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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, February 21, 2014

John Boehner just bought a condo in Florida. Hello, retirement? -- By Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post

John Boehner's purchase of an $835,000 condo in an exclusive community in Marco Island, Florida -- broken by Jonathan Strong at Breitbart News -- has increased chatter that the House Speaker is planning his exit strategy from Washington when the 113th Congress draws to a close later this year.

According to USA Today, Boehner and his wife bought the condo on Feb. 11 and the Speaker told his  GOP colleagues about it during a gathering in Sarasota over the weekend.  His office quickly sought to downplay the purchase as a sign of anything. "This area of Florida has been the Boehners' family vacation spot for many years, and rather than continue to put money into vacation rentals year after year, they decided to buy a condo," explained spokesman Michael Steel. "Their home is in West Chester, Ohio, and will continue to be."

Message sent.  Buying a condo in Florida means nothing about Boehner's future.

But, we couldn't help but dig a little bit deeper given how much we have already written about Boehner's future in Congress -- and what it means for the fate of things like immigration reform in this Congress.

Let's start with this: Boehner has plenty of money to make this purchase even if he wasn't planning to head to the green pastures of the lobbying world in January 2015. According to his most recent financial disclosures, his net worth is between $1.9 and $5.9 million -- making him the 90th most wealthy Member of Congress as of 2012. While a nearly-million dollar condo -- assuming he plans, as Steel insists, to keep his home in Ohio -- is a significant investment, it's not even close to a bank-breaker for someone like Boehner.

That said, it's not an insignificant expenditure. Using mortgagecalculator.org (God bless the Internet), if Boehner put 20 percent down and secured a 30-year loan at a 4.33 percent fixed interest rate, the mortgage on his new Florida condo would be $3,317 a month or roughly $40,000 a year.  (According to Politico's Jake Sherman, Boehner put $185,000 down and financed the remainder.) If, as Steel suggests, the decision to buy was made out of a desire not to keep throwing money into rentals, Boehner was spending some serious cash on renting.

 Politically speaking, the timing of Boehner buying a condo in Florida days after he broke with his conference to push -- and vote for -- a clean debt ceiling increase is hard to simply dismiss. It could, of course, be simple coincidence. But, it's been our experience that coincidences are few and far between in politics. (Ambitious politician just happens to agree to do a fundraiser in Iowa. Coincidence? Um, no.)

 (Click link below to read more)
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