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John Edwards' "slummy" neighbor sells property

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 2, 2008 01:01 PM

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Photo credit: Tigerhawk

Via reader Jon Ham, Don Carrington at the Carolina Journal has an update on Monty Johnson, the Giuliani-supporting neighbor of John Edwards whom Elizabeth Edwards derided back in April as as a “rabid Republican” with “slummy” property.

Johnson’s moving:

Win or lose in the presidential campaign of 2008, John Edwards will have one thing to cheer about: That pesky Chapel Hill neighbor that his wife complained about last spring will be gone.

Last April, Elizabeth Edwards made national news when she criticized the family’s across-the-road neighbor, Monty Johnson, for pulling a gun on trespassers and for not maintaining his “slummy” property.

“I don’t want my kids anywhere near some guy who when he doesn’t like somebody, the first thing he does is pull a gun out,” she said at the time. “It scares the business out of me.”

Johnson, however, has sold his 42 acres, which contain occupied mobile homes and deteriorating buildings located directly across the road from the Edwards 100-acre estate just outside Chapel Hill. Johnson and his family have moved to South Carolina.

On May 9, Chapel Hill businessman Cowan Griffin, doing business as KCAJ, LLC, gave Johnson a written offer to purchase the property for $1.6 million, the exact asking price that Johnson had placed on the property through a “for-sale-by-owner” real estate listing service.

Johnson said Griffin did not try to negotiate on the sales price and did not seek to inspect the property prior to purchase. Johnson said he accepted Griffin’s offer to pay $1.1 million at closing and pay the remaining $500,000 due on or before May 31, 2008. The sale was completed on May 29 and Johnson and his family were required to leave by June 1. The total tax value of the parcels involved is $570,623, according to Orange County tax records.

Johnson, a 56-year old retired landscaper, said the land had been in his family since before the Great Depression. Johnson lived on the property and earned extra income from leasing the 12 mobile homes and an auto repair shop located on the property.

The Edwards family will be relieved to know that their working-class neighbor–you know, the kind John Edwards is marathoning around Iowa for –won’t be around to scare the delicate Mrs. Edwards and slummify their surroundings anymore.

Two Americas, indeed.

***

Speaking of “slummy,” check out that broken-down bus:

To cap off his four-year campaign to win Iowa’s Democratic caucus Thursday night, John Edwards planned a 36-hour marathon bus tour through 15 of the crucial state’s 99 counties with a whole series of policy announcements to garner publicity and caucus votes.

But 12 hours into the political odyssey — billed as Edwards’ “Marathon for the Middle Class” — his Main Street Express bus began making very disturbing noises in western Iowa. In darkness, the bus with the entire Edwards entourage pulled over at a service station and was abandoned.

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