FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko, the Slum Landlord Business

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton engaged in a heated exchange over Obama's work for a certain Rezko during tonight's CNN-Congressional Black Caucus debate.  An assessment of their statements reveals that Barack Obama misrepresented the work he performed for Rezko, who Hillary Clinton correctly characterized as a "slum landlord" who is also one of Barack Obama's "contributors." Clinton, however, neglected to mention that Rezko is presently under federal indictment for fraudulent schemes involving government officials and government funds.  Because this fact check is limited to statements uttered during the debate, it will not explore Rezko's involvement in the questionable transaction whereby Obama purchased his Chicago mansion.

Statement: Hillary Clinton referred to Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a man under federal indictment, as Obama's contributor.

Fact: Rezko is indeed one of Obama's major contributors.  I quote the Chicago Sun-Times:

During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.

Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle. Obama also has taken in an unknown amount of money from people who attended fund-raising events hosted by Rezko since the mid-1990s....

Sources close to both Rezko and Obama, however, said Rezko raised money often for Obama....

The cocktail party Rezko hosted in 2003 came at a critical time for Obama. He and Rezko timed it to help Obama show he had enough money to compete in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate against millionaire Blair Hull and state Comptroller Dan Hynes.

"This was discussed a lot. They wanted to have a good showing," said a source familiar with the fund-raiser, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Tony was one of the biggest fund-raisers."

At the time of the party, the state was in the process of foreclosing on a low-income apartment building Rezko's company rehabbed in Obama's state Senate district -- a rehab project on which Obama's law firm worked. Rezko had also abandoned many other low-income apartments, leaving numerous vacant units in need of major repairs....

Between 75 and 80 people attended Rezko's cocktail party, according to Burton, but he said the campaign has no list of the guests.

More than half a dozen people who were there said between 100 and 150 guests were treated to an open bar and food served by Jewell Events Catering, run by renowned Chicago caterer George Jewell. Valets parked cars for the guests, who each were asked to donate at least $1,000.

Rezko picked up the tab. The exact cost of the party has never been disclosed to the Federal Election Commission, which allows hosts to pay up to $2,000 for fund-raisers held in their homes and not report the expense. If a party costs more than $2,000, the candidate must tell the FEC about it.

Burton said, based on a conversation a former Obama staff member had with Rezko, that the party didn't cost more than $2,000.

Three days after the cocktail party, Obama got donations from several Rezko associates....

The Chicago Sun-Times also provides a list of all donations Obama received through Rezko's bundling network.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama has returned only $80,350 of the $168,308 he received from Rezko and those tied to Rezko's bundling network.

Also of note is the "unmentioned politician" in a 78 page document federal prosecutors filed in their case against Rezko.  The "unnamed politician" is Barack Obama, who received $10,000 from $250,000 of sham finder's fees Rezko's network filched from a firm that handled the Illinois state teacher's pension fund.  I quote the Chicago Sun-Times:

Obama is not named in the Dec. 21 court document. But a source familiar with the case confirmed that Obama is the unnamed "political candidate" referred to in a section of the document that accuses Rezko of orchestrating a scheme in which a firm hired to handle state teacher pension investments first had to pay $250,000 in "sham" finder's fees. From that money, $10,000 was donated to Obama's successful run for the Senate in the name of a Rezko business associate, according to the court filing and the source.

Rezko, who was part of Obama's senatorial finance committee, also is accused of directing "at least one other individual" to donate money to Obama and then reimbursing that individual -- in possible violation of federal election law....

The $10,000 contribution to Obama was given in Aramanda's name on March 5, 2004, records show. While Obama's camp has said the senator did not know Aramanda, Obama's office hired Aramanda's son as an intern in 2005, at Rezko's urging.

So intimate was Obama with Rezko's bundling network, he found his way into a document federal prosecutors filed against the indicted slumlord.

Statement: Hillary Clinton referred to Obama's major contributor Antoin "Tony" Rezko as a man who owned and operated a "slum landlord business."

Fact: Antoin "Tony" Rezko is indeed a slumlord who ran multiple businesses.  I quote the Chicago Sun-Times:

For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago's South Side.

It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.

Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on.

But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund of Barack Obama, the newly elected state senator whose district included the unheated building....

The building in Englewood was one of 30 Rezmar rehabbed in a series of troubled deals largely financed by taxpayers. Every project ran into financial difficulty. More than half went into foreclosure, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

"Their buildings were falling apart,'' said a former city official. "They just didn't pay attention to the condition of these buildings.''

Eleven of Rezko's buildings were in Obama's state Senate district....

Rezko and Mahru had no construction experience when they created Rezmar in 1989 to rehabilitate apartments for the poor under the Daley administration. Between 1989 and 1998, Rezmar made deals to rehab 30 buildings, a total of 1,025 apartments. The last 15 buildings involved Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland during Obama's time with the firm.

Rezko and Mahru also managed the buildings, which were supposed to provide homes for poor people for 30 years. Every one of the projects ran into trouble:

*                       Seventeen buildings -- many beset with code violations, including a lack of heat -- ended up in foreclosure.

*                       Six buildings are currently boarded up.

*                       Hundreds of the apartments are vacant, in need of major repairs.

*                       Taxpayers have been stuck with millions in unpaid loans.

*                       At least a dozen times, the city of Chicago sued Rezmar for failure to heat buildings.

Statement: Obama claims he only performed five hours of work for a church engaged in one real estate deal with Rezko while working as an attorney at Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, which I henceforth refer to as the Davis law firm in Chicago.

Fact:  Obama completed many tasks on behalf of his slum landlord patron.  According to the incomplete answer Obama's Senate Presidential campaign staff submitted to the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama engaged in several projects involving an unnamed nonprofit organization affiliated with one of Rezko's tenements, the Central Woodlawn project.  I quote the Chicago Sun-Times:

Sun-Times question: Please explain what legal work the senator performed on each of those Rezmar projects. I have a copy of a legal bill showing Sen. Obama worked on the Central Woodlawn project. Please include the number of hours he spent on each Rezmar deal, the dates he worked on those deals, and to whom he reported at the firm, whether that was Allison Davis and/or William Micelli.

Obama campaign answer: Senator Obama worked on several projects in which the firm's principal client was a not-for-profit corporation. The projects entailed negotiations between the firm's primary not-for-profit client and the Rezmar-related entity that served as co-general partner or co-venturer of the not-for-profit.
Once the negotiations between the not-for-profit and Rezmar-related entity were completed, the firm represented the combined entity, usually an Illinois limited partnership or Illinois limited-liability company.

The Senator, relatively inexperienced in this kind of work, was assigned to tasks appropriate for a junior lawyer. These tasks would have included reviewing documents, collecting corporate organizational documents, and drafting corporate resolutions. The Senator reported primarily to former partner Allison Davis and occasionally to William Miceli.

Notice Obama's Senate office did not mention the number of hours Obama worked on projects related to Rezko's business, Rezmar, and notice they did not provide specific dates for all legal work undertaken.  But pay particular attention to the claim that Obama was "relatively inexperienced in this kind of work." How does Obama's Senate office reconcile that claim with the follow biographical sketch Obama submitted to the Chicago Sun-Times in 1998?

But Obama did legal work on real estate deals while at Davis' firm, according to biographical information he submitted to the Sun-Times in 1998. Obama specialized "in civil rights litigation, real estate financing, acquisition, construction and/or redevelopment of low-and moderate income housing,'' according to his "biographical sketch."

And how does Obama square his claim during the debate that he only engaged in one transaction involving Rezko's company Rezmar with the incomplete answer his Presidential campaign staff submitted to the Chicago Sun-Times?  His Presidential campaign staff cites multiple projects.  They also used the plural in the following sentence they sent to the Chicago Sun-Times in an electronic message:

Senator Obama did not directly represent Mr. Rezko or his firms. He did represent on a very limited basis ventures in which Mr. Rezko's entities participated along with others,'' according to the e-mail from Obama's staff.

But Obama's work for Rezko does not end with his job at the Davis law firm in Chicago; it also includes advocacy he performed on Rezko's behalf in his state Senate office.  Let us return the Chicago Sun-Times's questionnaire:

Q: At the time of those deals, Tony Rezko was a client of the senator's firm, a campaign donor to the senator, a personal friend, and a business partner with the senator's boss, Allison Davis. But Mr. Rezko was also a landlord to many constituents living in the state Senate district that Senator Obama represented at the time. And many of those Rezmar properties had fallen into disrepair, while Rezmar began to fail financially. Did the senator ever talk to Tony Rezko about the deteriorating status of his housing projects?

A: To reiterate: the firm did represent entities in which Tony Rezko had an interest but never Tony Rezko, personally. Senator Obama does not remember having conversations with Tony Rezko about properties that he owned or any specific issues related to those properties.

Q: In this situation, how did the senator decide whose interests took precedence: Mr. Rezko, Mr. Davis, the senator's constituents?

A: The Senator, then a junior lawyer, did not have the authority, the assignment or the opportunity to make such decisions. But it is important to keep in mind that the whole enterprise of affordable housing is geared toward improving housing stock for those unable to afford market-priced housing. The goals of the firm's clients were consistent with the needs of communities benefiting from affordable housing initiatives.

But the Illinois state Senator must have had conversations with Rezko and others about one Rezmar real estate enterprise, New Kenwood LLC, a project for which he advocated twice on his state Senate office's letterhead.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama's letters helped Rezko secure $855,000 of taxpayer money for the development fees of New Kenwood LLC, a project in which Rezko and Obama's former boss Allison Davis, who resigned from the Davis law firm in 1997, were partners .  I reproduce the two letters state Senator Obama wrote on behalf of his former boss and Rezko on 28 OCT 1998, the same year in which the part-time legislator was engaged in legal work for a Rezko related enterprise at the Davis law firm.  The letter addressed to Sondra Ford also begins with the greeting "Dear Commissioner Stasch," an administrative error one occasionally finds on form letters sent to multiple parties.

