Gov. Walker “Walks” All Over the Proposed Foreclosure Settlement

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

Just the other day we learned of the proposed foreclosure abuse settlement between the Attorney Generals of almost all 50 states and the Big Banks.  In that pending settlement, the Banks will be depositing up to $26 Billion dollars into a fund designed to help homeowners whose homes are under water and who have been foreclosed upon.  “Federal and state officials today will finally announce that they’ve reached a settlement with the nation’s biggest banks over the banks’ various foreclosure fraud abuses, such as “robo-signing” foreclosure documents and submitting falsely notarized documents to courts. The settlement has been in the works for several months, as a few key states — most notably California and New York — were holding out for tougher terms against the banks.”  Think Progress  While some still think the settlement does not go far enough, there is evidence that the settlement could provide real relief for homeowners and for the real estate market.  But the concept of helping the market and homeowners gets lost, at least in the mind of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin!

Gov. Walker and his Wisconsin Attorney General have decided that the lions share of any settlement funds heading to Wisconsin are not going to be used for their agreed upon purpose, but to help balance his ailing state budget!  “However, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — whose high profile assault on workers’ rights has prompted a recall effort against him — isn’t planning to use the money to help homeowners. Under the terms of the settlement, Wisconsin is set to receive $140 million, $31.6 million of which comes directly to the state government. And Walker is planning to use $25.6 million of that money to help balance his state’s budget:  Of a $31.6 million payment coming directly to the state government, most of that money – $25.6 million – will go to help close a budget shortfall revealed in newly released state projections. [Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen], whose office said he has the legal authority over the money, made the decision in consultation with Walker.  “Just like communities and individuals have been affected, the foreclosure crisis has had an effect on the state of Wisconsin, in terms of unemployment. … This will offset that damage done to the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.”  Think Progress

Somehow, Gov. Walker and his AG are trying to make us believe that funds that have been tentatively agreed upon to be used to help individual homeowners and former homeowners, will be better utilized to balance his budget that has been criticized for making gifts to corporations at the expense of the individual citizens and public education.  Journal Sentinel   Did Gov. Walker think that the big blow-up over contraception the last few days would hide this story of outright theft from the homeowners who need it the most?

Notwithstanding your opinion of the proposed settlement, what good at all will this proposed settlement be to homeowners and the real estate market if individual Governors are allowed to raid the funds and use them in ways that they were not intended to be used?  Is this just one more example of politicians attempting to line their pockets or to service their “base” and leaving the taxpayers in their dust?  Will this attempted theft by Walker be one more nail in his political coffin with his pending recall election later this year?

In this writers opinion, the Feds and the majority of Attorney Generals from across the country need to make sure that when the agreement is finalized that individual Governors cannot be allowed to defraud the public and steal the funds delegated for homeowner relief.  How do the state Attorneys General prevent this kind of deception what weakening the impact of this settlement?  What do you think?

52 thoughts on “Gov. Walker “Walks” All Over the Proposed Foreclosure Settlement

  1. The key to the success of this agreement will be in the administration of the funds. If there is little oversight then this agreement will be no more successful than the previous effort.

    Walker wants this effort to fail and is the point-man other Republican Governors have put forward and intend to follow.

  2. One thing that can be said about Oklahoma is the Attorney General refused to sign off on this “Settlement Agreement” as it will only benefit a few…. and of course the banks by limiting liabilities….

  3. Wouldn’t the handling of the tobacco settlements provide a model for how to put brackets on the use of these monies?

  4. Carver,
    That is one possible way to deal with the funds, but states still used those funds to supplement their general budgets. I think it has to be reduced to law or executive regulation somehow. If Walker is allowed to do this, what will stop other Governors whose budgets are in trouble?

  5. I am always amazed at the creativity exhibited by those who think up new names for new condoms.

    I mean there was foresight, foreplay, forelorn, and now foreclosure.

    Good “bleau job” guys.

