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Barack Obama Campaign Contibutor Caught in the Culture of Corruption

June 12, 2007

You can read about it here.

Rezko contributed thousands of dollars and raised thousands more as Obama ran for the Illinois legislature, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. He even was involved in Obama’s purchase of a family home.

Now Rezko faces federal charges as the central figure in an Illinois corruption scandal.

Of course Obama is running from this.

Obama whose Democratic presidential campaign emphasizes a squeaky-clean image is scrambling to distance himself from his old supporter.

“The senator and Rezko have not spoken for quite some time,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said yesterday.

RIIIIIGHT!!!!!  He hasn’t talked to someone who did this kind of favor for him:

Obama bought a house and lot. Rezko’s wife bought an undeveloped property next door. The two parcels had once been a single tract of land.

Obama paid $1.65 million for the house and lot while Rezko paid $625,000 for the undeveloped lot. Six months later, Rezko sold a strip of his property to Obama, who wanted to increase the size of his side yard. Obama paid Rezko $104,500, which he says was the market rate.

While Obama has said that the transaction was handled ethically, he has conceded the perception of favor-trading it created was a “boneheaded” mistake.

Just wait until the Clinton war room gets hold of this, watch out Obama. It’s just too bad the mainstream media doesn’t find this a noteworthy story. I wonder why that is?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2007 10:15 pm

    Funny isn’t it? This is the first I have heard of this situation. Thanks for the heads up. I wouldn’t doubt that the Clinton’s were the leakers of this news. It sounds like them.


  2. rightwingdog permalink
    June 12, 2007 10:46 pm

    this is old news. Came out in Chicago area papers months ago. This guy changes with the wind. He is like a chameleon. He does not have a good grasp of the issues and relies on staf to keep him current.
    Recently he was asked about certain happenings in Illinois regarding tax increases and the money problems in Illinois. His answer was: he has been too busy campaigning to know what was happening” For God’s sake, he represents the people of Illinois and they are being short cahnged. I could go on and on and if you are interested in more, let me know.
    This guy is a loser and we can’t let him be elected.



  3. June 13, 2007 5:16 am

    This was the first Iv’e heard of it also, but according to RWD it’s an old story. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?


  4. June 14, 2007 9:27 pm

    I did a repost of a Slate piece on this last December. I have been waiting to hear more about his pal Rezko.


  5. rightwingdog permalink
    June 14, 2007 11:04 pm

    How about this then. It is a Chgo Sun Times article from yesterday. Shows that Obama is nothing but a Bill Clinton (a liar) and that he associates with criminals.

    I can lots more if you want them.


    Obama’s letters for Rezko

    June 13, 2007

    BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter/
    As a state senator, Barack Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens.

    The deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and his partner, Allison S. Davis, Obama’s former boss, according to records from the project, which was four blocks outside Obama’s state Senate district.

    Obama’s letters, written nearly nine years ago, for the first time show the Democratic presidential hopeful did a political favor for Rezko — a longtime friend, campaign fund-raiser and client of the law firm where Obama worked — who was indicted last fall on federal charges that accuse him of demanding kickbacks from companies seeking state business under Gov. Blagojevich.

    The letters appear to contradict a statement last December from Obama, who told the Chicago Tribune that, in all the years he’s known Rezko, “I’ve never done any favors for him.”

    On Tuesday, Bill Burton, press secretary for Obama’s presidential campaign, said the letters Obama wrote in support of the development weren’t intended as a favor to Rezko or Davis.

    “This wasn’t done as a favor for anyone,” Burton said in a written statement. “It was done in the interests of the people in the community who have benefited from the project.

    “I don’t know that anyone specifically asked him to write this letter nine years ago,” the statement said. “There was a consensus in the community about the positive impact the project would make and Obama supported it because it was going to help people in his district. . . . They had a wellness clinic and adult day-care services, as well as a series of social services for residents. It’s a successful project. It’s meant a lot to the community, and he’s proud to have supported it.”

    The development, called the Cottage View Terrace apartments, opened five years ago at 4801 S. Cottage Grove, providing 97 apartments for low-income senior citizens.

    Asked about the Obama letters, Rezko’s attorney, Joseph Duffy, said Tuesday, “Mr. Rezko never spoke with, nor sought a letter from, Senator Obama in connection with that project.”

    Davis couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

    ‘Boneheaded’ deal in 2005
    Since announcing his presidential bid, Obama has faced repeated questions about his 17-year relationship with Rezko, one of his earliest political contributors, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Obama.
    Rezko backed Obama’s election to the Illinois Senate in 1996, his successful re-election bids and his 2004 election to the U.S. Senate.

    Two years ago, the two men were involved in a real estate deal that Obama later apologized for, calling it “boneheaded” and a “mistake” because the transaction occurred while Rezko was widely known to be under federal investigation. Rezko’s wife paid full price for a vacant lot in Chicago’s historic Kenwood district on the same day Obama bought the mansion next door from the same property owner for $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko’s wife subsequently sold a sliver of the land to Obama.

    Obama’s relationship with Rezko dates to the senator’s days as a student at Harvard Law School, when Rezko offered him a job, which Obama turned down.

    After graduation, Obama returned to Chicago and joined Davis’ small law firm — then known as Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland — which specialized in helping developers build housing for the poor. Five of those deals included Rezko’s company, Rezmar Corp. Those Rezmar projects ran into trouble. Some buildings ended up being boarded up. Some went into foreclosure.

    While Obama served in the Illinois Senate, he continued to work for the law firm, which Davis left in 1997 to become a developer.

    Davis soon went into business with Rezko, creating a company called New Kenwood LLC to build the seven-story apartment building for senior citizens on a vacant stretch of land once occupied by a gas station at 48th and Cottage Grove. The city of Chicago owned the land — nearly two acres tainted by lead, benzene and other toxic chemicals.

    Davis is a member of the Chicago Plan Commission. He was originally appointed to the commission in 1991 by his friend, Mayor Daley. Davis, like Rezko, has been a prolific campaign fund-raiser for politicians including Daley and Obama.

    Soon after they incorporated New Kenwood in 1998, Davis and Rezko got letters of support from elected officials — Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and state Rep. Lou Jones (D-Chicago), whose districts included the proposed project.

    Firm paid city $1 for land
    New Kenwood LLC also got letters of support from Obama, who represented a nearby Senate district.
    “I am writing in support of the New Kenwood LLC’s proposal to build a ninety-seven unit apartment building at 48th and Cottage Grove for senior citizens,” Obama wrote in separate letters, each dated Oct. 28, 1998, to city and state housing officials. “This project will provide much needed housing for Fourth Ward citizens.”

    At the time he wrote the letters, Obama was also a lawyer with Miner Barnhill & Galland, the law firm Davis formerly headed. Among the firm’s clients were several companies owned by Davis and Rezko. The firm did not represent New Kenwood.

    Davis and Rezko hired Daley & George, the law firm of the mayor’s brother Michael, to help them get $3.1 million from bonds issued by the city of Chicago.

    Rezko and Davis paid the city $1 for the land and spent more than $100,000 to clean it up, including the removal of an underground storage tank. Some tainted land was left behind, but state environmental officials approved construction after Rezko and Davis agreed to cover the polluted areas with parking lots, sidewalks or three feet of dirt, records show.

    The $14.6 million Cottage View Terrace was funded entirely by city, state and federal taxpayers.

    The project included $855,000 in development fees for New Kenwood. Records don’t show how Davis and Rezko split the money. Davis owned 51 percent of New Kenwood, Rezko 49 percent, according to the records.

    In addition to the development fees, a separate Davis-owned company stood to make another $900,000 through federal tax credits.

    Cottage View Terrace was supposed to be managed by Davis’ longtime business partner, William Moorehead. But Moorehead said last week that his company was dumped before the apartments opened in 2002. The apartments are now managed by Urban Property Advisors, a company owned by Davis’ son, Cullen Davis.

    Moorehead is due to report to prison next month to begin serving a four-year sentence for stealing more than $1 million from the Robert Taylor Homes and other public housing projects he managed for the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, as well as from two developments he co-owned with Davis near Cabrini-Green on the North Side.

    © Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


  6. June 16, 2007 5:47 am

    Unbelievable. It’s amazing how I haven’t heard anything about this about a frontrunner for president.



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