Glaring is the potential conflict of interest between Obama's state Senate office and his office at the Davis law firm.  Should a state Senator perform political favors for his boss and for one of his boss's business partners and clients?  Even more glaring is Obama's willingness to advocate on behalf of a Rezko enterprise at the very same time when Rezko's other slum housing enterprises in his Senate district were the subject of complaints for the unsafe and unhealthy conditions they afforded inhabitants.  

Also egregious is an additional favor Obama performed on Rezko's behalf.  You recall the $10,000 donation from Rezko's friend and business partner Aramanda that landed Obama in the 78 page document federal prosecutors filed against Antoin "Tony" Rezko.  At the behest of Rezko, Obama's Senate office hired Aramanda's son as an intern.  I quote the Chicago Sun-Times:

In addition to a land deal, Sen. Barack Obama's ties to indicted dealmaker Antoin "Tony" Rezko include an internship the senator provided the son of a contributor at the request of Rezko, an Obama spokesman confirmed Saturday.
John Aramanda served as an intern for Obama for about a month in 2005, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. His father is Joseph Aramanda, a Rezko business associate who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption case against Rezko. Aramanda has contributed $11,500 to Obama since 2000, Gibbs said.

"Mr. Rezko did provide a recommendation for John Aramanda," Gibbs said. "I think that it's fairly obvious that a few-week internship is not anything of benefit to Mr. Rezko or any of his businesses."

I consider the internship another favor Obama performed on behalf of Rezko and Rezko's slum landlord business.

Summary:Obama completed more than just five hours of legal work for Antoin "Tony" Rezko, his main contributor who also ran slum landord operations both inside and outside of Obama's Illinois state Senate district. And according to answers Obama's Presidential campaign submitted in response to a question posed by the Chicago Sun-Times, this legal work involved multiple entities tied to Rezko's tenement empire, not the one "church" Obama disingenuously cited during the debate.

That legal work occurred after Obama received $1,000 from Rezko during the winter of 1997, when residents of one of Rezko's slums located within Obama's state Senate district shivered without heat for five weeks during a cold Chicago winter. Obama also wrote letters on Rezko's behalf on his state Senate stationary after he received that donation. Although this is just a scratch on the surface of Obama's long and checkered history with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, it provides some insight into the 2005 real estate transaction involving Obama, Rezko and a mansion in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago.

Tags: clinton, corruption, Debate, Democrats, FACT CHECK, obama, Primaries, rezko (all tags)



Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton made a $300,000 loan to convicted felon David Hale. They made a mistake; so did Obama with this Rezko scandal.

What does this prove? That politicians are human, and are thus prone to making mistakes?

Are you trying to help the Republicans make their case against Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama?

Please stop helping the Republicans win in November.

by Politico80 2008-01-21 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

It proves nothing, as you say, but it does speak to the fact that Obama marginalized this matter.

by kristoph 2008-01-21 10:00PM | 0 recs
Hey pot meet kettle. I have two words

WHITE WATER... Hey why dont we bring back Monica and Linda Tripp too. Stop with these stupid diaries. Nobody cares accept you....  

by TennesseeGurl 2008-01-22 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Hey pot meet kettle. I have two words

The problem is that Obama mischaracterized the situation, and that's not good.  In the NH debate, he straight out lied when he said that one of his co-chairs was not a lobbyist.  And in this debate, he was less than forthcoming about Rezko.

I think Obama made a dumb mistake.  We all, do, we're human.  But  trying to sweep it under the rug just makes people want to see what under there.

by Denny Crane 2008-01-22 03:54PM | 0 recs

this is about a diary full of errors and rife with innuendo.  the diarist continues to make false claims, which are easily disproved...

by bored now 2008-01-22 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

What are the errors in the diary?
Obama DID initially lie about his 15 year relationship with Rezko - or did he just "forget" about it?

The fact that the public knows more about Edwards haircuts than Obama's Rezko reflects the 24/7 pass the corporate media has given Obama.

Obama OWES the corporate owned media now.

by annefrank 2008-01-23 03:47AM | 0 recs
the diarist contends that obama helped rezko...

for projects outside his district (which happens to be both true and common), but the one's she cites as repugnant are inside his district.  she sees conflicts of interest where none really exist (this would be different if obama was the only person who provided rezmar letters of support; not all the black elected officials who did so had received rezko-related contributions).  and i've been mocking her for her posting of two articles that contradict each other.

we disagree about obama and the media.  the highly respected argues that the media has been paying attention to all this:

for the national types to claim that Obama's past is mostly unknown is just a total crock. All they have to do is comb through the Tribune and CS-T's archives, or try the Google. A lot of very hard work has already been done, and is still being done today. Too many reporters based in DC, or NY, or LA think that all there is to know is in their own publications. Not so.

to me (since i've lived in both places), i see the chicago media treating illinois politicians the same way the new york media treats their sports stars; that is, very sceptically.  obama is vetted.  that's why we know all this.  if obama beats hillary, he will be the giant killer, not the victim-in-waiting...

by bored now 2008-01-23 04:10AM | 0 recs
Re: the diarist contends that obama
Well sure - Obama-Rezko has been in Chicago papers - but scant elsewhere.
But Edwards supporters said almost a year ago, Obama-Rezko wouldn't get much attention until AFTER Iowa.
And that's what happened.
by annefrank 2008-01-23 04:28AM | 0 recs
then you were right...

by bored now 2008-01-23 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

Apparently we have witnessed a suppression of parts of the FackCheck.Org piece here in which Hillary was condemned for lying about Obama.

Thanks for the sleight of hand, author.

by shergald 2008-01-23 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

You missed the whole point of this diary.

by RJEvans 2008-01-21 10:52PM | 0 recs
i think we all understood the point of the diary..

to smear obama with swiftboat tactics.

and to uphold the double standard to benefit hillary...

by bored now 2008-01-21 11:58PM | 0 recs
Re: argue with the diary if you can

Who is this Andy guy?

http://www.pr-inside.com/crime-fighting- u-s-senate-candidate-andy-r395320.htm

by annefrank 2008-01-22 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: argue with the diary if you can

He is a candidate for Senate in Illinois who has held press conferences on this matter.  Because he is a Republican, I do not cite his press releases.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 08:28AM | 0 recs
No, that's not it

The point is that Obama's description to the nation of his connections with Rezko were commically incomplete and evasive and won't stand up to 2 minutes of scrutiny.  The debate answer was yet another rookie mistake, like describing Reagan in glowing terms while trying to win a national Democratic primary.

by Trickster 2008-01-22 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

Hale tried to throw Bill Clinton under the bus in return for leniency in his own corruption prosecutions. He got money and advice from conservative clinton-haters. He lied, and it cost the taxpayers millions. Get your facts straight. Mud-slinging is no defense in the face of the fact that Obama took money from and did favors for a shady slumlord. He isn't the Messiah, he isn't MLK or JFK and you can bet the Republicans will dredge all this up if he gets the nomination.

by awomanforachange 2008-01-22 03:37AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

You got that right. You think the Repubs, right now, as we speak, using paid, full-time operatives, aren't going through every bit of each candidate's history?

Much better that this come out now rather than during the general election. Because it will come out.

by Bob Miller 2008-01-22 03:49AM | 0 recs

i've already said that this is barack's weak point.  but i want real facts, not slander (hi, dpAndrew!).  there is absolutely no need to give republicans crap to sling here...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:27AM | 0 recs
already did...

the diarist has asserted that 80 is one-third of 168.  now we know that seymour is bad at math, but most normal people can see that this is untrue.  start from there, and it doesn't get any more truthful.

but it's a great smear piece on democrats, isn't it?  swiftboaters would be so proud!

by bored now 2008-01-22 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: already did...

you have not refuted anything i claim and cite.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 03:19PM | 0 recs
i haven't???

please tell us again how 80 is one-third of 163.

i need not refute that obama wrote these letters, as did most if not all the elected black officials in the city.

you can keep declaring that, well, 80 is one-third of 163, but intelligent people will see that you are wrong, and deliberately so...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:52PM | 0 recs
Re: already did...

I want to be very clear about how dishonest this point is, since this commentor appears to be able to say little else except "80 is not one-third of 168, thus all your claims have no credibility."

The diary cites a Sun-Times article from last June which makes its point very clearly:

During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.

Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle. Obama also has taken in an unknown amount of money from people who attended fund-raising events hosted by Rezko since the mid-1990s.

But seven months ago, Obama told the Sun-Times his "best estimate" was that Rezko raised "between $50,000 and $60,000" during Obama's political career.

So in other words, the Sun-Times nailed Obama on a false claim.  He said the number was between $50,000 and $60,000, but in fact, it was no less than $168,308.  And is that latter number "nearly three times" the $50-60,000 figure?  Why yes, yes it is.

So then, what's with the 80/168 argument?  Well, it turns out that just within the last week, Obama has returned an additional $40,350 in Rezko-linked donations, on top of the $44,000 he had previously returned.  Of course, this means he has still returned far, far less than the amount which the Sun-Times concluded he received.

And what does "bored now" conclude from this?  His chain of logic proceeds thus:

(1) Obama has now returned over $80,000 in Rezko-linked donations;
(2) Thus, Obama has now publicly acknowledged over $80,000 in Rezko-linked donations, as of two days ago;
(3) Therefore, this retroactively invalidates the Sun-Times' claim from seven months ago that Obama had only acknowledged one-third of the $168,000 figure, and makes everything else this diarist has said false as well!

This "argument" is delivered with such measured lines as "most people would say that 80 is almost half of 168.  but not you!  your immense hatred of barack is too great."

