Home > affordable housing, Commentary, Manufactured Home Communities, Manufactured Housing Industry Reports & News, Manufactured Housing Industry trends, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), People > Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

January 26th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

FactsmatterFormerPOTUSObamaHUDSecDrBenCarsonPOTUSDonaldJTrumpManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNews550

Former President Barack Obama recently said something relevant to the nation.  But it was particularly and profoundly insightful to manufactured housing professionals.

According to the Hill,Former President Obama said in an interview that Fox News viewers and NPR listeners are living on different planets in terms of what news they consume.

“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you, you know, listen to NPR,” Obama told David Letterman…The former president was referring to how the Russians were able to “exploit” different kinds of U.S. voters, who were “operating in completely different universes.

No matter what you thought of his politics and policies, Mr.’s Obama’s point is salient and timely for Manufactured Housing professionals, Investors, and Advocates.

“Alternative Facts,” “Different Universes” in Manufactured Housing

There have always been those who’ve distorted reality.

But in the 1980s, perhaps one reason Democrats and Republicans could reach more compromises is because there was arguably less of a tendency to completely ignore facts, or one would get called out for it.

You are entitled to your opinion,” quipped Daniel Patrick Moynihan per Goodreads,But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

There are today professionals in and outside of our manufactured home industry that rail against reality.

Many think they know a fact. Or they trust a source, without realizing that the source has changed.

Depending on the source or context, they could be mistaken, because “facts” have been so politicized.

We will use the Manufactured Housing Institute to make our point.

In MHI’s 1.25.2018 “Housing Alert,” one finds the following phrase, quoting:

As the only trade association officially registered to lobby on behalf of the manufactured housing industry in Washington, MHI will continue to work with the Administration’s key housing leaders and Congress…”

For those in the know, the first part of that sentence are code-words aimed against the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). So, we asked MHARR to provide their take on MHI’s claim.  Here’s the meat of what they sent to MHProNews, quoting:

MHARR has been registered as an MH lobbying organization since 1985… The filing receipt for MHARR is attached.  This is all public record.”

A screen capture of MHARR’s filing receipt is below.

MHARRCongressionalLobbyingFilingDisclosureDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

Facts matter. MHI’s claim that they are the only registered lobbying group in Washington is simply not accurate.

Huh? MHI is making a bold claim. They’ve made that same allegation repeatedly. It’s wrong.

Not true.

Many work at MHI, did someone fail to check before they repeatedly wrote their flawed phrase?  It was most recently used above, but used the day before as shown in the graphic below.  Who gets credit for their glitch?

Or did MHI simply make an assertion, because no one would likely check it out, to see if it was accurate or not?

MHINewsUpdate1242018ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It that part of a pattern?  Let’s look…

Does MHI Politicize Facts?

We Provide, You Decide.” © The graphic below is from MHI. It’s about a piece of information that the industry’s members ought to care about. How many manufactured home communities (MHCs) are there?

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

The red box reads “37,624 land-lease communities.” But Frank Rolfe says they’ve done a hand count, at 44,000. George Allen claims there are even more than that. Why did MHI publish the lowest number? Is it because MHVillage is a favored company?

MHI has three members who are all publishing on this topic. The statistics being used by MHI are those of their member MHVillage/DataComp; let’s call them the MHI favored insiders on this topic.

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

MHI member Frank Rolfe is not without influence, and George Allen is another member who likewise has a following.

  • Why is MHVillage data being used by MHI, when it is the lowest of the three competing sources?
  • Why MHVillage’s data, when Rolfe asserts in writing that they did a hand count that took them 2 years to complete, that shows 44k communities – thousands more communities than MHVillage does?
  • Doesn’t the lower MHC count harm the MH industry’s relative importance?
  • Is it a case of MHI politicized facts, based upon favoritism and agendas?

As a source at RV Horizon’s – one of Frank Rolfe’s operations – told MHProNews, lenders and investors want hard accurate data. They want to know.

Of course, the facts matter to investors.  They should matter to policy makers and everyone else too.

MHI has for some time published inaccurate information about the kind of financing and terms that are available for manufactured housing loans.  MHLivingNews did a report on that, linked below.  Award-winning Bob Crawford was asked to share his insights, which he gracefully did.

I’ve not recheck recently, but late in 2017, when we last looked – weeks after we brought the errors to MHI’s attention, weeks after the report above – the same MHI “fact sheet” was not updated on their website.  MHI still had the same errors. Why?  Was it because the facts they published were more useful to Berkshire Hathaway companies, such as Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt and 21st Mortgage?

MHI has a demonstrable pattern of what could be termed politicizing MH Industry information.

It’s done in a way that apparently favors some companies over others.

