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Sidney Powell, JD, Former Federal Prosecutor on “Licensed to Lie”

February 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Stating the obvious can bring clarity to any subject. Objectivity is necessary in the affordable housing sector, as well as the manufactured home segment of housing. Businesses and investors act upon reality, or what they think is reality.

 

More broadly, objectivity – the search for truth vs. a convenient or comfortable story – is useful if not necessary in all things. For example, a person of sound mind doesn’t pay a physician to give a knowingly false diagnosis.

With that understanding, there are powerful currents at play in the U.S. in our era. Indeed, they are global currents, at work here and abroad. The Open Markets Institute (OMI) described it in these terms.

Big business and wealthy donors fund lobbyists and think tanks, corrupt academic science with “sponsored” research, and underwrite popular media publications and news networks. Through all these mechanisms, moneyed interests can control the flow of information in public debates and determine which issues become part of the nation’s political agenda, and which remain on the fringe,” said OMI.

That in a nutshell describes much of what MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews, has been working to unmask via research, following the money, and documenting the evidence for years.

 

The Two Major Parties and Political Clout

One ought to mention in passing the “unholy alliance” that Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) has cited between Democrats and Republicans. That unholy alliance extends to ballot access at the state or local level. It’s a way of protecting the two major parties against potential alternatives. Libertarian, Green, Constitutional, and other parties are often kept off the ballot through standards that routinely are difficult for any but the two major parties to achieve.

Rephrased, it’s political collusion between Democrats and Republicans that results in a political monopoly.  More precisely, it’s a duopoly.

 

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That’s not news for some, but it would be for tens of millions of others. Nor does that does mean that the two parties are the same. They clearly are not. But they do at times work to preserve each other’s monopolies – duopoly – in the political sphere.

Once that “unholy alliance” is better understood, several items come into focus. These issues absolutely impact manufactured housing, and other professions as well.

But what makes HUD Code manufactured homes more vulnerable than other professions to political and regulatory winds is the relative weakness of the sector, due to its current size. In that limited sense, a point previously made by Nathan Smith of SSK Communities is correct, today, manufactured homes are a “boutique industry.”

That relatively small size of our industry today allows connected power players, including Smith and his “F” rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) SSK Communities, to influence the system more than others. Smith, a prominent Democrat, is the former chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their current MHI PAC chair. Quoting Smith should NOT be construed in any sense as an endorsement, we merely note that he is correct on the narrow point about the industry being “boutique” in size, more on Smith is found at the link here.

The industry’s small size clearly means that manufactured housing is more subject to other political or economic forces. When billionaires or wealthy firms want to buy influence, they can do so readily. If necessary, those with deep pockets can back candidates on both sides of the two-party political aisle, knowing they will then have an open door to whomever gets in office. Smith and others have made that same point.

Which goes back to the concept cited from Open Markets. Those who think that term limits or rolling back the Citizens United decision will change American politics may be sincere, but that vantagepoint is nevertheless mistaken.

Here’s how Open Markets explained it in an article entitled, Democracy and Monopoly.

More fundamentally, the focus on campaign finance reform fails to address the many other ways in which concentrated moneyed interests corrupt the political process.”

With that sobering yet arguably accurate backdrop consider this.

 

Each Major Party Has at Times Weaponized Federal Power 

What the former President Richard Nixon (R-GOP) era Watergate scandal brought to light was the high-level weaponization of the intelligence and federal law enforcement services. Before Democratic supporters gloat over that reality, it’s arguably happened as recently as the Obama Administration (D) era too. Some presidents – across the left-right divide – have done so with more or less vigor than others.

 

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For the next few minutes, this Daily Business News on MHProNews brief will underscore the following points.

The Trump Administration has purportedly been somewhat hobbled by forces launched within the federal government while President Barack Obama (D) was still in office.

 

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Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, JD, in the interview below explains some aspects of that problem.

 

 

Former CBS News investigative journalist and now independent “Full Measure” journalist Sharyl Attkisson has similarly documented how the Obama Administration targeted her work in journalism. Fox News’ reporter James Rosen was likewise targeted by members of the Obama Administration.

There are solutions to these and other vexing issues. It begins, as does all problem solving, with understanding. 

 

Its Elementary. Its About the Constitution

Once the issues are understood, the solutions can emerge.  Put simply, the road to solutions begins by enforcing the U.S. Constitution as written and following the original resolution.  Other solutions – however well intentioned – are arguably ineffective at best, or a smokescreen at worst. The false notion, for example, of an evolution of the meaning of a law or the constitution disrupts the stability of the law, which makes ownership or property, investing, and other peaceful pursuits possible.

 

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From a letter to the editor of MHProNews by Kurt Kelley about the importance of replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a textual originalist, which President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of now Justice Neil Gorsuch was intended to accomplish.

 

After decades of national drift, intolerance for red herrings and more posturing without solutions should be stronger.

 

Where does the Final Word Rest? 

Many today feel frustrated by politics, but they may not be aware of the power they have.

The ultimate power of the legal system – the final word – lies in the hands of potential jurors. The power to enforce a law – whenever a defendant insists upon it – is decided by citizen-jurors.

 

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So never forget, you have more power over the law than you may realize. One juror can hold out, and effectively nullify a prosecution. It’s a principle long established in U.S. law. The juror can even ignore the judge’s instructions, and vote “not guilty,” as the legal citations below demonstrate.  That’s why the jury system was put in place in the constitution. Constitutional rights protect individual liberty, including against the power of rouges in runaway government, or the uber-rich who may misuse wealth to dominate the political system.

 

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You don’t have to be a fan of President Donald J. Trump to want equal justice under the law to be the the goal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has arguably been illicit from the beginning. Democrat-backer Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor emeritus, has argued against it. Mark Levin, JD, was anti-Trump before he became pro-Trump.  Levin has been shining a light on this topic for over a year. So too has MHProNews.

 

 

The president is a man, so by definition, he’s imperfect. That said, there is no known evidence of Russian collusion. Yet over 40 percent of the nation, according to public opinion polls, believe that to be the case. That’s possible because of the repeated reference to “allegations” of “Russian Collusion.” A lie, falsehood, spin or error repeated often enough becomes more widely believed.  Manufactured housing professionals – as part of a widely misunderstood industry – should be very sensitive to that sad reality.

As Attkisson suggests, question authority, follow the money, follow the evidence, and think objectively for yourself.

If POTUS Trump was a Russian pawn, as some oddly claim, then why is his foreign policy taking so many hard stands against Russian interests?

Russia has interfered in American and other elections for decades.  But so too as the U.S. interfered in the internal affairs of Russia and other nations. The claim of Russian collusions with the candidate Trump are absurd on its face. Whatever the political motivations of those who continue that false narrative, the reality is there is no evidence for it, after years and millions of dollars spent.

So the points – several – could be summed up like this. As the special counsel’s probe winds down, a report will be issued. As Mark Levin – himself a former Reagan era federal attorney – argues, this probe was tainted from the start. Mueller’s appointment was a political tool. It has had some success, as the 2018 midterms demonstrated.

As political independents, the publishers of MHProNews believe there are places that the two parties can and should work together in a bipartisan way. We’ve preached separating ‘wheat from chaff‘ for years.  A new example is the report linked here and below.

 

 

But it is important to recognize that the news can and is manipulated. The Open Markets Institute (OMI) is arguably correct about that claim. It’s a point that MHProNews – as the largest and most-read trade publisher in manufactured housing – has hammered on for years.

 

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Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

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Deepa Kumar quote from the thought-provoking video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

 

We source across the left-right divide, ever seeking truth over spin. Spin is what the powers that be in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis produce, via their echo-chamber house organs. But that’s a subset of a greater challenge.

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

This Danny Glover quote is from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.  It is similar to what the Open Market Institute (OMI) said, quoted further above. Note, as with any other quote, that doesn’t mean that we agree with other positions or claims made by the source of a given quote. 

TheseLargeConglomerateCompaniesDecideOnTheirownandForTheirOwnPurposesTheNewsWeSeeandHearDanRatherQuoteFormerCBSNewsPhotoTwitterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dan Rather quote is also from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page further below.

 

There are reasons that the axis and their surrogates fear MHProNews in industry trade publishing, because unmasking the truth is the start of becoming more free. Or as the Good Book says, “My People perish for a lack of knowledge,” (Hosea 4:6) and “…the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32b).

The rule of law is necessary and healthy for investment and the ownership of private property. So, violations or abuses of the rule of law will routinely harms numbers of individuals, investors, and businesses.

Understanding combined with correct action are the ways that manufactured housing will regain – and can surpass – its prior glory days.  The same is true for our American Republic.

That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

“Throwback,” BLS Reports New Records, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Update$

“Razzle Dazzle,” Says Former Manufactured Housing Institute Member

March 26th, 2018 Comments off

RazzleDazzleManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoNewClassofHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOnce you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” – Arthur Conan Doyle, per BrainyQuote.

An attendee of multiple MHI events who is an award-winning corporate leader who is also a Daily Business News reader explained what he called their “razzle dazzle.”

He specifically pointed out the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) trade association’s plans, naming their proposed “new class of homes.”

 

What has this extended MHI research and discussion actually accomplished?” – he rhetorically asked.

America’s affordable housing crisis is growing, yet MHI is still busy talking.”

Research may look like action, he said, but practically speaking, it is just another delay while the industry’s largest players continue to “consolidate” smaller ones

There is no denying that manufactured home production, retail, and communities continues to be absorbed into the hands of the larger MHI member companies. MHI’s own data – as well as third party research – confirms it.  Is that an accident? Coincidence? Or is it their plan?

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If the proposed Skyline Champion deals is finalized, then 75 percent of the industry’s production will be in the hands of only 3 companies, all of which are MHI members, per data from MHI, and other sources.

 

 

It’s Razzle Dazzle.”

Another skeptical executive told the Daily Business News that it takes skill for MHI to be so wrong, or so late to the dance, so often.  to those MHI defenders who say it is only a ‘conspiracy theory,’ he pointed to numerous reports from inside and out of the factory-built home industry,  and then cited the opening Arthur Conan Doyle quote, used at the top.

When

  • the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are both saying that only more construction will ease the affordable housing crisis,
  • and MHI has demonstrably done nothing effective,
  • that requires arrogance, incompetence – or is it great skill?

In the wake of a recent Daily Business News report, some ask, is failure to advance the industry being rewarded through higher pay and bonuses to senior MHI staff? If that’s hard to imagine, then see the related MHI produced facts that prove that senior staff are getting more pay – plus “bonuses” – per MHI’s own reports; see that “Busted!” linked in the related resource reports, further below.

Given the various controversial allegations, trends, and mounting evidence against them and their dominant member – Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway sister operations – it’s understandable that a number of state associations that could, quit MHI. See that and other related evidence in the related reports, linked below.

MHI’s counting the number of potential readers their advertorials might have reached is pathetic, when you realize it only proves how ineffective their work actually is,” said an industry executive.

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MHI doesn’t prove they reached 83 million Americans, but even if that claim was true, doesn’t their own facts – upon careful consideration – only reveal how ineffective their work actually is? Some 92,900 new HUD Code homes were shipped in 2017, divided by 83 million MHI claimed = .0011192771, or about 1/10 of 1 percent. Furthermore, tens of thousands of new HUD Code manufactured home sales were already taking place, which means their claimed impact was even weaker than 1/10 of 1 percent. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/we-want-your-money-2018-mhi-membership-infographic-fact-check/

 

Another pro told MHProNews that the huge claims MHI makes about their advertorials, social media and videos are either a fig leaf designed to make themselves look good, or are actually more evidence of their years of failure to advance their own stated agenda, take your pick.  See the graphic and fact-check above, using their own numbers.