I normally don't bother to debunk comments at such length, but this 80/168 argument is so breathtakingly dishonest and repeated so many times throughout this thread, I just had to spell it out.

by Steve M 2008-01-22 05:12PM | 0 recs

i used the error that this diary suggests (80 is one-third of 168) as demonstrative of the fact that it is rife with error.

the diarist continues to make the FALSE CLAIM that 4800 S Cottage Grove (the address in the letter above) is FOUR BLOCKS OUTSIDE obama's old senate district -- something that is easily disproved for anyone here.  she lies about this intentionally, knowing full well that her claim is false.

barack obama's state senate district was 13.

48th and cottage grove is in the 13th illinois senate district.  bare with me, because pointing out something the diarist already knows (and lies about) is not as easy as pointing out the mathematic error here.

chicago provides a voter lookup for addresses in the city.  i used a real address to discover the validity of my claim (that the letter was written in support of obama's il. senate constituents:

plug in the following street address: 4828 in the HOUSE NO. column, south in the STREET DIRECTION column and cottage grove in the STREET NAME column.  click "lookup" (or hit return).

you will get this result:

Ward:       4
Precinct:     50

etc.  click on "Democratic Party Ballot" in the right hand column.

there is no state senate race on the ballot, but you can find a rather heated state representative race (26th district) at the top of the second column of the sample ballot [PDF].  the current representative of that district is elga jefferies, who's "associated senator" (last paragraph) is Kwame Raoul, of the 13th District.

the diarist continues to lie about the fact that this address is clearly, unambiguously in barack's old illinois senate district, continuously claiming that it is four block outside that district.  moreover, she falsely claims that this fact is stated in the articles she cites -- which is clearly untrue.

now you may be a stickler for these facts, but most people here aren't.  the diarist is clearly lying, something obvious to me, but perhaps not so obvious to you.  it's quite easy to pick it apart (which i've done)...

by bored now 2008-01-22 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: bullshit...

You won't even own up to the dishonest argument you've posted about a dozen times in this thread?

You have zero credibility with me.  I'm not even going to fact-check what you just posted because I simply assume that you're lying about something.

by Steve M 2008-01-23 05:00AM | 0 recs
i never expected you to verify it...

it's not like you're an honest broker here.  i see nothing dishonest about using a simple error to note that this diary was rife with errors.  you're reaction is exactly why...

by bored now 2008-01-23 05:17AM | 0 recs

Obama is playing the "race" and "victim" cards quite successfully.
IMHO - MLK, Jr. would be very disappointed.

MLK, Jr. never advocated Kumbaya with the KKK - and never pandered with "unity" crap. That would have been easy.
He sought economic justice for the voiceless and all those forced to "go along to get along" in our economy built on slave labor.

And that economy is STILL in force today. Our tax laws reward wealth - not work. And the Washington lobbyists who have funded Obama's political career and the careers of Congressional Dems endorsing him -  perpetuate economic injustice!

The corporate owned media and press - DC establishment and Congressional Dems - endorse Obama's old political trick of "bringing us all together" - rather than addressing the VAST economic injustice that prevails today.

Obama can't bring Senate Democrats together - much less the country. But that same "unity" rhetoric worked well for Lieberman too.

Only John Edwards has had the courage to continue MLK, Jr's message of ECONOMIC INJUSTICE - and the main reason he's been dissed and dismissed.

by annefrank 2008-01-23 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

Republicans can just as easily dig this up. You Hillary and Obama fans act like these are all top secret things only DEmocrats know how to drudge up. It also does not make it right to point out that the Clintons have had questionable ties at times.

by Pravin 2008-01-22 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

"Most egregious of all" is hiring the dude's friend's kid as an intern?  Isn't that a little penny-ante compared to the other stuff?

by Steve M 2008-01-21 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

Yeah, this is right up Karl Rove's alley.

by Politico80 2008-01-21 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

I edited the diary.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Major Contributor Rezk

I appreciate your unwavering dedication to truth and accuracy.

by Steve M 2008-01-21 09:54PM | 0 recs

Yeah, I'm not sure that HRC attacking another for the ethics or practices of a law firm or clients of a law firm is an area of inquiry of which I'm particularly comfortable, unless one is entirely comfortable with irony.

by ChrisR 2008-01-21 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Oy

You're missing the point.

by RJEvans 2008-01-21 10:53PM | 0 recs
apparently not...

obviously, the point is to drag obama into the mud, where hillary already plays.  by making obama and hillary equivalent, hillaryland hopes to sand the spark off of barack.  if barack is talking about something other than his inspiration-driven vision for america, he's just like hillary.  and the clintons believe they can win if the fight is in the mud instead of in the clouds.

i think we all understand the point.  hillary's a weak candidate, and the only way she can win is by avoiding the issues, talking about anything other than their vision for america, by smearing her opponents.

because, you know, voters will never get tired of that...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The Point? Swiftboat Obama

We know how the clinton operatives work...throw crap at the wall and hope it sticks.
I guess it is time for Obama supporters to start looking at Hillary's brothers... and cash payments to them in exchange for pardons..such pillars of the community ..the clintons and rodhams....NOT!!!

There is so much scandal in the Clintons realm, where to start?

Hillaryis44 has mobilized the lying brigade and they are out in force.
How transparent they are. SAD.

by hawkjt 2008-01-22 05:08AM | 0 recs
if this was about one of Obamas brothers

id see your point, but it's not.

its about work obama did as a state senator in getting state funds for projects for Rezko, that obama's own law firm - at the same time - were working on!!

plus that buying the lot scheme that saved the Obamas 950 grand on their new house.

this is not old news,  rezko will be on trial for fraud and political bribery in one months time.  
get used to this story, its gonna be with us to the end.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-22 07:33AM | 0 recs

where's the conflict of interest?  lots of innuendo, but where's the facts?

there is absolutely no indication that rezko save the obama's any money on their house, especially since they made an offer before rezko did (by almost a week).  and the obama's saved exactly 15% on their house over the asking price.  any HONEST person would understand that not everyone pays the asking price, let alone the extra money that you suggest he had to pay.  i understand that you are bad at math, but get a clue...

by bored now 2008-01-22 03:21PM | 0 recs
You may have forgotten

But Hillary and her law practice were absolutely cleared in the Whitewater matter, not only by the Resolution Trust Corp. but by Ken Starr.

I am unaware of any other charges of ethical impropriety or illegality in regard to her business dealings.  Can you be specific as to what you are referring to?

by Trickster 2008-01-22 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: You may have forgotten

I thought it was Robert Ray who published the Whitewater report.

by Steve M 2008-01-22 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: You may have forgotten
True. And Obama isn't indicted or under investigation for anything associated with Rezko. And he never will be.
Case closed, why even bring this up?
by fetboy 2008-01-22 11:21AM | 0 recs
That's not my point

My point is to get away from the assumption of guilt when the name "Clinton" is uttered in favor of factual analysis.

I'm not the one who brought Rezko up.  However, I'm less confident than you about the "never will be" part.  What I do know about the land deal doesn't smell too good; in fact, even after undergoing basically 15 years of investigation, nothing comparable in Hillary Clinton's past has been unearthed.

by Trickster 2008-01-22 11:40AM | 0 recs
feel free to provide a cite that says she was...

cleared.  i missed that...

by bored now 2008-01-22 03:22PM | 0 recs
You haven't been looking too close then

Try the Wikipedia entry on Whitewater.

The Clintons were eventually cleared of all wrongdoing in two reports prepared by the San Francisco law firm of Pillsbury Madison and Sutro for the Resolution Trust Corporation, which was overseeing the liquidation of Madison Guaranty.

* * *

Kenneth Starr's successor as Independent Counsel, Robert Ray, released a report in September 2000 that stated "This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct." . . . Ray's report effectively ended the Whitewater investigation, with a total cost to American taxpayers of nearly $60 million.

I hate to say this out loud, but if some prosecutor spent $60 large investigating my past I'd be cooling my heels in the slammer this time next year.  

by Trickster 2008-01-22 03:49PM | 0 recs
the starr report is quite equivocal...

i certainly don't read that to say that she was "exonerated of all charges" (bill's words).  but if you have the cite that does say that, feel free to post it...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:57PM | 0 recs
"cleared of all wrongdoing"

vs "exonerated of all charges."

Hmmm. . . .  I'm not really seeing the big distinction.

by Trickster 2008-01-22 06:50PM | 0 recs
To truthteller2007.

You need to fact check your own fact checking.
According to the Chicago Sun-times Link you provided:

""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.""

In other words the Cottage View Terrace was good (and is still good) for the community. Which means the letters Obama wrote giving his support to get the project funded was not a conflict of interest, but rather an effort on his part, as a state senator, to improve a local community. Was that a favor for the eventual residences of Cottage View Terrace, or just a favor for New Kenwood LLC? The project had to be built by someone, and it was built with no controversy. And can you say for certain that Obama knew that Rezko was attached to New Kenwood LLC?
The two letters, which are identical and sent on the same day to the same person, proves nothing, except that Obama wanted the New Kenwood LLC Cottage View Terrace project built.

