During his interview with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), Fox’s Sean Hannity asked Palin if she believed an investigation was needed into the “relationships between political donations from Fannie and Freddie Mac and the bankruptcy.” Hannity’s question was presumably inspired by Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) recent emphasis on the significant number of campaign contributions that the two firms have made in recent years.
Tonight, however, Palin played down the role that campaign contributions might have played in the Fannie-Freddie collapse. Instead, she emphasized “the role that lobbyists play in an issue like this”:
HANNITY: Should there be an investigation in terms of the relationship between the political donations and then of course the bankruptcy that ensued and the impact on the economy?
PALIN: I think that’s significant, but even more significant is the role that the lobbyists play in an issue like this also. And in that cronyism — it’s symptomatic of the greater problem that we see right now in Washington and that is just that acceptance of the status quo.
While Palin blames the need for the Fannie-Freddie bailout on the two firms’ lobbyists, she seems more than willing to take those same lobbyists’ money. In fact, at least 20 McCain-Palin fundraisers “have lobbied on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” in recent years.
More significantly, the McCain-Palin campaign manager, Rick Davis, “served as president of an advocacy group led by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” that worked to cripple regulatory initiatives in Congress and protect the two institution’s “healthy profits.” As the Politico reported in July:
Davis headed the Homeownership Alliance, a lobbying association that included Fannie, Freddie, nonprofit groups, real estate agents, homebuilders and consumer advocates. … [The group] worked to oppose congressional efforts to tighten controls on Fannie and Freddie.
HANNITY: How connected is it, though, to Washington? You have 354 lawmakers got money from Fannie and Freddie. 354. If you look at the years from 1989 to 2008, second-top recipient was Senator Barack Obama. Should there be an investigation in terms of the relationship between the political donations and then of course the bankruptcy that ensued and the impact on the economy?
PALIN: I think that’s significant, but even more significant is the role that the lobbyists play in an issue like this also. And in that cronyism — it’s symptomatic of the grade of problem that we see right now in Washington and that is just that acceptance of the status quo, the politics as usual, the cronyism that has been allowed to be accepted and then it leads us to a position like we are today with so much collapse on Wall Street. That’s the reform that we’ve got to get in there and make sure that this happens. We’ve got to put government and these regulatory agencies back on the side of the people. It’s what John McCain — we have very consistent track records showing that we are capable and we are willing to do this, ruffle feathers along the way but it’s what we are expected to do and what we are promising to do.