Hillary Clinton spends considerable time on the campaign trail bemoaning unscrupulous lenders who have left millions of Americans scrambling to keep their homes but all the while her campaign manager, Margaret “Maggie” Williams, has sat on the board of one of the nation’s once-largest and now-bankrupt sub-prime mortgage lenders.
Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson told FOXNews.com late Sunday that Williams, a longtime Clinton ally, didn’t join Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign as a volunteer until after Delta Financial Corporation — for which Williams is a director — went bankrupt in December 2007.
That’s more than seven years after Williams joined New York-based Delta Financial in 2000. She became a director one month after a federal settlement was reached with the lender over discriminatory lending practices. More recently, Delta has been accused by consumer advocates of pursuing predatory practices throughout the housing boom and bust.
As of September 2007, Williams owned 12,500 shares of Delta’s common stock, and by 2007 had earned at least $175,000 for her board obligations, according to company filings available in the Securities & Exchange Commission online database.
Intently focused on the nation’s housing crisis in recent appearances, Clinton has been clear that sub-prime mortgage lenders, particularly in poor, working class urban neighborhoods shoulder much of the blame for the credit crunch.
But as it turns out, Clinton’s top aide is on the board of what had been — until its bankruptcy — the ninth-leading sub-prime lender in the nation, handling almost $800 million worth of sub-prime lending in the third quarter of 2007 alone, according to National Mortgage News.
Hillary Clinton’s been all the news this week, after she “misspoke” about Whitewater, Travelgate, missing files, suspicious pardons, Johnny Chung and cattle futures. Oh wait, after she “misspoke” about Bosnia. Oh wait, same thing.
That’s one way to make sense of the unrelenting, unforgiving, 24/7 news coverage of Mrs. Clinton’s fictional telling of Bosnian sniper fire and the subsequent debunking of her every word. In a nasty primary battle that has already featured racial slurs and Chicago slum lords, missing tax documents, and a “monster,” you might expect this slip-up to have been yet another blip in the media cycle.
But that would have been to deny the press, the pundits, Democrats, and even Barack Obama, the catharsis of finally — finally! — getting a chance to confront the Clintons’ questionable mores. Hillary’s and Bill’s scandals have been the elephant in the primary room ever since she first signaled a run. Yet up to now everyone has been too scared, or too loyal, or too weary to touch the ugly past. Her Bosnia misspeak is now serving as proxy for all the truths about the Clintons’ non-truths, allowing even liberals to break free from their Clinton dependence.
And how liberating it is! The video of Mrs. Clinton’s speech about Bosnian sniper fire, twinned with real footage of calmly strolling down the Tuzla tarmac, has been running on one continuous TV loop. Reporters have dug up every last person who accompanied her on the sedate trip to pour a little more salt in the wound. “The Audacity of Hoax,” yelled a blog posting in the liberal Nation magazine, which innocently asked: “What else is she fibbing about?” Bill Burton, Barack Obama’s spokesman, gleefully noted that Mrs. Clinton’s recent attacks on his candidate were designed to deflect attention away from her “made up” Bosnia story. Heavy emphasis on the “made up” part. No need to mention Vince Foster, Red Bone, Marc Rich or Webster Hubbell. All this will do.