The evidence-based case or potential legal argument could be made that the “class warfare” declared by moat-building, market manipulating Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) has cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars since his acquisition of Kevin Clayton led Clayton Homes. That multiple-trillion sum dwarfs what Buffett, now said to be worth about $100 billion, and the entire Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate is reportedly worth. But a cool $200+ billion that is liquid might soften the blow of the numerous harms caused to consumers, independent businesses, taxpayers, and others by the purported tactics that oddly, the alleged perpetrators have described themselves. So, while the harm does may arguably be greater in some groups than others, nevertheless the overall impact on our profession, its homeowners, and our society ripple far beyond those most obviously hurt by what is described and linked from this outline, reports, and analysis.
The partial list of names in the headline are elaborated on herein. Note that it includes the Latin phrase ‘et al,’ which means “and others.” More on that further below.
For newcomers and veteran MHProNews readers alike, this report will present new items mixed in with previous ones. Together, they paint a picture that is difficult if not logically impossible to dispute, because it accurately quotes those involved and then compares their statements to the record.
To get the full benefit, it should all be read as if for the first time.
Before proceeding, let’s briefly note that there may well be as good a case against, say, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates – a close Buffett ally – or others. For those across the left-center right that wonder how the rush toward a completely corporate dominated and controlled society can be thwarted, this outline will shed light and possible hope.
But this evidence-based case against Buffett-Berkshire-Kevin Clayton and the brand that bears his father’s name is being outlined in this manufactured home trade publication. The reasons to home in here on “The Case Against Clayton Homes” et al and their network’s various members should be obvious.
But more important, the evidence, study and understanding of the methods, mindset of the alleged perps and the overall rationale has been carefully gathered here on MHProNews and on our sister site over the years.
“The Case Against Clayton Homes” report and analysis on our MHLivingNews sister site has attracted well over some 2 million hits, per Webalizer. That’s roughly equal to the number of about 22 percent of mobile and manufactured homeowners. While the traffic alone suggests that the report is a gone one, frankly, it merits an update, which will be planned for the near term. More evidence is routinely being unpacked, which is why a “The Case Against Clayton Homes” version 2.0 is warranted.
But until that case report is updated, the traffic to that report and analysis speaks for itself. ICYMI, here is the link. The sheer numbers in that traffic to that article suggest that number of those in the public, professionals, and others are seeking insight into suing Clayton. Beyond our internal metrics supplied by third parties, additional evidence is supported that for weeks on end that report has been highly ranked by Google. It has been page 1, Number One out of millions of possible pages online that have something which Google thinks might be related.
Over the years, there have been several mainstream news reports and commentaries that paint a dark picture about Warren Buffett, his business tactics, how they are concealed from much of the public by use of his obvious ‘success,’ slippery and ‘folksy’ charm, media fawning, stated willingness to raise taxes on his class, and of course his so-called philanthropy.
Broadly speaking and oversimplifying, there are two stories told about Buffett. Let’s start with the ‘good stuff.’ Many praise Buffett and his brands Why?
- Perhaps those media reporting favorably about is firm are hoping their publication or network will get or keep GEICO ads, or the marketing dollars that flow from the other brands that Berkshire Hathaway owns, along with others that they are allied with.
- Or could it be their operation requires access to capital? Look at the number of financial institutions Berkshire has its fingerprints on.
- For those, political, and whatever other combination of reasons, Buffett – and people like his close ally, Bill Gates – get far more good press than bad.
- With that in mind, is it a surprise that numbers of people find it easy to brush aside or mentally limit the meaning of the bad news stories or negative op-ed or media commentary that they may see or hear? It could be simple math. More good news than bad helps minimize the concerns about the bad. That would be human nature.
- But objectively, as a pair of reports for the week in review that follow further below will spotlight, Bernie Madoff, Enron, and WorldCom are all among those who once enjoyed ‘good press’ too. In decades past, or in the modern era, there are other examples where once-powerful personalities and their brands were upended. It is facts and evidence that should drive discussions, not vague impressions that may have been carefully crafted via what was noted above.
That upending of once powerful brands and personalities was often accomplished via the courts and legal system. Thus a look at the quality of the ‘case against’ headline is warranted.
By contrast to the good news mainstream media reports, there are numerous ‘bad news’ reports too.
