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Thread: Obama connected to corrupt fundraiser

  1. #1

    Obama connected to corrupt fundraiser

    [b]Obama could feel heat from developer's trial
    Fundraiser who sold land to senator faces corruption charges[/b]

    Mike McIntire,Christopher Drew, New York Times

    Sunday, March 2, 2008
    Tony Rezko was obviously in trouble. He was a defendant in at least a dozen lawsuits, federal investigators in Chicago were poking around, and his name was in newspaper stories about corruption and fraud.

    None of that stopped Rezko, a politically connected developer, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., from completing real estate deals a few years ago that resulted in the Obamas obtaining their dream house and the Rezkos buying an empty lot next door.

    Nearly three years later, fallout from Obama's relationship with Rezko, who raised more than $150,000 for Obama's campaigns, continue to dog Obama on the presidential campaign trail. That distraction promises to linger as Rezko goes on trial on corruption charges starting Monday.

    Obama, a Democrat, is not part of the case against Rezko, who is accused of shaking down companies seeking business with the state of Illinois. Obama has conceded it was a mistake to bring Rezko into his personal real estate dealings, although he has insisted there was nothing unusual about the developer deciding to buy a sought-after lot in an upscale neighborhood. But a review of court records, including new details of Rezko's finances that have emerged recently, show that the lot purchase occurred as he was being pursued by creditors seeking more than $10 million, deepening the mystery of why he would plunge into a real estate investment whose biggest beneficiary appears to have been Obama.
    Dodging creditors

    As Obama and Rezko were completing the property purchases in June 2005, Rezko was fighting to keep lenders and investors at bay over defaulted loans and failing business ventures. But he sidestepped that financial dragnet by arranging for the land to be purchased in his wife's name, making it the only property she owned by herself, according to land records.

    As a result, when Obama and his wife, Michelle, bought a portion of the land from Rezko seven months later to widen their yard, the money they paid was beyond the reach of Rezko's creditors, including one conducting a court-ordered hunt for his assets to recover a $3.5 million debt.

    Two lawyers involved in the civil litigation against Rezko said they believed that the property was subject to possible seizure on the premise that Rezko had been trying to hide behind his wife, Rita, who had little money of her own to complete the $625,000 purchase.

    The lawyers, both of whom requested anonymity because they did not have their clients' permission to speak about the cases, said there was little purpose in pursuing it because the legal costs would have outweighed the value of the property, which was encumbered by a $500,000 mortgage.

    Lawyers representing Rezko in the civil litigation declined to comment.

    When the property deals first surfaced in late 2006, Obama said he had done nothing wrong. In a statement at the time he also said: "It was a mistake to have been engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a favor."

    Obama's campaign emphasized on Saturday that the criminal proceeding against Rezko "is not a case about Sen. Obama."

    The statement added: "Sen. Obama knew Tony Rezko for two decades in very different circumstances, none of which involve the actions with which Rezko has been charged."

    The fuller picture of Rezko's financial maneuverings emerged from an examination of civil suits in state and federal courts, as well as newly filed documents in his criminal case.

    Ties to governor

    Rezko, a longtime confidante and fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, has pleaded not guilty to charges of extorting campaign contributions and payoffs from companies looking to do business with the Blagojevich administration.

    Obama's name is likely to surface during the trial, if only because $10,000 of the money Rezko is accused of extorting wound up in Obama's 2004 Senate campaign. There is nothing to indicate that Obama did any favors for Rezko, but there is ample evidence that Rezko did favors for Obama.

    The two men met in the early 1990s when Rezko tried to hire Obama to work on his low-income housing developments. When Obama turned to politics, Rezko was an early supporter and fundraiser. Rezko also stepped in when Obama, a newly elected U.S. senator, and his family found a Georgian mansion for sale in the Kenwood section of Chicago.

    When the transactions were first reported, Obama said only that he had asked Rezko, as a developer, whether he thought the house was worth buying. But last month, Obama's campaign staff said the senator also recalled walking around the house and the adjacent lot with Rezko.

    Obama has said he did not know why Rezko decided to buy the lot. Business associates of Rezko said he gave various explanations, among them that he wanted to help the Obamas expand their backyard and that he thought it would be a good investment to own a lot next to a prominent politician. But Rezko's involvement was important because the owners of the house and the lot had stipulated that neither could be sold unless a deal for the other closed on the same day.

