CT Poll Workers Prepare To Release Thousands Of Fake Ballots

New Haven polling station workers carrying boxes of pre-voted Ned Lamont ballots.
(actually, these are Peruvians carrying ballots in Peru, but…you get the idea)

It’s always puzzled me that CT Republicans tolerate this “open secret” that CT Democrats in the three failed cities of Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport will, when needed in a close race, manufacture thousands of phony ballots in order to put the Democratic candidate ahead. A recent case of this was Governor Malloy’s 2010 victory over Republican Tom Foley by just 6,404 votes.

If it’s 5:00 PM on election day and it looks like their guy might get edged out by a relatively small number of votes, the Democrats will apparently use one of two techniques to fix things:

The first trick is to claim “polling station irregularities have made it impossible for people to vote, so we must keep the stations opened for several more hours”. Claims of insufficient numbers of paper ballots, or malfunctioning voting machines are used to convince a friendly judge to issue the order to keep the stations opened. Workers then rush around and gather up reliable Democrat voters and bus them to the polls. After a few hours of that, the deficit is made up and the Democrat wins.

The other technique is to simply print up thousands of phony ballots, already filled out for the Democratic candidates, and keep them in sealed bags at key polling stations in New Haven and elsewhere and release whatever number is needed to fill the gap.

Republican officials I have spoken to believe this second method was the one used to produce Malloy’s slightly improved victory over Foley in 2014’s re-match, winning by around 25,000 votes.

I’ve done an extensive internet search to see if maybe Republicans are also accused of pulling this kind of stunt anywhere in the nation but it looks like this crime is exclusively Democrat. So why do we allow it? How hard would it be to send Federal observers to some of these trouble spots? Former Attorney General Eric Holder certainly had no problem sending observers down to southern states when he suspected “voter suppression” (aka, asking for photo identification) so let’s try it in Connecticut!

12 Huge Sales In Last 48 Days

116 Oneida Drive, central Greenwich waterfront. Sold for $15M in 2002, now sells again, this time for $20.337M. List: David Ogilvy  Sell: Brian Milton

Broker Brian Milton has yet again provided the buyer for a mega-expensive property, this time for a David Ogilvy listing that just closed at $20,377,000 (an odd figure that suggests last-minute ‘adjustments”?). That’s a very big commitment to Greenwich and, more significantly, the State of CT, by this buyer, and he wasn’t alone; in just the last 48 days, we’ve seen 12 deals in the $7M+ range.

Today is Sunday, October 8th, so this is the 281st day of 2017. Since the start of the year, we’ve had 25 $7M+ deals in Greenwich. The fact that almost half of those occurred in the last 48 days tells me we are in an up-swing. But why? Doesn’t the news about CT’s Puerto Rico-style financial mis-management continue to be bad? Doesn’t the State continue to be tied to ruinous state-worker-union contract benefits that eat up almost half of the State’s annual revenue? Won’t taxes, therefore, soon be doubled?

Or is there political change coming which will pull us back from the brink? That’s what these presumably savvy wealthy people appear to be betting on. Even Gideon Fountain, noted real estate sage, joined these “betters” recently by buying additional Greenwich property. Oh, the excitement of it all!

Additional examples of recent mega-sales:

460 North Street fetches the nice, round sum of $22M. List: Helene Barre   Sell: Fran Ehrlich

50 Byram Drive, Belle Haven waterfront, a steal at $12.650M. List: Ginger DeSimone   Sell: Shelly Tretter Lynch

24 Hendrie Drive Extension (off OG’s Edgewater Drive) gets $9M even. List: Sheila Goggin   Sell: Carolyn Petersen.

11 Cove Road, OG waterfront, new-construction, gets $6.9M. List: Mark O’Brien   Sell: Gideon Fountain (yay!)

Note to mobile device users: For now, photos on those links above can only be seen using your desktop computer (you do own one of those don’t you? Over there by your land-line phone?). I will continue to pester (those geniuses at) Houlihan Lawrence World-Headquarters to fix this once ‘n for all!




Is This A Zippy Market?

1 Bramble Lane, Riverside, asking $4.295M, now has deal, my guess, closes around $4.150M. Back in June, 2008, the builder unloaded it for $4,050,000, probably thinking he’d made a narrow escape, but Riverside hung in there!. Can any other part of Town promise that kind of hold on value? List: Russ Pruner  Sell: Barbara Wells

Those who know me well, know that I don’t throw words like “zippy” around lightly. No, I understand the significance of the word, and only use it when absolutely justified. Therefore, let me state for the record that we are experiencing a ZIPPY market!

Am I aware that the dominant political party in Hartford has taken us down the road-to-ruin, to the point where our finances now resemble pathetic Puerto Rico and Illinois? Yes, I am aware. If you actually add up all the (un-payable) billions and billions and billions we owe to the municipal-union pension funds, the State of CT is already effectively bankrupt. Not pretty.

And yet… people clearly still want to live in Fairfield County. Why is this? Are they unaware of the impending doom? Do they think a (Republican) savior will emerge?

Who knows. What I do know is that last year, as of this date, we’d had 89 closings. This year, same time period, we’re up to 169 (plus another 73 pending). That’s serious improvement.

The fly-in-the-ointment *? Of course, it’s the super high-end, just 3 sales this year for $8M+. 3 sales! Now we only have to get rid of the other 68 sitting on the market and we’re home free!

So why do Greenwich sales start to dwindle down when you pass the $6M mark? The reason stated above, certainly, but added to our miserable State financial picture, there’s the State’s continuing “war on the rich”, and the very, very rich don’t have to take it. If you’re a poor schlub barely making enough to spend $5,000,000 on a home, your work probably still ties you to the New York area. But I guarantee you that the $20,000,000 buyer is not tied to the New York area. And for now, that’s who’s leaving. You might think of them as canaries in the coal mine…


*how often is this a problem?

The Trump Press Conference

Like me, you are endlessly fascinated by politics, to the point where you even go to YouTube and watch old JFK press conferences, which are really, really entertaining.

But there’s a difference between those days and the situation today. The press loved JFK and you can see and hear it in these videos. In contrast, the press has a deep, DEEP hatred and fear of Donald Trump, and in fact, it is their (latest) attempt to destroy him that prompted this press conference.

The video runs over an hour, but I think it’s the most compelling live-history I’ve ever experienced. This story about Trump and his alleged escapades at a Moscow hotel is classic political warfare, and the way he has handled it is very much worth watching.

P.S. At minute-25, Trump turns over the microphone for a few minutes as lawyer Sheri Dillon painstakingly explains the extreme measures Trump has taken to isolate himself from his businesses so as to avoid any possibility, any semblance of conflict of interest. Ms. Dillon is impressive, and her presentation is fascinating all by itself. If Bill and Hillary could have done even 1/100th of this, Hill would be the president-elect today.


Too busy to watch the video? Here’s Liz Peek’s excellent summation: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/01/11/liz-peek-most-impressive-aspect-trumps-first-press-conference-in-2017.html



How (Was) The Market?

I don't know who this schmoe is, but let's pretend he's a "disappointed Greenwich broker".

(I don’t know who this schmoe is, but let’s pretend he’s a “disappointed Greenwich broker”)

Throughout the year, we brokers are repeatedly asked, “How’s the market?” because residential real estate is apparently endlessly fascinating to the general public. Being the happy-go-lucky, smiling, whistling, optimistic guy you all know and love, I always reply that the market is “Fine”.

Unfortunately, Houlihan manager Haffenreffer has now come along and supplied the actual facts of the case for the full year of 2016, and it’s safe to say that last year was a bit “sucky”, as the young people like to say.

Total House Sales

2016   572

2015   601

Total Condo Sales

2016   154

2015   191

Check out the results for the upper price ranges of $5,000,000+, those continue to be depressed, but keep in mind, as I’ve described in an earlier post, there is quite a bit of new construction going on all over town, much of it custom-building for people who’ve bought a tear-down and then hired a builder to erect their dream-house. This activity is significant yet goes completely unacknowledged in statistics like the ones provided here.

Click on links below to see the full (ugly) story….



P.S. Regarding the fading of the upper price range, perhaps the inescapable conclusion is that Connecticut’s dominant political party (no names mentioned) has gradually chipped away at our once-great state’s biggest advantage over neighboring New York, which was taxes. We are now among the highest taxed states and guess who is the first to get the hell out of here? Did you say “the mega-wealthy”? You’re right! They are leaving because they can.

Obama Nominates Black Conservative To Supreme Court

Taking friend and foe alike completely by surprise, the President announced this afternoon at a White House press conference that he was nominating D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Judge Antonin Scalia.

“To replace a true Constitutional scholar with yet another stooge that will rubber-stamp any expansion of government I can dream up is unfair to at least half the US population so, dammit, I’m just not going to do it.” the President told a packed room of reporters.

“Judge Brown has, to my way of thinking, a quaint, even antiquated view that the Constitution actually has meaning and importance. Obviously she and I completely disagree on this, but her voice, her point of view, deserves to be heard on the Supreme Court, so today I nominate her to that position, and I expect a quick confirmation from my friends in the Senate.”

Concluding his remarks, the President refused to take any questions from reporters and instead, ran around the room yelling “February Fool’s Day! February Fool’s Day!” until Secret Service personnel wrestled him to the ground. He was later admitted to George Washington University Hospital for observation. No further details available.




Who Would Listen To George Soros?

George Soros, clown? evil genius? he's both!

George Soros, clown? evil genius? he’s both!

George Soros has gotten it right enough times that he’s piled up a net worth estimated by Bloomberg at $27.3 billion. But he’s also sly enough to proclaim his “concern” for the markets last week only after he’s shorted everything he owns. Now that he’s got his 1,000+ point Dow drop, he and his minions can pick up the bargains!

