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Harry Reid's Dirty Little Land Deal

The AP has an exclusive on Harry Reid and how he made $1 million dollars on a crooked land deal:

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 company 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 last week.

Yikes. Struck a nerve, Harry?

Iowa Voice reminds us of other ethics issues in Harry Reid's past.

Update: Captain Ed offers more:

This appears to be of a piece with the Whittemore connection. In fact, it seems as though Whittemore's project was part of the transactions the AP discovered. "One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported" -- that's the same project as Coyote Springs. A major portion of that story had to do with Reid trying to grease the skids for the land swap so that Whittemore could get around the federal right-of-way.


Hilariously, this appears just days after James Webb tried smearing George Allen with a pseudoscandal over stock options that Allen disclosed and never exercised, meaning that he never cleared a dime from the options. Now we have the Democratic caucus leader dodging disclosures and failing to disclose $800,000 in profits from a project on which he partnered with a lawyer suspected of connections to organized crime and a bribery scandal. And let's not forget Reid's connections to Jack Abramoff, whom Democrats tried mightily to use as a poster boy for Republican-only graft.

Read the rest of the post.


Comments (35)

Oh, yeah. Those Dims are g... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Oh, yeah. Those Dims are gonna clean up that mess in Washington, hah, hah, what a joke.

Old Harry. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Glad to see they nailed a b... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Glad to see they nailed a blue fish red-handed.

He certainly should have re... (Below threshold)
Brian:

He certainly should have reported the transactions according to the rules. Though unless anyone's saying that he inappropriately used his influence to help the developer, that seems to be the extent of his malfeasance. Unlike George Allen, who actually used his position to help the company he had an unreported stake in get a government contract.

I'm with Brian that this is... (Below threshold)

I'm with Brian that this is probably more a paperwork and trying to hide things issue

But Brian... weren't Allen's options worthless at the time he took office which was well ahead of the time he supposedly helped the company? If that's the case, what's the upside for Allen to help that company?

Yeah right, more paperwork.... (Below threshold)
914:

Yeah right, more paperwork. Just like the Abramoff free boxing tickets shennanigans. just a coincidence of a clean guy surrounded by corruption.

I agree with the hiding things part though.

If this was a paper work is... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

If this was a paper work issue, why would old Harry hang up the phone in a huff on AP?

From what I've read, there appears to be a conflict of interest, and hiding the conflict and profit.

Hmmm. If he were a Repub, the NYT, WaPo, et al would be frothing at the mouth.

They might even forget those Foley emails for a second.

Is everyone on the left den... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Is everyone on the left dense. Reid has been involved in criminal real estate deals for years. Where do you think he got the money to buy his seat in congress, selling pencils on a street corner.
Reading post by two people making excuses for him got quite a chuckle. He tried to hide a million dollar deal and got caught. Didn't anyone even notice the 'involvement' of his friend, who is known (well accused of) to be involved with organized crime. That is what they hoped wouldn't come out, the words 'Organized' Crime.

The left wing democrats don't have any choir boys or girls in congress. They're only christians when it suits their purpose. The rest of the time they are athiest.

I call on him to step down ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

I call on him to step down as leader of the dimocrates in the Senate until this matter is investigated and resolved. Put everybody associated with it under oath and make sure the FBI gets interviews with everybody associated with it.
If its ok for them to scream for Hastert's head, certainly they could do no less for something even worse? No??

/crickets

Brian obviously doesn't car... (Below threshold)

Brian obviously doesn't care much for the truth - which puts his ethics close to those of Senator Reid, "The Vegas Mob's Man in DC."

Brian obviously doesn't ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian obviously doesn't care much for the truth

You must be basing that on when I said, "He certainly should have reported the transactions according to the rules." :rolleyes:

Ms Pelosi, When did You fir... (Below threshold)
914:

Ms Pelosi, When did You first know about Reids mob ties and are You involved? Should'nt You both resign?

Questions We will never heAr from the D.C. press corp.

weren't Allen's options ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

weren't Allen's options worthless at the time he took office

No. "In 2001, Allen's first year in the U.S. Senate, the company's share price recovered to $5.46 on May 25, which would have valued 110,000 options at $71,500"

which was well ahead of the time he supposedly helped the company?

No. "Allen wrote a letter to the U.S. Army on Xybernaut's behalf in December 2001".