Some of those reports or commentaries get into meaty topics, as MHProNews and our MHLivingNews sister-site has reported over the years. Those negative, meaty reports shed a useful light that professionals, advocates, and others should be aware of – because some of those dark allegations were read or viewed by millions. When professionals wonder why our industry is so misunderstood, part of that should be seen through the lens of bad media influencing the public.
- But frankly, too few mainstream media reports have gone to the granular level needed to forge the basis for a true legal case. It isn’t enough that someone or some company just looks bad. There has to be solid evidence of laws broken.
- Additionally, beyond good evidence, there has to be a rationale and a presentation that the broader public can buy into. Because that is considered when a potential prosecutor or a plaintiffs’ advocate considers a possible case.
- Furthermore, a case against Buffett, Berkshire, some of their brands like Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or others takes time, patience, persistence, evidence, and – wait for it – money. For a good case to be successful, it also requires motivation, loyalty, talent and a kind of incorruptible mentality on the part of the state or federal AG, or potential plaintiffs’ attorneys.
- Thus, the top line potential for a case is part of the calculus that federal, state, or plaintiffs attorneys weigh. All of the elements noted are part of the picture that potential plaintiffs must consider, knowing that Buffett and Berkshire are not simply going to roll over a play dead.
Due to our various reports, we have heard over time and been engaged with several attorneys and assistant state attorney generals. Those experiences have been revealing. Let us set the state AGs aside for another time, having noted before that they said that they found the evidence convincing.
Some potential plaintiffs’ attorneys have and likely will inquire feigning interest in such a case. In hindsight, even at the time, some were essentially acting as scouts on behalf of the Berkshire brands and/or their allies in organizations which include the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), but sometimes also provided scouting reports for other trade groups too.
But even those pro-Berkshire and MHI legal scouts are revealing. Why? Because, if they thought there was ‘no case,’ why would they bother?
Experience and research suggest that there are not many tricks that such uber wealthy and powerful interests may be willing to employ. A look at the tobacco legal battles, for instance, also sheds some light on the subject of what lengths corporate interests that have knowingly engaged in widely harmful behavior may go.
That outline above is a reasonable lead-up for objectively examining what follows.
As the next step in our campaign for transparency and accountability in manufactured housing are the following. There are several insights generated from the email below to the Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) Executive Director Tim Williams and General Counsel Elizabeth Birch. For those new to this issue, it is a reasonable framework for understanding the case from the vantage point of independently owned brands that have arguably been harmed by the Buffett-Berkshire-Clayton Moat and related tactics.
- But researchers who are not industry professionals must keep in mind that a different rationale exists from the perspective of the millions of current manufactured home owners. That case, like the one below, will share several similar elements. But how that case would be argued in a court would differ than how someone might argue a case for manufactured home independents. Put a different way, it is not just ‘one case’ against Clayton Homes and their allied brands and leadership. There are several cases against Clayton, and each one should be tailored to a specific audience.
- Yet another case could be crafted on the part of those Americans, who are often minorities, who are stuck in rentals that might otherwise be a successful affordable manufactured homeowner.
- Still a different legal framework might be pondered on behalf of states that still who are paying tens of billions for housing and other relief programs. Much of the the same core information would be used – thus reading what follows is useful. But how that argument would be packaged and presented would have its own unique features.
- While many might think that there is no harm caused to owners of conventional housing by the purported machinations in manufactured housing, that would be a false presumption. Without pressing the point too far today, only a relatively small minority of insiders would have benefited from this scheme that involves manufactured housing as a subset of all housing nationally.
To sum up those 4 points? This is not merely a curious, interesting, or even a compelling issue for tens of thousands of manufactured home professionals. The case goes far beyond that, as for example, the NIMBY vs. YIMBY report – in connection with other reports linked below – in our headlines for the week will establish.
Every legal issue is analogous to a kind of jigsaw puzzle. Evidence is gathered, the pieces are placed where they fit. What picture does the evidence create? When that evidence and picture are objectively considered, does it reveal lawbreaking and actionable behavior?
In this lead up to the reports for the week that was, the balance of this report and analysis will be as follows.
- A) The email to Tim Williams at the Ohio Manufactured Home Association (OMHA) and Elizabeth Birch, their general counsel. That message copied and BCC’d several of the accused and their counsels, along with dozens of those who are arguably harmed. So it should be considered through the lens of the independents in our profession. Keep in mind the points above. Namely, that framing other cases for manufactured homeowners or various groups would be different, even though some of the same factual elements being identified below would still be involved.
