Sunday, July 20, 2008

About Those Loans Senator

US Sen. Chris Dodd, Kevin Rennie finds, is still dodging on his loans: “I took the Dodd challenge, and the senator won't like the result. Several days after news broke last month that Sen. Christopher J. Dodd and his wife received significantly reduced interest rates on more than $800,000 in mortgages from Countrywide Financial, Dodd taunted reporters to look at the rates. He claimed he got a deal available to any other borrower. He was wrong.”

The average rates at the time Dodd secured is jumbo loan from Countrywide was about 5 percent; the Dodds got a 4.5 percent loan from the troubled lender. “The 2003 loan on his D.C. property, purchased a few years before from his old friend, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, was for $506,000. That's a jumbo,' more than the maximum of a conventional loan, and records on those interest rates aren't widely available.”

“The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee could get the information if he thought it would confirm his loud claim that it's outrageous to think he got special treatment from Countrywide,” Rennie noted. “Though he said he'd release documents associated with the transactions to the public ‘at some point,’ Dodd continues to refuse to let his constituents see the secret details of two deals that will save him more than $70,000 over the life of the loans.”

At least one reader of the Courant tendered kudos to Rennie but wondered why the story had not been vigorously pursued by the paper.

UNCLE SAM IS BACK from North Oxford, MA wrote: “Kevin, thank you. Someone at the H.C. investigated this. QUESTION this is the hottest story around why would YOUR paper not investigate this? It has everything local and fed angles, huge bailout of the banks PLUS the angle that Milt mentioned that Fannie and Freddie have since 1989 made Sen. Dodd their NUMBER ONE contributor of campaign funds! AND NO STORY FORM (SIC) COLIN M. AND THE REST OF THE PAPER. WHY?”

Sadly true; the meager posts on Dodd’s receipt of favors from the financial industry he oversees as the powerful chairman of the banking committee do not compare to the avalanche of investigative reports and the celestial downpour of commentary and tis-tissing that swamped the Rowland administration after reporters had discovered the former governor had a hot-tub installed at his lakeside cabin by his favorite contractor. Compared to the funding Dodd has received from the financial community he regulates and the taxpayer money he is prepared to send off to the pecculators to bail them out of their idiocies, Rowland’s affair involved chump change.

But all this has left the reporting community yawning and snoring. And they wonder way no one reads their propaganda. Sad, very sad.

The absence of stories and commentary in the paper suggests that the story already has been sent to the morgue. It's enough to make you want to spank Fanny Mae's fanny -- and Dodd's too.

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