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Inside The Beltway
Rumor has it he would be treasury secretary under a McCain Administration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Gramm

Phil Gramm
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the American politician. For the American publisher, see Phil Graham. For the Australian athlete, see Phil Graham (rugby league).
William Philip Gramm

United States Senator
from Texas
In office
January 3, 1985 – November 30, 2002
Preceded by         John Tower
Succeeded by         John Cornyn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 5, 1985
Preceded by         Olin E. Teague
Succeeded by         Joe Barton
Born         July 8, 1942 (age 66)
Fort Benning, Georgia
Nationality         American
Political party         Democratic (1978–1981)
Republican (1981–present)
Spouse         Wendy Lee Gramm
William Philip "Phil" Gramm (born July 8, 1942, in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA) is an American politician and lobbyist who served as a Democratic Congressman (1978–1983), a Republican Congressman (1983–1985) and a Republican Senator from Texas (1985–2002).


Gramm often noted in his political campaigns that he had repeated three grades in school but had overcome his academic deficiencies by hard work. In 1967, Gramm received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, he was a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society. After earning his Ph.D., Gramm taught economics for 12 years at Texas A&M University (1967–1978). In addition to teaching, Gramm served as a partner in the economic consulting firm Gramm & Associates (1971–1978).
[edit]Investments in Pornographic Films

Gramm first became involved in funding porn in 1973, when his brother-in-law, George Caton, told him about an low-budget soft-core production called "Truck Stop Women." A promo poster for the film boasted of its buxom stars: "No Rig Was Too Big For Them To Handle." Caton, who was in charge of fundraising for the production, asked Gramm to become an investor. To entice his brother-in-law, Caton showed him scenes of Playboy Playmate of the year Claudia Jennings displaying her bare essentials, (she is naked throughout much of the film).
These scenes "really got Phil titillated," Caton told journalist John Judis in 1995. [1] Gramm cut Caton a check for $15,000. Because the film was oversold, however, Caton returned his brother-in-law's money, offering him an investment opportunity in an upcoming feature.
The following year, Gramm sent Caton a check for $15,000, this time to finance the production of "Beauty Queens," a soft-core flick about pageant judges having sex with contestants. But at the last moment, the director of "Beauty Queens," Mark Lester, decided to shelve his production to make the sequel to his "Tricia's Wedding," a comedy starring the drag queen troupe, The Cockettes.
Gramm contributed at least $7500 towards the sequel, a satire of the Nixon White House called "White House Madness" that featured the crazed president wandering around the White House in the nude. Unfortunately Gramm never saw a return on his investment. Shot in ten days on a soundstage crudely modeled after the Oval Office, "White House Madness" made little money. However, Gramm did get an executive producer’s credit for the film.
[edit]United States House of Representatives

In 1976, Gramm unsuccessfully challenged Texas Democratic Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, in the party's senatorial primary. Nine years later, Gramm and Bentsen would begin what became an 8-year relationship as senatorial colleagues from Texas. During their Senate tenures, both attempted to run for President, but neither made a serious showing.
In 1978, Gramm successfully ran as a Democrat for Representative from Texas's 6th congressional district. He continued his service in the House, being reelected as a Democrat in 1980.
He won re-election to his House seat again in 1982. Following his reelection, Gramm resigned his House seat on January 5, 1983, forcing a mid-term special election. Gramm ran in that election on February 12, 1983 to fill the vacancy that he had created, but as a Republican. Winning, he became the first Republican to represent the district since its creation, and after he left the House, the seat was retained for the Republican party (by Joe Barton).
[edit]United States Senate