From what I've read, the... (Below threshold)
Brian:

From what I've read, there appears to be a conflict of interest

Not really. A conflict only arises if there's something to conflict with. There's no claim that he acted in a way that conflicted with his real estate interest. As opposed to Abramoff, where actual favors were exchanged.

Favors? You meam like free ... (Below threshold)
914:

Favors? You meam like free boxing tickets.

The point of Him not conflicting with His investment is the whole point! He was in a position of priviledge and power and used it for financial gain. That is conflicting with His elected position to represent the people of Nevada.. Not use His power for self gain.

It now appears that Mr. Wit... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

It now appears that Mr. Wittemore, Harry's sugar daddy, also employs Harry's kids and is a hot shot land developer and lobbyist who has benefited from sales of Federal lands.

Guess who was paving the way for these sales to Wittmore?

Yeah, the conflict is clear... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Yeah, the conflict is clear, no? Have to be pretty dense not to see that in his relationship/interests with the seedy land developer.

No wonder he hung up on the AP!

Just read the story on CQ a... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Just read the story on CQ and one of the comments (a moonbat for sure) ask why the AP has it in for dirty Harry? If you could swallow your tongue, mine would be gone. For elitest they sure are stupid.

Here the discussion was on Reid and brain dead Brian keep harping about Allen. If the rest of the Senators were half the man Senator Allen is, cowboy boots and all, we would have a super congress...

Any Reid conflict or influe... (Below threshold)
phxjay:

Any Reid conflict or influence getting the property rezoned prior to the sale?

He was in a position of ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

He was in a position of priviledge and power and used it for financial gain.

How exactly did he use his position to influence his gain? Did he assist Brown's company in getting the local officials to agree to the rezoning? Now, if he pushed a highway bill that resulted in his land becoming more valuable, then... oh wait, that was Hastert. Nevermind.

Yeah, the conflict is clear, no? Have to be pretty dense not to see that

I'm pretty dense. Please explain it to me.

Brian ...Are you s... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Brian ...

Are you sure you're not a New York Times reporter? Pinch Sulzberger and his editors are very careful to pick people with your amazing skills in stripping facts of all context and then presenting them in such a way that one is led to believe the worst of your (usually Republican) target.

    No. "Allen wrote a letter to the U.S. Army on Xybernaut's behalf in December 2001".

This is a perfect example of what it is a New York Times reporter must be able to do before he/she gets hired by the paper.

Brian here 'forgets' to include the fact that this is par for the course for all Senators and Representatives. It is called providing a constituent service. Companies as well as individual's based in a state call their Senators all the time in order to have things clarified or to have them follow up an inquiry for them.

Brian is hoping that by simply saying that Allen wrote a letter on Xybernaut's behalf without providing any other information, he would be able to plant the idea that Allen accepted a bribe or broke Senate ethics rules.

The Allen office, with an ordinary form letter, asked the Army to respond more expeditiously, but did not advocate one way or another. In the end, the Army actually ruled against Xybernaut and Allen did nothing further.

And note that this wasn't even about a potential contract Xybernaut was bidding for from the Army, but about a copyright infringement issue.

    No. "In 2001, Allen's first year in the U.S. Senate, the company's share price recovered to $5.46 on May 25, which would have valued 110,000 options at $71,500".

Here Brian is pretending that Allen never reported the stock options just before the start of his term on 12/31/2000. At the time they were valued at $1,250. Allen was then advised by the Senate Ethics Committee that investments of such low value need not be reported any further.

Brian's citing of some point in time afterwards at which the share price went up is supposed to mislead people into believing the Allen did something wrong because he did not immediately rush forward to disclose, again, those stock options.

Brian leaves out the fact that Allen's disclosure of the stock options in December 2000 covers the period in mid-2001 when the share price went up and so there was no need to report it to the Ethics Committee again and second that the share price collapsed to nothing by the end of 2001 so Allen was not required to report it for the new year.

I must admit, Brian, you're very very good at this "accurate but false" thing. I think you should e-mail this thread to Bill Keller. I'm sure he'd more than happy to offer you a job.

"I must admit, Brian, you'r... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"I must admit, Brian, you're very very good at this "accurate but false" thing."

Posted by: Martin A. Knight

No, I just think he is dense. He even admitted it.

Are you sure you're not ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Are you sure you're not a New York Times reporter?