If one heeds what Warren Buffett has said – see his quotes in the column below – the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway counts on the fact that people don’t change habits easily, and that history is often ignored.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

To rephrase, Mr. Buffett counts on others being superficial.  Meanwhile Mr. Buffett and his team are laser focused on facts, and how facts can be used to their advantage.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

See first understanding. Don’t skim. Don’t jump to conclusions.

MHI also arguably have a pattern of telling most of their members and the industry-at-large one thing – via their emailed ‘updates’ and ‘alerts’ – but failing to mention key points, that are often highly important.

We know from various sources that MHI, Knoxville and others in their group closely follow what we publish.  We’ve seen emails that have been forwarded by MHI surrogates and allies.  We’ve contacted MHI and their executive committee directly numerous times.

They can’t legitimately claim not to know the above and what’s below.

They know.

Yet they fail to make changes, even after confronted with the facts.

Why?

Could it be that the longer the foot is on the MH industry’s break pedal, that more of the MH industry gets consolidated, at bargain basement prices?

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

Why does this Matter to the MH Industry, Investors, or Public Officials?

Because MHI often buries their oversights, one would have to know what to look for – in some cases – to see the problem.

The Daily Business News will have a new report planned for today that relates to a follow up on the HUD’s announced top-down review.  In our inital report yesterday we cited Lesli Gooch’s otherwise fine letter to HUD.  But we also underscored her key oversight.  Gooch didn’t call for Danner’s removal.  Why not?  Arguably, with the wrong person at the helm, every other change you could propose would be moot. Others – including MHI’s most award-winning retailer – that we cited in the report linked below came to that same conclusion.  Danner had to go.  Why didn’t MHI get that reality years ago?

They knew.

MHI seems to have a pattern of posturing something, but omitting one or more key facts or points.  Currently, with respect to Pam Danner and HUD, they are failing to mention that for months, MHI would not take a public position on her role at HUD.  Why not?

We believe the answer is that heavy regulations harms independent producers, retailers and communities – among others. That in turn is useful to larger MHI member companies. Those independents, often wearied and financially stressed after years of fighting regulations, may finally sell out for less, or just go out of business.

Another example of MHI publishing misleading or errant ‘facts’ are linked below.

Community Co-Owner/Manager View On Richard Jennison and the Manufactured Housing Institute StatePoint Advertorial

MHI and their executive committee masters are arguably using government regulations as an indirect tool to consolidate the manufactured home industry.

If MHI postures opposing heavy regulation, but in fact fail to move the needle, they can ‘look good’ to members who are so busy, they may not realize what’s missing.  That’s how MHI are accomplishing the mission that their big corporate masters have in mind.

Perhaps that’s why MHI’s executive committee was happy to reward MHI CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison and others with a bonus and/or raise?  Even after MHI staff have demonstrably failed to accomplish any of their own major stated policy goals in years?

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

Facts matter.

Reality matters.  Patterns of behavior matter.  We are pro-MH Industry, and have been so years before we began publishing.

This writer was praised by many of those same MHI connected people, right up to the point that we figured out what the devil was going on at MHI.

We figured it out over time, thanks in large part thanks to:

  • voices from within MHI,
  • from some within Berkshire Hathaway firms,
  • as well as other MHI member operations.
  • MHARR played a roll in that process too, because they’ve been consistent and clear on lobbying and policy positions that MHI flip-flopped on.

There are reasons why a pair of state associations quietly dropped out of MHI. Ditto some member companies. There are reasons why others would if they could, but MHI carrots and sticks exist. To see how those carrots-and-sticks work, behind the scenes to the majority of the industry, see the report linked below.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

There are reasons why MHI won’t debate in public, or won’t take our questions any more.

Keep in mind, MHI and their leadership used to respond rapidly and gladly to MHProNews.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOPresident-currentMHIChairman-onValueMHProNews-MHLivingNews-

But when we pressed them last February on the HUD regulatory overreach issue and Pam Danner’s role there, they rapidly ejected us from membership on a phony excuse.  That excuse?  Claiming they had discovered we are a news organization, and they had no such membership category. 

What? MHI did that via an unsigned letter, bearing nobody’s name. It’s bogus, because others in the industry also publish and have consulting, just as we do. Those others are still in, but we are not?  Pardon MHI’s obvious hypocrisy?

They didn’t want us in their meeting rooms.  Isn’t that the more obvious reason?  They didn’t want us to report – for example – on how Tim Williams/21st subverted the DTS process.

MHI then intensified their campaign against us, just as they have been campaigning against MHARR.  Is it a coincidence that MHARR members are getting bought out by larger MHI member companies?  Or that MHI’s messages – like the ones shown above – try to discredit MHARR.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

For those who watch the details, even though MHARR is a manufacturers association, aren’t they routinely more reliable than MHI?

