The federal rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is just waiting for the president’s signature at this point, but that doesn’t mean the next president will be spared addressing the issue. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd told NPR’s Morning Edition last week:
“Candidly, this is not to be the end of this debate and discussion. We’re going to need to go beyond this and take a look at these institutions, how they’re structured, how they’re set up, and the kind of potential exposure.”
Echoing that thought, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior policy adviser to John McCain, told Forbes that “it will be an issue for the next president.”
And who did leaders at the two mortgage giants want to see in the Oval Office in 2009? The Senate Banking Committee chairman, himself.
According to data from the Federal Election Commission, 17 of the 58 Fannie Mae officials holding “senior management” positions — as defined by Fannie’s most recent annual report — contributed at least $250 to the now-defunct presidential campaign of Senator Dodd. In total they contributed $12,800. To put that in perspective, only 21 total Fannie officials contributed at least $250 to any presidential campaign.
Dodd just helped negotiate that rescue package, which he said was necessary but “not a perfect plan,” and which the Congressional Budget Office estimated holds a worst-case potential cost of 25 billion taxpayer dollars.
With the Connecticut pol long gone from the race for the White House, Fannie support has moved heavily in favor of Barack Obama. Seven officials, including four who gave to Dodd, have contributed $13,150 in total to Obama. Company wide, the Obama popularity gap really opens up.
Fannie Mae-identified individuals have given $66,899 to the junior senator from Illinois, according to data obtained from the Center for Responsive Politics. Hillary Clinton also held her own company wide, pulling in $18,900 — $50 more than Dodd (though less than a third of Obama’s total). And any of the three Dems compare favorably to McCain, with just $6,300. Although CEO Daniel H. Mudd did give $1,000 to the Arizona senator, along with $1,000 to Dodd.
At Freddie Mac, a dozen individuals are identified as “officers” according to the organization’s website. Of those 12, four — including CEO Richard F. Syron — gave $11,500 in total to Dodd. Three officers gave a combined $3,500 to Mitt Romney. Obama and McCain each received one $2,300 contribution from separate Freddie officers.