GOP Foreclosure Congressman David Trott — “Tattoo His Repeal Obamacare Vote to His Forehead” March 28, 2017
Happy 7th Birthday, Affordable Care Act (ACA)/aka Obamacare! And what a Happy 7th Birthday. On 3/23/2010, President Obama signed the ACA. For 7 years, we have heard nothing but gnashing of teeth, banshee wails, and “ironclad” promises by GOPers, from presidential candidates on down, to repeal this “monstrous” (NOT) legislation. The middle class and poor, according to GOP “thinking,” must not have this major safety net. They should, instead, have a “choice.” Translation: the “choice” of getting extravagant out- of- reach health care insurance or going broke from astronomical medical bills. They can also “choose” to die because they would be unable to get check- ups in time or the proper medication, real “death panel” options. In 2010, mad Tea Party GOPers took back the House on a promise to repeal Obamacare. In 2014, the Senate fell into GOP hands, with “Red” candidates promising to repeal the ACA. GOP congressional majorities made at least 60 unsuccessful votes to repeal the ACA, costing American taxpayers more than $87 million (CBS News, healthinsurance.org). In 2016, GOP presidential nominee Demagogue Donald, author of the “Art of the Deal,” told adoring followers that should he win, he and the GOP Congress would repeal Obamacare in a heartbeat and replace it with a “fantastic” plan.
Fast forward to 3/23/2017, less than 100 days into Trump’s administration. Demagogue Donald and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) could not get the GOP-majority House to agree on a plan to repeal Obamacare. Ryan had hoped to get this vote on that date, the anniversary of Obama’s signing of the ACA. Ryan postponed the vote for the next day, 3/24/2017. Mr. “Art of the Deal” Donald had lobbied, begged, and, yes, bullied over 120 GOP House members. The end result? On 3/24/2017, Speaker Ryan gave Trump the news—the votes were not there to repeal Obamacare. This bill, Ryan’s “brainchild,” signed onto by Trump, was pulled without coming to a vote (See Wash. Post, De Bomis, Costa, & O’Keefe, 3/24/17). No Democrat would support it. If 22 GOPers voted against it, this legislation would fail in the House and never get to the more hostile Senate. The extremist 30 or so Freedom(“Freedumb”) Caucus members (NY Times, Rogers, 3/24/17), basically wanted a total repeal of this bill with no replacement. Even Ryan and Trump’s cutting out coverage for maternity care and cancer chemo treatment did not satisfy these heartless reactionaries. “Moderate” GOPers, those “slightly” to the left of the “Attila the Hun” Freedom Caucus, were “shocked, shocked” by these demands. Some of these “moderates” bolted from backing this bill. In the end, about 50-51 GOPers refused to support this bill, way more than the 22 needed to kill it (See Wash. Post 3/24/17 Vote Count).
Speaker Ryan admitted, “We’re living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future (Ryan 3/24/15 press conference, Kos,McCarter, 3/24/15).” The Washington Post remarked that Trump and Ryan pulling this repeal Obamacare bill means that “the ACA remains in place, and a major GOP campaign promise goes unfulfilled. It also casts doubt on the Republican Party’s ability to govern… the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to move his agenda forward (De Bonis et al, 3/24/17).”
Democrats have won a big victory for the American people. The Quinnipiac, Q-Poll had just 17% giving the Trump-Ryan health care plan a “thumbs-up (Kos, “First Amendment,” 3/23/17).” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated that “the people who vote for this will have this vote tattooed to their foreheads as they go forward (Pelosi press conference, 3/24/17, Kos, Clawson, 3/24/17).” Even though Trump and Ryan pulled this vote at the last minute, most GOPers had already indicated how they intended to vote. One of those GOPers who would have voted with the majority of his party to repeal the ACA (NY Times Vote Count List on ACA repeal) is 2nd term Congressman David Trott (46), who represents Michigan’s 11th Congressional District (CD). Meet Cong. Trott.
A Birmingham, Michigan native, Trott received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1981 and a 1985 law degree from Duke University (Halcom, C., “Crain’s Business Detroit, 9/04/13, “GOP.com, Republican National Committee). Trott became known as Michigan’s “foreclosure king.” In the words of Curtis Hertel, Jr., register of deeds for Michigan’s Ingham County, David Trott “built a machine that was made to feed off human misery (“New Republic, Dayen, D. 9/10/14).”Trott &Trott, the law firm founded by Trott’s father and where son Trott also practiced, cornered the market on legal foreclosures in Michigan. Trott’s firm worked for banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. In a 2007 interview, David Trott stated that “all he ever did was foreclosures. (“New Republic”).”
David Trott would increase the firm to 1,800 employees, processing 2/3 of all Michigan foreclosures and completing as many as 80,000 foreclosures a year. Trott made millions not just on foreclosures alone, but on getting his “tentacles” into every part of the foreclosure process. His firm bought up ancillary businesses needed to successfully foreclose. Trott’s firm owned or held a significant stake in the Detroit Legal News, which publishes 80% of Michigan’s required legal notices prior to foreclosure. Trott’s firm owned NDeX, a company that processes mortgage paperwork; the Attorneys Title Agency, which does title searches for the Trott firm; and Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, a real estate firm that handles many of the foreclosed properties. Trott and his wife are worth, according to the Detroit Free Press, between $60. 2 and $204.9 million. Trott’s firm practiced hard- nose foreclosure law. Trott’s firm successfully lobbied the Michigan legislature to make foreclosures easier, which would boost their profits. Trott evicted a 101-year-old woman, Texana Hollis, throwing her out at night into a rainy street and tossing her medication in a dumpster (A charity led by writer Mitch Albom eventually bought Hollis’ home and let her stay there where she died at age 103). Ingham County register Hertel, who tangled with Trott on some cases, had “kids crying in my office. I’ve seen terrible human tragedy, and frankly they (the Trotts) didn’t care.” In 2013, anti-foreclosure activists set up “Trotville” encampments across Michigan to protest evictions (“New Republic,” Dayen, 9/10/14).
