Dodd Knew About Sweetheart Deal

U.S. Senator Chris Dodd was aware that he was the recipient of a VIP loan from Countrywide Financial, according to the Associated Press.

Robert Feinberg, the Countrywide loan officer that was responsible for the VIP program, has told an investigating Senate panel that Senator Dodd, along with Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, were fully aware of the fact that they received preferential treatment on their mortgages.

“You don’t say ‘no’ to the VIP,” Feinberg told Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a transcript obtained by The Associated Press.

Dodd has conceded that he knew he was in the VIP program at Countrywide, though he thought it was a customer service program for highly qualified borrowers.  He has angrily denounced assertions that he received special treatment from Countrywide and repeatedly made the case that his loans were competitively priced with commercially available loans at the time.

Mr. Dodd hosted a “show-and-tell” press conference on his mortgage documents months ago, though opponents have derided the effort as a tardy attempt to put out the political firestorm. 

After this weekend’s comments by former Democratic State Party Chairman Ed Marcus, who indicated on Face the State that it might be time to give Dodd the hook, it looks as though Nutmeg State Democrats are likely to get even more nervous about Mr. Dodd’s chances in November 2010.

Advertisements

33 responses to “Dodd Knew About Sweetheart Deal

  1. AndersonScooper

    Heath, your title is wrong. It should say,

    “Feinberg says Dodd Knew about Sweetheart Deal”.

    Beyond testimony of one man with a seemingly serious axe to grind, what proof do you have that Dodd actually knew he was getting preferential treatment?

    Of course the answer to that is “None!”

    But if one person says it, why it must be true….

  2. AndersonScooper

    P.S. When is Rob Simmons going to share his positive vision for America? In what ways does the future that Simmons want differ from the Bush era?

    Is Rob even capable of differentiating himself from those disastrous eight years, what after kissing the Bush ring repeatedly.

  3. AndersonScooper

    And finally, Tom Foley’s Q2 FEC filing.

    tes

  4. AndersonScooper

    Okay, these are fun figures. Simmons has quickly burned through so much cash that Foley already has more money in the bank than Rockin’ Rob!

    At the end of Q2, Simmons reported cash on hand is $558K. But he has bills outstanding to two direct mail houses for $93K, (and he owes himself back a $20K loan). So in reality Simmons has only $445K cash in the bank.

    And Foley? He has $547K cash on hand, has no bills outstanding, (but does owe himself back $39K). Anyway, subtract the liabilities from the assets, and Foley is left with $508K cash on hand!

    I wonder if this will get reported. Simmons spent almost $300,00 to raise $730,000! A burn rate of almost 40%! Whereas Foley spends just $26,000, to quickly end up with more in the bank than the false conservative Simmons.

  5. It’s a little more than a he said, he said controversy.

    If Feinberg lied to the committee, he could face criminal charges.

    And then there’s this:

    “Two internal Countrywide documents in Dodd’s case and one in Conrad’s appear to contradict their statements about what they knew about their VIP loans.

    “At his Feb. 2 news conference, Dodd insisted he didn’t receive special treatment. The assertion was at odds with two Countrywide documents entitled “Loan Policy Analysis” that Dodd allowed reporters to review the same day.

    “The documents had separate columns: one showing points “actl chrgd” Dodd—zero; and a second column showing “policy” was to charge .250 points on one loan and .375 points on the other. Another heading on the documents said “reasons for override.” A notation under that heading identified a Countrywide section that approved the policy change for Dodd.

    “Mortgage points, sometimes called loan origination fees, are upfront fees based on a percentage of the loan. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the loan. The higher the points the lower the interest rate.

    “Dodd said he obtained the Countrywide documents in 2008, to learn details of his mortgages.”

  6. It’s a little more than a he said, he said controversy.

    Not really. Feinberg may be lying to protect himself (why is he testifying in secret, anyway?), and giving up a sitting senator is a way to work out a deal if he thinks he needs one.

