I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Bah Humbug Pawlenty To Neighbors

There are lots of signs pointing to the great recession...including our own state of Minnesota jumping from the 26th highest foreclosure rate in nation to a record high 18th highest over the last 12 months...The Minnesota foreclosure rate is up 56% over last year. And while foreclosures have hit Minnesota’s economy hard, leading to a debate among policymakers over how best to provide relief to the state’s families, Pawlenty spends his time campaigning for higher office.

So it wasn't a big surprise to me (and probably not even noticed by Governor Tim Pawlenty) when the house right across from the Governors residences was foreclosed on the week before Christmas. In fact there were three foreclosures in his neighborhood in December, 3950 Worchester Drive, 4112 Prairie Ridge Road, and 3959 Worchester Drive.

In 2007, Pawlenty beefed up counseling for families in danger of losing their homes (no money but pawlenty of advice!). And while counseling is important, it's just the first step...a band aid until real help can be obtained. Unfortunately the ballooning Minnesota foreclosure rate gives proof to the inadequacy of just relying on counseling. According to Pawlenty:
"There is a resistance sometimes for people who are in these situations to ask for help. They feel like there is some shame, or some need to be secret or private about it. We want to encourage people that there is no problem or shame, and they shouldn't let pride get in the way of asking for help."

In 2008, Pawlenty gave into corporate efforts to protect banking interests, and vetoed SF 3396, which would have put a temporary hold on foreclosures while still requiring borrowers to make payments on their loans. He again offered 'expanded foreclosure counseling workshops'.

In 2009, Pawlenty left Minnesota far behind to campaign for higher office...Wonder if Pawlenty's neighbors went to counseling? Wonder if Pawlenty knows who they are or sent them a Christmas card? Wonder what they think about Pawlenty's run for higher office?

Small satisfaction in that his house value drops whenever there is a foreclosure within 5 miles...small indeed compared to the pain his foreclosed neighbors faced the week before Christmas.

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