In 8/2014, Trott won the 11th CD GOP primary, with $2 million of his own fortune and the backing of Michigan’s GOP “establishment.” The post-2010 reconfigured Wolverine 11th, after GOP gerrymandering, went from a 51D/49R to a 47D/53R and has a Cook PVI, Partisan Vote Index, of R+4 (Barone 14 Almanac, CQ14, Fair Vote,”2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Michigan”). This CD 11th contains the cities of Troy, Livonia, and Novi, as well as Canton Township and Westland. Troy and Canton Township have minority and immigrant populations that vote Democratic. The 11th also contains wealthy Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills that go GOP. Banking, retailing, and the auto industry run the 11th’s economy (CQ14).
In this primary, Trott defeated eccentric Santa Claus impersonator GOP Cong. Kerry Bentivolio. Bentivolio had wanted to impeach Obama. Bentivolio had been elected in a fluke in 2012 when no other GOPer had qualified for the ballot (Dayen, “New Republic,” 9/10/14). For the GOP “establishment,” Ebenezer Scrooge “trumps” (pun intended) Santa. In 11/2014, Trott beat his Democratic opponent by a 15.5% margin. In 2016, Trott had a 13 % win over his Democratic rival (2014 Mich. Sec. of State, CQ Early Guide 115th Cong.).
Congressman Trott is a standard right-wing GOPer. With his foreclosure background, he fits well on the House Committee on Financial Services. He is anti-choice, for school vouchers, anti-gun control, and against same sex marriage (trott.house.gov/about/committees, YouTube,6/29/15). Trott has always been against the ACA and the “big government mandates imposed by Obamacare (trot.house.gov/issues).” He is all for replacing Obama’s “failed health care law (2/03/15, Press release).”
During most of his first term in office, Cong. Trott tried to hide from his constituents (electablog.com, 3/21/17). After getting much criticism for not holding a town hall meeting since 4/2015, Trott first held a “Tele-Town Hall” on 2/07/2017. He was accused of “cherry picking” questions over the phone. Hundreds of individuals who signed up for this “Tele-Town Hall” never received a call to participate. Neither Cong. Trott nor his staff explained or apologized to those excluded voters. During the 2017 congressional recess, individual 11th CD constituents organized two separate Town Halls, hoping to get Trott to attend. Instead, Trott went to India. His office was not forthcoming with his schedule. Constituents found out about his trip through a story in the “India Times” just days before the first of the town halls (wxyz.com/news, indiatimes.com/news).
Trott finally did schedule a town hall meeting. It was set for the first hour past sunrise on 3/18/2017, a snowy Sat. morning, in Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace. Trott, his staff, and constituents were required to leave 90 minutes later for a boat show opening (Typical tactics that a Congressman trained in foreclosure law would employ). Even with this inconvenient time and blizzard weather, close to 1,000 people showed, more than twice as many as the 425 seats set up. Most of the crowd huddled outside watching streamed videos to their smartphones (Eclectablog, 3/21/17). At the meeting, Trott firmly stood for repealing Obamacare. After the event ended, Trott left, but unfortunately for him, kept his mic on. Trott’s aide Stu Sandler was heard saying “We’re going to take that part where they’re (the crowd’s) booing funding the military and I’m gonna get somebody to write a story and we’re going to promote the sh’’t out of that. It’s un-American crap.” The crowd was booing when Trott wrongly called the American military “the weakest it’s ever been,” not over generally funding the military. Trott does not criticize Sandler’s comment. He goes along with it. Later in the video, Cong. Trott asks if they (the staff) bounced any questions. Aide Sandler confirms that they did (Eclectablog, 3/21/17). Again, Trott has no problems with that. On a later friendly FOX News interview, Cong. Trott doubled down on the fact that his town hall opponents were anti-military “liberals (Eclectablog).”
Democrats and constituents at the town hall meeting were rightly furious with Trott and Company trying to brand them as “un-American.” What kind of Congressman treats his constituents with such horrible contempt and disdain? A Congressman who must be bounced along with 23 others in 11/2018 for voting to repeal Obamacare and belittling their constituents’ views (In a wave anti-Trump/anti-GOP election, Democrats can re-take the House by flipping just 24 seats.). Even though gerrymandered, the Michigan 11th still remains swing turf. With strong Democratic and independent turnout, foreclosure king Cong. Trott can be thrown to the political curb. The same Q-Poll that showed the GOP health care plan supported by just 17% of the voters also indicates that 46% of Americans will less likely vote for a Congressman who would repeal Obamacare with Trump/Ryan care. “Tattoo” Trott and his fellow GOP majority with their plans to vote for Trump/Ryan care. Town hall protests count. Voting, however, counts the most.