disclose, denny

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hastert's finances

another point from miguel - Hastert has never been rich. His personal finance details can be found here at opensecrets - his net worth is measured in the hundreds of thousands - a rank pauper by congressfolk standards. This is not surprising, given that he spent "16 years of teaching and coaching at Yorkville High School." (link)

One possible implication of this is that he was possibly susceptible to "tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information." (link)

Putting two kids through school can be kinda expensive, huh Denny?

The other possible implication is that Hastert didn't actually receive, at least not directly, the purported $500,000 that was apparently the price discussed for pulling the Armenian Genocide resolution. Of course, just because the money doesn't appear in his official statements doesn't mean that it was never paid. There are plenty of ways to hide the money - for example, in the freezer, or in french commodes, or by employing family members, or many other variations.

With the family member option in mind, I had a quick look at Hastert's family. As it happens, he has two sons (this from 2002):
"Joshua, 27, the oldest, in 1999 ran a record label and record store in DeKalb known locally as Seven Dead Arson, a name inspired by a news headline. After Hastert became speaker, Joshua moved to Washington and became a lobbyist, one of the rare ones who work the Capitol with a pierced ear. This summer, Joshua Hastert was named a principal member of the lobbying firm Federal Legislative Associates.

Joshua Hastert says his father has not changed much as speaker. He says key to his father’s style is “making sure everyone’s side is heard.”

His younger brother Ethan, 24, just wrapped up a stint as an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff and is now at Northwestern University’s law school."
I wouldn't normally like to bring family into this - but given that one son worked for Cheney, and another is a newbie lobbyist, I figure they might be worth a closer look given that both Cheney and nepotism in lobbying seems to be the flavours of the day.

This from WaPo in 2003:
"Joshua Hastert, who represents high-tech and small businesses at Federal Legislative Associates, will not approach his father but has not ruled out lobbying other House leaders, Hastert spokesman John Feehery said."
"Hastert's son jumped to a bigger firm last year, Podesta Mattoon, where the Speaker's close adviser, Daniel Mattoon, is a name partner"
And then this from the Boston Globe last month:
"The website promoting the lobbying services of Joshua Hastert is enticing: ''Josh has long-standing relationships with numerous offices on Capitol Hill and in the administration as well as a unique understanding of the legislative process."

Unique, indeed. Hastert is the son of J. Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, making him one of dozens of high-powered lobbyists with family connections to members of Congress. Joshua Hastert, who says he does not lobby House Republican leaders, is registered as a lobbyist for clients ranging from Amgen, a biotech company, to Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor."
As noted, nepotism and lobbying in DC go together like a horse and carriage, love & marriage... so nothing unique there at all.

Ethan graduated Northwestern University’s law school in 2005 - his other claim to fame was in 2004:
"(AP) -- A son of House Speaker Dennis Hastert was arrested Saturday on charges including driving under the influence of alcohol, the speaker's office said.

Ethan Hastert was cited for several offenses, including DUI, in the early-morning hours, according to a press release from Hastert's office.

"It's regrettable, but as always, Ethan enjoys my love and full support in the face of this difficult situation,'' Hastert, R-Ill., said in the statement. "Now, we must respect the legal process while this matter is resolved.''

Hastert's spokesman, John McGovern, declined to elaborate, referring questions to police."
I'm not sure what the 'several offenses' were - for some reason this story didn't get picked up very much. It was one of those AP stories that wasnt picked up on the wires - I only found one mention of it. (although the NYT carried it )

I hope he was doing drugs - although the thought of any Hastert at a rave with his shirt off is somewhat disconcerting - mostly because:
"Chairman Hastert had broad oversight for the Departments of State, Defense and Justice, as well as the nation's War on Drugs..."
in any case, Hastert probably could have done with some extra funds in those early years.

another question that Miguel asked:
"why did the Turks start putting Hastert on the payroll in the 1996-1997 time frame? Hastert did not become House Speaker until 1999. Before then, he was Chief Deputy Whip. I believe Dick Armey was Majority Leader and Tom Delay was Whip.

Why did the Turkish mafia guys choose Hastert instead of Delay, Armey or Gingrich?"
I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe because it was cheap? Maybe they already had Delay, Armey & Gingrich on the payroll? Maybe because Hastert was involved in the War on Drugs(TM)? I'm not sure when his involvement in the WoD began - perhaps Hastert joined the WoD at the request of the Turkish mafia who relied on the 'War' for their profits...

cross-posted at wotitisgood4


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