Archives for February 2011

My new hero

I don’t know him personally. I’ve never met or spoken with Patrick Rodgers of Philadelphia, but he is my new hero.

Online reports tell the story of Patrick’s battle against his mortgage company, Wells Fargo.

The bank demanded Mr. Rodgers purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy with a replacement value of $1 million dollars on a home for which he paid $180,000. The resulting disagreement led Wells Fargo to issue “forced placement” insurance, adding about $500 per month to his mortgage payment.

When Rodgers’ letters to the bank were ignored, he sued under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and won a default judgment against Wells Fargo for $1,000.

The bank didn’t pay, so Rodgers went to the Philadelphia sheriff’s office for collection.  Foreclosure proceedings are currently scheduled to conclude with a sheriff’s sale of all contents of the Wells Fargo branch on N. Delaware Avenue on March 4th.

Turnabout is indeed fair play.

Gutter politics

I’m socially a little more liberal and fiscally rather conservative, which means I prefer to vote for candidates as opposed to blindly following a party affiliation. Since I don’t live in the particular district in question, I’ve remained blissfully ignorant of this story…until now.

I don’t know any of the people involved. I didn’t vote for Congressman Austin Scott or his opponent. So why do I even care?

Because gutter politics threatens to drive qualified candidates away from seeking public office.  For the record, Republican Scott defeated Democrat Jim Marshall last November in a race for a district that contains Macon.

This despicable tactic of intimidation and character assassination has to stop.

And to which tactics do I refer?

Scott and his wife were granted a divorce in 2001.  Their young son was caught in the middle of a custody fight.

It is not unusual for people experiencing the trauma of separation and the dissolution of their marriage make accusations that aren’t completely true and say things they don’t really mean.

Three years ago, a judge sealed the court records of their divorce.

“Democrat activist” Amy Morton filed a lawsuit to have Scott’s divorce records unsealed so she could dig for dirt on him to use in the campaign to get Marshall reelected.

Now an elected Congressman, Scott and his ex-wife agreed to drop their opposition to the lawsuit and let Morton satisfy her prurient interests.

The muckrakers have been busy digging through the records, but so far all they’ve managed to find are unsubstantiated claims that Scott has allegedly been known to drink alcohol on occasion and may have seen a pornographic picture at some point in his adult life.

Hell, even if those allegations are proved, they don’t amount to anything.   Were Scott a Democrat, his reputation would probably grow from such accusations.  After all, lecherous behavior never hurt Ted Kennedy’s image.

You’re probably wondering; why is this story even worth mentioning?

I haven’t delivered the punch line yet.

In case you haven’t asked already, just who is Amy Morton?   Why, she’s a licensed marriage and family therapist.

You would think someone in her profession would be the last person on Earth to invade someone’s privacy. Unless they happen to vote Republican.

If you’re having marital problems or trying to “deal with the pain of an affair”, Ms. Morton is probably the last person on Earth you should want to tell about it.

Executive pay

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that current Governor Nathan Deal has increased the payroll in his office by thirty percent over the benchmark set by the previous administration of Sonny Perdue.

The additional salary expense is attributed to ten more employees working for the new governor. With our economy struggling and already a bloated government budget running a deficit, the last thing we need are more government workers.

The size of government should be reduced, not expanded.

Curiously, the AJC article lists the governor of Georgia’s salary. Nathan Deal earns $139,339 per year to run the entire state.

Why the added emphasis?  The Savannah Morning News website has reported that interim city manager Rochelle Small-Toney is making a whopping $190, 575 to manage a city a fraction the size of metropolitan Atlanta.

How and why does the interim city manager of Georgia’s 4th largest city make over $50,000 a year more than the governor?   Why are we paying anybody in government this kind of money when states are going bankrupt?