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Chris Dodd’s Irish getaway won’t go away

By Laurie Bennett

June 16, 2009 at 9:11am

Household finances continue to dog Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

First there were reports on the favorable loans he received from subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial. Critics say he benefitted from sweetheart deals as a friend of Angelo Mozilo, former chairman and CEO of Countrywide.

Then there are the board entanglements of his wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, in some of the same health companies Dodd is regulating as a member of Senate Committee on Health.

Christopher Dodd
Christopher Dodd

And now there’s the getaway in Ireland, a house on Inishnee island in County Galway. Since 2002, Dodd had listed the value of the property as up to $250,000. After mounting criticism that he was undervaluing the home, he filed a financial disclosure form released last week raising its value to $658,000. This, despite plummeting real estate values in Ireland over the past two years.

Dodd had purchased the property with Kansas City real estate developer William Kessinger, whom he met through friend and campaign contributor Edward Reynolds Downe Jr. (Dodd successfully lobbied President Clinton in 2001 to grant Downe a pardon on charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and subscribing to false income tax returns.)

Dodd bought Kessinger’s interest in the Irish property in 2002.

As Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie notes, Dodd has given different amounts when asked how much he paid Kessinger. Dodd’s office said in February that he paid Kessinger $127,000. The following month, he told the Courant he paid $50,000 more. And last month Dodd told Newsweek he paid Kessinger $207,000.

Newsweek was moved to publish a story titled, Like father, like son, pointing out that Thomas Dodd, who also served as a senator from Connecticut, ended his career in ignominy. The elder Dodd was censured by the Senate in 1967 for allegedly diverting campaign funds for personal use.

Thomas Dodd lost his bid for re-election and died in 1971.

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1 Comments

  • #1.   Good Lt. 06.17.2009

    Two words:

    TERM LIMITS.

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