In 1984, Gramm was elected as a Republican to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. He defeated Congressman Ron Paul in the primary election and Democratic candidate Lloyd Doggett of Austin in the general election for the right to succeed retiring Republican Senator John G. Tower. Gramm polled 3,116,348 votes (58.5 percent) to Doggett's 2,207,557 (41.5 percent), though Doggett would go on to become a House member later.
Gramm served on the Senate Budget Committee from 1989 until leaving office in 2003. Gramm and Senators Fritz Hollings and Warren Rudman devised a means of cutting the budget through indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts if deficit-reduction targets were not met. They were successful in making the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act law, but portions were ruled unconstitutional and other sections have largely been superseded by other budget-controlling mechanisms. Later in his Senate career, Gramm spearheaded efforts to pass banking reform laws, including the landmark Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which modernized Depression-era laws separating banking, insurance and brokerage activities. Between 1995 and 2000 Gramm, who was the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, received $1,000,914 in campaign contributions from the Securities & Investment industry.[2]
In 1990 Gramm made a failed effort to amend the Iraq International Law Compliance Act of 1990. This amendment prohibited the US from selling arms or extending any sort of financial assistance to Iraq unless the President could prove Iraq was in “substantial compliance” with the provisions of a number of human rights conventions, including the genocide convention. After reading the D’Amato Amendment, Gramm introduced his own amendment which would counter the human rights sanctions in the D’Amato Amendment. Gramm’s amendment allowed the Bush administration to waive the terms of the bill if it found that sanctions against Iraq hurt US businesses and farms more than they hurt Iraq. [3] In the end the bill passed the senate without Gramm's amendment only a week before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
Gramm won his second term in 1990 with an easy victory over Democratic State Senator (and former Fort Worth Mayor) Hugh Parmer, even as fellow Republican Clayton Williams was narrowly losing the governorship to Ann Richards.
As a senator, Gramm often called for reductions in taxes and government spending. He employed his "Dicky Flatt Test" to determine if federal programs were worthwhile (Richard "Dicky" Flatt owns a family run printing business started by his father and mother in Mexia, Texas, and is a longtime Gramm supporter). In Gramm's eyes, Flatt embodied the travails that a typical Texas independent small businessman faced in the realm of taxation and government spending. And Flatt agrees with many of the political opinions of Gramm on less taxation and less government.
Gramm ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Party nomination in the 1996 presidential election. Although he began the race with a full warchest (and tied for first place with Dole in the 1995 "non-binding" Iowa Straw Poll), it is generally agreed that Gramm ran a poor campaign in the Republican primary. He finished a dismal 5th in Iowa's caucuses and withdrew from the contest on the Sunday before the New Hampshire primary to support senatorial colleague Robert J. Dole of Kansas. Gramm, a proponent of free trade, also lashed out at temporary Republican frontrunner Patrick J. Buchanan, whom he mocked in derision as a "protectionist."
After exiting the presidential race, Gramm defeated school teacher Victor Morales of Dallas in November 1996 to win his third and final term in the Senate. Morales ran a low-budget campaign in an effort to make contact with the Democratic grass roots.
Gramm was one of five co-sponsors of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000[4]. One provision of the bill was referred to as the "Enron loophole" because Gramm drafted it in cooperation with lobbyists for Enron Corporation. Critics blame the provision for permitting the Enron scandal to occur.[5] At the time, Gramm's wife was on Enron's board of directors.
In December 2002, Gramm left his Senate seat a few weeks before the expiration of his term so that his successor, fellow Republican John Cornyn, could gain seniority over other newly elected senators, although Cornyn did not gain additional seniority due to a 1980 Rules Committee policy.[6]
[edit]Post-Senate career

Gramm is a vice-chairman of UBS Investment Bank, a financial services company based in Switzerland.
Although there were rumors that Gramm was being considered to be Treasury Secretary in George W. Bush's second term, he was not offered the position. He was also thought to have been in the running for the presidency of Texas A&M University, but the position went to former Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates instead. After the November 8, 2006 nomination and subsequent confirmation of Gates to the position of Secretary of Defense, Gramm was briefly rumored to be a candidate for Texas A&M University presidency, despite statements from university officials that he would not be considered and denials from Gramm himself.
[edit]John McCain presidential campaign, 2008

