Tom Leppert May Forget His Past. We Don't.

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Did anybody else have a serious gag reflex reading our former mayor's what-a-good-boy-am-I essay on the op-ed page of The Dallas Morning News yesterday? Does Tom Leppert just assume people don't remember a single thing about him? Or does he not remember a single thing about himself?

His op-ed piece is a paean to his own virtues. He starts off: "I'm a businessman. While Washington tells us a $14 trillion debt is the cost of doing business, you and I both know that's how you destroy a country's economic prospects."

Yeah, he's a businessman, all right. A really bad one. How would Leppert dare even open his mouth about debt? If he'd been at the wheel in Washington two years ago, we really would be bankrupt.

He was on the audit committee of the board of directors of Washington Mutual when it crashed in September 2008 -- the biggest bank failure in American history.

Two weeks before the meltdown, Leppert told reporters everything was coming up roses at WAMU: "The feeling is that there's sufficient capital and good things ahead."

But he knew better. Exhibits from an April 2010 hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations include an April 17, 2006, memorandum to the audit committee providing detail of massive losses rolling in already to WAMU at that point from $837.3 billion in bad house loans made in one year by WAMU's Long Beach Mortgage Company (LBMC).

The memo to the audit committee members from Randy Melby, WAMU's chief auditor, cited "relaxed underwriting guidelines...loan sales with provisions fundamentally different from previous securitizations...and breakdowns in manual underwriting processes."

It went on to say: "These factors, coupled with a push to increase loan volume and the lack of an automated fraud monitoring tool exacerbated the deterioration of loan quality. Additionally, an effective communication process to advise the production team of early indicators of deteriorating loan quality was not in place."

So, summing up: 1) Better part of a billion dollars in lousy loans. 2) Shitty business practices. 3) Major management push to get the loans out the door anyway. 4) No fraud control. And, 4) Nobody talking.

Least of all Tom Leppert.

Thumbnail image for Leppert_shades.jpg
Hey, Tom, can we remind you of a few things?
And this was two years before the WAMU crash! No one has ever come up with a single instance of Sunny Tom raising a single finger at WAMU, let alone his voice, in all that time.
And that would not be his style, would it? He told us the Trinity River toll road was paid for.

Oops. Wasn't. There's a couple billion we'll need to look for.

He told us the Army Corps of Engineers had signed off on the safety issues with the levees.

Oops. Hadn't. Well, once you're already short two billion, who cares?

His op-ed talks about how the bad people in Congress need to stop giving out money in special earmark appropriations. "It is time to end the earmarking process," Leppert says.
He acknowledges that he used to defend earmarks when he wanted them for the Trinity project (to make up for the money he had already told us we had but we didn't really): "Several years ago, I made the case that it was better for elected officials to direct spending rather than leaving it entirely up to government bureaucrats."

Actually it was only a couple years ago, but he says everything has changed in that time.

"Unfortunately, Congress abused the privilege," he writes. "Spending is out of control and the process has become completely corrupted."

Wow. Already! Just since he was in favor of them.

Well, anyway, he's against them now. But wait! Apparently there is an exception even to that very new conviction. Leppert says the Trinity River project should still get earmarks because it's a worthy project: "Even as other programs are cut, the Trinity River project should be able to stand on its own merits under a tougher fiscal regimen in Washington. Less worthy programs, however, should be eliminated."

So let's sum up again. 1) Comes out against earmarks for the Tea Party vote in his ongoing U.S. Senate bid (kiss-ass kiss-ass kiss-ass). 2) Comes out for earmarks for the Trinity to keep the money boys in Dallas who are funding his campaign happy (kiss-ass kiss-ass kiss-ass).

I think that's pretty much 360 degree ass-kissing.

I just keep wondering when in Dallas we will get tired of these pin-striped board-room drummers with the haircuts and the suits and the 24/7 bullshit. Why do we vote for guys most of us wouldn't buy a casket from? They'll say whatever some paid consultant tells them to say. Whatever sells! They figure nobody remembers the words anyway, just the suit, the haircut and the smile.

Tom Leppert. WAMU. Tom Leppert. WAMU. That's all you need to remember.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
35 comments
Maturecam
Maturecam

No the last thing we need is more drama from this joker. Flip and flop. This guy has always been a media grabbing looser. What a joke.

AustinMorgan
AustinMorgan

I'm confused if this supposed to be an actual commentary, or simply the joking banter of an angry writer.

