Oct 13 2006

The Reid Kickbacks

Published by at 9:50 am under All General Discussions,Reid's Land Deals

Update:Folks, head to the comments section where long time reader SBD is working his usual magic and posting multiple real estate transactions with one Harry Reid regarding properties in NV and buyers/sellers from all over (including my home town of McLean VA). I wonder how many of these reports made it accurately into the public record? Someone at AT seems to have found some answers. – End Update

Senate Majority Minority Leader Harry Reid needs to step down from his leadership position right now and undergo a full investigation of his activities. Once again it seems the media is mostly turning a blind eye to what is clearly a probable case of buying influence by kicking back profits to a Senator who pushed legislation and peddled his influence in ways that helped create the profits he recieved. The fact the connection between Reid and the land developer he assisted was covered up in an UNDOCUMENTED (and therefore theoretical) business deal is what makes this look like a story of covering up (instead of whatever lame excuse Reid and Brown are trotting out).

Again it was one of those rare days I was in the car and Rush was on that I learned the so-called business arrangement was ‘undocumented’. Hate to inform all those legal eagles in the Democrat party – but unless it is documented it is not a business or a business arrangement. Without a contract it is nothing.

Look at what Reid did to make his land purchase a windfall of nearly 3/4’s of a million dollars without any documentation (or taxes, speaking of giving tax breaks to the rich):

Nevada land deeds show Reid and his wife first bought the property in January 1998 in a proposed subdivision created partly with federal lands transferred by the Interior Department to private developers.

Reid’s two lots were never owned by the government, but the piece of land joining Reid’s property to the street corner _ a key to the shopping center deal _ came from the government in 1994. [AJStrata: making the property Reid bought valuable IF the land were to be developed, and basically useless otherwise]

Around the time of the 1998 sale, Lessman and his company were completing a complicated federal land transfer that also involved an Arizona-based developer named Del Webb Corp.

In the deal, Del Webb and Perma-Bilt purchased environmentally sensitive lands in the Lake Tahoe area, transferred them to the government and then got in exchange several pieces of valuable Las Vegas land.

Lessman was personally involved, writing a March 1997 letter to Interior lobbying for the deal. “This exchange has been through many trials and tribulations … we do not need to create any more stumbling blocks,” Lessman wrote.

For years, Reid also had been encouraging Interior to make land swaps on behalf of Del Webb, where one of his former aides worked.

What is clear is Reid only purchased the land after some initial hurdles were cleared – specifically the land swap where developers bought useless property (“environmentally sensitive” means no development, none) in one state and then traded it in for property someplace else where they could develop. It is only after this first hurdle is passed does Reid make is purchase. But even at this early stage Reid was trading political pressure for donations:

In 1994, Reid wrote a letter with other Nevada lawmakers on behalf of Del Webb, and then met personally with a top federal land official in Nevada. That official claimed in media reports he felt pressured by the senator. Reid denied any pressure.

The next year, Reid collected $18,000 in political donations from Del Webb’s political action committee and employees. Del Webb’s efforts to get federal land dragged on.

Is it far fetched to assume the initial coordination would lead to ideas on how to really cash-in? And not in political donations, but personal wealth!

Clark County intended for the property Reid owned to be used solely for new housing, records show. Just days before Reid sold the parcels to Brown’s company, Brown sought permission in May 2001 to rezone the properties so a shopping center could be built.

Career zoning officials objected, saying the request was “inconsistent” with Clark County’s master development plan. The town board in Spring Valley, where Reid’s property was located, also voted 4-1 to reject the rezoning.

Brown persisted. The Clark County zoning board followed by the Clark County Commission voted to overrule the recommendation and approve commercial zoning. Such votes were common at the time.

So somehow the land that was not available became available – and Reid purchased it. And somehow the land that was zoned residential (and therefore would gain marginal value over time) became rezoned right before Reid ‘sold’ the land to this shell company for what he paid for it! For NO PROFIT. Not even the normal inflation of money. This is right after the zoning came through that would drastically increase its value! One could have said how unfortunate that Reid sold right at the time the value would start shooting up. But he did not sell the land it seems, he simply transferred it in some verbal, mythical business deal. So when the land did sell to a developer, Reid – who clearly sold the land to this company – got a huge (and hidden) windfall.

Are we to believe Reid’s well timed moves and his clear ‘selling’ of his land with zero increase in price at a time the land’s value would begin skyrocketing to business entity without any mention of Reid’s involvement or ownership, and his willingness to cough up $400K worth of real estate without any written agreement of interest in said business, is all innocent?

Update: This news about Reid makes one wonder what kinds of real estate deals is he in on in this area of Nevada, given the fact he is working in opposition to his liberal base.

