One rumored potential VP nominee of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is already garnering some organization opposition. Julian Castro, the current HUD Secretary, is facing a string of criticisms contending he’s not VP material. What will come as a surprise to some is that these attacks aren’t coming from the Right, but from the Left.
A coalition of progressive groups, many of which are supporting Bernie Sanders, have launched a coordinated opposition to Castro. With the launch of a new website, DontSellOurHomestoWallStreet, the coalition is citing Castro’s record as HUD Secretary as the primary flaw in his credentials.
“If Secretary Castro fails to create significant momentum in terms of stopping the sale of mortgages to Wall Street, then I do think it disqualifies him. But there’s time left on the clock,” said Jonathan Westin, the director of New York Communities for Change.
The trouble for Castro started with his administration of Obama’s delinquent homeowners bailout program. The program held the promise of rescuing homeowners who were past due on their mortgage and helping them stay out of foreclosure. Castro had pledged that as the government resold these mortgages, preference would be given to non-profit financial organizations.
However, according to the coalition, only 1% of all “rescued” mortgages (over 15,000 total) have gone to non-profit groups. Where did the rest go? The same guys whose negligence helped engineer the 2008 housing crisis. Namely, Wall Street banks.
The coalition aren’t the only people critical of the HUD Secretary’s decisions. He has his share of critics in Congress as well.
“Your own Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, which was designed to help right the wrongs of the meltdown years, has been selling homes that once belonged to the families I’ve spoken with at rock-bottom prices to the Wall Street entities that created this situation in the first place,” Grijalva wrote in a letter to Castro.
The 41-year-old Castro has been labeled by observers as a rising star in the Democratic Party. While his performance as HUD Secretary probably neither qualifies or disqualifies him to be VP nominee, the fury of his current critics might be one more headache that Hillary Clinton just doesn’t need.