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Sambodian Real Estate | Hog Heaven of the Hard Bargain

According to this Folha de S. Paulo videocast from May 13, 2012, a close collaborator of Mayor Kassab — the mayor himself is a building contractor and real estate broker in private life — has grown surprisingly rich during his tenure licensing new construction projects.

Hussein Aref reportedly

acquired 106 properties in seven years on the job,as Evandro Spinelli and Rogério Pagnan recount in this video.

With monthly income of R$ 20,000, between a city salary, including pension, of R$9,400 and income from rent, Aref Saab, 67, accumulated assets of over R$ 50 million between 2005 and 2012. He owns at least 118 properties, including 24 slots in parking garages.

In early February, positive opinions of the Kassab City Hall sank to 22%.

Kassab, a player in city politics starting with the Celso Pitta administration — mind-boggling corruption on the heels of the mind-bogglingly corrupt Maluf administration  — became mayor as Jose Serra’s deputy when Serra stepped down to stand for governor.

Now Serra, loser in the last presidential election, is standing for mayor again later this year, having promised but failed to serve out the full mandate last time around.

An important statistic, also from TV Folha: The tendency to impunity in police killings corruption tends to rely on another living relic of the Maluf years: the policeman-politician, or, if you will, the parapolitician. Of 31 subprefectures in S. Paulo, former military police currently occupy 30.

TV Folha,  TV Cultura, is a heavily cross-promoted public television half hour that has stirred up some controversy over the allocation of airtime to commercial interests.

TV Cultura is operated by the Father Anchieta Foundation and CMAIS and is undergoing a process of PBSification, that is, quasi-privatization.

Both the Folha de S. Paulo and O Globo, arguably the two most important metrosexual dailies, have undergone print revamps and integration of digital strategies this year.