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”

We’ll say it again.  The MHI system is apparently rigged and corrupt, as we said in our last Masthead post, linked above.

It may or may not be exactly what Marty Lavin or Frank Rolfe had in mind, but both have made points about MHI’s hypocrisy, and failures.

We are not alone, there are MHI board members among those who whisper and complain to us.

MHI members are among those who thank us for having the courage to stand up to the Berkshire Hathaway dominated MHI.

The Other Side of the Coin

That said, there are those who don’t like this kind of column or reporting.

A reader recently wrote saying we are trying to make Clayton Homes look bad.  I can’t think of a single comment we’ve made against their products. We don’t slam Clayton’s homes, or the thousands of good people who work for them.

A large portion of our readers work for a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) owned MH company. We have/do work with numerous client companies who use Clayton products, or lending from 21st,etc.

We stick with the facts – and once they are understood – where those facts take us.  That’s what media is supposed to do.  MHI, Clayton, or whomever is welcome to submit a rebuttal. We’ve invited it. Why don’t they?

Because one of the largest factors holding the industry back from robust growth has been a pattern of failure and misleading information that comes out of MHI.

We’ll draw to a close with former President Barack Obama’s quote, cited above.  He’s correct, but not quite how he meant it.

President Donald J. Trump routinely gets a raw deal from many in the mainstream media.  There are millions today who are de facto propagandized.  If the media had treated POTUS Obama as they are POTUS Trump, their would have been howls of racism, or some other slurs.

In one year of President Trump’s leadership, the economy has demonstrably improved, using policies that have been proven good by President John F. Kennedy (D) and President Ronald Reagan (R).  We supported the Trump campaign, based upon his platform and his track record of business savvy.  We opposed Secretary Hillary Clinton based upon her platform, and her track record.

The fact that people can become so habitualized and trusting – in this example, with MHI – explains in part how Warren Buffett can openly support Hillary Clinton, who vowed to protect Dodd-Frank as is.

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

The truth about MHI is in several ways hiding in plain sight. But the MHProNews exclusively obtained documents from Tim Williams speaks volumes. But only to those with an open mind to reality, vs. fantasy. 

Meanwhile Buffett’s MHI member and prior chair, Tim Williams can claim to be fighting to reform Dodd-Frank. In hindsight, its an obvious contradiction.

I understand why some have a hard time accepting this. Why?  Because frankly, it was hard for me to accept it too.  From early on, there were voices in and with MHI warning me about Jennison, BH, and later others.  I heard them, but wasn’t immediately convinced.

I want to apologize for the time it took us to realize just how corrupted MHI has become during the Jennison era. This isn’t personal, its professional.

Simple Summary

This can be simple. Is Jennison – and are MHI’s so-called leadership – good or bad for the industry? Do they benefit someone beyond the big companies, or favored firms like Clayton’s client, NextStep?

If they had nothing to hide, why are they so afraid of debating the issues in public via video, as we’ve been inviting them to do for about a year?

Facts matter.  Reality is what it is.

People are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

We had to be sure about MHI et al.  Thus, we’ve followed each case of misinformation from MHI as they arose, and we reported them accordingly. Collectively those cases, concerns and allegations add up.   The Kevin Clayton video interview laces it all together in his own words.  The video is nearly an hour long, and posted near the end of the report, linked below.

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

Then MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith laughed about consolidation on camera.

Dick Jennison somberly explained to the industry, why it should grow slowly. Duh?

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

Sure – from the vantage point of the big boys – let the MH Industry get consolidated.  No wonder Jennison and others got an apparent raise and bonus. No wonder they duck debate with one of the few voices that have a platform big enough to matter to them.

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

The future of the industry is potentially bright.

But it has been held back by either MHI incompetence, arrogance, or behavior whose outcome was big companies gobbling up little ones at a reduced price. To those who arguably got swindled, it was tragic!

GusRodriguezTejasHomesConroeTXIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-e1516120612690

As independent business people ourselves – who have felt the betrayals of MHI et all, and have listened to the stories we’ve heard from others in the industry who were likewise betrayed – we would not be silent, once the pattern became clear.

TruthLiesFirstGetYourFactsStraightThenDistortThemAsYouPleaseMarkTwainMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHproNews

If MHI is telling the truth, if their track record is so strong, then why do they duck debate or honest discussion in public, via video, so all of the industry can see?

MHI makes mistake after mistake.  Just dumb luck?  Or does it benefit a few at the cost of the many? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

Note 1: Thousands do it. For those industry pros, investors, and MH advocates who want to sign up to our industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes. We respectfully disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com
tony@mhmsm.com
863-213-4090