Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Friday, June 16, 2006

RECORDS REVEAL HASTERT'S HAND IN LAND DEAL

$3 MILLION GAIN FOR 3 PARTNERS IN 3 YEARS

WASHINGTON- Republican House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and 2 partners turned a profit of more than $3 million on property they accumulated and sold in just over three years near the route of a "proposed controversial freeway" on the western fringe of suburban Chicago, according to land records and financial disclosure reports released Wednesday.

Hastert spokeman Ron Bonjean rejected the notion that the land, located 5-1/2 miles from the "proposed" Prairie Parkway route, "rose in value because of the highway project." The speaker long has been an aggressive proponent of the highway and helped secure more than $200M in federal funding through an earmark in federal transportation legislation.

***Somebody else would have earmarked the funds if he didn't. He's not the only one who does stuff like this, you know! They make him try to look so much like a hero when all that he truly is, is greedy. Maybe he secured the mony for the legislation, okay. But then he goes and buys property and waits for it to go up in value so he can sell it and PROFIT! "The people" are watching these thieves. That goes against the rules of House ethics! He's another Tom DeLay (R-TX).

The property near Plano, Ill., was sold THREE MONTHS AFTER THE TRANSPORTATION BILL WAS SIGNED INTO LAW. It was purchased by a real estate developer who is planning to build more than 1,500 homes on the land.

***So you know he got a pretty good penny! This is how sneeky they are! All of this gain that they get through the offices that they represent.

Kendall County, where the land is located, has one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the nation, and there has been a corollary rapid rise in land values.

***It's like being an insider at the stock-market.

Hastert's disclosure came on the day that all members of Congress released required, annual financial disclosure statements.

The disclosures ranged from Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL), earnings of $378,239 in royalties on paperback sales last year of his book, "Dreams From My Father," to Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) reporting winning a $1,600 travel gift certificate at a drawing held at an Illinois college.

But Hastert's profit was among the more notable in size.

Hastert received five-eighths of the proceeds from the land sale, said Dallas Ingemunson, one of his partners. That indicates a profit of more than $1.5M for Hastert.

The Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based ethics advocacy group, assailed Hastert for allegedly PROFITEERING FROM THE PROPOSED HIGHWAY. THE GROUP CHARGED THAT HE HAD SOUGHT TO CONCEAL HIS INTEREST BECAUSE THE SALE WAS MADE THROUGH A LAND TRUST THAT DID NOT PUBLICLY IDENTIFY HASTERT AS A PARTNER.

HASTERT PROFITTED 'IN SECRECY'

"Speaker Hastert's trust allowed him to profit-in-secrecy, from the very growth that he cites to justify the Prairie Parkway," said Bill Allsion, a senior fellow with the foundations, in a statement to reporters.

The property WAS SOLD THROUGH A LAND TRUST, Little Rock Trust No. 225, that identified only one member of the partnership in public records---Ingemunson. He is a long-time supporter and political mentor to Hastert WHO IS CHAIRMAN OF THE KENDALL COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Such land trusts are a common business arrangement in Illinois. The trusts are not required to disclose all owners.

***But Hastert should have known better and should be getting away with ethics issues like these!!!!

"When you have multiple owners a land trust is easier to deal with," Ingemunson said. "It wasn't an attempt to hide anything."

***Sure, there wasn't. So why did you?

AIDE: A WELL-TIMED INVESTMENT

Bonjean said the speaker had fully complied with financial disclosure rules for members of Congress and had simply profited from a well-timed real estate investment.

***That he had insider knowledge of!!!!!

"For 26, years, the speaker has been a proponent of the Prairie Parkway to address the transportation challenges in northeast Illinois," Bonjean said. "None of the properties purchased by the speaker are near enough to the Prairie Parkway to be affected by the proposed highway."

***That's what you say. Whay else are you supposed to say?

Kendall County land records show the 138-acre parcel was transferred to real estate developer in a sale valued at $4,989,000 in December 2005, about three months after the highway legislation was signed into law.

***Quite convenient!

The land had been accumulated in phases. The first 69-acre parcel was part of the purchase of a larger 196-acre farm under the name of the speaker's wife, Jean Hastert, in August 2002. According to land records, she paid $2,125,000 for the property. On a per-acre basis, the original prorated cost to Hastert of the parcel included in the later deal is $868,000.

***I think that the Hastert's have profitted enough during his stay as a Congressman. I think it's time for a change. Let Hastert retire so that he can spend all of that money before he goes .........or jail, whichever comes first!

The remainder sold to the developer was purchased by a land trust which Hastert shared a quarter-interest in Februart 2004. The partnership paid $1,0333,000 for the parcel, according to land records. In addition to Ingemunson, the other partner was Thomas Klatt, a local trucking company owner who also has been a LONG-TIME SUPPORTER AND CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTOR TO HASTERT, said Bonjean.

***I'd contribute to Hastert too if he was making me all this money with his inside information!

Bonjean said he could not immediately determine how the partnership divided the proceeds. He added that the value of the two parcels was enhanced by combining them because the land purchased by the partnership gave the property direct access to a roadway.

The developer who purchased the land said the proposed Prairie Parkway was not a deciding factor in making the deal/

"We would have done the transaction whether it [the parkway] was proposed or not," said Arthur Zwemke, a partner in Robert Arthur Land Co. WHO ALSO HAS BEEN A DONOR OVER THE YEARS TO HASTERT'S CAMPAIGNS.

***But the parkway only made the deal sweeter, didn't it?

More important than the planned freeway and the land's location in the fast-growing west suburban Chicago corridor, a favorable political climate for growth, and the availability of good infrastructure like water and sewer he said.

Zwemke said he inherited the financial terms for all of the land in contratcs from another developer, who decided not to pursue the project.

***Yeah, he probably wasn't a contributor to Hastert.

He acknowledged that he paid a price WELL ABOVE WHAT HASTERT AND HIS LITTLE ROCK PARTNERS PAID IN ASSEMBLING THE PROPERTY IN LESS THAN 4 YEARS, but said, "We have a fair deal. Everything was market value."

The site is attractive, Zwemke said, because the land for it was assembled in just two transactions, the one with Little Rock and another concluded last August with the owners of an adjacent 589-acre farm.



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