As simply an amateur, part-time political blogger, it's always nice to see the MSM pick up on something that you broke, oh a few months ago, finally get some attention.
This time, it's Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business who has picked up on the personal problems of 10th Congressional District Democratic hopeful John Tree. We reported on this back in mid-November of last year. We might add that, at that time, Hinz was gushing over Tree as having a resume out of central casting. We, of course, did some digging and figured out about the foreclosure, among other troublesome bits of his personal history (Tree, not Hinz).
Hinz's research (which may have been spoon-fed to him by the campaign of Brad Schneider, one of Tree's primary opponents), however, uncovered even more than we reported, which is that in addition to the foreclosure of a home in Elmhurst associated with his first marriage, there is also, according to Hinz, a foreclosure proceeding currently going on with respect to his current home with his second wife (got all that?).
There's a little more, though. When confronted by Hinz for the story, Tree's campaign manager, Pete Giangrco, tried to explain away the first foreclosure on the Elmhurst house by noting that Tree's wife, not Tree, lived in it:
Pete Giangreco, the campaign's chief consultant, says that only Mr. Tree's ex-wife, not Mr. Tree himself, actually lived in the first house and the bank involved ended up accepting an outside sale.
I'm not sure why that's actually relevant, but I assume the implication here is that the house was occupied solely by Lisa Tree, John Tree's first wife, and the foreclosure was all her problem and fault, not his. I guess this was supposed to be where she lived without John Tree either during/after the divorce? The Hinz article does not go into any additional detail.
But, something doesn't add up. According to what we can see on the web, the Elmhurst house was purchased (by John Tree) for a tidy sum ($985,000). That's quite a set of digs to buy for your soon-to-be-ex-wife. The purchase date was 6/30/2005, assuming that info is accurate.
According to the DuPage County Court Clerk's site, though, the Tree/Tree divorce wasn't filed until August 2006.
So, John Tree bought his wife a house a year prior to their divorce being filed, for almost a million bucks, but he never lived in it?
If I were Brad Schneider's campaign, I'd keep digging and feeding Hinz that info. Hopefully we helped him out a bit. No thanks are necessary.
UPDATE: Steve Sadin at Patch reports that Ilya Sheyman's camp stated that he has raised $180,000 for the past quarter, crushing John Tree's $101,000 (of which $20K was a candidate contribution). Sheyman also got the endorsement of the Libertyville Democrats and the Lake County Federation of Teachers.