Dennis Hastert Has No Conscience
Nobody should care about how much money Dennis Hastert withdraws from his bank accounts. The federal government should not require banks to report anything regarding the banking habits of American citizens.
It is absurd that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is indicting Dennis Hastert for trying to conceal his bank withdrawals. Why does the DOJ require banks to report withdrawals of $10,000 or more? The DOJ claims it has banks fill out Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) for public safety reasons. The DOJ claims it is nabbing terrorists, drug dealers, and money launderers by requiring banks to report on customers who make $10,000 withdrawals.
How many terrorist plots have been prevented by SARs? Has any criminal been captured using a SAR? No! The requirement is just another example of government tyranny disguised as public safety. Big government politicians and their army of bureaucrats are very good at turning big government overreach into a virtue.
The story that is being floated is that he was making withdrawals because he was being blackmailed by a former student he molested when he was a teacher and coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois. The student was allegedly shaking Hastert down for $3.5 million in hush money. I don’t know if Hastert molested anybody when he was working at Yorkville High School, but I do know he was a sleazeball during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a shining example of what’s wrong with the politicians in Washington, DC.
Hastert prominently appears in Peter Schweizer’s book, Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism that Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison. When Hastert won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986, he owned a farm in Shipman, Illinois worth between $50,000 and $100,000. He had other assets worth approximately $170,000. Hastert was not a rich man when he entered Congress, but by the time he left he had a reported net worth of $11 million. How do you suppose he was able to make millions while he was a public servant dedicated to serving his constituents in his home district?
Hastert took full advantage of being part of the permanent political class. He used his position in Congress to turn a land deal into millions for him and a few of his cronies. In 2002, Hastert bought a 195-acre farm on Little Rock Creek in Kendall County, Illinois. He made the purchase just before the state’s transportation secretary, Kirk Brown, approved the design of a land corridor for a road called the Prairie Parkway. Schweizer writes in Throw Them All Out:
The farm was just 2.4 miles from the parkway corridor and 5 miles from the nearest proposed highway interchange. In February 2004, Hastert and two partners made a second land purchase. They formed a trust and bought another 69 acres right by the interchange in Plano, Illinois. They paid $15,000 an acre. Hastert reported this on his financial disclosure form, but his name does not appear on real estate records. Instead, Kendall County public records show that a Little Rock Trust #225 acquired the property.
The Prairie Parkway was necessary because the Robert Arthur Land Company was developing a residential community in the area. What usually follows neighborhoods? Retail stores! People in the suburbs need houses, roads, and retail stores. The State of Illinois had approved the Prairie Parkway, and the Kendall County Board approved the “construction of an interchange on nearby Glena Road.” Who was going to pay for the Prairie Parkway and interchange on Glena Road? The State of Illinois is broke. Kendall County is a rural county that has limited funds. Where will the money come from to purchase the land and build the roads?
The American taxpayer bought Hastert’s land and built the Prairie Parkway. Really?! Two months after Hastert purchased the land, he inserted a $207 million earmark into the federal highway budget bill to build the Prairie Parkway. Hastert used his position in Congress to funnel $207 million of your tax dollars to enrich himself and his cronies. Hastert’s land deal is legal and all too common in DC.
Hastert’s nefarious actions while he was a Republican representative in Congress is the problem, not his bank withdrawals. Hastert is of bad moral character. He is an unethical person who represents everything that is wrong with America’s political system.