While I continue to be amazed that the truth about Rick Perry’s jobs record in Texas continues to be overlooked by the press and many in the GOP, his propensity towards crony capitalism continues to be exposed, as The Seattle Times reports:
An Associated Press review of federal mortgage data, court filings and public statements found that Perry downplayed early warnings of an impending mortgage crisis as alarmist. That’s even as Perry’s own attorney general would later investigate whether Countywide Financial Corp. encouraged homeowners to borrow more than they could afford.
As Perry offered $20 million in grants to Countrywide and $15 million to Washington Mutual Inc. – each blamed for having a major role in one of the country’s most serious recessions – he took in tens of thousands of their dollars for his gubernatorial campaign.
Perry, a Republican candidate for the White House, did what any governor would want to do: bring in jobs for his state. He also supported a cap on how much consumers could borrow against their homes, which experts credit for softening the blow of the mortgage crisis in Texas: by the end of 2008, more than 22 states had a greater percentage of foreclosures.
Yet Perry didn’t appear to recognize that the industry his administration had subsidized was damaging the national economy.
The AP analysis found that Washington Mutual, Countrywide and their subsidiaries boosted risky lending in Texas within a year after receiving grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund. In 2004, only one out of every 100 Washington Mutual loans in the state was originated to homeowners with less-than-perfect credit. The next year, that figure rose to more than one in four.
If the Texas Enterprise Fund rings a bell, that’s because it’s received previous coverage from the press and OB&B: Cronyism Runs Deep in Perry’s Texas. If the GOP is interested in having a President that rewards campaign contributors with public subsidies, than I fail to see why the GOP shouldn’t throw their support to the current President or bother to make much fuss over companies like Solyndra.