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Motzilla's Fannie
Published: June 10, 2008

Republican National Committee: [Obama]Obama's Disgraceful Duo


VP Search Team Reflects Candidate's Affinity for Sweetheart Deals

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Republican National Committee:

(LOGO: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/RNCLOGO)

Eric Holder Was Involved In Sweetheart Deal Which Granted Fugitive Marc Rich A Controversial Pardon From Outgoing President Bill Clinton:

"As Deputy Attorney General, Holder Was The Key Person Who Made The Pardon Of Marc Rich Possible In The Final Hours Of The Clinton Presidency."(Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

Rich Was Under Charges Of Wire Fraud, Tax Fraud, And Illegal Trading With Iran. "[M]arc Rich, the fugitive billionaire who renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved toSwitzerland to avoid prosecution for racketeering, wire fraud, 51 counts of tax fraud, evading $48 million in taxes, and engaging in illegal trades withIran in violation of the U.S. embargo following the 1979-80 hostage crisis."(Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

To Obtain A Pardon, Rich Retained Former White House Counsel Jack Quinn, Who Circumvented Formal Pardon Application Procedures. "[R]ich wanted a pardon and he retained Jack Quinn, former counsel to the president, to lobby his old boss. ... From the start, the Rich lawyers ignored the government's established rules for pardon applications. Instead of making a formal application to the Office of Pardons in the Justice Department, Quinn sent the application directly to the White House in late December of 2007." (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

Documents Emerged Which Indicated That Holder Had Recommended Quinn, And "Gave Substantive Advice To Quinn Along The Way." "Two days later, documents in support of the pardon were sent by Jack Quinn to Eric Holder. It was Holder who had originally recommended Quinn to one of Rich's advisers, although he claims that he did not know the identity of the client. And he gave substantive advice to Quinn along the way. According to Quinn's notes that were produced to Congress, Holder told Quinn to take the pardon application 'straight to the White House' because 'the timing is good.' ... When Holder received the Rich materials, he did no independent research to determine their veracity and appears to have barely reviewed them."(Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

    --  Holder Conducted No Independent Research To Scrutinize Quinn's        Request On Behalf Of Rich. "When Holder received the Rich        materials, he did no independent research to determine their veracity        and appears to have barely reviewed them. ... [H]e never took the time        to check anything and simply told the White House that he was        'neutral to positive' on the pardons."(Dick Morris and        Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New        York Post, 6/5/08)

    --  "Neither Clinton Nor Holder Ever Consulted With The Pardon        Attorney."(Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's        VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

"Officials At The U.S. Attorney's Office In New York Were Understandably Infuriated When They Learned About The Pardon And Accused Rich Of Deliberating Bypassing Their Office."(Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

"In 2002, A Congressional Committee Reported That Holder Was A 'Willing Participant In The Plan To Keep The Justice Department From Knowing About And Opposing' The Rich Pardon."(Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, "Obama's VP Search Mistake," New York Post, 6/5/08)

Jim Johnson, A Former CEO Of Fannie Mae And Top Obama Campaign Adviser, Received Special Loans From Countrywide:

Jim Johnson, A Former CEO Of Fannie Mae Chosen To Lead Obama's Vice Presidential Search Committee, Received Special Loans From Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo. "Countrywide Financial Corp. makes mortgage loans through a vast network of offices, brokers and call centers. But a few customers have gotten their loans a special way: through Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo. These borrowers, known internally as 'friends of Angelo' or FoA, include two former CEOs of Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of Countrywide's mortgages, say people familiar with the matter. One was James Johnson, a longtime Democratic Party power and an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, who this past week was named to a panel that is vetting running-mate possibilities for the presumed nominee." (Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, "Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans," The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/08)

