Romney Backers Paid Millions in Discrimination Lawsuits Against Hispanics
Since the video of Romney’s fundraiser was released, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has spent much of his time courting Hispanic voters. One reason might be his fundraiser video comments relating to Hispanics.
Another source of concern for many Romney is that his largest campaign donors were successfully sued by the current administration for discrimination against minorities including Hispanics. Romney’s top seven contributors, according to Open Secrets are all banks: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Credit Suisse Group, Citigroup, Barclays and Wells Fargo.
The next largest campaign funder for Romney is Kirkland and Ellis—is a lawfirm that defends corporations against lawsuits including race discrimination.
Since 2008, Eric Holder’s Justice Department has successfully brought a large number of discrimination cases against banks. In most of these cases, the banks were alleged to have charged Hispanics and African-Americans with the same financial credentials thousands more for the same loan. In addition, minorities were targeted for risky sub-prime loans.
Morgan Stanely settled a race discrimination charge against Hispanics last week. The settlement established a $16 million fund, of which $14 million will be divided among class members who submitted claims. Under the settlement, Morgan Stanley will spend approximately $7.5 million on diversity programs, including programs aimed at training and recruiting African-American and Hispanic financial advisors and trainees over the next five years.
Bank of America has been the hardest hit by Department of Justice lawsuits due to their purchase of Countrywide. Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million (see video above) to resolve allegations that it engaged in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers. In addition, two race bias lawsuits were filed against the company in July.
This year Wells Fargo paid $175 million for African American and Hispanic discrimination claims against wholesale borrowers.
The Justice Department also successfully sued many smaller banks including C&F Mortgage Corporation last year for $140,000, PrimeLending for $2 million, AIG Federal Savings Bank, Wilmington Finance, Inc for $6.1 million, National Mortgage Lender for $2 million, Luther Burbank Savings for $2 million, Midwest BankCentre for $1.45 million, First National Bank of Dona for $585,000 and Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. (CRBC) and Citizens Bank of Flint, Michigan for $3.6 million.
A new report issued last month states that smaller banks are continuing to discriminate. For example, a Latino man was arrested while banking. The Attorney General has proposed new policies to help Hispanic and African American borrowers.
Of course, the Justice Department has also dealt with police discrimination against Hispanics.
The Justice Department has also sued police for racial profiling in North Carolina and Arizona.
Republican politicians have also discriminated against Hispanic voters in Texas, Port Chester, N.Y. and Florida and Anaheim. Other lawsuits may be imminent in Los Angeles and Colorado. The Department of Justice will also be monitoring elections in Alameda County, Fresno and Riverside, New Mexico and Chicago.
Polls show that most Hispanics support President Obama. The most recent poll shows 63% support President Obama and only 25% support Romney
by Todd Miller
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