Kenai land deal between friends puts Murkowski on defense

Senator Lisa Murkowski and her husband have come under fire from bloggers, talk radio and conventional news media for a Kenai River land purchase from real estate developer and political supporter Bob Penney. Late last year, Murkowski and her husband Vern Martell bought a 1.27 acre tract of land owned by Penney upriver from his home. They paid $179,400, based on the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s most recent assessment at the time. But soon after the sale, the land was re-assessed at almost $215,000. And according to the Anchorage Daily News, similar lots on the Kenai River go for tens of thousands of dollars over the assessed value. That’s led some critics to argue that Murkowski and Martell got a ‘sweetheart’ deal from a long-time friend and paid below-market value. Speaking to APRN today she defended the transaction.

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, D.C. (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)