  6. Did St. Augustine realize that could apply to the HRCC?
    With all due respect to his humanity, he had (Wiki) a mistress for 10 years, abandoned her with two children. and went to Rome to fulfill what his prayers earlier had prevented him from doing. Re chastity: “Help me, Oh Lord, but not now” (If my memory serves me well)

  7. Well said Dredd, I couldnt have growled better myself. One person could put Walker in the hotseat and several could make it hotter. A plaintiff who is targeted as the recipient of the settlement and denied it by the Governor should sue the Governor in simple conversion (Count I) and theft (Count II). Since the case can be filed in a county circuit court, pick a good victim, one who lives in a city somewhere with good jurors who hate the Walker for stealing their money. Do not file it as a class action. File many as individual actions. All over the state. He is not immune from suit for conversion or theft. Let the courts of appeals deal with the niceties. There are better theories but I think that conversion and theft sound about right. Groooowwl.

    Just a dog talkin.

  8. One report says that the settlement offers those whose homes were foreclosed (certain qualifying conditions) the munificent sum of Two, repeat TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. If acceptance was coupled with abstention of right to pursue the matter further was not mentioned.

    Surely this reminds of so many attacks of this mosquito type:
    Spread out the outrages and no concerted nor effective counter-attack is possible.

    It’s like here, we have so many taxes, we lose sight of them, and the stings are translated into a generalized ache. Finally cognition and reaction is totally impaired. Ultimate result: Morbidity and mortality of the body politic.

  9. id707,

    In order to make a good Saint one has to have been one hell of a sinner.

    As Annie Besant, a Theosophist, said … “For centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of women as a necessary evil, and the greatest saints of the Church are those who despise women the most.”

  10. To amplify what Blousie wrote, that quote of St. Augustine’s was uttered when he was a callow youth (late teens, possibly early twenties) — a “prayer” surely uttered in similar form by many young boys and girls of spiritual bent. And it was one child (Adeodatus), not two, that he had by his mistress — and this was before his conversion. And the only reason we know any of this is because St. Augustine himself told us — in his work aptly titled “The Confessions.” Far from abandoning his son, he and Adeodatus were baptized together when Adeodatus was a teenager, and were together when St. Augustine’s mother died.

    I realize this is off the point of this thread, but I have heard the “give me chastity, but not yet” (in full: “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet”) thrown around ahistorically one too many times…

  11. Rafflaw: “In this writers opinion, the Feds and the majority of Attorney Generals from across the country need to make sure that when the agreement is finalized that individual Governors cannot be allowed to defraud the public and steal the funds delegated for homeowner relief.”

    I’m not sure who is meant by “the feds”. Is that Congress, because the originators of the law could make a list of exclusions that would prevent diversions of the funds. After Walkers statement and the recent example of bailout funds used for bonus’ (or to fill the hole in the bottom line that bonus’ left) it’s not like Congress doesn’t know what danger lies in a poorly worded allotment. Unless Congress wanted to make grants to the states since so many of them are in trouble and wanted to do it on the down low.

  12. Lotta,
    I can’t imagine that Congress would do anything to help homeowners. Especially the House. I was contemplating federal regulators or a real independent commission.

  13. DHMCarver,

    You seem to know a lot. But do you rely on the tidied writings of the HRCC?
    For example, the chief information we have on Gnostics was written by a few Christian opponents

    Be that as it may. This is a perfect example of how talking points from the right thrive (ie the pop version), whereas truth (if there be such) does NOT viralize, nor survive in the popular mind or become legacy. Who wins?
    We’ll find out in November, or in a few hundred years if we’re here then.

    At any rate, the popular version functions very well as a parable, carrying greater wisdom than perhaps the “truth” does.

    Am saying simply that your version has about the same claim to historiticity as those about the life of Mohammed.

    “Facts” don’t always trump folk wisdom.

  14. Idealist707 — what are you talking about? The dispersion you cast on Saint Augustine we know about because he himself told us about them. That was the only point I was making. And if you are going to use his words to slam him, or the Church (presuming HRCC is the Holy Roman Catholic Church), then get your context right. Trust me, Saint Augustine provides plenty of evidence in his writings for attacks on the Church, is that is your druthers. But as a rhetorical device, using inaccurate or ahistorical examples to prove your point undermines the entirety of your argument.

