Does Virginia Really Want To Reelect Congressman Cantor?
For the first six years of the Bush administration all three branches of government were under tight Republican control. It was no secret over those years that a housing bubble was growing. Speculation was rampant. Housing developments were carving a new landscape. Whole TV channels were being devoted to how to make fast money by flipping real estate. And TV commercials were full of enticements to buy and refinance at suspiciously low rates with lots and lots of small print.
Where were the regulators of this industry? The mortgage bank regulators? The federal and state financial institution regulators? Were they all asleep?
Bear Sterns demise over the weekend may be just one domino. And though I have little sympathy for the Bear Stearns execs and the threat to their multi million dollar salaries and loss of millions of their equity, what about all the middle class Americans who were lured into this market bubble and are now threatened with loss of home and hearth?
When the Democrats wrested control of the legislature in 2006 they began to reverse the lack of regulation and to put more safeguards into the system. The bill was the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act and it passed the House 291-127 including substantial support from Republicans from some of the more seriously affected states.
This bill is described as: An act to amend the Truth in Lending Act to reform consumer mortgage practices and provide accountability for such practices, to establish licensing and registration requirements for residential mortgage originators, and to provide certain minimum standards for consumer mortgage loans. And Virginia’s 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor voted NO!
His vote was little surprise as anyone who follows his voting record can not but notice that he votes consistently along party lines – not along the lines of the needs and values of his constituency.
Check his top Political Action Committee contributors in this election cycle; Genworth Financial, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Wachovia, and Capital One were all in the top seven contributors. Any chance they have more influence on his voting than does the mere average citizen in his district who is being affected by the mortgage crisis?
The administration elected this November is going to need to work with a Congress that is willing to stop the political gridlock and work to bring common sense solutions to our commonly shared national problems. We need statesmen not politicians, we need representatives who are willing to work across the aisle, to bring ideas rather than obstructions, and to listen to the people over the largess of their corporate sponsors.
Cantor will be opposed. Anita Hartke, daughter of former Democratic Senator Vance Hartke is preparing to throw her hat in the ring and others have indicated their intention. Certainly in a district of 700,000 there must be better candidates than Cantor who both can take the concerns of Virginians to Congress and can work collegially with other members to deal with our economic, health, environmental, and other major problems that affect every American.