Z10, Why haven't you reported the Harry Reid violations?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by sputdr, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. It's funny how you always seem to omit the violations by the democratic party.

    What about the impending Sandy Berger investigation to protect Clinton?

    Hmmmm




    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.

    The senator's aides said no money changed hands in 2001 and that Reid instead got an ownership stake in Brown's company equal to the value of his land. Reid continued to pay taxes on the land and didn't disclose the deal because he considered it a "technical transfer," they said.

    They also said they have no documents proving Reid's stake in the company because it was an informal understanding between friends.

    The 1998 purchase "was a normal business transaction at market prices," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. "There were several legal steps associated with the investment during those years that did not alter Senator Reid's actual ownership interest in the land."

    Senate ethics rules require lawmakers to disclose on their annual ethics report all transactions involving investment properties _ regardless of profit or loss _ and to report any ownership stake in companies.

    Kent Cooper, who oversaw government disclosure reports for federal candidates for two decades in the Federal Election Commission, said Reid's failure to report the 2001 sale and his ties to Brown's company violated Senate rules.

    "This is very, very clear," Cooper said. "Whether you make a profit or a loss you've got to put that transaction down so the public, voters, can see exactly what kind of money is moving to or from a member of Congress."

    "It is especially disconcerting when you have a member of the leadership, of either party, not putting in the effort to make sure this is a complete and accurate report," said Cooper. "That says something to other members. It says something to the Ethics Committee."

    Other parts of the deal _ such as the informal handling of property taxes _ raise questions about possible gifts or income reportable to Congress and the IRS, ethics experts said.

    Stanley Brand, former Democratic chief counsel of the House, said Reid should have disclosed the 2001 sale and that his omission fits a larger culture in Congress where lawmakers aren't following or enforcing their own rules.

    "It's like everything else we've seen in last two years. If it is not enforced, people think it's not enforced and they get lax and sloppy," Brand said.

    SALE HIDDEN FROM CONGRESS

    Reid and his wife, Landra, personally signed the deeds selling their full interest in the property to Brown's company, Patrick Lane LLC, for the same $400,000 they paid in 1998, records show.

    Despite the sale, Reid continued to report on his public ethics reports that he personally owned the land until it was sold again in His disclosure forms to Congress do not mention an interest in Patrick Lane or the company's role in the 2004 sale.

    AP first learned of the transaction from a former Reid aide who expressed concern the deal hadn't been properly reported.

    Reid isn't listed anywhere on Patrick Lane's corporate filings with Nevada, even though the land he sold accounted for three-quarters of the company's assets. Brown is listed as the company's manager. Reid's office said Nevada law didn't require Reid to be mentioned in the filings.

    "We have been friends for over 35 years. We didn't need a written agreement between us," Brown said.

    The informalities didn't stop there.

    PROPERTY TAXES LOOSELY HANDLED
     
  2. The Bush Justice Department prosecuted former Republican congressman Randy Cunningham for what was called a sweetheart house deal that was nothing compared to this.

    No doubt they won't have the balls to take on a powerful senior member of the opposition party. Someone might accuse them of playing politics.
     
  3. Someone please enlighten me.

    Reid "sold" the land to the LLC "created" by Brown. Ok, Brown was the "creator" of the LLC. But who owns it? Was it Reid or Brown? If Reid owns (or co-owns) the LLC, then practically he still owns the land. So if he reported to the House as owning the land, he was not hiding anything. Of course when the LLC finally sells the land, Reid gets the proceeds.

    How many people use LLC to reduce their tax exposure? Is the practice illegal?

    The news story is horribly written. Whoever wrote it is an idiot.
     
  4. Poor poor Duke.

    Waaaahaaahaaaaa.....

    _______________________________________

    Ex-congressman lashes out

    In prison letter, he blames contractor for downfall, reporter for his pain
    By George E. Condon Jr.
    COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

    October 7, 2006

    WASHINGTON – In a handwritten letter to the reporter who exposed his corruption, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham portrays life in prison as an agonizing time of regret, anger and bitterness toward those he blames for his downfall.

    “I hurt more than anyone could imagine,” Cunningham wrote from federal prison in North Carolina.

