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How legislators make money on the side

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A book shop grossed US Senator Tammy Duckworth more than $ 380,000 last year, before her memoir was recently published, according to federal documents.

The Hoffman Estates Democrat was the only member of the Congressional delegation representing the west, northwest, or northern suburbs to benefit from the release last year, according to a Daily Herald analysis of their latest financial reports.

But all 10 lawmakers reported assets and sources of income in excess of their annual salary of $ 174,000. They ranged from bank accounts and mutual funds to ownership interests in private companies.

What the forms show

The disclosure reports are submitted annually by members of the House and Senate and are transparency tools designed to uncover potential conflicts of interest.

They contain information about the source, type, and amount of a legislature’s income, including personal investment, spouse income and investment, paid travel, gifts, contracts, and funds from other sources. Debt must also be reported.

House and Senate candidates and some members of Congress are also required to file disclosure reports.

The reports are due on May 15th. Extensions are common.

The reports are public and can be accessed online at “disclosures-clerk.house.gov” and “efdsearch.senate.gov”.

Duckworth’s book

Duckworth’s memoir “Every Day Is a Gift” was published in March by Twelve, an imprint of the Hatchette Book Group. A paperback publication is planned for March 2022.

According to the annual disclosure report filed in May, Hatchette paid her $ 382,500 in 2020. The sum was an advance payment for future royalties, a Duckworth spokesman confirmed.

Duckworth also reported personal and family assets, including stocks, mutual funds, and bank accounts.

In addition, she filed a periodic transaction report in April showing that she and her husband sold shares in Verizon Communications, Illinois Tool Works, and Walt Disney Co. that month. Sales ranged between $ 17,003 and $ 80,000 in total, the report shows. Only areas are required.

Durbin’s investments

Senior U.S. Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin of Springfield, received an extension and submitted his 2020 annual report in August.

Among his investments, Durbin listed 123 stocks in pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the maker of a COVID-19 vaccine, Viagra, and more. Durbin valued the stock position at $ 4,519 at the time and reported receiving dividend payments of $ 187 last year.

Durbin bought the stock more than a decade ago and has not changed his position during that time, spokeswoman Emily Hampsten said.

“(It) offers a modest dividend,” she said.

Durbin also owned various independently managed mutual funds, a house in Springfield and a condo in Chicago.

Castens shops

Fighting climate change was a political priority for US MP Sean Casten, a Downers Grove Democrat who represents the 6th District of Illinois. As a member of the House Energy and Environment subcommittees, Casten has raised environmental concerns through campaigning, meeting with voters, and on social media.

Casten’s latest financial report, filed in August, showed that he has interests in two energy companies.

One is a Minnesota waste recycling and energy company called GOE Capital Partners. The other is a Californian company called Greenleaf Power that converts biological material into energy.

When asked about the investments, Casten spokeswoman Emilia Rowland said the agent had “no commercial or other control over Greenleaf and GOE Capital Partners.”

Casten is no stranger to the energy industry. Prior to joining Congress, he co-founded a company called Recycled Energy Development and ran another energy company called Turbosteam.

Its other reported assets include mutual funds, cash, and real estate.

Casten also reported on a February 2020 trip to Colorado funded by the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit group focused on environmental challenges, economic inequality, and other topics. Rowland said he participated in a series of discussions organized by the group on energy. The institute covered travel expenses, accommodation and meals.

Quigley’s journey

United States MP Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat whose 5th district includes parts of Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, and other suburbs, was the only other member of the suburban delegation to disclose paid travel. Quigley traveled to Japan in February 2020, his report revealed.

The seven-day trip was a study tour funded by the United States Association of Former Members of Congress. It included travel, food, and lodging for Quigley and his wife.

Quigley’s post-trip disclosure form indicated that several lawmakers were participating in the trip, which was co-funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, a group dedicated to strengthening US-Japan relations.

Kinzinger’s shares

U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican in Illinois’ 16th district, listed an interest in a company called Prosper Funding when he filed his annual disclosure report in late July. The California-based organization connects borrowers with investors.

Kinzinger also bought and sold equity positions in four companies between April and July last year: American Airlines; Pluralsight, a Utah-based company that provides video training to software developers and other professionals; the US Oil Fund, a company that tracks Texas crude oil prices; and US Foods Holding Corp., a food service company.

