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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TEXAS: RICK PERRY IN REZKO-LIKE LAND DEAL?

Rick Perry sold some property in 2007 and did quite well with it, turning a healthy profit. Nothing wrong with that, right? It's the American way. It's capitalism at work, right? It is, unless it's the result of political friends, favors, and back scratching. Perry bought the property from a Republican state Senator, named Troy Fraser.

The Dallas Morning News highlights some questionable details surrounding both the purchase price Perry paid in 2003 as well as what the property sold for in 2007:
At the center of the dispute is a gently sloping, half-acre grassy lot on the shore of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in the Texas Hill Country resort of Horseshoe Bay. The resort is owned by Doug Jaffe, whose family has long, deep and sometimes controversial ties to Texas politics.

Jaffe's company had sold the parcel to state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, a friend and political ally of Perry's. Fraser sold the lot to Perry for just above $300,000.

An appraiser hired by The News determined that the land actually was worth $450,000 when Perry bought it.
On its face, that is at least mildly reminiscent of the Obama / Rezko land deal in which the former paid $300,000 less for a mansion than its worth while Rezko paid the asking price for an adjacent lot. There was also a subsequent - even more suspicious - deal in which the Obamas purchased a sliver of Rezko's lot, rendering the Rezko property useless.

But I digress. How about the price Perry sold the property for in 2007?
Perry sold the property in 2007 to Alan Moffatt, a British national who is a business partner and close associate of Jaffe's....

...He paid Perry $1.15 million for the parcel. The News' appraiser, who has decades of experience in Horseshoe Bay real estate, found that price to be $350,000 above market value.
Doing some quick math here, if Perry saved $150,000 on the purchase and made an additional $350,000 on the sale of the property, he potentially benefitted more than he should have to the tune of $500,000. If you run the numbers according to the reported appraisals, Perry would have bought the property for approximately $450,000 and sold it for around $800,000 which would have yielded a $350,000 profit. Every day, law-abiding citizens would be thrilled with that. If this deal is as it appears, Perry wasn't.

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