In at least one case, we now have proof that it’s more than enough.
California Rep. Darrell Issa finally confirmed today what has been generally known for a long while: Even as Democrats were promised to get to the bottom of the scandal surrounding sup-prime mortgage loans, a least one top Democrat was working hard to cover-up the names of Democrats who got favors from Countrywide Financial Corp. Countrywide was the biggest abuser of sub-prime mortgages and was one of the main culprits in the housing collapse that eventually infected the rest of the economy.
According to the Associated Press, Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y, “overrode his own subpoena three years ago in an investigation of former sub-prime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to exclude records showing that he, other House members and congressional aides got VIP discounted loans from the company, documents show.
The procedure to keep the names secret was devised by …Towns. In 2003, the 15-term congressman had two loans processed by Countrywide's VIP section, which was established to give discounts to favored borrowers.”
This comes as a big surprise.
Imagine: The guy whose job it is to police the United States House of Representatives from conflicts of interest, ethical challenges and other practices that abuse citizens and taxpayers, would himself use his unassailable incumbency to get a pay-off. He took favors from industries that he and his fellow members were so anxious to regulate in order to protect us from “predatory lenders.” In turn, those lenders got their hunting license directly from Congress; from guys just like Town.
I find this hard to believe.
Not the general set-up, but that Towns only took two loans.
Towns at the time was the, um, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Talk about predatory.
Kind of like the morally-impaired leading the morally-challenged.
And a con-man shall lead them… because it was his turn to.
But the chairmanship under Towns had to be worth more than just two VIP loans to a Congressman-for-life, ranking member, writer of 408 bad checks on the House Bank; the man who won his last campaign with 91 percent of the vote.
Chicago politics was perfected in Chicago, but Brooklyn has a very long and dishonorable history in graft, greed and general machine-inspired corruption.
And Towns fits that mold.
He uses taxpayer dollars to lease a Mercury Milan hybrid at a cost to taxpayers of $1,285 per month according to the New York Post. The total lease will cost taxpayers more than the MSRP price of $28,180 says the Post:
At $1,285 per month, Towns’ 2-year lease on a 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid for tooling around his district will cost taxpayers more than $30,000 — enough to buy the vehicle new.
“That’s too much!” roared a salesman at a Ford dealership in Brooklyn that sold and leased Mercuries before Ford discontinued the brand.
“That price is for a big, luxury truck . . . like a Lincoln MKT,” which sold for about $49,000 in 2010, said the salesman, who didn’t want to be identified as he talked about a congressman’s spending.
Just more “green” policy chaff from the Democrats that helps everyone except citizens and taxpayers.
FYI to government economists: A lease is supposed to be less expensive than buying, healthcare reform is supposed improve healthcare; deficit reduction is supposed to reduce the deficit; an energy policy is supposed to make energy cheap, plentiful and stable.
Perhaps there was some sort of a VIP program on that lease too.
The good news is that Towns announced he is retiring from Congress after this term expires in 2012.
The bad news is that the district will likely vote in another Congressman-for-life, who will hang on long enough for his turn at the trough; a writer of bad-bills, who will figure other ways of bilking voters and taxpayers while helping provide the moral tone for the nation.
So please, this election year, deliver us from Congress, too, oh Lord.