He was John McCain’s presidential campaign co-chair[7] and his most senior economic adviser[8] from summer 2007[9] to July 18, 2008.[7]
While advising the McCain campaign, Gramm was being paid by UBS to lobby Congress about the U.S. mortgage crisis. During this time, "the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages."[10] According to Politico.com, Gramm had input on McCain's March 26, 2008 policy speech on the mortgage crisis.[10]
In a July 9, 2008 interview explaining McCain's plans in reforming the U.S. economy, Gramm downplayed the idea that the nation was in a recession, stating, "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," and "We have sort of become a nation of whiners, you just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."[11]
Gramm's comments immediately became a campaign issue. McCain's opponent, Senator Barack Obama, said, "America already has one Dr. Phil. We don't need another one when it comes to the economy. ... This economic downturn is not in your head."[12] McCain strongly denounced Gramm's comments.[13] Gramm later attempted to clarify his comment, explaining that he had used the word "whiners" to describe the nation's politicians rather than the public, stating "the whiners are the leaders."[14] In the same interview, Gramm stated, "I'm not going to retract any of it. Every word I said was true."[15]
On July 18, 2008 Gramm stepped down from his position with the McCain campaign.[16]
[edit]Personal

Gramm grew up in Columbus, Georgia. He is married to Dr. Wendy Lee Gramm, a native of Hawaii, who is associated with George Mason University's Mercatus Center in Virginia. They are the parents of two sons, one of whom, Marshall, is a professor of economics at Rhodes College.
[edit]Quotations

"If you are willing to tackle the tough issues, you don’t need to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes; they will stand aside and shove you to the front." — As quoted by former Gramm staffer Wayne A. Abernathy[17] September 12, 2002, before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.[18]
"I have as many guns as I need, but I don't have as many guns as I want."[19]
"Most people don't have the luxury of living to be 80 years old, so it's hard for me to feel sorry for them." - (in response to a statement that a Social Security proposal would hurt people over 80)[20]
"We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness."[11]
[edit]Works

Gramm, William P. "Laissez-Faire and the Optimum Quantity of Money." Economic Inquiry 12 (March 1974): 125-133.
[edit]References

^ Phil Gramm's Porn Stash - Yahoo! News
^ http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/indus.asp?CID=N00005709&cycle=2000
^ Power, Samantha. A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. pp. 236. Basic Books, 2002. ISBN: 0-06-054164-4.
^ Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)
^ Who let the oil market be manipulated? - How the World Works - Salon.com
^ "Senators of the United States" pp. 81. Senate Historical Office.
^ a b John Bentley, "Gramm Steps Down From McCain Campaign", CBS News, 18 July 2008
^ Amity Shlaes, "Phil Gramm Is Right", The Washington Post, 12 July 2008
^ Stein, Sam, "Short On Economic Understanding, McCain Brings Phil Gramm to Meeting", The Huffington Post, 21 January 2008
^ a b McCain guru linked to subprime crisis - Lisa Lerer - Politico.com
^ a b Washington Times - McCain adviser talks of 'mental recession'
^ Associated Press (July 10, 2008), "Obama on Gramm: 'America already has one Dr. Phil'", USA Today
^ Gray, Kathleen (2008-07-11). "McCain rejects claim that Americans are 'whiners'", Detroit Free Press. Retrieved on 2008-07-11.
^ Gramm: We need more leadership, less whining - CNN.com
^ Shear, Michael D. and Weisman, Jonathan (2008-07-11). "Gramm Remark Adds to McCain's Difficulty Addressing the Economy", Washington Post. Retrieved on 2008-07-11.
^ Woellert, Lorraine (2008-07-18). "Gramm Steps Down as McCain Co-Chair After `Whiners' Remark", Bloomberg L.P.. Retrieved on 2008-07-19.
^ U.S. Treasury - Wayne Abernathy - Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions
^ [1]
^ Springfield News-Leader
^ Ivins, Molly (March/April 2002), "The Masters of Mean", Mother Jones
[edit]External links

Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Voting record maintained by The Washington Post
Phil Gramm at the Internet Movie Database
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SHIAT!!! I knew he was a moron and crook, but a pornographer and failed THREE GRADES? Geez, who did he pay off to graduate college? UGH!!!!

