The world as we knew it knew earlier this year has changed dramatically. Roughly 1/3 of the nations have some form of lockdown in place. U.S. Senators in quarantine have floated the notion of appearing in protective gear in Congressional chambers that might resemble something the garb worn by Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the photo shown. Per the ubiquitous Drudge Report, reportedly 500,000 millionaires have dropped off that list in record time, all as a result of the coronavirus global pandemic.
So it may be no surprise that on 3.24.2020 the following message was sent to MHProNews by a known, informed source with clear ties to the Clayton Homes organization.
“Tony, two sources from the Clayton plants in Addison let me know there had been a confirmed China virus case at the Clayton Addison Patriot plant. They also stated the facility was not immediately shut down and workers sent home when they got the positive test results from 1 worker.”
The phrase “China virus” in the above has been used by President Donald J. Trump and others to describe COVID19 or the coronavirus, in part as pushback against purported propaganda from the communist regime there which has tried to pin the blame for the outbreak on the U.S.A. Other terms have been used to describe the pandemic by various sources, including the Wuhan Virus, the CCP Virus by the Epoch Times, novel coronavirus, etc. Chinese and certain anti-Trump sources claimed this virus as being of U.S. origins, with some outrageously dubbing it the “Trump virus.” Thus, the context for the White House pushed back as their detractors resisted the phrase “China Virus.” See links here, here and below for more.
The claim of an outbreak in the news tips noted above was addressed by MHProNews to various officials at Clayton Homes. As of the time that this report and analysis, they have declined to respond.
In a different incident, the Daily Times reported on March 19, 2020 that a Clayton Homes team member at their Maryville, TN headquarters offices has also tested positive for COVID19.
Caitlyn Crosby, media relations manager for Clayton Homes, said the team member was asked to self-isolate. “Clayton had already taken several precautions, including establishing a task force that has been monitoring COVID-19, as well as implementing workplace sanitation procedures and policies to help protect the health of our team members,” Crosby added.
Another message as a news tip to MHProNews said this in relation to the Clayton Homes Addison, Alabama plant COVID19 claim.
“I was told that Keith Holdbrooks is to be informed if a positive test [for COVID19 or coronavirus] comes back, before the manufacturing plants inform anyone of anything.”
Contacts to public health officials are pending about this controversial allegation.
It was on March 18, 2020 when MHProNews reported the steps that Clayton Homes announced, which is found in the report linked below. That same report includes the steps an independent producer of HUD Code manufactured homes has provided to guard against a coronavirus outbreak in their facilities.
That in the light of the cases reported raises potential questions and concerns that are doubtlessly roiling Clayton’s leadership.
MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
First, of course MHProNews wishes those impacted by the COVID19 virus a speedy recovery.
Next, there are potential fallouts and consequences to these allegations that could go well beyond Clayton Homes.
New readers as well as the long-standing MHProNews professionals, public officials and advocates should be aware of the various often devious schemes alleged made of how Clayton Homes deploys the strategic “Moat” methodology. While it may not at first glance seem to apply, a closer look could paint a different picture.
Here is how Kevin Clayton stated it in a video interview, the entire transcript of which is found linked below the quotation graphic.
As detail-oriented industry professionals may recall, Warren Buffett is the Chairman of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, which owns Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and other companies. Those Berkshire brands often happen to be members of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which had Tom Hodges as its current chairman of their board of directors, sometimes referred to as the MHI Executive Committee.
In the March 23, 2020 report linked below are examples of how arguably Berkshire-dominated MHI has been dealing with this coronavirus crisis.
Additionally, it should be noted that Buffett’s ‘donations’ and Berkshire connected “philanthropy” has often been traced through so-called “dark money” sources to nonprofits that in turn have attacked the interests of the manufactured housing industry in general, even though Clayton Homes or other MHI member firms, affiliates or connections may also be involved.
Beside the prior example linked below, is the new instance above where MHAction and other far-left groups have been using the COVID19 outbreak to push their agenda.
The ties of MHAction to a co-produced white paper, other materials and activities are clearly on display in the viral video errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.” In a report in April 2019 on Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews), that video and related fact-check and analysis clearly connects the dots between Clayton Homes, Frank Rolfe and others to MHI member firms.
Neither MHI nor Clayton Homes made a robust public response to that issue. Why not? Why do they fail to follow Berkshire unit leader Tim Williams, former MHI chairman as well as the president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corporation?
The video and related reports above have been referred to by lawmakers who have pushed for rent control and other measures that arguably harm manufactured home independents in an effort to protect against the purported predatory practices of what are often MHI member companies.
For whatever reasons, there has been a steady stream and recent surge of interest in the report linked below, entitled “The Case Against Clayton Homes.” When we first started posting this next video it had only a modest number of views, now it is has been viewed more than many of MHI’s videos combined.
There is also steady readership of the report below that documented the reportedly ongoing investigations and allegations with respect to Clayton, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and MHI.
While the current outbreak will no doubt slow the progress on the investigation by others of those issues. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are numbers of public officials who reportedly have Clayton, their affiliates and other MHI member firms reportedly in their crosshairs.
These are all factors that have logically kept manufactured housing underperforming during an affordable housing crisis.
Meanwhile, arguably through surrogates like MHInsider, and other less impressive bloggers, or by MHI and their “affiliates” a steady “Razzle Dazzle” campaign is waged.
What these related reports outline are instances of how the strategic “Moat” is purportedly deployed in cunning ways to undermine the interests of the industry’s independents and consumers.
Relate Programming Notices: MHProNews has been contacted by a source with clear ties to Berkshire Hathaway that has described a plan that would target independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes whose plants are shut down by officials due to the COVID19 pandemic. That source has laid out a scheme to reportedly target the workers of those factories away from those producers. That report and analysis, along with one of MHI’s evolving “efforts” are pending. You can sign up for our industry leading, typically x2 weekly emailed headline update below.
Teaser Two: MHI Community Member Coronavirus Connection.
There are also documented reports coming out of a well know MHI member community operator about a COVID19 related controversy. MHProNews plans to update readers on that as circumstances merit and permit in the days ahead.
Summary and Conclusion
Clayton, using MHI and other nonprofits such as MHAction, have been purportedly colluding in a manner to undermine manufactured housing during an affordable housing crisis. That has arguably harmed the interest of millions of manufactured homeowners, potential consumers, taxpayers, investors and others.
The COVID19 pandemic has apparent ties to issues involving Bill Gates, the Gates foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO) and connections in China and the U.S.
Gates has made comments that arguably fueled the stock market rout.
All of the above is adding to the possible examples of how Machiavellian the Buffett-Gates and other billionaires have been with respect to undermining manufactured housing independents, consumers and investors.
While the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has for years pushed back on various scheme like the above, their president and CEO Mark Weiss has lamented that there has been no post-production organization that they can team up with to unshackle the industry.
Meanwhile, Tom Hardiman of the Modular Home Builders Association has likewise publicly called out MHI for their problematic tactics in the CrossModTM homes controversy. Put differently, there isn’t just a little smoke rising from Clayton or MHI, there is a kitchen fire that one would have to turn a blind eye to in order to ignore the evidence.
Stay tuned for more from the industry’s largest, most read and leading trade publication on exclusive news, analysis and other issues – MHProNews. That’s “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 MHLivingNews.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
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