    Some critics say that given Obama's long-time emphasis on ethics, it is puzzling that he would have been so involved with the Rezkos on the house and lot deals after questions had begun to crop up about Rezko's political and business activities.

    For at least two years before the property purchases, news articles had raised questions about Rezko's influence over state appointments and contracts. There also had been reports that the FBI was investigating allegations of a shakedown scheme involving a state hospital board to which Rezko had suggested appointments.

    Also, Chicago officials had announced that they were investigating whether a company partly owned by Rezko had won public contracts by posing as a minority business.

    As a result, said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association in Chicago, Obama "should have been on high alert."

    Shaky finances

    In addition, although Rezko enjoyed a reputation as a man of means, with a Mediterranean-style mansion, a sprawling chain of fast-food businesses and frequent multimillion-dollar real estate deals, the court records show, he was also sinking in financial quicksand.

    Federal prosecutors recently filed papers saying Rezko had trouble paying creditors for years. At least 12 lawsuits had been filed against Rezko and his businesses from November 2002 to January 2005, including one by GE Commercial Finance Corp., which had extended more than $5 million in loans for Rezko's pizza franchises.

    GE obtained a court judgment against Rezko in November 2004 for the $3.5 million it said was outstanding on its loans, but the company put collection efforts on hold during the first half of 2005 as it negotiated with Rezko, court records show. When the Obamas and Rezkos bought their adjacent parcels that June, Rezko's wife, Rita, put down $125,000 in cash and financed the rest with a bank loan.

    In October 2005, GE obtained an order allowing the company to begin seizing Rezko's assets. The company's lawyers filed a claim against the Rezkos' home and began issuing subpoenas to banks where Rezko had accounts, finding very little cash. Court records show GE was due to be in court on Jan. 5, 2006, for example, obtaining an order to seize $1,297.39 from one of Rezko's checking accounts.

    Less than a week later, Rita Rezko sold a 10-foot wide strip of the empty lot to Obama, for $104,500, so that the senator could widen his side yard.

    The Rezkos had little to show for the entire transaction.

    Asked by a judge to give an accounting of his and his wife's assets last year after he was indicted, Rezko said his wife had recently sold the remainder of the lot, and that the small profit it generated went back to the buyer to help cover an old debt.

    "So, she didn't walk away with any cash?" asked the judge.

    "Not one dollar," Rezko replied.

    [url]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/02/MND6VC4O8.DTL[/url]

  2. #2
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    the Rezko connection has been debated here a while ago...the new, more interesting connection is with a terrorist he took contributions from....

    [QUOTE]Besides Rezko and Giannoulias, Obama could face questions about his relationship with William Ayers, a former member of the radical group the Weather Underground who is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Ayers donated $200 in 2001 to Obama's Illinois state Senate campaign and served with him from 1999 to 2002 on the nine-member board of the Woods Fund, an anti-poverty group.

    A Series of Bombings

    The Weather Underground carried out a series of bombings in the early 1970s -- including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. While Ayers was never prosecuted for those attacks, he told the New York Times in an interview published Sept. 11, 2001, that ``I don't regret setting bombs.''
    [/QUOTE]

    [url]http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9cjxFxamhN0&refer=home[/url]

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;2404526]the Rezko connection has been debated here a while ago...the new, more interesting connection is with a terrorist he took contributions from....



    [url]http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9cjxFxamhN0&refer=home[/url][/QUOTE]

    You think a single $200 contribution --1/10th the legal limit-- is more interesting than Tony Rezko, a soon-to-be felon who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for pols all over Illinois?

    Neither case has alleged any wrongdoing by Obama, but there's no question Rezko is "more interesting."

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;2404526]the Rezko connection has been debated here a while ago...the new, more interesting connection is with a terrorist he took contributions from....



