Pelosi’s Land Deals May Put Reid’s To Shame

By
November 14, 2006

It appears as though House Speaker to be Nancy Pelosi has her own land dealings aided by government and family connections so thick you could cut them with a knife. In fact, you may have to to unravel all the relationships.

Nancy’s husband Paul has made a fortune in Real Estate and he is or was also a Commissioner on San Francisco’s Commission on the Environment. That’s not a bad place to be if one is speculating in Real Estate, but it also isn’t the only Pelosi in the mix, as you can see below.

Pelosi, who is married to investor Paul Pelosi, has amassed a large portfolio of jointly owned real estate, including three properties in the Napa Valley. They sold an 8-acre vineyard on Skellenger Lane in Rutherford last year for $1 million to $5 million, according to her disclosure form.

Paul Pelosi’s holdings include a four-story commercial building on Belden Place in San Francisco, a retail and office building on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in San Anselmo and an ownership stake in the Auberge du Soleil resort in Napa Valley valued at $1 million to $5 million. He also has millions of dollars of shares in publicly traded companies such as Microsoft, Amazon. com and AT&T.

The couple estimated their total assets to be worth $25 million to $102 million last year, with liabilities of $6 million to $31 million. Assets are reported in broad ranges on the disclosure forms, making it difficult to determine a lawmaker’s exact net worth.

Nancy’s son Paul, Jr. appears to be President of the Commission on the Environment and also a cousin to Gavin Newsome. Isn’t that how people get appointed to these commissions? Hm?

And it appears that very lucrative contracts for development are being awarded to individuals with significant links to both Pelosi and Newsome. It also appears that Nancy was involved in transferring The Presidio from the Army to the city, where it would eventually come under control of the commission with lucrative contracts going to firms staffed by Pelosi confidants, as well as family.

Now the development seems to be moving on to a project called Treasure Island.

Who else will benefit from the arrangement? Certainly Lennar Corporation will. They are a partner with Platinum’s Treasure Island Community Developers. Lennar has experience developing former military bases, and is one of the country’s largest residential housing builders.

By what could solicitously be called a coincidence, Laurence Pelosi was president of acquisitions for Lennar. He is Nancy Pelosi’s nephew, and currently works as executive director of Morgan Stanley’s real estate division. As Newsom’s former campaign treasurer, he would have worked with Darius Anderson on the campaign fundraiser for Newsom. He’s not the only one: Doug Boxer, son of Senator Barbara Boxer, is an attorney who has worked for Anderson as a Platinum lobbyist, and has been a partner with Anderson at Kenwood Investments.

Treasure Island’s fate seems to be following that of the Presidio. In 1994, the Presidio was formally transferred from the Army to the Presidio Trust (with the edges of the site going to the National Park Service) for "public-private" development and usage opportunities. Three years later, the process started to transfer Treasure Island from the Navy to the city for development. Both transfers were initiated by former Mayor Willie Brown and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. The Treasure Island transfer was completed by Pelosi with Mayor Newsom.

Considering the grand, incestuous family that is politics, maybe it’s no surprise that Platinum’s development entity has been handed the Treasure Island bounty. Given the Pelosi and Newsom history of enthusiasm for developing the Presidio, we should hope it’s not too late to keep a close watch and short leash on Treasure Island developments. Unfortunately, this means paying attention to the entire family. That would include even the new president on the Commission on the Environment, Paul Pelosi, Jr., who is Nancy Pelosi’s son and Gavin Newsom’s cousin. As for TIDA itself, all the members are appointed by the mayor; all but one is a City Hall official.

Who else will benefit from the arrangement? Certainly Lennar Corporation will. They are a partner with Platinum’s Treasure Island Community Developers. Lennar has experience developing former military bases, and is one of the country’s largest residential housing builders.

By what could solicitously be called a coincidence, Laurence Pelosi was president of acquisitions for Lennar. He is Nancy Pelosi’s nephew, and currently works as executive director of Morgan Stanley’s real estate division. As Newsom’s former campaign treasurer, he would have worked with Darius Anderson on the campaign fundraiser for Newsom. He’s not the only one: Doug Boxer, son of Senator Barbara Boxer, is an attorney who has worked for Anderson as a Platinum lobbyist, and has been a partner with Anderson at Kenwood Investments.

A case could be made that without Platinum and Lennar playing a role, there would be no financing and Treasure Island would remain a fallow relic of an outdated military past. And without Willie Brown, Nancy Pelosi, and Gavin Newsom creating the situation for the necessary government entitlements, the land and the assets would simply sit.

