Before we get into the purported Clayton/21st/MHI “kill shots” in our headline and feature image, a few words – a preface – are in order.
We consider ourselves to be among those independent industry professionals who are positive-goals and solution-oriented people by nature.
Those who know us know us well believe we are social, gregarious, forthright, and hard working. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but when we have a glitch, we strive to make it right, period.
We smile and laugh at comments like the one below. It is from non-MHARR source(s). In these 2 quotes below, the “You” below should be understood in both instances as a reference to our online trade publications.
“You are prolific and you keep the headlines sexy,” and “You seem to have a conceptual IQ that is more important than spelling ability.”
We’re human, we make mistakes, but once discovered or pointed out, we strive to accurately correct them. Tim Williams at 21st/and then MHI Chairman has said as much.
There Was No Way to Know…
When we launched MHProNews over 9 years ago, we did not imagine nor seek the role of being the ‘communiqué cop’ to spotlight – and thus help stop – what Berkshire Hathaway has arguably been doing for years to our once far-greater industry.
Over 4 years into our project, an MHI staff leader – no doubt with their power brokers okay – had arguably set a trap. Initially, we candidly stepped into it, because we naively did not understand what in hindsight is now more clear. Once we began to discover what was going on, a non-disclosure agreement that they – MHI’s president and general counsel – insisted upon kept our mouths unfairly sealed.
But we stuck by that unjust aspect of their NDA agreement. We did our home work. We kept learning more and more about what we hadn’t clearly seen or understood prior to those incidents.
Meanwhile, the powers-that-be kept executing their apparent plan to conquer manufactured housing, in part by using MHI as a tool.
- So, MHI asked to purchase our LLC’s MHProNews – their idea – they had us sign an NDA. They then purportedly proceed to use over time what they learned about us during their ‘due diligence’ – against us, only they did so largely behind-the-scenes, per numerous sources.
- Keep in mind that our publisher was at that time they pulled this apparent ploy an MHI board member. L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was elected by his peers. Recall too that MHI elected and staff leadership had praised Tony and our team’s work for years, in front of several audiences, and often in writing.
Part of their plan was debatably to silence our independent news voice, which they apparently attempted to do by killing off our LLC’s MHProNews business. We can look another time at parallel efforts they arguably used against MHARR or others.
So, we were absolutely not alone. As another non-MHARR source said last week, ‘some of us wake up and think about how to sell another home. Meanwhile, others wake up and think about how to put someone else out of business.’ That’s from a voice with years of Clayton Homes ties.
In that purported effort to kill our MHProNews business off, MHI and the ‘powers that be’ behind them have clearly failed.
But had they succeeded, in that fashion, we could have been no different than the thousands of locations that have been put out of business by their apparent scheme’s efforts to consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer – and carefully selected – hands.
So not unlike:
- closed or acquired-at-a-discount MH retailers,
- MH Communities that were sold for too little money,
- MH Producers that were closed or acquired for too little money,
- And on down the list of businesses and organizations – that during an ever growing affordable housing crisis – witnessed for several years the constant and otherwise inexplicable contraction of manufactured housing.
Rephrased, we could easily have become a victim of their consolidation efforts. In our case, they wanted to shutter an independent voice that they had long praised.
Please keep all of those details in mind, because as the bullets suggest – that applies to hundreds if not thousands of other business professionals in our industry.
We’ve documented previously – using their own words, which they have never tried to publicly refute – how the “Moat” by Berkshire Hathaway owned brands operated in manufactured housing. One of the more recent reports is found linked just below. Bear in mind we’ve repeatedly offered them the opportunity – they being the Berkshire brands in MHVille, plus MHI – the opportunity to refute or clarify any of their own words and actions. To date, nada. The offer to Clayton, 21st, MHI, Warren Buffett, et al do so in person, via video, or in writing stands.
The Feds and Others Are On Their ‘Case…’
You don’t have to take our word for it, because prior mainstream reports – some of which are found from the report link above – have documented and stated that Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing – Clayton, Vanderbilt, 21st – are among those being investigated in MHVille by the Feds or others. Or you can just “Google it.” Or see the screen capture from today, below, for some examples.
Federal investigators have been on this matter for some time. Clayton, et al, denies it all.
The Feds have candidly said these issues won’t be fixed overnight, because it is big. They told us what these dark forces are doing in our industry is not unlike what is happening in other industries. That pattern doesn’t make the Berkshire brands or those like them in other industries correct. It just sets the stage for our – and now your – fuller understanding of what’s happened that has kept manufactured housing at historically low levels for over a decade.
The report linked further below on monopolies from the New York Times will be useful to you and others in what we lovingly call MHVille.
There are professionals who are or have been in MHI, in Clayton or 21st, etc. that understand quite well what’s really been going on, while MHI and Clayton posture something different. There are those who have had long ties with the Clayton organization that know those smiling faces, but who tell us they too have suffered “the double cross.”
That’s about all we will say for now, but we have the evidence to demonstrate the above, some of which is linked from reports on this page, or cross liked from those reports. Of course, at some point in time, such claims and concerns against Clayton, 21st, and MHI will likely have to be adjudicated. Until then, they are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty, or until they enter into a plea or other agreement.
That’s said to express this notion. We have been, and continue to be, pro-industry professionals. But we have come to realize the full depth of what some voices have said for years. Some of those voices have at least for now, have gone silent or are more muted. Why they are silent, you’d have to ask them.
As noted, we remain goal and solution oriented. For our industry to grow to its potential, there are challenges from within that must be addressed.
From now until at least the Louisville Show, we will be making certain preparations. Hopefully before the time the Tunica Show comes around, we will unveil a plan that we will begin to outline tomorrow, which for now we will dub “Victory 2020.”
