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Friday, August 17, 2007

John Edwards "For Predatory Sub-Prime Lending Before He Was Against It"

Leave it to
The Sissy John Edwards to make money off the poor before he decided not to make money off the poor.

The Ex-Senator from North Carolina, LOSING Vice Presidential Candidate of 2004 and current DemocRAT presidential candidate has the tidy sum of $16 million invested in Fortress Investment Group, LLC.

Fortress is foreclosing on the mortgages of poor people...poor people - are you ready? - down South!

All emphasis mine:


    Having made poverty alleviation a central pillar throughout his campaign for the presidency, Edwards has spent plenty of time on the stump decrying the practice of predatory lending. But today’s Wall Street Journal reports that Edwards, who chose New Orleans as the sight to officially announce his campaign and later kick off his three-day poverty tour, has heavy financial ties with subprime-lending units of a large investment group that has brought foreclosure suits to 34 Gulf coast homes.


    Edwards has about $16 million invested in Fortress Investment Group, LLC, and worked for them from late 2005 through 2006, the Journal reports. When contacted by the paper yesterday, he promised to divest himself from any company profiting from the foreclosures. But the news may be damaging to Edwards’ populist campaign, given his strong language against the practice on the campaign trail.

    “This is wrong, this is not complicated; it’s wrong,” Edwards said during a visit to Cleveland, adding: “These people are being taken advantage of; they’ve been working all their lives, and what’s happened is that the very thing they worked for, their homes -- and those children we just passed back there -- are going to be kicked out of their homes, all because these predators have come into this neighborhood and taken advantage of them.”

From The Wall Street Journal Online:

    The Wall Street Journal has identified 34 New Orleans homes whose owners have faced foreclosure suits from subprime-lending units of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Mr. Edwards has about $16 million invested in Fortress funds, according to a campaign aide who confirmed a more general Federal Election Commission report. Mr. Edwards worked for Fortress, a publicly held private-equity fund, from late 2005 through 2006.


    On the campaign trail, Mr. Edwards has particularly attacked lenders behind foreclosures in storm-slammed Louisiana. In April, he visited the devastated Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood to voice one of his main antipoverty planks: a proposal to rein in subprime-mortgage companies whose "shameful lending practices," he said, threaten millions of working-class homeowners. "While Washington turns a blind eye, irresponsible lenders are pulling a fast one on hard-working homeowners," Mr. Edwards said a few days later.

    At the time in late 2005 when Mr. Edwards went to work for Fortress, it already had a stake in one subprime lender that subsequently foreclosed on some Katrina victims, Green Tree Servicing LLC. While he was there, Fortress acquired a second, Nationstar Mortgage LLC. Fortress paid Mr. Edwards $479,512 in 2006 for part-time work, a Federal Election Commission report in May showed.

    After leaving the firm, he kept about half of his net worth in Fortress funds. And Fortress employees have collectively made up the largest class of political contributors to Mr. Edwards. Workers there put up more than $150,000 toward his presidential run in the first six months of the year.

Well, I'm sure all the usual Liberal apologists will leap to his defense. You know - his intentions were good, and we can't criticize him for that. The hell we can't.

There's political scumbags and leeches and slimy, gooey, hypocritical POS. And then...there's The Sissy.

Quick - Sissy, send your cancer-ridden wife out to fight this battle for you!



It's not his fault. That mean old George Bush made him do it.
Oh and let us not forget Johnny Boy made his fortune driving up health care costs for the rest of us. Not a problem for Johnny Boy though. He gets top notch health care benefits for life as a result of his part time job as a senator and it's all paid for by Joe Sixpack taxpayer. Keep on whining about George Bush's taxcuts libs. Just keep on whining. Like a lib has to be told to whine.
Honestly - one has got to have several instances of complete and quantified moments of hypocrisy in order to be a Liberal. The degree of hypocrisy from these people is just staggering!

"Like a lib has to be told to whine."-- bwa ha ha ha!!! That's a good one!

"Oh and let us not forget Johnny Boy made his fortune driving up health care costs for the rest of us."

I guess you think that citizens should not have the right of legal recourse. I guess you think juries of your peers, your fellow Americans, are all morons and pro-litigious scum. I guess you think that a man who helped damaged and victimized people deserves little recommpence, but some CEO who seels defective products should be immune from recourse and rewarded with multi-million dollar pay packages. Good for you.

Double D, if it's true that Edwards knew what this company was up to and let the investment sit, then that would not look good for him. If it's true that the investment was in blind trust and that he wasn't paying attention to it because he was busy trying to become the next president of the United States and now he's going to get rid of it, then no big deal.

Look, I'm no devoted Edwards fan. Personally, I think he's a status quo Big D Democrat with little to offer beyond floating the boat of state. But when it comes to this sort of scandal, you conservatives should really keep those stones to yourselves. Haliburton ring a bell?

I know Molson is capabale and smart enough to respond to you Jersey so I will let him address what you directed towards him.

With regard to what you directed at me, I never wrote or implied Edwards knew beforehand what Fortress was going to do on the issue of foreclosure. It is rather stupid of him to not divest himself of his Fortress money and holdings when he would have to know this is a matter of public record and that someone would dig it up. He doesn't seem too "on the ball" there.

Jersey, you're not a bad guy - I enjoy your blog, but Halliburton? You're better than that. Halliburton made the Lyndon Johnson family very wealthy. And probably a lot of other Democrats, and Republican as well. It's really passee for anyone to use Halliburton to prove a point of "anti-Conservative". Are there many companies that can do what Halliburton does? John Murtha's brother Kit was awarded millions of dollars for his ties to the "military industrial complex". So what?

