Sunday, August 8, 2010

In the Florida Democratic Race for the US Senate it is Pot Vs Kettle

The following just popped up in my inbox:

fromJeff Greene For Florida
dateSun, Aug 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM
subjectKendrick Meek Should Return $5,500 Received From Rangel
For Immediate Release: August 8, 2010

Contact: Luis Vizcaino - 561-281-9703

Or email:


West Palm Beach, FL - Today, Jeff Greene called on Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to step down immediately in light of the ethics violations findings. Greene also called on Rep Kendrick Meek to join him and President Obama in asking Rep Rangel to resign and for Meek to immediately return the $5,500 he received from Rep. Rangel.

"Kendrick Meek should join me, President Obama and other Democrats in calling for Charlie Rangel to resign in light of clear evidence he abused his position by raising money from businesses he was trying to help in Congress," Jeff Greene said Sunday. "The allegations against Rangel are eerily similar to evidence that Meek's friends and family were getting cars and cash from a developer he was trying to help secure $4 million in taxpayer money."

Greene's action today follows the recent comments by President Obama about Rangel: "These allegations are very troubling. I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is that that happens."

Greene said Sunday: "Charlie Rangel asked Speaker Pelosi and the House ethics committee to investigate his alleged wrongdoing. Now Kendrick Meek should also ask for his colleagues to get to the bottom of the allegations against him. Kendrick Meek should follow President Obama's lead and tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it's time for Rangel to go. He should also return the $5,500 he's received from Rangel's campaign committee and leadership PAC."

Other Democrats have already returned or given to charity $650,000 in donations from Rangel. After a two-year investigation, the House Ethics Committee charged Rangel with 13 violations of House ethics rules. The charges involve blatantly corrupt use of his position as a veteran congressman to pry money from businesses he could help with legislation, as well as failures to disclose income and assets.

The St. Petersburg Times has called for an ethics investigation into Kendrick Meek for apparently using his position in Congress improperly through a potential "pay-to-play" relationship with developer Dennis Stackhouse, who has been charged with stealing more than $1 million designated for a biotech park he never built.

While Kendrick was trying to get $4 million of taxpayer money for Stackhouse, Stackhouse was giving Kendrick's mom $90,000, a new Cadillac, and free office space. Stackhouse also lent Kendrick Meek's chief of staff $13,000.
Every word that Greene says about Meek is true.  However, if there was ever a man who needs to remove the plank from his own eye before going after the speck in his opponent's, it is Jeff Greene.  If Kendrick Meek is the kettle, than surely Jeff Greene is the pot.
Greene, who become a billionaire by betting the American families would lose their homes, has some ethical lapses of his own.  Ever hear of The Oasis?  It is an apartment complex that billionaire Greene owns:
Greene's company bought Oasis the following year for $2.48 million, or about $13,000 a unit. That is less than two years' rent on a three-bedroom duplex.

Kern County records show Greene's company owes $106,384.75 in taxes on the Oasis units, with some bills dating back to 2006. Greene denies any taxes are due. He says he paid them in full.

Greene's brother, Gary, is in charge of the property, but his maintenance supervisor said there is not enough profit to fix the place up.

``The money coming in doesn't equal the money going out,'' said John Houston, who was fixing roofs on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Of 189 units at Oasis, 40 are vacant, boarded up. Some are burned out, others now squatters' party houses. Greene said he would love to rent the units but can't attract tenants.
Greene can't get people to move into a slum?  Fancy that.  Well, if you have never heard of The Oasis maybe you have heard of The Mirage:

RIDGECREST, Calif. — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene says he had nothing to do with creating the sub-prime mortgage mess that made him fabulously wealthy.

He was simply a savvy investor who "could see that the housing market was imploding" and lucky enough to make more than $500 million by betting against it.

But he wasn't just a spectator to the housing collapse. Four years ago, Greene was party to precisely the kind of deal that decimated the market.

Greene insists he did nothing wrong. Yet the way he handled the deal left an opening for massive fraud and put him uncomfortably close to a man now under federal indictment.

The setting: this remote desert town at the edge of Death Valley. At a project called La Mirage, Greene converted 1950s-era military housing from apartments to 300 condos. In the summer of 2006, just as he was starting to make his bets against the sub-prime housing market, official records show that Greene's company unloaded the units, some for as much as $165,000. The buyers turned out to be people who never intended to own the properties or pay back the loans.

Local residents, who referred to the complex of single-story duplexes and triplexes as "Criminal Gardens," were stunned at the sale prices. Even in the midst of real estate hysteria, they seemed over the top.

Within 18 months, all of the La Mirage buyers defaulted on their loans and every condo was in foreclosure. Low-income tenants, still paying rent and unaware their apartments had been sold, found themselves on the street. Lenders recouped about $25,000 per unit when the properties went up for auction. Banks — and ultimately U.S. taxpayers who bailed out the banks — were left holding the bag on nearly $34 million of worthless paper.

Now James Delbert McConville, Greene's counterpart in the transaction, is in jail facing criminal charges of conspiracy and money laundering stemming in part from the La Mirage transaction. The assistant U.S. attorney says the FBI is still trying to put a dollar figure on McConville's alleged fraud, and is ramping up its investigation of the La Mirage deal.
Kendrick Meek isn't going to get a pass from me, but I'm not sure that Greene, a man who treats his employees like subhuman garbage and even tried to get out of paying a Workman's Comp claim, should be the one tossing around charges of ethics violations.

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