Unscrupulous Democrat borrower Sen. Kent Conrad claims he didn’t know he was getting special preferential loan treatment from scandal-plagued subprime lender Countrywide Financial and denies doing anything wrong.
He didn’t know–even though he phoned up Countrywide’s CEO Angelo Mozilo himself to ask for the loan.
He didn’t do anything wrong–but he’s going to donate money to Habitat for Humanity and get the loan refinanced, anyway.
Unscrupulous Democrat borrower Sen. Chris Dodd, meanwhile, is playing the indignant card:
”As a United States senator, I would never ask or expect to be treated differently than anyone else refinancing their home,” Dodd said Friday afternoon in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “This suggestion is outrageous and contrary to my entire career in public service.
”When my wife and I refinanced our loans in 2003, we did not seek or expect any favorable treatment. Just like millions of other Americans, we shopped around and received competitive rates.”
Dodd and his wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, took out a $506,000 loan to refinance their Washington townhouse, and a $275,000 loan to refinance their home in East Haddam, Portfolio reported, citing company documents. Countrywide officials agreed to reduce the Washington rate to 4.25 percent and the East Haddam rate to 4.5 percent without cost, the article said, with the potential to save the Dodds as much as $75,000 over the 30-year life of the loans.
A spokesman for the senator could not say whom the Dodds conferred with when refinancing the two homes, but said definitively that “neither Senator Dodd nor Jackie spoke to Angelo about their loan.”
Word of the deals raised eyebrows around Washington and among the senator’s critics back home in Connecticut.
”It is a low-tide moment for Chris Dodd,” said Chris Healy, the chairman of the Connecticut Republicans, who called for Dodd to “completely offer himself to the media for a full explanation of this very troubling insider deal.”
”To even a casual, indifferent observer,” Healy said, “this doesn’t pass the smirk test or the smell test.”
How stupid do unscrupulous Democrat borrowers Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad think you are?
Really, really stupid.
Where do your congressional reps stand? Ask them: 202-224-3121.
The WSJ recommends a course of action. Three words: No more bailouts:
Fannie should immediately launch an internal investigation into the terms offered to Countrywide, and exactly what role Messrs. Johnson and Raines played in the negotiation of these terms. Did these men exert any pressure on Fannie employees to do business with Countrywide?
Congress also needs a full accounting of the contacts between Countrywide and the politicians receiving favors from the lender. Did Countrywide ask for and receive assistance from the Friends of Angelo? With Senate Banking Chairman Dodd at the center of the scandal, ranking member Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) will have to lead the inquiry.
But taxpayers should not have to wait for the results of an investigation. Democrats in Congress are trying to pass a bailout for mortgage borrowers and lenders like Countrywide, and they have been holding reform of Fannie Mae and its cousin Freddie Mac hostage to get President Bush to agree. Mr. Dodd is one of the main hostage-takers. It is time he and Mr. Frank dropped this political ransom-taking and finally subjected Fannie and Freddie to tough oversight. This means giving a regulator the power to set their capital ratios and portfolio securities limits, so that taxpayers have some protection against their potential losses.
Meanwhile, until it is clear how much Countrywide will benefit from Senator Dodd’s proposed $300 billion mortgage rescue – and exactly how Mr. Dodd came to do business with Countrywide – Congress should call a halt to legislating bailouts. Taxpayers deserve no less.
More from the NYPost:
The pols, for their part, claim they’re as pure as the driven snow in all this. Dodd calls any suggestion of impropriety “outrageous he and his wife “did not seek or expect any favorable treatment.”
No, of course not. Perish the thought, senator.
But already the FOA scandal has ensnared Barack Obama’s veep-selection committee chairman, Jim Johnson, an ex-boss at Fannie Mae. He had to quit the committee after The Wall Street Journal reported that he got a low-rate loan from Countrywide.
With all this, who can be surprised if borrowers stretched the truth on their mortgage applications or if officials in the industry played fast and loose here and there to boost sales?
Just look at their role models.