Glenn Beck's first annual telethon for Congresswoman Laura Richardson fell just short of it's fundraising goals bringing in approximately $0.
GLENN: I want to share a story with you today that I think is tragic. I think it is the quintessential American story and what we're all facing and it comes out of California. Do we have some appropriate music here, Dan? I -- it's about a woman named Laura. She just lost her Sacramento home. Foreclosure. She's also defaulted on other properties in long beach, California and San Pedro. Laura was able to bring her payments up to date on the Long Beach home relatively quickly, but the San Pedro property lingered in the foreclosure process for almost eight months. She still has a pending auction date there. She was just a woman that was just trying to make her way in the world. She had everything going for her. She had a good job and she got a better job. But with that better job she was transferred. She had to move across the country and that's when it all started to fall apart. She said, "I should have moved forward with an earlier fashion. I acknowledge that. I intend to never conduct business in this way. I have financial obligations and I'm going to fulfill all of those obligations, and I want the people of America to know that, gosh darn it, they are not going to have to take this on their own back."
See, here's what happened. She bought a home, everybody's dream. Back in January 2007 she bought a home for $535,000 but then because of this darn new job, she got behind on the payments. It was sold on May 7th for $388,000. The bank, oh, those banking people, they lost $200,000 on the deal. County records indicate that the San Pedro home went in default in December 2007, at which point Laura, our heroine, was behind on her payments by $12,410. She hadn't made a single payment since June. A notice of a sale was issued on April 17th and an auction was scheduled for May 14th on the courthouse steps in Norwalk. The outstanding loan balance was $367,436. The original sale was $359,000. But that auction luckily was put on hold. Now Laura produced no documents to confirm that she took any action on that property before March. The Long Beach home, which is her primary address, went in default on March 28th. She hadn't made a payment on that house since November. She owed almost $20,000 on that property. Three days later the default was rescinded. She had finally made arrangements to make those payments.
Now, you might think that there's a happy ending here but not really because Laura says she's not financially wealthy. She said, "I'm not a millionaire. Based what I'm going through, changing four jobs in less than one year, I think America would understand what it does to a person in financial stability. It's hard to make. It's hard to live on $169,300 a year." See, Laura, Laura is a congresswoman from California. She was a member of the state assembly in California and made $116,000 a year, but then she changed jobs, got a pay raise. $169,300 which allowed her to buy three homes. When it was pointed out to Laura that the average American makes far less than $169,300 a year, she said, "Yes, but the average American isn't responsible for maintaining several households." How true it is, Laura, how true it is, true dat.
You know, Laura, I've heard the same kind of talk from people like Bill Gates who say, pffft, you know, sure I make $80 billion, but people don't have to run Microsoft, you know? They don't have to have a G-5. They don't have to have a huge home on several continents. I mean, oh, those little people don't understand. Well, Laura said she didn't make an effort to sell the Sacramento home even after she was elected to congress, that she hoped to get it out but she couldn't get a renter. She attempted to link her situation with the plight of others facing foreclosures and she said this experience is going to help her make a better advocate for the little people. She ultimately now hopes to testify about her situation in front of the Senate and she's going to write to the President to urge him to sign a package of foreclosure legislation. She said congress doesn't provide living expenses. I only make $169,000. So I had my three homes. But then I had to have some place to rest my weary head after a hard day in Washington. So, of course, I had to have four homes. This, gang, this is a story of a woman who's just like you, somebody who says we need to put a better process in place so a person home, or in her case a person's several homes aren't sold up and taken from them. We just have to improve the way we respond to this crisis.
Our person today that we really want to focus on just, is a story that rips my heart out. It's Representative Laura Richardson who now is, from what I understand, only has one home and I don't know how people live that way. I really don't. When you have close to a million dollars in loans and you're only making $163,000 a year. When you go out and you buy home after home after home and then you just can't count on not being transferred and, you know, having your salary move up from $116,000 to $163,000 where you know you are never going to be able to make it on $163,000 and -- oh, I'm sorry, it's $169,000? Stu, you know you're not going to make it on almost $170,000 a year. You've got four homes. Oh.