BTW. Last I heard, taking on interns is not considered a political favor.

by fetboy 2008-01-21 10:54PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

You are citing the Obama campaign as a fact?  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

I am citing the Chicago Sun-Times article you linked.

by fetboy 2008-01-21 11:13PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

And they are citing the Obama campaign.  They also cite Rezko's attorney in the passage you reproduce.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 11:19PM | 0 recs
now you're questioning what politicians do for...

their constituents??  if you want to do that, then you open the clintons back up to selling the lincoln bedroom.

oh, wait.  i forgot.  there's one standard for hillary and another for everyone else.  power has its privileges, and hillary will make sure she has her's...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:06AM | 0 recs
Re: now you're questioning what politicians do for

the project for which obama wrote the letter was located outside of obama's district.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:08AM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

the letters were sent to two different individuals.  apparently obama's staff in springfield did not type the correct greeting in the second letter.

and why did obama write the letter after he received the contribution from rezko?  and why did he write a letter for someone whose tenants lacked heat during a chicago winter for 5 weeks.  surely he and other elected representatives were aware of this problem.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 11:01PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.
Because he wanted the New Kenwood LLC Cottage View Terrace project built.
Also, if Obama had talked to Rezko about Kenwood LLC, why would Rezko, an indicted man, deny such conversations ever took place?
by fetboy 2008-01-21 11:17PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

Rezko refuses to discuss Obama with reporters.  One must also consider that this is the man whose wife participated in the questionable scheme that enabled Obama to purchase his mansion below market value.  

Obama and Rezko clearly have an agreement.

This article is one you may find edifying.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 11:23PM | 0 recs
please cite the article were rezko talks about...

blagojevich.  or any chicago politician.

once again, another example of your double standards.  come on, admit it.  you're not really a democrat, are you?

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:08AM | 0 recs
Re: please cite the article were rezko talks about

click the link to the article embedded in the comment to which you responded.  it is a five page article, and i recommend you read the entire piece.  i also recommend you read every single article i cite in the diary.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:14AM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

and citing burton and rezko's attorneys as impartial parties who offer facts is somewhat laughable.  and why was obama writing letters on behalf of his former boss?  or do state senators' former bosses always land deals with government entities?

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 11:03PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

Unless I am mistaken, the letters giving Obama's support to get the New Kenwood LLC Cottage View Terrace project built were sent from Obama's Senate office, not from his employer's.

by fetboy 2008-01-21 11:23PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

A part time legislator, he also worked for the Davis law firm.  And according to the Sun-Times, he worked for the law firm in 1998, the same year he undertook a case related to Rezko's slumlord land business.  

Obama was elected to the Illinois state Senate in 1996.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 11:25PM | 0 recs
also a part-time job from which he drew less...

than his senate salary.  the firm has said that there were weeks were barack only did four billable hours worth of work.

but that's truth.  and what is true is not what you are interested in here...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:10AM | 0 recs
Re: also a part-time job from which he drew less..

his history with that law firm and their client, rezko, involves more than just obama's work at the firm.  but obama worked at the firm the year he wrote letters for rezko and davis on his state senate letterhead.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:12AM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

the fact check states he wrote the letters from his illinois state senate office.  the problem the fact check elucidates is the potential conflict of interest of a state senator who writes letters on behalf of his boss and his boss's clients.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-21 11:27PM | 0 recs
that's the swiftboat version...

a more common way to see this is that obama had letters written on behalf of his constituents.  because allowing poor black families to freeze is immoral.

oh, that's right.  you're supporting hillary.  she doesn't mind doing immoral.  

here's the truth: barack doesn't take immoral stands.  you may be against helping poor black families get heat during the winter, but barack wasn't.  that you find this incriminating is not only shameful, it shows you for exactly what you are.

really, admit that you're a republican.  not even one of hillary's democratic supporters would be against getting heat turned on for poor black families...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:14AM | 0 recs

I do a favor for someone and then I say "this wasn't a favor" and that makes it NOT a favor?  Are you kidding?

by MollieBradford 2008-01-22 04:57AM | 0 recs
This user has 0 credibility

MollieBradford is someone who, on Martin Luther King day, linked to a white-supremacist cite which referred to the Rev. King as "Marxist Michael King," to back up a desperate Obama smear.   When confronted, she tried to use a Townhall.com article by Linda Chavez to back up her libels.  And she never admitted she was wrong, never apologized.  

by gobacktotexas 2008-01-22 05:01AM | 0 recs
stalker spam

by MollieBradford 2008-01-22 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: This user has 0 credibility

You've made your point.  And you given this same response to Mollie several times.  You're spamming.

by Denny Crane 2008-01-22 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

Yes it is, it's a favor to the father, the campaign donor.

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

Obama is honest and open and disengages with Rezko.

Clinton gets in bed with them (Peter Paul, Tsu, and now Korge) and names Corrupt people "FL Finance Chair"
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2008-01-24/ news/hillary-clinton-s-money-man/

People who live in glass houses should never throw stones....

by antimud2008 2008-01-23 12:19PM | 0 recs
Inaccurate and full of innuendo...

you state: "During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times has found."

the amount that you imply obama has received from "rezko and his associates" was $168,308.  more than 80k has been given to charity.

most people would say that 80 is almost half of 168.  but not you!  your immense hatred of barack is too great.

feel free to prove the rest of your allegations.  all you've given here is innuendo.  now there's lots of petty and disgusting innuendo out there about hillary, but i have to much class to repeat it.  obviously, the same cannot be said of you.

you fail to mention that the building obama got money for was in his state senate district.  the people who benefited were his constituents.  an honest person would consider that constituent services.  but not you!

wanna talk about how much pork hillary got earmarked for new york?  it certainly cannot be counted in the thousands!

finally, it is stupid to consider rezko and obama as having major connections.  patrick fitzgerald doesn't.

rezko raised more than $12M for governor blagojevish, which is why he's under indictment.

rezko raised more than $5M for speaker madigan and his various committees.

there is no reason to believe at this point that rezko raised more than 80,000 for obama, over ten years.  as has been pointed out before, the suntimes computer analysis assumes too many things: once connected to rezko, always connected to rezko; that he employed certain people for the whole ten years; that people who lived in obama's senate district only contributed because of rezko.  

you are, of course, free to prove any of this.  but this is nothing more than swiftboating.  it's republican smear tactics, against a democrat.

you're really george w. bush, aren't you?

by bored now 2008-01-21 11:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Inaccurate and full of innuendo...

you are wrong.  the building is actually outside of obama's senate district, which makes the letter he wrote even more questionable.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:04AM | 0 recs
what's the address?

clearly, you mean outside his senate district now.  after redistricting...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:15AM | 0 recs
Re: what's the address?

it was located outside of his senate district.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 06:50AM | 0 recs
no, it wasn't.

but thanks for trying to confuse the issue with your errant understanding of the facts.  shows your true republican nature...

by bored now 2008-01-22 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: no, it wasn't.

read the article: it was located four blocks outside the senate district.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 03:30PM | 0 recs
that's why i asked for the address..,

you are clearly confused.  you are talking about one property, and i am talking about another.  since you realize that rezmar developed numerous properties, i'd think you would have understood this.

the property i was discussing was inside obama's state senate district.  you seem very confused by that...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Inaccurate and full of innuendo...

some claim rezko raised over $14 million for obama.  but i rely on the sun-times, which only cites donations directly connected to rezko's immediate bundling network.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:05AM | 0 recs
i call bull on your cite...

if rezko had raised 14M for obama, he'd have raised more money for obama than all the money obama raised during the period that rezko was involved.

and citing the suntimes hardly makes the charge credible...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Inaccurate and full of innuendo...

and you neglect to consider how rezko hosted an expensive fundraiser at his winnetka home for obama.

and regarding kenwood llc, the building was two blocks outside the senate district of obama.  but obama wrote the letter nonetheless.  this obviously has everything to do with the projects partners, obama's former boss, who left the davis law firm one year earlier, and rezko, for whom obama did legal work that year.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:07AM | 0 recs
unlike you...

i don't comment on things i know nothing about.  i'd need more facts.  i certainly don't rely on the suntimes to provide them for me...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:19AM | 0 recs
Re: unlike you...

i have researched obama's personal, political and fiduciary relationships to rezko since the problematic real estate transaction in 2005.  a resident of the chicagoland area, you suprisingly know very little about obama's checkered past with rezko.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 01:11AM | 0 recs
which is why i accuse you of swiftboating...

you are deliberately taking things out of context to imply behavior that is untoward.  we recognize that behavior.  it's certainly not behavior we find in democrats...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:11AM | 0 recs
Re: which is why i accuse you of swiftboating...

enjoy the day.  i understand you support obama, and i understand you necessarily have to ignore your candidate's various shortcomings.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 02:14AM | 0 recs
we don't know yet that rezko is a shortcoming...

there's nothing proven yet to suggest that barack did anything immoral, illegal or unethical.  if someone does, my support will end.  but what you've written is neither new nor does it fall into those categories...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:35AM | 0 recs
Re: we don't know yet that rezko is a shortcoming.

thank you for your opinion.  too bad the facts i cite militate against the various claims you make.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 08:35AM | 0 recs
facts like 80 is one-third of 168????

your "facts" only show that you are making specious claims!

by bored now 2008-01-22 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: facts like 80 is one-third of 168????

your impertinent comments are products of your diabolical disingenuousness.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: which is why i accuse you of swiftboating...

Rezko lives in Wilmette, a very wealthy suburb of Chicago, and he lives there on MY tax dollar, stolen from the poverty stricken.

How does this reflect on Obama, with the average voter?

So, Obama is for the working man, right?

I'd vote for Huckabee, too.

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 08:44AM | 0 recs
I quote

the Chicago Sun-Times:

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.

Read a few articles before engaging in a vain attempt to invalidate my rigorous diary.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:10AM | 0 recs

what a crock!  want to tell us again how 80 is one-third of 168?

or how you bait and switch here?  i talk about one building and you talk about another?

let's not use terms with which you are unfamiliar...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:23AM | 0 recs
Re: rigorous???

then return all the donations directly tied to rezko.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 01:07AM | 0 recs
afaik, he did...

if you have proof otherwise, feel free to share it.  it you need the number for patrick fitzgerald, i will be glad to share that with you.

there's nothing in this diary that hasn't been investigated.  the fact that you need to infer improprieties where none exists demonstrates your intent here...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:13AM | 0 recs
Re: afaik, he did...

the obama campaign tacitly admitted guilt by returning donations they claim are tied to rezko.  now that they have already acknowledged their complicity with rezko's various enterprises, why not return all the money from rezko's immediate bundling network?

