Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Drama heats up in gubernatorial race for Ohio governor

Cities continue to vie for Amazon’s headquarters

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news across the HousingWire weekend desk with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

Speculation continues to rise over which city Amazon will choose as its second headquarters.

While the city has consistently ranked lower on lists of the top options, Dallas managed to land the top spot in a new list from the The Wall Street Journal.

According to an article in The Dallas Morning News by Arnessa Garrett, before the release of this new list, Dallas had been mostly in the middle of the pack of contenders. But now thanks to this new report, in a ranking of all the city rankings, Dallas sits at number one.

The Wall Street Journal’s list used Amazon’s criteria, interviews with site-selection experts and people familiar with Amazon’s thinking to generate a list of potential locations.

After Dallas, The Wall Street Journal ranked Boston in second place and Washington D.C. and Atlanta tied for third.

HousingWire has noted in the past that the city that ultimately wins the bid can likely expect housing prices, along with other costs of living, to increase.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray’s likely entry into the Ohio gubernatorial race isn’t the only drama surrounding the state’s upcoming election.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill drew severe criticism after a controversial Facebook post last week.

As explained in an article by Randy Ludlow in The Columbus Dispatch, “In a Facebook post on Friday, O’Neill boasted of having sex with 50 ‘very attractive women’ and decried media ‘hysteria’ over reports of sexual misbehavior against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.”

O’Neill has since publically apologized for his comments after a sincere discussion with the women in his life.

He told The Dispatch that all four women in his life demanded that he apologize immediately.

From the article:

“To my daughters, Katie Corrin O’Neill, Tiffany O’Neill Scullen, and my sisters Patricia O’Neill Sacha and Mary Kaye O’Neill, accomplished women all, please accept my public apology for dragging you into this matter. You deserved better treatment than this. I love you, respect you, and yes. I was wrong. Thank you for loving me enough to stand up to my departure from a loving life,” he wrote.

“What really led me to the conclusion was the mean-spirited avalanche of comments being generated on my Facebook page … people who clearly had no intention of addressing the issue of sexual assault and harassment. I inadvertently created a sideshow and wanted to stop it,” he said.

O’Neill’s name has come across HousingWire headlines in the past since he is running for Ohio governor, a move he said he wouldn’t make if Cordray decided to run as well.

Meanwhile, as the industry waits to see if Cordray will in fact run for Ohio governor since he announced his resignation last week, one industry expert advised President Donald Trump on who he should choose next to lead the CFPB.

According to Dennis Shaul, CEO of the Community Financial Services Association of America, in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, “Richard Cordray’s resignation as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a great opportunity for President Trump to appoint a new director who can undo an unfortunate legacy of bureaucratic overreach and political bias.”

Shaul outlined in the blog what he thinks people can takeaway from the bureau to prevent future similar missteps.

The first point Shaul makes is that Congress should never again create an “independent” agency with a sole director, particularly one not subject to the congressional appropriations process.

And he isn’t alone in this opinion. Earlier this year, Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska; John Barrasso, R-Wyoming; and Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, introduced a bill that would replace the single director of the CFPB with a five-member bipartisan committee, a change the Republican Party has long pushed for.

Shaul wrote:

An independent federal agency should be nonpartisan. A bipartisan commission on the model of the SEC and FCC would allow for better and more evenhanded decision-making. To show how partisan the CFPB became under Mr. Cordray’s leadership, not one of the agency’s employees made a contribution to Donald Trump’s campaign, while a multitude contributed to Hillary Clinton. The new director will have a partisan staff.

Until Trump figures out what to do with the CFPB or who to put in charge of it, he is reportedly close to choosing Mick Mulvaney, who currently serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, as interim director.

Buried in the onslaught of breaking news last week, the House Financial Services Committee advanced legislation to help low and middle-income families attain a qualified mortgage.

According to an article by Dave Kovaleski in Financial Regulation News, “The Mortgage Choice Act, sponsored by Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Rep. Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., amends the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by clarifying the definition of ‘points and fees’ as it relates to determining whether a mortgage can be a qualified mortgage.”

From the article:

“Congress has the opportunity to help more Americans realize a portion of the American Dream,” Huizenga said. “Not by some grandiose law or decree, but by simply reforming a burdensome regulation. Homeownership has been a pillar of American life for generations. Today, we can reaffirm that pillar and reassert that homeownership can and should be an attainable goal.”

The bill was one of 23 bills advanced by the committee last week.

The committee also passed the TRID Improvement Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. French Hill, R-Ark. The bill amends the “Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974” to require the CFPB to allow for the calculation of the discounted rate title insurance companies may provide to consumers when they purchase a lenders and owners title insurance policy simultaneously. Hill introduced the bill back in October.

This weeks ushers in the start of the holidays, as people take a break on Thursday for family, friends, food, football and festivities. From all of us here at HousingWire, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, as we begin the countdown to the end of 2017.

Check back all week, and especially Friday for our Black Friday email, which contains some of HousingWire’s top articles from the year to entertain you as you stand in line at the store.

Until then, enjoy the start to your week!

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