Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Moonbat of the Week Award!

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
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The woeful Senate Minority Leader is continuing his "end run" and spin control on his now infamous property deals. The Nevada Senator is "gambling" off the strip in hopes of escaping more scrutiny and closer examination of his personal "business", something he and his cohorts love discussing when it comes to Republicans.
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Mr. 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.
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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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Reid denial began early on when he hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview. 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.

The Dirty Details:

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.

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.

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.
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This Is Taxing:
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Brown sometimes paid a share of the local property taxes on the lot Reid owned outright between 1998 and 2001, while Reid sometimes paid more than his share of taxes on the second parcel they co-owned.
xxx The two men continued to pay the property taxes from their personal checking accounts even after the land was sold to Patrick Lane in 2001, records show.
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Reid paid about 74 percent of the property taxes, slightly less than his actual 75.1 ownership stake, according to canceled checks kept at the local assessor's office. One year, the property tax payments were delinquent and resulted in a small penalty, the records show.
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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.
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In the Zone or Out:
xxx 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.
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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.
xxx The next year, Reid collected $18,000 in political donations from Del Webb's political action committee and employees. In December 1996, Reid wrote a second letter on behalf of Del Webb, urging Interior to answer the company's concerns. The deal came together in summer and fall 1997, with Perma-Bilt joining in.
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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.
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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.
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Brown persisted. The Clark County zoning board followed by the Clark County Commission voted to overrule the recommendation and approve commercial zoning.
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With the rezoning granted, Patrick Lane pursued the shopping center deal. On Jan. 20, 2004, the company sold the property to developers for $1.6 million. Today, a multimillion dollar retail complex sits on the land.
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Time to Collect:
xxx On Jan. 21, 2004, Reid received more than $1.1 million of the sale proceeds. Reid disclosed the money the following year on his Senate ethics report as a personal sale of land, not mentioning Patrick Lane.
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Pardon My Denial:
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"Everything I did was transparent," Reid told a Las Vegas news conference after the AP story was published. "I paid all the taxes. Everything is fully disclosed to the ethics committee and everyone else. As I said, if there is some technical change that the ethics committee wants, I'll be happy to do that."
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Is it disclosed or not Harry? Technical change? Is he blaming the IT department? Should we send the Geek Squad?
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Reid's "Culture of Corruption":
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"The idea of Republicans reforming themselves is like asking John Gotti to clean up organized crime. I thought I’d seen the last of corruption when I helped clean up Las Vegas thirty years ago. But, while its not quite the mafia of Las Vegas in the 1970s, what is happening today in Washington is every bit as corrupt and the consequences for our country have been just as severe."
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Jay Brown, the longtime friend of Reid, is a former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations, engineered Reid’s deal. He's never been charged with wrongdoing, except for a 1981 federal securities complaint that was settled out of court. Is Brown going to be Harry's "Jack Abramoff"?
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OOPS! It's funny how a Moonbat like Harry Reid sounds like a broken record only to find out that Harry may have broken a few laws. This story broke 10 days ago but Harry remains in total denial. Now that he's fumbled we hope the Republicans are smart enough to jump on the ball and score a political touchdown, at Reid's expense.

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