In April 2009, the city council gave McDonald a sweetheart deal, selling him a 3.9-acre parcel of land for $1.3 million. They did so with full knowledge that McDonald planned to immediately spin off the property to a supermarket chain for $3.1 million — netting himself a quick $1.8 million by shorting taxpayers on the value of their land.
Moreover, McDonald was convicted of violating city ethics laws involving another land deal that he pushed for while a member of the city council in 2000.
Redevelopment financing is an area where those with political connections routinely exploit low-income taxpayers. However, the city council's current deal with their ethics-challenged former colleague — against the advice of city staff — blatantly rubs salt in the eyes of citizens.
And just recently, we saw this.
That's when Las Vegas city council members voted to award their former colleague Michael McDonald $3.5 million in redevelopment funds, as well as $1.1 million in federal grant funding to subsidize the cost of constructing a downtown housing development that will include some "affordable" housing units for seniors. McDonald was also awarded a 75-year land lease — worth $1.4 million in present value — for just one dollar.
City council members voted to approve the project even though city staff recommended they not do so.
Staff noted that the city's subsidy alone would amount to more than $115,000 per unit. (McDonald's estimates were much lower — about $65,000 each for the first 60 units — although, once the state subsidies sought by McDonald are factored in, total taxpayer support would amount to $183,000 per unit.) Yet the median value of existing homes in the surrounding area is only $72,000.
Oh, jeez. This may be the first (and perhaps ONLY) time I quote a NPRI publication!
So basically, Michael McDonald ran into quite a bit of trouble while he was on the Las Vegas City Council. And even though he's no longer on it, he's still using his "juice" at City Hall to get sweetheart deals. And now, he's the Chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, the party of
But wait, there's more!
Yesterday, former City Councilman Michael McDonald was elected as the Chairman of the Nevada State Republican Party Central Committee replacing former Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian, who stepped down the day after the Nevada Republican caucuses in February.
Former Las Vegas City Councilman Michael McDonald has a very checkered past, he was connected to one of the biggest FBI sting operations in Las Vegas history, which was dubbed the “G-Sting”.
The “G-Sting” involved organized crime, strip clubs, politicians and the FBI. And Michael McDonald was front and center, giving advice to his “boyhood friend” and owner of the strip clubs Michael Galardi, who owned Jaguars, Cheetahs and Masters strip clubs.
Remember G-Sting? Apparently, Nevada Republicans don't. Either that, or they followed Chuck Muth's advice to not care about that pesky, minor stuff.
What a fool believes...