Schultz Uses Questionable Foreclosure Data Generated by Agenda-Driven Newspaper to Blast Bachmann Voting Record

The seemingly creepy fixation some MSNBC on-air personalities have with Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann just continues to persist on the cable network.

The latest installment involves MSNBC's "Ed Show" host Ed Schultz relying on a left-wing publication, The Minnesota Independent, which found a high rate of foreclosures relative in Bachmann's district relative to the rest of the state of Minnesota. Schultz, on his Dec. 2 program, contended Bachmann was spending too much time as a conservative activist and not enough time focusing on the problems of her district. But it turns out the data might not be at all accurate.

"One last page in my playbook tonight," Schultz said. "It looks like Minnesota congresswoman and ‘Psycho Talk' regular Michele Bachmann needs to spend a little bit more time riling up the right-wing nut job partiers out there and focus on her own back yard." 

Schultz, citing data compiled from The Minnesota Independent, noted there were an unusually high number of foreclosures in Bachmann's district compared to the rest of the state of Minnesota.

"You see Bachmann's district has the highest number of foreclosures in Minnesota," Bachmann said. "There were 1,100 of them in her district alone between July and September of this year. That's a hundred more than the district with the district with the next highest number and almost three times more than the district with the lowest number foreclosures."

That led Schultz to point out that Bachmann voted against some of the so-called "foreclosure relief" bills so far during this session of Congress.

"By the way, Bachmann - she voted against every major foreclosure relief bill this year," Schultz added.

However, a closer look at the Independent's data raises some questions. The Independent said it used a Web site called HousingLink, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization, and data from country sheriffs' offices to compile this date. The report is similar to one from earlier this year written by the same reporter, Andy Birkey, which sort of explained their compilation process, requiring more subjectivity since HousingLink didn't compile foreclosure data by congressional district, but by county instead.

"Congressional district rates were determined using city- and township-level data where boundaries did not follow county lines," Birkey wrote in April 2009. "The calculations used are the same as those spelled out in the state statute for determining foreclosure rates."

Image and video hosting by TinyPicNot surprisingly, the Independent found Bachmann's district had a high rate of foreclosures then and also in October 2008. But, if you compare those compilations to the findings of a Web site called HotPads.com, which specializes in foreclosure data and has even broken it down on a congressional district-by-district basis nationally, their data and the Independent's data aren't close. In 2008, when the housing crisis was a central media focus, Bachmann's district had the 352nd highest foreclosure rate out of 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia (0.034 percent). And also her district was fourth out of eight congressional districts in Minnesota. That tells a vastly different story from what the Minnesota Independent and Schultz told.

As for the legislation Bachmann opposed that supposedly would have somehow done something about Bachmann's foreclosure problem, which the Independent took issue with, involved funding for the corrupt ACORN organization.

"And since April, she successfully spearheaded an effort to strip the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) of Housing and Urban Development funds aimed at preventing foreclosures in low and middle income neighborhoods," Birkey wrote in his Dec. 1 Independent report.