Kinzinger’s other reported assets include rental properties, bank accounts, and mutual funds.

Schneider’s stakes

US Representative Brad Schneider, a Deerfield Democrat in District 10, found holdings in several companies while filing a disclosure report last month. These include real estate investment groups; M Financial Group, an Oregon life insurance company; and a Schaumburg-based group called Medical Related Investments, which has an interest in a company that operates MRI centers.

Schneider reported on many financial transactions, including the sale of shares in an animal insurance company called Trupanion, valued at $ 50,001 to $ 100,000. Schneider also reported that he raised between $ 15,001 and $ 50,000 when a fund he was invested in sold and distributed a Buffalo Grove wireless technology company called Fluidmesh Networks.

The rest

The disclosure reports for the other members of the suburban delegation – 6th District Democrat Bill Foster of Naperville, 8th District Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg, 9th District Democrat Bank accounts, mutual funds, pension funds, and other assets as assets.

Side: A few legislators went on expense trips

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Real Estate News

Unflattering audit of San Diego real estate deals prompts push-back from city attorney

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A July report by the San Diego auditor investigating the city’s Ash Street lease and other real estate transactions appears to have driven a wedge between the elected city attorney and the appointed auditor.

A new memo from auditor Andy Hanau states that prosecutor Mara Elliott rejected several invitations to participate in the month-long review of real estate transactions and then criticized Hanau for not interviewing her before his report was published.

“We met at least seven times with representatives of the public prosecutor’s office during the examination,” Hanau wrote in the message last Thursday. “No one in the prosecution stated that we had a reason to question the city attorney, or that the city attorney wanted an interview.”

The auditor’s memo was in response to Elliott’s official rebuttal of the audit published two months ago, which harshly criticized the way city officials have handled a number of real estate transactions in recent years.

In her refutation of the August 31st audit, Elliott reiterated her criticism of the July 22nd audit as an incomplete review. She said the legal conclusions were wrong and the assessment was based on speculation rather than fact.

“I spent nearly two decades of my legal career advising state auditors and audit boards on their roles and responsibilities in the San Diego County and City of San Diego,” Elliott wrote. “This failure to obtain complete information resulted in inaccuracies in the audit report.”

The prosecution issued a similar response to the exam when it was first published.

The city council’s audit committee is due to look into Elliott’s rebuttal along with a subsequent response from Mayor Todd Gloria at its Wednesday meeting on the audit.

Gloria’s rebuttal suggested that the mayor’s office would implement any recommendations made by the auditor under his control, although implementation will take several months or even until 2023.

“The department intends to create a robust and enduring policy that will regulate real estate transactions of many types,” wrote Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone to Hanau on September 7th. “The revised guideline will serve as a guideline and instrument for the city council and city administration to comply with, even if no concrete transactions are envisaged today.”

Hanau’s July 22 report found that former Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his staff withheld information and misrepresented some facts when they approved the council for the 20-year lease for the former Sempra Energy headquarters at 101 Ash in 2016 St.

“The former city administration has limited the supervisory capacity of the city council in large property purchases by not providing complete and accurate information,” the audit said.

The auditors also criticized other real estate investments made under the Faulconer administration, including a failed indoor skydiving facility that the city bought for $ 7 million without a valuation and a repair yard that was $ 8 million more than expected had improved.

Elliott, who is now trying to suspend the Ash Street lease and an earlier contract for the nearby Civic Center Plaza, said the Court of Auditors’ office mistakenly blamed her for the prosecutor’s legal work prior to her 2016 election.

Her rebuttal also criticized the audit for saying it was her office’s failure to spot “red flags” on the Ash Street transaction that cost the city at least $ 60 million for a 19-story skyscraper. that cannot be safely occupied due to asbestos and other topics.

“We have to rely on experts. And those with expertise report to a different branch of government – the executive, ”wrote Elliott. “The lawyers have to rely on facts presented by the city officials.”

The dispute over the auditor’s audit is not the first dispute between the audit office and the city’s public prosecutor’s office.

Last year, then-acting city auditor Kyle Elser applied for permission to hire an independent attorney for his office. Sometimes there are conflicts of interest between city auditors and city attorneys, he said at the time.