    In the letter, the former Rancho Santa Fe Republican lashes out at the The San Diego Union-Tribune, which broke the story on June 12, 2005, but aims his sharpest barbs at one of his co-conspirators.


    Randy “Duke” Cunningham is serving time in North Carolina.
    Cunningham, 64, has been housed in the low-security section of the Butner Federal Correctional Complex since shortly after being sentenced March 3 to eight years and four months in prison. Cunningham pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy and tax evasion charges and admitted accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes in return for helping defense contractors secure federal business.

    His comments came in a letter to Marcus Stern, the Copley News Service reporter who uncovered the tainted 2003 sale of Cunningham's Del Mar-area home to defense contractor Mitchell Wade. Cunningham applied proceeds of the sale toward purchase of a $2.55 million mansion in Rancho Santa Fe. Wade bought the Del Mar-area home for $1.675 million and sold it eight months later at a $700,000 loss.

    Stern had written to Cunningham in prison requesting an interview.


    Excerpt from
    Cunningham's letter (PDF)
    In the response penned last month, Cunningham expressed bitterness toward Stern and Wade. And he offered an achingly personal glimpse of the toll exacted on him and his relationship with his now-estranged family by his dramatic descent from congressional power to Inmate #94405198.

    “Each time you print it hurts my family and now I have lost them along with everything I have worked for during my 64 years of life,” he wrote. “I am human not an animal to keep whipping.”

    In a settlement announced in federal court yesterday, Cunningham's estranged wife, Nancy, agreed to give up any interest in the sale proceeds of the couple's Del Mar-area and Rancho Santa Fe homes and acknowledged that she and her husband owe the U.S. government almost $1.7 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.

    Cunningham's four-page letter is marked by occasional spelling and punctuation lapses. In it, Cunningham expresses regret for his actions but stops short of acknowledging any wrongdoing other than accepting “gifts” from Wade.

    Wade, founder of Washington-based MZM Inc., did more than purchase Cunningham's house. He provided Cunningham with rugs, furniture, jewelry and cash in exchange for the congressman's backing for defense and intelligence contracts for his company. Cunningham was a senior member of the House Appropriations and Intelligence committees.

    Wade pleaded guilty in February to giving Cunningham more than $1 million in bribes between 2001 and 2005 and is awaiting sentencing, which has been delayed while he continues to cooperate with investigators.

    If there was any doubt that his long friendship with Wade is over, Cunningham uses the letter to dispel it, blasting the man who provided so many of the bribes uncovered during the federal investigation.

    “Wade is the absolute devil and his lawyer is trying to save his donkey,” wrote Cunningham, reflecting his bitterness at what Wade has been telling federal investigators and the U.S. Attorney's Office. “I should have said no to the gifts. For that, I am truly sorry.”

    Noting that he “cannot discuss the case,” Cunningham nonetheless said that “90 percent” of the case against him came from Wade, downplaying the role of another of his alleged co-conspirators, Brent Wilkes, founder of Poway-based ADCS Inc.

    “Wade, not Wilkes, has destroyed a lot of people,” he wrote.

    Lawyers for Wade said they had no comment on the letter.

    Wilkes, referred to as co-conspirator No. 1 in Cunningham's November plea agreement, is alleged to have given Cunningham more than $630,000 in cash and favors. Although no charges have been filed against Wilkes, he still faces possible indictment.

    Cunningham's lawyer, K. Lee Blalack, said he did not know Cunningham had written the letter and would not comment on the case or the statements about Wade or Wilkes.

    The letter “appears to confirm the obvious: Duke struggles every day to come to terms with the harm he has caused those he loves,” Blalack said. “It should surprise no one that Duke wants to be remembered for the positive contributions he made in his first 60 years of life and not just for his transgressions at its twilight.”

    In the letter, Cunningham clearly blames Wade for those transgressions. And, 16 months after insisting that he was not a personal friend of Wade's, Cunningham's letter describes what was once a close relationship.

    “He showers you with gifts, he pretended to be my best friend for 16 years. Taking me to his wifes parents home many times. Taking Nancy and I to Sunday brunches with his wife, hunting together at his father in laws Eastern Shore place. Me taking him to a place where I hunt. When I was in town we were together,” he wrote.

