The Young Republicans picked Lisa as their candidate of choice since there are only two Democrats running, they have to pick a Dem either way.
Perhaps the most intriguing presentation of the evening was given by Clerk candidate Lisa Epstein. A long shot to unseat long time Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock who was also present, Ms. Epstein is running for the office as the next step in her fight against fraud and abuse in the banking system, particularly in the area of foreclosure documents. “The Rule of Law is one of the most important founding concepts of our country”, she began, and she “believes in taking personal responsibility for the well being of our country and its citizens.” A foreclosure abuse activist who has gained national attention, she sites examples of incomplete or forged documents being accepted by the Clerk’s office, transfer fees not being collected on FNMA and FHLMC (aka “Fannie” and “Freddie”) owned properties, law firms using the Clerk’s office to shift the cost of research onto the taxpayers, and banks that are not paying sewer and other liens on foreclosed properties. She also faults the Clerk for withholding the funds collected for the IG office from the municipalities while the lawsuit is pending.
Whether it is fair to lay any of these charges on the desk of Sharon Bock is open to interpretation, and the constitutional makeup of the office does not suggest an activist role for the Clerk in pursuing patterns of document fraud. That said, corruption, cronyism and the abuses by “too big to fail” institutions should strike a chord with those of us who care about free markets and restoring trust in government. Whether or not Lisa Epstein prevails in the election next week, I hope she continues to pursue these projects and wish her well.