Elliott has resisted the request, which relies on both the prosecutor’s office and the mayor’s human resources department to move forward.

The proposal is expected to be reintroduced by the city’s audit office later this year.

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Real estate agent appreciates mentors

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Sep 26 – In Beckley’s real estate sector, Carol Pugh is known for her dedication to clients and her knowledge and expertise.

Pugh is the agent at Sigmund-McLean & Associates on Prince Street. In 2010, she and broker Don Martin entered into a five-year buy-in plan and became co-owners of the agency.

Many in Beckley live in properties that Pugh listed, sold, co-developed, and in some cases re-listed and resold.

“I’ve got so many stories, houses I’ve sold two or three times, families I’ve met along the way,” Pugh said. “There was a lot of property.”

In the late 1970s, Pugh was the mother of two young children. She enrolled in a real estate course at Beckley College taught by local real estate agent Jim Lilly.

“It was just something I did,” she said. “I knew I liked real estate, and it was a course I took without thinking that I would actually get a real estate license.”

But in the summer of 1989 her children – she had three children now – were of school age.

“I just thought, you know, I’d like to get into the real estate business,” she said.

She enrolled in a real estate course taught by Mike Tyree.

She spent the day in class every Saturday and Sunday for the next six weeks. Next she was licensed.

“The first company I thought of that I wanted to work with was a male-dominated company,” she recalls. “Sigmund McLean Hunt and Payne.

“I’ve always respected them. They were family friends. Good, honest business people.”

Pugh said she never treated real estate as a part-time business. She went to the office every day.

The owners were great mentors, she recalls.

“They were in the office every day in a coat and tie, and I would come into the office every day and try to get their knowledge of them.”

The trio developed three sub-divisions in Beckley: Woodcrest, The Landmark and Old Mill Village, she reported.

“I loved hearing about it,” she said.

The story goes on

The agency was still selling lots on Woodcrest when Pugh joined the agency, and Pugh saw an opportunity. She teamed up with a local contractor, Howie Lambert, who was building houses in upscale Woodcrest.

“We worked together,” she said.

“I would sell him a lot. He was going to build a house and Howie would let me sell his house.

“So I learned building development.

“Woodcrest’s development was a real learning experience, watching Bill (Sigmund) and Bob (McLean) develop and even pave the roads and bring the utilities to the properties.

“I had just learned so much in development by watching builders build their homes,” she said.

“Sometimes realtors have the wrong idea what real estate agents are doing and they step in and fail to realize the work that needs to be invested and the time,” she added.

“You have to spend time with experienced real estate agents to learn the business because what you learn in your real estate course doesn’t have much to do with the real world of real estate.”

Pugh said real estate was a full-time job for her from the start.

“I was very fortunate that my family were great supporters,” she said. “My children were still in school, but I was still able to pick them up from school.

“My husband supported me a lot back then. He helped with the children.

“There was a lot of night work and weekends. That’s how I got into it.

“I’ve worked hard and the rewards have been wonderful.”

Pugh is a two-time winner of the Beckley Board of Realtors (BBR) “Realtor of the Year” (1999 and 2005) and was nominated for West Virginia for “Realtor of the Year”.

She has served as secretary to the West Virginia Real Estate Commission and twice as BBR president.

She is consistently a top producer of real estate sales in the Beckley market and is widely respected by sellers, buyers, and other real estate agents.

Her advice to others is to always be honest with customers. She said it was one of the most important things in business.

A supportive family is a help to success, Pugh added.

“There are many ups and downs,” she advised. “There is a lot of heartache.

“I’ve had some deals that I just cried about when they fell apart, buyers regretted, sellers regretted.

“If a deal fails, I live with them.”

Most of the deals were successful, however.

Pugh said she could drive through Beckley, view a property, and remember a deal.

“I do it all the time,” she said. “I wish I could go back and see everything I sold. It went quickly.

One of her mentors did the same.

“Bob McLean used to walk around town calling the homes from the original owners … by the owner’s name even though they had sold it two or three times,” she added.

Pugh’s favorite aspect of business isn’t necessarily making a big profit on an expensive property.

“I’ve sold a lot of commercial properties over my years and I love the challenge,” she said.

“But I have to say, my favorites are my first-time home buyers.

“I feel best about all of the people I’ve helped get into houses.

