According to research published by MarketWatch, Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has given 100% of his campaign contributions to Democrats during the 2016 election cycle. Berkshire has numerous manufactured housing brands, such as Clayton Homes.
“Company executives often steer clear of any appearance of partisanship, in large part because they don’t want to alienate customers and investors who back the other side,” said MarketWatch.
“About 100 CEOs whose companies are components of the S&P 500 have been willing to fly a markedly Democratic or Republican flag in their political giving as individuals during the current election cycle,” said that source.
Because of so-called ‘dark money,’ interlocking directorates, and the like, it can be difficult to ‘follow the money’ when it all of the donations that flows from wealthy individuals, and finds their way into campaigns or activist causes.
Contrary to what MarketWatch said, Buffett’s political leanings has been rather open for years. He was a strong supporter of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton campaigns too. He denounced Donald J. Trump in several campaign events with Secretary Clinton, but toned it down after Mr. Trump became the president elect.
Jim Clayton, founder of Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank, is among those in MHVille who like Buffett, have deep ties or sway over the Manufactured Housing Institute MHI, who are supporting Democratic Senate and other candidates.
Andy Barr has been called a champion of the industry, and Marsha Blackburn supported MHI’s bills too. So why were these loyalists apparently betrayed by MHI’s power players? By contrast, President Trump has specifically supported these candidates. Note that it was POTUS Trump, not then President Obama who signed S 2155, that gave manufactured housing some regulatory relief. And note too that it was former POTUS Obama, that put Dodd-Frank and the CFPB on the necks of manufactured housing, when realtors and the RV business escaped similar challenges.
Note that MHProNews editorially acknowledges the right of any citizen to use their money in any lawful or moral manner. But part of the concerns being spotlighted here is the industry professionals are being told that MHI is supporting lower regulations. In fact, in various key races, there has been support for those who would vote for higher regulations, or roll backs of tax cuts, or other anti-growth agenda items championed by President Trump.
Rephrased, aren’t MHI’s big money players being duplicitous? Didn’t Tim Williams say that the biggest threat to the industry was the progressive agenda that Jim Clayton, Warren Buffett, Nathan Smith and others are supporting?
Watch for a special report Saturday. ICYMI or need a refresher, see the related reports, further below. For those who find it a concern that MHI claims to be fighting regulations, while key power players are giving to those who want higher taxes and more regulations, this is your fact-based follow the money wake-up call. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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