Jun 23 2006

Hastert’s Millions

Published by at 9:04 am under All General Discussions

Speaker Dennis Hastert as a lot of explaining to do, but I am not holding my breathe. This is over $2 Million he made when a highway bill he has championed for nearly two decades came through. His comments just don’t wring true in all cases. First the sequence of events – note the dates:

In 2002, Hastert was driving to a parade in Sycamore, Ill., when he saw a post-and-beam house he fell in love with, according to Dallas Ingemunson, a longtime friend and ally of Hastert’s who made the land deals for the speaker. Hastert struck a deal with the owner on the spot, purchasing the house near Plano, Ill., and 195 acres for $2.1 million.

In February 2004, Ingemunson, treasurer of Hastert’s campaign committee and chairman of the Kendall County Republican Party, established Little Rock Trust 225. A week later, through the trust, Hastert and his business partners purchased a 69-acre parcel for $340,000, providing road access to part of Hastert’s farm that had been landlocked. Hastert owned a quarter of that parcel.

In May 2005, Hastert transferred the 69 acres of previously hemmed-in land from his farm to the land trust. That summer, Hastert personally intervened during House and Senate negotiations over a massive transportation and infrastructure bill to secure two separate earmarks, $152 million to help build the Prairie Parkway through Kendall County and $55 million for an interchange 5.5 miles from his property. Bush signed the bill into law Aug. 10.

Then on Dec. 7, 2005, Little Rock Trust 225 sold Hastert’s parcels to a subsidiary of the Robert Arthur Land Company, for nearly $5 million. The deal netted Hastert a $2 million profit.

How is it he came to love a site in 2002 and then was willing to transfer much of it into a trust only 2 years later? This is what Hastert tried to pass off as an excuse:

“There is no substance to it. I’ve been working on the Prairie Parkway probably for a good 18 years. That’s a matter of record, it is not built. Nothing to it,” he [Hastert] said.

Sorry, but the fact Hastert worked it for 18 years, and then the same year the Reps took complete control of Congress at which point he buys this land he just had to have only to dump it into a trust 2 years after that is not a reasonable line of excuses. This really stinks and Hastert needs to be less dismissive. It is an insult to hard working Americans who sent him to DC to represent the people. As Speaker he should represent more than his self interests – he is 2nd in line to succeed to the Presidency.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Hastert’s Millions”

  1. crosspatch says:

    I believe it was either Jefferson or Franklin that said paying politicians was adding insult to injury because a good politician should be able to do quite well on graft alone.

  2. For Enforcement says:

    yes Crosspatch, and they usually do. For example when LBJ was first elected to congress he and Lady Bird were school teachers and you know how well school teachers were paid.
    It didn’t take him very long at all to be a millionaire once he was in Congress. Many others have and will continue to follow very faithfully in his footsteps.

  3. sbd says:

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. He paid 2.1 million for 195 acres back in 2002. That equates to about $11,000 per acre. He then adds another 69 acres for $340,000 still in the year 2002 which equates to about $5,000 per acre. This land however provides road access to part of the previous purchase which raises the value of the previous acreage even more.

    Now in 2005 the we have 264 acres that are sold for 5 million which equates to $19,000 per acre. This is during the biggest real estate boom in the history of the United States mind you.

    From personal experience, a worthless property in the Mohave Desert was valued in 2003 at about $5,000.00. A developer from Nevada decided he wanted to build a town in the Mohave Desert in early 2005. He plans on building 125,000 homes. That $5,000.00 property is now worth close to $150,000.00 today.

    125,000 new homes within 5 miles increases property value. A road in the Mohave desert only increases the dust.

    An average home in San Diego in 2002 would cost you $350,000.00. That same home today would be $650,000.00.