Yesterday, NextGen, the super PAC set up by Tom Steyer to push his radical environmental agenda, launched an ad against Rep. Cory Gardner, who is running against Steyer’s pet, liberal Sen. Mark Udall.  We’ve talked about Steyer’s agenda for some time, but the next largest donor to NextGen is pretty interesting. Let’s take a look at subprime mortgage king and billionaire Herbert Sandler, who donated one million dollars to the effort.  It turns out, he’s no stranger to Colorado politics.

He and his wife also funded 75% of these ads against Pete Coors in 2004, which some media outlets (e.g., The Rocky Mountain News and The New York Times) explain in greater detail.

But, who is Herb Sandler and why should Colorado care? Time Magazine named Sandler (and his now-deceased wife) one of 25 people to blame for the subprime mortgage crisis, which is basically what ignited the most recent recession.  Here’s what Time said:

“In the early 1980s, the Sandlers’ World Savings Bank became the first to sell a tricky home loan called the option ARM. And they pushed the mortgage, which offered several ways to back-load your loan and thereby reduce your early payments, with increasing zeal and misleading advertisements over the next two decades. The couple pocketed $2.3 billion when they sold their bank to Wachovia in 2006. But losses on World Savings’ loan portfolio led to the implosion of Wachovia, which was sold under duress late last year to Wells Fargo.”

In essence, he created the “magic mortgage” which Colorado heard about on the radio.  The deal was that you pay as much as you want and the rest was tacked on to your principle.  It caused many with that mortgage to be underwater on their homes and when housing prices plummeted….  Well, it’s not crazy to surmise that some of these folks probably lost their homes.

Other shady endeavors that Sandler has had a hand in? ProPublica, the really left-leaning source that pretends it’s non-partisan.  Sandler also funds the Center for American Progress and the laughable Center for Responsible Lending, which is responsible for Operation Choke Point – a reason that marijuana cannot be banked in Colorado.

Sandler also was known to use political organizations to attack his corporate competitors, from The Spectator:

“Subprime mortgage hucksters Herb and Marion Sandler, who founded the S&L known as World Savings Bank, paid ACORN around $11 million.

In an incredible non-coincidence ACORN stirred up trouble for the left-wing couple’s competition, Wells Fargo.”

Additionally, Sandler and his wife were spoofed on “Saturday Night Live”, according to Activist Facts:

“In October 2008, “Saturday Night Live” parodied the Sandlers in a skit about the financial crisis. Their characters appeared in a mock congressional hearing, over the caption, ‘People Who Should Be Shot.’ SNL and parent company NBC removed the skit from the Internet and reruns after the Sandlers protested loudly for censorship.”

Don’t worry, PeakNation™, you can still watch this clip here.

We aren’t arguing Sandler doesn’t have a right to participate in the political process by any means, but we are suggesting that Coloradans consider the slimy source of ads against Gardner.