Monday, March 16, 2015

More Financial Questions Dog High-Flying Illinois Congressman

A new Associated Press report out of Illinois is asking questions about an eye-popping real estate deal involving U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and a wealthy Peoria automobile dealer who has figured large in Schock's extravagant congressional and campaign expenditures. Schock formed a limited liability company last year, Menards Peoria, LLC, which acquired land on which a former Menards store once sat for $300,000 from automobile dealer Jeff Green. He then managed to take out a $600,000 mortgage on that land from a bank run by other campaign donors.

This latest report comes on the heels of other disclosures that campaign donors figured in other real estate transactions Schock quickly turned for a profit, including a former luxury home Schock owned and an apartment complex once owned by a nonprofit Christian organization run by other donors and supporters. Schock's ability to purchase and flip real estate for a quick profit began while he was still in high school and purchased farmland, which a local sewage district purchased from him less than two years later for a quick profit of more than $100,000. The 33-year old Schock, who has never held a job in the private sector, reports personal wealth well in excess of $1 million on his federal financial disclosure statements.

The AP wonders how a bank would loan $600,000 for property Schock purchased for just half that amount. Other news reports questioned whether Green sold the property to Schock well below its fair market value. Neither Schock nor Heritage Bank in Peoria would answer questions about the real estate deal. A spokesman for Wisconsin-based Menard, Inc. told the AP the company is looking into Schock's use of its trademark in the company he formed to own the property it was once owned since it insists it no longer has a financial interest in the real estate.

The AP report also notes that campaign finance reports show Schock's campaign committee paid $112,000 to two of Green's dealerships after buying the land from Green, including $73,000 for the purchase of a Chevy Tahoe. While the purchase of the vehicle by his campaign is permitted under campaign finance laws, the report questions why Schock received over $1,200 in mileage reimbursement if his campaign owned a vehicle. Jeff Green also owns a private airplane on which Schock has flown frequently since his election to Congress. Green has been paid with both campaign and taxpayer dollars for those flights. A separate report rapped Schock for spending $5,000 in taxpayer money to purchase a portable podium that looks very similar to one used by President Obama.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were reporters in Indiana who covered our politicians like reporters do in other states?


Eric Morris said...

Gary, you know the powers-that-be (CIA/NSA/Goldman) occasionally offer up the proverbial court jester on a silver platter to make it look like reporters report and investigators investigate.

Anonymous said...

Did this guy come from a wealthy family, or are we expected to believe he just fell into a pile of money in high school? There's no way in hell a high school kid came up with enough cash to buy these properties or cover a downpayment for a loan, assuming a bank would loan money to a high school kid with no steady sizeable income to begin with. Nothing about this guy's real estate dealings passes the smell test - he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. And considering he has zero private sector work experience this is no coincidence. If I had this kind of knack for making money at real estate, I wouldn't bother running for the local house seat!

Gary R. Welsh said...

His father was a doctor, but I didn't get the impression he had given him the money. Schock is a cake boy. Older, powerful men in business and politics became enamored with him at a very young age and started going out of their way to help him. Why? I can think of a few reasons, but they're all pretty sick.

Josh said...

Rinos mold their young just as the dems do. Just as the 3 letter egencies do with those they wish to use. Look at the Resident of the United States, he has cia running all through him it seems.