Monday, March 02, 2009

To Republicans Still In Office We're All Losers


Rep. Mike Castle could lose his seat over mortgage crisis

I know that there aren't very many people who watch CNN, Fox and C-Span, so even though all 3 cable networks carried Rush Limbaugh's keynote speech at CPAC Saturday (commercial free, as though he were something other than a Hate Talk Radio clown), unfortunately it wasn't as widely viewed as it would need to be for it to drive another nail into the Republican Party's coffin. On the other hand something that just may drive a spike into the corpse's heart is the vote this week that the House will take on H.R. 1106, the mortgage relief bill, that pits the ever-popular banksters and their lobbyists against folks who are in danger of losing their homes, primarily due to institutionalized lender malfeasance.

This weekend Kagro X took a data projection of home foreclosures created by the Center for Responsible Lending that broke down estimated foreclosures by congressional district and examined who represents each district. Almost all the most heavily foreclosed upon districts are represented by a Republican congressman. And almost all of those congressmen are opposed to H.R. 1106, agreeing, in essence, with Koch shill Rick Santelli that the families who are being forced out of their homes are "losers" and don't deserve any help. I'm sure there are some solidly red districts where this kind of selfish posturing makes complete sense-- but not all of them.

The congressional district with the most foreclosures, OK-01 (Tulsa) is solidly red and happy enough with its uber-reactionary congressman, John Sullivan. Obama only won 36% of the district's vote in November (while Sullivan was re-elected with a hearty 66%). If the bill passes and court-modified terms of loans go into effect, it is estimated that 5,595 of Sullivan's constituents' homes will be saved. My guess is that Sullivan wouldn't change his vote even if all 56,651 homes that are projected to be foreclosed on in the next 4 years could be saved. Republicans bail out banksters and corporate campaign contributors, not their constituents and not average working families. His constituents don't care. Others just may.

Mike Castle (R-DE) wanted to vote for the Stimulus Bill but party discipline prevented him from doing so. I am fairly certain he'd like to vote for H.R. 1106 too and that he will unless Boehner and Cantor force him not to. For Castle it could be political suicide. He's very popular in Delaware but it's a Democratic state (PVI is D+7) and Obama won a 62% landslide over McCain just 4 months ago. The state (which is also his district) will have 12,457 foreclosures in 2009 (and 41,473 over the next 4 years). The legislation would save over 4,000 families from foreclosure this year. What complicates this further for Castle is that he is mulling over a Senate run.

Other Republican incumbents who could be vulnerable if they vote against their constituents and for the banksters are Dan Lungren (CA-03), an extremist who was nearly defeated in November in an increasingly purple district (Obama tied McCain there); freshman Tom Rooney (FL-16) who will be facing a real Democrat in 2010, Dave Lutrin, and where over 10,000 families are facing eviction in 2009 and over 34,000 over the next 4 years; Mike Rogers (MI-08); Henry Brown (SC-01); Buck McKeon (CA-25): David Dreier (CA-26); Ken Calvert (CA-44); Mary Bono-Mack (CA-45); Brian Bilbray (CA-50); Bill Young (FL-10); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), who I think will be too scared to vote "no," in a district with a projection of over 22,000 foreclosures in the next 4 years-- and where Obama beat McCain; Tom Latham (IA-04); Ahn Cao (LA-02), a district where Obama took 74% of the vote and where another 2,000 families are looking at eviction this year; Vernon Ehlers (MI-03); Fred Upton (MI-06); Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11); Erik Paulsen (MN-03); Michele Bachmann (MN-06); Lee Terry (NE-02); Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02); Leonard Lance (NJ-07); Dean Heller (NV-02); Pat Tiberi (OH-12); Steve LaTourette (OH-14); Jim Gerlach (PA-06); Charlie Dent (PA-15); Mike McCaul (TX-10); Randy Forbes (VA-04); Frank Wolf (VA-10); Dave Reichert (WA-08); and Paul Ryan (WI-01). While you watch this new film clip on why real people-- not "losers"-- get foreclosed on, try thinking about how much better Congress would be without that list of actual losers above.

Jane at FDL has done some digging to figure who was behind the hold up in the bill last week-- and why. And the culprit wasn't one of the ideologically reactionary Democrats opposing the bill in the procedural votes, marginalized kooks like John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA), Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS), Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN), Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN), Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS), Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL), Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN), Gabby Giffords (Blue Dog-AZ), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD), Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC), Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT), Walt Minnick (ID), or Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), who love crossing the aisle every chance they get. It was the very corrupt shill for bankster interests, Ellen Tauscher (D-CA). Jane wants to know "why is Ellen Tauscher, head of the New Democrat Coalition, working so hard on behalf of bank and mortgage industry lobbyists to stop it from happening" even though "President Obama says that allowing bankruptcy judges to write down mortgages to reflect fair market housing values is an important part of his plan to arrest the downward spiral of the mortgage crisis." This morning Politico got into the back story behind Tauscher's perfidy. Bragging that she was able to force Pelosi to postpone the vote and rework the bill to make it less family friendly and more friendly to the bankster interests served by Republicans and by Democrats-- like Tauscher and the Blue Dogs-- who vote with Republicans.
“It shows we have bench strength, and it shows we can flex,” said California Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, who chairs the New Democrat Coalition and played a central role in negotiations over the bankruptcy bill.

...Tauscher’s New Democrat Coalition teamed with their natural allies in the Blue Dog Coalition to impose 10 significant changes, including requirements that bankruptcy judges use federal guidelines to determine the fair market value of a home and that modified loans must be “unaffordable and not just underwater” to prevent wealthy homeowners from taking advantage of the process, according to a widely distributed e-mail from Adam Pase, executive director of the New Democrat Coalition.

This, of course, angered some liberals. “The New Dems’ position is the banks’ position,” a senior Democratic aide involved in the bankruptcy negotiations complained on Friday. “New Democrats are shills for the banks.”

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At 3:51 PM, Anonymous nemski said...

How about a little love for Delaware Liberal?


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