Dodd: Another day … Another dollar – Update: Video

Well it seems that Kevin Rennie was correct. It seems I was correct. It seems your better instincts were correct. That Irish cottage that the senior Senator bought for a song with the help of his financial friends is worth just a little bit more than he had disclosed. OK … more than a little bit.

A new appraisal of the Irish cottage owned by Sen. Christopher Dodd concludes that it is worth about three times as much as Dodd has been reporting on his financial disclosure forms.

The new value of the cottage, located on Inishnee in Galway County, is $658,000, according to Dodd’s 2008 financial disclosure form released today.

The appraisal was done by the same person who did the original one in 2002 when the 1,200 square-foot cottage was evaluated at about $190,000.

Let’s see … a 65% increased in 8 years and a 300% plus increase in 6 years. Dodd’s people say he doesn’t think much about the cottage but reported the new value in the interest of “good faith”. My guess is, and Michelle Malkin’s guess is, there’s a little bit more at work here than good faith. She points to this in a complaint filed by Judicial Watch in April.

(Judicial Watch has sought additional documents about this property from government authorities in Ireland.)

According to the complaint, Senator Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, allegedly failed to report the gift in 2002 and may have filed inaccurate Senate Financial Disclosure forms related to the property ever since, in violation of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act. The penalty for filing false financial disclosure forms is $50,000 and up to one year in prison.

Dodd’s initial investment in this little gem was $12,000. That’s right, $12,000. They then bought out their partner Kessenger (who owned 2/3 of the house) in 2002 for $177,000. And from that point on … the value of the cottage never changed on a single Senate disclosure form, until now.

And Dodd’s not the only one getting rich … Good old Dick”Pol Pot”Durbin apparently is psychic too. Enough!

Update: Go here to see what Dodd had to say about his Countrywide mortgage in March. “I disclosed everything.”

Then go here to see how we questioned the value of the cottage in March.

Update 2: Oh yeah …. and remember this one?

Update 3: Dodd also addressed his wife Jackie’s presence on the boards of Pharmaceutical boards and receiving an income of about $500,000 last year. We address this issue here.

What struck as I read through the article was not so much her appointments to the boards … which come after her marriage to Dodd, but her qualifications. She lists her consulting firm as one of her qualifications but there apparently is no record of any clients in recent years.

But Clegg Dodd’s consulting firm has neither clients nor a current business phone listing. ”There are no clients now and there have been no clients for three and a half years,” she said, responding to written questions.

Her only other qualifications appear to be her time as a legislative staffer on the banking committee and vice president for congressional affairs for the Export-Import Bank. These are fine indeed, but I would question whether they qualify a person to be the board member who overseas audits.

Dodd’s explanation is a familiar refrain … “Hey, you wouldn’t be saying this if she weren’t a woman.” Nothing like addressing the issue.


Dodd Man Walking?* Video

Kevin Rennie takes another look at Chris Dodd’s Irish Country Cottage and his conveniently vague and incomplete answers. After fist denying, than admitting, than blaming Treasury (W apparently wasn’t available) for that AIG Bonus Loophole he authored … Rennie says he’s being less than honest about the value of his Irish Ranchero too, and who paid for what. Here’s the link.

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. 

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.

Today on Fox 61 Shelly Sindland interviewed Roy Occhiogrosso, who worked on Dodd’s ’04 campaign (full interview here). Two clips. The first… the bonus bailou wasn’t Dodd’s fault … it was … drumroll please …


Of course he fails to mention that Dodd failed to tell the truth and could have stopped the bailouts. He did neither. The second … if not laughable, certainly  incredible. Dodd is too busy managing the eonomy and health care to consider the ramifications of the “Bonus Clause”. Makes me rest easier knowing he’s Banking Chairman.


I can understand why Roy Occhiogrosso wants us all to move on. It isn’t going to happen.

*Post title taken from yesterday’s Tea party Protest. Courtesy Powerline.


Dodd … Stand By Your Friends

Chris Dodd is coming out but the answers still ring hollow. Connecticut’s senior senator tells Channel 3’s Dennis House:

  • Hey, Countrywide’s Robert Feinberg’s lying … no sweetheart mortgage deal
  • No I will not release my mortgage papers … everyone already saw em … for a day
  • The Irish cottage thing … hey the appraisal said it was worth the $200,000 … who am I to argue?
  • and finally on his real estate dealings with and arranged 2001 Presidential pardon for convicted securities fraud friend Edward Downe … you stand by your friends … well that is except if your friend is standing on principal … like Joe Lieberman?

