Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DAVID SCHWEIKERT lies to voters and Congress, masterminds expensive government program that benefits real estate investors like himself

Part 1 in a series on David Schweikert’s taxpayer deception and his administrative manipulation of the real estate market

Today: Schweikert goes to Congress

Congressman David Schweikert is a self-proclaimed “numbers guy” and Maryvale real estate investor who preaches the urgent need to shrink the size of government and slash spending, lest we all perish from the stranglehold Obama will have on us for generations. 

Schweikert’s prepared script is good campaign rhetoric and has generated publicity for his thuggish friends at the Club for Growth.  His actions, however, prove that Congressman David Schweikert is a FRAUD and LIAR.  In media interviews, Schweikert likes to say, "The Devil is in the details".   He must be the Devil, then.

Since January 2011, Schweikert has been a covert congressional lobbyist for real estate investors and medium/small sized financial service institutions. 

As Politico Mafioso will explain in a series of articles this week, Schweikert has been rewarded well for his many years of loyalty to the corporate constituents and sectors he really went to DC to serve.

Schweikert is the ultimate inside trader and inside traitor.

In 2010, Schweikert promised Arizonans he would get legislation passed that would restore the American dream. As soon as he was sworn into office, Schweikert went to work behind the scenes – working towards HIS dream, not yours.

Schweikert has not worked to save Americans from the economic and housing crises nor has he preached the virtues of his socially conservative beliefs.

Instead, via his easy access and power as the vice-chairman of the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises subcommittee of the House Committee on FinancialServices, Schweikert has cultivated and promoted an entirely new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government program that is immune from FOIA requests and the legislative process of the people:  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) REO Initiative.

[Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are known as GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) and were placed into conservatorship with the Federal Home Loan Banks in 2008 under the new FHFA.  The GSEs are considered private companies and are not subject to public requests for information.] 

Not only is the FHFA’s REO Initiative not subject to FOIA requests, it is not subject to lawmaking and political discourse either.  It is an administrative program that was groomed, created and enacted by FHFA, the Department of the Treasury, HUD and Arizona Congressman David Schweikert.

During its inception in 2011, the FHFA identified eight locations across America which experienced the worst crash and aftermath of the housing crisis.  Each of the locations (allegedly) had such an oversupply of vacant housing on the market that the cities faced a perilous housing recovery unless the US government intervened and sold foreclosed houses in its inventory – in a shadow market created by the FHFA’s REO Initiative.  (REO stands for Real Estate Owned and is a common term for a bank-owned property that has been foreclosed on.)

Schweikert held a number of videotaped subcommittee meetings, appeared on cable news shows and issued formal press releases where he couldn’t stifle his excitement as he talked about the REO Initiative.  Problem was, Schweikert passed off the FHFA program as a lifeline for distressed homeowners and neighborhood stabilization when, in fact, the program does not help homeowners at all since they have already lost these homes through foreclosure. 

As the conservator, the FHFA’s acting director Edward DeMarco testified before Schweikert’s subcommittee in 2011 and said, “ Our mandates, simply stated, are: to preserve and conserve Enterprise assets and place the Enterprises in a sound and solvent condition; to support a stable and liquid mortgage market; and to maximize assistance to homeowners to minimize foreclosures.”

This new government program does not maximize anything for homeowners.  It only enriches the pockets of large real estate investors, like David Schweikert.  He even sold out the largest city in his home state, Phoenix, to shake loose the foreclosed properties in the FHFA’s inventory and make them available for bulk purchase.

For its first group of sales, the REO Initiative packaged foreclosed properties (like those in Schweikert’s favorite investorhood, Maryvale) into bulk lots of several hundred homes.  The FHFA then put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for large investors to apply and be selected as a qualified purchaser and manager of these bulk packaged properties. The manager designation is the most important qualifying requirement of the RFP.

See, the REO Initiative is not just a gift to large investors who can buy cheap properties in bulk – away from the free market.  The REO Initiative requires these investors to, under the supervision of the US government, RENT and MAINTAIN each property for at least five years in an effort to stabilize the otherwise volatile local market.  Each investor is also encouraged to offer a “Rent-to-Own” agreement to prospective qualified renters so neighborhoods will grow to be more balanced as home ownership returns. 

Shockingly, Schweikert’s own Phoenix, Arizona not only made the first FHFA list of eight oversupplied housing markets in 2011 it has remained on the REO Initiative’s targeted list through 2012, despite having a recovering market with very low housing inventory, bidding wars and a median price increase of over 30% since Schweikert took office in January 2011. 

Phoenix’s first FHFA REO Initiative sale occurred last week, within the FHFA targeted first sale date of August 2012.  Besides Politico Mafioso, the Arizona Republic’s Real Estate reporter, Catherine Reagor, is the only member of the local media who has questioned the unusual bulk sale.

Reagor credits Tom Ruff, of AZBidder, with noticing on Wednesday August 15, 2012 that the Phoenix REO inventory had declined by 5%.  Ruff discovered that Fannie Mae sold 275 homes to a California entity owned by Fannie Mae, SFR 2012-1 US West LLC. 

Reagor said,” a source close to the deal said Fannie Mae is transferring the properties to an LLC that the winning buyer will invest in through a private placement deal.”

Schweikert’s own ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business, Director of Real Estate Theory and Practice, Michael Orr, publishes monthly real estate reports containing the “official” statistics used by every local Realtor, media report and academic.  In this case, Schweikert turned a blind eye to Arizona’s housing recovery statistics as he betrayed his home state, constituents and free market loving patriots.

As someone who has signed a term-limit pledge and is facing incumbent Ben Quayle in a contentious primary on August 28, Schweikert knows his days in Washington DC are numbered either way.  He went to Washington and made good use of his time there but he served himself before serving his constituents and the great state of Arizona.

His dog, wife, calculator, campaign consultant and coffee machine are a front for a manipulative man intent on winning favor and enriching his bank account, at any cost.  The Devil is in the details after all, Dave.

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Sarah Cypper said...
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