Found the following exciting mate congressman (SHIAT AGAIN, HAS ANYONE NOTICED BEFORE ME JUST "NOW" THAT IT'S "CON"gress and "CON"gressman? UGH again!!!

Anyway, go to http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/07/foreclosure-phil.html


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MotherJones.com / News / Feature

Foreclosure Phil
Years before Phil Gramm was a McCain campaign adviser and a lobbyist for a Swiss bank at the center of the housing credit crisis, he pulled a sly maneuver in the Senate that helped create today's subprime meltdown." />

David Corn" />
May 28" /> , 2008" />

Who's to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time? There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm. Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown. Yet has Gramm been banished from the corridors of power? Reviled as the villain who bankrupted Middle America? Hardly. Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters. He's been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win. That's right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy. Talk about a market failure.

Gramm's long been a handmaiden to Big Finance. In the 1990s, as chairman of the Senate banking committee, he routinely turned down Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt's requests for more money to police Wall Street; during this period, the sec's workload shot up 80 percent, but its staff grew only 20 percent. Gramm also opposed an sec rule that would have prohibited accounting firms from getting too close to the companies they audited—at one point, according to Levitt's memoir, he warned the sec chairman that if the commission adopted the rule, its funding would be cut. And in 1999, Gramm pushed through a historic banking deregulation bill that decimated Depression-era firewalls between commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and securities firms—setting off a wave of merger mania.

But Gramm's most cunning coup on behalf of his friends in the financial services industry—friends who gave him millions over his 24-year congressional career—came on December 15, 2000. It was an especially tense time in Washington. Only two days earlier, the Supreme Court had issued its decision on Bush v. Gore. President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress were locked in a budget showdown. It was the perfect moment for a wily senator to game the system. As Congress and the White House were hurriedly hammering out a $384-billion omnibus spending bill, Gramm slipped in a 262-page measure called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Written with the help of financial industry lobbyists and cosponsored by Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the chairman of the agriculture committee, the measure had been considered dead—even by Gramm. Few lawmakers had either the opportunity or inclination to read the version of the bill Gramm inserted. "Nobody in either chamber had any knowledge of what was going on or what was in it," says a congressional aide familiar with the bill's history.

It's not exactly like Gramm hid his handiwork—far from it. The balding and bespectacled Texan strode onto the Senate floor to hail the act's inclusion into the must-pass budget package. But only an expert, or a lobbyist, could have followed what Gramm was saying. The act, he declared, would ensure that neither the sec nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (cftc) got into the business of regulating newfangled financial products called swaps—and would thus "protect financial institutions from overregulation" and "position our financial services industries to be world leaders into the new century."



It didn't quite work out that way. For starters, the legislation contained a provision—lobbied for by Enron, a generous contributor to Gramm—that exempted energy trading from regulatory oversight, allowing Enron to run rampant, wreck the California electricity market, and cost consumers billions before it collapsed. (For Gramm, Enron was a family affair. Eight years earlier, his wife, Wendy Gramm, as cftc chairwoman, had pushed through a rule excluding Enron's energy futures contracts from government oversight. Wendy later joined the Houston-based company's board, and in the following years her Enron salary and stock income brought between $915,000 and $1.8 million into the Gramm household.)

But the Enron loophole was small potatoes compared to the devastation that unregulated swaps would unleash. Credit default swaps are essentially insurance policies covering the losses on securities in the event of a default. Financial institutions buy them to protect themselves if an investment they hold goes south. It's like bookies trading bets, with banks and hedge funds gambling on whether an investment (say, a pile of subprime mortgages bundled into a security) will succeed or fail. Because of the swap-related provisions of Gramm's bill—which were supported by Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury secretary Larry Summers—a $62 trillion market (nearly four times the size of the entire US stock market) remained utterly unregulated, meaning no one made sure the banks and hedge funds had the assets to cover the losses they guaranteed.

