Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans.But it doesn't stop with him:
Other participants in the V.I.P. program included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Jackson was deputy H.U.D. secretary in the Bush administration when he received the loans in 2003. Shalala, who received two loans in 2002, had by then left the Clinton administration for her current position as president of the University of Miami. She is scheduled to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 19.Shalala is the president of the University of Miami and of course Holbrooke was made a special envoy to AfPak (which some might consider punishment). Meanwhile former Bush official Alphonso Jackson would not be given a position as a doorman at the Capitol in this government, but he was recently cleared of wrongdoing to nearly zero fanfare.
But back in the day his resignation was an insight into the culture of GOP corruption while Dodd, a friend of Angelo whom a former company official testified knew he was getting VIP treatment while sitting on powerful committees regulating the banking industry, would later run for president then keep his spot in the Senate and committee chairmanship and be placed in charge of reforming the very same industry he evidently personally profited from.
Some might consider that chutzpah. Others might say it's what happens when the press chooses sides in the affairs of state. Without fairness in government and media there's no hope for informed members of the public to maintain trust in our system.