    There is a line between “folk wisdom” and “believing what I want to believe, contrary to all available evidence”. You seem to be off on the Tea Party end of that spectrum, regardless of what your ostensible politics are.

  15. Blouise,
    Your quickness astounds me.
    Re´ Augustine, as Carver says, wrote his own memoirs, in pursuit of sainthood perhaps.
    As for greatest saints, does that prove that Hitler has become a jewish one?
    I mean, that’s an odd way to attain sainthood, hating women or jews. Had the Christian ones no other characteristics? Pederasty? It can’t be just a modern phenomena. Recite the litany for us. No, just kidding.

    There is today a modern equivalent to the Medieval “succubus”.
    They are the muslim wives of the Maldive islands. Check it out.
    The husbands are all tuckered out from trying.

  16. Dear GHMC,

    You are kinda mixed up. It’s aspersions that are cast, not dispersions.
    Secondly, I did not attack either HRCC nor St. Augustine. That I leave to those better informed than I, IF they find the reason to do so.

    Mine was simply a discussion of “truth” versus fable. Virality versus the turgid flow of truth. And the reliability of sources. Do you get it now?

    I did not take a position on either the saint or the church. Read it again.

    As for tea bag end of the spectrum, that is an ad hominem slur; and I am not perturbed considering the source. Ad hominems are the signal that you admit defeat, or feel so. Am I right?

    Ad hominem: a word I learned here. It is like you folks are my Readers Digest word list. Ho, ho.

    Relax, cool off, GHMC, you should go to a jewish academy, like the ones I saw in a documentary once. How to argue like mad and keep cool and capable of thinking in the meanwhile. Isn’t that a lawyerly trait?

    Playing with you is like my squash partner who really loved plaýing with me.
    He beat the me all the time.

    But you’re a nice guy, cuz’ you read more books than I do. Right?

  17. Idealist707 —

    I stand corrected regarding “aspersions” versus “dispersions”. Aside from that, you must not realize how what you wrote comes off — for I think any objective reader would read your posts as an attack on the Catholic Church (“Had the Christian ones no other characteristics? Pederasty?”). You took a swipe at Muslims as well, and I wonder, given your posts today, what you feel about Jews, because you are right on the edge there (Hitler as a Jewish saint?).

    History can be discussed, analyzed, the sources assessed, etc. But when you start making claims to your “truth” with no evidence other than you do not want to believe the sources available, then yes, you are acting like the Tea Party types — if the tri-cornered hat fits, wear it. It is one thing to say, “This is the evidence before us, and I don’t trust it.” It is something entirely different to say, “This is the evidence before us, and I don’t trust it, so I am just going to make something else up that presents a different story, regardless of having no basis for my belief.”

  18. rafflaw,

    I don’t understand why there aren’t restrictions on how this settlement money can be used. What’s the point of a mortgage foreclosure settlement if the money doesn’t have to be used to help out the homeowners for whom it was intended.

  19. No matter which side one chooses to take in the Saint debate, it must always be remembered who conducts the modern canonization and or beatification process as opposed to the original non-process, martyrdom (the gift of martyrdom).

    I testify to being a sincere supporter of Saint Anthony.

  20. DHMC,
    Let me give a quote, instead as you do extracting words out of context.
    I’ll see if I can clarify it for you. But am doubtful. The words were not meant for you but for Blouise, who I believe did understand the underlying meaning.
    She noted that the greatest saints were said (by others) to be the ones who hated women the most. I felt that this was an odd way to qualify to being a leading saint (of course they (perhaps) were rated on other qualifications).

    Thus my comment that thereby calling into question this by saying that in which case Hitler should qualify as a Jewish saint (they have none) since he hated Jews more than others did. Get it?

    As for my admonition to you to go to a Jewish academy,(don’t know the right name for them), it was in view of that the Jews have been practicing arguing, starting in Babylon, since around 500 BCE. The Jewish lawyer is the together with doctors the classic jewish mothers desire for his sons career. As the Jews joke and write about freely even for us gentiles.

