Maxine Waters Caught Lying About Fannie Mae Ties on 'Real Time'

October 11th, 2008 12:23 PM

Maxine Waters, a key Democrat congresswoman that has been implicated in blocking government oversight that could have prevented the current financial crisis, was caught lying Friday evening about her connection to failed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

During the panel discussion of HBO's "Real Time," Waters was challenged by the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore about the campaign contributions she's received from these government sponsored enterprises.

Despite what public records clearly show, Waters denied she had ever taken any money from these two companies (video embedded right courtesy our dear friend MsUnderestimated):

BILL MAHER, HOST: When John McCain was at the Saddleback Ranch, I mean Church...I always call it a ranch; and he was asked a question, they both were, by Rick Warren, you know, "what do you do about evil?" and he said DEFEAT IT!


MAHER: Right. But it might take him two terms. And Obama said...he had a very different answer. He said "Be humble about it." Because he was trying to say, you know, ‘evil, it's not something you can really defeat because there's no devils out there.' Sorry.

{audience laughter}

MAHER: The devil is within us, you know. And when I see what went on on Wall Street the last eight years, that's evil to me. That's the evil within us.

{raucous applause}

MAHER: You don't see that?

MOORE: I do!

MAHER: What about...I mean, don't you think they need regulation? People say ‘well, they don't need regulation because, you know what, it was just because they got greedy!' Of course, they went to work on Wall Street! Who goes to work on Wall Street except greedy bastards?

MOORE: Is there something wrong with wanting to make money?

MAHER: No, but you have to regulate it! That's where the problem is; that there was no regulation.

MOORE: Well, let's talk about regulation. One of the insti...the biggest institutions that's failed this year was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is an institution that your friends, the Democrats... in fact you, Congresswoman, did not want to regulate...

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): ...I believed...I believed...

MOORE: said it wasn't broke, you said it wasn't broke, you said it wasn't broke five years ago at a Congressional hearing, and you took $15,000 of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie.

WATERS: I didn't.

MOORE: Yeah, you did, it's in the Senate (inaudible)...

WATERS: No it's not.

{inaudible cross-talk}

MOORE: You took money from the PAC.

WATERS: Wait just a minute, just a minute...

MOORE: ... and so did Barney Frank, and so did Chris Dodd.

WATERS: That is a lie and I challenge you...

MOORE: Okay.

WATERS: find $15,000 that I took from Fannie PAC...

Okay, Congresswoman, I'll take that challenge, for the Center for Responsive Politics' reported the following on September 11:

When the federal government announced two months ago that it would prop up mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CRP looked at how much money members of Congress had collected since 1989 from the companies. On Sunday the government completely took over the two government-sponsored enterprises, and we've returned to our data to bring you the updates, this time providing a list of all 354 lawmakers who have gotten money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (in July we posted the top 25). These totals are based on data released electronically from the FEC on Sept. 2 and include contributions to lawmakers' leadership PACs and candidate committees from the floundering companies' PACs and employees. Current members of Congress have received a total of $4.8 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with Democrats collecting 57 percent of that. This week we also wrote about how much money lawmakers had invested of their own money in the companies last year--a total of up to $1.7 million. [...]

Name Office State Party Grand Total Total from PACs Total from Individuals
Waters, Maxine H CA D $17,800 $15,000 $2,800

As such, Moore was right, and Waters was lying through her teeth.

For those interested, during a 2004 Congressional hearing about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Waters said:

Through nearly a dozen hearings, we were frankly trying to fix something that wasn’t broke.  Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Franklin Raines.

With this in mind, as odd as it might seem, for the second week in a row, a panelist on "Real Time" actually divulged information about Democrat involvement in the current financial crisis that most mainstream media outlets continue to hide from the public. With stocks cratering, and a serious economic contraction looming, one has to wonder when America's "serious" media will follow suit and expose the truth behind the current crisis. 

After all, in 2006, the word "macaca" and solicitous e-mail messages from a little-known congressman were headline news for weeks, and were largely responsible for the Democrats taking back the Senate and the House. Of course, all this attention came despite the misstatement by then Sen. George Allen (R-Virg.) and the behavior of Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fl.) no way threatening the finances of Americans or our very economy.

There is absolutely no question that if Maxine Waters was a Republican that had blocked GSE reform this decade, and was caught lying on national television about campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie, this would be headline and front-page news for days with full-scale coverage of how she and others in her Party were responsible for the current calamity.

Yet, it seems almost a metaphysical certitude that with about three weeks to go before Election Day, the Obama-loving media are going to keep this matter buried long enough to get their candidate in the White House.

Frankly, I'm not sure what Americans should be more concerned about: falling stocks and a looming recession or Democrats being completely in control of the nation's major press outlets.

Both are keeping this associate editor up at night; how 'bout you?