- B) Following the email, will be a few lines from Wes Schlagenhauf, who writing in the Hustle. He called Buffett the “Shill-ionaire of the people” The connection of that column to Williams, Birch and other manufactured housing industry state executives will be explained.
- C) Our headlines for the week in review. Several of those are topics that very much relate to either specifics or the broader picture.
- D) As usual, do not miss today’s postscript that follows the headlines for the week in review.
With that plan for the balance of this article and analysis, here is A) the email to those named and dozens BCC’d. The image below is a screen capture from the top of that email. Note that the images may have laid out differently, depending on how a given device presents the information. But the text, links, and images as sent on 4.16.2021. Any typos are in the original. Unlike some emails, the main purpose here was not to illicit a response. Here the goal was more to lay out the ‘thought’ and reasons that independents and others should consider questioning the behavior of their ‘association’ and other ‘leaders.’ The email itself will make that clear, as it suggests dialogue between association members, along with other thoughts and tips. So while feedback was not discouraged, that was not the main point.
TIP: For regular readers, it is useful to read this with care, as if you are reading these thoughts and quotes for the first time. That is what an attorney would do, and to grasp the ‘legal’ aspects of this argument, it must be carefully digested.
Tip 2: Many, but not all of the images below can be displayed in a larger size. Click the image once, and once opened, click it again to see a larger available image size.
The quote mark below is to show where the emailed message begins, and was not in the original.
Tim and Elizabeth,
To set the stage for these remarks for thought and feedback, here are two pull quotes from Tobias Peter, Research Director for the AEI Housing Center in his remarks to the U.S. Senate on housing and banking.
Now, I can’t say whether Peter knows about federal enhanced preemption on manufactured housing or not. But I have it on good authority that his colleague, attorney Ed Pinto at AEI has stated that he is in favor of using more manufactured homes as part of a private enterprise effort to provide what his colleague Peter’s says is a need for 8 million more housing units in the U.S.
Against that backdrop, the following to Elizabeth and Tim.
Your repeated loyalty to the Berkshire brands, their allies, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are now a matter of record. Those various reports on our sites are available to serious minds and researchers of all types for years to come.
I do not claim to speak for any of your members, but certainly some of them are reading MHProNews and MHLivingNews. This we know through data, because we are not Google or Facebook where we could individually know them with a search of some kind. That’s said because it is true. But it is also said so that an authentic dialogue can begin in Ohio, between peers. Then, such a dialogue may and should move beyond your state.
Among those CC’d are Nathan Smith and several MHI types, including John Greiner at Graydon law. They know that we know.
Let everyone in the Ohio Manufactured Home Association – regardless of how you may personally feel about any of those involved, please take careful note.
The Berkshire boys, their allies, and MHI did not make a sound or write a word in Tim’s or Elizabeth’s behalf. We gave them several opportunities. Silence.
While Tim and Elizabeth are bowing to the Brands, the Brands have left then both hanging in the wind.
Now, put yourself in Tim and Elizabeth’s shoes, please. Because it is a part of a lesson that the most loyal Clayton or other Brand followers should burn into your subconscious minds. Even those who are working for Clayton or a Brand are well advised to consider what insiders working at Clayton have said. No one associated with Berkshire Hathaway or MHI disputed to us any of what follows.
One lesson from Elizabeth and Tim’s experience? One could make the case that the loyalty goes only one way. When your usefulness to the moat-building Brand oligarchs is done, don’t you think that you too will often be dispensed with and forgotten?
That is why those thousands of independents, many of whom were in OH, that were subverted by the Moat Methods over the years must not be forgotten. Any one of you independents could be next, right? Employees of the Brands, think about what those Clayton employees quoted in the report liked above had to say.
Just look at what this week has revealed. While words matter, action and inaction can matter more.
If I were any OH community, retailer, independent installer, supplier, builder, or whatever, I would be calling for an investigation and total transparency of what has happened in your state. Total transparency should mean that whatever is found — good, bad, indifferent — is published online where everyone can see it. Everything.
Will OMHA do it? If not, why not? Are there things to hide??
- The trends do not lie! The number of independents in your state is a fraction of what it was a decade or two ago, right or right?
- The data doesn’t lie either! While conventional housing is roaring, manufactured homes slid backwards. Given the favorable laws, how can MHI or state associations that back them claim to be doing a superb job?
Every lost business represented real people like each one of you. They too had families and friends.