A large coalition of environmental groups is challenging legislation by Nevada’s two U.S. senators that would create almost 550,000 acres of wilderness in White Pine County but allow private development on other federal land.

The environmentalists say that surrendering 45,000 acres in that county to development in exchange for wilderness protection is a bad deal that a Congress controlled by Democrats would be less likely to approve. The groups want a delay to see whether Democrats succeed in taking control of the House or Senate in the Nov. 7 elections.

The White Pine County bill is one of four pieces of legislation the environmental groups oppose. The others involve similar land-use exchanges in Idaho and Utah.

“All of them have this quid pro quo strategy of giving away public land in one place for protection in another place,” said Janine Blaeloch, director of the Western Lands Project. “If wilderness is going to be protected, it should not happen at the cost of losing the rest of our public lands.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D.-Nev., and his Republican colleague, Sen. John Ensign, drafted the White Pine County bill. It would trade federal wilderness protections, which generally prohibit development and restrict most motorized recreation, on some lands for the privatization of other lands.

The bill is modeled after a 1998 bill, the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, which set aside land for wilderness and designated other land for sale for private development and other uses.

This deal has all the characteristics of the other one. I wonder if Reid has some verbal business agreements here as well?

37 responses so far

37 Responses to “The Reid Kickbacks”

  1. granna03 says:

    Kudos Strata-Sphere – Thanks to you, looks like “OLD HARRY” gambled one time too many. Hopefully, Nevada voters have seen the light.

  2. Webloggin says:

    More on how Reid may have profitted from his "profits"…

    I happened to come across this article in ReviewJournal.com that details a transaction from Harry Reid of a 4.73 acres of land on Park Lane. Clark County records indicate that Reid was involved in a sale completed in January 2004 of 4.73 acres on Patri…

  3. Harry Reid Can Run, But He Cannot Hide…

    This land deal story broke two days ago, and I have been skeptical to even touch it. (Yes, I am studying to be a lawyer, but I do not know the first thing about real estate law; I honestly do not know if he broke the law. The deal appears to be shad…

  4. Terrye says:

    I remember hearing some time ago that Murtha had used his influence with the Defence industry to help Nancy Pelosi’s nephew to get a land contract. Apparently the Pelosi’s are very big into real estate in California. How would a person go about finding out more details on something like that?

  5. Retired Spook says:

    How would a person go about finding out more details on something like that?

    Terrye, I was wondering the same thing. When the Dems were pointing their collective finger at the GOP “culture of corruption”, there were the proverbial three fingers pointing back at themselves, heh.

  6. Sensible Mom says:

    Harry Reid Deal Stinks More Than The Media’s Revealing…

    Like I said before it’s reminiscent of Hillary’s sudden fortune in cattle futures, both are basically campaign contributions laundered through financial instruments with the benefit of not being restricted to campaign finance laws….

  7. jansan says:

    Ahhh…there may also be tax complications. Selling the land for what you paid nets no capital gain. If Reid sold it for what he paid, but actually “owned” it and then “sold” the land for a $1.1 million gain, was this handled as a long-term or short-term gain in his Federal Tax return? Long-term gains are a more favorable tax rate. Is the tax return for that year public record?

  8. jeanneb says:

    Jansan:

    It appears to me he should have reported the $1.1 million as income from a partnership. Regardless of his claims of an “informal arrangement”, the fact remains that the LLC owned the land at sale and Reid’s payoff would have come from the LLC.

    Interestingly, he reported it to the Senate as a personal land sale (and I suspect as a long term capital gain). If he did the same with the IRS, he may have some ‘splainin’ to do.

  9. sanolte says:

    Snoop, Pelosi is too busy filling her own swamp to be draining ours.

  10. sanolte says:

    Snoop, Pelosi is too busy filling her own swamp to be draining ours.

  11. genie says:

    It’s too bad the news media and our Congressional representatives and senators aren’t as excited and well-informed about Harry Reid’s real estate deals as we are. How long will it take them to get off of the Foley thing and the unfortunate airplane tragedy and talk about what we are interested in on the news programs? When will Reid’s opponents get as excited and vocal as we are about this information? I’m so tired of DC’s lack of passion. Thanks for this great blog.

  12. Iowa Voice says:

    More On The Harry Reid Land Deal…

    I won’t steal his thunder, but AJ has uncovered a BUNCH of stuff on the Democrat’s Senate Leader in regards to his recent scandal. It goes a lot deeper than we thought and, given the remarks of “Give ‘em hell, Harry” in regards to Tom DeLay and J…

  13. ted says:

    Looks like tax fraud, at least. When Harry Greed sold to partnership he claims he got his investment back, plus an interest in the partnership..That interest was taxable gain or income..Bet he never declared it. When he collects 1.1 mil for selling land he doesn’t own its all taxable, probably as ordinary income. lets get those returns.

