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Why the Bush Administration ‘Watergated’ Eliot Spitzer [View All]

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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:34 AM
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Why the Bush Administration ‘Watergated’ Eliot Spitzer
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Sources:
Truthout, February 2008
Title: “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime”

Student Researchers: Rob Hunter, Elizabeth Rathbun, and Rebecca Newsome

Faculty Evaluator: Mickey S. Huff, MA

The exposure of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s tryst with a luxury call girl had little to do with the Bush administration’s high moral standards for public servants. Author F. William Engdahl advises that, “in evaluating spectacular scandals around prominent public figures, it is important to ask what and who might want to eliminate that person.” Timing suggests that Spitzer was likely a target of a White House and Wall Street operation to silence one of its most dangerous and vocal critics of their handling of the current financial market crisis.

Spitzer had become increasingly public in blaming the Bush administration for the subprime crisis. He testified in mid-February before the US House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee and later that day, in a national CNBC interview, laid blame squarely on the administration for creating an environment ripe for predatory lenders.

On February 14, the Washington Post published an editorial by Spitzer titled, “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers,” which charged, “Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.”

In this editorial, Spitzer explained:

The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.”

The editorial appeared the day after Spitzer’s ill-fated rendezvous with the prostitute at the Mayflower Hotel. With that article, some Washington insiders believe, Spitzer signed his own political death warrant.

On March 4, 2008, Spitzer furthermore proposed legislation that would have imposed penalties for mortgage fraud and predatory lending.1

Curiously, Spitzer, who had been elected governor in 2006, defeating a Republican by winning nearly 70 percent of the vote, has been not charged with any crime. His case went into the hands of Washington and not those of New York State authorities, underscoring the clear political nature of Spitzer’s “offense.” New York Assembly Republicans immediately announced plans to impeach Spitzer or put him on public trial if he were to refuse resignation. Although prostitution is illegal in most US states, clients of prostitutes are almost never charged, nor are their names typically released while a case is in process.