    --  While CEO Of Fannie Mae, Johnson And Mozilo Worked Closely And        Maintained A "Close Friendship." "From 1991 to 1998, Mr.        Johnson served as CEO of the Federal National Mortgage Association, also        known as Fannie Mae, which worked closely with Countrywide, one of the        nation's leading lenders and loan servicing companies. In 1996, Mr.        Johnson named Mr. Mozilo as chairman of Fannie Mae's national        advisory council. A 1999 article in the American Banker said the two men        had a 'close friendship.'" (Josh Gerstein, "Top        Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime Lender," The New York Sun,        6/9/08)

"Property Records Show Mr. Johnson Has Received More Than $7 Million In Loans From Countrywide Since 1998, The First Coming In The Waning Days Of His Fannie Mae Tenure."(Glenn R. Simpson and James R. Hagerty, "Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans," The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/08)

    --  At Least Two Of The Mortgages Were At Rates "Below Market        Averages." "The Journal said at least two of the mortgages,        among a series of loans made available to people Countrywide officials        called 'friends of Angelo,' were at rates below market        averages, though it is difficult to predict a market rate without access        to nonpublic information about a borrower's credit history and        other factors that can reduce interest charges on a loan." (Josh        Gerstein, "Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime        Lender," The New York Sun, 6/9/08)                                              Hidden List

As Recently As 2003, Johnson Has Praised Mozilo's Leadership Of Fannie Mae, Calling It "Remarkably Impressive." "Since leaving Fannie Mae, Mr. Johnson has lavished praise on Mr. Mozilo's performance, calling it 'remarkably impressive ' in a 2003 interview with Business Week. 'By strengthening servicing in good times, Countrywide has done a brilliant job of insulating itself for the down cycle,' Mr. Johnson told Fortune in 2003." (Josh Gerstein, "Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To Subprime Lender," TheNew York Sun, 6/9/08)

    --  NOTE: "In Recent Months, The Job Has Been Looking Less Than        Brilliant, As Countrywide Reported Billions In Losses, Much Of It From        So-Called Subprime Loans Made To Borrowers Unqualified For Typical        Loans." (Josh Gerstein, "Top Talent Scout For Obama Tied To        Subprime Lender," The New York Sun, 6/9/08)                                              Hidden List

NOTE: Johnson Is Also A Bundler For Obama's Presidential Campaign And Has Committed To Raising $100,000 To $200,000. (Obama For America Website, http://www.barackobama.com, Accessed 5/19/08)

FLASHBACK: Obama's Campaign Attacked Sen. Clinton's Campaign For Its Countrywide Ties:

Obama Senior Campaign Strategist David Axelrod Criticized Sen. Clinton For Employing Mark Penn, Whose Firm Once Represented Countrywide. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann: "Senator Clinton not stopping to hear a reporter's question about Mark Penn, let alone answer it, leading Penn's counterpart in the Obama campaign to fill in the vacuum about Penn's non-departure departure this morning on MSNBC." David Axelrod: "She's stuck with him through the revelation that his firm was working for Blackwater and working for Countrywide, and, you know, so, it's kind of stunning. Remember that the embassy said they weren't sure whether he was there as a representative of his firm or a representative of Senator Clinton. I mean, I think there are issues associated with this. I'm not - you can use the word hypocrisy, but there are certainly questions that arise from this." (MSNBC's "Countdown," 4/7/08)

    --  Watch David Axelrod Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIJQUgH11M0_)

    --  Axelrod:                                              Hidden List                                               "Penn's Business Dealings Have        Always Been An Issue." "Last week, she turned her fire on a        huge proposed pay-out to the founder of Countrywide Financial, the        mortgage company at the centre of the storm. Yet two months ago,        Countrywide turned for temporary help with its tattered image to the        public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, whose president is Mr. Penn....        Mrs. Clinton's criticism of lenders also raised fresh questions        over the role of Mr. Penn. Mr. Obama's chief strategist, David        Axelrod, said: 'Penn's business dealings have always been an        issue. The Clinton campaign is clearly not too worried who its chief        strategist does business with.' Burson-Marsteller said it was no        longer working with Countrywide and that Mr. Penn did not have a        hands-on role with many of its 2,000 clients." (Philip Sherwell,        "Clintons' Pain And Gain In Housing Crisis," The Sunday        Telegraph, 1/20/08)

