Obama’s HUD Pick Misused Agency Funds for Low-Income Housing as Mayor
President Obama’s choice to head the scandal-plagued Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) misspent that agency’s funds—allocated to improve low-rent properties—as mayor of San Antonio, according to a federal audit.
Nevertheless if the president has his way, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro may soon be in charge of the agency whose millions his city evidently misused. This means President Obama has picked yet another winner to join his cabinet. A political news site broke the story this week, but don’t expect the mainstream media to bother covering it. They’re too busy drooling over stories of another Mexican-American running the monstrous agency that aims to create inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
The last Mexican-American mayor of San Antonio who ran HUD pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to a mistress. His name was Henry Cisneros and he was appointed by Bill Clinton. Actually HUD has been rocked by a number of scandals—under both Democrat and Republican administrations—over the years. George W. Bush’s HUD secretary, Alphonso Jackson, was forced to resign in the midst of a federal investigation involving cronyism. Ronald Reagan’s HUD secretary, Samuel Pierce, was embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal that saw 16 people, including some of his top aides at the agency, convicted.
Under Obama the agency has maintained this high standard of corruption, by among other things, violating a federal funding ban for the fraud-infested Association of Community for Reform Now (ACORN). After a series of exposés about the leftwing group’s illegal activities Congress imposed the ban to stop the massive flow of taxpayer dollars that for years filled its coffers. Nevertheless, a Judicial Watch investigation found that HUD continued giving the group tens of thousands of dollars to “combat housing and lending discrimination.”
Under Obama HUD has also launched a number of controversial programs, including a special initiative to help illegal immigrants throughout the United States. HUD also intervened against Arizona’s strict immigration control law by warning that federal housing obligations prohibit “discrimination against protected class members.” The agency even deployed its assistant secretary to intercept a Fremont Nebraska measure banning illegal aliens from renting in its jurisdiction.
Then there’s the contentious St. Paul, Minnesota case in which the agency unscrupulously meddled with a local issue in the name of race. In an effort to maintain its neighborhoods, the city improved housing enforcement by targeting landlords with a history of violations. A minority contractor claimed that the new code enforcement measures reduced the availability of low-income rentals, causing a disparate impact upon African-Americans. St. Paul got slammed with federal lawsuits and the U.S. Supreme Court was expected to hear the case, but the city backed down amid intense federal pressure. Judicial Watch has sued HUD for records that will shed light on how the Obama administration improperly and successfully pressured St. Paul city officials to take the extremely rare action of withdrawing a Supreme Court appeal.
Castro, the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, is undoubtedly expected to keep the Obama administration tradition of playing the race card. In his third term as San Antonio mayor, the 39-year-old is considered a rising star in his party. Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin Castro, represents Texas’s 20th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last summer the nation’s future Housing Secretary said that amnesty would be an urban stimulus as undocumented residents become normal participants in local economies. Legalizing illegal aliens will make communities safer, Castro said, and will boost local and national economies.