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How Senator Harry Reid Became a Multimillionaire

Written by Gary North on August 20, 2012

The answer is simple: careful investing.

Cynics say that he put his money with the George Washington Plunkitt Fund. It always produces spectacular returns.

Wikipedia says that George Washington Plunkitt (1842–1924) was a long-time New York State Senator was part of what is known as New York’s Tammany Hall political machine. Plunkitt became wealthy by practicing what he called “honest graft” in politics. He was a cynically honest practitioner of what today is generally known as “machine politics,” patronage-based and frank in its exercise of power for personal gain. In one of his speeches, quoted in Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, he describes the difference between dishonest and honest graft: for dishonest graft one worked solely for one’s own interests, while for honest graft one pursued the interests of one’s party, one’s state, and one’s personal interests all together.

He made most of his money through land purchases, which he knew would be needed for public projects. He would buy such parcels, then resell them at an inflated price. (This was “Honest Graft”. “Dishonest Graft” according to Plunkitt, would be buying land and then using influence to have a project built on it.) He defends himself, saying, “I could get nothin’ at a bargain but a big piece of swamp, but I took it fast enough and held on to it. What turned out was just what I counted on. They couldn’t make the park complete without Plunkitt’s swamp, and they had to pay a good price for it. Anything dishonest in that?” Plunkitt is also remembered for the line he used to defend his actions: “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.”

What has all this got to do with Harry Reid? Nothing, of course, although he dis make a lot of his money in land. We read this in a recent report.

He had managed to get $18 million set aside to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin, Nev., and Bullhead City, Ariz., a project that wasn’t a priority for either state’s transportation agency. His ownership of 160 acres of land nearby that stood to appreciate considerably from the project had nothing to do with the decision, according to one of his aides. The property’s value has varied since then. On his financial-disclosure forms from 2006, it was valued at $250,000 to $500,000. Open Secrets now lists it as his most valuable asset, worth $1 million to $5 million as of 2010.

How Reid acquired that land is interesting, too. He put $10,000 into a pension fund his friend Clair Haycock controlled, to take over the 160-acre parcel at a price far below its assessed value. Six months later, Reid introduced legislation that would help Haycock’s industry, a move many observers said appeared to be a quid pro quo, though Reid and Haycock denied that the legislation was the result of a property deal.

It was must one of those things. One of those crazy things. So was this.

In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.” Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal — a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

For more juicy deals you and I missed out on, read the article.

Continue Reading on www.nationalreview.com

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14 thoughts on “How Senator Harry Reid Became a Multimillionaire

  1. Harry Reid took advantage of his position. It is no different than insider trading and deserves to be in jail. Apparently, once you are elected, all rules go out the window and you can do anything.

  2. The only way to stop this is unfortunately to take a page from the book of Communist China. Several years ago a Chinese toy manufacturing company executive took a bribe to allow an inferior and toxic paint to be used on a run of dolls to be exported to the US and other western countries. When the lead paint was exposed, there was an outrage that threatened to endanger Chinas ability to export goods due to safety concerns. He was arrested in the morning and tried. He was found guilt in the afternoon and executed by firing squad. Who is next? Case closed.

  3. Henry Brauchler, GA says:

    Harry Reid, the walking stiff, is a disgrace to this Nation and should have been jailed long ago !!!

  4. shorewater says:

    I don't envy Harry Reid. One day he will be called to account and if he never repented and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, will go to hell. That is true of everyone but is not politically correct to say it.

  5. Abraham Obama says:

    Yes but according to the Evangelical Christian theology once you are saved all your sins past, present, and future are forgiven and you go to Heaven regardless of what you do. Perhaps Harry accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior many years ago. If so does that mean that he will actually go to heaven???

    Another question? How do you know he did not already accept Jesus as his savior?

  6. watchdogman says:

    Perp walk…that is what I would love to see…All Democrats, which include Reid, Pelosi and so many other crooks in the Dim party…and some in the Repub party…

  7. Rules for our federal government representatives for senators, one must remember are made up by the very persons who are supposed to be looking after the interests of America, obviously letting murders set their own sentences or training foxes to guard the hen house. Comfortable American citizens have allowed corruption to rule in our governments by simply remaining fat, dumb and happy! Our form of government is meant to be by and for the people (all legal American citizens), but our complacency has allowed a group from a single parasitic occupation (lawyers, attorneys and law practitioners) to confound, confuse and otherwise corrupt and errode our constitution and freedoms, while empowering themselves and setting themselves above the rule of law, which it forces upon the people. America and it's leaders have lost the very values that were once held sacred, honesty, honor, patriotism and loyalty. My message is wake-up America.


  9. William 1 says:

    Reid is a selfish immoral capitalist hanging onto the communistic line to gain ore and when they turn on him -by by Reid!

  10. VoiceOfReason says:

    I Could support that treatment for Reid!

  11. devilrider says:

    Has anyone ever investigated Harry Reid’s relationship to the NY and Chicago mobs while he was on the Nevada Gaming Commission, way back when?

  12. devilrider says:

    Harry Reid should be arrested.

  13. Actually it is much different from insider trading. Reid used the monopoly force of government and it’s guns to acquire his wealth through legislative influences. Insider trading has no act of property rights violation if not specifically contracted between individuals. It is only trading with information just as I trade my “insider knowledge” of medicine to my patient in profit seeking exchanges. Walter Block puts for this argument very well if you wish to search a bit.

  14. libertarian jerry says:

    The people who should be arrested and charged,if it was possible, are the buffoons who voted into power this corrupt politician..