Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Filling the hole: Today's San Diego Union-Tribune has an article which makes substantial progress on filling a gaping hole I identified in an earlier story on possible corruption by Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
Said San Diego Realtor Christian Peter: "In November 2003, property values increased approximately 20 percent on a year-to-year basis in San Diego County. A $700,000 loss would be unheard of, and anyone who bought property in 2003 and held onto it for any period of time should have made a significant amount of profit."
A Copley News Service review of the comps for Cunningham's neighborhood during the approximate time of the sale show an array of houses of vastly different sizes and views selling for $700,000 to $1.7 million.
This indicates that Todd might have set the price at the high end of the range when she set it at $1,675,000. However, the eight months it languished on the market and its subsequent sale for $975,000 during a seller's market suggest a value closer to the low end, according to real estate professionals interviewed for this article.
The only other thing I'd like to have seen as a reader was a graphic or table showing the $700,000 house, Cunningham's house and the $1.7 million house and the various vital statistics (lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms, baths, amenities). From what appears in the article, the sense that you get from the realtors is that the $1.675 million price paid by the defense contractor is seriously out of whack.
The House ethics committee needs to get over its partisan wrangling, get their ducks in a row and start investigating this transaction. The FBI and federal prosecutors should follow suit.
Cunningham may be innocent, but right now I wouldn't bet a cent on that possibility.