LA Times: Dodd’s Countrywide VIP Loans Helped Drive Him Out Of Office
Which sort of makes a person think that Senator Kent Conrad, who also got VIP-loans from Countrywide, should feel lucky that he’s got two more years for that scandal to be forgotten before he has to run for re-election.
The biggest controversy — though the one that concerns us the least — involves a provision that he inserted into the stimulus bill last year capping the compensation of executives at companies receiving taxpayer money. At the behest of Obama administration officials, Dodd modified his amendment to exclude bonuses from contracts that were signed before passage of the legislation. That allowed financial services company American International Group to dole out $165 million in bonuses to executives in a division that had played a central role in the banking system’s collapse. Dodd became a focus for national outrage as a result, yet if he hadn’t modified the amendment, the bill probably would have been unconstitutional.
Far more troubling was Dodd’s relationship with mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, which appears to have given him a sweetheart deal on a pair of loans under a VIP program called “Friends of Angelo,” named for former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. Though Dodd was cleared of wrongdoing by the Senate Ethics Committee, he should have known better than to accept special terms from a company whose regulation he oversaw.
Of course, Dodd was held accountable by local media outlets in his home state which went after his sweetheart arrangements with Countrywide with good, old-fashioned investigative journalism.
Here in North Dakota our “reporters” were content to write a couple of editorials then largely let Conrad off the hook.
Though Conrad is no less guilty than Dodd in that scandal.