    Hearsay evidence isn’t admissible for a reason. The Countrywide paperwork doesn’t indicate if Dodd knew he was getting a special rate, other than what he claims he was told, “a customer service program for highly qualified borrowers”.

    This is starting to sound like those “Obama birth certificate” wackos, who just keep beating the same tired old drum, regardless of the facts that are presented.

  7. An article by David Fiderer, a banker and lawyer with journalistic tendencies, at HuffingtonPost last April suggests that Mr. Feinberg may be less forthright than seems. Interesting read for another point of view:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/worse-than-whitewater-chr_b_164250.html
    Headline is over-the-top, but it gets your attention.
    oldswede

  8. This is starting to sound like those “Obama birth certificate” wackos, who just keep beating the same tired old drum, regardless of the facts that are presented.

    You’re the first person that I’ve heard mention the birth certificate issue in this forum. But since you have, I never believed it and I still don’t believe it however, the more that kook Chris Mathews and the rest of the MSNBC
    Nut jobs keep kicking and screaming……I do begin to wonder. Although, I still don’t believe it to be true.

  9. If Feinberg is lying about a banking issue… then as Banking Chairman, Dodd should call Feinberg to testify before his committee under oath. If Feinberg refuses, then the Chair can subpoena him.

    Easy, peasy. Dodd’s name is cleared, right??

  10. Heath, your title is wrong. It should say,

    “Feinberg says Dodd Knew about Sweetheart Deal”.

    Absolutely, Scooper. That was my first reaction. It’s fine for blog posts to reflect some perspective, but one-sided pieces masquerading as news hurts the medium as a whole. It’s why MSNBC and Fox News both suck.

  11. Is Rob even capable of differentiating himself from those disastrous eight years, what after kissing the Bush ring repeatedly.

    Nope. Neither is Foley.

    That’s why we need a guy like Schiff to go up against Dodd.

  12. It’s why MSNBC and Fox News both suck.

    But the CNN Propaganda machine’s okay?

  13. But the CNN Propaganda machine’s okay?

    You won’t find one perfect media outlet anywhere, but CNN is easily the least objectionable of the 24 hour cable news stations. You can occasionally tune in and see a journalist instead of loudmouth ideologues.

  14. You won’t find one perfect media outlet anywhere, but CNN is easily the least objectionable of the 24 hour cable news stations. You can occasionally tune in and see a journalist instead of loudmouth ideologues.

    Jim,

    There is no such thing as unbiased news and reporting anymore. Everybody has an agenda but the truth is, there are a heck of a lot more news and information outlets that slant left than right.

    Love them or hate them, this is why Fox is so successful because they have the right all to themselves while all the leftys are trying to split up the same pie.

  15. Only in Connecticut could a senator who has proven all year that (a) he can’t get his facts straight and (b) in some cases he was clearly lying get the benefit of the doubt from people like Scooper, Bob and Pesci. Yes, it’s all Feinberg’s fault, HE’S the liar! But Feinberg has been saying this for over a year, to the media as well as in testimony. Given what we know about Dodd’s proclivity toward obfuscation, I think it is Feinberg who should be given the benefit of the doubt, and Dodd who should be viewed with skepticism. And what does Simmons have to do with it? If Dodd took an illegal benefit, it’s his problem, and has no bearing on Simmons’ plans or ideas.

    Finally, given all we’ve seen from Dodd this year, why on Earth does Bob act as though anyone who questions Dodd’s honesty must be some sort of cranky misfit? I mean, over 50% in polls now don’t trust Dodd – indeed, it is the Bob types out there that are the cranks, still trusting Dodd after all he’s said and done this past year, and who are distinctly in the minority.

  16. Hank Morgan

    LOL – look at Scoops desperately trying to hijack the comments and change the subject and no one’s taking the bait… hahahaha

  17. AndersonScooper

    Hank, no one’s taking the bait because the last thing you wingers want to talk about is your candidates and their positions.

    If you all think you can run and win on nothing more than smear and innuendo you’re going to have a rude awakening next year.

