The recent attacks, launched by Mick Cornett and his camp, are baseless and a sign that they know they can’t win with Cornett’s liberal record. The political establishment is sticking together to try one last time to protect their power and control in Oklahoma City.
Here is the story they aren’t telling… While career politicians were leading Oklahoma down a path towards last place over the past two decades, Kevin Stitt was building his Oklahoma business from scratch, problem solving during the economic crisis in 2008-2010, and becoming an award-winning nationwide company. Kevin Stitt has created hundreds of jobs across nine Oklahoma cities and a total of 1,200 jobs across 41 states. Instead of playing political games, Kevin has had his head down, working hard to expand Oklahoma’s economy while also raising his six children with his wife Sarah.
On August 10, when Mick Cornett’s team went negative, Kevin Stitt called for a clean race that focuses on each candidate’s vision for the future of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, Cornett’s team buckled down and lobbed even more misleading attacks. Watch Kevin Stitt’s press conference here: https://www.facebook.com/NEWS9/videos/10155532291327212/
Below is a fact check to set the story straight:
Accusation: Kevin Stitt and Gateway were banned from doing business in Georgia.
Truth: Kevin Stitt and Gateway are NOT banned in any state. Kevin Stitt started Gateway in 2000, building it from the ground up. Today, the company operates in 41 states and continues to grow.
In the state of Georgia, a routine audit in 2008 found violations “by staff in the Georgia office” for issuing an “owner occupied” loan to a “non-owner” occupied residency. Kevin Stitt took immediate action to dismiss the employees involved, paid the $2,000 fee to the state, and agreed not to reapply for a license in the state of Georgia. As of June 2018, Gateway and Georgia have agreed that the company can reapply for license at any time.
Since the incident in Georgia, Gateway has grown and received licenses in 25 additional states and the District of Columbia, and remained licensed in 16 other states, due to the company’s solid reputation for transparency with state and federal regulators.
Kevin Stitt directly addressed allegations by career politicians in an article in the Tulsa World that can be read by clicking here. Kevin Stitt also only discusses it at his town hall meetings across the state, which the Oklahoman reported on and can be read by clicking here.
Accusation: Kevin Stitt and Gateway were “kicked out” of multiple states.
Truth: Kevin Stitt and Gateway can do business in all 50 states. Kevin Stitt and Gateway have not been “kicked out” of Illinois, Arkansas, or any other state as Mick Cornett’s base falsely claims.
Gateway is a success story, and like any business, it has paid fees due to minor infractions by employees. What the attack ads fail to tell you is that Kevin Stitt requires routine internal reviews at Gateway to maintain efficiency and accountability of his 165 field offices’ operations and budgets. These field offices are the equivalent of small businesses across America, and the audits allow him to catch poor business performance or bad actors in the early stages so that the company can take swift, corrective action. It is time we require this type of transparency, accountability, and efficiency in state government!
Accusation: Mick Cornett’s base cites a 2010 Forbes article that claims Gateway Mortgage has one of the worst loan default rates nationwide.
TRUTH: Gateway’s loan default rate is significantly lower than their peers and the nationwide average. At the time of the Forbes article, Gateway had just begun originating FHA loans at a very low volume.
Eight of the 10 companies mentioned in the Forbes article went out of business. In total, 364 competitors to Gateway went out of business during the 2008 to 2010 mortgage crisis. Gateway, on the other hand, is a resounding success story. Under Kevin Stitt’s leadership, it emerged from an era where there were significant regulatory changes being made nationwide. The company rapidly adjusted its business model and grew into an award-winning company operating in 41 states with 1,200 employees.
Accusation: Kevin Stitt and Gateway Mortgage took “TARP bailout money.”
Truth: Kevin Stitt and Gateway Mortgage did NOT pursue any federal bailouts nor accepted any federal money as part of TARP to sustain the business.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) was established in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Gateway did NOT participate in this program or receive capital infusion funds under this program.