If you want your daily rage inducing news piece, this Associated Press investigation into Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae should do the trick. Below are some snippets, but you should really read the whole thing:
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.
Efforts to tighten government regulation were gaining support on Capitol Hill, and Freddie Mac was fighting back. The baseball tickets for home opener were means of influence.
According to confidential company documents obtained by The Associated Press, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac’s in-house lobbyists.
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.