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Countrywide ‘Sweetheart Loans’ Tied to Legislation

Countrywide ‘Sweetheart Loans’ Tied to


Rick Moran

Not making many headlines because the perps are Democrats, the sweetheart loan deals that former Obama Vice Presidential vetter Jim Johnson accepted from Countrywide Chairman Angelo Mozilo have ensnared two Democratic senators; Ken Conrad of North Dakota and former presidential candidate Chris Dodd of Connecticut.

Conrad’s approach was outrageous. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal describes Conrad’s dealings with Countrywide and Mozilo:


Take Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat whose office issued a Friday statement saying that “I never met Angelo Mozilo.” What he did not say then but admitted under later questioning by a Journal reporter is that, although he may not have had a face-to-face meeting with the Countrywide CEO, Mr. Conrad had called Mr. Mozilo and asked for a loan. The result was a discounted loan on his million-dollar beach house and a separate commercial loan of a type that residential lender Countrywide did not even offer to other customers, regardless of the rate.

So after calling the CEO of a company with various matters before the Senate, asking for a loan and then receiving at least two sweetheart deals, Mr. Conrad now says: “I did not think for one moment – and no one ever suggested to me – that I was getting preferential treatment.”

The arrogance is breathtaking. And going Conrad one better was Dodd who, as Chairman of the Banking Committee, oversaw actual legislation that directly benefitted Mozilo and Countrywide:

The same goes for Senator Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), who chairs the very Banking Committee responsible for drafting the laws that govern Countrywide’s market. Mr. Dodd is still in denial mode, but so far no one has knocked down the story that he received discounted loans as part of Countrywide’s “Friends of Angelo” program.

But it is Countrywide’s connections to Fannie Mae that may turn out to be the most problematic. The government lender did an enormous amount of business with Countrywide and Mozilo evidently encouraged that business by granting sweetheart loans to executives like Johnson as well as lawmakers like Conrad and Dodd.

Democrats in Congress are pushing a bailout of both borrowers and lenders like Countrywide and they have been holding up legislation to reform Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) until Bush signs off on the giveaway. Is it coincidence that Dodd is one of the chief sponsors of this giveway and heavily involved in this quid pro quo demand from the Senate on desperately needed Fannie Mae reform?

Judging by the goodies he got from Mozilo, one would have to conclude that Dodd and Conrad have some questions to answer.


Obama’s Pals: From Chicago Corruption to anti-US Iraqi Thieves

Obama’s Pals: From Chicago Corruption to anti-US

 Iraqi Thieves

Clarice Feldman
Talismangate connects a bunch of dots from Obama to Rezko to a corrupt Iraqi minister. It may be that by comparison  Ayers and Wright are small skeletons in Obama’s closet.

Ayham Alsammarae, Iraq’s slimy ex-Minister of Electricity under the Bremer and Allawi administrations, who had escaped from an Iraqi prison by hiring an American security company to break him out back in December 2006, has resurfaced in the Jordanian capital Amman where he gave a press conference today saying, among other things, that he hoped that the insurgency in Iraq “would continue [against U.S. occupation] and avenges the Iraqi people.”

Alsammarae, an Iraqi-American Chicagoan, added during remarks carried by Radio Sawa (Arabic link) that he had contributed the maximum allowable of $2,300 to Barack Obama’s campaign. But there’s another Obama link to Alsammarae: while serving as electricity minister Alsammarae had been involved in brokering deals in the Iraqi electricity sector for Antoin Rezko, Obama’s long-term friend and patron. Rezko is the Syrian-American hustler who was convicted of fraud in an Illinois court on the day that Obama secured the Democratic nomination.