Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is a real estate genius (especially when the pork's been primed)

Sunlight Foundation investigative blogger/Senior Fellow Bill Allison has been doggedly pursuing his scoop on Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's sketchy real estate deals on land that just happens to be near a multi-million dollar highway improvement project created by the Speaker himself.

In essence, Bill, with the help of some intrepid on-the-scene citizen muckrakers, discovered that Hastert's financial disclosure forms failed to give specifics on some land purchases he was making in Illinois—specifics that would have revealed that the land was within six miles of a highway project Hastert helped earmark. The project, dubbed the "Prairie Parkway," is controversial because it was approved as part of the transportation bill last year despite the fact that a study to determine the need for highway was still three years away from being completed. Hastert's cut from the deal? $2 million.

Go read Bill's original scoop for the full details, and make sure to follow up over at the Sunlight Foundation blogs for the continuing coverage of the controversy, including threatening letters he's received from Hastert's attorney (Bill's not backing down). Bill's also moving forward with his innovative model of combining his professional journalism experience with the efforts of citizen journalists to produce more scoops like this one. Click here to find out more. Hopefully they'll garner as much mainstream media attention as this story did. Coverage of the Prairie Parkway story includes:

* Washington Post
* CBS News
* NPR/Marketplace
* Molly Ivins
* Chicago Business
* Salon
* Chicago Sun-Times
* Metro West Daily Times
* Beacon News
* Seattle Post-Intelligencer