Daily Archives: January 15, 2016

I thought anyone with enough money could buy an election?

jeb bush

I don’t get it

Super Pac spending fails to lift Jeb.

In the first 12 days of the year, a super PAC backing Jeb Bush spent more than $13.5 million in Iowa, New Hampshire and other states on ads and direct mail promoting the former Florida governor and attacking his rivals.

That amount is more than super PACs spent in the entire year leading up to the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

Since the campaign season began last year, super PACs have spent more than $109 million to trumpet the major candidates for the Republican nomination, a Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Election Commission filings shows.

By contrast, super PACs in 2011 spent just $6.4 million in support of their candidates.

The $60.9 million that Right to Rise, the super PAC backing Mr. Bush, has reported spending this election cycle on advertising has done little to budge the candidate’s poll numbers. Mr. Bush has the support of less than 5% of Republican voters nationally, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls. By contrast, Donald Trumphas led in national polling and in New Hampshire, site of the second nominating contest, for months, while super PACs have spent only about $170,600 to promote his candidacy, according to the FEC filings.

It seems that, while politicians can be bought and sold like street whores, voters are more selective.


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Well if one was going to show up anywhere, you’d expect to see it in Fairfield County


So, where’s the nearest yacht club?

Rare white squirrel spotted in Westport


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Spec house on Lita Drive has a contract, and other real estate news

6 Lita Drive

6 Lita Drive

No. 6, built on land purchased in 2014 for $1.271 million, was asking $3.650 for the past 3 months and is now under contract. Back when it sold as land, I expressed surprise that anyone would pay so much for an undersized lot carved out of a rocky hill, but someone did, and obviously made a nice profit here. No. 10 sold after this land sale, for $3,567,500, so I guess that gave the end buyer here confidence. I guess.

257 Shre Road

257 Shore Road

257 Shore Road, in Greenwich, has sold for $2.275 million. Agent claims the property has “potential” to be subdivided, and originally priced it at $3.1. Its final selling price suggests that there turned out to be no such potential, or the buyer decided that even two lots , here, weren’t worth that much.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 4.37.10 PM

8 Webb Avenue

5 Webb Avenue, Old Greenwich, closed at $884,000. It’s a nice, clean house, which could stand a new kitchen and other updates, but for this area of Old Greenwich, I understand why it sold so quickly. Inventory in this range is frustratingly almost non-existent, as clients of mine (and everyone else’s) have discovered.

54 Shore Road

54 Shore Road

54 Shore Road, also in Old Greenwich, sold for $2.7 million.

35 Winding Lane

35 Winding Lane

And in the price cut department, 35 Winding Lane, a spec house originally priced at $7.850 million two years ago, is still looking for a buyer, and has taken what amounts to a rounding error off its last price of $6.995. It can now be yours for $6.750.

Nothing wrong with the house, if that’s your taste, and Winding Lane isn’t a bad street (though it can be busy) but the land this was built on sucks. Ogilvy listed the original teardown here for $3.250 million back in 2010 and it took three years to find a buyer, who, wisely, paid just $1.750 for it. I say “wisely”, because he still has a huge amount of room here to make a profit, regardless of what it eventually sells for.


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State capitols are benefiting from an invasion of parasites


“Because that’s where the money is.” Willie Sutton, on why he robbed banks

WSJ: Crowded out of D.C., lobbyists expand into the states 

Days are busy not only for Mr. Geer, who represents the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, but for a new army of lobbyists and interest groups swarming state capitals around the U.S. Businesses and industries seeking relief from the gridlock of Washington are taking to the states such issues as gun regulation, minimum wages and energy.

The wheeling-and-dealing atmosphere is generating the kind of jobs that helped turn Washington, D.C., into one of the wealthiest areas in the U.S. While the November national election has focused attention on the U.S. Capitol and White House, a string of legislative boomtowns are sprouting in state capitals from Raleigh, N.C., to Madison, Wis, to Albany, N.Y., fueled by national businesses and organizations seeking more local influence.

Counties encompassing the 50 state capitals are doing better than the rest of the U.S.: Only eight saw average wages decline from 2004 to 2014, compared with a 30% decline for all other counties over the same period. Half of the 50 counties have significantly lower unemployment rates—a half percent or more—than their statewide average.

In Ingham County, for example, the home of Lansing, growth in families earning more than $100,000 a year—as well as median family income—outpaced the state as a whole.

The federal mandate on carbon has drawn new faces to Lansing, Mr. Nofs said: “Solar City has visited us, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club… They come themselves, but they are being supported by outside interests, California interests, big interests.”

The reason, he said, is simple: “All these interests know that when one state adopts something other states are going to read it and look at it. That is going to set a precedent out there that everyone is worried about.”

There was a time when state legislators could only look on with envy as their Washington counterparts raked in the loot. Now that they’ve discovered that our courts won’t rein in their own power to disrupt and micro-mange the economy, they’ve joined the fray. Propose almost anything, no matter how preposterous, and strangers will show up at your door, bearing suitcases of cash.

It’s magic.


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