The power of political posturing?

I’m having second thoughts about posturing legislation.

Tony Capizzi did it when he proposed gun control legislation.

Dean Lovelace did it when he pushed for anti-predatory lending laws.

Mary Wiseman did it when she asked for equal opportunity protection for gays.

All of these were pissing in the wind, since none were enforceable, or true local issues.

If Dayton was one of the top 10 cities in the country, the force of size would make a difference, but because we’re Dayton the issues get steam-rollered by larger entities.

My home town of Cleveland Heights had the balls in the seventies to declare itself a “nuclear free zone” and put it on the city limits signs. This was all for show, since no highways run through Cleveland Heights and we didn’t have any reactors either. Sometimes, it’s just about feeling right.

However, my thoughts about reconsidering the program come from two recent events:

  • The idiots in Warren County rejecting the “dirty money” from the Fed as part of the “bailout” which got national attention, even if it was grandstanding.

and,

  • My recent home appraisal.

Yes, I’m sure you’re scratching your head.

I bought this house in 1986 for $14,500. I’ve put about $75K into it, and many thousands of hours of uncounted, unpaid, sweat equity. Last appraisal, before the latest Rehabarama, which had a house in the next block sell for $240K, was $130K. That was a couple of years ago. The new appraisal came in: $60K. My standing-seam roof was $8k and will last 100 years. Don’t tell me my house is only worth $60K (yes, I need to paint it and do some repairs to the back porch).

Something is really wrong.

Of course, it could be I fell for a refinance offer from Countrywide (now owned by Bank of America) who took the loan over from Greenpoint who bought it from US Bank. The mortgage is at 7.25% and I was trying to get it to 5% which would cut my monthly bill by almost $300.

Of course, BofA has nothing to gain in this, except the $2K in fees it will get to reexamine their own paper.

Is this my bad judgment, trusting them? Or, that the appraiser is just like the Wall Street ratings houses- and totally without any checks and balances? Or is it that Bank of America is criminal in its behavior?

I’m going to go with number three. Bank of America is, and has, screwed this country into the ground. I had a credit card with them- we paid a payment a day late, the interest rate went to 29.99%. I paid $6k of the $8K off- and closed the card. BTW- My credit score was and is, 730 or so. They still wouldn’t reduce the last $1,800 to a lower rate, although they were willing to “settle the debt” by dinging my stellar credit and writing off $1,400- to which I said no. Today I got the bill- $48 in interest and a $65 minimum payment on the remainder. I called again, and they said they’d drop it to 12.5% and a 60 month payout plan at $40 a month for 60 months if I closed the account (it was already closed). Hallelujah! But, this doesn’t stop their behavior as wrong and criminal.

If elected, I’m supposed to be the voice of the people. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Daytonian who is being screwed by Bank of America and others right now. Would it be right to posture and do a grandstanding piece of legislation making it illegal to charge interest in excess of 12% over the prime rate without first offering to negotiate terms?

Would it be right to pass a bill requiring mortgage lenders to automatically have to lower the interest rate if they deceptively send you marketing promises of a refinance if they already hold your paper? No baiting allowed? (they got $400 application fee from me to tell me my house is now worth considerably less than I owe on it).

Yes, I still believe my first objective should be better trash pickup, cleaner, safer streets and efforts to present an air of promise and prosperity to the region first, but, the idea of legislating “stick it to the man” laws to bring attention to these very real criminal acts is making me re-think the power of political posturing.

Your thoughts? Should politicians legislate for attention, when action is beyond their reach?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!