Nancy Pfotenhauer, a senior economic adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), is the former top lobbyist for Koch Industries, the right-wing corporate polluter. Her current husband, Kurt Pfotenhauer, is the CEO and top lobbyist of the American Land Title Association, “the national trade association and voice of the abstract and title insurance industry.” Until this year, Kurt was the senior vice president and top lobbyist of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), “the national association representing the real estate finance industry.”
Pfotenhauer, like his wife, is part of Washington’s revolving-door lobbyist culture. Prior to joining MBA in May 2002, Pfotenhauer was chief of staff to Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) for five years (in 2006, Smith received $14,000 in campaign contributions from the MBA PAC). Previously, Pfotenhauer was a lobbyist for United Parcel Service (UPS) for five years, and before that was chief of staff to Rep. Denny Smith (R-OR).
Kurt Pfotenhauer’s past and present clients are, of course, the real estate finance corporations that are at the center of the present financial crisis. Their predatory and deceptive lending practices in pursuit of irrational profit margins — in concert with hedge funds and investment banks who blew up toxic mortgages into towers of unregulated debt — have threatened the fiscal underpinnings of the global economy.
For years, they worked in concert with the Bush administration to block, weaken, and delay regulatory reform by Congress, such as the Predatory Mortgage Lending Practices Reduction Act of 2007, which died in the Senate. Last year, Pfotenhauer testified before Congress against the Emergency Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity Protection Act, a bill that would have allowed judges to restructure toxic mortgages to allow people to keep their homes — and would have helped prevent the current financial meltdown and bailouts. Read more