That’s just the normal fun & games of the market, but what really bugs me about Soros is that, when he’s not busy fleecing un-wary investors, he works actively to undermine free markets and free enterprise in general. Every far-left nut-group in the world can count on a yearly check from Soros because a., that’s his philosophical viewpoint, and b., he knows no matter what happens, he will still make money. Who cares if the little people starve, their businesses collapse, and dissenters get locked up (Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea), it’s all good in Soro’s book.

Viva revolución!


Director Spike Lee Calls For Affirmative-Action Oscars

New York, NY 05/23/11- The University of Georgia Presents the 70th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards -PICTURED:  -PHOTO by: Alex Oliveira/startraksphoto.com -AOH_1390 Startraksphoto NY,NY 10010 For licensing please call 212-414-9464 or email sales@startraksphoto.com

The saddest part of this is that the loonies are actually pressuring comedian Chris Rock to boycott his own Oscar’s master of ceremonies job! Why? The nominees are Caucasian, not African American.

Maybe it’s time for the Justice Department to…

A. Launch an investigation, and then…

B. Reach a settlement with the movie studios that a “percentage” of Oscars must be awarded to non-whites. After all, it’s only fair!

Connecticut’s Conveyance Tax Explained


Formerly the estate of "timber tycoon" John Rudy...really? "Timber tycoon"?

Formerly the estate of “timber tycoon” John Rudey, the sale of this 50.6 -acre property produced a total conveyance tax of $1,796,000.

The occasion of the sale of 499 Indian Field Road, “Copper Beech Farm” for $120,000,000 and it’s attendant conveyance tax* of $1,796,000 provides us with an opportunity to show how this (insidious, deliberately confusing, so-called) tax works…

Here is the state of CT’s real estate conveyance tax, in it’s two parts:

State:  .75% of the first $800,000 and 1.25% on amounts above $800,000.

Local:  .250% of the total sales price.

So in the case of this landmark $120,000,000 sale, you calculate thusly….

For the state, you take that first $800,000 and multiply by .0075 to get $6,000. For the balance ($119,200,000), you multiply by .0125 to get $1,490,000. Total for the state, therefore is $6,000 plus $1,490,000 or $1,496,000.

For the Town’s take, you multiply the entire total of $120,000,000 by .00250 to get $300,000.


Sell for $1,000,000:

State gets .0075 of the first $800,0000, which is always $6,000. The $200,000 balance is multiplied by .0125 to get $2,500.

Town gets .0025 times $1,000,000 equaling $2,500.

Total conveyance tax = $11,000.

Sell for $2,000,000:

State = $6,000 + $15,000

Town = $5,000

Total conveyance tax:  $26,000.

Sell for $3,000,000

State = $6,000 + $27,500

Town = $7,500

Total conveyance tax:  $41,000.

And so on…

* In their never-ending quest to drive productive citizens out of Connecticut, Hartford liberals, beginning in 1989, began the steady raising of the conveyance tax every few years. Since it applies to all sales, even in cases where the seller may be losing hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, it is more accurately described as a real estate sales penalty. Don’t like it?  Stop voting for liberals!






In Defense Of Realtors

The annual meeting of The Greenwich Association of Realtors. Honored, among others, Bryan Tunney and Paul Pugliese.

The annual meeting of The Greenwich Association of Realtors. Honored, among others, Bryan Tunney and Paul Pugliese.

I attended the Greenwich Association of Realtors annual meeting this morning at the swell Innis Arden Golf Club, and after listening to reports from members serving as heads of various committees, I was reminded once again what an important role real estate agents play in defending citizens from their government.

We’re in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of government power, at every level, always bad news for taxpayers, particularly the sitting-ducks known as “property owners”. Liberal politicians know, if you’ve bought property, and set down roots in a community, you can be taken advantage of with ever higher taxes, of course, but also, and equally alarming, ever more complex regulations designed to limit what you can do with that property.

Real estate agents like the ones honored today are on the front line, serving as watchdogs for the general public, who would otherwise be oblivious to whatever new outrage Hartford or, increasingly, our own Town of Greenwich (!) are proposing. Realtors sell “dirt”, as that knuckle-head Walt would say, but they also involve themselves in the community and state in ways that are hugely important to anyone who actually pays taxes.

One Final Thought

Our profession is a low-barrier-to-entry one; it looks easy and lucrative from the outside, hence the steady flow of folks who drift in and out. No college will ever confer  “legitimacy” on this profession by offering a Degree In Real Estate Sales because, the fact is, you only learn by doing. So the job will always attract a certain amount of scorn from Wall Street geniuses and others, who like to dismiss the value of brokers’ advice.

Remember this: Whether it’s fishing guides, surgeons, or bar fighters, whatever the task, never underestimate the value of actual experience.