Friday, November 7, 2008

Birds of a feather really do flock together . . .

The Emanuel-Freddie Mac Connection: Will the Media Report It?

By Jeff Poor

Now that he's President-elect Barack Obama's new chief of staff, according to various Nov. 6 media reports [1], will Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., face the same scrutiny Karl Rove did when he was named Bush's deputy chief of staff? More importantly, will the media take note the tie Emanuel had to the now taxpayer-owned, failed government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac [2]?

Emanuel, who was a senior adviser for former President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s, was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac upon his departure from the Clinton administration.

"Clinton's going-away gift to Emanuel was a seat on the quasi-governmental Freddie Mac board, which paid him $231,655 in director's fees in 2001 and $31,060 in 2000," Lynn Sweet wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 3, 2002.

During the time Emanuel spent on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandal involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities. Freddie Mac and its sister organization Fannie Mae were taken over by the federal government in September [3] 2008 after years of mismanagement and scandal. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson put the two beleaguered GSEs into a conservatorship, stripping common stock shareholders of their rights to govern the companies.

In 2006, Freddie Mac was forced to pay a $3.8 million fine [4] to the Federal Election Commission to settle allegations it illegally contributed to congressional candidates between 2000 and 2003 - while Emanuel was on the board and running for and serving in Congress.

And, since his successful run for the House of Representatives in 2002, Emanuel has been the beneficiary of campaign cash from Freddie Mac and its sister organization Fannie Mae - $51,750 according to the Center for Responsive Politics Web site [5].

Emanuel received $25,000 in contributions from Freddie Mac during his first run in 2002, right at the end of his tenure at the government-sponsored enterprise. Freddie Mac was his third largest overall contributor [6] that year.

(I don't know about you but I smell a rat! VN8)


Angie ^i^ said...

I smell Downy fabric softener, but then again, I'm doing laundry! =)~

Country Comes To Town said...

I think Emanuel is the perfect choice. Republicans don't like him because he is very effective and gets the job done. He'll be a good punching bag and if I were in your shoes I'd be swinging also. It's all fair. Swing away VN8. LOL

Anonymous said...

Emanuel's experience with WJC will be helpful. I would complain more had BO named him to one of the economics related cabinet positions. He may do well as COS.

"Birds of a feather" ? You betcha!


Lee said...

I don't think the issue is whether or not Republicans like or dislike Emanuel. It can be safely assumed most dislike him. He, without doubt, is about the most abrasive SOB in politics but he'll be given a pass for his demeanor and his association with Freddie Mac. Recall how Karl Rove was pilloried and he was an exceptionally polite guy. And we were remided daily of Cheney's association with Halliburton. Anyway, the pick of Emanuel goes to show that we may not expect much in the way of the promised new tone from a BO administration. But we knew that already, didn't we? Paul Begala once described Emanuel's style as a cross between a hemmoroid and a toothache. You know it must really be something for a guy like Begala to notice!

Will y'all let me go off on a bit of a tangent? There have been a few letters to the WaPo editor and some musings from other sources about how we no longer have to be ashamed to be Americans. In fact, it's cool to be an American again! This attitude really grates on me. You will never see GOP politicians go abroad and demean the US and the BO administration (recall McDermott, Boinier, Pelosi, Carter, and sadly, WJC, among others) and I believe most conservatives abroad are proud of the US regardless of who is president. To maintain my perspective, I keep a copy of this and read it periodically.

Anonymous said...

Lee hits it again. The media hack job on Rove was obvious while they can be guaranteed to go extremely easy on Emanuel. But it's MSM favoritism that gives the right it's irrefutable argument. In a bigger majority on the Hill, Emanuel could afford to be his abrasive self. He doesn't have that luxury for at least two more years. He may swoon the media, but lets see how well he plays with the others that matter.