Never one to miss an opportunity to make political hay out of a catastrophe, John W. McBush tells us the following today (here, from the National Review Online)…
Two years ago, I called for reform of this corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congress did nothing. The Administration did nothing. Senator Obama did nothing, and actually profited from this system of abuse and scandal. While Fannie and Freddie were working to keep Congress away from their house of cards, Senator Obama was taking their money. He got more, in fact, than any other member of Congress, except for the Democratic chairmen of the committee that oversees them. And while Fannie Mae was betraying the public trust, somehow its former CEO had managed to gain my opponent’s trust to the point that Senator Obama actually put him in charge of his vice presidential search.
This CEO, Mr. Johnson, walked off with tens of millions of dollars in salary and bonuses for services rendered to Fannie Mae, even after authorities discovered accounting improprieties that padded his compensation. Another CEO for Fannie Mae, Mr. Raines, has been advising Senator Obama on housing policy. This even after Fannie Mae was found to have committed quote “extensive financial fraud” under his leadership. Like Mr. Johnson, Mr. Raines walked away with tens of millions of dollars.
The former Fannie Mae CEO is Jim Johnson, who resigned as head of Obama’s vice presidential search team after it was revealed that he got a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial (as McBush acknowledges). And I believe McBush is also correct, amazingly enough, about Obama ranking #2 in donations, with Chris Dodd at #1 (and how is that an issue anyway? Is McBush serious about alleging corporate influence in the Obama campaign? Just how many lobbyists work for McBush at this point anyway, about a thousand??!!).
And by the way, former Fannie Mae chairman Frank Raines has issued the following statement in response: “I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters.”
All of this is corroborated by Time’s Swampland reporter Karen Tumulty here, in her story about McBush’s latest vile campaign ad, implying some nefarious activity between Obama and Raines while an elderly white woman appears distressed and vulnerable.
Of course, if McBush had been interested in accuracy, as Tumulty reports, it could have shown Obama and Johnson, but it didn’t because Johnson is white and Raines is black, and what McBush is going for is a racial smear as opposed to a legitimate shot over Johnson’s role in the Obama campaign.
And I’m not going to bother researching how much money Johnson and Raines got for “walking away” (though, as you can read here, being told by a company to go away and receiving way too much damn money to do so is a familiar scenario for at least one senior McBush adviser).
Instead, I want to take note of this “call for reform of the corruption” that McBush is talking about (and actually, it was over three and a half years ago, not two – also, has anyone noticed besides me how McBush flails away at everyone in sight when he has a hissy fit? Otherwise, why on earth would he blame “the administration”?).
This takes you to information on S. 190, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 (and as you can see, the sponsor of the bill was Senator Chuck Hagel, though McBush was a co-sponsor). It was introduced on January 26, 2005.
Pop quiz: which Congress was in session at that time? The current 110th Democratic congress? The 108th?
Nope – it was the utterly-beyond-useless 109th, my friends (as it states on the linked page).
The fact that this bill was introduced but never scheduled for debate isn’t the fault of the Democrats. Hell, it isn’t even Dubya’s fault, for a change.
It’s the fault of the ReThuglican Congress that never bothered to move it along! And they could have done so easily since they, being the majority party, ran all the committees! Blame then-Majority Leader Bill “Cat Killer” Frist for never scheduling a debate over it!
Using allegations of malfeasance against your opponent to launch sickening racial attacks is no more going to solve this mess than it will win the election for you (and by the way, Hunter at The Daily Kos has some similar concerns here also – and if you think this latest stunt is going to improve these numbers, McBush, you’re crazier than I thought).
Update: “As we have done” indeed.