Spitzer’s editorial concluded, “When history tells the story of the sub-prime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably . . . it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. The administration was so willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.”
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  -Why the Bush Administration ‘Watergated’ Eliot Spitzer ElsewheresDaughter  Sep-23-09 03:34 AM   #0 
  - all that matters is did he pay and did he lay  vadawg   Sep-23-09 04:03 AM   #1 
  - that's missing the point entirely  unblock   Sep-23-09 06:37 AM   #3 
  - Why isn't * in Prison?!? why..... why..... why?  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-23-09 07:01 AM   #5 
  - Spitzer was lucky nothing else happened to him  Rosa Luxemburg   Sep-23-09 07:24 AM   #7 
  - even if that happened, it would be small consolation  unblock   Sep-23-09 08:32 AM   #13 
  - Barack Obama and A.G. Holder... There's no lack of evidence (n/t)  ProudDad   Sep-24-09 12:39 AM   #50 
  - and easy to forget that when Kerry was uncovering BCCI, thugs tried to plant COCAINE in his offices  blm   Sep-23-09 10:06 AM   #18 
  - Wow, I didn't know that.  Jackpine Radical   Sep-23-09 12:12 PM   #25 
  - I didn't know that . . .!!!  defendandprotect   Sep-24-09 01:43 AM   #55 
  - Really? What about  dotymed   Sep-23-09 12:13 PM   #26 
  - that's just it. whether or not a scandal is exposed, or whether or not it ends a career,  unblock   Sep-23-09 12:44 PM   #29 
  - Then why Is Sanford still governor of South Carolina?  JDPriestly   Sep-23-09 02:57 PM   #35 
     - again that's the point. scandals only matter if the powers that be want them to.  unblock   Sep-23-09 07:00 PM   #44 
     - As long as we have monopoly-corporate press serving the right wing, that's true .. .  defendandprotect   Sep-24-09 01:44 AM   #56 
     - Vitter's Predecessor  Selena Harris   Sep-24-09 01:59 AM   #58 
  - I contend your perception of what matters could do with a little scrutiny.  jotsy   Sep-23-09 09:31 AM   #14 
  - Eloquent. Seconded.  Jackpine Radical   Sep-23-09 12:13 PM   #27 
  - GOP worked for decades to overturn New Deal restrictions, regulations, laws . . .  defendandprotect   Sep-24-09 01:46 AM   #57 
  - Let the clucking, pearl clutching, goody two shoe pirouetting begin.  ooglymoogly   Sep-23-09 12:32 PM   #28 
  - + 1 for this:  damonm   Sep-23-09 01:21 PM   #34 
  - I'd appreciate you editing your post to leave the pearls out of it!  amandabeech   Sep-28-09 12:24 AM   #70 
  - I could have SWORN you advocated letting the little fish go to catch the big fish!  ret5hd   Sep-23-09 03:56 PM   #41 
  - I don't give a f*ck what he did on his own time!  ProudDad   Sep-24-09 12:38 AM   #49 
  - That matters to whom . . . ??? Certainly not to me . . .  defendandprotect   Sep-24-09 01:38 AM   #53 
  - "He did not have Republicon Family Values. Smirk." - Sen. Diaper Dave Vitter (R)  SpiralHawk   Sep-23-09 04:23 AM   #2 
  - K&R  Ivan the So-So   Sep-23-09 06:50 AM   #4 
  - I disagree  HamdenRice   Sep-23-09 07:18 AM   #6 
  - Fuck Spitzer  CBGLuthier   Sep-23-09 07:25 AM   #8 
  - We'd be even better off without you.  Jim Sagle   Sep-23-09 12:50 PM   #30 
  - +one on that.  ooglymoogly   Sep-23-09 03:08 PM   #38 
  - What the hell is wrong with tearing off some high-class ass??? (n/t)  ProudDad   Sep-24-09 12:40 AM   #51 
     - Hurts your family very badly when found out. n/t  amandabeech   Sep-28-09 12:25 AM   #71 
  - He got caught with some hookers, he made his own bed.  tritsofme   Sep-23-09 07:35 AM   #9 
  - And never has there ever been nor will there ever be  ooglymoogly   Sep-23-09 03:21 PM   #39 
     - that should read "thou"  ooglymoogly   Sep-28-09 11:25 AM   #74 
  - Yup the Bush administration made him an incompetent  whistler162   Sep-23-09 07:36 AM   #10 
  - fucking Paterson did the same thing but much worse, at least Spitzer used his own money......  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-23-09 08:20 AM   #11 
  - Actually Paterson and his wife had affairs.....  whistler162   Sep-24-09 06:28 AM   #59 
  - +1  invictus   Sep-23-09 10:27 AM   #21 
  - Do we want our married governors sleeping with prostitutes?  rmp yellow   Sep-23-09 08:25 AM   #12 
  - I personally don't give a shit about a politician's love life  tabbycat31   Sep-23-09 09:34 AM   #15 
  - i do care about elected politicians not violating the law  onenote   Sep-23-09 03:00 PM   #37 
  - I could care less who they sleep with as long as it isn't a child.  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-23-09 09:46 AM   #16 
  - Problem is, 70% of NY'ers wanted Spitzer to resign in the wake of the incident  rmp yellow   Sep-23-09 11:27 AM   #24 
     - I don't believe that poll for a second  uponit7771   Sep-23-09 09:00 PM   #48 
  - Do we want the president on the side of predatory lenders?  quiet.american   Sep-23-09 01:12 PM   #33 
  - Don't care, I aint sleepin with em that's for sure  uponit7771   Sep-23-09 02:59 PM   #36 
  - Who the Hell cares?  ProudDad   Sep-24-09 12:42 AM   #52 
  - What really sickened me about Spitzer.....  Czar One   Sep-23-09 09:59 AM   #17 
  - Oh you...  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-23-09 10:24 AM   #20 
  - Well that, and the fact that he was banging a high-priced hooker...  truebrit71   Sep-23-09 10:09 AM   #19 
  - K&R /eom  Overseas   Sep-23-09 10:39 AM   #22 
  - Blame shifting nonsense.  CalvinandHobbes   Sep-23-09 10:57 AM   #23 
  - Bush admin never did properly explain why they were wiretapping Spitzer.  quiet.american   Sep-23-09 01:08 PM   #31 
  - Interesting:  Ivan the So-So   Sep-23-09 05:09 PM   #42 
  - Hiya Cyn!!  Pharaoh   Sep-23-09 01:11 PM   #32 
  - Hey Cupcake!!!  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-23-09 06:20 PM   #43 
  - They had to take him out before crashing the stock market last year  iceman66   Sep-23-09 03:27 PM   #40 
  - Spitzer was fighting to expose real crimes and stepped on some really big  MasonJar   Sep-23-09 07:55 PM   #45 
  - ^^^A BUCKET OF TRUTH ^^^ there  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-23-09 08:42 PM   #46 
  - ****EXACTLY!!!!***** I could care LESS who Spitzer was doing in his private life.  uponit7771   Sep-23-09 09:00 PM   #47 
  - Spitzer had organized the governors to try to stop this predatory lending . . .  defendandprotect   Sep-24-09 01:42 AM   #54 
  - agree  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-24-09 05:10 PM   #61 
  - Thanks for this reminder of Spitzer's forthright attempt to  Overseas   Sep-26-09 11:22 AM   #65 
  - yup...and sadly this is what set the evil * cabal into actions against him.  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-26-09 05:14 PM   #66 
  - How come this isn't on the front page?  Czar One   Sep-24-09 07:21 AM   #60 
  - Same reason the story about UFOs landing in  whistler162   Sep-26-09 06:38 PM   #67 
     - Are you equating this with a tinfoiler?  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-26-09 07:06 PM   #68 
        - Well my position in Alcoa has certainly risen in value!  whistler162   Sep-28-09 06:32 AM   #72 
  - Wall St and the bankers who backed bush and wanted no regulation were  BrklynLiberal   Sep-24-09 11:39 PM   #62 
  - I had not seen this article previously. The  joeycola   Sep-26-09 06:03 AM   #63 
  - At Least They Let Him Live  Dinger   Sep-26-09 07:41 AM   #64 
  - A kick for the "Appalled One"  ElsewheresDaughter   Sep-27-09 07:32 PM   #69 
  - Spitzer deserves a second chance.  Gwereeya   Sep-28-09 10:38 AM   #73 
 

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