It is your state. But I bet many of you know personally someone who has fallen into the trap of one of the moat builders, right?
If OMHA’s leaders are so loyal to Berkshire and MHI, how can they also be loyal to the independents??
Pardon me, but logically they cannot have it both ways, can they? See for yourselves what those who are or were in MHI and MHI members and award-winners have said. These are not just our concerns and allegations, they are those of others – and are arguably supported in the comments below.
A bit of personal history…
It was a group of four independent retailers that walked up to me at a trade show some years ago. They told me an area that they thought that we were getting wrong in our reports. Looking back, those four retailers were part of my personal wake up process.
At various state association meetings, I’ve spoken to manufactured home community owners that were stunned at how much the business has changed. The loss of street retailers forced some into becoming sellers and/or renters of manufactured homes. A once simple business model had become complicated.
I’ve been to state association meetings in numerous states, literally from border to border and in Canada. I’ve been at MHI meetings literally from coast-to-coast. Additionally, I’ve sold and managed at retail, managed several communities, worked with lenders, for decades. I also met with people on Capitol Hill on MHI’s behalf. Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage praised our pro-industry efforts.
While I was an MHI member, I made an effort to try to bring new lending and new lenders into the arena, MHI leaders did not lift a finger to help them. In fact, I was told by those outsiders interested in doing more or starting MH lending that the MHI types would not speak with them. Why is that, given that Lesli Gooch claimed in writing that MHI were trying to get more financing?
I feel for Tim and Elizabeth. It must be painful.
But frankly, I feel more for those in Ohio or other states who sold out for too little. And for those who got driven out because of what the Moat Builders and their vassals preach, do, and so not do. To be clear, the following is NOT to pick on UMH. But they have thoughtfully provided the data that reflects the concerns we have raised for years.
Now, where has OMHA and MHI been on this? Are they protecting the independents? Or are they working with the consolidators, either by accident and/or design?
And when it comes to being effective, just ponder what Nathan Smith has said in his own words on camera, with the text shown above and below.
Nathan and his team are now busy consolidating, as are others, right? His firm’s entire presentation can be found on our website, just use the search tool for Nathan Smith or Flagship.
I admitted many times to our audience that we got some things wrong in the first number of years in this sense. We have always been pro-industry. But it took time to realize that the industry was being undermined from within. Those same smiling faces at meetings got me in a similar way that they did others. But once the lightbulb went off, at that point investigating and reporting was not only our ‘job’ as a publisher. IMHO, it was arguably the job of trade associations that claim to be protecting their members! Isn’t that right? By the way, this is NOT about Tim Apel. His quote just happens to be on the OMHA website.
The truth is hiding in plain sight. Facts and years of patterns are found on the MHARR site. By contrast, MHI sends out emails that they do not even publish on their own website. Why not? Why does MHI not publish online what they have emailed out to members? What have they got to hide? Are they afraid someone might read those old emails and recall past promises that were never kept?
Do your own math. Among the BCCs in this thread is Tim Williams at 21st. KC too. Some of you might have been in the room when Dick Jennison made the following statement in front of a live audience. We have it all on video.
How much would the industry grow if federal enhanced preemption was being enforced? CA ADU data gives us a clue.
The context for the above is linked below.
The next time you see TW from 21st at a meeting in person, look him in the eyes and ask him this question. Did Tony Kovach ask Williams to get then MHI President and CEO Dick Jennison to make a statement like the one above well in advance of that Louisville Show? Watch TW’s eyes as he thinks and answers that question. Because I have the evidence, don’t you agree TW/21st?
Next, why have the powers that be tried to keep our MHProNews team from coming to Louisville the last few years? Are they afraid that we might meet with professionals like yourselves?
- Why did the powers that be want me out of MHI meetings?
- For asking polite questions about solution that ought to have been easy?
- Why do they talk about coalitions? We as an industry already have the laws that our industry needs! The case is easily made that we as an industry need to focus far more on law enforcement.
Now, consider these next hypotheticals. Association members, why not discuss these among yourselves via Messenger, by phone, over a drink or meal, whatever?
- If MHI and the Berkshire brands like 21st or Clayton behind MHI wanted to see Duty to Serve enforced, wouldn’t a single call from Omaha get that done?
- If Clayton wanted to see HUD’s enhanced preemption enforcement accomplished, wouldn’t a single call from Omaha to Washington DC get that done?
