Friday, October 03, 2008
Joe Biden's Mansion
From The NYT:
...these days, [Biden's] kitchen table can be found in a 6,800-square-foot custom-built colonial-style house on four lakefront acres, a property worth close to $3 million.
Although he is among the least wealthy members of the millionaires club that is the United States Senate — he and his wife, Jill, a college professor, earn about $250,000 a year — Mr. Biden maintains a lifestyle that is more comfortable than the impression he may have given on the campaign trail. A review of his finances found that when it comes to some of his largest expenses, like the purchase and upkeep of his home and his use of Amtrak trains to get around, he has benefited from resources and relationships not available to average Americans.
...the acquisition of his waterfront property a decade ago involved wealthy businessmen and campaign supporters, some of them bankers with an interest in legislation before the Senate, who bought his old house for top dollar, sold him four acres at cost and lent him $500,000 to build his new home.
"He was a V.I.P., so he was treated accordingly by the bank," said Ronald Tennant, a former loan officer who handled the mortgages Mr. Biden used to build his house.
Mr. Biden’s aides acknowledged he sometimes uses campaign money to pay for trips if they “involved a meeting or event related to his campaign.” They could not explain why his campaign’s Amtrak expenditures are relatively high, other than to point out that they would include travel by his staff and consultants, as do those of other politicians.
The Biden campaign’s Amtrak expenses have remained high even in years without elections, when he was not actively campaigning and his committee retained a handful of part-time staff members and almost no consultants. [Hmmmmmmm, is Biden funneling what are supposed to be his travel expenses into other areas? Sounds like it to me. - Drake]
Mr. Biden previously lived for 21 years in a 10,000-square-foot former DuPont mansion in Greenville, which he bought in 1975 for $185,000 after learning it was slated for demolition.
After extensive renovations, he sold it in February 1996, through word of mouth, to John R. Cochran III, the vice chairman of MBNA, one of the nation’s largest credit card companies. He agreed to pay Mr. Biden’s full asking price, $1.2 million.
The real estate deal was just one facet of a close relationship between Mr. Biden and MBNA, which donated more than $200,000 to his campaigns. The Delaware-based company gave a job to Mr. Biden’s son Hunter; flew Senator Biden and his wife to the Maine coast, where Mr. Biden spoke at a company retreat; and its former chief executive, Charles M.Cawley, donated at least $22,500 to a nonprofit breast cancer fund started by Jill Biden.
MBNA also was an aggressive advocate of bankruptcy reform legislation before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Mr. Biden was a senior member and its former chairman. The legislation would make it harder for consumers to escape credit card debts.
Mr. Biden bought the lakeside parcel in Wilmington in March 1996 from Keith D. Stoltz, a real estate executive who once lived adjacent to the property and sold it to the senator for $350,000, the same price he paid for it five years earlier. In an e-mail message, Mr. Stoltz said the price was reasonable because the real estate market was soft and he had paid a premium for the lot so he could keep it undeveloped.
Not long before Mr. Biden obtained his construction loan from Beneficial in July 1997, he had offered to nominate the bank’s chairman, James H. Gilliam Jr., for a federal judge’s post in Delaware, according to news accounts of Mr. Gilliam’s death in 2003.
Mr. Biden’s campaign said that his dealings with Mr. Gilliam had nothing to do with the $634,000 in loans he received from Beneficial[.]
And Biden buys a lakeside parcel of land for $350,000, the same price that the owner paid for it and the reason given is, "the price was reasonable because the real estate market was soft"?
Excuse me, but does anyone know of any lakeside parcels of land whose value doesn't increase enormously in a five year period, especially from 1991 when it was purchased to 1996 when Biden bought it for the same price as the seller paid for it? 1991-1996 was during the prime real estate and land-value-increasing years, and this was A LAKESIDE PARCEL that we are asked to believe "didn't increase in value"?
And Biden wants the public to believe that he didn't nominate his personal bank's chairman for a federal judge’s post in Delaware, a banker who provides Biden with $643,000 in loans?
Who does Biden think he's fooling?
Boy, it's a good think John McCain didn't buy a lakeside parcel for the same price the seller paid for it six years earlier. It's a good thing McCain didn't nominate his personal banker for a federal judge post. We'd be hearing about nothing but this "shady deal" if it involved a Republican.
In the meantime, still no one in the press bothers to dig into the Barack Hussein Obama, Junior-Tony Rezko shady real estate deal. Oh well, you know...Democrats are exempt from the same type of scrutiny to which Republicans are scrutinized.
And yes, as you say, Obamalotists are busy brainwashing children into today's Hitler Youth. Un-FUCKING-real.
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