Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America, Investors’ Business Daily reports:
Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.
The deal requires billions of dollars in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers. It also requires Bank of America to make billions in new loans and to build affordable low-income rental housing.
The remaining money will go to a slush fund for leftists:
If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.
NeighborWorks of America has been a major supporter of ACORN, the left’s most favored radicals. According to Investors’ Business Daily, in 2008 and 2009 NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing.
Moreover, an Acorn Housing spinoff is directly eligible for BofA slush funds. It’s an outfit called Mutual Housing Association of New York. HUD lists its contact person as Ismene Speliotis, who previously served as New York director of Acorn Housing.
But Acorn isn’t the only left-wing beneficiary:
In 2011 alone, NeighborWorks shelled out $35 million in “affordable housing grants” to 115 such groups, according to its website. Recipients included the radical Affordable Housing Alliance, which pressures banks to make high-risk loans in low-income neighborhoods and which happens to be the former employer of HUD’s chief “fair housing” enforcer.
Bank of America gets “extra credit” if it makes at least $100 million in direct donations to IOLTA and housing activist groups approved by HUD. Who are these HUD-approved housing activist groups? Investors’ Business Daily identifies some of them:
• La Raza, which pressures banks to expand their credit box to qualify more low-income Latino immigrants for home loans;
• National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington’s most aggressive lobbyist for the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act;
• Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, whose director calls himself a “bank terrorist;”
• Operation Hope, a South Central Los Angeles group that’s pressuring banks to make “dignity mortgages” for deadbeats.
Coercing banks to provide “dignity mortgages” to people who are unlikely to pay them? That was a big part of how we found ourselves in the financial crisis.
Not only is Eric Holder not letting that crisis go to waste, he seems bent on generating a new one.
As Investors’ Business Daily concludes:
In effect, lenders are bankrolling the same parasites that bled them for the risky loans that caused the mortgage crisis. With new cash, they can ramp back up their shakedown campaign, repeating the cycle of dangerous political lending that wrecked the economy.
These settlements have little, if anything, to do with “justice” or restitution for innocent victims. In its 30-page “statement of facts,” Justice couldn’t provide a single shred of evidence of fraud against BofA. Nor could it ID a single “victim” by name.
The attorney general is actually perverting justice by extorting billions of dollars from the largest banks in the country and giving it away to the president’s political friends and favorite political causes.
We knew that, if elected, Barack Obama was going to spread the wealth around. We should have realized he would spread it to the left-wing “community organizing” world from which he sprang.