In that context, consider what Doug Ryan, whom some of you may have met, said in that debate linked above.
Elizabeth mentioned in her attempted defense of OMHA’s Tim the problem of perception regarding manufactured homes. Let’s think about that for a few moments, shall we?
As an MHI member I offered to help get a program started for free on image building. I was volunteering my time, no fee.
Pardon my admitting to my own naiveté, but the truth will set you free.
Why did MHI leaders drag their feet on that proposal to build the industry acceptance that we had willing sources to work with us on? Why was that ducked for years on end?
Those articles about my effort to accomplish that image building are still on our website. It is a matter of record! It was all while I too was paying dues and wondering what it would take to get MHI and the big boys to actually advance our industry during an affordable housing crisis.
Or, why didn’t MHI promote our MHLivingNews while we were members? The original way that website was set up was to tell good news stories. Some MHI members, some in your state, were among the good stories we told there. Why didn’t MHI promote that, which cost them nothing?
That was before those four retailers and others spoke to me. That was before I woke up to what is arguably a harsh reality.
Berkshire has access to psychologists and sociologists. Manipulation is a matter of science, right?
The next time you see Kevin Clayton or Tom Hodges at an event, look them in the eyes and ask them these questions.
- Berkshire owned dozens of newspapers. Why didn’t Berkshire use those newspapers to do an article a week or an article a month that set the record straight on modern manufactured homes?
- Berkshire owns GEICO. 15 minutes can save you fifteen percent on car insurance. You see the TV ads. You hear the radio commercials. Kevin Clayton said on camera in a softball interview that “Warren” told him that Berkshire has “plenty of money” to do ‘anything that you [Clayton] need.’ Ok. No doubt. But then where are the GEICO style ads for manufactured housing? Why so little promotion of even their own brand on TV?
Did Kevin (KC) not think that he needed those ads? Or did Kevin mean it when a decade ago – 10 years ago! – when he said in that same softball interview that they were ready to do a national ad campaign? See for yourselves. The text is there, the video is there. Will Kevin deny what he said?
The truth is hiding in plain sight.
But professionals and others have to be willing to look at the truth. People have to take the time to view, listen to it, and read that interview and do other things for themselves.
Then, professionals have to be willing to think about those facts in the same long term way that Warren Buffett preaches to his managers to think.
Let’s take in a few Warren Buffett quotes…
How many confess that they may have trusted what Marty Lavin called the big boys too much and too long? Or how many confess that some trade associations may be in the pocket of those big boys?
Why is manufactured housing misunderstood?
When you look at ALL the facts, ALL the trends I isn’t it obvious? If the Brands behind MHI wanted to advance the industry’s image or “perception” as Elizabeth said, why wasn’t that done a decade ago?
“Tim and OMHA support others in the industry who are working hard to build the viability of and the perception of manufactured housing.” Elizabeth Birch to MHProNews, via email on 4.12.2021.
Elizabeth also said there are no conflicts of interest for Tim. IMHO, only an investigation with total transparency will reveal if that is accurate or inaccurate. See how Tim emails the big boys. Then see how Tim handles others. Compare and contrast. Let the evidence speak.
Part of that should be this question. Do any of Tim’s or OMHA’s correspondence make any reference at all to the third-party research into purported corrupt and illegal practices involving Clayton Homes, other major MHI brands, and MHI itself?
Did Tim or Elizabeth raise any questions or concerns about that to any members at all? Only total transparency will reveal if OMHA is still acting as a ‘watchdog’ for all of the industry, or if they are acting as a conduit for consolidation of smaller firms by larger ones, as some have alleged.
There are, IMHO, good reasons that OMHA’s Tim would not do a virtual or in person debate on MHI and their leadership’s performance.
- How could he defend successfully against the truth and the facts?
- Tim was someone I considered a friend. He praised our work many times over the course of many years. Tim at 21st did too. But let’s focus on OMHA’s Tim for just a few more moments, ok?
- Tim has sat with me and my family several times. We have had meals together. We had good times together.
But when it came right down to it, for whatever reason(s), OMHA’s Tim decided to publicly disagree with our reporting on critical issues for industry independents, employees of the brands, and for consumers too. That is Tim’s right to do and I fully respect his right to talk or his right to remain silent.
That said, on MHI, Berkshire and their allied brands, what did Tim do? Did he raise concerns about the allegations? Total transparency will reveal what he did.