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 02:15AM | 0 recs
If this is true
Then Hillary Clinton admits her guilty role with Hsu.
You can't blame someone for the contributions they accept, and then donate to charity after the contributions become suspect.
by fetboy 2008-01-22 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: If this is true

but i can assign blame knowing he wrote letters from his state senate office while offering legal representation in a private law firm.  i also understand this is the man who helped obama purchase his mansion.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 06:49AM | 0 recs

You are putting a lot of weight in identical letters that amount to nothing more than support for government funds to be used to construct a senior citizen project, which was not a controversial project. Also, last I heard obtaining help in buying your residential home does not constitute something illegal. In their home purchase the Obama's received no money from Rezko's wife. True, Mrs. Rezko's buying the vacant lot did help the deal go through, but the Obama's did not buy their home from the Rezkos.

by fetboy 2008-01-22 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Blame???

I guess all of us should ask an indicted slumlord involved in various kickback schemes involving illinois politicians to assist us in our real estate transactions.  but we should only ask the indicted slumlord to assist our attempts to purchase kenwood mansions below the price of sale after we have used the political office he helped us to obtain with his bundling network to his benefit.  moreover, we can only ask the indicted slumlord for help after we have also helped him in the law office where one of his partners who happens to be our boss is his partner.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Blame???

and we will engage in the questionable real estate transaction even after he is indicted.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 07:47AM | 0 recs
one of a number of elected officials who wrote...

letters.  yeah, i know.  you pretend barack had power.  and you judge him by a different standard...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:25PM | 0 recs
no, there's a double standard...

hillary can do what she wants.  it's everyone else who must be treated with contempt...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:24PM | 0 recs
and here i thought they returned the money...

because they believed it was contributed by an unethical person they didn't want to associate with!

perhaps you should try not making stuff up...

by bored now 2008-01-22 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: rigorous???

Obama only admitted to 60k of the money at first.

"Obama and Rezko have been friends since 1990, and Obama said the Wilmette businessman raised as much as $60,000 for him during his political career. After Rezko's indictment, Obama donated $11,500 to charity--a total that represents what Rezko contributed to the senator's federal campaign fund."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/12 4171,CST-NWS-obama05.article

Blind loyalty is above all things-blind.

by awomanforachange 2008-01-22 03:24AM | 0 recs
there's that double standard again...

the suntimes used a computer analysis that linked contributors to rezko.  that's fine, but unlike the diarist, i'm not willing to concede that its analysis has firm standing.  if the suntimes would like to give us access to its program and the data it used, then that's another matter.  at this point, that request has been refused.

because i can (easily) poke holes in these arguments does not mean that i am blindly loyal.  the reason i oppose hillary is because of her refusal to take a moral stand on the iraq war.  i'll throw barack or any pol under the bus if they can't meet a certain level of ethics and morality.

but no one has shown that yet...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:30AM | 0 recs
To truthteller2007.
As interesting as your research is, and it is interesting, but I don't see two identical letters giving support to get a senior citizen project built, and an intern appointment, as political favors.
The fact remains that you have provided nothing that proves that Obama gave any political favors as a state senator, or that he did much work at all for Rezko.
You are right that Obama and Rezko had a friendship that I would like to know more about, but it doesn't look like (from my perspective) that Obama did anything illegal, anything that was harmful to Illinois, or was part of anything that could be considered part of a scandal.
Rezko is a bad man, but just because he befriended and became a patron of Obama, doesn't make Obama a bad man.
Unless you can provide a smoking gun, all of your research is unsubstantiated deduction and supposition at best
All you have proven is that Obama did (plural) legal tasks for Rezko, not just one task. Whether that means more than 5 billable hours in regards to one church? Who really cares?
by fetboy 2008-01-22 12:13AM | 0 recs
Re: To truthteller2007.

the sun-times reports a donation in 1997, and we have letters he wrote on behalf of rezko in 1998.  and those letters secured taxpayer funds for an enterprise located outside of obama's senate district.  and obama wrote that letter even though rezko's slums in his district were deteriorating.  notice also that rezko was sued for not providing heat to the inhabitants of these buildings.  also consider that obama wrote the letters when he was working at the law firm of whom rezko was a client.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 12:16AM | 0 recs
none of which is illegal or unethical...

by any standards.  i know, i know, you support hillary, so you have double standards here, but in this case you are implying that there's something wrong with it.

one of the problems that you have here is that this occurred in chicago, where alderman have more power than state legislators, and when (iirc) obama was in the minority.  most of the multi-dwelling buildings in obama's state senate district would qualify to be called slums.  i suppose the republican thing would be to have denied help to those who owned them because, you know, poor people aren't worth helping.

but here's a great instance where obama gave hope to people, his constituents, AND HILLARY ATTACKS HIM FOR IT!

what has the democratic party come to???  when helping the poor, the people without a voice, is attacked (undoubtedly because hillary didn't do it), we are a party who has lost its way.  it's one thing to employ rovian swiftboat tactics (which is disgusting in itself), but it's quite another to employ them against the poor black families as this diarist does.  it's disgusting...

by bored now 2008-01-22 12:29AM | 0 recs
Re: none of which is illegal or unethical...

securing money for an enterprise whose owner operated slums with no heat for constituents in obama's district was a wise decision?  and writing a letter from a state senate office for a client and a boss who worked in that law office is a wise decision?  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 01:09AM | 0 recs

and the fact that you ask this question, despite your claim to have researched this thoroughly, shows that you want to smear barack and nothing more.

i completely reject your inference that poor people shouldn't be cared for.  i actually find it disgusting.  since you've researched this, you know that nothing gets done in chicago where someone doesn't make money.  the people who do work in the poor southside of chicago hope to make more money than other places, on the assertion that their gamble is riskier.  that's daley's chicago.

you seem to think that poor black families don't deserve dwellings or something.

and your inference that barack alone was responsible for writing these letters demonstrates your need to intentionally mislead.  truthteller my arse.

since you've thoroughly researched this, you know that this letter was one of more than a dozen, all asking the same thing.  and, since you've done your research, you know that not all these letters came from black officials who resided over areas covered.  at least one letter was written by a westside alderman (kenwood is next to hyde park, or the southside).  afaik, rezko did not contribute to all the people who wrote letters on his behalf.

your mischievous attempt to draw a straight line between a campaign donation (quite small, for rezko) and development activities on the southside of chicago is a deliberate attempt to mislead people.  this isn't the north shore or the northside, where you have powerful alderman like burke, mell and natarius.  one letter doesn't do squat.  because black politicians have so little power on their own, they have a practice of getting numerous black pols to write letters for every little thing.  obama's undoubtedly wrote thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of these -- as did the alderman and state representatives in the area.

so, yes, it was a wise decision.  it would have stood out as contemptuous if he hadn't.

but that doesn't serve your purpose, so you've ignored it.  let's remember, this is all about double standards and screwing barack...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:25AM | 0 recs
Re: sure...

Getting gov money for a developer who is a known slumlord who left his tenants without heat in a Chicago winter is not helping poor black families. Withholding pertinent facts is not integrity. Just because corruption has a history in a city doesn't make it right to keep greasing the same palms. The Clintons have been through the fire and passed. Don't you think there would have been endictments if Starr had ever come up with any real evidence of wrongdoing? Do you know how many of Clinton's accusers have admitted to lying? Your rabid Clinton-hatred gives you no credibility. Obama has to come up with a helluva explanation or they'll tear him apart in November.

by awomanforachange 2008-01-22 03:50AM | 0 recs
i'm not defending rezko...

i hate the system here.  but i also know that there isn't sufficient low cost housing for poor families (regardless of color) in chicago and the surrounding areas.  anyone who is willing to add to the housing stock in the area at a reasonable cost (as rezko did) deserves some minimal appreciation.  you won't find me defending rezko (or higgenbottom or any slum lord) here.  but it's easy to defend barack's support for the rehabbing of low-end housing stock for poor black families in his area.

quite frankly, if you think hillary has been through fire than you have no clue what is coming.  hillary has never faced real republican competition and what they did to her as the spouse of an elected official is nothing compared to what they will do to her as a presidential candidate.

afaik, and i certainly am no expert on hillary, the starr investigation was aimed at bill, not hillary.  that you infer that starr or whoever has already found everything about her, when she was never the target of his investigation (afaik) seems like wishful thinking...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:36AM | 0 recs
Re: i'm not defending rezko...

Bored you don't live in NY region

"quite frankly, if you think hillary has been through fire than you have no clue what is coming.  hillary has never faced real republican competition"

If you did you would never have made this statemet. That first senate run against Rudy/Fazio was a stinker.  

by ottovbvs 2008-01-22 05:01AM | 0 recs

if you want to get technical, i still have a place in the village.  i still pay property taxes as well as some other taxes on the property.  i have to have some place to stay in nyc during the allman brothers' beacon run.

there are other reasons why i am more familiar with hillary's campaign in 2000 than the average person, though.  regardless, rick lazio was well-known on long island, but failed to get his name recog above 50% in the state as a whole.  his campaign in westchester was absolutely awful.  it's as if they imagined they could beat her by running on tv -- not exactly a classic gop/conservative movement campaign.  lazio was never able to marry his campaign to republicans outside long island.  hillary was able to exploit, whether by design or coincidence, the palpable divisions in the ny republican party in 2000.

you remember the tv ads.  which makes you almost unique.  on election day, perhaps only democrats did.  ftr, i'm not a big believer in television to win elections (it's a component of a good campaign, not the whole enchallata)...

by bored now 2008-01-22 05:19AM | 0 recs
jesus h christ

ken starr's office investigated the hell out of hillary.

they grilled about everyone on her staff over billing records, vince foster, cattle futures, travelgate, the whole host of false and wild tales.

lawyers for that cesspool of an office even leaked to the press the lie that an idictment of her was expected "any day".

we're still waiting...

my god, the idea that the right, the media and the gop havent tried to find anything and everything to stop her before this is so ludicrous it's bordering on self deluding dementia.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-22 07:51AM | 0 recs
and yet, we all know that it will get brought up..

again when she's the nominee.  there's experience i didn't want to relive...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: i'm not defending rezko...

