Originally posted at AMERICAblog
Yesterday Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is in charge of the 50 state settlement negotiations between banks, the administration and all 50 state attorneys general summarily kicked New York AG Eric Schneiderman off of the Executive Committee, which had been steering the negotiations.
Schneiderman, who doesn’t want a settlement to bar further investigations of mortgage practices by individual states, was removed from the executive committee of state officials working on the deal, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said yesterday in a statement.
“New York has actively worked to undermine the very same multistate group that it had spent the previous nine months working very closely with,” said Miller, who is leading the state group. For a member of the executive committee, that “simply doesn’t make sense, is unprecedented and is unacceptable,” Miller said.
We will see if Miller removes Delaware’s Beau Biden, who’s right there with Schneiderman pushing for real investigations and a narrow settlement, or Illinois’ Lisa Madigan, who has also cast doubt on the scope of settlement being too broad. David Dayen has a strong response from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement:
“Miller threw Schneiderman under the bus and as a result we’re likely to see a significantly weaker settlement,” said CCI member Judy Lonning from Des Moines. “We’re extremely disappointed. Tom has really let us down.”
“Scheiderman was the first AG to say that he wasn’t going to back down on the big banks, and he was the first AG kicked out of the investigation,” Lonning said, “There’s no question who this decision favors. It’s all about making life better for the big banks, and we expected Tom Miller to do better than this.”
Harsh words for Miller, coming from a group that has fought hard to make sure the settlement looks out for struggling homeowners who have suffered abuse at the hands of greedy banks.
The real question is, can this group under Miller get a settlement at all? Or will the hard lines being drawn by Schneiderman and a handful of others make the process moot?