reid wrote at least four letters pressing the Bush administration to take action on certain issues of importance to Indian tribes that were clients of the lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff, whose staff was in regular contact with Reid’s office, lobbied on behalf of tribes involved in the gambling casino industry; he would later be convicted in federal court for defrauding those tribes. Each time Reid wrote a letter on behalf of the Indian tribes, he collected donations from Abramoff and his lobbying partners and clients around the same time period. All told, these donations totaled nearly $68,000. Also between 2001 and 2004, Reid received more than $50,000 directly from four Indian tribes that were clients of Abramoff.
Reid has been one of the Senate’s most vocal critics of the Iraq War. In April 2007, shortly after President Bush had initiated a “surge” that sent 21,000 additional troops to combat the insurgent violence in Iraq, Reid, counseling American surrender, stated publicly: “I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything.”
On the environmental front, Reid strongly believes that human industrial activity is destroying the planet. In June 2008, he said, “Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. And this global warming is ruining our country. It’s ruining the world.”
Also in 2008, Reid advocated a ban on all oil exploration in the massive shale depositories of America’s western states, which are estimated to hold between 800 billion to 2 trillion barrels of oil.
In 2008, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a non-partisan government watchdog group, named Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as its “Porkers of the Year” because of what CAGW viewed as their consistent record of fiscal irresponsibility.
Reid supports the passage of an immigration-reform bill that would create a path to citizenship for all illeal immigrants currently residing in the United States. In June 2009, he said:
"I'm going to do comprehensive immigration reform. I'm not going to do it piecemeal. That's an excuse for everybody to do too little. We're going to do it all at once, and we're going to have comprehensive immigration reform that will include taking care of our borders, a decent guest-worker program, bringing the 11 million people out of the shadows, doing something that's so important with the employer sanctions bill that really is a catch-22 for everyone and a number of other things. We're going to do it all in one piece of legislation, not give people an excuse that they voted for one thing and think that they're through with it."
In December 2009, Reid likened Republicans who opposed the implementation of government-run healthcare, to those who opposed the abolition of slavery in centuries past. In a December 7th speech on the Senate floor, Reid said:
“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘Slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, ‘Slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.’”
In January 2010, it was reported that a forthcoming book -- Game Change, by Mark Halperin -- quoted Senator Reid as having said during the 2008 presidential campaign that Barack Obama stood a good chance of winning because he is "light-skinned" and has "no negro dialect -- unless he wants to." Reid quickly issued a public apology for his remarks, saying: "I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments."
In August 2009, Newsmax.com reported that Rangel had "failed to report at least $500,000 in assets on his 2007 Congressional disclosure form." Newsmax added:
"[A]mong the dozen newly disclosed holdings revealed in the amended forms are a checking account at a federal credit union with a balance between $250,0000 and $500,000; three vacant lots in Glassboro, N.J., valued at a total of $1,000 to $15,000; and stock in PepsiCo worth between $15,000 and $50,000. The new [disclosure] forms report that Rangel’s total net worth is between $1,028,024 and $2,495,000 — about twice the amount listed in the original disclosure statement, filed in May 2008, which declared assets totaling between $516,015 and $1,316,000."
Charles Rangel AKA Punta Cana villa was also accused of: taking a $1 million contribution to the Rangel Center at City College from a wealthy businessman whose company sybsequently received a lucrative tax break; and accepting a Citigroup-funded trip to the Caribbean in November 2008, when the bank was in the midst of squandering much of the bailout money it had received from the federal government.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/host_of_post_exposes_got_ball_rolling_frE69lWonJRJz4dduAKXZJ Rep. Charles Rangel's scandal woes began three years ago, when The Post disclosed that he was soliciting massive donations from companies with interests before Congress in a bid to bankroll a center in his name at CCNY.
The July 23, 2007, bombshell by Washington correspondent Geoff Earle detailed how Rangel, then the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, had attempted to quietly secure close to $25 million from a slew of private companies and foundations for the Charles Rangel Center for Public Service. Those ponying up cash included AIG, the Verizon Foundation and Eugene Isenberg, the CEO of the energy firm Nabors Industries.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/host_of_post_exposes_got_ball_rolling_frE69lWonJRJz4dduAKXZJ#ixzz10XIBqkLN
Another Post exclusive, on Aug. 31, 2008, by reporters Isabel Vincent and Susan Edelman, revealed that Rangel owned a luxurious beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic for 20 years, but declared income on it only sporadically.
