Now, when asked about getting preferential treatment from a home mortgage lender, he said he thought this occurred not because he was the Chairman of the Banking Committee in the Senate, but because he was a good customer.
I think he might be wrong about that. I mean what does it take to become a "good customer"? Does it take paying your mortgage on time? I do that and I'm not a VIP. Does it take buying lots of homes financed through Countrywide? How many homes has Senator Dodd bought using Countrywide as his lender?
Or maybe you become a VIP through legislation
A broad bipartisan coalition supporting a massive foreclosure rescue beat back GOP efforts to gut it yesterday, defying a White House veto threat and quashing a bid to make it a victim of revelations about two senators' VIP mortgages.
Administration officials said they oppose the inclusion of $4 billion in the measure to help states buy and rehabilitate foreclosed properties, and a plan to have government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pay for the rescue.
They voiced those and other objections as two GOP senators said they would try to block the package until a committee can investigate how much Countrywide Financial Corp. and other lenders stand to gain from it.
House and Senate Republicans are voicing reservations about the bill in light of allegations that Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher J. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, one of its architects, and Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, got cut-rate home loans through a VIP program at Countrywide, a leading subprime lender at the center of the mortgage meltdown.
Now it seems to me that people in such important positions can not get by with merely avoiding impropriety, but need to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Because, you know, Senator Dodd may be wrong about why it was Countrywide gave him such favorable interest rates.
It's not like Dodd has never been wrong in the past.
But "special friends" of Countrywide's co-founder Angelo Mozilo extends further than just the Chairmen of the Senate Banking and Budget Committees
"James Johnson, one of three people tapped by Mr. Obama recently to oversee the search for his running mate, took at least five real estate loans totaling more than $7 million from Countrywide Financial Corp. through an informal program for friends of the company's CEO, Angelo Mozilo, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday."
More: "The Journal said at least two of the mortgages, among a series of loans made available to people Countrywide officials called "friends of Angelo," were at rates below market averages, though it is difficult to predict a market rate without access to nonpublic information about a borrower's credit history and other factors that can reduce interest charges on a loan."
James Johnson is
part of the permanent government of this country, a long-time Democratic fixer (Mondale and Kerry campaigns), former CEO of Fannie Mae, and as such a big buyer of Countrywide loans. He's a guy who sits on a bunch of corporate boards, etc.
In 2006, Democrats promised to end Republican Rule and what they called the Culture of Corruption.
That failed to come to pass.
But the current situation would seem to qualify as a full blown scandal, but the media doesn't seem to think so.
I think they might be wrong.