Or would they? Is there really no recourse other than to deliver the choicest projects to our most skillful lobbyists? Even if everything described here is completely legal, is it right for our elected officials to hand over profits to their inner circle? Are the ethical concerns greater when those profits involve our public lands? The children of politicians are allowed to join commissions and earn a living. But how certain are we that our leaders and their friends and families have the public’s best interests in mind?

The other troubling problem is that we citizens get no substantial say in the matter, even when we know what is transpiring. We may have elected Pelosi and Newsom, but we didn’t intend to cast votes for their relatives, too. Or their friends. Or their funders. And if there are certain players who are enriching themselves so handily with our public property, it wouldn’t hurt to have a lot more transparency in the process.

I’m not suggesting any of this is illegal, but one could start to wonder how anyone else makes any money off of land in San Francisco, given that the Pelosi name seems to be all over everything.

cached here

As an aside, in the nineties, Pelosi was also named as one of the lawmakers who seemed to enjoy significant windfalls from that era’s numerous IPO’s.

The financial disclosures of the other members who traded in IPOs suggest fairly active and sophisticated trading. For example, Rep. Pelosi, one of Congress’s wealthier members, reported more trades in new stocks than any other member. All seven were listed in the name of her husband, San Francisco businessman Paul Pelosi. The trades included some of last year’s hottest IPOs, such as the Internet-related companies Netscape Communications Inc. and UUNet Technologies Inc.; both doubled in value within a day. Mr. Pelosi bought and sold between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of each within a day of the offering. He bought like amounts of stock in four other companies — Remedy Corp., Opal Inc., Legato Systems Inc. and Act Networks Inc. — right around the time of their initial offering and then sold within a month or two. He reported buying Vanguard Airlines stock around the time of its initial offering and still owned it at the end of the year.

Most if not all of Mr. Pelosi’s trades appear to have been profitable. Rep. Pelosi couldn’t be reached to comment.

And that doesn’t even get into the possibility of her employing illegal aliens at her vineyards, assuming she does.

No doubt her role as Speaker will bring greater scrutiny. It’ll be interesting to watch what may turn up as people begin looking deeper into just how the Pelosi’s have come to enjoy so much wealth.



AdSense 300×250
NewsMax Trending Now
Comments:
  1. beesknees says:

    Yawn.
    Is there an echo in here?

  2. Pelosi in Dirty Land Deal?

    The wealthiest member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Speaker Elect, Nancy Pelosi, may have been involved in questionable land deals. That, according to Dan Riehl:Nancy’s son Paul, Jr. appears to be President of the Commission on the Environme…

  3. Kitty Litter says:

    ONE WEEK LATER

    I would have preferred seeing this months ago, although I doubt that the ball-less Repubs would have acted upon this info. Oh, hell, they’ve probably known for ages. Still, this can make things interesting :~) Pelosi’s Land Deals May Put Reid’s To Sh…

  4. Web Reconnaissance for 11/14/2006

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  5. Bama mom says:

    Where’s Nat!

  6. House Republicans May Cross Party Lines To Elect A Democrat As Speaker of the House?

    The catch is, they’d be voting for supposed moderate Steny Hoyer (he of “slavish devotion” fame) rather than Nancy Pelosi. And for any of this to work, they’d need near-perfect party unity on the vote, Hoyer’s cooperation or at least…

  7. Dirty Harrys Bridge

    Sen. Harry Reid, whose failure to properly disclose that he actually owned a very valuable piece of propertyone that became valuable through interesting city council votingwhich was explained away as just an accounting oversight&#8…

  8. Agricola says:

    A New Congress – A Rememberance of Things Past?

    The People have spoken, democracy has been re-affirmed, and a new Congress will convene in January to chart a New Direction for our nation. As good politicians do, the Democratic Party took a stand early in the election campaign this

  9. IM Not Saying Pelosi Is Guilty

    of Cronyism (isnt that what she vowed to end when she takes over as House Speaker?) but Riehl World View has some damning evidence that says contrary. Im not saying its illegal in any way, but it looks shady and reeks of cronyism.

  10. Nancy Pelosi and the Treasure Island treasure chest

    If the GOP Congressional minority had the same degree of ruthlessness as their Democrat counterparts, or if there were a conservative George Soros ready to find opposition research, I would wager that some mighty interesting information could be dug up…