Friday, April 25, 2014

Harry Reid's Long, Steady Accretion of Power and Wealth — #Democrat #Corruption

He's like an old time machine boss.

A two-part report from Adam O'Neal, at Real Clear Politics:
Contrary to popular belief, Reid arrived in Washington wealthy; he had a net worth of at least -- and likely more than -- $1 million, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Although Reid had spent most of the previous 15 years in public office, or pursuing public office, he still proved to be a robust earner. After his term as lieutenant governor ended in 1975, he would not return to public office full time until 1983. (The Gaming Commission is only part-time work.) All told, he worked at least 14 years as a private-practice attorney between 1964 and 1982.

As a former public official with strong political connections, he found lucrative work in Las Vegas. It appears his personal boom was simply part of the broader expansion of Nevada’s economy. Some attorneys at the time, particularly those with political networks, would occasionally receive payment in the form of real estate. Given Nevada’s rapid growth, such payments would become extremely valuable over time. It’s unclear if Reid received land as compensation then, but he certainly made good money and invested in real estate early on.

Theoretically, working as a lawmaker should have severely limited Reid’s earning potential. In the early 1980s, members of Congress received a salary of about $70,000 per year. Though pay has generally risen -- and Reid receives more than most lawmakers because of his leadership position -- he has never earned more than $200,000 per year in salary.

Yet, his estimated net worth peaked at around $10 million just a few years ago, and he has remained consistently wealthier than when he entered Congress. (Reid reported that his net worth in 2012 was somewhere between $2.8 million and $6.3 million. His 2013 financial disclosures will be released later this year.) As of 2012, real estate composed about one-third of his portfolio. The rest was made up of government bonds; stakes in energy, electronics, pharmaceutical, and chemical companies; and other investments. He also possesses significant mining claims potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How did Reid manage to grow his net worth so significantly while raising a large family, on a public official’s salary, and incurring the expenses associated with maintaining two residences on opposite sides of the country? Reid has lived frugally -- before buying a house in recent years, he kept just a trailer in his hometown of Searchlight -- and he has made undeniably savvy investments.  More significantly, however, is his willingness to enter political and ethical gray areas to make money.

Reid has walked a fine line over the years, occasionally breaking rules or engaging in brazenly unseemly behavior during his pursuit of wealth. Further, he has also used his position to save money in ways that the general public can’t -- a practice that creates public relations issues and raises questions about the senator’s ethics. As for any illegal behavior or obvious wrongdoing, Jon Ralston told RCP, “There’s been some smoke but there’s never any fire on that.”

There may be quite a bit of smoke.
Keep reading. It's the part of the story to which Reid's political handlers objected, and RCP's included their objections bracketed in the text, in italics.

Heh, he's a shady fucker.

One of his the responses goes like this, "Senator Reid is not the first person in America to have made a profitable land sale and I suspect he won't be the last but the last time I checked there's nothing wrong with selling land."

Yep, everybody does it so stfu. Sounds like a two-bit criminal.

And at Part II is here, "Harry Reid's Long Coattails."

Reid is what's wrong with Washington politics. I'm astonished that a corrupt f-ker like this still remains on the public's dime. Damn. Just a disgusting specimen of crass political corruption and social decay.