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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Worst ad of the season

by digby

Wow. Americans For Prosperity are just going for it:

Here's the story:

Although it still enjoys support from a broad coalition, legislation to turn some foreclosed homes into affordable housing now also faces deep-pockets opposition.

Americans for Prosperity, an economic policy group launched by coal billionaire David Koch, is mounting an advertising campaign on radio and television trying to rally public opinion against the proposal -- Senate Bill S-1022.

"A lot of people don't even know this is happening, or the significant negative impacts this bill will have on our neighborhoods," said Steve Lonegan, the former Bogota mayor and gubernatorial candidate who is the state director of Americans For Prosperity.

He echoed the TV spot, which suggests the effect would be to "move in drug addicts, ex-cons, sex offenders, and homeless people."

"Any local official would have to be crazy to support this," Lonegan said of the legislation, whose primary sponsors are state Sens. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) and Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Union).

The proposals' backers include the state League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Builders Association, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, the New Jersey Bankers Association, and other groups not often found lined up together.

Supporters said the criticisms reflect a misreading or misunderstanding of key provisions of the bill. At least, those who responded politely said that.

"There's a special place in hell reserved for Steve Lonegan," Lesniak said, repeating it with the admonition, "that's on the record."

To be honest, I don't even understand the financial motivation behind this. In fact, there isn't any. It's simply that these rich pricks hate poor and middle class people and don't want anyone to help them ever.

They are calling it a "bailout" which is just hilarious coming from these people, but since they are shameless it's unsurprising that they would appropriate the word for their own benefit:

Lonegan said attempts to deal with the fallout from the most recent crisis have amounted to an expansion of government while putting taxpayers on the hook for private interests. The new legislation is "another bailout for the banks," he said.

"Every special interest in the state with something to gain is lined up behind this," he said. "But thank God the bankers association, the builders association, the realtors association don't run the State of New Jersey."

Right. American for Prosperity are brave warriors for the little guy.

Here's what it actually is:

The bills would establish a temporary agency, the New Jersey Foreclosure Relief Corp. Working through the state Housing and Mortgage Finance Authority for five years, the corporation would acquire houses in foreclosure and make them available to towns, non-profit groups, or private investors as low- and moderate-income housing.

In a time when New Jersey faces an estimated backlog of 50,000 to 100,000 foreclosure cases, as well as new ones, Lesniak portrayed the initiative as "a way to support property values and reduce crime by getting people into vacant homes, provide municipal tax revenues while stabilizing the housing market."

"It's based on the very successful model of the Resolution Trust Corp., which cleaned up the housing mess left by failed Savings and Loans during the 1980s by taking over and selling off their portfolios," he said.

The RTC, which was in operation from 1989-95, closed or otherwise resolved almost 750 troubled financial institutions in the wake of a previous housing bubble. This time, the economic problems have been compounded by related securities frauds, spreading the current downturn beyond the borrowers and lenders whose transactions were not adequately secured.

Like I said, they just hate anyone who isn't rich. There's no other rational explanation for this. It's based on a highly successful program that should have been instigated much earlier. It would help business, help property values, help municipalities and help people. But it might also be perceived as a useful government program which means it must be stopped.

And to do it with this message is just evil:

The TV spot zeroes in on an amendment to allow state agencies to acquire foreclosed properties for use as halfway houses, assisted living centers and other facilities for "special needs" populations.

In the language of the bills, that "means individuals with mental illness, physical or developmental disabilities, victims of domestic violence, ex-offenders, youth aging out of foster care, disabled and homeless veterans, individuals and households who are homeless, individuals with AIDS/HIV, and individuals in other emerging special-needs groups identified by state agencies. Individuals shall be at least 18 years of age if not part of a household."

That confers power to "take these problems to places across the state, to suburbs across the state," Lonegan said. "This is COAH on steroids."

That's reference to COAH is another hideous conservative e initiative to abolish low income housing.

I really hope that Democrats understand that when someone like Paul Ryan blathers on about "using conservative means to save the safety net" this is what he's talking about. These people don't just not care about the poor and the vulnerable. They want them punished for being the parasites, moochers and looters they think they are.