What we know is that OMHA’s Tim turned on me publicly and our publications. He contradicted everything that he had said for years. Suddenly, I was the bad guy? For doing the same accurate reporting that OMHA’s Tim had praised year after year before?
Now, take myself out of that equation. Instead, imagine that you are a state association member, put yourself in that same picture. Tim at OMHA has to make a decision. To support a big brand, or to support one or more independents. What will Tim do? Look at his history with MHProNews for a clue.
Because the evidence strongly suggests that the system is rigged against the independents and for the consolidators. The fellows with the deep pockets have rigged it. That is not me. That is not many of you. Rather, the case can be made that the system was rigged by the folks who openly proclaimed class warfare and their allies in manufactured housing.
Please pardon any typos, it has been a long day. Feedback welcome.
FYI, we plan on publishing this in the near term.
PS: Please see all of what follows. Some of you may not be readers – yet. And if not, you may want to know what others are reading.
Again, feedback including insiders tips, are welcome.
———- Forwarded message ———
What followed in that forward was the emailed headline news sent out on 4.15.2021. For those who do not get that emailed news update, ask a friend who does for a copy. You can click here, or email and get a copy from us, and you can sign up for free.
On April 9, 2019, in the wake of the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver viral video errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes,” was an article on the Hustle. While the commentary was interesting, and it gave some useful and accurate generic insights, it did not get into the type of actionable specifics that the email above – for example – did. Put differently, it made apparently made several industry black hat brands look like black hats.
But while acknowledging the useful parts of the report in exposing the pattern in our profession, what Oliver and others in mainstream failed to do, as is true of several other such mainstream reports, is give an actionable plan for independents, homeowners, and others to potentially follow.
In that context, was a fairly short commentary on the Hustle. Why bring this 2-year-old column by Schlagenhauf in the Hustle up now?
Simple. Because it relates once more to OMHA and other MHEC members. MHEC – the Manufactured Housing Executives Council – reportedly shared articles like Schlagenhauf’s among each other.
More specifically, more than one MHEC exec told MHProNews that various state association executives shared that article, among others, in the wake of the viral John Oliver topic. So what?
Put differently, while Williams and Birch are busy posturing one thing, there are good reasons to believe, based on reliable sources among their peers in MHEC, that they were among those reading what was being shared by Schlagenhauf – and others. It is logically nearly impossible for Williams or Birch to claim that MHProNews is somehow alone in raising concerns based on evidence that manufactured housing is being undermined from within!
If Williams, Birch and other MHEC execs did not like what happened following the John Oliver twister, who raised a finger with mainstream media to address the issue? Keep in mind that Tim Williams at 21st said that one of the duties of the new MHI communications person would be to respond to problematic coverage impacting the industry.
Rephrased, both Tim Williams’ – and others in the mix – cannot have it both ways. For those who have been reading these reports in recent years, this quote below with explanation should shed a bright new light on. This was sent from Tim @ 21st to MHProNews via email. If you want to see it in a larger size, click the image once, then click that again to see it open to full size.
Among the voices that have said that MHI has failed at what Williams at 21st claimed is ironically MHI ‘big boy’ insider, Frank Rolfe. His comment came about 2.5 years after the one above. Once more, there is a clear disconnect. Once more, they cannot have it both ways.
It is against this type of backdrop that MHEC execs enter into the picture. They are supposed to be, as Apel said it, watchdogs for the industry at the state level. Those execs are supposed to monitor such items, so that smaller business owners can focus on doing business instead of having to spend a lot of time doing items not directly related to day to day business operations.
The MHEC execs have a list that shares negative as well as positive reports about manufactured housing.
Birch may or may not be ignorant of such correspondence via MHEC, that would have to be determined.
But it is virtually impossible for Tim Williams at OMHA to claim that he is ignorant of such concerns. If he claims ignorance – then he is derelict is his duties. If he says he knows about such mainstream media concerns, as well as those internal to the industry, then either way, he cannot have it both ways.
Furthermore, if OMHA’s Williams had legal concerns, they should have been brought to the attention of the association’s general counsel, which is Birch.
They simply can’t ignore the claims and allegations lodged by this publication – and several others in mainstream media – and then try to posture that nothing has been going wrong inside of the industry.
The bottom line?
The case for a significant conflict of interest against OMHA’s Williams and 21st’s Williams, among others. Beyond conflicts of interest, there are even more serious legal arguments that must be faced by those who have claimed in writing for years that they represent the interests of the industry, when the evidence strongly suggests that they are instead representing the interests of consolidators.
