Tag Archives: Chris Dodd and Countrywide

Dodd would like to “move on” from his Countrywide scam

Just as soon as the subpoena’s are issued, Chris. Clinton used to do this very well, saying in effect, “Look, I’ve prevaricated and stalled for two years  – this is old news!”. It worked for the boy from Hope, maybe not so well for the rat from Norwich.

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Dodd: Call me Rosemary

I'll take care of it, Senator!

I'll take care of it, Senator!

Dodd Countrywide VIP mortgage tapes are disappeared. Darn, isn’t that a shame?

No further word on the Senator’s Irish cottage fraud, either. I guess we’ve “moved on”.

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Go, and sin no more

Applicable to the story below but in fact that was the “punishment” meted out to Connecticut’s most corrupt senator (our only one, come to think of it), Chris Dodd. I’m astonished. At this level, partisanship gives way to protection of the ruling class – the rulers take care of their own. Plus, they get to ride around in cool jets.

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Dick Blumenthal for Senator?

Not my dream candidate, but it says here that BOA, new owner of Countrywide Mortgage, may be about to release details of Countrywide’s “Friends of Angelo’s” mortgage program, the most notorious beneficiary thereof being the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Christopher Dodd.

UPDATE: Then again, maybe not. The Senate certainly doesn’t want to look into this matter, any more than the House of Reps wants to start investigating the Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel’s tax evasion. I can’t wait until Bush and his whole goddamn “culture of corruption” is evicted from the White House and we can enjoy clean government again.

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Chris Dodd, dodo?

Turns out that on Chris Dodd’s mortgage applications with Countrywide, someone has scrawled on both apps, “FOA” which is Friend of Angelo’s. Angelo, of course, is the former head of Countrywide (indicted, I think), who Dodd insists he never knew. Of course,when you’re chairman of the Senate Banking Committee there are no strangers in the banking world, just friends you haven’t met yet.

What might concern Dodd more, because it’s impossible to deny, is his “Presidential Campaign”, conducted to extract as much money as he could from those same banking friends. The word is out that voter focu groups in Connecticut keep revealing this excursion to Iowa, during which Dodd pulled his kids from school  in D.C. and enrolled them in Iowan schools, is the biggest reason why voters don’t like the man. It might seem parochial – the guy lives in Washington, after all, so who cares if he shuffles off to the corn fields? but I suspect the issue resonates because it so clearly reveals Dodd for the egomaniacal opportunist that he is. Don’t dis the Nutmeg State, dummy – not if you want its votes. Rickard Blumenfeld must be licking his chops.

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Will Dick Blumenthal be our next Senator?

I saw our AG jogging up Clapboard Ridge this morning and, eschewing the chance to change the course of history, I kept my wheels straight. The man’s no Arch Duke Ferdinand and I’m no anarchist (on my better-behaved days). But I did wonder whether I was passing the next senator from our Nutmeg state, especially in light of the current occupant of that post’s continued difficulties with acknowledging and dealing with his crooked ways. I’ve ranted on this blog for months about Dodd’s shady purchase of his Irish cottage and that story, as well as his under-the-table dealings with Countrywide Mortgage, keeps getting worse. Here’s the latest from the Hartford Current.

The Los Angeles Times published a blunt analysis of the dense legal minefield around Mozilo. It must have made for chilling reading inside Dodd’s fortress. The Times reported “an FBIinvestigation includes a probe of his company’s role in an influence-peddling scandal involving U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.).”

The Friends of Angelo sweetheart deals have attracted the attention of prosecutors in Los Angeles and officials at the Justice Department in Washington. A lawyer familiar with the investigation of the Friends of Angelo scheme told the Times “the Justice Department appeared to be investigating whether the program amounted to improper influence-peddling by Countrywide and whether the politicians had failed to publicly report favors from Mozilo.”

The Times suggests a familiar way out for the beleaguered Mozilo: trade testimony about the Friends of Angelo for a deal with prosecutors and other authorities.

With the political atmosphere heavy with suspicion, Dodd obtained a new appraisal on his 10-acre waterfront home in Ireland after the unusual circumstances around his ownership of it were raised in this column in February.

Dodd said Friday that a recent appraisal puts the value of the Irish Shangri-La at $658,000. That value is more than two years into the historic crash of the Irish real estate market. The maximum value of $250,000 that Dodd has been reporting each year in his Senate disclosure since 2002 — when he bought the two-thirds interest of his partner in the property, Kansas City, Mo., real estate developer William Kessinger — was seriously and repeatedly understated.

In 2002, the property was likely worth at least as much or possibly more than it is today. Dodd’s office said in February that in 2002 he paid Kessinger, the friend and business associate of boulevardier and convicted insider trader Edward Downe, for whom Dodd secured a presidential pardon in 2001, $127,000 for his interest in the property. In March, he raised that by $50,000 in an interview with reporters from The Courant.

Last month, Dodd told Newsweek he paid Kessinger $207,000. While Dodd continues to revise the details of that 2002 deal, an immutable, nagging fact remains: Dodd appears to have received from Kessinger a gift of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which he never reported, in the year after Dodd obtained a presidential pardon for their friend Downe.

Documents Dodd signed and filed with the Land Registry in Ireland at the time of the 2002 transaction state the “consideration”— payment — for Kessinger’s share of the property was $122,351. Friday’s confirmation of the value of property in Ireland, which Dodd has sought to downplay, raises more serious questions about how Dodd has used his office.

There are stories of Dodd’s more carefree bachelor days when he and his pal Teddy Kennedy would head south to the Caribbean with a posse of hookers, charter a yacht and head ten miles offshore to party the week away while staffers, assigned to smaller craft, kept their distance and continued their work. Someone should be able to find a former Dodd staff member to confirm this – the resentment and hatred of their boss is still palpable.

But aside from Dodd’s taste in entertainment, I’d like to know who paid for these excursions? I have, in my various careers, occasionally made more than a U.S. Senator is paid yet I’ve never been able to afford a motor yacht charter in the Caribbean for my family, let alone paid companions and a flotilla of staff workers astern.

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Details of Countrywide’s special loan program for politicians

Chris Dodd was among them. How long since he promised to release the relevant loan documents? I think it’s nine months, but go ask him.

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