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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

IndivisbleLogoProsperityNowLogoMHActionLogoGeorgeSorosWarrenBuffettDonaldJTrumpMHProNews

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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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

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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Or if you have your own tips and stories to share, you can contact us via the link above, or my contact information below.  See the related reports, with one more to be posted late today, further below. That’s “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, Commentary, analysis. – Notice, the right to share this unedited, with a link back and proper credit, is hereby granted).

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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.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Related References:

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

 

#DeFangBM

 

 

The MH Nightmare or the MHImpossible Dream? Part II

December 10th, 2014 No comments

Before continuing part two of – The MH Impossible Dream? – let’s look briefly at a MH nightmare scenario lurking in the shadows…

storm-clouds-nightmare-mario-flickrcreatvecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-A Manufactured Housing Industry Nightmare

It’s near the end of the first quarter of 2017. A dark horse Democratic candidate emerged and upset Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren for their party’s nomination in 2016. Less known that Barack Obama was, but using a populist message and an Obama-like coalition/organizing campaign plus digital excellence equaled victory. This Democratic national newbie defeated the GOP duo that emerged from a deep and wide field of Republicans, because they came together too late to continue their victory wave from the 2014 midterms.

Enough of the House and Senate remained in Republican hands to keep the GOP in control of both chambers. But this new president began almost immediately issuing Executive Orders (EOs) to various federal departments and agencies, even more boldly than his predecessors had.

The Imperial Presidency the founding fathers feared was now real in America.

creepy-shadow-nightmare-chia-hsin-ho-flickrcreativecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-475-329-

Among the various EOs issued by the firebrand was a well meaning regulatory burden imposed by POTUS (President of the United States) through the CFPB on MH lending. Under the new 2017 regs, rates and terms had to mirror conventional, GSE or GNMA mortgage products, even for home-only (chattel or personal property) loans.

While land/home deals were still possible, the rapid collapse of chattel financing meant a 60% reduction in HUD code MH production almost overnight. Challenges in the courts to the CFPB’s new regs were still years away…this drove out the last of the MH “home only” or personal property lenders. It was a hammer blow to MHC sales.

The impact of the new regs were a case of too much, too fast with too little cash and land/home biz in the pipeline for the industry at large.

The new HUD Code shipments that rose from under 70,000 homes in 2014, peaked in 2016 at 79,000 MHs. The SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of production) – sans chattel lenders – dropped in 2017 to under 43,000 homes a year. That contraction forced the closure of a wave of independent HUD Code MH producers.

When 2017 drew to mid-year, there were 7 MH producers left standing. By year’s end, there would be 4. The handwriting was on the wall.tombstones-the-nightmare-michele-bighignoli-flickrcreativecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-475-329-rev-

The HUD Code was finished. The only question was “when” it became official. Berkshire-Hathaway was looking at how they could shift their HUD MH production as rapidly as possible to panelizing and 3D “printing” of houses.

In the MHNightmare, What went wrong?

  • Manufactured Housing failed to come together in an image/PR/education effort that could have lifted the industry to new highs. Low production levels equaled greater risk.

  • MHARR and MHI kept duking it out. For example, MHI favored stances that harmed small producers. Of course, they reacted and fought back. Such a lack of unity between the two associations added to their mutual vulnerability and death spiral.

  • Seasoned state execs who had quietly hoped for a detente between MHI and MHARR never saw it happen. Now half of those state association execs were out of a job. Some two dozen state associations began to close or were manned by part-time volunteers. There were too few MH shipments left.

  • MHCs which had in some cases had been doing quite well, we’re now in a dilemma. Where would the product come from to fill present and future vacancies? So…

  • Public MHC companies watched as their stocks dropped rapidly.

Marty Lavin would prove right. Communities would be sold off to big box stores, or re-developers turned them into multi-family housing. Some small ones reverted to green-space or corn fields, once the last manufactured home left.

The wealth of MHC giants and success stories dwindled, but the land value protected many from a major wipe out.

Independent modular home producers fared only marginally better. Since they failed to team up with HUD builders to promote the factory-built home as a superior option to stick-building. They now looked like a young dinosaur, but still a Dino.

There would soon be no independent factory-builders of HUDs or MODs left in in the United States of America. But Canada, Australia and England were among the nations were similar product carried on.

Where is that strong coffee? It’s time to wake up from the nightmare!

FYI, the scenario above is just one of the ways that sort of cataclysmic collapse could transpire. But let’s stress, the MH nightmare is avoidable.

rainbow-solar-panels-steve-jurvetson-flickrcreativecommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-475x329-rev-The MH Impossible Dream isn’t impossible at all.

In a trillion dollar a year housing market, with 10,000+ seniors retiring daily, and Millenials still wanting the American Dream, all that we need are common sense steps.

We as business leaders, nonprofits or association execs do them for our benefit, or wait for some strong wind – the nightmare above or another – to blow MH’s low-production-level house down.

Two of the keys for successful growth…

  1. PR/Image/Marketing and consumer-friendly sales training that grows the industry. The ROI dwarfs the investment. Doable? See a related Daily Business News report, linked here.

  2. Realtors (R) learning to understand and embrace the MH benefits to their clients and to their RE agencies. More on that at Louisville in 5 short weeks!

The MH industry must find the will and wisdom for a Partners in Progress program to be funded and advanced. The rewards?See part 1, if you missed it or need a refresher. ##

(Image credits: FlickrCreativeCommons, download each file to see photographer’s names.)

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.