In essence, Wall Street's biggest players (which, thanks to Gramm's earlier banking deregulation efforts, now incorporated everything from your checking account to your pension fund) ran a secret casino. "Tens of trillions of dollars of transactions were done in the dark," says University of San Diego law professor Frank Partnoy, an expert on financial markets and derivatives. "No one had a picture of where the risks were flowing." Betting on the risk of any given transaction became more important—and more lucrative—than the transactions themselves, Partnoy notes: "So there was more betting on the riskiest subprime mortgages than there were actual mortgages." Banks and hedge funds, notes Michael Greenberger, who directed the cftc's division of trading and markets in the late 1990s, "were betting the subprimes would pay off and they would not need the capital to support their bets."

These unregulated swaps have been at "the heart of the subprime meltdown," says Greenberger. "I happen to think Gramm did not know what he was doing. I don't think a member in Congress had read the 262-page bill or had thought of the cataclysm it would cause." In 1998, Greenberger's division at the cftc proposed applying regulations to the burgeoning derivatives market. But, he says, "all hell broke loose. The lobbyists for major commercial banks and investment banks and hedge funds went wild. They all wanted to be trading without the government looking over their shoulder."

Now, belatedly, the feds are swooping in—but not to regulate the industry, only to bail it out, as they did in engineering the March takeover of investment banking giant Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase, fearing the firm's collapse could trigger a dominoes-like crash of the entire credit derivatives market.

No one in Washington apologizes for anything, so it's no surprise that Gramm has failed to issue any mea culpa. Post-Enron, says Greenberger, the senator even called him to say, "You're going around saying this was my fault—and it's not my fault. I didn't intend this."

Whether or not Gramm had bothered to ponder the potential downsides of his commodities legislation, having helped set off an industry free-for-all, he reaped the rewards. In 2003, he left the Senate to take a highly lucrative job at ubs, Switzerland's largest bank, which had been able to acquire investment house PaineWebber due to his banking deregulation bill. He would soon be lobbying Congress, the Fed, and the Treasury Department for ubs on banking and mortgage matters. There was a moment of poetic justice when ubs became one of the subprime crisis' top losers, writing down $37 billion as of this spring—an amount equal to its previous four years of profits combined. In a report explaining how it had managed to mess up so grandly, ubs noted that two-thirds of its losses were the fault of collateralized debt obligations—securities backed largely by subprime instruments—and that credit default swaps had been "key to the growth" of its out-of-control cdo business. (Gramm declined to comment for this article.)

Gramm's record as a reckless deregulator has not affected his rating as a Republican economic expert. Sen. John McCain has relied on him for policy advice, especially, according to the campaign, on housing matters. The two have been buddies ever since they served together in the House in the 1980s; in 1996, McCain chaired Gramm's flop of a presidential campaign. (Gramm spent $21 million and earned only 10 delegates during the gop primaries.) In 2005, McCain told a Wall Street Journal columnist that Gramm was his economic guru. Two years later, Gramm wrote a piece for the Journal extolling McCain as a modern-day Abraham Lincoln, and he's hailed McCain's love of tax cuts and free trade. Media accounts have identified Gramm as a contender for the top slot at the Treasury Department if McCain reaches the White House. "If McCain gets in," frets Lynn Turner, a former chief sec accountant, "we'll have more of the same deregulatory mess. I like John McCain, but given what I know about Phil Gramm, I wouldn't vote for McCain."

As a thriving bank exec and presidential adviser, Gramm has defied a prime economic principle: Bad products are driven out of the market. In John McCain, he has gained an important customer, so his stock has gone up in value. And there's no telling when the Gramm bubble will burst.

Subprime 1-2-3

Don't understand credit default swaps? Don't worry—neither does Congress. Herewith, a step-by-step outline of the subprime risk betting game. —Casey Miner

Subprime borrower: Has a few overdue credit card bills; goes to a storefront lender owned by major bank; takes out a $100,000 home-equity loan at 11 percent interest

Lending bank: Assuming housing prices will only go up, and that investors will want to buy mortgage loan packages, makes as many subprime loans as it can

Investment bank: Packages subprime mortgages into bundles called collateralized debt obligations, or cdos, then sells those cdos to eager investors. Goes to insurer to get protection for those investors, thus passing the default risk to the insurer through a "credit default swap."

Insurer: Thinking that default risk is low, agrees to cover more money than it can pay out, in exchange for a premium

Rating agency: On basis of original quality of loans and insurance policy they are "wrapped" in, issues a rating signaling certain slices of the cdo are low risk (aaa), medium risk (bbb), or high risk (ccc)

Investor: Borrows more money from investment bank to load up on cdo slices; makes money from interest payments made to the "pool" of loans. No one loses—as long as no one tries to cash in on the insurance.
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April

Quote:

In a July 9, 2008 interview explaining McCain's plans in reforming the U.S. economy, Gramm downplayed the idea that the nation was in a recession, stating, "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," and "We have sort of become a nation of whiners, you just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."



I just about threw up when I heard that comment. 
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With McCains other top advisers being lobbyists from Ameriquest found guilty of defrauding 750,000 borrowers by 49 A.G.'s he's either the worlds dumbest honest politician or another crook acting too disoriented and uneducated to know what he is doing. I thought the politicians and CEO's usually claimed to be geniuses with all the answers and pretended to be stupid and forgetful after they got caught?

Phil Gramm didn't loot the country single handedly though he's certainly one of the biggest players the Clinton's pushed for the repaeal of the Glass-Stegal act which provided protection from Wall street, the banks, and insurance companies from pooling interests to create a specualtive boom and market runup followed by a bust created by contraction of credit resulting in massive foreclosures and business failures creating opportunities for buying up tons of cheap property and businesses. Remeber the Clinton's pushed for Nafta as well which provided an avenue for the looted assets and for companies to transfer to. we had bipartisan cooperation in the sell-out of our country.

Heres Hillary's top donor list

1              Citigroup Inc              $635,110

2             Goldman Sachs             $631,790

3          Morgan Stanley             $476,510

4          DLA Piper             $445,220

5          Time Warner             $348,840

6          JP Morgan Chase & Co             $347,425

7             Skadden, Arps et al             $314,140

8          Kirkland & Ellis             $291,850

9             Cablevision Systems             $276,763

10        EMILY's List             $266,127

11        Credit Suisse Group             $262,900

12        National Amusements Inc             $261,510

13        Corning Inc             $251,250

14        Ernst & Young             $239,350

15        Patton Boggs             $220,038

16             Greenberg Traurig LLP             $218,900

17        Lehman Brothers             $209,490

18        Bear Stearns             $208,735

18        Merrill Lynch             $208,735

20              News Corp

 

http://www.opensecrets.org/



http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/03/31/john-mccains-top-advisers-lobbyists-for-ameriquest-mortgage/

John McCain’s Top Advisers Lobbyists For Ameriquest Mortgage
By: Nicole Belle on Monday, March 31st, 2008 at 2:00 PM - PDT 

  It’s all about the company you keep (h/t KL):

    When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation’s burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was time for a little “straight talk.”

    “I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,” the GOP presidential hopeful insisted while unveiling his plan, which many have since described as friendlier to the mortgage industry than the Democrats’ proposals.

    What McCain did not say - which some believe smacks of politics - is that two of his top advisers were recently lobbyists for a notorious lender in the mortgage meltdown.

    John Green, the senator’s chief liaison to Congress, and Wayne Berman, his national finance co-chairman, billed more than $720,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 through last year to Ameriquest Mortgage through their lobbying firm, disclosure forms reviewed by the Daily News show.

    Ameriquest, which since has been bought out, was forced to settle suits with 49 states for $325 million. More than 13,680 New York homeowners got taken for a ride by the company, records show.

    “They would be defined as the most blatant and aggressive predatory lenders out of everybody,” said Bruce Marks, head of the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

But will the media bother to confront McCain about this derailing from his “straight talk” against special interests and lobbyists?  Nah, I don’t think they will either.

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