Saturday, September 6, 2008

Self-Proclaimed Pauper, Joe Biden, is a Veritable Real Estate Millionaire

Excerpted from the Wilmington News Journal - H/T Political Punch:

Though he's considered one of the least wealthy senators... Joe Biden is a wealthy man by ordinary standards -- worth about $2 million but perhaps hundreds of thousand dollars more, a News Journal analysis found...

The former lawyer lives off Barley Mill Road in Greenville -- northern Delaware's priciest area -- on a four-acre lakefront estate in a 7,000-square-foot custom home. Biden also owns a smaller carriage house on his property, where his widowed mother lives.

Local real estate agents said the Biden property is worth at least $2.5 million -- $1.8 million more than the couple owes. In addition, his latest Senate financial disclosure -- which lists assets and liabilities in wide ranges -- shows that Biden's net worth, excluding real estate holdings and mortgage debt, is between $381,000 and minus $55,000.

Biden and his wife, Jill, an English instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College, have combined salaries of $265,500 this year. Between 2005 and 2007, Biden also received a total of $225,000 in advances for his autobiography, "Promises to Keep."

While their earnings probably would not be enough to purchase their Greenville estate today, the Bidens have managed to live in such splendor partly because of two financially rewarding real estate deals with political supporters.

In 1996, Biden sold a home in Greenville for the asking price of $1.2 million -- more than six times what he paid two decades earlier -- to John R. Cochran III, a top executive at the MBNA credit card bank that was a longtime political benefactor.... [A few months after the sale, MBNA employees contributed $62,850 to Biden's 1996 Senatorial campaign. - Source - Byron York . Biden became an early supporter of a controversial bankruptcy law, championed by MBNA and other credit card issuers..., making it more difficult for consumers to erase their debts. A report last year by Credit Suisse, concluded the law had had a “profound impact” on the country’s subprime mortgage crisis, leading directly to a rise in foreclosures. - Source New York Slimes]

In March 1996 -- one month after selling to Cochran... Biden paid $350,000 cash to real estate executive and developer Keith D. Stoltz for 4.2 vacant acres -- a long, narrow lot a few miles from Biden's old home. Stoltz had bought that same lot five years earlier for the same price.

Stephen Pyle, who sold the land to Stoltz in 1991, said he was surprised that Stoltz, who lived on a neighboring estate, did not make any profit selling to Biden. "That doesn't sound like Keith Stoltz," Pyle... said of Stoltz....

Cochran did not return numerous calls for this article...

Biden would not agree to be interviewed, campaign spokesman David Wade said in a written statement, because of "time constraints -- he's going a million miles an hour."...

A million miles an hour? How about a million dollars an hour? Heh....
Like Cochran and MBNA, Stoltz and his family have been longtime Biden supporters... Stoltz's parents, Jack and Susan Stoltz, along with his wife, Margaret, and brother Randy... have given Biden's campaigns $24,900 since 1994....

In interviews with a handful of agents, all but one of whom agreed to be identified, the value of Biden's estate, after 12 years of appreciation, was estimated at $2.5 million or higher. The land alone is now worth about $1 million, they agreed.

Agent Barbara Winnington thinks the value could be upwards of $4 million. "There's two houses and the four acres and you have to account for that," Winnington said. "That is the Greenville area, and land goes for up to $250,000 an acre." - Read in full
Joe Biden, a blue-collar candidate? Or a real estate millionaire?

Also see Steve Chapman's column in the Chicago Tribune - Joe Biden's deep (but mythical) blue-collar roots


Anonymous said...

Biden is probably one of the biggest windbags in the congress.any one who has watched him perform during hearings ,willknow that he spends his allotted time berating witnesse's never asking a direct question.Look at his record with the Senate Foreign Relation's committee,some of his pronouncements are bizaare.

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