Are you that much of a kool-aid drinker, or not  politically astute?

Obama aided a man who stole from the rank and file taxpayer, and that man stole from the poor by NOT providing what he was contractually obligated to provide, including a failure to provide HEAT during a Chicago winter.

But in the interim, he managed to purchase, and maintain a house in Wilmette.

How do you spin this with the average taxpayer, as opposed to the Marin County/ San Francisco crew?

Or don't you know?

This is why Obama will lose, btw. You need to change your approach, and come clean.

You're speaking to your peers, as of now, not the voter. And Obama is being "picked" to death.

It's one thing for Bush to do it, another for a democrat.

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: i'm not defending rezko...

Obama helped his wealthy friend and patron, slumlord Tony Rezko (show Wilmette house)obtain government contracts for public housing(show rezko's failed properties)  making Tony a millionaire at the expense of poor Chicagoans, and the taxpayer(show poor BLACK Chicagoans/rich Tony in his Mercedes, Obama). Tony later helped Obama in a sweetheart deal on million dollar house.(show Obamas house, and land, show Tony and Obama, touching, smiling, dressed well). Tony never did do that government work ( show failed construction, again), but he did keep the money.

(Show homeless, frozen chicagoan) Tony's tenants weren't so lucky, they went without heat during the frozen Chicago winter, and some lost their homes. Patrick Fitzgerald even indicted Tony for his criminal conduct.

Meanwhile,Tony and Obama live like millionaires, on your taxpayer dollars.

Mike Huckabee will work....

get it?

With apologies, script is off the top of my head.

(Obama as lazy, corrupt, stealing from the middle class taxpayer who gives money to democrats in good faith to be used for the poor, stealing from the POOR, and taxpayer, to enrich himself.) That is what will be used, and you'll say what?

Clinton did it, too? This is what Obama did, and you're the only one in denial.

Why do the working classes always vote against their own interests, anyway?

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 11:11AM | 0 recs
i'm unaware that rezko profited from what...

i've always heard called failed real estate ventures.  obviously, you have information unavailable to the rest of us.  could you please provide sources for your assertion that rezmar made rezko a millionaire.

the rest of us have been told that rezko made most of his money off of his food concessions that he received from acting as the governor's fix-it guy.  no one has ever associated his healthy financial picture to obama except you.  i wonder why that is?

as for your last question, it appears that the working class(es) are smarter than you...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: i'm unaware that rezko profited from what...

Obama's house is valued over a million, right?

Hence, making his estate worth over a million, even if an asterisk is included.

I would venture the same for Rezko's property, too.

Secondly, it's strongly starting to smell like Rezko laundered campaign money, and if that is true, Obama is even MORE tainted.

But more importantly, don't you want CLEAN candidates, who properly represent the public?

Do you see why voters don't vote democratic?

Rezko, a democratic, STOLE from poor people ( the ostensible democratic constituency), and the taxpayer.

What, and WHO DO democrats represent?

And yes, the same goes for Clinton, and she should be throughly vetted too, as should Edwards.

I'm more concerned with Democrats winning elections, and trying to understand why they  don't, as opposed to mindlessly defending a fatally flawed candidate.

I apologize, though, if I was unclear.

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 05:54PM | 0 recs
i'm disputing seymour's claim that obama saved...

a million on this sale, not that his house is worth a million.

rezko is clearly dirty, and i agree about the laundering campaign money claim (the only new piece of information to come out this weekend).

voters don't vote democratic because we have an inconsistent and ever-changing message that confuses them.

while the facts suggest that rezko stole from the taxpayers (his buildings were rehabbed by city, state and federal dollars, not the low rents fixed to section 8 housing), i in no way want to defend rezko (nor, as seymour has pointed out, barack's stupid defense of his friendship with rezko).

there is nothing here (yet) to suggest that barack is fatally flawed.  clinton, otoh, has numerous flaws that i would consider fatal in a general election...

by bored now 2008-01-22 11:31PM | 0 recs
obama helped his constituents...

i'm not sure why you think that's problematic.  is it because they were poor, so they didn't deserve his help?  because they were black?  or is it just because hillary is scared she can't win against a historic candidacy???

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: none of which is illegal or unethical...

Rezko STOLE money from the poverty stricken, in Chicago, and Obama helped him.

This is the arguement you refuse to address.

This is what the republicans will sell to the public, and they'd be right.

You're missing the point, drowning yourself, wrapping yourself in your own obtuse, trite, spin.

Sell your candidate, but at least respond to the arguement.

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 08:50AM | 0 recs
no, it's an assertion i refuse to concede...

errant reports and innuendo aren't things i happen to buy (and, you know, i know how to add)...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:29PM | 0 recs
i don't really recognize fictitious assertions...

even when they come from the clinton campaign.  as a seeker of truth, i find out what the facts are and act on them.  you have no obligation to join me...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:37PM | 0 recs
I had no idea that a lone state senator's four line letter had so much power.  
Those letters did not secure funds, and you have no proof that Obama knew that Rezko was attached to New Kenwood LLC.
And do I need to remind you that Cottage Grove was (and is) a good project for Chicago.
by fetboy 2008-01-22 12:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow.

his former boss was also engaged in the process.  and he wrote the letters in the same year he worked on a project involving rezko at the law office where the former boss worked.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 01:06AM | 0 recs
because loyalty is a bad thing...

wouldn't it be interesting to use this same form of twisted logic about hillary?  i mean, we have her hidden billing records, and amazing cattle futures profits, et al.  lots of hillary's past looks alarming when you use your form of twisted logic.  

but most of us are good democrats, and we don't swiftboat our own.  obviously, you feel that you're above democratic values...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:31AM | 0 recs
Re: because loyalty is a bad thing...

i desire to nominate the candidate who can win the general election.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 02:33AM | 0 recs
i remember hearing that in 2004...

and i assert that democrats are tremendously bad in picking candidates that can win the general election.

instead of the optimistic candidate (in a country that loves optimistic candidates) you choose the one who's widely considered angry.

instead of the candidate who runs on, and fits, the message of change, you choose the one who runs on experience with the status quo.

these facts suggest that either you do not care about winning the general election (which would be my thought) or you don't understand what it takes to win the general election.  or you just prefer hillary, and you tell yourself that she can win.  but your choice hardly fits with your reasoning...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:39AM | 0 recs
Re: because loyalty is a bad thing...

We know what Obama did, we know how the system works.

The bigger question is how do the republicans use Obama's conduct, a democratic aggregate behavior, say,  against the democrats to win the working and middle class vote, and therefore the elections,  and why?

The Republicans exploit Democratic hypocrisy.

Cheney, say, misuses tax payer dollars too, and  lies about it, but he's upfront about it, and Ameicans are pragmatic. Better the money go to defense, with Cheney taking a cut, as opposed to it being laundered by Tony Rezko, before going on to Obama, and others.

"Haliburton is Cheney's Rezko, but the lesser evil, at least Haliburton gets oil for us" --
that's incorrect, but if you have to choose between your criminals...

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 11:47AM | 0 recs
yep, fear mongering, that's the ticket....

i'm not one who argues that democrats should be republican lites.  i understand your argument and i reject it.  if you want to be a republican, go right ahead...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:39PM | 0 recs
she just hates barack...

i'd strongly suggest that it's more important to see what she leaves out of the story than what she includes...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:26AM | 0 recs
Re: she just hates barack...

yes, i did fail to discuss obama's entire history with rezko.  shall i broach a discussion on the mansion they jointly purchased after rezko was indicted?  or shall i discuss how michelle obama was a special guest at a fashion show rezko coordinated in rosemont, illinois, two weeks after rezko was indicted.  where to begin?

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 02:35AM | 0 recs
you can't even get this right...

why should you be considered credible on other aspects of it?

everyone understands that you want to swiftboat barack and you will use half-truths and innuendo to do so.

oh, wait -- you support romney, don't you?  i forgot that republicans want to run against hillary...

by bored now 2008-01-22 02:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Stinky

you are very welcome.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 02:28AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor

yes, he did lie.  he and rezko have known one another for 17 years, and this is just a scratch on the surface.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 02:34AM | 0 recs
Awesome work, Corp Media should be as good

Obama had no problem looking into the camera last night and telling a whopper of a lie, re: Rezco.   Obama is so deep in bed with this guy it is sickening.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-22 03:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Stinky


by awomanforachange 2008-01-22 03:52AM | 0 recs
If Rezko gets traction he's in trouble over it.

I didn't think it would get much a week or so ago and thought it was another one of the heated blog world controversies that don't register in the real world. I'm sensing that's going to start changing. After last night's performance I'm waiting for Obama to start talking about high tech lynchings a la Thomas.      

by ottovbvs 2008-01-22 04:05AM | 0 recs

Up until last night, I thought Senator Obama had been a community organizer, a civil rights lawyer, and a professor; I didn't know he ever worked for a private law firm, but when he said he was an associate, that meant he worked for a private firm?  Where did he work and for how long? I do not ask this because there is a problem, it is just part of his work history tha I have never heard before.

by nascardem 2008-01-22 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Question?