There is in America today:

  • a 300,000 to 400,000 new unit annual new home production shortage,
  • the greatest need is in the affordable housing categories – facts according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB),
  • plus NAR and the National Low Income Housing Coalition NLIHC) have reported an 8.3 million units affordable housing units needed.

4 Concerns of Homebuilders Have Impacting Every American

What those facts imply is that it would take over a decade of producing record numbers of new manufactured homes to catch up to what America needs.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Using MHI and their members own data demonstrates that their so-called leadership in the past decade has witnessed the lowest levels of manufactured home production in the industry’s history. Why would a thinking person follow such failed leadership?

When you look at the facts, isn’t it obvious why Harvard researcher Eric Belsky predicted manufactured housing would dominate?

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At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. Yet in 2017, new home production was ‘back up to” only some 92,900 new home sales. In 2002, MHI was citing Belksy, why did they stop doing so after Clayton become their dominant member/producer?

 

Admissions and Excuses by Key MHI Professionals

Fancy power points and snazzy graphics – when carefully fact-checked against results – demonstrates a failure to be proactive that MHI member and former chairman, Nathan Smith himself stated.

MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison argued for low production, why? Didn’t that just benefit the bigger companies that have bought out smaller ones at a bargain price?

The statements by past or current members of MHI are often blistering.  They’ve included, but aren’t limited to:

Smoke and mirrors,”
Ineffective,”
Illogical,” and most recently:
Razzle dazzle…

…call it what you will. The controversial report last week alleging Clayton is trying to kill off the Tunica Show is only the latest in a series that has a growing number of professionals saying, if there is smoke, there must be fire.

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But for the doubters and skeptics, once you “…eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” – Arthur Conan Doyle.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports to Points Noted Above:

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

Warren Buffett Success Secret$, Video Interview Including “The Moat”

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure

Sun Communities Annual Data and Manufactured Housing Industry Investor Presentation Highlights

Notice: if Berkshire Hathaway wanted to see manufactured housing sales grow rapidly, they could do their own media campaign. They own a number of media outlets.  See facts in their annual report, linked below.

Warren Buffett’s Annual Report to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, Clayton Homes and Manufactured Housing

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Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

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MHI is currently spotlighting 5 operations, which in some ways is arguably a disadvantage to other MHI members.

Frank Rolfe Blasts MHI for Poor Media Engagement, Industry Reactions

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

Warren Buffett’s Political Payoff$, THIPS, and Manufactured Housing

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

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http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/mharr-news/diversion-distraction-or-destruction-and-time-to-raise-the-red-flag

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(Third party image credits are as shown.)

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Warren Wages War

March 9th, 2018 Comments off

WarrenWagesWarBombersManufacruredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Investors routinely say that they prefer “certainty.” That’s true for investors in manufactured home communities, stocks, or businesses.

 

The growing economic confidence during the year following the 2016 election witnessed a well-reported rise in stocks.  That was fueled in part by regulatory rollbacks – the “certainty” caused by an easing of business conditions imposed by the federal government.

The run-up and final passage in late 2017 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act fueled more investor enthusiasm.  Again, ‘certainty’ – plus higher returns on investments – were part of the motivating factors for those who don’t want excessive risk for their capital.

But in the last two months, Wall Street’s equity markets have become choppier.

Among the reasons?

Less certainty over issues like Federal Reserve policies. In the last few weeks anxieties over the looming issue of the Trump Administration’s tough talk on tariffs have emerged.

The headline for this Daily Business News report is an interesting, because there are “two Warrens” that have impacted manufactured housing, and business in general America.

Both Warrens are Democrats.

One is Warren Buffett, and the other is Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Both Warrens are waging wars.

But one Warren has in a sense declared war on the other one.

