Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Louisiana Purchase, Take 2

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu demands $300 million in federal pork for Louisiana in exchange for her vote to move forward with the health care debate.

"My vote today, should in no way be construed by the supporters of this current framework as an indication of how I might vote as this debate comes to an end."

Once again a member of Congress puts "bringing home the bacon" to their home state a higher priority over the best interest of our country. How much more will she demand for her vote on the final bill? How many other members of Congress will jump on the pork bandwagon now that it's clear that Reid is willing to reward each positive vote? As our Government continues to bury us in debt, we elect representatives whose primary concern is maintaining their hold on power. While Obama fiddles, Congress is burning the country down.

But of course Harry Reid is part of the our new "Honest and Open" government.

Remember this story, as reported in 2006 by Forbes magazine?

"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn’t personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.

In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.

The Nevada Democrat’s deal was engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations. He’s never been charged with wrongdoing – except for a 1981 federal securities complaint that was settled out of court.

Land deeds obtained by The Associated Press during a review of Reid’s business dealings show:

-The deal began in 1998 when Reid bought undeveloped residential property on Las Vegas’ booming outskirts for about $400,000. Reid bought one lot outright, and a second parcel jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported. The seller never talked to Reid.

-In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a limited liability corporation created by Brown. The senator didn’t disclose the sale on his annual public ethics report or tell Congress he had any stake in Brown’s company. He continued to report to Congress that he personally owned the land.

-After getting local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, Brown’s company sold the land in 2004 to other developers and Reid took $1.1 million of the proceeds, nearly tripling the senator’s investment. Reid reported it to Congress as a personal land sale.

The complex dealings allowed Reid to transfer ownership, legal liability and some tax consequences to Brown’s company without public knowledge, but still collect a seven-figure payoff nearly three years later.

Reid hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview."

The Democrats promised transparency. Now that we can see no only their actions but their motivations, what are we going to do about it?

No comments: