Manufactured housing association leader Tim Williams may or may not be aware of what follows. But odds are, if he didn’t know about what is evidence in this report previously, he soon will become more knowledgeable. Why?
Because Williams has asked and agreed to have messages published in which he calls Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO Lesli Gooch “superb.”
More specifically, Williams said in an email to MHProNews: “Fact– Lesli is doing a superb job advocating for the industry. She is the best MHI government affairs leader/advocate I have witnessed in my 25 years in the industry.” The entire ‘on the record’ message thread will be published later, so that the context for that claim by Williams is made entirely clear. Once posted, this will be updated with a link to that report.
Bestselling author Peter Schweitzer has spotlighted corruption involving lobbying and political figures in both major parties in several books and videos. Schweitzer has aptly made the point that not all corrupt practices are illegal.
That pointed noted, someone willing to engage in conflicts of interest, corrupt practices and who has such a cloud of controversy around them for a period of years at a minimum merit closer scrutiny.
In the case of the latest tip emailed to MHProNews involving Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO Lesli Gooch, is the following. The document shown further below alleges key members on the House Financial Services Committee – who were lobbied by Gooch – got campaign contributions from Gooch, her client and Gooch’s client at the time later reportedly gained federal contracts worth some $25 million dollars.
Some may applaud that, saying it demonstrates how effective Gooch can be.
But if so, if she is as “superb” as Williams said in that on-the-record email sent on 2.10.2020, then why has MHI failed to get the things that Gooch claims she and MHI are working to achieve on behalf of the manufactured home industry’s independents? How is it that Gooch can earn an then-indicted real estate developer some $25 million from the U.S. Treasury, while Gooch can’t seem to get HUD or the FHFA to properly enforce existing laws that are favorable to manufactured housing if they were being fully enforced?
Gooch’s defenders can’t have it both ways.
So, let’s explore for the next few moments the allegations reported by others relative to “MHI 2.0” CEO Gooch.
According to Timetoast, “Lesli Gooch, [then] candidate for Congress, worked as a paid lobbyist for indicted real estate developer Jeffrey Burum, according to official lobbying…” per a post on March 27, 2014. There was an array of negative media surrounding Gooch and her associates for a period of years. Some examples follow.
In a response to the satirical endorsement video posted above, Kenneth Hunter said as follows.
“Why would candidate for Congress, Lesli Elaine McCollum Gooch, assume that the voters in the 31st District would be on board with surrendering this important seat directly over to Washington D.C. lobbyist control? Gooch is a registered lobbyist from Washington, D.C. who has never lived or voted in our district. She claims that she has spent 15 years representing the residents of San Bernardino County in Washington D.C. but, Gary Miller was the representative and she was a staff office worker. When Rep. Gary Miller quit, Gooch must have concluded that none of the 309,000 registered voters in the district are worthy or smart enough to select a new representative from among themselves. Just because Rep. Gary Miller surrendered to the lobbyists in Washington, does that mean we have to surrender also? No. When a congressman quits his office, and a new congressman is elected, we are supposed to get a new start with a new representative and not just an insider staff worker from back east, committed to the same failed policies that are encouraged and paid for by the clients of aggressive lobbyists. Infiltration into our Halls of Congress by revolving door lobbyists is a major assault on our liberty. There are five other candidates running besides this opportunist from the belt way. Isn’t being able to choose our representatives from among ourselves one of the few and most important liberties we have left? We should be able and indeed must, choose our next representative from among ourselves without this type of interference from Washington, D.C.” [Per YouTube, this comment was posted 5 years ago. The comment’s profile says he subscribes to the Motley Fool investment services reporting channel.]
Here is the latest document, a PowerPoint presentation created by a third-party named on the report which cited their evidence from several published reports. You can click through the PowerPoint using the arrow tool below.
MHProNews has created a downloadable version of the above at this link here.
Here are some relevant headlines about Gooch’s multi-year client Jeffrey Burum, per Google on this date. In fairness, Burum was acquitted, in what some at the time thought was a botched case by the prosecutor.
Detail-minded MHProNews readers recall the recent reports linked above and below about Gooch, which came as a result of a whistleblower’s document tips that were official documents.
Those documents from the tipster, as well as this latest document from SlideShare that was emailed by another party to MHProNews, are in various ways confirmed by information found on the OpenSecrets website.
Consider the screen captured items above and below.
MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
Is it possible that MHI’s search and interview committee and executive leadership that ‘vetted’ Gooch was unaware of all of these items? Wasn’t a background check performed? Given that an MHI staff insider has told MHProNews that about an awareness of some of the issues sent by the tipster. If another MHI staffer knew, is it likely that the MHI Executive Committee didn’t?
Did Tim Williams know these things when he described Gooch in such glowing terms as “superb” or “the best MHI government affairs leader/advocate I have witnessed” in 25 years?
This shouldn’t be about charm, popularity or anything other than facts, should it? What are those facts? The industry is underperforming during an affordable housing crisis. Saying that the industry has risen some 90 percent since it’s low is to miss the point that MHI’s own prior president and CEO had promised that 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home shipments a year was acheivable. What happened to that claim?
Or what about routine drum beat of problematic news associated with MHI member companies?
Why are public officials in a variety of states asking for or launching formal probes of MHI member firms?
What about the causes and the MHI connected firms that led to manufactured housing’s dramatic tumble to its current lows in the first place?
Manufactured housing, having suffered years of a crushing downturn that can in several ways be connected to events linked above and below, slowly crawled its way back up to levels in 2018 where it was finally approaching 100,000 shipments. Industry newcomers must recall that in 1998, the industry produced and shipped over 372,000 new units nationally. So, with “superb” and “the best” leadership and advocacy, MHI’s new CEO can now point with pride to a downturn in 2019.
That may be superb for consolidators who are striving to make acquisitions at a discounted valuation, using the Buffett mantra as their guide. But what about the interests of thousands of independents that MHI and various state association are supposed to be representing?
Or what about the interests of millions of manufactured home owners?
Doesn’t it take very selective vision and memory to ignore what MHI and their leaders hope others don’t discover?
To go deeper on the related issues vexing manufactured housing professionals and consumers, see the timely reports above or further below. That’s all she wrote for installment of manufactured housing “Industry News Tips and Views Pros Can Use“ © – MHVille’s runaway #1 news source, where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.) Notice: all third party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.Soheyla is a co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.
There is more than enough evidence that there is corruption, deceptive trade practices and other arguably illegal activities that are benefiting a few to the harm of the many. See the related articles below.
The bad news is that the opposition to ethical ‘white hat’ businesses, investors and other professionals have deep pockets and they are politically connected. But the good news is that Bernie Madoff could have once made that similar claim. Today, Madoff sits in a federal cell. It took persistence on the part of a few professionals with federal officials to finally topple Madoff’s multi-billion dollar empire.