New Franken Ad

After Norm Coleman decided to pull all his negative ads, after they had run for a long enough time to slander opponent Al Franken, other groups have decided to take up the mantle. A new one, from the group Americans for Job Security, is attacking Franken on the topic of sub-prime lending. A transcript:

Sub-prime lending has decimated our economy, and now we face a once in a century credit tsunami. Some in congress fought against stronger regulations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And some, like Al Franken, actually encouraged sub-prime lending. “Many sub-prime lenders are doing a real service. They’re doing exactly what we want…” And now we are paying the price. Tell Al Franken no more sub-prime loans. Americans for Job Security is responsible for the content of this advertising.

This of course comes with pretty pictures of the various people involved as well as supporting sources and the like. But the problem lies, again, with what the quote leaves out. It comes from a National Press Club meeting with Franken from 2002. Here’s the full context of Al’s answer when asked about predatory lending:

“Okay. Here’s what I can tell you about predatory lending. First of all, it has increased tremendously over the last several years. Very often these are refinancing years. What happens is unscrupulous lenders will target a neighborhood, find uneducated, unsophisticated people and mislead them — people like Clarence Page — (laughter).

For example, a guy in a suit will go to a neighborhood. He’ll look for like an unrepaired roof, knock on the door. “Ma’am, I’ve noticed that your roof needs fixing. How about we refinance your mortgage, and I can give you some cash to fix your roof.” The woman refinances her mortgage. Now, the problem is, this is a predatory loan. There’ll be all kinds of hidden fees, prepayment penalties, which will prevent her from ever refinancing again, balloon payments, and very often — this is very often — built-in rate increases, so the mortgage goes up — the payments go up in a year.

Now, all of this will be buried in the fine print, and often borrowers end up not being able to make their payments and end up losing their homes or their businesses. It’s theft. Now, don’t get me wrong. Many sub-prime lenders are doing a real service. They’re doing exactly what we want — lending to people who couldn’t borrow money to buy a home or start a business. It’s the predators that we want to get rid of it.”

Surprising how different that sounds when you use the full context of it.

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