He later admitted he had failed to disclose $75,000 in rental income since 1988, and amended his tax returns.
There were further disclosures in a series of Post stories in late August of 2009. Washington Bureau Chief Charles Hurt showed that Rangel had failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside assets and income on financial-disclosure forms he filed between 2002 and 2006.
The New York Times broke the story that the Harlem Democratic lawmaker had four rent-stabilized units in the Lenox Terrace building, and was improperly using one of them as a campaign office.
Punta Cana villa
CHARGE: “Failed to report rental income” and pay taxes on the villa he owned in the Punta Cana region of the Dominican Republic on income-tax returns for nine years.
EVIDENCE: Bought the villa in March 1987 and didn’t “report any rental income from Punta Cana on his original federal income-tax returns for calendar years between 1998 through 2006.” Also failed to report or misreported the income on his annual financial-disclosure forms. In amended tax returns for 2004 to 2007, Rangel reported villa-related income ranging from $5,030 to $8,467 a year.
CHARGE: Violated federal law for 10 years by failing to report and misreporting “numerous items required to be reported” — including over $600,000 in assets and income — under the Ethics in Government Act.
EVIDENCE: Neglected to report his large holdings of various stocks, including Bell Atlantic, Verizon and Pepsico, several mutual funds and the Congressional Federal Credit Union. Also owned a brownstone at 74 W. 132nd St. but didn’t disclose its rental income in four years and grossly underreported it in two other years.
CHARGE: Violated the US code barring members of Congress from soliciting or accepting “anything of value” from a person with interests before Congress, and misusing his “official resources” and letterhead. Also broke the House gift rule against soliciting lobbyists.
EVIDENCE: Began raising money in 2005 for the “Charles Rangel Center at the City College of New York,” which would have a “well-furnished office” for himself. Ordered his staff to prepare a fund-raising appeal to more than 100 fat-cat foundations. Rangel signed all the letters, which bore “United States Congress” letterhead.
CHARGE: Ran afoul of the Code of Ethics for Government Service when he got an improper benefit from a New York firm, the Olnick Organization, in the form of a rent-stabilized residential apartment that was used as office space.
EVIDENCE: Signed a “living purposes only” lease in 1996 for an apartment in Olnick-owned Lenox Terrace, saying his son would live there. But it was occupied solely by his campaign committee and a political-action committee. Rangel was put on a “special handling list” at the apartment complex because he was a member of Congress.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/host_of_post_exposes_got_ball_rolling_frE69lWonJRJz4dduAKXZJ#ixzz10XIWHdSo
Also in 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) named Waters as one of the 13 "most corrupt" members of the U.S. Congress. The CREW report cited a December 2004 Los Angeles Times investigation disclosing how a number of Waters’ relatives had made more than $1 million during the preceding eight years by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that Waters had helped. Waters declined to be interviewed about this matter, saying only that her family members “do their business, and I do mine.”
In a May 2008 congressional hearing on gasoline prices, Shell Oil President John Hofmeister stated: “I can guarantee to the American people because of the inaction of the United States Congress, ever-increasing prices, unless the demand comes down, and that $5 [per gallon] will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new [oil] reserves, new opportunities to increase supplies.” Waters replied: “And guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be about socializing – would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”
During the national financial crisis that struck in the autumn of 2008, Waters was lobbied by representatives of OneUnited Bank, a black-owned depository institution that was seeking a federal government bailout after having squandered almost $52 million of its bank capital on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock. These lobbyists were longtime friends, donors, and fundraisers of Rep. Waters.
Meanwhile, Waters' husband had a long history as an investor in one of the banks that had previously merged into OneUnited; he had once served on OneUnited's board of directors; and he owned large amounts of stock in OneUnited. In fact, both he and Rep. Waters had owned six-figure sums of OneUnited stock at various times during the preceding six years.
In response to OneUnited's lobbying, Rep. Waters intervened to arrange a meeting where representatives of the bank could plead their case to then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and 20 of his subordinates. As a result of that meeting, Paulson et al secretly engineered a special federal rescue of the floundering bank. This bailout cost American taxpayers $12 million in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) cash.
