Even Congresswomen get the foreclosure blues

A newly elected Long Beach Democrat walks away from her mortgage; neighbors infuriated by unmown grass


Andrew Leonard
May 23, 2008 3:03AM (UTC)

I just followed a link from one of favorite economy-watching blogs, Calculated Risk, to a story about a Long Beach Congresswoman walking away from her half-a-million-dollar mortgage, only to discover, to my great delight, that the scoop belonged to my good friend and former Salon colleague Anthony York.

The story, I am told, is getting big play on Drudge, the L.A. Times, and the Washington Post, and it only behooves Salon to join in the frenzy.

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It's quite the tale, from start to finish. My favorite parts are the angry neighbors pissed off that the Democratic Congresswoman wasn't mowing her lawn as she went into default, and the hilarity of her recusing herself from votes on various foreclosure rescue bills.

As a member of Congress, [Laura] Richardson has been asked to vote on legislation pertaining to the spike in foreclosures around the country.

On the biggest pieces of legislation having to do with government bailouts for people whose homes have entered foreclosure, Richardson has recused herself. She did not vote on legislation by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, which would direct $2.7 billion in government funds to help an estimated 500,000 homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure.

Richardson also did not vote on a measure by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, that would give local governments $15 billion to purchase, rehab and resell foreclosed properties.

UPDATE: Just as I was about to post this item, Anthony York published a follow up story, in which Richardson appears to dig herself into her hole just a little bit deeper.

Nice work, Tony!

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Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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