Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aye, Laddie. 'Tis a Wee Building Down County Cork Way

The W$J is now the first big American* media outlet to "break" the story of Chris Dodd's "Irish Cottage"
The Senate Ethics Committee has been looking into possible conflicts of interest in Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's 2003 mortgages. Now questions about another Dodd real-estate adventure, this one in Ireland, should keep the Ethicists even busier. All the more because Mr. Dodd's "cottage" purchase involves a crooked stock trader for whom the Senator once did a very big political favor.
Of course, if you had been reading Free Will, you would have learned about that two weeks ago!

*English media outlets have done quite a bit of reporting on this topic, some of it going back to June 17, 2007
Mr. Dodd had good reason to add the qualifier. Senate rules call for valuations to be current and anyone who looked into the estimate would immediately spot Mr. Dodd's lowballing. A June 17, 2007 feature in Britain's Sunday Times did just that. "Diary" observed that in Roundstone "a two-bed recently made E680,000 ($918,000) and a cottage is currently on offer for E800,000." Noting Mr. Dodd's estimate of his property -- between E75,000 and E185,000 -- the diarist quipped, "to hell with the stamp duty, and form an orderly queue."
Has there EVER been a time when American media was reporting stories about scandals involving British MP's that weren't covered in England? I doubt it.

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