[Update: 2 Videos] Irrefutable Proof Obama's Own District Was Home to 11 Rezko Foreclosed Properties
by susanhu, Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:04:26 PM EDT
√ Eleven Rezmar buildings were in the state Senate district Obama represented between 1996 and 2004. Many of the buildings ended up in foreclosure, with tenants living in squalid conditions, the Sun-Times reported last year. In one instance, Rezko's company left tenants without heat for five weeks. Obama said he was unaware of problems with the buildings and minimized the legal work he'd done. -- From the Chicago Sun-Times via District 299 The Chicago Schools Blog.
√√ The senator says he had no indication of any problems with Rezko when he accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from him. -- From ABC News via Truthteller's story here, "It Is "Possible" Obama Was Aware of Rezko's Financial and Legal Woes."
√√√ Obama said in the interview Monday that he was unaware of the scope of properties owned by Rezmar or the problems surrounding them. He said none of the affected residents personally sought his help and that aides at his state Senate district office did not recall any inquiries. Still, he said it was "possible" that during his tenure in the legislature that a constituent may have written or called his office "saying, 'We're in a building, and we're unhappy with the service here.'"
Such problems, he said, would normally be brought to the attention of an alderman or the city's Housing Department. "Had I known that there were buildings that were in deteriorating or poor condition, that certainly would have given me pause. But I didn't know," Obama said. -- From the Chicago Tribune.
"I didn't know," he says? It'd give you "pause"? Oh really?
Explain these maps from the Chicago Sun-Times that show the "Illinois Senate district Barack Obama represented from 1997 to 2002 -- the area between the lines below -- included 11 Rezmar buildings." (To see the originals -- at full size -- go to the Sun-Times page.)
ELEVEN buildings in your district, and you didn't know about the problems? Or was it that, given a choice between helping your constituents or taking "fixer" money from Tony Rezko, you chose the latter?
Here's what your constituents put up with before those buildings were foreclosed and shut down (leaving your constituents without a roof over their heads):
From Truthteller's exceptional work in his story here, "It Is "Possible" Obama Was Aware of Rezko's Financial and Legal Woes":
[L]et us listen to constituents of Obama who resided in Rezko's tenements. Here is Joann Larkins, a resident of a dilapidated Rezko structure just eight blocks from the palatial mansion Obama jointly purchased with Rezko:
Mrs Larkins, 51, lives just seven city blocks away, in a district where posters advertise "dirt cheap properties" and "foreclosure advice". She moved there almost a decade ago, taking a subsidised apartment with her 20-year-old daughter and one-year-old grandson in a building that had fallen into neglect when run by Mr Rezko.
The family boiled water on the stove and draped plastic sheeting across the windows in an effort to keep warm during the city's bitter winters, as the heating was not working. Rubbish piled up uncollected and repeated requests for basic repairs were ignored.
"It was a terrible place to live: there were a lot of drug dealers and people fighting and getting shot," Mrs Larkins, a widow who receives invalidity benefit, told The Sunday Telegraph.
"The owners never took any interest in the place; they just wanted the rent money. We had to call the city just to get the garbage collected."
The 44-apartment complex was one of 30 low-income housing projects run by Mr Rezko and his partners with funds from the city during the 1990s. By early this decade, many were boarded up as bills and mortgage payments went unpaid, but Mr Rezko moved into the fast-food business, while tenants like the Larkins struggled with the legacy of his management.
Janet Jenkins, a neighbor of another Rezko property in Obama's state Senate district, also witnessed squalor and crime:
Janet Jenkins witnessed the deterioration of one building that Rezmar co-developed with the Chicago Urban League a dozen years ago. Today, the 12-unit building at 62nd Street and Rhodes is boarded up. And she's glad.
"Oh, absolutely,'' said Jenkins, 57, who lives a few doors south of the building. "That building has been a problem to this block for years.
"We had numerous complaints. Drug selling. Prostitution. The whole nine yards. Filthy. Deplorable. Rats. Mice. Roaches. Urine. Feces. Name it.''
READ ALL of Truthteller's story here: "It Is "Possible" Obama Was Aware of Rezko's Financial and Legal Woes."
His story includes a screenshot of a letter that Barack Obama wrote on behalf of Tony Rezko, and much more.