“We have to be about how we bring people in,” Deval Patrick said when he announced his late entry in the Democratic field this week, offering himself as the only candidate who could beat the candidates to his left and occupy the middle ground needed to beat Donald Trump. “How we bring people along and how we yield to the possibility that somebody else, or even some other party may have a good idea, as good or better than our own.”
Patrick certainly has a history of yielding to the possibility that someone else might have a better idea, especially when it has benefited his own bottom line. After leaving public office, he worked for Texaco (not exactly the greenest company) and Bain Capital (best known as the basis for Mitt Romney’s fortune). But what should really cause voters to pause is the work Patrick did right before becoming governor of Massachusetts. While Patrick says he’s running for president “to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for everyone,” it wasn’t long ago that he was profiting by destroying it.
From 2004 to 2006, Patrick was on the board of ACC Capital, the corporate parent of Ameriquest, the nation’s largest originator of subprime loans—described as one of “the worst” lenders in the country by the Treasury Department. This wasn’t a mortgage company that helped families buy homes—93 percent of its loans were refinances. Instead, it used high-pressure sales tactics to get people who already owned their homes to refinance themselves out of honest, straightforward mortgages and into loans that featured skyrocketing interest rates and balloon payments. It particularly targeted the African-American community.