June 13, 2008
IT'S NICE TO BE A MEMBER OF CONGRESS: Everyone loves you and wants to help:
Two influential US senators got "VIP" loans from a leading subprime mortgage lender that saved them tens of thousands of dollars, it was reported last night.
The Democratic pols, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, both received the highly favorable loans under the designation "Friend of Angelo," a reference to embattled Countrywide head Angelo Mozilo, Condé Nast Portfolio reported.
Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, while Conrad is chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. The two senators refinanced properties through the VIP program in 2003 and 2004, the report said.
But it wasn't just them: "Others who received 'FOA' loans include Alphonso Jackson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bush who resigned in April, and Donna Shalala, who was secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration."
You know, government conflict-of-interest rules can be pretty exacting where worker bees are involved, but these guys didn't see anything wrong with taking "VIP loans"? Jeez.