Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Friends in High Places

Three Congressmen helped a political contributor beat an investigation -- and cost taxpayers $300 million.


MP3 File

A trio of Republican Congressmen used their clout to stop an investigation of a political contributor.

California Representatives John Doolittle and Richard Pombo hooked up with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas in their effort.

They opposed a federal banking investigation into Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz.

Holdover from the S&L Crisis

Mr Hurwitz once owned a controlling interest in the United Savings Association of Texas.

That Savings and loans' failure was one of the worst of the S&L disasters back in the 80s.

Mr Hurwitz's stood to lose 300 million dollars.

That's what the FDIC wanted back from the Mr Hurwitz's S&L collapse that cost taxpayers one-point-six billion.

But his lawyers -- with the help of Congressmen Dolittle, Pombo, and DeLay -- beat the bank investigators.

Congressmen to the Rescue

The lawmakers inserted regulatory agency investigation files into the Congressional Record.

That let Mr Hurwitz’s lawyers see what the investigators were up to -- including confidential testimony and all the evidence the FDIC had gathered.

The move effectively destroyed the government's case -- and the FDIC dropped the case.

Mr Hurwitz has been a loyal Republican political contributor -- raising $30,000 for Rep DeLay since 2000 -- including $5,000 for Mr DeLay's legal defense.

Election records show he and his political action committee have given Reps Pombo and Dolittle a total of $8,000 since 1996.

Mr Hurwitz cost taxpayers one point-six billion dollars.

He gives politicians $38,000.

And he gets to keep $300 million.

Mr Hurwitz gets an "A" in Washington math. (LAT)


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