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Strange Bedfellows, and the Upcoming 2018 Midterm Elections

 Politics makes for strange bedfellows,” said Charles Dudley Warner, per Brainy Quotes. It means “Political interests can bring together people who otherwise have little in common,” says Dictionary.

Elizabeth Warren and President Donald J. Trump can fall into that category, with each trading public barbs on the other.  Yet, on the issue of concerns over monopolistic practices, the two may be become de facto political allies. Both are and have been expressing concerns over monopolies, and how they those monopolies harm competition in the marketplace, the economy, and ultimately, job losses, and wages.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Warren Buffett both supported Secretary Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. In 2020, sources say that the Massachusetts Democrat may be among several hopefuls for her party’s nomination to oppose presumptive GOP favorite, POTUS 45 Trump.

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Senator Warren has been an outspoken supporter of the Dodd-Frank legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that bill created under President Barack Obama. She supported Richard Cordray’s handling of the CFPB.

While it reportedly makes Berkshire Hathaway’s 21st Mortgage Corporation President Tim Williams unhappy to have it mentioned, Warren Buffett strongly supported both candidate Barack Obama in each of his presidential election bids, and he backed Secretary Clinton too.

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Notice. One may agree or disagree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission. At the same time, one logically ought to question how Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. Williams full presentation is linked here. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

 

Among the reasons cited by Mr. Buffett? His support for Clinton’s position on the CFPB and Dodd-Frank.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is championing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R.1699, S. 1751) legislation to repeal parts of Dodd-Frank harmful to manufactured home lending, retailers, and selling land-lease communities (a.k.a. ‘parks’).

MHI must ignore the logical disconnect between their then chairman Williams blasting “the progressive agenda,” and Buffett’s very public support for Obama-Clinton support for Dodd-Frank.

The graphic above “Threats and Challenges” is from a power point presented by Williams to MHI members.  It was provided to MHProNews by a source with ties to 21st and MHI. Again, note the obvious contradictions?

Is Williams seriously opposed to his boss Buffett?

After all, Buffett says he supports progressive causes, and Democratic candidates.

Or is it, as industry insiders say, a form of shadow boxing – political play-acting – made to appear like an effort to help retailers and communities is underway?  When in fact Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman openly supported Clinton’s support, which included her support for Dodd-Frank?

The contradictions are too great to ignore.  Nor will MHI, or the Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing explain it, as repeated opportunities to do so have been offered by MHProNews.

 

Some Things Defy Logic…

Clinton Delivers DoddFrank Defense to Wall Street. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will fundraise with Hillary Clinton,” reported Bloomberg in December 2015.

Yet just days before, Secretary Clinton wrote in a New York Times op-ed that, “As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.”

Why did Wall Street and Buffett support Clinton?  Because the big banks have grown under Dodd-Frank, as even Senator Warren admits.

It’s the smaller banks and lending institutions that have suffered.

If it seems confusing, it is simple once one thinks as Warren Buffett does – long-term, and per the thesis of the Nation’s recent series on monopolies – in terms of crushing the competition.

How handy is it from Mr. Buffett when the federal regulators – in this case, the CFPB – are the ones doing the crushing for the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway?

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

 

Warren vs. Warren, Strange Bedfellows, and Manufactured Housing

Sen. Warren opposes S 2155, which is currently the hot topic for MHI on Capital Hill. She opposes Preserving Access too. MHI’s prior chairman has reportedly given Democrat Sherrod Brown campaign contributions. Interesting, because Brown has also come out against S. 2155, as the Daily Business News recently reported.

Brown and former MHI Chair Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities, are said to be chummy. Cincinnati reported that Smith’s cell had Sen Brown’s personal number, and Open Secrets also reported his support for Democratic candidates, including Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

Senators Warren and Brown have both blasted S 2155.

Senator Warren has also stated her concerns over monopolistic practices and how that hurts the economy, workers and smaller business.  Warren’s House colleagues have specifically called out Warren Buffett on Preserving Access and the troubling business practices.

An Elizabeth Warren video is predominately promoted by Americans for Financial Reform, which boasts 50 organizations opposing Preserving Access, with several manufactured home owner groups named among them.

Perhaps it is that strong opposition that has been factored in by GovTrack and Skopos Labs, which give S. 1751 only a 3 percent chance of passage in the Senate.

 

SkoposGovTrack2018-03-09_1219PreservingAccessManufacturedHousingActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act’s sad odds of passage that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is unlikely to publicly admit to, are at 3 percent. Why spend millions on a plan that has such low odds? This report and the details linked help shed light on that question.

 

Following the Money, and MHI Disconnects

The rather public disconnects between MHI’s stated positions and what key people at or behind MHI has been reported more widely in the past eighteen months on the Daily Business News.

MHI has literally written checks to candidates who support or even co-sponsored Dodd-Frank and the Safe Act. Berkshire’s Buffett, former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of SSK communities and others supported Secretary Clinton, who opposed Dodd-Frank changes.

NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesFormerManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2018-03-09_1245NathanSmithOpenSecretsContributionsDailybuinssnewsMHProNews1

NathanSmithHillaryClintonSSKcommunitiesDailyBusinessNewsOpenSecretsMHproNews2018-03-09_1243

Let’s be clear. Nathan Smith, Warren Buffett, or anyone else, can support whomever they want to. That’s not the issue. The controversy here is that Smith is a leader at MHI, was the Chairman, is on the MHI PAC and GR committees, and yet was supporting those who opposed Preserving Access. It’s the contradiction of saying one thing, and doing another. That’s the issue that MH investors, professionals, and MHI members must focus on. Where is the logic?  The solution to that is spelled out in this and linked reports.

As MHI asks the rank and file of the industry to support this or that cause, bill, or candidate, each industry member may be tempted to give the benefit of the doubt to the national association.

As one community-retail operation president told MHProNews, most people are too busy trying do their day-by-day operations to pay much attention to what may look complex.  So, they often work on trust, and that is an advantage that Warren Buffett and others apparently count on (see the resource links, after this article for quotes and more details).

So perhaps not enough industry pros are looking at the actual track record of MHI?

Because bills MHI claim to support, or positions they advocated for, have often proven to enrich or benefit a few, while harming or cutting off opportunities for the many.

Discovering that MHI track record of legislative failures doesn’t take much research.  Preserving Access is just one example of the disconnects between what MHI claims to want to do, and what leaders like Buffett, Smith and others actually are doing.

SupporterdByMHIVotedForDoddFrankSafeActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s like supporting politicos with donations that have taken positions that the association claims to be against.  See the above.

While other’s in America are concerned about monopolies and how they harm different industries, by contrast, MHI prefers to deny it.

100YearsAgoTodayNationMonopoliesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured housing isn’t alone. But other industries are bucking up in their respective industries.  Why isn’t MHI doing the same as MHARR, which has sounded this alarm? See concentration in manufactured housing in the pie shaped graphic, further below.

 

Warren’s War on Monopolies, Like Buffett’s

Senator Warren’s theme that antitrust can be used to protect small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, workers and just about everyone else from the ‘rich and powerful,’” averred the National Law Review, “shows that increasing antitrust enforcement has become a key party line for the upcoming” midterms, said the right-of-center New American.

I was very pleased that the entire Democratic caucus signed onto a statement of principle that urged stronger enforcement of antitrust laws as one of our promises to the American people.” Elizabeth Warren, The Nation.

In recent years,” according to the Democratic “Better Deal” platform, “antitrust regulators have been unable or unwilling to pursue complaints about anticompetitive conduct.”

It was a rare rebuke to Obama’s record, reflecting a shift in Democratic thinking on monopolization,” says the Nation, which cited Presidents Obama and Bush 43 as both being weak on antitrust (anti-monopoly) enforcement actions.