    In terms of this mortgage thing there isn’t much of a “there” there. It’s an orchestrated hit piece with very little substance, (in 2003 Shays got a much better rate on his mortgage for crying out loud), and you do have to wonder how much longer the media is going to keep regurgitating a scandal that isn’t.

    However a story about Simmons 40% burn rate, or about how Foley leads Rob in cash on hand would be interesting.

    So would a story about Simmons’ and Foley’s Bush problem. (Going into a likely primary, do they embrace or run from the Bush legacy?)

    But the news that Dodd got favorable treatment on his mortgage? What a yawner, because, of course, they all did! (What kind of rate did Jodi Rell get, and how much below list did she pay for her last car?)

  18. What kind of rate did Jodi Rell get

    Same house for how many years?

    You think she still has a mortgage?

  19. If you all think you can run and win on nothing more than smear and innuendo you’re going to have a rude awakening next year.

    Why not? It worked for Obama and Himes.

    However a story about Simmons 40% burn rate, or about how Foley leads Rob in cash on hand would be interesting.

    More interesting than the potential of a bald-faced lie by a scandal-plagued Senator facing reelection? Sure.

    So would a story about Simmons’ and Foley’s Bush problem. (Going into a likely primary, do they embrace or run from the Bush legacy?)

    At this point, Dodd (and Lieberman, and Himes, and everyone else) ought to be worried about their potential Obama problem. Odds are that we’ll be facing double-digit unemployment on Nov. 2, 2010, and every single incumbent will have to answer for his or her actions thus far.

    “Hope and change” might be the theme once again next year, and it won’t be pretty for the bluest of blues.

  20. Feinberg most likely testified in “secret” because the Senate does not want to air the dirty laundry of its own members in public. So Dodd is the beneficiary of the secretive hearing, not Feinberg. But keep on plugging away Chris – we need your denial and feeling of invincibility to keep the nomination yours next year.

  21. Let’s see now, Feinberg gets laid off at Countrywide and helps himself to a stack of documents containing personal loan information, as a severance bonus, I guess. He tries peddling these around and gets interest from Republican operatives who want to target Democrats in 2010.
    Sounds like a real honest, reputable kind of guy to me.
    oldswede

  22. Joe Sixpack

    Hmmm – yeah, it’s a Feinberg conspiracy. Dodd is innocent, is being framed, didn’t get a sweet deal. I’ll bet when Feinberg sold him the Irish cottage, it was all BS too – wait – that’s a differnet scandal?

    At what point do the D’s wake up and realize Dodd is a lying scumbag? Sure, he had some nice moments – like moving to Iowa. But he took what he shouldn’t have. It’s Rowland redux. But just keep sticking your heads in the sand – it will all blow over, Feinberg will be shown to be the liar he is, and Dodd will cruise to re-election.

  23. Let’s see now, Feinberg gets laid off at Countrywide and helps himself to a stack of documents containing personal loan information, as a severance bonus, I guess. He tries peddling these around and gets interest from Republican operatives who want to target Democrats in 2010.Sounds like a real honest, reputable kind of guy to me.oldswede

    Under the penalty of perjury? Sounds about right.

  24. What perjury? This was no official Congressional committee investigation. What the AP article is citing is a statement made by Feinberg to investigators from Republican *Representative* [NOT a Senator] Daniel Issei’s office.
    Issei’s investigation was not authorized by any Congressional body and what would a Republican House member be doing investigating Democratic Senators? The whole smear piece is bogus, conveniently leaked to the ever obliging Washington bureau of the AP.
    oldswede

  25. Like father, like son.

  26. But the news that Dodd got favorable treatment on his mortgage? What a yawner, because, of course, they all did! (What kind of rate did Jodi Rell get, and how much below list did she pay for her last car?)

    I am confused. Governor Rell is one of the few (if not the only) member of our state government that drives a car that is more than one year old and that is not payed for by our taxpayer money.

    There are perks in government, and then there are Senators who go too far.

  27. I am confused. Governor Rell is one of the few (if not the only) member of our state government that drives a car that is more than one year old and that is not payed for by our taxpayer money.

    Check out the LOB parking lot one day.

