One person who definitely doesn’t think that John McCain’s suggestion of putting New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in charge of the Security and Exchange Commission is a good idea: Wayne Barrett.
"He just seemed to pull a name out to be appointed, without really showing much in the way of reflection," Barrett said of McCain. Barrett said that McCain "turned to a name that sounded plausible, although I can’t think of any securities investigation [Cuomo] did as A.G."
Barrett, the veteran Village Voice reporter, wrote a story recently about Cuomo’s time as Bill Clinton’s housing secretary which essentially laid part of the blame for the current economic disaster on Cuomo’s actions.
“My problem with Andrew on the affordable housing goals is not that he set such high goals for home ownership,” Barrett told me just now, “but that he flat out he said we’re not going to increase the monitoring or regulation.”
Barrett said that Cuomo, maybe even more than his Republican successors, helped ensure an eventual, calamitous collapse of the housing market and trade in mortgage-backed securities by pushing to increase the number of people buying homes, at the cost of removing regulations and safeguards from the mortgage process.
“Even the Bush people didn’t go as far as Andrew when they set goals in 2004,” Barrett told me.
And what, then, does the apparent job offer to Cuomo from McCain say about the Republicans?
“It reinforces how bipartisan the scandal is," he said.