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Prosperity Now, Protests, Indivisible Project, Warren Buffett, George Soros, POTUS Donald Trump, MHAction and Manufactured Housing – Following the Money

November 9th, 2018 No comments

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Prosperity Now. MHAction. Indivisible Project. Billionaires George Soros and Warren Buffett. Each of those are all interconnected. Each of those are involved in protests against manufactured home businesses, President Donald J. Trump, and his supporters.

 

Who says?

Let’s follow the facts, evidence, and the money trail.

1)    The billionaire George Soros funded “…Open Society funds are only a small percentage of Tides‘ total…” budget, says the Tide Foundation’s own website.  It’s in a post by Tides on their own website entitled “Why does the right hate Soros?

Rephrased, the self-proclaimed progressive Tides Foundation admits the connection between Soros, the Open Society and George Soros.

2)    As MHProNews and MHLivingNews have previously reported, the Tides Foundation also has major funding via other foundations by Warren Buffett.

Buffett, as focused manufactured home industry pros and observers know, is Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns giant Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, 21st Mortgage, Shaw Carpeting, and other firms that are in or supply housing and factory-builders. Berkshire is widely seen as the dominating force behind the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Thousands of industry professionals were no doubt surprised that Buffett’s money flowed through Tides to anti-manufactured home community protesters, MHAction.

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

ICYMI, or want to refresh your mind, see two of those reports documenting ties between Tides, Buffett and MHAction, see the above and below.

 

Expose! Why Has Warren Buffett/BH Funded Anti-MHC Activists, MHAction? Why Fund Attacks on ELS, Frank Rolfe, Blackstone Group?

 

  1. Thanks to Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage Corp, There’s More…

We believe in giving credit where it is due, whenever possible.

Tim Williams, the prior MHI Chairman, and the 21st Mortgage Corp president and CEO, mentioned something a couple of years ago in a conversation with me that will connect to this picture.  We’ll spotlight that tie-in to this follow-the-facts, evidence and money report in the days ahead.

But my hunch is that when he reads this – and our sources say that he will – Tim just may recall what we’re teasing as the next shoe to drop for the MH Berkshire brands, MHI, et al.

Tim, thanks again.  In hindsight, that was a very insightful conversation.  Thank God for the gift of memory, right?

While some can’t be roused by anything, for others that report will be an earthquake for many in MHVille. We hope to have it in time for Thanksgiving. If you aren’t yet on our email list, you can sign up at the link shown on the banner.

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Moving on now to the balance of the headline topic.

 

  1. Influence Watch, and The Indivisible Project, Soros and Buffett

Influence Watch is one of several organizations that track the often befuddling trail between various non-profits, foundations, and deep pockets like billionaires Buffett and Soros. Here’s what their research reveals.

The Indivisible Project (or Indivisible) is a left-of-center 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., and created in late 2016 as a response to the election of President Donald Trump. The Indivisible Project was established to provide liberals a practical guide about “Resisting the Trump Agenda.” [1] Despite connections to elite donors, Indivisible claims to be a grassroots movement. The organization was founded by two left-wing activists with congressional experience and ties to the left-of-center economic policy advocacy group Prosperity Now.[2] According to a spokesperson within the organization, Indivisible’s goal for 2018 is to replace all elected officials who don’t reflect their views with “diverse, progressive, local leaders.”[3] [4] Indivisible claims to represent over 5,800 groups and has a website that has been viewed over 18 million times.[5]

I can almost hear the sweat rolling off a few foreheads in Knoxville, Arlington, and Washington, D.C. based Prosperity Now. Some industry friends and colleagues of mine should also take notice of this too, because they know where these dot-connections are leading.

Here’s what they say about funding.

 

  1. Indivisible Financial Overview

Indivisible has published the nonprofit’s revenue from both its 501(c)(3) Indivisible Civics, and 501(c)(4) Indivisible Project for 2017.[9] In 2017, Indivisible raised “a total of $7.5 million,” with “$2.8 million” through the 501(c)(3) and “$4.7 million” through the 501(c)(4). Over the course of 2017, Indivisible was fiscally sponsored by the Tides Foundation and the Advocacy Fund (a Tides affiliate) until it “was granted 501(c)(4) status from the IRS” during the tax year.[10]

Of Indivisible’s 2017 revenue, 35 percent was raised through small dollar donations, and 65 percent was received through major gifts and foundation grants. [11] Of the $7.5 million raised, $3.4 million was spent on organization expenses,” according to Influence Watch.