Leppert is a fiscally principled leader by any definition and proved it as mayor and in his business practices. His message is obviously connecting with people and he's starting to really establish himself as a leader in this race, which is likely why he has to deal with blogs like this...

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Hey Steve want to by my 300 shares of WaMu stock?

I'll sell it to you a my cost only $2,000!

Present value market value $0.00.

It's not hate to document a politician's record with facts.

Claiming it's "hate" just proves you either know Leppert's actions are indefensible or you're not smart enough to refute JimS' facts.

Which is it?

Erich S
Erich S

I'm tired of hearing how "it takes a BUSINESSMAN to run the government." Last time I checked, the govt. isn't in the business of turning a quarterly profit. If anything, it is more like a charity.

No, a government has weird things to spend money on, like schools, roads and park maintenence. Have we gotten our priorities so screwed up that we think we need a for-profit charlatan (in my experience most BUSINESSMEN are just smooth talking, highly-paid con men) to come in wreck it up for those of us who actually live in the real world? Since when has an expensive, unneeded, city-owned convention hotel been more important that picking up our garbage, which under Leppert was reduced to once a week. Heck, even my mom gets her trash picked up twice a week in Waco! One of these days we're gonna wake up and realize that this place ain't worth fighting for anymore.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

So if Dewhurst has not decided when is the primary that will decide the Republican canidate. What does the Democratic alternative to the Republicans for senate?

I agree that he is a two faced fool. I pitty anybody who thinks that he would make a good senator (unless you are deranged enough to view his record with Washington Mutual and the city of Dallas as a success).

Steve
Steve

More of the hate Tom Leppert dribble that comes out of this blog. Attempting to overlook his career of many successes and pointing out only flaws is hardly a legitimate assessment of a candidate.

I'm a big fan of candidates like Leppert who have done something else other than been a money spending bureaucrat their entire life.

To attempt to tie the largest economic downturn since the 1930's around his neck is absurd.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Who cares, he's going down hard in the GOP primary - that seat is Cool Hand Dewhurst's to lose. If anything, he's just trying to build momentum for future races or get appointed somewhere in D.C. He's got less name recognition than Ron Kirk did when he ran for Senate as a Democrat.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

My teenaged son met the mayor at some function for DISD kids.

Afterward, he said Leppert reminded him of "a dumb lizard in a poorly fitted suit."

Out of the mouths of babes...

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I like the phrase "360 degree ass-kissing". So appropriate.

I'd love to see a debate where earmarks are brought up and Leppert puts on his anti-earmark-unless-they're-worthy stance.

"So let me get this straight," his opponent would say. "You're against earmarks unless a senator thinks they're worthy. Mm-hmm. Doesn't that pretty much describe every earmark in the history of ever?"

Montemalone
Montemalone

Mr. S, let me sum up what you so eloquently expressed.

Tom Leppert - R

The R says it all.

HotelMotelHolidayIn
HotelMotelHolidayIn

Even aside from all the other nonsense, the tax payer funded hotel has got to be one of the most ridiculous examples of spending there is. Leppert has no room to even pretend to be a fiscal conservative.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

JimS

Tom WAS BORN AGAIN Again.

Kings X New Man.

Next He will dress up as a camel and pass through the eye of a needle .

Taylor
Taylor

Is it just me or is it ironic that you must pay $17.50 a month to read a an article about spending money wisely?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Leppert's shape-shifting can really leave one disoriented.

Jim, you're also forgetting to mention that he tried to get the Obama administration to pay for the convention center hotel under the Obama stimulus program prior to undertaking the bond issue. Also, I'll never forget his vilification of Harlan Crow as "a greedy Park Cities billionaire" for having the temerity to suggest it was inappropriate for the public sector to enter into direct competition with the private sector using public subsidies (Leppert himself only moved out of the Park Cities shortly before undertaking his mayoral campaign).

On another note, (can't put my finger on it right now), I could have sworn he was cited somewhere in the media as claiming to have opposed all tax increases while mayor. I was pretty sure that wasn't true, but I actually had to go purchase an old Dallas Morning News article out of their archives which documents him voting for the 1st increase in 2007.

