You Owned It – You Bailed It Out – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Gave $200 Million of Your Money to Politicians and Partisan Orgs.
Fannie, Freddie spent $200M to buy influence
Lisa Lerer Wed Jul 16, 5:44 AM ET
If you want to know how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have survived scandal and crisis, consider this: Over the past decade, they have spent nearly $200 million on lobbying and campaign contributions.
But the political tentacles of the mortgage giants extend far beyond their checkbooks.
The two government-chartered companies run a highly sophisticated lobbying operation, with deep-pocketed lobbyists in Washington and scores of local Fannie- and Freddie-sponsored homeowner groups ready to pressure lawmakers back home.
They’ve stacked their payrolls with top Washington power brokers of all political stripes, including Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign manager, Rick Davis [come to find out it was $15,000 to thje lobbying firm Davis worked for and none of it actually went to Davis. Fannie and Freddie bought up most of the lobbying firms to make sure that no one would lobby against them - Editor]; Democrat Barack Obama’s original vice presidential vetter, Jim Johnson; and scores of others now working for the two rivals for the White House.
Fannie and Freddie’s aggressive political maneuvering has helped stave off increased regulation and preserve special benefits such as exemption from state and local income taxes and the ability to borrow at low rates.
When their stock prices took a dive last week, their government allies extended another helping hand with a plan for the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and, possibly, Congress to shore up the companies.
The Wall Street Journal has more details:
And, oh, what a stream of political cash it is. First, there are Fannie and Freddie’s political action committees, which have already distributed roughly $800,000 to U.S. House and Senate Members this election cycle. Nearly half of the Senators have received funds and almost all of the money is directed to incumbents. Fannie gave $10,000 to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, $10,000 to third-ranking House Democrat Rahm Emanuel, $5,000 to Barney Frank, $10,000 to Republican House whip Roy Blunt, $8,500 to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and $7,500 to Minority Leader John Boehner and . . . you get the picture.
Fannie and Freddie have also given millions to partisan advocacy groups and think tanks, most of them among the far left.
Billions of your tax dollars went to bail Freedie Mac and Fannie Mae out. All the while they have been funneling money back to the political machine. It may be legal, but it is corruption that is obvious to anyone.
In the bail out bill that was passed by Congress, Republican Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina tried to offer an amendment to prevent taxpayer subsidized quasi-corporations like Fannie and Freddie from abusing the public trust by slicking the palms of politicians. The Democratic Leader Harry Reid refused to allow the amendment up for a vote (Link).