You may have heard John McCain accuse Barack Obama of causing the collapse of the housing market, and you may not be aware that McCain makes a practice of charging Obama with offenses that he and his supporters commit. Now, the Associated Press has exposed key villains in the crash, and – surprise! – they include McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis (below, right), and a lobbyist named Doug Goodyear, whom McCain hired to manage the GOP convention. (Goodyear resigned from the convention job after Newsweek magazine revealed he had lobbied for the repressive military junta of Myanmar, formerly Burma.)
According to AP, “Davis or his lobbying firm has taken more than $2 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dating to 2000. In December, Freddie Mac contributed $250,000 to last month’s GOP convention.” In return, the firm operated by Goodyear and Davis – DCI of Washington – ran a “stealth campaign” to sabotage a bill that would have regulated and streamlined the two mortgage finance giants. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. Hagel and 25 other Republican senators pleaded unsuccessfully with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to allow a vote.
“If effective regulatory reform legislation … is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole,” Hagel’s group warned in a letter to Frist.
As a result of the lobbying campaign, there was not enough Republican support for Hagel’s bill to warrant bringing it up for a vote. (In fairness, I must disclose that McCain was not involved in stifling the bill. In fact, he signed on as a co-sponsor. But by the time he did so, DCI’s effort had gone on for nine months and it was too late to save the legislation.)
McCain has called Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae “the match that lit the fire” causing the global credit crisis. He accused Obama of ties to former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and implied that Obama took money from the two companies. But AP reported that Obama received $120,349 in political donations from individual employees of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. McCain received $21,550 from the firms’ employees.
Last month, the government seized control of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And federal prosecutors are investigating the companies, which own or guarantee more than $5 trillion in mortgages. That’s trillion – with a T.
Now we know that it was McCain’s paid supporters who helped to bring down the housing market, and you will recall that it was his senior economics adviser who spearheaded a crusade in Congress to strip Wall Street of effective trading regulations. Yet McCain has the colossal nerve to lay the blame for the current economic disaster at Obama’s feet. This is just one more example of the brazen tactics that McCain is using to smear Obama, while his own sleazy past gets downplayed by the mainstream media. If Obama wins this election, it will be an amazing triumph over widespread racial prejudice, a disgusting Republican character-assassination machine, and shameful media complicity.