How did this happen?
In 2012 it seemed Seattle’s city council really wanted to find out.
The Seattle City Council solicited bids from land title experts to determine what was going on.
After a careful vetting process the Seattle city council hired a nationally renowned land records expert with taxpayer dollars to find out.
The taxpayer paid expert concluded that many of Seattle’s foreclosures were void as a result of corrupt corporations being allowed to record assignments containing false statements by King County officials who routinely failed to follow Washington’s recording and criminal statutes.
But, of course, government officials implicated in creating the problem did not want to hear this or have anyone else learn of the expert’s conclusions. So what did the embarrassed public officials do? They had one of their own demand the land title expert sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent her conclusions from ever seeing the light of day.
But the land expert refused to sign the confidentiality agreement. The expert knew the conclusions in her report were accurate. The expert wouldn’t sign any agreement that allowed the City to bury her report and not consider its forthright and honest conclusions.
Meanwhile the City was getting zinged with public disclosure requests demanding the Seattle City Council release the report.
So the City reluctantly released the report including the City’s own nonsensical 3 page attack on the expert’s meticulously researched conclusions. (Apparently in an effort to make the report difficult to find the City did not provide a direct link to the pdf, but you can find the report and biased comments of David Jones by clicking on the link referencing Marie McDonnell.)
Then the City Council did everything it could to pretend the report did not exist. The Council scheduled a meeting to discuss the report on the same day the President of China was visiting Seattle and the Pope arrived in the U.S. (No possible chance of news coverage)
Deviously, the City did not ask the expert to attend the hearing to discuss her conclusions (even though the taxpayers had already paid for this); rather it notified MERS (who many of us believe is a governmental supported criminal organization created by, among others, former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder) about the meeting. The MERS attorney pompously argued that only attorneys and judges can possibly know what the law is (even though they expect all of us to obey the “the Law”.)
The City’s failure to listen to what the expert had to say disturbed many and they complained.
People wanted to hear the basis for the expert’s conclusions which implied that many foreclosures should never have occurred.
Finally, the Council reluctantly gave in and agreed that on December 8 the land title expert could testify about her report.
But then something big happened.
The people spoke!
The title expert had testified about essentially the same matters as are involved in her report, i.e. fraudulent assignments, to a jury in Texas. The jury agreed the assignments were fraudulent and awarded over $5,000,000 to homeowners.
Obviously, the City Council didn’t want the expert to come here and tell the people what is obviously obvious to us, the people.
Corporate fraud unrestrained by any reasonable governmental oversight, like a jury, had caused this crisis.
Click here to review the jury’s verdict.
Now in panic mode, the City Council announces that it wants to refer the whole matter democrat attorney general Bob Ferguson. This is hilarious because it was Ferguson who hired former bank attorneys to run his Consumer Protection division.
Yes, that’s right! It’s really true!! It would be funny, if there weren’t so many homeless…
The Seattle City Council wants same democratic attorney general who promised to help homeowners, but then abandoned them in favor of the banks and lawyers which contributed so heavily to his campaign, to decide this issue.
What a crock!!!
Why not let the expert tell the Council the same thing she told the jury? What is wrong with our government when it acknowledges the emergency which has resulted from unbridled foreclosures and then refuses to consider that it may have been unlawfully caused by the government?
SEATTLE’S HOMELESS SHOULD BE VERY ANGRY
Washington has long had problems with wealthy corporations bribing government officials.
Washington’s history on this regard is discussed in A FREQUENT RECURRENCE TO FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, FREE GOVERNMENT, AND THE WASHINGTON STATE CONSTITUTION by Brian Snure.
Here is an excerpt from Snure well written article:
Washington’s citizens were poised at a crossroad of change when they drafted their constitution. A crossroad between the industrial age of robber barons and the rural frontier of the rugged individual, between the future and the past. In the ten years prior to the 1889 Constitutional Convention, Washington Territory evolved from a wilderness populated by 75,000 settlers, cut off by a month’s travel time from the nation’s capital, to a rapidly growing state of 350,000, linked by a three-day train ride to the eastern seaboard.”
The delegates at the 1889 Constitutional Convention” faced two major challenges stemming from the territory’s rapid transformation. First, Washington Territory experienced government corruption. Second, private corporate power grew tremendously over the latter half of the nineteenth century, bringing both progress and problems to Washington. The delegates addressed the turbulent changes wrought by these forces by protecting individual rights with a broadly phrased Declaration of Rights, and through specific constitutional restrictions on both governmental and private power,” Additionally, the framers removed traditional powers from the legislative branch and placed democratic checks on all three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial.” The parameters of these responses contribute to understanding the fundamental principles embraced by the constitution, and the manner in which the principles were intended to secure individual rights and perpetuate free government.
The Historical Context: Government Tyranny and Corporate Abuses
Washington’s citizens feared governmental tyranny, a tyranny they generally identified with the legislative branch. The settlers, who were primarily immigrants from other states, had extensive experience with and knowledge of legislative abuses.” In addition, Washington Territory itself experienced legislative abuses. In 1862-63, the legislature reportedly passed no general laws, but enacted more than 150 pieces of special legislation for the benefit of “private interests against the general welfare,” The delegates to the Constitutional Convention carried these experiences with them; one delegate remarked that if a stranger were to step into the convention “he would conclude that we were fighting a great enemy and that this enemy is the legislature.” (emphasis added)
While the legislature may have been the enemy, governmental corruption also existed in the executive and judicial branches. Washington’s governors were criticized for abusing their patronage powers. Although Washington’s citizens respected the level of justice provided by the judiciary, they vocally criticized the judiciary because of absentee judges, political manipulations, and the lack of local control over appointments.
The presence of powerful corporations in Washington was often at the root of the governmental corruption. (emphasis added) The late nineteenth century in America was an era of rapidly increasing concentrations of wealth in the hands of relatively few individuals.” Notably, Washington would probably not have contemplated statehood in 1889 if it had not benefitted from the economic growth, and associated population increase, that corporate wealth had provided.
Numerous problems, however, also accompanied the expansion of corporate power in Washington. Chapters of national third-party political organizations such as the Grange, the Farmers Alliance, and the Knights of Labor sprang up in Washington Territory, partly in response to the expansion of corporate power. These organizations feared that uncontrolled concentrations of capital were threatening social stability and individual freedoms throughout the country. (emphasis added) For instance, the populist-minded Washington State Grange lashed out at the “money Kings of the East,” the trusts and monopolies that “were oppressing the laborer and robbing agriculture of its just rewards. The Grange’s concerns were not imagined. Washington’s citizens had a history of conflict with corporations, primarily railroads.” Excessive freight rates charged by railroad monopolies plagued Washington’s farmers. The territorial legislature’s failure to set railroad rates further angered farmers.”
Laborers and labor sympathizers expressed additional distrust and anger toward the growth of corporations.” A great deal of this anger stemmed from the conditions and disturbances in the mining camps around the state. In 1886 and 1889, violence broke out in Roslyn and Newcastle when mining companies hired armed guards to thwart striking miners.” Dangerous working conditions faced by industrial workers around the state led to requests for constitutional provisions requiring the legislature to enact health and safety laws.”
Snure’s reference to the corruption which inspired Washington’s constitutional separation of powers is based on our founders’ own words, newspaper accounts reporting the convention, and commentaries from observers who were there.