Yet another Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R) update …
Apparently neither Cunningham or his staff would take calls. But his office did release a statement. And in that statement he cuts to what has to be the central issue: Was $1.675 million a reasonable market value for the house or not?
The fact that it sold again for well under a million dollars less than a year later points strongly to the conclusion that the price was inflated. But was there an appraisal at the <$Ad$>time? And what were the comps?
In his statement Cunningham says: “Mr. Wade was interested in purchasing our home. He received comparables from an independent source establishing the value of the home. He made an offer based on that evaluation. Nancy and I accepted that offer. I have no reason to believe the value of the house was inflated then, and I have no reason to think so today. (emphasis added)”
But other news accounts seem to suggest that the ‘independent source’ was Elizabeth Todd, who happens to be a major campaign contributor to Cunningham.
Now, just because she gave Cunningham large campaign contributions in the past doesn’t mean the comps she assembled weren’t legit. And it is probably fair to say that major real estate operators are often contributors to their local member of Congress.
But her independence is certainly open to question.
As far as I know, none of the reports on this question that I’ve seen have had a look at the actual comps Todd assembled, which suported the $1.675 million purchase price.
Isn’t that the next obvious place to go in this story?