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Tag Archive: Financial Disclosure

Congress’s Landed Gentry

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So what is it with members of Congress and land deals? Sen. Harry Reid failed to disclose what the Associated Press describes as "a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale" on property he hadn't owned for three years. "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," reporters John Solomon and Kathleen Hennessey wrote. Rep. Charles Taylor, meanwhile, "owns at least 14,000 acres of prime land in western North Carolina. He's also the local congressman. So when he steers federal dollars to his district, sometimes he helps himself, too," John Wilkes reported in the Wall Street Journal (the story is available online here). Sen. Bob Menendez has his lease deal with nonprofit for which he's secured federal funds, while House Speaker Dennis Hastert has his own profits from earmarks and land deals. The real estate dealings of Rep. Gary Miller and Rep. Alan Mollohan have also come under scrutiny (as noted in the Journal article).

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