Congressmen cash in on real estate deals

Congressmen cash in on real estate deals

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Some of the stuff reported in Lawmakers Cashing In on Real Estate, Financial Reports Reveal is probably just fine, but here's something really fishy:

J. Dennis Hastert, a former high school teacher and wrestling coach, was first elected to Congress as a Republican from rural Illinois in 1986, showing assets worth at most $270,000. At the end of last year, after his own real estate investments, Hastert had a net worth of $4 million to $17 million.

Hastert followed a similar course, entering the House in 1987 with a 104-acre farm in Shipman, Ill., worth $50,000 to $100,000, and other holdings worth no more than $170,000. When he assumed the job of speaker in 1999, he continued to report modest holdings. Then Hastert began investing money in a series of land deals.

The transactions that brought him the most acute attention involved properties he bought in 2002 and 2004 near Plano, Ill., in partnership with a local Republican Party official. In the summer of 2005, Hastert requested earmarks that would direct more than $200 million in federal funds to a highway project near the land. That December, he sold the properties to a developer for $5 million, making a profit of $1.8 million.

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4 Comments

Rhona

Unfortunately this type of thing happens worldwide. When Cherie Blair used the convict boyfriend of her "lifestyle guru" (as she was called)Carole Caplin to secure two flats in Bristol at a discount price the political fallout was massive and it is still brought up today.
The land deals mentioned in the Washington Post article are most likely the tip of the iceberg. I can only assume when current "rich" deals are made known the public can vote out the scoundrels.

twodogkd

Since ads disappear decided to include the direct link here
"Rep. Calvert's Land of Plenty
He has earmarked funds for Riverside County projects near properties he sold for a profit."
By Tom Hamburger, Lance Pugmire and Richard Simon
Los Angeles Times
May 15, 2006
[excerpt]
WASHINGTON — Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) is an experienced investor in Riverside County's booming real estate market, so he's used to seeing prices change quickly. Last year, he and a partner paid $550,000 for a dusty four-acre parcel just south of March Air Reserve Base. Less than a year later, without even cutting the weeds or carting off old septic tank parts that littered the ground, they sold the land for almost $1 million.
[End of excerpt]
http://coburn.senate.gov/ffm/index.cfm?FuseAction=LatestNews.NewsStories&ContentRecord_id=39757b60-802a-23ad-472d-4332fb0b097b

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