- More than a week before news that Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon received a discounted Countrywide Financial Corp. mortgage loan became public, the federal lawmaker’s staff went on the attack, circulating an internal memo that instructed all to “hold off” going to the news media and make sure a former McKeon staffer and a potential challenger were investigated and included in the discussion when the story broke.
- The memo goes on to direct staff members to conduct “mock media interviews” before meeting with reporters and to ensure that Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, who was also listed as receiving a discounted Countrywide loan, was “made part of the conversation.”
- Lee Rogers, a 34-year-old Simi Valley Democrat running against McKeon in the 25th Congressional District, said it was clearly stated in the memo that McKeon wanted to bring down Gallegly with him. “At that point, he was considering the fact that Elton may be running against him for the primary in that seat,” he said.
This entire Countrywide financial scandal is now just gaining speed with the local Santa Clarita Press.