We can't defend ourselves with sticks and stones. Thank god for the Lockheeds, Boeings and Halliburtons and for Kit Murtha's defense companies as well.

I'll never understand why Democrats, Liberals or Utilitarians (heh, remember when you described yourself as that) think the military is the evil empire. They're not. Far more of any U.S. budget is spent on social programs than goes to the military.

Thanks for visiting and commenting JMJ. You're voice is welcome here - at the very least you back up what you say without resorting to ad hominem and personal attacks, which is something I respect.
I forgot to add, JMJ, that Edwards made his money off suing companies and putting many of them out of business, like the swimming pool manufacturer (whose name escapes me at the moment, and I could look it up but I'm pressed for time right now and gotta log off). I'm not defending companies that make defective products, but - to the best of my knowledge- the swimming pool maker didn nto make a defective pool. The kid got sucked into a drain and either died or was horribly injured. We just had this happen here in the Twin Cities a month or so ago, where a little girl had most of her intestines sucked out of her because she was sitting on an open drain when it kicked in. This is sad and tragic, no doubt, but the drain was doing what a drain does.

Parents at some point have to take personal responsibility, something the Left doesn't get and instead always is willing to point the blame at someone else. It's typical victimhood status that Edwards perpetuates at the expense of those he represents and the expense of all of us who pay more for goods and services because of trial lawyer lawsuits.

Here's a link to the story on the Minnesota swimming pool story:

OK there JMJ. Back on the caffeine just a little.

"I guess you think that citizens should not have the right of legal recourse."

Huh? I didn't say that. If you're asking me if I think there should be some type of tort reform to prevent our court system from being used as a lottery for greedy trial lawyers. You betcha.


"I guess you think juries of your peers, your fellow Americans, are all morons and pro-litigious scum."

Huh? I didn't say that. If you ask me if I think John Edwards is a moron and pro-litigious scum. Well. I'm guilty as charged.


"I guess you think that a man who helped damaged and victimized people deserves little recommpence, but some CEO who seels defective products should be immune from recourse and rewarded with multi-million dollar pay packages. Good for you."

Huh? Wow. JMJ you really veered off on a tangent on this one. I'll just let you worry about all the big bad evil money grubbing corporations and refer you to my earlier comment about tort reform as being a good idea and yes good for me. Yay!

Oh and it sucks that this Blogger comment box thingy doesn't have a spell checker. I hate that.

You have a nice blog JMJ. I see you put a lot more effort into it than I do for my blog. Can't say that I much agree with that you have to say, but I only spent about 5 minutes checking it out. I did enjoy your bit about the Dems trying to throw the '08 election. Sorry, but I have to side with DD on this one. Hillary is the next president. We all will just have to learn to deal with it. I'll have to check back in to see if you have any other entertaining rants going on. Hey. I know why don't you do an expose on Haliburton? I'm certain it would be a real knee slapper.

Finally. I want to thank you for keeping me so entertained this fine evening. I'm usually pretty anonymous in everything I do. It's nice to finally be recognized for a change. Thanks again JMJ. Cheerio!
David, thank you for your kind words. I enjoy your visits to JMJ. Anyways - let's not equivicate on partisan lines. Johnson is no more right than Cheney, and when you think about it, probably just the same. Vietnam and Iraq meet once again, huh? You won't find me agreeing with Johnson and the MIC when it comes to either war.

You say, "Edwards made his money off suing companies and putting many of them out of business." now, that may be one valid way of putting it, or you could say "Edwards represented people who suffered from defective products and medical malpractice." If you were a juror who sat before Edwards, or God forbid a client of his, perhaps you'd have a different perspective.

For every anecdote one can site there are millions of other stories and multiple possible realities to each known only to those involved. Let's not judge Edwards on such a variated standard. Let's instead focus on what sort of president he could be. I'd bet we wouldn't differ much on that.

JMJ- "let's not equivicate on partisan lines." I agree, that was entirely my point.

""Edwards represented people who suffered from defective products and medical malpractice."

- Perhaps. I am not familiar with all his cases. There may have been legitimate cases where a product was known to be defective but not recalled. This is not how it should be. Given this, I don't think it would be hard to agree that trial lawyers - when their cases are based on actual and deliberate corporate fault or not - raise the cost of goods and services for everybody. The tobacco lawsuits are a fair example of this. Is there anyone on earth who, after the mid to late 1960s, wasn't aware of the dangers of cigarette smoking? I'm a smoker, I'm biased, I admit it. But if cigarrettes are soooooooo terrible, then the govt should ban them as a dangerous product.

As for focusing on Edwards as a president - in my opinion he'd be terrible, he's a tax and spender. As far as any Republicans candidates, I'm not crazy about any of them either.

As for judging Edwards, we (used generically) can only use his past to write down a list of pros and cons. This specific post on him is soley about his business relationship with Fortress and the resulting hypocrisy on Edwards' part in saying one thing while doing another. Kinda like Gore preaching enviromentalism and carbon neutrality while globetrotting in a private jet and his 1,2, or 3 homes which us (GASP) fossil fules which he claims he offsets with a company that he has stock in or is part owner.

JMJ - you know if the Fortress issue happened to Rudy or Mitt or McCain you'd be likely writing a post on it similar to mine, and I would be right there with ya.

So I take it you and Molson have crossed paths in the past - the looks of it from your comment exchanges?

Molson - damn right, I wish there was a spellcheck on these comments!
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