“They are most grateful to have their home.”

Sigmund-McLean & Associates’ business gives Pugh a sense of achievement.

“I am very proud of my company,” she said. “I am a proud owner here.

“A lot of real estate has been bought and sold in this corner of Beckley.”

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Real Estate News

BREVARD REAL ESTATE REPORT: Listings Increase for Single-Family Homes, Median Sales Price Up 21.0% to $325,000

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new listings for condominiums are down over 2.8%

The Brevard housing market reported higher median prices, more new offers and a year-over-year increase in cash sales in August. The average sales price for Brevard single-family homes is up + 21.0% to $ 325,000, compared to $ 268,500 a year ago.

The median sales price for townhouses and condos is up 17.6% to $ 261,868, compared to last year’s $ 222,750.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard housing market reported higher average prices, more new listings and a year-over-year increase in cash sales in August.

“The latest data shows that the number of new offers for single-family homes here on the Space Coast continues to rise,” said Jennifer McCoy of McCoy Freeman Real Estate, which looks after the entire Space Coast of Florida.

“However, the new entries for condominiums fell by over 2.8% and the active portfolio by over 36%. This means that we are still very deep in the seller’s market area and there is still a long way to go back to a balanced market. “

The average contract term for single-family houses is 8 days, 61.9% less than in the previous year.

Single family home closed sales were up 7.9% year over year, which is impressive given the rate of home sales at that time over the past year.

However, the condominium and townhouse market remains the hotter market for now. In August, sales in this property category rose by over 11 percent compared to the previous year.

A brief summary of Brevard County’s single-family report for August 2021.

Summary of Brevard County’s Single Family Report for August 2021

■ Closed sales increased 7.9% in August 2021, with the number of closed units being 1,069 compared to 991 in August 2020, with cash sales increasing + 61.9%.

■ New pending sales increased + 3.2% and new offers increased + 23.5%.

■ The average sales price for Brevard single-family homes is up + 21.0% to $ 325,000, compared to $ 268,500 a year ago.

■ Monthly inventory levels are down -38.9% to 1.1 months, down from 1.8 months in August 2020.

■ Traditional sales are up 8.4%, with an average selling price of $ 325,000.

■ Foreclosure / REO Sales are down -33.3%, with 8 closed sales and an average sale price of $ 245,080.

■ Short sales are 0.0% with 2 closed sales in August 2021 and 2 closed sales in August 2020.

A brief summary of the Brevard County Townhouses & Condos Report for August 2021.

Summary of the Brevard County Townhouses & Condos Report for August 2021

■ Closed sales increased + 11.1% in August 2021, with the number of closed units being 300 compared to 270 in August 2020, with cash sales increasing + 21.4%.

■ New pending sales down -10.7% and new offers down -2.8%.

■ The median sales price for townhouses and condos is up 17.6% to $ 261,868, compared to $ 222,750 a year ago.

■ The supply of inventory in months decreased by -48.1% from 2.7 months in August 2020 to 1.4 months in August 2021.

■ Traditional sales are up + 10.8%, with an average selling price of $ 263,660.

■ Foreclosure / REO Sales are N / A, with 1 closed sale and an average sale price of $ 170,000.

■ Short sales are 0.0% with 1 closed sale in August 2021 and 1 closed sale in August 2020.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family owners of the McCoy-Freeman Real Estate Group on Florida’s Space Coast. Together, they have over 40 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry, have sold over $ 420 million, and are among the top 1% of all Florida real estate agents.

Bobby Freeman, a lifelong resident of Brevard County, has been a top real estate agent in the area for over two decades. In his first year as an agent, Freeman received a Rising Star Award from his brokers. Since then, he has received numerous sales awards from some of the largest real estate companies in the world.

Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family owners of the McCoy-Freeman Real Estate Group on Florida’s Space Coast. Together, they have over 40 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry, have sold over $ 420 million, and are among the top 1% of all Florida real estate agents.

McCoy-Freeman Group’s achievements include Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and Brevard County’s Best Real Estate Agent. The group has been featured in many news publications including CNN Money Magazine, CNNMoney.com, WFTV 9 News, News 13, WKMG News 6, Coastal Condo Living Magazine, Hot Retirement Towns Magazine, and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST NEWS FROM BREVARD COUNTY

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