Obama, ACORN, and the mortgage mess

29 09 2008

This is a very interesting article about how ACORN was using bully tactics to force banks to issue bad loans:

O’S DANGEROUS PALS: BARACK’S ‘ORGANIZER’ BUDS PUSHED FOR BAD MORTGAGES By STANLEY KURTZ

Here are some quotes (highlights mine):

… ONE key pioneer of ACORN’s subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott – an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae’s mortgage policies. …

… Two months later, aided by ACORN organizer Sandra Maxwell, Talbott announced plans to conduct demonstrations in the lobbies of area banks that refused to attend an ACORN-sponsored national bank “summit” in New York. She insisted that banks show a commitment to minority lending by lowering their standards on downpayments and underwriting – for example, by overlooking bad credit histories.

By September 1992, The Chicago Tribune was describing Talbott’s program as “affirmative-action lending” and ACORN was issuing fact sheets bragging about relaxations of credit standards that it had won on behalf of minorities. …

…In those years, he [Obama] also conducted leadership-training seminars for ACORN’s up-and-coming organizers. That is, Obama was training the army of ACORN organizers who participated in Madeline Talbott’s drive against Chicago’s banks.

More than that, Obama was funding them. As he rose to a leadership role at Chicago’s Woods Fund, he became the most powerful voice on the foundation’s board for supporting ACORN and other community organizers. In 1995, the Woods Fund substantially expanded its funding of community organizers – and Obama chaired the committee that urged and managed the shift. …

… The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN’s Madeline Talbott in her pioneering efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. …

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