On August 2, 2010, the House Ethics Committee filed three charges against Waters, alleging that she had used her influence to gain special favors (from the federal government) for OneUnited.
Following is an overview of Waters’ congressional voting record over the course of her political career, as per key pieces of legislation covering a wide array of issues.
In October 1991 Waters voted in favor of a proposal to replace the death penalty with a life imprisonment sentence in certain federal cases. In April 1994 she voted in favor of substituting life imprisonment for the death penalty in all cases.
Also in April 1994, she voted against a bill requiring a mandatory life sentence in prison for anyone convicted of three violent or drug-related felonies; reducing the age at which juveniles could be tried as adults for violent crimes; allocating $13.5 billion for the development and operation of prisons; and earmarking $3.45 billion to hire and train more police officers nationwide. In August 1994 she voted against another very similar bill.
Waters believes that the American justice system is thoroughly infested with racism and discrimination against nonwhite minorities. She has stated that “the color of your skin dictates whether you will be arrested or not, prosecuted harshly or less harshly, or receive a stiff sentence or gain probation or entry into treatment.” Further, she warns that by imprisoning a disproportionate number of black males, “we are risking an entire generation of African American young men because of an unjust justice system.”
In February 1995 and December 1995, Waters voted against a welfare-reform bill designed to move people off the welfare rolls and into paying jobs. This bill replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with block grants to states; it increased those grants after two years for states wherein the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies had declined; it barred states from giving cash assistance to children of unmarried teenagers; it prohibited states from providing additional cash assistance to families that gave birth to additional children while on public assistance; it required states to limit their aid to five years per family; it denied assistance for ten years to any person who had fraudulently sought to obtain assistance in more than one state; it denied assistance to fugitive felons and parole and probation violators; and it denied assistance to alcoholics and drug addicts.
In September 2006 Waters voted against a bill authorizing the President to establish military commissions to try enemy combatants captured in the war on terror. In Waters’ view, such tribunals trample on the civil rights and liberties of defendants who, she contends, should be entitled to all the rights and protections afforded by the American criminal court system—where the standards that govern the admissibility of evidence are considerably stricter than the counterpart standards in military tribunals.
Counter-Terrorism & Homeland Security
In May 1991 Waters voted in favor of a proposal to terminate the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, which called for the development of a missile defense system.
In June 1991 she voted to cut $260 million in funding related to the development of the MX missile rail garrison.
In June 1992 she voted to decrease defense spending by 10 percent in the ensuing fiscal year. That same month, she voted to prohibit the production of any new B-2 aircraft by cutting $2.7 billion. In yet another June 1992 vote, she supported a $937.5 million funding cut for the SDI program (a 22 percent reduction).
In April 1996 she voted against a bill to increase the number of explosive-detection agents; to expand the deportation of criminal illegal aliens and suspected terrorists; to make it easier for the U.S. to deny asylum to suspected terrorists; and to bar terrorist organizations from fundraising in the United States.
In March 1999 she voted against a bill “to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.”
In September 2001 she voted in favor of a joint resolution “to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent [9/11] attacks launched against the United States.”
In October 2001 she voted against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, which proposed to ease restrictions on government wiretap and surveillance operations; to permit government officials to share with one another the information they obtain from such surveillance operations; to strengthen security along the U.S./Canadian border; and to deny U.S. visas to suspected money-launderers.
Also in October 2001, she voted against the post-9/11 anti-terrorism measure known as the Patriot Act.
In July 2002 she voted against a bill permitting airline pilots to carry firearms for the purpose of defending the aircraft against acts of violence or terrorism.
In July 2005 she voted against reauthorizing the Patriot Act.
In September 2006 she voted against an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978; this amendment called for allowing the government to use electronic surveillance to investigate suspected terrorist operatives.
In August 2007 she voted against a bill permitting the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to monitor foreign electronic communications which are routed through the United States—provided that the purpose of such monitoring was to obtain "foreign intelligence information" about suspected terrorists. In June 2008 she voted in favor of a bill specifically prohibiting this type of surveillance.
From 1998 to 2005, the Center for Security Policy, which is committed to "promoting international peace through American strength," gave Waters ratings that ranged from 8 percent to 12 percent.