 

  1. Founders of Indivisible

Established by left-wing activists Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg in December 2016, Indivisible was originally organized as a movement along the lines of the conservative Tea Party opposition to President Barack Obama’s administration. [6] To that end, Levin and Greenberg’s first project was a 26-page political organizing manual entitled “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda. The manual highlighted the best methods to “beat back” President Trump and defeat the new conservative majority in Congress.[7]Since that original document was distributed, the movement has evolved into an effort to disrupt civil discourse and “sustain a powerful progressive movement.”[8]

Keep in mind that Prosperity Now is pro-manufactured housing, progressive operation, but is also favorable to issues like rent-control and has taken other problematic positions.  Prosperity Now used to be known as CFED. More on them in the days ahead.

 

  1. What Kevin Clayton said…

Now, with the above in mind, you see:

  • Non-profits
  • Foundations
  • Deep-pocket billionaires, including George Soros and Kevin Clayton’s boss, Warren Buffett.

 

With the above in mind, circle back to that video of Kevin Clayton in Smoking Gun 3.  Recall how Kevin was virtually gushing in that video about Clayton working with foundations and nonprofits?

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

Is the bigger picture coming into focus?

 

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

Now, keep in mind that companies associated with MHI, including but not limited to, Clayton and Cavco, are under various kinds of federal investigations.

 

Cavco Chairman Joseph H. Stegmayer Steps Down Under SEC Cloud, “Personal, Confidential” SEC Document, Cavco Industries’ Statement

 

News of Cavco’s SEC woes just broke this week.  But MHProNews has been reporting for some years about Clayton-Berkshire related federal investigations. Certainly, people are innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty.  That said, when there is smoke, is there a fire?

 

Much, Not All

The manufactured housing industry has been gamed by a rigged system for years.  Our industry once had hundreds of manufacturers, and literally tens of thousands of independent retailers. Some of those vanished due to natural events.  But others have arguably fallen due to unjust manipulation of regulatory, capital, political and other forces.

It is now becoming clear that protesters are just part of a broader plan. We’re political independents, and we strongly assert that most of the Democrats or MHI members that we personally know are fine people.  But they have often been mislead into believing certain things harmful to their interests.  A decade ago, the same could be said about swaths of the GOP too.

President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump is disrupting the rigged system.  That’s why elites in both major parties opposed him tooth and nail.  He is arguably taking the Republican Party, and turning it into a small-to-midsized business, white and blue collar workers party. He’s taken elements from both major parties, and is blending it into something new.

That’s a threat to everything that billionaires who control the Democratic party stand for, because the rigged system has purportedly made them billions of dollars. That’s why the invest so heavily in it.

We’re all for bipartisanship, and working with people of all backgrounds. But that starts with facts and evidence. If you or anyone you know can find any factual errors in the above, by all means, let us know.

 

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LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquoteBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Related References:

Divisions in America, and Manufactured Housing – Reality Check 1 – 11.9.2018

 

#DeFangBM

 

 

Will it be a Surprise or a Wave? The Election, Rent Control and Manufactured Housing

October 29th, 2014 No comments

The mid-term elections are a week out. Some predict a wave that will sweep Republicans into control of the Senate, giving new momentum to challenges to Dodd-Frank. Others say some races are so close, the Democrats (or in KS, an “Independent”) could surprise Republicans and keep Harry Reid’s gavel firmly in his hands.

Each side makes it clear that every vote counts in the “ground game.” So will the day come that manufactured housing professionals realizetri-star-estates-bourbonais-masthead-blog-mhpronews- that with proper advanced planning, MH could in become the swing votes election in most districts?

The MH industry could accomplish that goal, if…

…if we had the roughly 20 million home owners and residents living in MH “on our side” at the polls.

Political Victories = Money and Votes

6% of the U.S. population lives in our product. Many electoral races are decided by a far smaller margin. Polls suggest races in GA, KS and NH may have their respective Democratic, Independent and Republican candidates about 2% or less apart.

