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Dueling Ads A Disservice To Voters

By August 26, 2008

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The dueling ads produced by the Obama and McCain campaigns about their homes do a disservice to voters of conscience and reason. With the median value of a home at $206,500, neither Barack Obama ($1.65 million home) or John McCain (seven eight homes) are "like us." Period. From Factcheck.org:
On Aug. 21, Barack Obama released an ad chiding Sen. John McCain for his inability to remember how many houses he owns, and McCain responded the same day with a counterattack charging that Obama got help buying his house from a "convicted felon" who got $14 million in "political favors" from Obama. We find McCain's ad is careless with the facts and could easily leave a false impression.

That said, I'm tired of the Obama's home being presented as part of "two parcels of land, one containing a house and the other undeveloped land." This graphic shows that the two parcels were divided such that the Obama home had no setback on its west side; it appears to be situated on that property line. (That's not legal where I live.)

Obama House
Excerpt from The Times of London (pdf)

In February, the Times of London ran an indepth analysis of the "Mansion 'mistake'" that included an annotated aerial shot of the property (pdf). The information graphic would have benefited by including lot dimensions, but it shows that there is no way to access the Rezko property except through the Obama's front gate. Later, Rezko sold Obama a 10-foot strip which provides west-side setback. (Also, see Virtual Globetrotting for Obama's home as well as McCain's.)

And Mrs. Rezko, on the papers as the buyer of the adjacent parcel, purchased this $625,000 piece of land on an annual (sworn deposition) income of $37,000 a year, how, exactly? The American media have decided it's not important.

Election 2008: 10 weeks to go and counting. Will we be able to see through the mud come November 4?

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