Are you sure you're not a Rush Limbaugh researcher?

Brian here 'forgets' to include the fact that this is par for the course for all Senators and Representatives. It is called providing a constituent service.

Martin here 'forgets' to point out that people with conflicts of interest have the option to recuse themselves of standard duty.

"The rules also urge senators to avoid taking any official action that could benefit them financially or appear to do so."

"John Reid, Allen's spokesman, who told AP he wouldn't disclose the contents of the letter."

Yes, sure sounds like a standard, par for the course letter.

Allen was then advised by the Senate Ethics Committee that investments of such low value need not be reported any further.

That's not what Allen claims.

"When AP showed Allen's lawyer the Senate ethics manual requirement that such options must be reported each year regardless of value, the lawyer said he was unfamiliar with that provision. Allen has now asked the Senate ethics committee for an opinion on whether he should have disclosed them.

"While we continue to believe that we have disclosed more than is required, we will abide by the formal ruling of the committee," Allen spokesman John Reid said.
...
"As an ethical matter, it's irrelevant whether the exercise price of those stock options is above or below the current market price of the stock," said Kathleen Clark, a Washington University of St. Louis law professor, former prosecutor and former Democratic congressional aide."

Martin is hoping that by simply repeating Allen's talking points, contradicting Allen's own statements, and blatently making up false supporting information, he would be able to plant the idea that Allen broke no Senate ethics rules.

He did admit it. So we'll ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

He did admit it. So we'll take his word for it, if you can trust a liberal's word, that is.

As yes, the old "I can't su... (Below threshold)
Brian:

As yes, the old "I can't support my previous statement with any facts, so I'll just call those who challenge me bad names" defense. I love it when the facts leave conservatives speechless.

The fact is this: Di... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:


The fact is this: Dingy Harry is TOAST. Despite MSM indifference, this guy is a goner.

Harry is the political equi... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Harry is the political equivalent of a used car salesman or a middle manager in a government bureaucracy--milquetost as hell, meely-mouthed, evading weasle.

In other words, he's a perfect representative of the Dimocrap Party.

Brian 's intellectual disho... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Brian 's intellectual dishonesty is in full display here. He was the loudest for Hastert to resign. Now he tried to change the topic to cover up for Harry Reid.

Brian should call for an investigation into Harry Reid 's dealing now. Duke Cunningham went to jail for a similar deal.

Brian, do you think Harry Reid should resign?

Brian 's intellectual di... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian 's intellectual dishonesty is in full display here. He was the loudest for Hastert to resign.

Wow, talk about dishonesty! I never called for Hastert to resign over his land deal. Once again, you're just making sh*t up.

Brian should call for an investigation into Harry Reid 's dealing now.

If there are any serious allegations that he did something wrong, I'm all for it. But for now...

Brand said the IRS might view the handling of the land taxes as undisclosed income to Reid but it was unlikely to prompt an investigation. "If someone is paying a liability you owe, there may be some income imputed. But at that level, it's pretty small dollars," he said.

See that? He paid the liability he owed. He just may have reported it the wrong way. You Republicans are fond of forgiving "technicalities". Why stop now?

Duke Cunningham went to jail for a similar deal.

More dishonesty? Is that all you got? Cunningham took bribes, and provided defense contracts in return. Cunningham didn't report his income, and didn't pay taxes. Reid did none of that.

Let's compare:

Hastert: Invested in land.
Reid: Invested in land.

Hastert: Reported his ownership.
Reid: Reported his ownership.

Hastert: Paid his taxes.
Reid: Paid his taxes.

Hastert: Used his position in Congress to push a bill that resulted in increased value to his land.
Reid: Did not.

Hastert: Sold for profit, and reported the sale.
Reid: Sold for profit, and reported the sale.

Brian, Again, con... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Brian,

Again, conveniently ignore the key fact below.
Cheap evasion again. Hastert wasn't accused of unethical conduct here. Time to admit your hypocrisy. Besides this is just another example of the dishonesty of the Dem party.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/008269.php

Reid Offers To Disclose His Land Deal ... Five Years Late
Harry Reid, stung by the AP's exposure of his complicated land deals with a lobbyist he helped make rich through his personal interventions in Congress, has told the Senate Ethics Committee that he will file amended disclosure statements that would reveal his business relationships for the first time. Reid claims the amendment would be "technical":

If Brian is honest, he woul... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

If Brian is honest, he would have demanded Reid 's resignation as well as the Dems, but he won't. Anyway, thanks Brian for providing another example of Dems lying, making excuse for their crooks.

