Carol Moseley Braun's Statement on Foreclosures
February 10, 2011 -‐ -- Chicago Mayoral candidate, Carol Moseley Braun issued the following statement on the nation’s foreclosure crisis:
Tomorrow President Obama will unveil a proposal that could ultimately lead to the dismantling of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...the two companies whose mismanagement led to the mortgage meltdown and the foreclosure crisis that has hit Chicagoans so hard.
Nationally hundreds of thousands have lost their homes. In the Chicagoland area 138 thousand homes went into foreclosure in 2010, or 1 in 27. Chicago is number 2 in the nation in foreclosure activity. At the same time taxpayers are on the hook for more than 150 billion dollars.
I call on the President to propose a moratorium on foreclosures as a part of his menu of options for housing finance reform. A moratorium will help stabilize communities, reducing the number of vacant homes that breed crimes, gangs, and fires. Over 28,000 children are homeless and I challenge you to look under the bridges of Chicago and share pictures of the villages of homeless people.
Freddie Mac got *bailed out* while our people got *put out* of their homes. You will not find pictures of Chicagoans sleeping under our bridges and in homeless shelters in the so called front runner’s commercials.
I think that’s because he doesn’t want anybody to talk about the fact that he was on the board of Freddie Mac, and got paid a quarter of a million dollars for being there at the time Freddie Mac made a 6 billion dollar accounting error. He was there at the same time that government insured mortgages were being bought and sold and swapped so that a few guys could get rich, sit on their yachts in Florida while average folks got left out in the cold.
And that is just the tip of an ethical iceberg that Chicago’s biggest snow plows can’t remove. The Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Times have begun to chip away at the sides. Their articles this week report a disturbing pattern that shows politicians using public office for huge private gain.
I am here today on behalf of the regular working people of this city who want to know the real story.
I’m here to challenge the frontrunner, the one with the 14-million dollar campaign fund, to spend some of that money on a full disclosure of how he used his government connections to make himself rich.
Public ethics require public disclosure of transactions that rely on public office to create private wealth.
The people need to know...Did he sell his relationships in the Congress and the Clinton White House to the Wasserstein Perella investment banking firm? He was paid $18.5 million in 2 ½ years right after he left the Clinton White House? The lack of transparency about private financial dealings raised the question whether and to what extent the public may have been the source of the frontrunner’s personal wealth.
Illinois law requires a lobbyist registration for anyone who undertakes “communication with a government official with the ultimate purpose of influencing any executive legislative or administrative action.” He is not a lawyer, an MBA or a CPA. Nor did he have any credentials as a banker when hired by Wasserstein Perella.
A spokesman for the firm told the media that he was hired to “manage relationships”. There must be a reason he did not register as a lobbyist. The people have a right to know what that reason might be.
Many of the transactions the articles describe would have required official approvals from regulatory bodies. Would he tell the public which regulators he contacted on behalf of his clients, and whether he considered those contacts as exempt from the lobbyist registration law?
Finally, Freedom of Information requests have been made for the minutes of the Freddie Mac board on which he served. That board was cited for its lack of oversight and now it will probably be dismantled. Taxpayers are on the hook for an estimated 200 billion dollars and he has done nothing to explain! Why won’t he insist on the release of the minutes of the Freddie Mac Board? We need to know what he got paid to do?
My plan to help stabilize our communities from the ravages of mortgage foreclosures, includes
Getting families back into homes by working with the department of Housing and Urban development to make available its foreclosed properties for $1. Holding the banks financially responsible for the condition of vacated, foreclosed properties.
Collaborating with community leaders, organizations and businesses to rehabilitate blighted homes in the neighborhoods.