October 2, 2008

Ex-Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is NOT an Obama Advisor (but McCain Does Have Real Connections to the Firm).

I received an email forward today, subject line: “3 Men Who Brought Down Wall Street.” It came from someone whose political opinions differ from mine so let’s just say sometimes I delete these without even reading, and at other times, open them to take a look to see what’s flying around out there. This time I’m glad I did the latter. The email outlined three former Fannie Mae executives, Franklin Raines, Tim Howard, and Jim Johnson and their various misdeeds. It closed with a “Where Are They Now?” and stated that Mr. Raines works for the Obama Campaign as “Chief Economic Advisor”; Mr. Howard, also as a Chief Economic Advisor to Obama and, Mr. Johnson was “hired as a Senior Obama Finance Advisor and was selected to run Obama’s Vice Presidential Search Committee.” What? I had to look into this.

Here’s what I found. This email seems to be a result of remarks Mr. McCain made at a speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin on September 19th, and a resulting newly released television ad focusing on Raines. Here’s what I found however. No connection between Howard and the Obama campaign at all. To be fair, Mr. Johnson did work on Obama’s Vice Presidential candidate selection committee, but resigned after a month after questions were raised regarding favoritism he may have received from Countrywide Financial Corp. He was in no way a “Senior Obama Finance Advisor.”

Regarding Franklin Raines, the McCain campaign is going on flimsy evidence of a few phone calls that may have occurred between Raines and the Obama campaign on “general housing, economy issues.” Again, he is not a “Chief Economic Advisor” to Senator Obama.

This is why people like me have a dislike for politics, we are being lied to. Well, as this Washington Monthly writer points out, these ads may just backfire for the McCain campaign, as they could also remind people of their candidate’s own (real) connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This is one to watch over the next few weeks, and we’ll see if sadly, a racial aspect is drawn into this as well and remember to always research those crazy email forwards!

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