    --  The Obama Campaign Criticized Sen. Clinton For Accepting Contributions        From Representatives Of Countrywide. "Obama aides also said Clinton        is in no position to stiffen oversight after taking contributions from        mortgage industry lobbyists, including funds from representatives of        Countrywide, which has been at the center of the mortgage meltdown.        'If we're really going to crack down on the practices that        caused the credit and housing crises, we're going to need a leader        who doesn't owe these industries any favors,' campaign manager        David Plouffe said." (Anne  E. Kornblut, "Clinton Unveils Plan        To Ease Housing Crisis," The Washington Post, 3/25/08)

NOTE: Both Johnson And Holder Also Have Ties To Lobbying Efforts:

Johnson Devised A Strategy To Lobby D.C. Politicians So That Fannie Mae Would Not Have To Pay Local Taxes. "Last summer, D.C. Councilman Bill Lightfoot discovered a simple solution to the District's financial crisis: eliminate a $300-million-a-year tax break for the city's most profitable company, Fannie Mae. 'I believe Fannie Mae ought to pay local taxes,' Lightfoot said. 'It practically solves the city's financial crisis in one year. There is no public policy reason to exempt them. It is not fair.' Inside Fannie Mae's sprawling Wisconsin Avenue headquarters, Lightfoot's proposal set off alarms. A team of executives led by chief executive Jim Johnson and Vice Chairman Frank Raines gathered around the firm's 34-foot-long boardroom table to decide how to respond. They devised a bold strategy: Use the company's considerable resources and political clout to prevent Lightfoot's proposal from being voted on or publicly debated by council members, whom they feared would support the tax if it got on the agenda. 'The task was to keep it from ever seeing the light of day,' said Frederick D. Cooke Jr., one of the highly regarded lobbyists Fannie Mae hired to quash the proposal. 'What we didn't want to do was have a big public debate about this.'" (David A. Vise, "Fannie Mae Lobbies Hard To Protect Its Tax Break," The Washington Post, 1/16/95)

    --  "In Addition To Enlisting The Lobbying Help Of The Local Charitable        Groups It Supported, Fannie Mae Hired A Team Of Top Lobbyists To        Persuade D.C. Politicians To Drop The Tax Proposal Without A Vote."        (David A. Vise, "Fannie Mae Lobbies Hard To Protect Its Tax        Break," The Washington Post, 1/16/95)

In 1998, Johnson, Then-CEO Of Fannie Mae, Hosted The Opening Ceremony Of A Lobbying Office In Oklahoma. "The concern is whether such efforts were made to bolster Fannie's business more than to advance philanthropic goals. Critics say the foundation helped to reinforce ties with various congressional groups forged by Fannie's in-house lobbyists. At times the two seemed indistinguishable: They often sponsored events in tandem. Both were big donors to the CBCF's annual awards gala in 2003 and a similar black-tie event for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in 2002. In 1998, then-CEO Jim Johnson hosted the opening ceremony of a lobbying and public relations office inOklahoma, an event attended by formerOklahoma Governor Frank Keating and then-Senator Don Nickles (R-Okla.). But wearing his other hat as the foundation's chairman, Johnson also took the opportunity to announce $125,000 worth of grants to local charities." (Dawn Kopecki, "Philanthropy, Fannie Mae Style," Business Week, 4/2/07)

As Recently As 2004, Eric Holder Was A Registered Federal Lobbyist With Covington & Burling LLP. (U.S. Senate Office Of Public Records Website, sopr.senate.gov, Accessed 6/9/08)

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SOURCE Republican National Committee

Republican National Committee: [Obama]Obama's Disgraceful Duo

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GET A GRIP AND GET A LIFE!!!

ENOUGH ALREADY!!
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