Friday, June 16, 2006

more of Hastert's ill-gotten gains


The Chicago Tribune puts a number on Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) killing on that real estate deal: $1.5 million.

And here are the basics, first reported by the Sunlight Foundation yesterday.

Hastert acquired the first part of the land in August, 2002, a 69 acre portion of a 196-acre farm purchased under his wife's name. The rest was acquired by a land trust in Feburary, 2004 of which Hastert had a quarter interest - the two partners were Dallas Ingemunson ("a long-time supporter and political mentor to Hastert who is chairman of the Kendall County Republican Party") and Thomas Klatt ("a local trucking company owner who also has been a long-time supporter and campaign contributor to Hastert").

The funding for the Prairie Parkway, which will run 5.5 miles from the plot, went through in the Fall of 2005. Three months after that, in December, Hastert and his partners cashed out, selling the land to a developer for a $3 million total profit. Ingemunson told the Tribune that Hastert's share of that was five-eighths - about $1.5 million. (The Chicago Sun-Times, without attribution, reports the profit as "close to $2 million.")

Now Hastert's camp is focused on squashing the story with the line that 5.5 miles isn't close enough to affect the price of the plot. In fact, they're so up in arms that Hastert's lawyer wrote an angry letter to the Sunlight Foundation and have threatened legal action. But no amount of yelling will change the facts on the table.

Update: ThinkProgress has a graphic timeline of the land deal.

Nice deal, Denny.

Of course, Ingemunson is also treasurer of Hastert For Congress Committee PAC. We had some questions over at Disclose Denny about whether Ingemunson should have signed off on the FEC affadavit - rather than delegate to his deputy.

No comments: