Schwarzenegger's Leading Corporate Contributor Under Investigation Following Barrage of Lawsuits
Feb. 4, 2005 (EIRNS)Ameriquest Capital Corp., the nation's largest sub-prime mortgage lender, has contributed $1.054 million to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and has spent more than $200,000 on lobbying in Sacramento since the Governator was elected. "Sub-prime" mortgages are high-cost loans to people with poor credit, and companies such as Ameriquest are known for predatory practices against people desperately trying to save their homes from foreclosure. It is also a last-gasp opportunity lender for home ownership for many poor people.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Ameriquest has been alleged, in a series of lawsuits filed against it, to do virtually anything to make sales, including forging documents, hyping customers' creditworthiness, and offering "juiced" mortgages with hidden rates and fees. The company is headed by Chairman Roland E. Arnall, a developer and financier who helped found the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 1977. Rabbi Marvin Hier, a top official at the Wiesenthal Center, has received several large contributions for the Center from Schwarzenegger, in return for Hier giving Schwarzenegger's father clearance from the charge that he was involved in war crimes. Schwarzenegger's father was a member of Hitler's bloody SA stormtroop in Austria.
The Governator, who just launched an effort to raise $100 million to ram through a raft of fascist policies designed by George Shultz, has been raising money through a pro-business committee, Citizens to Save California. There are charges from consumer groups that Schwarzenegger's personal involvement with the Citizens group - which is co-chaired by the President of the California Chamber of Commerce - violates state law, which prohibits unlimited contributions to committees in which elected officials are actively involved. This law would restrict contributions to $22,300 per donor; at present, the committee is soliciting larger contributions, with the expectation of raising $13 million over the next 8 weeks, to provide funds for referenda that Schwarzenegger has planned.