Consumer advocate calls on Mulvaney to fire fair lending policy officer

by Francis Monfort27 Sep 2018

Consumer advocacy organization Allied Progress has called on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to fire a senior Trump appointee following a Washington Post report detailing controversial blog posts including one in which he claimed that a majority of hate crimes were hoaxes.

The CPFB website lists Eric Blankenstein as policy associate director of the agency’s Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending division, which ensures compliance with federal consumer financial laws by supervising market participants and bringing enforcement actions when appropriate. In his role, Blankenstein serves as a liaison to Mulvaney’s office and leads strategic direction for the division with the associate director.

Allied Progress listed examples of what it described as Blankenstein’s “racist, sexist, and politically toxic writing.” In a blog post discussing hate crime policies at the University of Virginia, Blankenstein questioned whether or not calling someone the n-word in fact makes someone racist. He had also claimed that “hate-crime hoaxes are about three times as prevalent as actual hate crimes.”

Blankenstein acknowledged that he had penned the blog posts but said the writings have no bearing on his present work, the Washington Post reported.

Allied Progress thinks otherwise.

“At Mulvaney’s direction, the vigorous pursuit of bad financial actors participating in discriminatory lending has ceased to exist. He has gutted the fair lending division’s ability to enforce the law and left it in the hands of a man whose views on race and gender have no place in any position of public trust,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of the advocacy organization.

“With such abhorrent views, Eric Blankenstein shouldn’t be let anywhere near the CFPB’s fair lending division let alone running it. Mulvaney must fire him immediately,” Frisch said.