NOVEMBER 03, 2005
The following is an excerpt of Jeffrey Rubin’s review of Peter Schweizer’s recent book, Do As I Say (Not As I Do):
But nothing the Clintons could have done illegally in Whitewater could be half as appalling as what they did legally. Whitewater, as you may recall, was a real estate venture hatched by the notorious Jim McDougall that turned 230 acres on the White River into vacation homes. The Clintons put no money into it; their contribution was Hillary’s key role, as a corporate lawyer, in establishing and running it. And what she established and ran was basically a scam for bilking the uneducated and elderly.
As Schweizer explains, in an ordinary real estate transaction, you receive a copy of the deed, and if you start missing payments and can’t work things out with the finance company, they will eventually repossess the property and, after paying off fees and debts, you will get back any remaining equity. In Whitewater, however, buyers signed a simple purchase agreement that provided, in the small print at the bottom, that if the purchaser missed a single payment by 30 days, subsequent payments would be considered “as rent for the use of the premises.” In other words, Schweizer writes, “the buyers did not actually take ownership of the property until the final payment was made. If a buyer missed just one monthly payment, all their previous payments would be classified as rent and they would have no equity in the land at all.”
From the Clintons’ point of view, this arrangement — so exploitive it’s illegal in most states, though not in Arkansas — worked like a charm. “More than half of the people who bought lots in Whitewater – teachers, farmers, laborers, and retirees — made payments, missed one or two, and then lost their land without getting a dime of their equity back,” writes Schweizer. The properties were then resold to new suckers. “The Clintons continued this approach up until the 1992 election, when they tried to quietly get out of the investment. I say ‘the Clintons’ did these things because Hillary was at the center of it all. Monthly payment checks were sent to the Whitewater Development Corporation in care of Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
Click here for the whole review.
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