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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


senator dodd exposed

connecticut democratic senator chris dodd has been at the forefront of crafting housing relief legislation as chairman of the senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs. just in case you imagined any such bill would be more than a sop to banks, dodd has had his pants taken down in public as the sweetheart deal countrywide cut him has made the new york times, following north dakota democratic senator and budget committee chair kent conrad last week.

At a tense news conference, he flatly denied seeking or receiving any discount from the lender.

But his concession that he never inquired or even wondered whether his special status with Countrywide might be related to his position as a senator prompted a barrage of new questions about the terms of his mortgages and about exactly what he knew and when he knew it.

“Somebody told you you were in a V.I.P. program,” a reporter said, “And you didn’t think you were getting ... ”

Mr. Dodd cut off the reporter and finished the question himself. “A special deal on a loan?” the senator asked. “No.”

... Mr. Dodd said that he was a longtime customer of Countrywide and refinanced the mortgages on his homes in 2003 after shopping for the best deal. Ultimately, he obtained a five-year adjustable rate loan at 4.25 percent for his house in Washington and a 10-year adjustable rate loan at 4.5 percent for his house in East Haddam, Conn.

via housing wire:

There are a ton of old jokes that abound on Capitol Hill around what’s known as the “ostrich defense,” and this is teeing up one for the record books. Senator gets a great mortgage, and is told he’s in a VIP program — but doesn’t think for a minute that being a VIP got him special treatment.

Dodd would apparently have us believe, using that sort of logic, that any Las Vegas high-roller making a casino’s VIP list has no idea they’re getting extra perks, relative to the average Joes that aren’t tossing away $50,000 per visit. Or that a frequent flier with platinum status — read: VIP — has no idea that their access to exclusive travel clubs and seat upgrades isn’t something that’s offered to everyone else. In short, we’d have to be dumb enough to believe that being a VIP doesn’t really mean being a VIP.

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