Dodd on the mortgage deal …


Oh and if you’re interested, here’s what Countrywide’s Robert Feinberg told the Feds …


Just so we can set the record straight, Dodd did get a deal above and beyond the average mortgage rate, which he claimed he negotiated. I can assure the Senator, 4 and 1/4 on a loan that size … you got a sweetheart deal. Not to mention closing costs, which may or may not have been waived, I do not know because I have not seen the documents. And as for seeing those mortgage papers again …. fogeddaboudit!


Allowing select reporters to view documents for a view hours and calling it transparency is dishonest in itself. As I have said before, it was a circus. I was considering posting Dodd’s answer on his $200,000 (2001 prices) seaside gold coast Irish cottage … but I won’t bother. Suffice to say it was … “the bank appraised it and what could I say”.

All a all nice try but if this is the best he has, he’s got problems … big ones. You know what a house is worth, especially when condos in the area go for much more. It stinks which is why we keep saying … release the papers.

Something’s rotten on the Irish Coast

The more I look at Dodd’s Irish cottage, what with the 12 waterfront acres and the bargain price, the less that makes sense.  Having explored the price of real estate in the Emerald Isle a few years back (admittedly at the top of the market), 12 acres on the waterfront should have commanded a king’s ransom.

However, more disturbing than the deal are the players.  As reported in The Hartford Courant, a veritable tangled web of … interesting characters were involved in this tale, including Edward R. Downe, convicted of tax and securities fraud in 1992 and co-owner of a D.C. condo with Senator Dodd,  William “Bucky” Kessinger of Kansas City, Mo., a real estate developer who sold his two-thirds of the estate to Dodd and left hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table in the process, and Galway businessman John W.M. Moore, who intervened with the Galway planning office to speed approval of proposed renovations of the cottage.

Where’s the tale?  Well, it turns out that Moore was involved in Crystal Brands of Ireland, a crystal exporting company that  employed convicted fraudster Downe, who was recorded as a witness to the real estate transaction in which Kessinger and Dodd acquired the property.  Along the way, Downe was pardoned by outgoing President William Jefferson Clinton, despite owing millions in SEC fine for his previous ”indiscretions,” apparently without having to go through a tedious Justice Department interview…

But don’t take my word for it — read for your self:

Pardon For A Friend, A Good Deal for Dodd

GOP Chairman Criticizes Dodd Real Estate Deal

Dodd’s Country Cottage (the blog post that got me started… H/T:  Jim Vicevich)

Now tell me — does it pass the sniff test?

Dodd’s Irish Country Cottage

Tell me again about how these guys inside the beltway are performing public service? Chris Dodd, (D-Countrywide) watches the housing market implode while he gets favored mortgage treatment here … and great land deals overseas partnering with felons? Perfect. Kevin Rennie continuuuuuues.

Ireland does not easily give up its secrets. That may have been one attraction it held for Sen. Christopher Dodd in 1994 when he became an owner of a refuge on nearly 10 acres on the Irish west coast. The murky tale includes a felonious inside trader, a Kansas City businessman, a presidential pardon and what appears to be a financial bonanza to Dodd during the Irish property boom.

But wait … according to Dodd’s financial disclosures … his Irish cottage never participated in the Irish property boom … curious.

Between 1994 and 2004, according to the Central Bank of Ireland, prices of existing homes (as opposed to new ones) nearly quadrupled. But not according to a 2002 bank appraisal that Dodd used in the purchase of Kessinger’s interest.

That year, a year after Dodd obtained a pardon for Downe, Dodd purchased Kessinger’s two-thirds interest in the Irish hideaway for only $127,000, according to Dodd. Irish property records obtained for this story show it as $122,351. That was slightly more than its value eight eventful years before, but much less than what might have been expected given the explosion of Irish real estate prices.

At the same time, Dodd financed the purchase of Kessinger’s share with a 20-year variable rate mortgage from an Irish bank for approximately $159,000 at 3.85 percent.

Make sure you read the whole thing twice. But here’s what I wonder … are these the kind of deals you and I could get … or do you have to be a Senator? Public service indeed.