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Monday
Aug222011

Matt Taibbi On Iowa AG Tom Miller: The Best Way To Raise Massive Campaign Funds? Investigate The Banks

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (glasses) increased his campaign contributions from the finance sector this year by a factor of 88!

Reposting this story from May in light of the following from Gretchen Morgenson:

NY Attorney General Facing Intense Pressure From Obama Administration On Bank Foreclosure Fraud Deal: "Wall Street Is Our Main Street And We Have To Make Sure We Are Doing Everything We Can To SUPPORT Them"

 

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By Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone

A hilarious report has come out courtesy of the National Institute of Money in State Politics, showing that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller – who is coordinating the investigation into the banks’ improper mortgage dealings – increased his campaign contributions from the finance sector this year by a factor of 88! He has raised $261,445 from finance, insurance and real estate contributors since he announced that he was going to be coordinating the investigation into improper foreclosure practices. That is 88 times as much as they gave him not over last year, but over the previous decade.

This is about as perfect an example of how American politics works as you’ll ever see. This foreclosure issue is a monstrous story that is somehow escaping national headlines; essentially, all of the largest banks in the country have been engaged in an ongoing fraud and tax evasion scheme that among other things has resulted in many hundreds of billions in investor losses, and hundreds of thousands of improper foreclosures. Last week, the 14 largest mortgage lenders a group that includes bailout all-stars like Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, managed to negotiate a settlement with the federal government that will mandate some financial relief to homeowners who have been victims of improper foreclosure practices. It’s unclear yet exactly what damages and fines will be involved in the federal settlement, or how many homeowners will be affected. But certainly there are some who believe the federal settlement was a political end-run around the states’ efforts to extract their own deal from the banks.

Put it this way. If the banks had to pay what they actually owed – from the registration taxes/fees they avoided by using the electronic registry system MERS to the money taken from investors in toxic mortgage-backed securities to the fees and payments stolen from homeowners via predatory loan practices and illegal foreclosures – they would probably all go out of business. That’s how much money is at stake here: the very future of financial giants like Bank of America and Citi and JP Morgan Chase is hanging to a very significant degree on the decisions of politicians like Miller.

Hence the sudden avalanche of money sent Miller’s way.

The numbers are laughable.

Continue reading at Rolling Stone...

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Here's the report:

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

Campaign Contributions Rise When Foreclosure Investigation Begins

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's campaign war chest got a dramatic boost after he announced his leadership of the 50-state attorneys general investigation into foreclosure irregularities. Out-of-state law firms and donors from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector gave $261,445-which is 88 times more than they had given him over the previous decade.

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How quickly things change for Miller - From just 4 months ago:

Iowa AG Miller vows to put financial criminals in jail

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, the lead attorney general in the 50-state foreclosure investigation, told homeowners at risk of foreclosure today that he supports a settlement with the big banks that requires significant principal rate reductions, loan modifications, compensation for citizens defrauded of their homes and criminal prosecutions against big bank executives who broke the law.

“We will put people in jail,” Miller said, in response to questions during a meeting Tuesday with more than 100 people from 15 states representing community, faith, and labor organizations, foreclosure victims and struggling homeowners from across the country.

 

 

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Reader Comments (51)

3:07AM Howard T. Lewis III " I loathe the events and dream of love after coming down off the misplaced events." This is not me. Please disregard. I have not experienced 'the events'. When dealing with neocons, you are dealing with actual practicing satanists. Handsigns and all. It twists the brain to appear innocuous.

I do, however distinctly remember Timmy Geithner in the company of Richard Perle during the Mike Lowry for senate campaign in the early 1980s. The job Geithner has now is his first employment. He is up to something unique and disasterous to the country. I believe his job involves the utter economic destruction of the American economy with other individuals and organizations in key positions of power.
Aug 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III

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