Lisa Lerer writes on July 16:
If you want to know how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have survived scandal and crisis, consider this: Over the past decade, they have spent nearly $200 million on lobbying and campaign contributions.This is interventionism at work, not capitalism.
But the political tentacles of the mortgage giants extend far beyond their checkbooks.
The two government-chartered companies run a highly sophisticated lobbying operation, with deep-pocketed lobbyists in Washington and scores of local Fannie- and Freddie-sponsored homeowner groups ready to pressure lawmakers back home.
They’ve stacked their payrolls with top Washington power brokers of all political stripes, including Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign manager, Rick Davis; Democrat Barack Obama’s original vice presidential vetter, Jim Johnson; and scores of others now working for the two rivals for the White House.