In 2003-2004, the American Security Council, which "serves as educational secretariat of the Congressional Caucus on National Security," gave Waters a 10 percent rating.
In May 1992 Waters put her name to a supplement in the Communist Party‘s newspaper, the People’s Weekly World which called for readers to “support our continuing struggle for justice and dignity.” Virtually all other signatories were known Communist Party members or supporters.
In October, later that year, she was the keynote speaker at a Coalition of Black Trade Unionists meeting in St Louis Missouri. The Coalition began as a Communist Party front.
In June 1996, the Communist Party’s People’s Weekly World held a tribute event for Southern California labor unionists Jerry Acosta and Gil Cedillo. Presentations to the honorees were made on behalf of Maxine Waters and (now U.S. Secretary of labor), Hilda Solis, by their staffers who were present at the event.
In 1997 Waters put her name to a “Jobs Bill” which had been originally introduced to Congress at the request of over 50 prominent labor leaders – many of whom were known members or supporters of the Communist Party.
Waters has been a member of the Democratic Socialists of America – linked Congressional Progressive Caucus from as early as 1998 up til the present. Her mid 1990s press secretary and speech-writer, Patrick Lacefield was a former National Director of the D.S.A.
Waters also serves on the Advisory Board for Progressive Democrats of America, an activist network within the Democratic Party, which is led by several D.S.A. connected activists, including National Director Tim Carpenter.
In May 2008, Waters made an embarassing tongue-slip during her televised questioning of a Shell Oil Executive. She queried, “…And guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, umm – will be about, basically. taking over, and the Government running all of your companies.” The video of this incident can be viewed here.
If Maxine Waters is found guilty of ethics violations, it will one more example of the corruption/socialism connection
In 2004 Frank and 75 other House Democrats (including such notables as Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Charles Rangel) took exception to George W. Bush's public expression of concern about the risky loans that Fannie Mae and and Freddie Mac were making. They sent the President a letter warning that "an exclusive focus on safety and soundness is likely to come, in practice, at the expense of affordable housing."
In June 2005, Frank said the following about his – and the House Financial Services Committee's – efforts to promote home-ownership for low-income people:
"Obviously, speculation is never a good thing. But those who argue now that housing prices are now at the point of a bubble seem to me to be missing a very important point. Unlike previous examples we have had, where substantial excessive inflation of prices later caused some problems, we are talking here about an entity, home ownership. Homes, where there is not the degree of leverage that we've seen elsewhere. This is not the dot-com situation, where you had problems when people invested in a business plan where there was no reality. People building fiber optic cable for which there was no need. Homes that are occupied may see ebb and flow of price at a certain percentage level, but you're not going to see the collapse that you see when people talk about a bubble. So those of us on our committee will continue to push for home ownership."
When the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, or OFHEO (the agency responsible for overseeing Fannie and Freddie), in 2004 issued a 211-page report condemning irregularities in Fannie Mae's accounting, Frank said: "It is clear that a leadership change at OFHEO is overdue."
In 2007 Frank became chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. That same year the mortgage crisis first began to manifest itself, resulting from the large number of defaults on the subprime loans which Frank had long advocated. Yet the congressman attributed the crisis not to the lending policies he had been espousing, but rather to the allegedly greedy practices of banks and inadequate regulatory oversight. "The subprime crisis," he said, "demonstrates the serious economic and social consequences that result from too little regulation." In 2008 Frank similarly blamed the crisis on "excessive deregulation" and "bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector thanks to a conservative philosophy that says the market knows best."
New Maxine Waters and Barney Frank Scandal Documents
By Tom Fitton
Remember at the outset of the financial crisis when the government told us only “healthy banks” were going to receive bailout funds? Well apparently that requirement does not apply to banks with friends in high places.
Judicial Watch received new documents from the U.S. Department of Treasury about the controversial $12 million bailout grant provided to Boston-based OneUnited Bank.
We got the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit we filed against Treasury. Included are internal Treasury emails describing the substandard condition of OneUnited prior to the taxpayer funded bailout, which allegedly occurred at the behest of Reps. Maxine Waters and Barney Frank.
Here’s what we found out in a nutshell: OneUnited Bank was in deep trouble due to incompetence and mismanagement. Government officials knew all about it. And yet, they bent the rules for Waters and Frank and “invested” taxpayer funds in the floundering enterprise.
