“Watt personifies Obamanomics”
Washington Examiner‘s Senior Political Columnist Tim Carney writes, “With his faith in government and coziness with big business, [Mel] Watt personifies Obamanomics.” And Carney ought to know, since he quite literally wrote the book on it.
As I’ve written before, Campaign for Liberty strongly opposes the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (NC-12) to head the Federal Housing Finance Association (FHFA), charged with overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with other ”government sponsored enterprises” (GSEs).
Carney’s investigative reporting style typically follows the money and lobbying connections of various politicians. His write-up on Mel Watt follows the same formula:
The banks have been friendly with Watt. Bank of America, Wachovia, and the American Bankers Association were Watt’s second-, third-, and fifth-largest sources of donations over the past decade, according to the Center for Responsive politics. Bank of America’s PAC has given more to Watt over the years than any other corporate PAC.
Watt is also connected to big banks through the revolving door.
Hilary West was Watt’s legislative counsel, and now she is a lobbyist for the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase. The bank’s lobbyist disclosure forms show her lobbying Congress, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve this year on banking issues, including “the impact of GSE reform and other proposed changes to the housing finance market” — in other words, what to do with Fannie and Freddie.
Joyce Brayboy worked for Watt for 12 years, including as his chief of staff. After Watt moved into the majority in 2007, Brayboy joined the Democrat-heavy lobbying firm Glover Park Group, where her clients included the American Bankers Association. Today, Brayboy is a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, where she lobbies on “housing” issues, among others, according to Goldman’s lobbying disclosure filings.
Watt has voted for bailing out banks every chance he’s had: In July 2008, he voted for a mortgage bailout bill, and a couple of months later he twice voted for the Great Wall Street Bailout.
Carney concludes, “So what does this all mean for Watt as regulator of Fannie and Freddie? It means he’s pro-bank and pro-government.”
Watt talks of wielding a big government hammer in the name of the poor. He’s spent two decades demanding more homeownership for the poor. One way to do that is resume Fannie & Freddie’s subsidizing of mortgages for the poor.
In other words, Watt’s plan as the head of the FHFA would be to resume the same risky lending that led to the mortgage crisis in the first place.
An arsonist named Fire Marshal, indeed.
Contact your senators and urge them to oppose Mel Watt’s nomination to the FHFA.