    Even while saying he should not have accepted the gifts, Cunningham seems to continue to defend his actions, stating that he only supported funding for programs that were good for the country.

    He cited one program that he said had “saved lives,” adding, “Didn't matter whether or not I received gifts because I would have fought for it even if Nancy Pelosi had started the program.” Pelosi, a Democratic congresswoman from San Francisco, is the House minority leader.

    His anger at the Copley organization – parent company of the Union-Tribune –was clear even from the envelope, which he addressed to “Copley News tabloid” with the word “tabloid” underlined.

    “I hurt more than anyone could imagine and without my faith your constant cruelty would destroy me,” he wrote.

    Cunningham cited his religious faith again when he wrote, “The Lord's Prayer forgive me my debts as I would forgive. My first sin each night is the failure to forgive the U.T. Not just coverage but the brutal two and three pages each week that has nearly destroyed me and my family.”

    He warned that the “truth will come out and you will find out how liablest [libelous] you have & will be.”

    He also complained that Stern and other Copley reporters “only want to write about how I died not how I lived.” And he rattled off a long list of honors he said he earned as a congressman – “Education Man of the Year, Impact Aide Man of the Year, Library Man of the Year,” among others.

    Cunningham did not shed any light on his life inside prison, but Blalack said that he had gained back much of the weight that he lost during the federal investigation and that his prostate cancer seemed to be under control.

    “He has been exercising. His medical condition is stable in the sense that he is getting good medical care within the bureau of prisons. His prostate cancer is not, as far as we know, actively growing,” he said.

    Blalack said Cunningham's condition would not delay his assignment to a prison where he is expected to serve the rest of his sentence once his medical evaluation at Butner is complete. But he was uncertain when the transfer would take place.

    The former congressman is one of 1,296 inmates in the low-security section of Butner, about 15 miles northeast of Durham, N.C.

    Blalack said he did not know Cunningham's daily regimen at the facility, but he vigorously disputed any suggestion that the former congressman was enjoying cushy accommodations.

    “This is not Club Fed,” he said. “I've been there. I can assure you that it's not Club Fed at all.”

    One friend of Cunningham – who asked not to be identified because the former congressman has asked his friends not to give interviews – said the adjustment to prison had not been easy for the onetime Navy aviator and Vietnam fighter ace.

    “I'd like to tell you he's doing fine. But he's not,” he said. “How can you be doing fine when you've lost everything you ever had?”

    Blalack said that Cunningham was “doing as well as anyone can, given the life that he led and what he's done and the future he faces. It is obviously not an easy path to walk. And he knows he has got to walk it. But he is doing emotionally and physically as well as one could expect.”

    Blalack said Cunningham had been buoyed by expressions of support from friends.

    “It certainly helps,” he said. “And it's not just in San Diego. He's got friends all over the globe who have expressed to me, and I have then communicated those thoughts to him in prison, that people are thinking of him and they appreciate the fact that he admitted he was wrong and accepted responsibility. ... They wish him the best on his road back and that helps him a great deal.”

    Blalack said he urged Cunningham not to give any interviews or write letters from prison while cooperating in ongoing investigations connected to the bribery scandal.

    “Obviously, he's written letters to people that I did not know about when they were written. Those things happen.”

    Asked if it is tough to get the once-outspoken Cunningham to follow this advice, Blalack responded, “No comment.”


     
  5. STRAWMAN

    STRAWMAN

    RED HERRING

    HYPOCRITE.





    QUOTE]Quote from ZZZzzzzzzz:

    Poor poor Duke.

    Waaaahaaahaaaaa.....

    _______________________________________

    Ex-congressman lashes out

    In prison letter, he blames contractor for downfall, reporter for his pain
    By George E. Condon Jr.
    COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

    October 7, 2006

    WASHINGTON – In a handwritten letter to the reporter who exposed his corruption, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham portrays life in prison as an agonizing time of regret, anger and bitterness toward those he blames for his downfall.

    “I hurt more than anyone could imagine,” Cunningham wrote from federal prison in North Carolina.