I believe in markets,” Senator Warren said. “But markets work only when everyone gets a fair opportunity to compete.”

Just look at the numbers: 

 

  • Four airlines control over 80 percent of domestic airline seats. 
  • Five health-insurance giants control over 80 percent of the health-insurance market. 
  • Three drugstore chains have 99 percent of the industry’s revenues.
  • Four companies control over 85 percent of America’s beef market.
  • Two giants sell over 70 percent of all beer in America.

That’s a big problem. It’s a problem because, when a few big players control an entire industry, it has devastating impacts on both the economy and our political system,” Senator Warren said.

Left, right, or center, those facts are hard to argue.

She didn’t say so, but using MHI’s own data:Warren Wages War, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Manufactured Housing Institute, MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, VMF, Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, prior, former, MHI Chairman,

  • 3 companies control some 70 percent of manufactured housing.
  • If the Skyline – Champion deal goes through as expected, that will become some 75 percent market concentration in 3 companies.

Isn’t that the same pattern Senator Warren and others are expressing concerns about?

ManufacturedHomesMarketShareMHIMembersClaytonCavcoChampionDaiyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But it’s not just small-business owners who are forced to play a rigged game. When big companies control concentrated industries, as Bryce Covert makes clear in “Monopolies Harm Workers Too,” they can pay their employees less, because there aren’t other businesses around to make better offers,” said an editorial in the Nation, which cited Warren Buffett and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and others among the new breed of modern monopolists they are concerned about.

The big fight now is to make the Justice Department and the [Federal Trade Commission] and other agencies use the tools they already have to protect competition. I’ll give you three steps that the federal government can take to revive competition: Block anticompetitive mergers; stop anticompetitive conduct; and prioritize protecting competition,” Senator Warren said.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

 

Summing Up…

Senator Warren has declared war on those who are monopolists and who support changes to Dodd-Frank. She has also prepared for battle on S 2155, or any other attempts to roll back Dodd-Frank.

Warren Buffett has, per the Nation, declared a different kind of war to take dominate certain sectors, and that includes manufactured housing. “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning,” said Warren Buffett, per Good Reads.

Kevin Clayton, Warren Buffett’s CEO over Clayton Homes jokes about Buffett’s hating two kinds of competition, foreign and domestic.

The Atlantic predicted years ago what has been coming to pass in terms of Clayton/Berkshire dominance over manufactured housing. Clayton freely says in the video linked among the resources below that Buffett wants the moat expanded.  Clayton said Buffett is willing to lose money (they haven’t, but would he said) for 5 years, so long as the moat kept expanding.

Isn’t that a classic anti-competition statement? One Kevin Clayton made on camera, in a video?

The logic of this is simple, once you understand the Buffet/Clayton/MHI moat concepts.

So long as competition is being harmed, passing Preserving Access or not means little to Warren Buffett/Berkshire/Clayton; so long as the moat is growing.

MHI has been dominated for years by Clayton dues, and Berkshire Hathaway brands holding 2 of the 4 key board positions on their executive committee.

That’s also obvious from quotes above about Buffett’s support of Secretary Clinton and President Obama, not to mention the linked information below.

Eric Belsky at Harvard believed manufactured housing could dominate home building by the end of 2010; but what he apparently didn’t count on was Buffett and their “Moat,” and how those sharks in the water work.

So, what is Preserving Access all about?  Insider sources say, it is a distraction.  It postures an effort, which win, lose or draw, benefits Berkshire Hathaway’s ‘the moat’ strategy.

There are reasons why a number of state associations quit MHI.

Others that haven’t quit are sticking in, some sources have told MHProNews, because of the power of 21st over independents (see report, linked below).

21st sources have told MHProNews, that they do business with those guys (Rolfe’s RV Horizons, MHU et al), and late last year, Rolfe announced he would not comment any more on such industry issues.

But if Rolfe never said another word, or if he completely shifted his tune, what he’s already said about MHI, their failure to defend the industry from outside attacks, and their doomed to ail Preserving Access plan were and are devastating. What more needs be said?

