Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dodd Unconcerned With Housing Values

In a front page above the fold story, The Hartford Courant is reporting that Sen. Chris Dodd’s Irish Cottage on Inishee island in County Galway, a picture of which is here included, has jumped in value since Dodd reported it on previous financial disclosure forms.

The 1,200-square-foot cottage was valued at about $190,000 in 2002. The most recent appraisal placed the value of the cottage at $658,000. In annual Senate financial disclosures, Dodd claimed the value of the property at never more than $250,000, an undervaluation of $408,000.

Explaining the disparity in valuation, Dodd spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said, “The value of the cottage — or of Irish real estate, generally — isn't something that the Dodds have thought much about. However, questions have been raised and they recognize that it's important to make a good-faith effort at valuation for the Senate financial disclosures. Obviously, they [the senaor and his wife Jackie Klegg Dodd] have operated well within the Senate rules — the Senate Ethics Committee confirms that — but felt it was just time to update the appraisal. There's certainly no incentive whatsoever to lowball the valuation."

The Wall Street Journal reported that, "Mr. Dodd was so uninterested in the value of those 10 acres that he tried to subdivide the property in 1998 and put up another house. No doubt because he had no idea what it was, or would be, worth."

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