In fairness, MHProNews will mention once more that there are association members who have tipped us on this or that topic. They should be held in a potentially different category than those who turned a blind eye toward purported market manipulation that harmed their independent members when the manure hits the fan.
That backdrop brings us back to this, purportedly one of several such items shared among MHEC members.
Schlagenhauf begins and focuses on matters through a consumer lens, but ties it into the business world. While the terminology is at times errant – e.g.: mobile home vs. manufactured home – his outline is worth pondering.
“Mobile home investing is hot for Warren Buffett, but homeowners get burned.” Was the Hustle headline, with the sub-heading, “Warren Buffett’s Clayton Homes leads the charge in ripping off mobile home buyers.” People like “Frank Rolfe” are mentioned by Schlagenhauf too. His wrap up is brief, and reflects points that merit underscoring.
Schlagenhauf wrote the following to conclude his column. That “Shill-ionaire of the people” is Warren Buffett. Oxford Languages defines a shill as follows: “an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.” By connecting the extension of billionaire and shill, Schlagenhauf paints a quick picture of a man that the media often fawns over, but how clearly has a darker side.
Clayton stayed profitable through the financial crisis. In 2015, Clayton grabbed a record $700m in earnings, while foreclosing on over 8k homes.
Buffett has long been viewed as a corporate hero. The more he complains about his secretary having to pay higher income tax than he does, the more people view Big B as some rich do-gooder.
But Clayton homes’ manipulative business model, which Buffett immediately saw dollar signs in, contradicts many of the ideas of fairness for which Buffett is known.”
Do not miss the dark grace postscript.
With no further adieu, let us pivot to the headlines for the week that was from 4.11 2021 to 4.18.2021.
What is new on MHLivingNews
What is New on the Masthead
What is the latest from Washington, D.C. from MHARR
What is new on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Nothing bad is changed until it is properly challenged.
Several, but not all, of the tactics deployed against professional independents and consumers could be used in a jujitsu fashion that uses the tactics deployed by insider against industry independents to be used to counter those who have wrongfully deployed them.
As the email to those in OH reflects, we have admitted several times to being among those who were arguably duped and harmed. Our ‘awakening’ was due in good measure to others in the manufactured home industry that tipped or advised us. Once more, the message above to various Berkshire and MHI leaders and attorneys, plus OMHA’s Williams and Birch referenced that point. One takeaway? It is never too late to admit that you too may have been hoodwinked. Or for those who may have retired from the business, they and/or their heirs may have a legitimate claim.
Because once our odyssey of awakening occurred, something should clear to those who have perhaps been fearful or otherwise hesitant about acting.
It is this. We at MHProNews and MHLivingNews are living proof that the treachery can be navigated. Several past reports reflected – and the email above infers – the various ways that the powers that be have tried to undermine or break the connections between our readers and us. Or the ways that they have attempted to silence us permanently.
Years later, scared and bruised, nevertheless, we are still standing. That is the nature of war – which Buffett declared and his ilk have purportedly put into motion. There are other survivors of this warfare too.
MHARR is another example. Faithful to independents, they have also kept on fighting. The case could be made that reflect the various ways that the powers be tried to defeat them too. They are also still standing and fighting on!
Nothing bad is changed until it is properly challenged and overcome.
Ironically, it is MHAction, which is documented to be Buffett-funded via dark money channels, the evidence of which is thus far publicly unchallenged, that has aptly said that the many can defeat the money. That is true. It has been true numbers of times in American and world history. But until sufficient numbers are willing to take the steps in their state to challenge the “shill-ionaires” of the people, expect more of the same.
It can start with a single person or small group in a given state. Will you be that one?
Will you be the one that brings these concerns to lawmakers and public officials, as the report linked below exemplifies?
To be clear, not everything that is wrong in our industry traces back to these same forces of darkness. But so much that has gone wrong does connect to the powers of darkness in direct or indirect ways, as our various news and analysis reports routinely reflect.
The sooner the process is begun, the sooner the victory can occur. Because the lessons of history are clear. Nothing bad is changed until it is properly challenged.
Our thanks to you, our sources, and sponsors for making and keeping us the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.
From Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA is this sermon by a Catholic Priest who Rips Joe Biden,
and scores of Catholic Bishops. His thinking is sobering.