The Associated Press reports on the various former Republican politicians who got fat contracts and enriched themselves in exchange for lobbying on behalf of Freddie Mac. Unfortunately for taxpayers, these amoral lobbyists were successful and the government‐created entity was able to dig itself even deeper into a hole — which taxpayers are now responsible for filling.
When the Washington Nationals played their first‐ever baseball game in the nation’s capital in April 2005, two congressmen who oversaw mortgage giant Freddie Mac had choice seats — courtesy of the very company they were supposed to be keeping an eye on. …The Nationals tickets were bargains for Freddie Mac, part of a well‐orchestrated, multimillion‐dollar campaign to preserve its largely regulatory‐free environment, with particular pressure exerted on Republicans who controlled Congress at the time. Internal Freddie Mac budget records show $11.7 million was paid to 52 outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006. Power brokers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were recruited with six‐figure contracts. Freddie Mac paid the following amounts to the firms of former Republican lawmakers or ex‐GOP staffers in 2006: Sen. Alfonse D’Amato of New York, at Park Strategies, $240,000. Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota, at Clark & Weinstock, $360,297. Rep. Susan Molinari of New York, at Washington Group, $300,062. Susan Hirschmann at Williams & Jensen, former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R‐Texas, $240,790. …The tactics worked — for a time. Freddie Mac was able to operate with a relatively free hand until the housing bubble ultimately burst in 2007.
Interestingly, at least one of these former politicians is contemplating a return to the political arena. He even portrays himself as a friend of the taxpayer. It is unclear, though, how much of a friend he really is considering that the story reveals that, “Freddie Mac enlisted prominent conservatives, including Gingrich…, paying [him] $300,000 in 2006, according to internal records.”