Well, we could sit here and we could weep. We could. We could just hold each other. We could just say (crying) Laura, she knows our pain. Or we can do something about it. Because Laura has said we need to find a better system. Now, I'm guessing Laura's system would be, hey, let's get the government to help out people like me -- well, not people like me because, well, there's nobody in that bad of a shape, but help people kind of like me. I say let's help ourselves. Let's help Laura. As individuals why go to the government when we can help her ourselves.
VOICE: The Glenn Beck program presents... serving those who serve you. A special fundraiser for congressman Laura Richardson. She's losing nearly all of her three homes and she only makes $169,000 per year. And now as if you aren't already digging into your wallet to help poor Laura, here's Glenn Beck.
GLENN: And we go now to our telethon headquarters. Stu, are you there?
STU: I am here.
GLENN: Are you all right?
STU: I'm sorry. This is so unprofessional.
GLENN: No, you know what? Sometimes when you do these telethons and you'll see like a sick crippled kid with polio and cancer and you think to yourself, and why does it always have to happen to the one where God didn't give them hands or a face.
STU: Uh-huh, yep, that's what I'm feeling. Emotions are running high here, Glenn.
STU: I just, I know this isn't part of what we're doing here. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the way you told that story. You moved me, man.
GLENN: Well --
STU: You moved me.
GLENN: It's hard not to be moved by somebody who's, you know, has got three houses and now only, now only one.
STU: I mean, how --
GLENN: Well, they had four houses but they didn't technically own the fourth one. They were just renting the fourth one.
STU: Just renting that one, yeah.
GLENN: But now all they have is the renting one and they've lost the others.
STU: I suppose this administration would just want people to only have one place to live. I suppose maybe that's the America we live in, but that's not the America I want.
GLENN: You know, may I just point this out? And you know me. I just, my heart bleeds for people like this and I hope I'm not going too far. But damn these banks for taking advantage of people like poor Laura here. She's just a working mom. She may have kids. I'm not sure.
STU: Right, right.
GLENN: She's just a working mom just struggling to make it, you know?
GLENN: She goes and she works in the state assembly where she's supposed to figure out things like laws, you know?
GLENN: And then she gets transferred. They say, hey, Laura, you're such a special girl, you should go to Washington. And then she goes to work in congress and nobody knows what congress and how hard that is. And yet, she's expected to go into a bank and listen to all this gobbledygook that they --
STU: Oh, all the words they put in there.
GLENN: They put in this gobbledygook that you don't know what you're doing. Here she is a woman. She's a lawmaker. What does she know about words and stuff.
STU: What does a lawmaker know about the letter of the law?
GLENN: You don't.
STU: They are not going to know that.
GLENN: You don't.
STU: I'm glad you brought this up, Glenn, because this is what we can appeal to the people. This poor woman was targeted by the system. This is a predatory system.
GLENN: Take a moment here. Take a moment.
STU: I'm sorry. It doesn't seem fair, doesn't seem fair.
GLENN: Damn them.
STU: They targeted her.
GLENN: You know what? I've got to tell you, you and these predatory businesses and your practices. You and these oil company -- Halliburton, Dick Cheney, you bastards.
GLENN: For doing -- you've hurt twice now. You've not only hurt Laura but you've hurt Stu, and nobody hurts Stu without hurting me. So you've hurt twice and then again. Me.
STU: Is this the Keith Olbermann program? Am I on the Keith Olbermann program?
GLENN: So anyway, these predatory -- she was taken advantage of, you were saying.
STU: She was taken advantage of. Think about a poor woman going into a loan officer and --
GLENN: How does she do it on $169,000?
STU: Oh, I don't know how she does it. I don't know how anyone does it on $169,000 a year. If you think about it, not only is she making $169,000 a year but she has to deal with the added pressure of a bank going out of their way to intentionally loan her more money. You know the saying, Glenn, Mo money, Mo problems. And they just keep throwing money at this poor woman. This is so unfair. I don't know why they do it (crying).
GLENN: We're going to try to pull ourselves together. You can call for your donations now. Our phone lines are wide open. If you'd like to make a donation, we're doing a fundraiser now to try to help --
GLENN: It's all right. Congressman Richards to get her one, at least one of her three homes back in this damn Bush economy.
VOICE: It's Glenn Beck raising cash for congress, serving those who serve you. Please give what you can. In addition to the 50% you're forced to give.