Another corrupt Democratic Congressman the news media won't cover

Ed Lasky

If he were Republican would that help prompt coverage by the New York Times?

Yes, they are taking on Charles Rangel, a Democratic Congressman and Chairman of the powerful ways and Means Committee who has been mired in a variety of ethical and legal problems. Does the Times ration coverage of Democratic malfeasance? Even if the Congressman in question may take over the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama?

Luis Gutierrez, a long-time Democratic Congressman from the machine-ridden cesspool of Chicago politics, engaged in a series of sweetheart real estate deals with campaign donors that netted him more than $400,000 in seemingly risk-free profits. These include deals involving zoning changes that were pushed by the Congressman and his close political allies. These efforts are being investigated by the Federal government.

Who else is in the picture? Tony Rezko, the Chicago political fixer awaiting sentencing now after being found guilty in a corruption probe. Rezko is a good friend and neighbor of President-elect Barack Obama who he also assisted with curious real estate transactions.

 

When U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez was looking to buy in the sizzling Bucktown real estate market, he teamed up with a developer and longtime political donor who sold him a plot of land and built him a new home.

And when the congressman decided not to move into the home, the developer, Krzysztof Karbowski, was there to buy it back.

Gutierrez walked away with nearly $200,000.

 

How nice it must be to be able to flip a house for a nice 200,000 dollar profit to the very person who sold the property to you. If only the rest of us were able to find such deals.

Wait, there is more:

 

In half a dozen deals with campaign supporters since 2002, Gutierrez has made about $421,000 by investing his money in real estate deals and exiting a short time later. The congressman says he made a profit in five of those deals but lost a small amount of money on the sixth.

Gutierrez said his real estate investments were appropriate and that he shared the same risk as any other investor.

"I don't believe in the stock market," Gutierrez said. "It always causes conflicts of interest."

Among the reasons his real estate dealings do not cause conflicts, Gutierrez has said, is that he never interferes in local zoning matters. But the Tribune reported in October that Gutierrez sent a letter to Mayor Richard Daley seeking support for a controversial project built by one of the congressman's political donors who also had lent him money. The newspaper reported that federal authorities investigating zoning matters have shown interest in the Gutierrez letter.

Further, Karbowski and several of the developers who did real estate deals with Gutierrez obtained key zoning changes for other projects from Ald. Manuel Flores (1st), his former aide and political ally.

Gutierrez has bought and sold properties with five campaign donors, including convicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.


Welcome to Chicago politics where zoning changes can reap huge profits for the politically well-connected.

 


If he were Republican would that help prompt coverage by the New York Times?

Yes, they are taking on Charles Rangel, a Democratic Congressman and Chairman of the powerful ways and Means Committee who has been mired in a variety of ethical and legal problems. Does the Times ration coverage of Democratic malfeasance? Even if the Congressman in question may take over the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama?

Luis Gutierrez, a long-time Democratic Congressman from the machine-ridden cesspool of Chicago politics, engaged in a series of sweetheart real estate deals with campaign donors that netted him more than $400,000 in seemingly risk-free profits. These include deals involving zoning changes that were pushed by the Congressman and his close political allies. These efforts are being investigated by the Federal government.

Who else is in the picture? Tony Rezko, the Chicago political fixer awaiting sentencing now after being found guilty in a corruption probe. Rezko is a good friend and neighbor of President-elect Barack Obama who he also assisted with curious real estate transactions.

 

When U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez was looking to buy in the sizzling Bucktown real estate market, he teamed up with a developer and longtime political donor who sold him a plot of land and built him a new home.

And when the congressman decided not to move into the home, the developer, Krzysztof Karbowski, was there to buy it back.

Gutierrez walked away with nearly $200,000.

 

How nice it must be to be able to flip a house for a nice 200,000 dollar profit to the very person who sold the property to you. If only the rest of us were able to find such deals.

Wait, there is more:

 

In half a dozen deals with campaign supporters since 2002, Gutierrez has made about $421,000 by investing his money in real estate deals and exiting a short time later. The congressman says he made a profit in five of those deals but lost a small amount of money on the sixth.

Gutierrez said his real estate investments were appropriate and that he shared the same risk as any other investor.

"I don't believe in the stock market," Gutierrez said. "It always causes conflicts of interest."

Among the reasons his real estate dealings do not cause conflicts, Gutierrez has said, is that he never interferes in local zoning matters. But the Tribune reported in October that Gutierrez sent a letter to Mayor Richard Daley seeking support for a controversial project built by one of the congressman's political donors who also had lent him money. The newspaper reported that federal authorities investigating zoning matters have shown interest in the Gutierrez letter.

Further, Karbowski and several of the developers who did real estate deals with Gutierrez obtained key zoning changes for other projects from Ald. Manuel Flores (1st), his former aide and political ally.

Gutierrez has bought and sold properties with five campaign donors, including convicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.


Welcome to Chicago politics where zoning changes can reap huge profits for the politically well-connected.