  14. Dave Perkins says:

    A Reid in need… …

    UPDATE-AJ at Strata Sphere has the best summary of how and why this all happened.As well as some evidence that this isn’t the only one. There’s a reason that the company he sold his land to in 2001 was a “handshake deal”. Reid was trying to……

  15. Concerned says:

    What happened to finding the truth on Harry Reid? Not only did liberal media not report, but those that tell the truth stopped reporting it too. What’s up? Nothing on Rush’s site. It is gone. Come on Rush — I trusted your word that you would not sweep this under the rug? Who are you afraid of? Who do you take your marching orders from?

    It is because Harry Reid is directly connected to organized crime. Why doesn’t SBD go to Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and type in Harry’s name, and sons, and show evidence of those documents on this site? Basically, Operation Greylord (bringing down organized crime and corrupt judges in Chicago in the late 70s) moved to Maricopa County, Arizona, where it is thriving! Started as stealing land from property owners, but grew into also utilizing corrupt judges in family courts to steal children from good mothers/families and give them to bad fathers/foster care. There is a price on every child’s head and they all make money. They aren’t called “activist judges” – they are called “corrupt judges”.

    Below is a story of a courageous man in Chicago that has been taking evidence of the corruption and presenting it to corrupt judges in Chicago. They are all nervous because the truth is out of their dealings. He was thrown in jail for 60 days last Friday — same day Rush reported Harry Reid’s land fraud. There is a direct connection — same mafia family. Chicago is still directly linked with Maricopa County and so are many other states.

    Where is the FBI? Why is the story swept under the rug even though Rush promised he wouldn’t? What happened Rush – did someone call you and tell you to shutup?

    Yes, it has disappeared. Why? Because there are many “powerful” people making millions of dollars off of stealing land and children.

    Not only is an innocent man sitting in jail because a corrupt judge couldn’t get his source out of him, but mothers across this country have committed suicide because they couldn’t bear the pain of having their babies ripped from their arms and handed over to dads that molest.

    This has disappeared because at the core is one of the ugliest crimes and all those in authority to do their jobs are cowards. We have our own version of “American terrorists” in this country which includes organized crime families and those they buy to include corrupt judges, police, politicians, etc. You know who you are!

    Man accusing judges of mob ties gets 60 days for contempt

    October 15, 2006
    BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Legal Affairs Reporter
    Michael Lynch’s campaign to expose what he says are judges involved in a conspiracy linked to organized crime was put on hold Friday when a judge sentenced him to 60 days in Cook County Jail for criminal contempt.

    Lynch once headed Michigan Avenue Partners and turned Chicago-based McCook Metals into a major aluminum force. The New York Times wrote of his entrepreneurial skills when McCook offered a higher bid than Alcoa for Reynolds Metals.

    Now fighting bankruptcy, he tells judges to their faces in federal and state court that he thinks they have ties to organized crime and need to recuse themselves from his cases — such as those seeking to foreclose on his Lake Forest home.

    Cook County Judge Paddy McNamara, who gets good ratings from lawyers’ groups, sent him to jail Friday after a two-hour hearing in which he repeatedly accused other judges of getting mob money and then produced what he said were some of the judge’s own financial records.

    Lynch sees a conspiracy of judges linked to law firms that represent Alcoa trying to take him down. He suspected his own lawyers were involved. Lynch said when one judge seemed ready to rule in his favor, the case was suddenly transferred to another judge who ruled against him.

    Cook County Judge Alexander White — as highly rated as McNamara — told Lynch two weeks ago “Counsel, that’s libelous. . .. I have never received a penny,” in response to Lynch’s demand that White “admit or deny” ties to organized crime.

    On Friday, Lynch asked McNamara to let him bring in a source from an organized crime family to back up his claims, but the judge said she had heard enough.

  16. sillyme says:

    Michael Lynch is a loony-toon. Every one else is a crook … ha ha. He has already driven another company into the ground. Check it out on the Cook County Court Records… Duraco Products, Inc.

    Michael must have needed money to finally make a mortgage payment. I guess he finally figured out there is ONE creditor he needs to pay. He should be in prison… that’s where crooks like Michael Lynch belong.

  17. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Velvet Hammer, Cris Mattoon J.D.. Cris Mattoon J.D. said: RT @velvethammer: @SharronAngle Has this ever been investigated?! The @SenatorReid Kickbacks http://bit.ly/9CfAIf #tcot #teaparty #ofa #dnc [...]