Lobbying for Freddie Mac Against Regulation, the Truth Finally Betold

The MSM is reporting that back in 2005 while there was growing concerns on the Hill about the need for regulation of Freddie Mac. The over-bloated and severely corrupt GSE started fighting back with an underground lobbying campaign that cut its opponents attempts off at the knees. Sad part is, most in the bloggin’ world already knew this, now the information is rather moot, but here is the story anyway.

From the AP
WASHINGTON – When the Washington Nationals played their first-ever baseball game in the nation's capital in April 2005, two congressmen who oversaw mortgage giant Freddie Mac had choice seats — courtesy of the very company they were supposed to be keeping an eye on.

Efforts to tighten government regulation were gaining support on Capitol Hill, and Freddie Mac was fighting back. The baseball tickets for home opener were means of influence.
The two Representatives in question were Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa. Ney is currently serving federal time for accepting gifts and political donations in exchange for favors in the Jack Abram off scandal.
Internal Freddie Mac budget records show $11.7 million was paid to 52 outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006. Power brokers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were recruited with six-figure contracts. Freddie Mac paid the following amounts to the firms of former Republican lawmakers or ex-GOP staffers in 2006:

_Sen. Alfonse D'Amato of New York, at Park Strategies, $240,000.

_Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota, at Clark & Weinstock, $360,297.

_Rep. Susan Molinari of New York, at Washington Group, $300,062.

_Susan Hirschmann at Williams & Jensen, former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, $240,790.
I must say, until this point I have had a certain affinity for Newt Gingrich, although, that has changed rather radically with advent of this report.

We have been expounding here that the Subprime bust, which is the cause of our present economic woes, was directly caused by more than one group or person. It was further facilitated by the greed of Washington Pols, power brokers, and lobbyists as well as Wall Street. Everyone was to caught up in the populism of the election to give a damn. So, now we are going to be trillions in debt just because everyone had to be right. Ain’t ego a bitch?
The records obtained by the AP reflect growing concern within Freddie Mac over a chorus of criticism from Republicans worried that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had grown too big. The two companies owned or guaranteed over $5 trillion in mortgages.

The Bush administration and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were sounding the alarm about the potential threat to the nation's financial health if the fortunes of the two mammoth companies turned sour. They did eventually, when they took on $1 trillion worth of subprime mortgages and when their traditional guarantee business deteriorated. Commercial banks regarded Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as competitors and were anxious to pick up business that would result from scaling back the two companies.

Pushing back, Freddie Mac enlisted prominent conservatives, including Gingrich and former Justice Department official Viet Dinh, paying each $300,000 in 2006, according to internal records.

Gingrich talked and wrote about what he saw as the benefits of the Freddie Mac business model.

Dinh wrote a legal analysis of private property rights that viewed a hypothetical government-enforced sale of Freddie Mac assets as constitutionally suspect.
Bush has a long history of just plain screwing up, however, for some reason there is a sense of justification due to this. They knew what was wrong, but a severe case of blitzkrieg lobbying eliminated the effort almost before it could get off the ground.
The AP previously described, in October, how Freddie Mac thwarted efforts to bring a tough regulatory bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and John McCain of Arizona to a full Senate vote.
Interestingly enough, with all of the names up there one is retiring in 09’, two have been defeated politically, and the last, well we know his story all too well. It makes you wonder about lobbying and the ferocity at which they go after their nemeses . Most of the attempts on Palin’s political career have been brought on by Washington insider Republicans. Why not those who sought to thwart a trillion dollar industry's expansion with regulation and oversight?
At a meeting days after Hagel's bill went to the full Senate, Syron and McLoughlin berated the company's in-house lobbyists for failing to keep Hagel's bill corralled in committee, said the four people familiar with events at Freddie Mac at the time.

Freddie Mac shifted into high gear, secretly paying a Republican consulting firm, Washington-based DCI Group, $2 million to kill Hagel's legislation. The covert lobbying campaign targeted Republican senators in 2005-06.

According to the newly obtained records, DCI's deployment was part of a broader campaign that targeted mainly Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The internal Freddie Mac documents show that 17 of the lobbying firms and consultants paid in 2006 were specifically directed to focus on Republicans and four on Democrats, with varying targets for the rest.
The main focus of the lobbying campaign seemed to be targeted at the Republicans due to the amount of fervor and opposition some in the party were calling for. I have found no evidence of Democrats calling for the regulation of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Rather there were calls from Chris Dodd and Barney Frank for its expansion. Now that their man Flint is safely tucked away in the White House and the Collectivists have firm control of Congress, the truth can be released. Frank and boys had just better keep their sucks shut about this one or they might drown with the rest of the rats.

Now, this fact about the Dems does not in anyway shape or form relinquish the Republicans of their responsibility in the matter. This was bigger than most could imagine and now that the election is over, maybe people will start seeing that, for all the good it will do.

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