Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hastert's Little Rock Trust

* josh:
"Good work: the Hastert earmark scam makes it into the Washington Post. "
that's what qualifies for 'good work' these days? at least they front-paged the story.

* at least wapo adds some detail:
"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 C. 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 huge 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 1/2 miles from his property. President Bush signed the bill into law on Aug. 10.

Then, on Dec. 7, Little Rock Trust #225 sold the Hastert parcels to a subsidiary of the Robert Arthur Land Co. for nearly $5 million. The deal netted Hastert a $2 million profit."
Good to see WaPo actually note that Ingemunson is Hastert's treasurer as well. I hadn't seen that reported elsewhere.

Wapo adds:
"Hastert's attorney, J. Randolph Evans, fired off a letter to the Sunlight Foundation last week, demanding "that the false, libelous and defamatory matter be immediately withdrawn and corrected." In his letter, Evans said that asserting that a new road project would have an impact on land values more than 5 1/2 miles away "would be like complaining about a purchase in Alexandria, Virginia, based on renovations at the Capitol.""
Randy Evans also 'fired off a letter' to Vanity Fair when David Rose's article came out - with much more serious allegations. It's not obvious why those allegations, and that rebuttal, didn't make the front page of wapo.

more soon.

No comments: