4/3/09

Andrew Cuomo: No hero

Andrew Cuomo is posturing and pandering to We the Taxpayer. He is feeding on the populist feeding frenzy, the one ignited by the AIG bonuses.

Cuomo would have us believe that he is motivated by a sense of righteous wrath, as he roots out the bonuses and 'forces' AIG execs to return what is, when all is said and done, rightfully theirs.

First, we had the Democrats and 85 spineless, gutless Republicans vote to use the tax code as a punitive measure, as a confiscatory measure. Never mind that the ghosts of John Adams, James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, Tom Paine, Patrick Henry, and a whole lot more gasped in collective dismay over it. Never mind that the Congress' frenzied attempt to hide their own complicity in the AIG Bonus Deal was clearly unconstitutional. Never mind that the Obama regime, never overly troubled with matters Constitutional to begin with, started back-pedaling almost as soon as the final vote was tallied as a hue and a cry arose over Congress' cheap shots.

Then we had Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General of the State of New York and a blatant opportunist if ever there was on, take on AIG like St. George going after the dragon.

The problem is that Cuomo was threatening to release names and addresses of bonus recipients. He was going to subpoena that information, and then presumably leak it, in violation of who knows how many Federal privacy statutes, in an act of extortion that even a first year law student could figure out ... absent the emotion of the populist witch hunt. The witches, of course, are in the United States Congress, and on the banking and finance committees, and in the Orchid Office over at the White House. But it was so easy to hide that, to point the finger at the AIG bonus recipients.

Cuomo looked like, still looks like to many, a populist hero.

Fact of the matter is that when he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he had his fingers deeply into the Freddie and Fannie pies. As HUD secretary, Cuomo had he authority, the power, the responsibility to control what was going on with Freddie and Fannie. That power was granted by Congress in 1992. Since 1992 there have been four HUD secretaries: Henry Cisneros, who left in disgrace as the result of criminal investigations (Cisneros was a Clintonista); Alfonso Jackson, who also left in disgrace for the same reason (Jackson was a Bushite); Mel Martinez, who resigned to take a shot at a Senate seat; and Brother Cuomo. So this isn't a "Democrat" thing, or a "Republican" thing, and neither is Cuomo the only factor in the Fannie and Freddie meltdown. But he had the authority, the power, and the responsibility to deal with the impending doom, and he did not. What he did was continue to pimp the 'maximum homeowners at any cost' mantra that Clinton and Bush both loved to hear. Both of those presidents pimped the rise in homeownership as a great accomplishment.

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times covered in depth the self-serving platitudes of Cuomo and his henchmen.

Now, Cuomo, having contributed mightily to the current crisis - including the AIG meltdown - would have us forget all those nagging little details. His political ambitions are in high gear. He has no compunctions at all about throwing the AIG bonus recipients under the bus.

Remember all this when this clown's name shows up on the ballot.

Here are some references you can use as a jump-off for your own fact-finding mission:

How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis

The Fannie Mae testimony that will have you screaming in anger

Here is one on Cuomo's highly touted 'appraisal settlement' with Fannie and Freddie:

Fannie, Freddie to Overhaul Appraisals in Cuomo Deal

The attorney general, a former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, started investigating the home loan industry as data from the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association showed an increase in delinquencies among subprime borrowers and a record rate of late payments by buyers who purchased houses with minimal down payments.

The problem here, of course, is that it was Cuomo who set up the mortgages for a fall in the first place.