Senators Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) have been implicated in a mortgage scandal involving Countrywide bank. This is obviously a touchy issue considering that Dodd is the chairman of the Senate banking committee, it is an election year and a $300 billion lender bailout is supposed to be voted on today in the Senate.
In Dodd's case, the accusations basically boil down to whether or not he was given special pricing in relation to a couple refinance loans he got from Countrywide in 2003. Dodd denies receiving any special rates and adamantly claims that the rates were at market, but he does admit that he was likely on Countrywide’s VIP list.
Dodd's accusers have e-mail evidence apparently showing that Countrywide did, in fact, give Dodd preferential treatment. Countrywide sent an internal e-mail message that said to give Dodd a 0.5 discount on his rates because he was a U.S. senator, according to Portfolio.com.
Dodd denies any wrongdoing and is prepared to fight all allegations against him. Considering the facts that I have read, I don’t think they will ultimately find him guilty, yet the effects could be hard-felt nevertheless. The major $300 billion mortgage bailout bill has already been delayed while this investigation is underway, according to the New York Times. In a time when Democrats are trying to support their presidential candidate, Barack Obama, any bad press for the party certainly affects him. Dodd is a high-ranking Democrat who was a candidate in the 2008 presidential election himself, and whether or not Obama has anything to do with Dodd, it won’t change how the Democratic party in general is perceived by some.
Personally, I’m all for the investigation. If Dodd did, in fact, take advantage of his position, then he should have to pay the consequences. More importantly, this has held up the $300 billion bailout bill. Since I am adamantly opposed to a mortgage bailout, I hope that this bill gets delayed permanently.