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/g/be30dc6c-d864-45bd-9fbf-e2766517398c
Cunningham's sweetheart real estate deal that led to the investigation of Cunningham? From Wikipedia's account of Cunningham's scandals:

In June 2005 it was revealed that a defense contractor, Mitchell Wade, founder of the defense contracting firm MZM Inc. (since renamed Athena Innovative Solutions Inc.), had bought Cunningham's house in Del Mar for $1,675,000. A month later, Wade placed it back on the market where it remained unsold for 8 months until the price was reduced to $975,000.

Obviously Cunningham's real estate deal was a $700,000 gift. What was Harry Reid's deal? And what did he declare on his IRS forms? Will the media be requesting his returns from 1998, 2001, and 2004?

UPDATE: Here's the Financial Disclosure Form for the Senate. See Part IV, "Transactions."

And here is Reid's 2005 financial disclosure form. There's a whole lot of buying and selling going on.

With the "windfall" having arrived in 2004, that's the year's disclosure form that will show where Harry Reid stuffed the $1.1 million.

If Brian is honest, he w... (Below threshold)
Brian:

If Brian is honest, he would have demanded Reid 's resignation

Please explain the grounds for demanding his resignation. Reid shouldn't resign any more than Allen should.

He reported the purchase. He reported the sale. He paid the taxes. What did he do wrong? He didn't report the transfer of the land into an LLC. (Though he continued to report ownership afterwards.) Did he then exert influence over a bill that would make his land worth more? Did he exert influence over the local authorities? Did he steer any favors toward the land developer?

All that you're left with is that he made a profit on his real estate deal, which EVERY real estate owner during that time period did. He misreported something? Sure, whatever the fine is for doing that, he should pay it. The IRS already stated that they're not interested in investigating.

From Wikipedia's account of Cunningham's scandals:

LOL! First you copy from Hewitt, the biggest liar on the web. Then you don't even bother to read what he's excerpting from. You forgot this, the very next sentence:

Cunningham was a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee; soon after the purchase, Wade began to receive tens of millions of dollars worth of defense and intelligence contracts.

Please cite where Reid funneled tens of millions of dollars of contracts to Brown.

Anyway, thanks Brian for providing another example of Dems lying, making excuse for their crooks.

Right back at ya. Though I tend to think you're not lying. You're just not interested in knowing the truth.

All that you're left with i... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

All that you're left with is that he made a profit on his real estate deal, which EVERY real estate owner during that time period did. He misreported something? Sure, whatever the fine is for doing that, he should pay it. The IRS already stated that they're not interested in investigating.
---------------------------------------------------
Thanks for another display of your intellectual dishonesty. Just like the lying, making excuse, and covering up for Clinton. The same pattern again. If you come out and condemn him strongly as you did against Foley, then I can give your argument some weight.

Harry Reid is the leader of the Dem party and he made a big deal of the "culture of corruption".


You're just not interested in knowing the truth.
-------------------------------------------------
Thanks for admitting as much about yourself and the Dem party. Until you come out and condemn Harry REid as much as you did against Foley given all the evidence so far, I consider you intellecutally dishonest.


BTW, Foley hasn't been conv... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW, Foley hasn't been convicted of any crime yet. But he had to resign. We only ask for the same standard wrt Reid.

IF you are intellectually honest, you should admit that you dems have a sewage standard when it comes to ethics.

Thanks for making your posi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Thanks for making your position clear. You didn't refute a single factual point from my posts. You just ignored the facts and withdrew to repeating your rhetorical nonsense. At least most on here try to justify their position with facts or interpretation, even if we are in disagreement. But there's no point in having a discussion with someone whose main thesis is "Dems are sewage". I'm done with you.

Brian, I showed you... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Brian,
I showed you the facts that Reid has committed an unethtical conduct and even violated the Senate rule. He had enough shady dealings. You don't dispute any facts that I presented. You tried to twist it and ignore the incriminating evidence against Reid.
You are the one not interested in the truth here. If the truth about the Dems hurts so bad, then don't come here and make loud hypocritical charges. The dems are good at giving the charge, not a taking it.




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