    Now please go back and read again slowly. Start with this….

    “As for greatest saints, does that prove that Hitler has become a jewish one?
    I mean, that’s an odd way to attain sainthood, hating women or jews. Had the Christian ones no other characteristics? Pederasty? It can’t be just a modern phenomena.”

    And I finished off by wondering if enforced chastity did not lead to sexual abuse of children many centuries before the current one. Can you not ask yourself if this is an objectively motivated question? I hope so for your sake.

  21. DHMC and others,

    Correct me if I am wrong.
    Humor commonly here is often of an ironic, sarcastic sort, with often esoteric references, being insider referenced (law, religion, social cliques, etc).
    Such goes over poorly with those who have a narrow frame of references.
    And is more difficult without visual cues, or voice ones.

    Just as we had difficulty (for some at least) understanding the insult of casting shoes at President Bush, then some things fall outside our kin.
    I’m convinced that much here falls outside of my box.

    But I like striving.

    As for frames; I keep expanding mine. Today, my domestic help was a Christian woman from Eritrea named Ester. She could enlighten me how it was to be working in Saudi Arabia, and force to seek secretly a priest to baptize her children.

  22. DHMC

    As for a swipe against Muslims.

    If you only had read something written by those who respect the seeking of historical truth as a basis for faith.
    This has been the characteristic of Christian theological research, particularly since 1895.

    A parallel has been the search by Muslim theoligical historians seeking the correct message aside from the Koran’s starting two hundred years after Mohammed’s death in 632AD.
    The hadith etc. were sourced carefully, just as the new testament gives two geneologies for Christ for proof of his coming being in tune with prophecies, so these Muslim historians wanted to establish a chain of successive unbroken sources leading back to those who lived daily with Mohammad, to prove the hadith gave correct information and were interpreted correctly.

    All that and more my friend was included in my casting doubt on the historicity of your sources by comparing them to those of the muslims. Do you get it?

    You rely on a saint’s memoirs as being the “gospel” truth. Well, I regard him as just any other human: fallible, self-serving, etc., in spite of his religiousity.

    Pehaps that is what makes my “humor” and ways of seeing and reasoning difficult for you—-and perhaps for others too. It won’t be the first time I’ve found I did not connect.

    Thanks for your argumentation. It is stimulating.

    PS To Blouise and others. I cast no ridicule on faith. Your choice can be questioned, but that’s not my purpose here. I believe just as you do; only in perhaps other things.
    All enlightenment is beautiful to see. As I wrote earlier about seeing muslims coming back from their afternoon prayers.

  23. This is a response to someone up thread that asked what the limitations are for the money….Apparently they have none….The money can be spent anyway they want to….I called a friend of mine that works in the Legislature….as a Director of Policy…so its a fairly good source….

  24. Blouise,

    You support St. Anthony. I will read up on him.

    But I write to say you would be moved, as all the non-churchly Swedes are, by the yearly celebration of Santa Lucia (lu-SEE-yah), who is represented by a group of white robed young Swedish girls, each having a long red sash to their enrobed toes, symbolizing the blood shed for Christ. The girls are followed by boys called starboys. Lucia is the one leading, bearing a crown of lit living candles. They sing a song in her honor. These processions are held in all schools, all large offices, etc all over the country on Lucia day.
    All this without church sanction, so in a secular life there is room for spirituality and respect for sacrifice.

    It is very moving. And is one of the treats given to the new Nobel Laureates awakening them in their hotel rooms. My first time was when my first “sambo” here wakened me the first December occasion.

  25. This dog happens to be a Bhuddist. The kind with two d letters. We believe in a Way. In this case of the thief governor, there is a Way. Recall him. Get him out of office. If he takes your settlement money sue him in your local court and make a jury trial demand. After twelve of your peers are chosen, and six are underwater, ask them to judge him for being a thief or not a thief.

  26. DHMC,

    You attack me for ignoring evidence which is given credence.
    What is the basis of that credence. Consensus or cessation of hostilities for the moments, while new attacks are planned.

    You seem unaware of the internal fights within most world religions.
    Witness the one mentioned here between contraception acceptability by the HRCC Vatican and its acceptance among Catholic women.

    Scholars have been fighting for thousands of years, both within and without the HRCC. The same for Muslims theologists. The Sunnis and the Shia blow each other up daily, when they’re not acting against the Christians, or the Othodox churches’ congregations.

    Do you believe there is a doctrine within the HRCC cast in stone?
    A comforting thought for some. A disturbing one for others.

    The most popular but criticized archbishop here was essentially a non-believer in much of the credo. His clarity of position attracted many back to the church seeking solace in spite of ridiculous creeds

    Shocking? Perhaps.

    Better than what you have there in my eyes. But that is PURE opinion, the previous is fact. If you can get around it.

  27. id707,

    I’m not a Roman Catholic … probably not even Christian in that I don’t accept the Resurrection. I pick and choose from the many beliefs offered and reserve my freedom to do so.

    Santa Lucia, as described by you, sounds (I’m a musician thus auditory) wonderful.

  28. Back to the topic? In the words of a sign i saw yesterday at the Capitol in Madison, this is going to end with a pink slip or an orange jumpsuit. Or both.

  29. Blouise,
    A divine resurrection?, no, neither do I. A drug assisted snatch. Note the guards at the cross yielded to the implorattions of his family to not break his legs, as was customary to hasten the death through not being able to support the body with the legs. Gruesome.
    The bible’s list of the large quantities of herbs used in the pre-burial preparation suggests to some a revival therapy.
    Perhaps. Pick and choose.
    One man’s religion is another’s delusion or disillusion.

  30. The Democratic Governor of Missouri and his Democratic AG have just joined the Scott Walker club by announcing that they will steal $40 million of the projected foreclosure settlement funds to help fund education. While I admire more funding for education, these funds are not designed for that purpose.

  31. Let’s strip away the politics for a second and look at the schematics. The anti-taxation meme that has been pushed for many years now has caused politicians on all levels to be afraid to raise needed tax revenue in all but seemingly surreptitious means. These include raising tolls, raising the cost of parking/traffic fines, passing off court costs to those appealing summons, etc. All politicians whether middle, right, or left are now doing this to avoid being attacked for raising taxes. Since certain State and local services cannot be cut substantially and in these times there is an increased need for revenue lost from the feds, creativity has become the norm. These moneys are seized by the State governments in lieu of raising taxes to eliminate and/or decrease deficits. This is a legacy left to us by those who blindly object to taxation. The aftermath of that anti-tax legacy has left this country with a crumbling infrastructure and a dearth of needed services. Pathetically, those proponents of anti-tax all the time have caused more harm to this country than has Al Qaeda, while pretending to be patriots.

  32. Mike S.,
    Your last sentence says it all about taxes.

    We know what has to be cut and from where. But how to motivate representatives who are bought and also dependent on defense jobs?

    How do you stop the biggest of them all, even bigger than big oil?

  33. idealist,
    you start anywhere. It won’t ever get done if we don’t make any significant cuts in non-essential defense line items. And it won’t get done if we do not get money out of politics. But that is another discussion.

  34. California has always lead the nation in reforms, even in prop 8, citizen-sponsored reform. Could we ask our friends there to proposition on cutting defense and aerospace spending, shutting down spy satellite launches from Vandenberg, etc. (Facetiously said of course).

    We have to start somewhere and have a bunch of state governors and legislatures ready to follow the lead—just as they are on all the Repugnant issues at the moment.

    How do you stop “substance” abuse when it involves world control, consensus control, and economy control—–as well as milking us cows for all we are worth.

    Yattata, yattata, yack!!!

    Questions, yeah. Where’s my answers. Am too old to find them.

  35. Where are the Public Memorandums for all the legal proceedings? Has anyone found those yet? I have searched and searched, and come up short Wouldn’t one would think that if 49 states are involved, one would be able to find at least one state that has released the court documents. If anyone has found a link to the .pdf versions of the memorandums I would love to check them out. Any help would be great! Thanks!

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