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The former Countrywide Financial showered preferential VIP loans on politicians, lobbyists, bureaucrats and others who could wield influence on behalf of the company, according to report released this week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by North County Republican Darrell Issa. (Issa himself, one of the richest members of Congress, has been hit by ethics allegations, complaining that he used his influence to further his North County business interests.) Names of the recipients of the VIP loans have been known for some time, including former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D.-Conn), Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), and former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA). Those who got the VIP loans have stated they were not aware they were getting special treatment.

Most disturbing were loans to government-sponsored mortgage enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Former Fannie Mae chief executive James Johnson, a well-known Democrat, received more than $10 million in VIP loans.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 July 5, 2012 @ 12:12 p.m.

Our Crony Capitalism at work...and why we are BK as a nation

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Don Bauder July 5, 2012 @ 7 p.m.

Yes, and the CEO of Countrywide got off the hook. Best, Don Bauder

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rmj July 5, 2012 @ 12:36 p.m.

Have not seen many reports of the link between Kathleen Brown (Governor Jerry Brown's sister - Jerry Brown was then the California Atty. General), who quietly resigned from Countywide's board in 2007. Did she profit from her relationship with Countrywide? At one point (prior to her resigning from the Board), the Atty. General's office decided against investigating Countrywide's practises....

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Don Bauder July 5, 2012 @ 7:02 p.m.

Thanks for telling me. I didn't know about that. Worth looking into. But again, if the Countrywide CEO got off the hook, as he did, board members would seem to be in the clear. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 6, 2012 @ 11:23 a.m.

ISSA RAKED IN $15 MILLION LAST YEAR. The publication Politico says Darrell Issa made $15 million last year from investments, according to a financial disclosure filed with the House of Representatives this week. Issa has a net worth of $215 million, slightly less than the $220 million of the previous year. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell July 6, 2012 @ 3:31 p.m.

I have a queasy feeling about Darrell Issa. I'd feel a lot better if he voluntarily submitted his DNA to law enforcement for testing and comparison against the law enforcement database of unsolved crimes.

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Don Bauder July 6, 2012 @ 6:55 p.m.

The New Yorker did a long piece on Issa's dubious activities, including getting government funds that would enhance his North County investments. I wrote a blog item on the New Yorker piece and have written on other stories written about Issa. Best, Don Bauder

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