    There’s cars in there w/legislative plates that are over 200,000 miles old.

    *Some* state reps & senators are indeed loaded; but they’re in a small minority in both parties.

    Jodi avoids blowing our cash around on nonsense that would benefit her alone (with the possible exception for those that want to argue every small detail) of security.

    People simply don’t get it.
    Jodi’s a nice lady who was cajoled into running for state rep.

    She won and enjoyed her ability to help others, especially when that involved wrestling some gov’t. agency into doing their job; or when the constituent simply found the maze of bureaucracy over-whelming.

    She wound up running for Lt. Gov and that worked out for her too.

    Meanwhile she hasn’t changed her MO one bit save for the fact that now she has a much larger staff to help her and a whole lot more to do.

    We have a nice lady who wound up being Governor and simply does exactly what we would hope our own wives or sisters would be doing given the same circumstances.

    She acts and treats others exactly the same way she did in the 1980’s when I first met her as a friend of a local state rep Ann Dandrow.
    They seemed to get along well; Ann spoke well of her so we figured this Jodi Rell woman was okay as we trusted Dandrows instincts.

    I still do – Ann was right over 20 years ago and still is.

    Jodi always kisses me when she see me which I can tell you is the most flattering thing I can expect from anyone of her station for the rest of my life.

    Do we really want a Gov. that lusts for the office and the power?
    I sure don’t.

  28. oldswede said:

    What perjury?

    If it was a statement under oath; even to a Justice of the Peace; and he lied it would be perjury.

    (Not to be confused with purgatory which is where you go if you lie to a mobster.)

  29. Exactly, ACR. There is nothing in the AP article that contains sworn testimony. The reporter has done a very good job of mixing ostensible elements of the secret Senate testimony with that leaked by Issa’s own investigat0rs. The Issa stuff was not sworn. Lots of smoke and mirrors in this article. Sure looks like a hit piece.
    What with Rove’s buddy, Ron Fournier, running the AP’s Washington bureau, this should not be a surprise.

  30. Exactly, ACR. There is nothing in the AP article that contains sworn testimony. The reporter has done a very good job of mixing ostensible elements of the secret Senate testimony with that leaked by Issa’s own investigat0rs. The Issa stuff was not sworn. Lots of smoke and mirrors in this article. Sure looks like a hit piece.What with Rove’s buddy, Ron Fournier, running the AP’s Washington bureau, this should not be a surprise.

    Oldswede, you’re only correct if Fournier said one thing — under oath — and his attorney said another, outside of the committee hearing, which is a pretty unlikely scenario. If that’s the case, fine, but you can’t say that it “sure looks like a hit piece” unless you make that very tenuous assumption.

    The Senate ethics committee has interviewed a former Countrywide Financial executive who testified under oaththat Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) were aware that they were accessing a special program to give below-market-rate mortgages to the powerful and famous when he arranged their loans, according to the executive’s attorneys.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/27/AR2009072703260.html

  31. Confused451

    ACR,

    I am confused, and sometimes I am confusing. I appreciate your comments about Governor Rell; personally I would vote for her even if she wasn’t on the ticket. Sometimes it seems like she is the only one in our state with any common sense. The “Senator ” I was referring to is not actually in the state government, but rather in the national realm.

  32. What with Rove’s buddy, Ron Fournier, running the AP’s Washington bureau, this should not be a surprise.

    Rove having a statue of Valdemar Lenin in his backyard is more likely than he & Ron Fournier being pals.

    One would have to be as far left as Angela Davis to view Fournier as anything other the propaganda generator he is.

  33. I love the “kill the messenger” strategery (and yes, sic) the lefties are using here to defend Doodles.

    The AP doesn’t have a dog in this fight. And Ron Fournier is no one’s neoconservative. I know the man.

    Dodd is in deep shit. Maybe the guy from Countrywide is covering his ass, maybe he ain’t. But if I was a Dummycrap — and thankfully I’m not — I’d be a lot more concerned about the there there than I would be about trying to MF the reporter reporting on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s