In 2005, House Speaker Dennis Hastert secured $207 million in federal funds to build the “Prairie Parkway” through his Congressional district. A few months later, Hastert sold land he had purchased in 2002 and 2004 — located just three miles away from the future parkway — earning a profit of about $2 million. (Check out a graphic timeline of the transaction.)
So, if being five miles away (actually three, as the same story later indicates) means a prospective homeowner and commuter will reap no benefit whatsoever from the parkway, why are taxpayers spending $207 million to build it?
Another overlooked aspect of this story: Hastert’s profits are just beginning. He’s only sold about 70 acres of his initial 195 acre purchase.