That means our residents, customers and MH professionals could be a deciding factor in tight races.

Some understandably angst that MH doesn’t have enough lobbying dollars to compete with deeper pocket interest groups. Okay, then why aren’t we collectively more focused on mobilizing MH voters? Either well done or a blended lobbying approach could yield a breakthrough in Washington DC, or at the state level.

Financial Gain from Having Residents on our side

I’ve heard the arguments made by some – for example, from the MH communities sector – that they don’t want to organize residents. It is “too risky.”

all-parks-alliance-for-change-mobile-justice-protest-mn-capitol-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-.

All Parks Alliance protesting in MN.

Really? If we don’t organize them, then groups like the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) has proven they will. Ishbel Dicken’s lead NMHOA – via their state affiliates – have time after time, and will continue. Is that what MH Pros want?

Or think about those attorneys who’d love to organize the residents of XYZ MHC for the next class action law suit to hit an MHC owner?

Nature abhors a vacuum – either we organize home owners and residents to fight for what is arguably in their own best interests – for example, on needed Dodd-Frank reforms – or others have and will fill that void. Ignoring the political clout of residents or ceding it to others is not a successful strategy.

Come to think of it…

On the Masthead we believe our MH Industry is the future of quality, appealing, affordable housing in America and beyond! But that doesn’t mean that some of those that you know in our industry won’t suffer catastrophic reversals:

  • in the market place,

  • from regulators and public officials

  • from the courts and legal system

A Better Way to Express This

Come to think of it, the better phrasing is we MHPros want to be on our home owners and residents side.

We can readily make the case that Dicken’s and those like her who:

> want the CFPB to remain as is,

> or who argue for rent control, etc.

are well meaning, but mistaken.

Listening to the concerns of MH home owners/residents and giving them our professional insights must be shared ways in ways that resonates for them.

Rent control and the Dodd-Frank status quo both arguably harming MH residents and home owners. Why don’t industry pros make a video that tells the tale? For now, consider case made in this video by Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute, and her reasons why rent control harms housing affordability and quality.

Combine the above insight, with this TV news report out of Manitoba and the demonstrated impact of rent control in that market on manufactured housing.

In an interview with Sheila Dey, the industry veteran made the point of how powerful an impact such resident groups can have on elected officials. Of course, she is correct.

But let’s think about that very point in reverse.

Doesn’t it make sense to make to help residents see why rent control harms them, harms housing affordability and thus should be resisted? Can’t we make the case on HR 1779/S 1828 to them as well?

Thinking Win-Win

Win-lose often becomes lose-lose when facts are viewed objectively. When Big Business took advantage of labor at various times/places, unions organized. As some labor unions later became equally abusive, the enterprise (or city…) may have failed, going into bankruptcy.

Without mutual victories – solidarity – there are often only mutual losses.

Take a Bite…

How many of the millions who buy an Apple iPhone complain excessively that they bought the previous ‘new model’ a mere 18-24 month’s ago?

Yet MH has a more compelling story than Apple, so long as we craft and tell it well.

Manufactured housing holds a key to quality affordable homes for millions of Americans. Given the proper win-win perspective, MH businesses, home owners and residents all benefit. That firm foundation could lead businesses, associations and home owners to join hands on issues of common interest.

Such unity could swing elections.

Very little effort is being made to explain – much less engage – manufactured home owners on why legislation like HR 1779/S 1828 is important to them. Nor is much is being done to explain to residents why rent control may sound good but harms them in the long run.

take-care-to-get-what-you-like-or-you-will-be-forced-to-like-what-you-get.-george-bernard-shaw-wiki(c)2014-mhmsm-com-

The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same way, hoping for a different result. Hope isn’t a strategy. Let forward thinkers and doers plan ahead for 2016, by crafting an engagement plan with residents and home owners now. ##

(Editor’s Note: A Cup of Coffee with…Ross Kinzler will touch on leardership and other hot issues in manufactured housing. Please watch for it with our rapidly approaching November 2014 issue.)

(Editor’s Note 2: Amy Bliss has written a thoughtful OpEd:

An analysis of The Atlantic’s report on Manufactured Housing, CFPB and MH Financing )

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach