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Dodd’s Very Suspicious Irish Land Deals

An ‘editorial’ from Connecticut’s Hartford Courant:

Dodd’s Explanations Misleading, Incomplete

Kevin Rennie
March 22, 2009

Sen. Christopher Dodd revealed himself again last week to be an unreliable source for explanations of his own actions. The five-term senator denied on CNN on Tuesday that he had anything to do with legislation passed in February that ratified $165 million or more in bonuses for executives at his generous campaign patron AIG, the financial giant sustaining itself on billions from the taxpayers.

A day later, Dodd returned to CNN to admit he’d done the deed that aided AIG executives. Dodd’s penchant for incomplete and misleading answers was on display a few days before the bonus firestorm when he discussed his real estate dealings in Ireland and Washington, D.C., with two Courant reporters.

That house on nearly 10 waterfront acres in Ireland, the senator maintains, really isn’t much. Only a rickety bridge connects it to the mainland. The Irish real estate boom from 1994 to 2007, he says, missed Inishnee, the island he wandered onto in the late ’80s when he was recognized by an admiring Connecticut constituent. What are the odds?

The woman contacted him, Dodd says, several years later when she wanted to sell her property. He already owned two homes in America, so he recruited Kansas City, Mo., real estate developer William Kessinger to buy it with him.

Dodd doesn’t remember why he paid for one-third and Kessinger two-thirds. How can he not remember weeks after questions were first posed to him?

Dodd and Kessinger purchased the property for $160,000 in 1994 from an Irish real estate company. That was higher than the average price of a house in County Galway at the time. Dodd says he and Kessinger intended to use it occasionally themselves, let friends stay there and rent it at other times.

Dodd was too modest in his description of what he could do with his lair. Inishnee’s prospects as a place to make some money in real estate must have seemed brighter in 1998 than Dodd now recalls. He applied that year to carve 1.3 acres from his stunning retreat and build a house on it.

The minister of state at the Department of the Environment apparently weighed in on Dodd’s application. A local official wrote to that Irish cabinet member, "I regret to inform you" that permission to build had been refused. Does your local zoning commission send a letter to the secretary of the interior when it rejects an application to build a house?

In 2001, a new bridge to Inishnee was completed, dedicated and blessed by local priest Father McCarthy. The next year, Dodd, armed with an appraisal by someone who must not have noticed the new bridge, bought out Kessinger’s interest in the property for far less than what the property boom was doing to every other piece of real estate in Ireland.

Maybe Kessinger, who’d spent decades in real estate, wasn’t paying attention to his investment in Ireland. He might have been devoting his time to increasing Kessinger/Hunter and Co.’s share of federal contracts. The company’s business with the federal government rose from $288,000 in fiscal year 2002 to $528,343 in fiscal 2003, according to FedSpending.org.

Kessinger’s friend Edward R. Downe Jr. had been similarly helpful to Dodd in 1986 when Downe, a New York socialite and inside trader, purchased a Washington condominium with the senator. In his Courant interview, Dodd said that Downe paid half the down payment, mortgage and condominium fees. Downe made infrequent visits.

Downe, as he was making millions through illegal trades in offshore accounts, subsidized Dodd’s use of a condominium that the senator could not have otherwise afforded. Around 1989, Downe told Dodd, then chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on securities, that the feds were investigating him. Dodd ended Downe’s subsidy by buying his half of the condominium.

It was a lot less messy for Dodd to buy Downe’s half of the condominium than for federal authorities to take it. They eventually wanted Downe’s assets to satisfy an $11 million judgment.

Dodd would reward his generous friend in 2001 by getting him a presidential pardon. Even when they do things they shouldn’t, Dodd takes care of the rich who’ve taken care of him.

As is too often the case, important news such as this is buried in the editorial pages of a local newspaper and then ignored by our media watchdogs.

Dodd says he and Kessinger intended to use it occasionally themselves, let friends stay there and rent it at other times.

At the very least shouldn’t Mr. Dodd have paid income tax on this rent?

But of course that is only the tip of the iceberg of corruption outlined above.

Obviously Mr. Dodd is vying to become the poster boy for Democrat corruption.

And given the competition for that honor from Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha and Charlie Rangel, just to name a few – that is going some.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Dodd’s Very Suspicious Irish Land Deals”

  1. heykev says:

    Maybe S&L should keep a “corruption scorecard” this way we easily see whose the most corrupt elected official. You could even give bonus points for ruining the economy like Dodd and Frank have done. Or add a hall of shame bracket for traitorous activities like Murtha…

    • heykev says:

      He will never have to explain anything about his wife. He still has to explain several other deals he’s had in the past. So much for our watchdog media doing it’s job.

  2. proreason says:

    As the media wanes in influence, they raise the volume of their propaganda.

    Likewise, as more and more information about the stunning corruption of Congress creeps into the news, they ratchet up the Hate Speech toward business, conservatives and any other group they can use to infuriate their lame-brained followers.

  3. pdsand says:

    I suspect this whole rash of stories on Dodd lately is designed to teach him a lesson for making that little AIG bonus mistake in the class warfare that is continuous and ongoing. He gets the blame for letting rich people get richer, and so we see a few little hints to remind Sen. Dodd that the media has all the dirt on him, and will only keep his secrets as long as he doesn’t make any more mistakes.

    • proreason says:

      good thought……but the hints just as likely coming from The Moron’s Chicogo handlers……just a gentle reminder that he only gets to lay the blame on the Family when the Family agrees to it.

  4. Grzegorz says:

    Just what does this “cottage” look like? Anybody have any pictures?

  5. Colonel1961 says:

    This kinda stuff happens to me all the time! My friends are always cutting me in on sweetheart deals like this – no big deal. Let’s not get all excited just because there’s a (D) after his name. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation. Cut the dude some slack, for the love of Pete!

    • heykev says:

      It’s hard to keep up with the sweetheart deals that those in congress get. Let’s see, starting with our Beloved Leader, who got his home at a discount and his wife a make-work job at a local hospital here in Chicago. Then there’s Mutrha, Dodd, Frank (his was his for sweetheart), etc. Seems like something that’s top down in the Dem party.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      It does seem to be infectious…

    • pdsand says:

      If I’m not mistaken, Dodd is a big fan of affordable housing.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Very affordable, in his case! He’s just practicing what he preaches…

      Perhaps a non sequitur, but, didn’t the (R)’s lose a member of the Senate for merely having a ‘wide stance’?

      Curiouser and curiouser.

  6. Grzegorz says:

    Thanks much, heykev, for the “cottage” links!

  7. annabetsy says:

    The wheels of justice often turn much slower than we wish. I have wanted Dodd, Barney, Barack, all who created this mess and benifited greatly from it to go down for their wrong-doing since last fall when all of this agonizing financial scandal hit. And lets not forget Nancy and Harry,their personal scandals and the torturous aspects they have contributed to our present state. Yet being powerless to do anything to cause their demise we can believe that justice will eventually be served. ” Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7

  8. Reality Bytes says:

    An RB Limerick (or something for Senator Dodd)

    I don’t be agrudgin’ the man, they call Dodd,
    Cause he comes from good ol’ sod,
    I’ll even wish for him even more farms,
    So long as he stays away from me lucky charms!


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