Friday, March 13, 2009

The Two Congresspersons from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Hypocrisy, thy name is liberal Democrat Congresspersons. As in Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, the two members of Congress who had leading roles in creating and defending from all attempts at regulation the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac economic tsunami which has shredded our economy.

Frank and Waters tag-teamed as midwives to bring this "affordable housing" mess into being, bullying banks and lending institutions into offering mortgages to folks who were laughably unable to repay them. And guess what happened then? They couldn't repay their mortgages. Duh.

So far, Barney Frank is The Teflon Congressman who lies about his role in the mess and has the audacity of launching an investigation to determine the guilty culprits for the credit crisis.

But Maxine Waters has finally been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. No, not for her role in getting us into this mess, but for snagging $50 million of the bailout funds for the bank for which her husband has a quarter-million in stock and sits on the corporate board.

Michelle Malkin gives us a front-row seat at the Hypocrisy of Waters on display in Congress, when her big mouth even embarrassed Barney Frank, who I thought was unembarrassable:
At a flail-and-wail House hearing last month, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters melted down in front of big banking CEOs. "Raise your hand! Raise your hand!" she shrieked as she harangued the executives on their business practices and management of federal bailout money. Sneering at the "captains of the universe," whom she refused to address by name ("You, Bank of America!"), Waters excoriated the corporate heads for their greed. "All of my political life," Waters bragged, "I have been in disagreement with the banking and mostly financial services community because of practices that I have believed to be not in the best interest always of the very people that they claim to serve."

As you'll soon see, however, the ethically conflicted Waters has her own special definition of what's in "the best interest" of the people she claims to serve. While she crusades against crony pseudo-capitalism, she is one of its most hypocritical beneficiaries and advocates. Cronyism comes in all colors. Waters has once again earned her title as one of the "Most Corrupt" members of Congress from the left-leaning (yes, left-leaning) Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

The bank CEOs sat meekly during Waters' verbal flogging. But as she frothed at the mouth, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank covered the microphone and briefly chastised her. To no avail. Waters' motor mouth kept on running.

...Fast-forward a month later. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the high-and-mighty Waters had a personal and financial stake in Boston-based OneUnited, a minority bank that received $12 million in TARP money under smelly circumstances. The banks' executives donated $12,500 to her congressional campaigns. Her husband, Sidney Williams, was an investor in one of the banks that merged into OneUnited. They've profited handsomely from their relationship with the bank:

"Congressional financial-disclosure forms show Ms. Waters acquired OneUnited stock worth between $250,000 and $500,000 in March 2004, as did Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams joined the board of OneUnited that year.

"Each sold shares in September 2004 -- including Ms. Waters' entire stake -- but Mr. Williams continued to hold varying amount of the company's stock. In the lawmaker's most recent financial-disclosure form, dated May 2008 and covering the prior year, Ms. Waters reported that her husband held between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of the bank's stock.

"Mr. Williams also received interest payments from a separate holding at the bank, also worth between $250,000 and $500,000. The 2008 form doesn't specify what that is. Mr. Williams stepped down from the bank's board last spring. It couldn't be learned whether he still owns stock in the bank. Mr. Williams didn't return calls seeking comment.

It's good to know there's at least one newspaper not in the left's hip pocket, the Wall Street Journal.

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