Consider this September 15, 2008, email from former Treasury Senior Advisor Michael Scott to Director of the Office of Financial Institutions Mario Ugoletti. It includes a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluation administered by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) noting serious issues with OneUnited’s lending practices:
2004 CRA Public Evaluation: While the institution received a CRA rating of “Low Satisfactory” on an overall basis, OneUnited Bank’s CRA rating for Massachusetts was “Needs to Improve” for both the Lending Test and the Investment Test. Under the Lending Test, the report stated that “OUB has done a poor job of meeting the credit needs of its [Boston, MA] assessment area. A review of the 2002 and 2003 HMDA data revealed a total of one loan. There were no reported Community Development Loans (CDL) and any innovative or flexible lending programs were apparently ineffective.” For the Massachusetts Investment Test, the report stated that “the level and complexity of investments within the Boston assessment area is less than satisfactory there were no equity investments or qualified deposits within the assessment area. The low volume of qualified investments within the assessment area is a concern.”
In Florida, the institution received a CRA rating of “Substantial Noncompliance” which also represented the subordinate rating for the Lending Test…
A subsequent 2007 CRA evaluation noted continued problems with OneUnited’s lending program, particularly in Florida.
The documents also include a January 3, 2009, email from Brookly McLaughlin, Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, to former Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari highlighting Barney Frank’s intervention in the OneUnited Bank bailout and calling attention to significant concerns about the OneUnited transaction:
According to the WSJ [Wall Street Journal] Barney Frank told them that he specifically put section 103-6 in the bill in order to help this particular bank. Apparently this bank also had an issue with a Porsche that the regulators had made them get rid of. The story will run later this week and will highlight three banks that they think raise questions and are not “healthy” banks…
(As I’ve noted previously, according to the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, Treasury indicated it would only provide bailout funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending.)
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Judicial Watch also uncovered a memorandum entitled “Regulatory Financial Highlights” that includes detailed financial information related to OneUnited as well as a summary of information collected by Treasury during its investigation of the bank.
According to these documents, OneUnited sought government assistance in part because the company owned $52 million in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock that was “irrevocably impaired” when the government seized control of the two GSEs. However, as noted by one Treasury email from Michael Scott, OneUnited “purchased their Fannie/Freddie stock in the first quarter of 2008,” long after the problems cited in the government’s two CRA assessments. The official commented, “Interesting, huh?”
Yes, it certainly is…
In light of these documents, I do not think there is any question that, if not for the corrupt intervention by Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, OneUnited would not have gotten a $12 million taxpayer bailout. And this so-called community bank wasn’t actually lending much to the “community” that Frank and Waters were purporting to help.
Today’s Washington Post adds more devastating detail to this scandal (and references documents first obtained by Judicial Watch). The paper reports that regulators knew that OneUnited could not get aid under law. So Frank, for Waters, inserted a provision into the TARP legislation designed to help OneUnited. But that wasn’t enough because the bank was so poorly run. And the rules were bent further:
Still, OneUnited did not meet the normal threshold for obtaining TARP money. As the inspector general for the TARP program, Neil M. Barofsky, said in a 2009 report that referred to OneUnited’s troubles without citing its name, the bank had not met five metrics, indicating it was not adequately capitalized.
Moreover, the FDIC, in a memo to the Treasury Department analyzing its TARP application, warned explicitly that the bank was in a “precarious financial position”…
But a committee of regulators and a group of top Treasury officials then departed from customary practices. They did so even though one Treasury member said that “he was very concerned about this bank,” according to Barofsky’s report.
The report said these reviewers decided that the bank’s viability could be assessed “with applied-for TARP funds taken into account” as an existing capital asset on its balance sheet. In short, the reviewers assessed the bank as though it already had the money, to make it eligible for the aid.
The resulting $12 million boost to OneUnited’s bottom line – again without a penny moving anywhere – finally allowed it to look healthy enough to win the loan…
The Obama administration has thus far produced 639 pages in response to Judicial Watch’s FOIA investigation of the Waters/Frank bailout scandal. But they’re still keeping 203 pages under lock and key. It is not hard to see why.
For politicians, reporters, and political consultants trying to figure out the Tea Party and why so many Americans are angry at Washington corruption – they might want to look at this corrupt mess in TARP uncovered by Judicial Watch.