 

Independents, Defense and Offense

There are perhaps steps that could be taken by individual retailers and communities.  It could logicaly start with something as easy as no longer supporting MHI.

But survival strategies must begin with an understanding and acceptance of the painful reality that the industry’s largest association – MHI – is, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said, working for the interests of a few conglomerates.

Independents, small to mid-sized players take note.  Once mighty Fleetwood retail finally failed, about the time that 21st sent out their ‘smoking gun’ letters (see resources, below).  The Fleetwood of today, and the Champion of today are rebirths of once giant companies that were bankrupted by forces that arguably included the Berkshire Hathaway onslaught.

With Buffett’s manufactured housing industry connected brands,

  • moves on subjects such as DTS,
  • their control or influence over much of the lending (21st, Vanderbilt Mortgage (VMF) and Wells Fargo,
  • their financial and political clout,

…the threat to independents must be seen as serious.

Even in the stable manufactured home community sector, if capital and lending are cut, the value of properties drops dramatically.

Consolidation has increased, according to MHI’s own data.  Forces across the left-right political divide are pointing to monopolistic practices, as key causes.

Will Democrats and some in the GOP, including President Trump and his administration work together to solve the crisis caused by what the Nation has called modern monopolistic forces?

That legal battle is one that manufactured home investors and professionals should consider. Because as this and other analysis have alleged and outlined, whatever happens on Preserving Access or other regulatory forces benefit Buffett’s brands, no matter what happens.

A growing chorus of voices from inside and outside of manufactured housing are saying that smaller businesses, workers, and Americans are paying the price for that kind of market power.

The Warrens have both declared war. Buffett on industry’s he seeks to dominate. Independents, workers and Americans are caught up in the smoke of war, in what Senator Warren, the 45th president, and others have called “a rigged system.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related:

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

Warren Buffett’s Annual Report to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, Clayton Homes and Manufactured Housing

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

Federal Manufactured Housing Program Review Comments Due Next Week, 2.26.2018

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40,000 of that total. What happened?

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

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Local official surprised by Attorney General’s suit against modular developer

September 30th, 2011 Comments off

Michael Delaney New Hampshire's Attorney General -credit DOJ-NH-GOVLaconiaDailySun reports on ‘surprise’ legal action by New Hampshire’s Attorney General Michael Delaney’s Office. In a follow up to the story covered earlier this week in MHProNews.com, Shanna Saunders said the city code enforcement office had been working with the developer and home owners to resolve some complains, but never expected the NH AG’s office to file suit. “I knew people were coming to the office and looking at their files,” Saunders said. Saunders explained the Villa at Paugus Woods was originally approved by the city planning board in 2006 as a cluster subdivision for a U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development (HUD) Code single-family manufactured homes. “I think when this was approved these had HUD stamped on it,” she said, noting that manufactured housing are built to federal HUD Code standards for manufactured housing and doesn’t required local inspections except for site work, like roads, drainage and the sewer systems and hookups to services like electricity, water and sewage. At some point, the project apparently changed from HUD Code manufactured housing to modular home construction. Former city contract code enforcement officer Jim Van Valkenburgh explained modular home ares engineered and built in factories and the design engineers and subcontractors are the ones responsible for design defects. “Each modular house also has a manufacturer’s sticker number with an identification number on the outside,” he said. “This means it was acceptable to our department of safety,” Van Valkenburgh said. He said that as the contracted code enforcement officer, all inspections were made as mandated by Laconia’s adopted International Residential Code of 2006, so he disagrees with the allegations in Delaney’s lawsuit that says life-safety issues are compromised. “I would not sign a certificate of occupancy without it meeting the minimum code standards of the residential building code,” he wrote. Brady Sullivan with the Villa at Paugus Woods development stated that he had cooperated with officials and that they would be vindicated.

(Photo credit: NH-DOJ)