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The Pricey Pads of Politicos Who Vote "Yes" For the Good Life

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If the man in the inset above doesn't look familiar, don't feel too bad. James Shinn served as—get ready—Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs under Bush 43. If he kept a low public profile then, he's certainly made a name for himself in New York real estate circles. First for taking a $1.35M hit on an Upper East Side townhouse flip, then turning around and finagling a $3.2M discount on this prewar triplex just off Fifth Avenue. He paid $11.75M, but before everyone cries foul, that sort of dough didn't come from the government coffers. Shinn sold the tech concern he founded at the height of the tech boom, before "retiring" to helping decide the fate of the world.

Our more public leaders are far less forthcoming when it comes to their private residences, but we've sniffed out a few. Check 'em out after the jump.


? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid weathered a bit of a potential P.R. morass after Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle accused him of living in a deluxe D.C. penthouse while average Nevadans were struggling through the recession. Reid countered by retorting that it's on the second floor. Which it is. The second floor of the Ritz-Carlton Residences. Here's a little tip Harry: Move into a building with a name like 18939 W Street, not one with a household name for opulence. It just looks bad.


? Sen. Harry Reid might have had a public relations crisis, but that pales in comparison to the epic downfall of DC's most powerful lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. Last week, he was released from a federal prison, and before his time in the slammer he was a devoted resident of Silver Spring, Md. Abramoff racked up four purchases in the well-heeled District suburb, before settling on this contemporary-style home in the wooded neighborhood of Burnt Mills Hills, where the average home price is more than $1M.


? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi shares this brick Federal-style townhouse in San Fran with her investor husband, Paul. The home is located on a coveted corner lot in the neighborhood of Pacific Heights, where the average list price is $3.5M. This doesn't look like an average home, either. Paul's cash was likely behind this purchase, and he's been quietly amassing an even larger fortune while his wife, you know, runs the House of Representatives.


? It's no 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but President Barack Obama and fam have been making a concerted effort to return to their Chicago home every two months to see friends and, maybe, to take a peek at the construction next door. Obama paid $1.65M for the mansion in 2005, and just this year the neighbors have started renovating—under strict supervision of the Secret Service, of course. If you thought your historic preservation commission was tough, rest a little easier.
· PriceChopper Helps $15M UES Townhouse Out of a Jam [Curbed NY]
· The 10 Biggest New York City Real Estate Sales of the Month [Curbed NY]
· Famous and Infamous People's Houses in Silver Spring, Md - Jack Abramoff [ActiveRain.com]
· A Gut Renovation, With the Secret Service Watching [NYT]