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Major Scandal Brewing Among Clinton Associates, Former DNC Official

2:15 PM, Aug 9, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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A major scandal amoung influential Democrats just broke, and so far it appears to be flying under the radar. Stephen Losey at Federal Times has the scoop.

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In a nutshell: Alan Kessler, the former finance vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's finance chair during her 2008 campaign, resigned suddenly from his position on the USPS' Board of Governors last month. Turns out, he was pressuring postal officials to back off of a land deal that would have cost his friend, Douglas Band -- who is Bill Clinton's lawyer, helps run the Clinton Foundation and helped found the Clinton Global Initiative -- millions of dollars.
 
Band, some of his family members, and his business partners own property in Sarasota that the Postal Service has leased since the mid-60s. The original owner agreed to a clause that would let the USPS buy the property whenever they wanted to for a song -- $825,000 on a property now valued at $12 million. It turned out to be a really bad deal for the current owners (Band & Co.) but is apparently legal, according to everybody in the Postal Service except Kessler.
 
So Band, unsurprisingly, starts trying to kill the deal and reaches out to Kessler. The OIG found that Kessler repeatedly pressured postal officials to settle, even after being warned to back off because of the apparent conflict of interest. Most alarmingly, Kessler took part in a conference call with Band's brother and his company's legal team in which they hashed out a legal and political strategy to sink the deal. Two days later, Kessler reviewed a letter he recommended Band's lawyers prepare, which included a threat to get Congressional intervention to scuttle it.

Be sure and read Losey's whole story for even more details. So far the scandal doesn't seem to touch either of the Clintons, or anyone in Congress -- but it certainly deserves more scrutiny.

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