Sen. Dodd has told reporters his April 1986 purchase of a posh Washington, D.C., townhouse with Edward R. Downe, then a director of Bear Stearns who in 1993 pleaded guilty of securities fraud, was "fairly routine and non-controversial." A column by Don Pesci elsewhere on this page and published reports say the men went halves on the $159,800 condo, but Mr. Downe lived elsewhere while continuing to pay half the mortgage, taxes and fees.How very convenient for Senator Dodd.
Mr. Downe never charged Sen. Dodd rent for his half of the condo, and Sen. Dodd isn't saying whether he reported the freebie as income on his tax returns. Recall that former Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle recently had to pay the feds more than $100,000 in back taxes and interest for, among other things, the free car and driver provided by a friend for three years.
But in 1986, the back-scratching Senate Ethics Committee, which continues to drag its feet on its investigation into the Countrywide mortgages, saw nothing wrong with Sen. Dodd partnering with Mr. Downe and apparently was never asked whether it's appropriate for a member of the Banking Committee to have his living expenses subsidized by a director of an investment bank.
In late 1989, Sen. Dodd bought out Mr. Downe for arguably less than his half was worth, but paid him back in spades in 2001 when he successfully lobbied Bill Clinton for a presidential pardon for Mr. Downe without the customary Justice Department review.
And this man actually had the hubris to run for president and assume that none of this would come out if he won the nomination. We can only hope that these scandals revolving around Dodd will reach a critical mass and lead the voters of Connecticut to vote for an end to his conveniently corrupt career.
UPDATE: Here's some advice for Dodd from Jim Shea, a Connecticut writer.
No, the main issue you have to resolve with voters centers on your long, drawn-out, no-shot run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2007, during which you actually rented a house in Iowa and moved your family there.Hubris from top to bottom - that's the Dodd way.
I mean, you were polling between an asterisk and the margin of error at the time, and yet you chose to do this. Frankly, people were offended you preferred to be there rather than here. And we won't even talk about all the missed Senate votes.