    In the letter, the former Rancho Santa Fe Republican lashes out at the The San Diego Union-Tribune, which broke the story on June 12, 2005, but aims his sharpest barbs at one of his co-conspirators.


    Randy “Duke” Cunningham is serving time in North Carolina.
    Cunningham, 64, has been housed in the low-security section of the Butner Federal Correctional Complex since shortly after being sentenced March 3 to eight years and four months in prison. Cunningham pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy and tax evasion charges and admitted accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes in return for helping defense contractors secure federal business.

    His comments came in a letter to Marcus Stern, the Copley News Service reporter who uncovered the tainted 2003 sale of Cunningham's Del Mar-area home to defense contractor Mitchell Wade. Cunningham applied proceeds of the sale toward purchase of a $2.55 million mansion in Rancho Santa Fe. Wade bought the Del Mar-area home for $1.675 million and sold it eight months later at a $700,000 loss.

    Stern had written to Cunningham in prison requesting an interview.


    Excerpt from
    Cunningham's letter (PDF)
    In the response penned last month, Cunningham expressed bitterness toward Stern and Wade. And he offered an achingly personal glimpse of the toll exacted on him and his relationship with his now-estranged family by his dramatic descent from congressional power to Inmate #94405198.

    “Each time you print it hurts my family and now I have lost them along with everything I have worked for during my 64 years of life,” he wrote. “I am human not an animal to keep whipping.”

    In a settlement announced in federal court yesterday, Cunningham's estranged wife, Nancy, agreed to give up any interest in the sale proceeds of the couple's Del Mar-area and Rancho Santa Fe homes and acknowledged that she and her husband owe the U.S. government almost $1.7 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.

    Cunningham's four-page letter is marked by occasional spelling and punctuation lapses. In it, Cunningham expresses regret for his actions but stops short of acknowledging any wrongdoing other than accepting “gifts” from Wade.

    Wade, founder of Washington-based MZM Inc., did more than purchase Cunningham's house. He provided Cunningham with rugs, furniture, jewelry and cash in exchange for the congressman's backing for defense and intelligence contracts for his company. Cunningham was a senior member of the House Appropriations and Intelligence committees.

    Wade pleaded guilty in February to giving Cunningham more than $1 million in bribes between 2001 and 2005 and is awaiting sentencing, which has been delayed while he continues to cooperate with investigators.

    If there was any doubt that his long friendship with Wade is over, Cunningham uses the letter to dispel it, blasting the man who provided so many of the bribes uncovered during the federal investigation.

    “Wade is the absolute devil and his lawyer is trying to save his donkey,” wrote Cunningham, reflecting his bitterness at what Wade has been telling federal investigators and the U.S. Attorney's Office. “I should have said no to the gifts. For that, I am truly sorry.”

    Noting that he “cannot discuss the case,” Cunningham nonetheless said that “90 percent” of the case against him came from Wade, downplaying the role of another of his alleged co-conspirators, Brent Wilkes, founder of Poway-based ADCS Inc.

    “Wade, not Wilkes, has destroyed a lot of people,” he wrote.

    Lawyers for Wade said they had no comment on the letter.

    Wilkes, referred to as co-conspirator No. 1 in Cunningham's November plea agreement, is alleged to have given Cunningham more than $630,000 in cash and favors. Although no charges have been filed against Wilkes, he still faces possible indictment.

    Cunningham's lawyer, K. Lee Blalack, said he did not know Cunningham had written the letter and would not comment on the case or the statements about Wade or Wilkes.

    The letter “appears to confirm the obvious: Duke struggles every day to come to terms with the harm he has caused those he loves,” Blalack said. “It should surprise no one that Duke wants to be remembered for the positive contributions he made in his first 60 years of life and not just for his transgressions at its twilight.”

    In the letter, Cunningham clearly blames Wade for those transgressions. And, 16 months after insisting that he was not a personal friend of Wade's, Cunningham's letter describes what was once a close relationship.

    “He showers you with gifts, he pretended to be my best friend for 16 years. Taking me to his wifes parents home many times. Taking Nancy and I to Sunday brunches with his wife, hunting together at his father in laws Eastern Shore place. Me taking him to a place where I hunt. When I was in town we were together,” he wrote.