He worked at the Davis law firm from 1993 through at least 1998.  His friendship with Rezko spans 17 years.

Read this article for more.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Question?

He worked for a small law firm, for about a decade from '93 - '03, that specialized in civil rights and non-profit work.  

This is how the connection to Rezko developed. Rezko partnered with one of the non-profit church groups represented by Obama's firm.  The church group and Rezko formed an LLC to develop low income housing.  Obama apparently did some of the legal work to create the LLC.

Don't be fooled by all the razzle-dazzle, this is nothing more than a guilt by association attack.  Obama is not accused of doing anything wrong.  The worst they can come up with is that Obama gave the son of an associate of Rezko a one month unpaid internship.  Whoop-de-do!?!

by upper left 2008-01-22 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Question?

And Obama's former boss was in business with Rezko in 1998, when Obama was offering both legal representation for Rezko in the Davis law firm and writing letters for Rezko from his state Senate office.  And according to the biographical sketch Obama submitted to the Sun-Times in 1998, Obama specialized in real estate law. I quote:

But Obama did legal work on real estate deals while at Davis' firm, according to biographical information he submitted to the Sun-Times in 1998. Obama specialized "in civil rights litigation, real estate financing, acquisition, construction and/or redevelopment of low-and moderate income housing,'' according to his "biographical sketch."

Obama did a lot more than just civil rights law at the Davis law firm.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 07:41AM | 0 recs
Obama has defined himself

as a "civl rights" lawyer,which sounds VERY NOBLE to his followers, but in reality it seems much of his law work was all about real estate deals involving minority set asides and grants administered to sometimes shady "non profits' and insider machine deal making to the Nth degree.

Ive been around people working on such low income housing deals, they make huge money off of them and it is so cynical, so false, so phony....but its all done from deep, deep inside the power structure.

This is an onion and the layers go on forever.


this has been a tremendous diary and an even better defense of it.

you now own this issue.

you gotta do another one on the house, the 950 grand discount and how that property got split up to begin with.

and then a look at his law firm , which his wife -the alderman's daughter -also worked at for a time. it seems to be a bridge between the daley machine and the black political machine in chicago. the big dough and legal graft is in housing and to keep the funding river flowing, and the projects green lighted, rezko greased everyones pockets.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-22 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has defined himself

I took a class in community economic development law in law school but they sure never taught me about this side of things.

I read through the entire 60-page Rezko indictment over the weekend and it is absolutely stunning to me how deeply this guy had his hooks in everything.  I mean, Obama is pretty tangential to the actual stuff in the indictment, but this guy was SO FRICKIN SHADY it's hard to believe anyone could have thought he was just some small-time, mostly legit operator.  God, it's like Patrick Fitzgerald has nothing better to do but incarcerate one Illinois governor after another.

by Steve M 2008-01-22 08:41AM | 0 recs
its a gross little world

i used to work in a dc consulting firm with a greedy ex dep mayor of cleveland who worked as a lawyer on minority funded housing deals and i found it so incredibly disgusting.

he was a harvard law puke who made huge money off of being 'oppressed".

he set his dim son up as the head of a minority owned builder of such projects and they've made millions.

the key to he obama-rezko deal is all about the boutique law firm obmama and mrs. obama worked in.

i assume there is nothing provably illegal that obama did, but it would sill destroy his reputation and our chances if he were the nominee.

sadly, this means he cant be vp either - which i seriously wanted for media and unity reasons.  

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-22 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: its a gross little world

One of the challenges we face as liberals is that the very programs we put in place to help the poor are the most vulnerable to graft and corruption.

I give Obama the benefit of the doubt on everything, because he is a Democrat, but I am solely concerned with the political salience of the issue.  I frankly don't see any way it doesn't turn into a big deal.

by Steve M 2008-01-22 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: its a gross little world

"he was a harvard law puke who made huge money off of being 'oppressed'."

According to the Chicago Mag article, Rezko is $5 million in debt.  He does not appear to have made a lot off of developing low income housing.  I am not defending the guy, just saying perhaps you should wait till the facts emerge before you leap to too many conclusions.

"the key to he obama-rezko deal is all about the boutique law firm obmama and mrs. obama worked in."

Based on what? More unsupported assertions.

by upper left 2008-01-22 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: its a gross little world

Rezko may be in debt now, but he has major real estate interests in an area of Chicago that was recently developed.  A real estate speculator, Rezko is sometimes in debt and sometimes flush with cash.  But more important to our discussion is how Rezko's low income housing enterprises failed.  And although many of these slumlord operations were located in Obama's state Senate district, Obama still wrote letters in order to secure taxpayer money for a project spearheaded by Rezko and by Obama's former boss at the law firm at which Obama performed legal work for Rezko.  And this occurred both after and before multiple donations from Rezko, Obama's main political benefactor.  The Kenwood mansion Rezko helped Obama buy was the final gift for all the work Obama undertook on the indicted slumlord's behalf.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: its a gross little world

The letters were written in 1998, Obama had only been in the State Senate for one term and only recieved one donation of $1,000.  Most of the problems with these projects emerged later.  The one that he wrote the letter for is still doing fine as we speak.  

by upper left 2008-01-22 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: its a gross little world

But he was working on a case involving rezko at the davis law firm the same year he wrote the letters on his state senate stationary.  the donations also came from a slumlord who own and operated tenements in his state senate district that did not provide tenants heat for five weeks.  that donation is cited, as it was submitted to obama at the time when one rezko building in obama's district failed to keep its inhabitants warm.  rezko could afford political donations, but he could not afford to pay the heating bill.  and then obama's boss was working with rezko on the project for which obama advocated on state senate letterhead.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 11:09AM | 0 recs
not all who wrote letters on rezko's behalf...

received contributions from him.  oh, wait.  once again, facts don't help your case of innuendo.  return to your smears...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:41PM | 0 recs

number of pizza restaurants, like 125 i believe.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-22 02:06PM | 0 recs
yep, obama and a bunch of black elected...

officials did indeed write letters here and in numerous, numerous other instances.  because they had to.  they had no power...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: its a gross little world

Is Rezko being investigated for money laundering, perhaps accepting federal money for the housing rehabs, say, and then donating that money in a round about way to a campaign?

Isn't Rove being investigated for this type of practice, too?

It would very bad for Obama is this was in fact true, but I don't know that it is...

by Marsha1 2008-01-22 01:21PM | 0 recs
sounds like you got a good handle on it...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has defined himself

You are making broad brushed assertions with little to back up your position.

by upper left 2008-01-22 10:26AM | 0 recs

that's how this works.  attack, attack and question your opponents' motives...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:46PM | 0 recs
You should tell your candidate

how you feel and tell him to stop sticking up for Obama.  If John is going to Mr Purity then he should be calling Obama out on this stuff.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-22 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko,

They lie about Rezko, and the 5 hours, will come back to bite him in the ass. If the MSM doesn't start to investigate, expect a press release from the Clinton campaign.

This stuff MUST come out.

by americanincanada 2008-01-22 06:16AM | 0 recs
you honestly think they are holding back???

bill clinton is knocking on doors, for god's sake.  i don't see any indication that the clintons are holding back...

by bored now 2008-01-22 06:27AM | 0 recs
Do you really think
That the Republicans and their pundit operatives are going to have an easier time digging up dirt on Obama then they will digging up dirt on Clinton?
If you do, then you are seriously deluded.
by fetboy 2008-01-22 06:59AM | 0 recs
DEnise Rich contribution to Hillary's

Were you equally skeptical when Denise Rich made a contribution to Hillary's senate campaign after Marc Rich was inexplicably pardoned by Bill?

by Pravin 2008-01-22 08:44AM | 0 recs
oh thats so the same!!

desperation is setting in it seems

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-22 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: oh thats so the same!!

I dont see any difference.

by Pravin 2008-01-22 09:11AM | 0 recs
Good god you folks are crazy

Well its another hit diary on mydumbdumb. Infreakin sane. No one will vote against Obama because you did all this.... How about telling me what Clinton is for....

by TennesseeGurl 2008-01-22 09:51AM | 0 recs
Much ado...

about zilcho

by Drummond 2008-01-22 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Much ado...

that was published before the sun-times uncovered the letters, the intern, the bundling network and the indictment's citation of obama in a 78 page document they filed in file court against rezko.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 10:17AM | 0 recs

What exactly did Obama do that was illegal or unethical?

Please be specific.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: So...

He received money and a house for political favors, and he lied on national television.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: So...

I see no evidence of the first other than having supported a project he says he believed in.  As to the second, it was a reference to his work as an attorney after Hillary called him an attorney for a slum lord.

As I said, if this is the Hillary spin and she wins because of it, I'm voting Green in November.  I didn't vote for Clinton in 96 and now I'm remembering why.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: So...

you are citing his statements as evidence.  how can one not view service performed both in a law office and in a state senate office for a donor whose partner was a boss in the law office as a conflict of interest?  and how can one dismiss the 2005 mansion deal after all the money and favors obama and rezko exchanged?

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 03:05PM | 0 recs
because there's no there there...

you might have a point if obama was the only elected official who wrote a letter on rezko's behalf.  but in NONE of the instances under discussion here did this occur.  donne trotter wrote letters on rezko's request, lyle did so as well, prickwinkel, etc etc.  you are deliberately mischaracterizing this because of your need to smear obama...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:52PM | 0 recs

not that you're interested in the truth...

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:55PM | 0 recs
And here's how AP is covering it

AP story

"Obama, who has a spotless reputation after 11 years in public offices, has been accused of no wrongdoing involving Rezko or anyone else."

If Hillary wins, I'll probably be voting Green in November.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: And here's how AP is covering it

the article unpacks more of obama's checkered past with rezko.  and although obama has not yet been charged with wrongdoing, the ap at least acknowledges that a lot of questions remain unanswered.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 10:56AM | 0 recs
Talk about a glass house

Because there isn't even smoke here.

Clinton is playing with fire here, and she's probably going to sink it for the Democrats.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about a glass house

The Sun-Times believes this story is legitimate.  And they would know, for they are the hometown newspaper that has investigated this story since the 2005 Kenwood mansion transaction.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 11:33AM | 0 recs
The story being...

that he did work for Rezko and that Rezko is bad news.

Got it.  Anything else?

by Drummond 2008-01-22 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The story being...

read and reread my comments and the diary until their full significance and import are understood.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 03:04PM | 0 recs
the suntimes wants to sell papers...

and dan miller has said before that every time they run a story on obama, they sell out their run.  DUH!

the suntimes would run a story on obama every sunday, if it could.  but, hey, what's a little faulty reasoning between friends!?!

by bored now 2008-01-22 04:51PM | 0 recs
I am getting sick of the same crap everyday...

You know, I used to be one who bought into this attack. But after seeing how Hillary and Bill are willing to smear a fellow Democrat just for thier own political gain is very patheitic.  This crap is going to rip the party apart if they keep up with this Bushesque-Karl Rove scorched earth campaigning.  She is being so dishonest and distorting this far beyond what it really is.  This is in fact a sad day for Democrats.  And while I will admit I have been harsh on Obama supporters I was trying to ask legitimate questions about his electoral strategy rather than this hit-piece hack job.  If the Hillary camp thinks that this kind of hit pieces on a fellow Democrat is going to bring this EDWARDS supporter over to thier camp if and when this truly becomes a two person race they are going to be greatly disappointed.  I love Bill Clinton but he really needs to chill the fuck out.  His flat out lies about Obama are embarrassing to himself, embarrasing to Hillary, and especially embarrassing to Democrats.  I just hope that AA's don't feel disenfranchished by this nonsubstansive bullshit.  I just hope that when our nominee is finally picked that we will all band back together to crush the Rethugs in the fall.  But with some of the comments and diaries on here I am willing to be money that some people will be biting thier tongue, or will decide to stay home...

by SocialDem 2008-01-22 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I am getting sick of the same crap everyday...

bet money**

by SocialDem 2008-01-22 02:51PM | 0 recs

i must have struck a nerve: bored now, one of obama's most vociferous apologists, has spammed the entire comments thread of my diary.  

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 05:05PM | 0 recs
you lie about barack, and your lies need to be...

corrected.  if you want to call telling the truth spam, feel free.  you continuously, mindlessly repeat your errors to the extent that it's obvious that you are doing so intentionally...

by bored now 2008-01-22 11:32PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko, the

First the GOP swift-boaters came for Hillary Clinton, now they're after Barack Obama.

This diary is more proof that the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is  after Barack Obama. The Republicans love to pay fake Democrats to attack real Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Sadly, this diarist has chosen to smear Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama.

These GOP attacks need to end. Now.

by Politico80 2008-01-22 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko, the

I am a Democrat.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko, the

Then why do you repeat Republican talking points? This is the same garbage that Republicans on right-wing radio are using to rap Obama.

by Politico80 2008-01-22 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko, the

Hillary Clinton is a Republican?

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 07:44PM | 0 recs
a rather dubious claim, given your swiftboating...

of a democrat in this diary...

by bored now 2008-01-22 11:33PM | 0 recs
Why the GOP attacks Obama/Clinton

Because the GOP knows Obama and Clinton will sign universal health care coverage, which will hurt the big insurance companies.

So Republican hit men are putting out more filth against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. We must tell the GOP agents on MYDD to stop attacking these two liberals.

by Politico80 2008-01-22 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Why the GOP attacks Obama/Clinton

I am a Democrat.  Read my diaries and my comments.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Why the GOP attacks Obama/Clinton

I've read your comments and you seem to alternate between highly intelligent politico and crazed Democrat basher. I hope you'll stick with the former.

by Politico80 2008-01-22 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent and Thorough Diary

More GOP talking points from Karl Rove and the Bush Republicans. Aren't you tired of trash politics?

by Politico80 2008-01-22 06:56PM | 0 recs
Factcheck.org on the Rezko "controversy"

This time published after the Sun-Times story.

Clinton hit back at Obama, reminding voters of his relationship with a longtime contributor who is now under federal indictment.

   Clinton: ...I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago. ...

   CNN's Wolf Blitzer: Senator Clinton made a serious allegation that you worked for a slumlord. And I wonder if you want to respond.

   Obama: I'm happy to respond. Here's what happened: I was an associate at a law firm that represented a church group that had partnered with this individual to do a project and I did about five hours worth of work on this joint project. That's what she's referring to.

According to an investigation last year by the Chicago Sun-Times, Antoin Rezko was involved in developing at least 30 low-income housing buildings in Chicago, in partnership with several community groups and using a combination of taxpayer and private funds. A number of the buildings fell into disrepair, collecting housing code violations, and Rezmar, Rezko's company, was sued on many occasions.

Obama was associated with a law firm that represented the community groups working with Rezko on several deals. There's no evidence that Obama spent much time on them, and he never represented Rezko directly. So it was wrong for Clinton to say he was "representing ... Rezko." That's untrue.

Obama has known Rezko, however, since he left Harvard Law School, and Rezko has been a major contributor and campaign fundraiser for him since Obama's first campaign for the Illinois state Senate. Earlier, we looked into questions about a land deal in which the two wound up with adjacent parcels. No wrongdoing was found in connection with that transaction, though Obama has said it was "boneheaded" for him to be involved in it when he knew Rezko was under investigation. Rezko has since been indicted on fraud and other charges. Obama, who returned some contributions from Rezko and his associates long ago, returned another $41,000 over the weekend in an effort to distance himself from the businessman.

Woo hoo.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 07:39PM | 0 recs
Rezko controversy

my engagement with the dossier the chicago sun-times has compiled on rezko and on obama is more thorough than the article you paste here.  

i also recommend taylor marsh's account.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-22 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko controversy

Taylor Marsh has a record of trashing progressive Democrats and you also seem all to eager to also bash Democrats.

Is their something in your DNA which compels you attack your brethren? Do you like aiding in what Bill Clinton called the "politics of personal destruction"?

Your disgusting thread is polluting the blogosphere. We're all tired of your anti-Democrat, pro-Rove, Pro-Bush Republicans diatribes. Your trash politics must come to an end.

by Politico80 2008-01-22 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko controversy

Taylor Marsh is a self-promotional biased hack.  It's right in his own lamoid narrative where he calls his researchers "patriots" after he tells us that he knows more than he can tell because some people are "afraid" to go on record.

Woooohoooooo!  Next we'll hear about Obama's connections to the Mafia and the Illuminati, but without sources because "people are too scared to tell."  You see, everyone who has spoken out against Obama has mysteriously disappeared, and their families are in tears but not talking.  It turns out that he needs young virgin girls for sacrifices to practice his Kenyan Voodoo, because we all know he's really a Muslim anyway.  I've got the e-mail to prove it.

Perhaps next month Marsh will team up with Art Bell and get to the real story.  Meanwhile, the rest of the so-called media are dodging the story, because, well - you know.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko controversy

The fact that you keep calling Taylor Marsh "he" reveals that you know nothing whatsoever about Taylor Marsh, but are spouting a knee jerk attack that you just pulled out of your butt.

Show me instances where Taylor Marsh has printed untrue stories.

Because I can find several that she got lamblasted for, only for the big news to pick it up a few days later and prove her right.

by WMCB 2008-01-22 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko controversy

I'm going based on what you've provided.  A true journalist would never refer to her fellow researches on the story "patriots."  "Champions of the truth" maybe.  "Professionals."  But the use of the word "patriots" to describe them reveals not a driven desire for the truth, but a moral endeavor - otherwise known as an agenda.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko controversy

Baloney.  There have been tons of times when those journalists with the guts to  buck the tide and uncover wrongdoing on the part of government officials have been called patriots and similar, on this and other liberal blogs.

by WMCB 2008-01-23 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko controversy

But not by the journalist herself, who is supposed to at least make a pretense at neutrality.  She's not even bothering.

by Drummond 2008-01-23 09:10AM | 0 recs
When Democrats become Swift Boaters

This is really shameful, and coming from a campaign for a woman whose financial director was indicted for fraud.

by Drummond 2008-01-22 07:40PM | 0 recs
Who's working in the slum neighborhoodsof Chicago?

Who? Who is criticizing Obama's work in the decimated neighborhoods of South Chicago when he gave up Wall Street to work on Civil Right's cases and developement.. The same place he spent years as a community organizer regestering voters. Who? Who's opening a business there? Who's investing in the urban decay that is Reagan's neglect and Bill Clintons welfare reform. You live there? You work there? Give up your life, move there, start a business there. Commit your life to personally improving the lives of those in our nation the least educated, least safe from violence, least employeed and least waged, and most neglected by our government, in the midst of inner city blight. Go on. Get to work. Pack your shit up and move there.

by fisheye 2008-01-22 09:14PM | 0 recs
With all the scandals that the Clintons have

People could care less about Renzo.

by puma 2008-01-23 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: With all the scandals that the Clintons have

You'd think her glass house would stimulate a little reflection.  She really doesn't want to go here.

But probably she's banking on Obama's sense of decency.  Unfortunately, King Solomon isn't around to save the child.

by Drummond 2008-01-23 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: FACT CHECK: Obama, His Contributor Rezko, the

Amusing is the attempt of overzealous Obama supporters to invalidate the claims articulated in this rigorously presented diary.

by truthteller2007 2008-01-23 08:06AM | 0 recs


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