Finally, it cracks me up that he always allows people to say that he relocated Turner Construction to Dallas (without making any effort to correct them)-- that's simply not true. A check of the public record at the time indicates that only a holding company, the Turner Corporation, moved here and only planned to employ 15 people including Leppert. Indeed, the entire operation only occupies one floor of the Comerica Tower. To this day, Turner Construction and its entire senior management team are based in New York (amazingly, it takes less than 4 seconds to confirm that fact on the internet [slaps palm against face). That leads to another issue that no one has ever bothered to check out: why in the world was Leppert hanging out in Dallas with a tiny group of folks when all the rest of senior management and the headquarters of all the operating units were in other cities? It all seems very odd.

My suspicion is that the reason for the establishment of the Turner Corporation office in Dallas was motivated primarily to partially avoid extremely onerous New York State and City corporate income taxes.

God forbid anyone from the Dallas Morning News could ever be bothered enough to ask some basic questions about that whole thing (why should they--- they gave him a free pass on the Washington Mutual deal--- which wiped out $63 BILLION in shareholder value in less than 2 years.

RandyE
RandyE

"So, summing up: 1) Better part of a billion dollars in lousy loans. 2) Shitty business practices. 3) Major management push to get the loans out the door anyway. 4) No fraud control. And, 4) Nobody talking."

Which is why he fit in so well here and was acceptable to Those Who Matter on both sides of the river.

Anonymous
Anonymous

He's a Good Christian. What else do you want/need to know?

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

What's up with all these facts Jim? Don't you know that the surest way to the tea party's heart is just to retweet sarah palin.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Hey you, quit you're whinin! Other shareholders collectively lost $63 BILLION due in part to Leppert's chronic failure to faithfully execute his responsibilities as a member of the Audit Committee.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Couldn't we dig up Molly Ivins and run her as the Dem candidate? Even dead she'd be a hell of a lot better than anybody the repubs have.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Ok.... I'll bite. Please cite his successes.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

No one is attempting to "tie the largest economic downturn since the 1930's around his neck," they are merely pointing out that one of the reasons Washington Mutual failed was accounting and internal control failures--- this was Mayor Leppert's responsibility as a member of the audit committee. As a result of his failure to perform his job as director, shareholders lost over $63 billion dollars and the largest bank failure in U.S. history occurred. If proper controls had been in place, Washington Mutual should never have failed.

Diana Powe
Diana Powe

What is it with people using "dribble" when what they mean is "drivel". Geez, get a dictionary.

Tom Leppert is Exhibit A of why it is such a complete fantasy to imagine that someone being in business prepares them for government. It's an absurdity for government executives but is orders of magnitude more absurd for potential legislators whose absolute job requirement to compromise and garner support around ideas has nothing to do with being able to just make and enforce decisions.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I don't care all that much about his successes or failures as a businessman. What I do know is that as mayor of the city of Dallas he not only supported spending outrageous amounts of money on frivolous unnecessary bridges at a time when budgets are tight but that he nearly single-handedly pushed through a taxpayer-funded government-run hotel which is about as close to communism as I've ever seen any American politician get.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"I'm a big fan of candidates like Leppert who have done something else other than been a money spending bureaucrat their entire life.

Well he Managed to spend enough for a Entire life time of a BUREAUCRAT in under four years here That Is an accomplishment !

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

"or get appointed somewhere in D.C."

I think that's exactly what he's aiming for. He knows he doesn't have a whelk's chance in a supernova of winning a primary or a general election. He's just spouting conservative talking points so that someone in power will think, "Hey, that's my kinda guy".

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

That's if Dewhurst enters the race. There are a lot of folks who think he prefers to take over as governor when Perry bolts to seek the Republican's presidential nomination or pairs with someone else as VP.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Go to Facebook. locate "Briefing". Subscribe, it's free. Then you can read the DMN online sans paywall, cause you're now a subscriber.That's being wise.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Good Christian.Jumbo Shrimp.Military Intelligence.

Some words just don't seem to fit together.

Pied Piper
Pied Piper

The last thing we need more of is Sarah Palin.

I'll take Mayor Tom as a senator though - he's hands down the best guy running and it sounds like Dewhurst out.

I'll be glad to see Dewhurst move up to governor if that's what he ends up running for.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Molly Ivins and Dorothy Parker for the All-Dead ticket.

JimS
JimS

This remark is unfair to communism. At least the communists could damn well make peple go stay in the hotel.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

He also played a key role in destroying $63 BILLION in shareholder value at Washington Mutual-- that's gotta be worth something.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...