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Obama’s Financial Investigator: “Too Liberal” For Cuomo

By Roger Donway

Jan 29, 2012
Categories: Politics

In his State of the Union address, on January 24, President Obama said: "I’m asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorney general [sic] to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.”

Sam Stein of the Huffington Post then broke the news that this so-called Unit on Mortgage Origination and Securitization Abuses “will be chaired by Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general” (Huffington Post, January 24). Schneiderman “has been one of a handful of state AGs who have balked at the proposed multistate settlement with top mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses” (American, January 25).

This is not good news for anyone who hopes to keep down the criminalization of business and the imprisonment of businessmen. Capital New (January 25) headlined its announcement of the appointment: “Obama elevates Eric Schneiderman, who was too liberal for Andrew Cuomo.” The story beneath, written by Azi Paybarah, said: “It’s a big victory for liberals and a sure sign that Obama is indeed keeping an eye on his base (the base that rallied around the Occupy Wall Street protests) as he heads into his re-election effort. . . . Governor Andrew Cuomo has said, in stump speeches, that there is no divide between rich and poor. And, lest we forget, he unofficially but unmistakably opposed Schneiderman’s bid for attorney general during the primary.” (H/T Walter Olson)