    Even while saying he should not have accepted the gifts, Cunningham seems to continue to defend his actions, stating that he only supported funding for programs that were good for the country.

    He cited one program that he said had “saved lives,” adding, “Didn't matter whether or not I received gifts because I would have fought for it even if Nancy Pelosi had started the program.” Pelosi, a Democratic congresswoman from San Francisco, is the House minority leader.

    His anger at the Copley organization – parent company of the Union-Tribune –was clear even from the envelope, which he addressed to “Copley News tabloid” with the word “tabloid” underlined.

    “I hurt more than anyone could imagine and without my faith your constant cruelty would destroy me,” he wrote.

    Cunningham cited his religious faith again when he wrote, “The Lord's Prayer forgive me my debts as I would forgive. My first sin each night is the failure to forgive the U.T. Not just coverage but the brutal two and three pages each week that has nearly destroyed me and my family.”

    He warned that the “truth will come out and you will find out how liablest [libelous] you have & will be.”

    He also complained that Stern and other Copley reporters “only want to write about how I died not how I lived.” And he rattled off a long list of honors he said he earned as a congressman – “Education Man of the Year, Impact Aide Man of the Year, Library Man of the Year,” among others.

    Cunningham did not shed any light on his life inside prison, but Blalack said that he had gained back much of the weight that he lost during the federal investigation and that his prostate cancer seemed to be under control.

    “He has been exercising. His medical condition is stable in the sense that he is getting good medical care within the bureau of prisons. His prostate cancer is not, as far as we know, actively growing,” he said.

    Blalack said Cunningham's condition would not delay his assignment to a prison where he is expected to serve the rest of his sentence once his medical evaluation at Butner is complete. But he was uncertain when the transfer would take place.

    The former congressman is one of 1,296 inmates in the low-security section of Butner, about 15 miles northeast of Durham, N.C.

    Blalack said he did not know Cunningham's daily regimen at the facility, but he vigorously disputed any suggestion that the former congressman was enjoying cushy accommodations.

    “This is not Club Fed,” he said. “I've been there. I can assure you that it's not Club Fed at all.”

    One friend of Cunningham – who asked not to be identified because the former congressman has asked his friends not to give interviews – said the adjustment to prison had not been easy for the onetime Navy aviator and Vietnam fighter ace.

    “I'd like to tell you he's doing fine. But he's not,” he said. “How can you be doing fine when you've lost everything you ever had?”

    Blalack said that Cunningham was “doing as well as anyone can, given the life that he led and what he's done and the future he faces. It is obviously not an easy path to walk. And he knows he has got to walk it. But he is doing emotionally and physically as well as one could expect.”

    Blalack said Cunningham had been buoyed by expressions of support from friends.

    “It certainly helps,” he said. “And it's not just in San Diego. He's got friends all over the globe who have expressed to me, and I have then communicated those thoughts to him in prison, that people are thinking of him and they appreciate the fact that he admitted he was wrong and accepted responsibility. ... They wish him the best on his road back and that helps him a great deal.”

    Blalack said he urged Cunningham not to give any interviews or write letters from prison while cooperating in ongoing investigations connected to the bribery scandal.

    “Obviously, he's written letters to people that I did not know about when they were written. Those things happen.”

    Asked if it is tough to get the once-outspoken Cunningham to follow this advice, Blalack responded, “No comment.”
    [/QUOTE]
     
  6. Yep, you really are as stupid as you appear...

    [/QUOTE]
     
  7. It's amazing how uninterested the media is in Reid's real estate deal. They hounded Duke Cunningham, they accepted obviously forged documents to trash Bush, they have been relentless over a whole lot of nothing on this Foley scandal, but they couldn't care less about the man who could be the next Majority Leader of the Senate being involved in a real estate deal that seems very odd.
     
  8. Could it be that there is simply nothing there? No story to tell? Whoever wrote up that AP story has an iq of 50. I'm waiting for a clearly written story to see what the deal is.
     
  9. Why not wait to see if we get a perp walk, like so many republicans...

     
    #10     Oct 13, 2006