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Lies My Housing Market Told Me...

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June 17, 2008 – Comments (6)

Chris Dodd lays out his whopper:

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said today that he knew he was part of a "VIP" mortgage program offered by Countrywide Financial Corp. but said he was not aware that the plan included waiving fees that regular customers pay to obtain lower interest rates.

Dodd, who received the special treatment on orders of Countrywide's chief executive, Angelo Mozilo, said he and his wife were told in 2003 that they would be part of a special program. But they assumed that it gave them unspecified courtesies and did not ask whether it included a waiver of the fees, known as "points," or a reduced interest rate on their loans.

"I don't know that we did anything wrong. I negotiated a mortgage at a prevailing rate, a competitive rate...I did what millions of other people do," Dodd said.

BS, Chris. You knew you were part of a "VIP program" and didn't bother to ask what it got you? Even if we believed that, you didn't take the time to figure out what those "courtesies" might be?

Ever read the rules of the Senate, Chris? They would preclude an awful lot of what you might consider "courtesies."

Here they are:

1. (a)(1) No Member, officer, or employee of the Senate shall knowingly accept a gift except as provided in this rule.

(2)(A)A Member, officer, or employee may accept a gift (other than cash or cash equivalent) which the Member, officer, or employee reasonably and in good faith believes to have a value of less than $50, and a cumulative value from one source during a calendar year of less than $100. No gift with a value below $10 shall count toward the $100 annual limit. No formal recordkeeping is required by this paragraph, but a Member, officer, or employee shall make a good faith effort to comply with this paragraph.

(B) A Member, officer, or employee may not knowingly accept a gift from a registered lobbyist, an agent of a foreign principal, or a private entity that retains or employs a registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal, except as provided in subparagraphs (c) and (d).

(b)(1) For the purpose of this rule, the term ``gift'' means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value. The term includes gifts of services, training, transportation, lodging, and meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.

(Good on HousingPanic for reminding me of the no-nonsense rules that these guys are obviously violating with arrogance and impunity. My guess is these jokers get away with it, because Nancy Pelosi won't want to investigate her fellow Democrats for their skanky and shameful behavior.)

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 17, 2008 at 9:00 PM, DemonDoug (55.37) wrote:

there were some republicans mixed up in this mess too, which means there won't be any clamor on the other side of the aisle either - bipartisan scandals never, ever get prosecuted.

As far as rules and ethics, this one just happens to be in the public eye, out in the open.  To think that there isn't other forms of payola and bribery going on is to believe in the tooth fairy, santa clause, and easter bunny.

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#2) On June 17, 2008 at 9:01 PM, cwlawrence (< 20) wrote:

Busted

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#3) On June 17, 2008 at 10:29 PM, TDRH (99.66) wrote:

What is sad is I doubt anything comes of it, only hope would be that the IRS goes after him for income tax evasion-not declaring the interest savings as income. .   They are bipartisan, they just want the money.   I got a notice yesterday that I owe for not paying quarterly.  Wonder if I could take his path?

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#4) On June 17, 2008 at 10:44 PM, devoish (97.40) wrote:

Seth,

You could include a link to Nancy Pelosi's contact information and encourage Fools to call her and recommend a full investigation.

I would.

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#5) On June 19, 2008 at 1:25 AM, borisvolodnikov (73.52) wrote:

I tend to agree with DemonDoug - there's no incentive for anyone in office right now to stir this up any further.

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#6) On June 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM, griderX (96.62) wrote:

He's pissed off a lot of big corporations...his head will roll! ;)

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