With that backdrop, we will once more note that someone or group with apparent ties to MHI has apparently been involved with having an investigator hired. The target? Our publisher. They have purportedly tried to dig up any ‘dirt’ – private, personal matters from over 20 years ago – that they think they could find and use to embarrass him, or silence him. We have been told from solid sources that a similar tactic has been tried with others in our industry.
Rephrased, this could be you too. Tony took the matter up with the powers that be, as the email below reflects.
Federal officials have been notified. They were provided with a string of ‘anonymous letters’ that were sent to our home have since we published the email shown above that was sent to:
- Kevin Clayton,
- Clayton attorney and MHI Executive Committee Member, Tom Hodges,
- Tim Williams,
- the Dick Jennison,
- Lesli Gooch,
- and others as shown.
It should be noted that not long after the message shown above was first published, the anonymous letters to Tony have since stopped. A coincidence?
Our preface is nearly done, and we will pivot in a moment to the headlines from the week that was. We’ve said the above to underscore how important to you some of what follows below can be. We’ll also note again what that message to Clayton et al said, if something happens to us, federal authorities who were already investigating Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing, MHI, and certain federal officials will know where to look.
There are still Patriots in America who believe in equal justice under the law. But that justice can take time.
What has happened to others or to us could happen to you or someone you care about. Our publisher has nothing to hide from, which is why the intimidation tactics sent by “whomever” didn’t work.
Tony likes to quote at times the maxim, that “You don’t catch flak unless you are over the target.” MHProNews perhaps can be understood as being over the target then in our reports, fact checks, and analysis.
But merely exposing what has happened to our industry isn’t enough. There has to be a counterweight to MHI. Let’s be clear. There is nothing, NOTHING that they claim that they do ‘for the industry’ that can’t be done better by others.
Some other options that are alternatives to MHI are already developing, as we have reported, and of course MHARR has existed for years for independent producers.
Starting tomorrow, we will launch a new series which will begin the lead up to “Victory 2020.” It took about 15 years for Berkshire Hathaway to conquer half of the production in manufactured housing.
Clayton and their purportedly bought-and-paid for allies took years to get to where they are.
But this is still America. We and others of like mind will be committed to taking the years needed to ethically combat what they have built through their ‘Strategic Moat.’ To learn more about that, see the more complete report, with quotes from Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams, among others, in the linked report above: “The Feds and Others Are On Their ‘Case…'”
Another handy report is the one linked below.
Now, onto the reports and intros for the week that was.
Sunday Recap of the Week That Was
Financing, Warren Buffett has said, is where most of the money is being made by their firm in Manufactured Housing. In fact, Clayton Homes is shown in their annual report listed under a financing category.
So it only makes sense from his point of view that Buffett – the-Moat-Builder – will have his MH lieutenants make sure that the GSEs don’t do anything useful for the majority of manufactured home communities and independents.
That’s what Saturday’s report, linked below reveals. It’s another purported kill shot aimed at the remainder of the industry’s independents.
But that’s not the only new story this week on MHProNews. Not by a long shot, pardon the pun.
Next, a competitor of #4 Legacy Housing called and said that one of that firm’s smart moves is that they have created their own retail and wholesale lending.
Lending or financing is necessary for most any big-ticket business. Sam Zell famously observed that failing in creating a lending base has hurt the industry.
MHI’s former president had a similar but different take on that topic, found in a previous report linked here.
But a different surprise for manufactured housing professionals, investors, and industry observers is another stunning Clayton revelation. See that among the reports, linked below.
- #HousingChoice should be part of every savvy industry professionals’ mantra.
- Brad Pitt has proven with modular homes that even a good deed can be punished.
- What’s Google Impact on Manufactured Housing and Free Speech? See that, below.
- A massive judgement has hit a manufactured home community owner, that report is found among our headline news recap too.
- Two articles review information from the New York Times, one is a review of “Mobile Homes,” the other is their take on Monopolies and their harmful impact on others.
- There are whistleblowers at Google, as well as in manufactured housing. See Project Dragonfly, linked below.
Note, among the questions we get from those considering whistleblowing on Clayton, MHI or others revolves around the question of legality. You can and should do your own research, but a quick glance at federal and state laws may lead you to realize that whistleblowers are routinely protected by state and federal laws.
And as trade news media, we can publish even copyrighted material, within certain guidelines that we observe. Recall that the Pentagon Papers, federally classified secret information, was legally published by the New York Times and the Washington Post.
More details have emerged about Amazon’s foray into factory-home building, that and several other topics are among the headlines from the week that was, all found further below.
Note that the Masthead and MHLivingNews below look like similar topics, but they are quite different.
One final word, we don’t generally highlight with the teaser box and featured image in this weekly recap the link to the evening market report. But some of our readers swear by those daily recaps. Check a few out, and you too may end up hooked. Those evening market recaps save time for busy people who still want to keep up with more industry news, but can do so in a matter of only a few minutes.
With no further adieu, and with no exaggeration, welcome to the hottest site in the world for Manufactured Housing “Industry New, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” ©
What’s New on MHLivingNews
Festivals of Light – Hanukkah and Advent in Manufactured Home Land – a.k.a – MHVille – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
In the windows of some manufactured homes and other dwellings, there will be a menorah visible tonight. In manufactured home communities from coast-to-coast, you’ll find Christmas lights on homes, which perhaps are more properly called Advent lights before December 25th, and Christmas lights on and after that date.
What’s New on the Masthead
” It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” – Motto of the Christophers. Our friends, colleagues, clients, and readers in manufactured housing span the gamut of almost any groups or subgroups one cares to mention.
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Together with thousands of honest MHVille pros of good will, we can make our industry achieve its great potential. That’s done by making American lives better, together. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Sunday Morning, weekly headline news review, analysis, and commentary.)
NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.
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