    [url]http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9cjxFxamhN0&refer=home[/url][/QUOTE]

    If the $200 dollars that was donated to Obama's campaign was not enough, here is another earth shattering scandal from [B]Come Back to Earth's site[/B];

    [U][url]http://www[/url].SeanHannitysBedroom.com[/U]

    [I]"a scandal is brewing concerning Barack Obama and organized crime. in 1970, Barack Obama, while waiting for his mother outside a Bloomingdales mall dressing room, was seen talking to a member of an organized crime family. Obama, 8 years old at the time, was allegedly asking him where the boys room was located.

    sources cannot confirm or deny this story but we are sure to hear Rush Limbaugh spend three hours on this vital topic tommorrow."[/I]
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 03-02-2008 at 07:21 PM.

  5. #5
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    this is getting better by the second....

    [QUOTE][B]Court case makes life difficult for Barack ObamaJames Bone in Chicago [/B]

    [B]Buried on page 59 of the indictment is a reference to one of many alleged kickbacks on a state contract that appears to have ended up as a $10,000 donation to an unnamed “political candidate”. [/B]

    The kickback was allegedly arranged by Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Syrian immigrant who became a powerful political fixer in Chicago. The “political candidate” who benefited from the $10,000 has been identified as Barack [B]Obama, the Democratic contender calling for [COLOR="Red"]“change we can believe in” [/COLOR]in the presidential race, who is said to be a longtime friend of Mr Rezko. [/B]

    Mr Rezko goes on trial for money-laundering, fraud, aiding bribery and attempted extortion in Chicago today in a closely watched case that could pose an uncomfortable three months for Mr Obama as prosecutors probe the political culture of Chicago.

    Mr Obama has not been accused of any wrongdoing and will not necessarily have known how donations were raised. [B]But the testimony is likely to link his campaign funds to the political underworld of the city. [/B]

    Mr Rezko is an old friend of Mr Obama who donated to his political career since his first campaign for the Illinois state senate in 1995. The two were so close that Mr Rezko’s wife helped the Obamas to buy their Chicago house by purchasing the adjoining garden from the same seller on the same day in 2005, a year after Mr Obama won a US Senate seat.

    Mr Rezko also has business contacts with Nadhmi Auchi, a British-Iraqi billionaire who was convicted of corruption in the Elf scandal in France in 2003. Mr Auchi’s lawyers say he is appealing against the conviction to the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Rezko says that the two are close friends, but Mr Auchi denies this.

    Mr Rezko, a property developer and fast-food entrepreneur, was remanded in prison in January for violating his bail by failing to report $3.7 million (£1.9 million) in money transfers from Mr Auchi’s companies. Mr Auchi says that the payments were a business loan. In an effort to distance himself from the scandal and what may be tainted money, Mr Obama has given $157,835 in political contributions that he received from Mr Rezko and associates to charity. But his relationship with Mr Rezko has become a hot issue in the presidential race. Hillary Clinton’s campaign accuses Mr Obama of ducking questions about their ties.

    “Now the trial is beginning, and I think it will be more difficult for him to avoid these various serious questions,” Howard Wolfson, Mrs Clinton’s communications director, told reporters. “I can guarantee you that if, again, if the shoe were on the other foot, I would be getting those questions, and I’d be having to answer them to people who are very serious investigative reporters . . . who know the right questions to ask and don’t take ‘no comment’ for an answer.”

    The Rezko trial threatens to engulf Illinois in a new political scandal only months after George Ryan, the previous Illinois governor, was sent to jail for 6½ years for corruption while in office. In all, four former Illinois governors have been indicted for whitecollar crime since 1960 and three of them — Otto Kerner, Dan Walker and Ryan — were convicted. Mr Rezko is one of at least 11 people linked to the current governor, Rod Blagojevic, who have been charged with crimes.

    Mr Blagojevic himself has been identified by the judge as the unnamed “Public Official A” in the indictment whose campaign fund stood to gain a $1.5 million donation that Mr Rezko allegedly tried to extort from an investment firm. Governor Blagojevic responded: “What was described there doesn’t describe me or how I do things.” Mr Rezko is accused of demanding kickbacks from companies seeking to do business with two state boards that were controlled by his friends, the Teachers’ Retirement System, which manages Illinois teachers’ $30 billion pension fund, and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, which must approve all building permits involving hospitals.

    “Rezko parlayed his success in raising significant sums of money for Mr Blagojevich into power by gaining access to high-ranking Illinois officials, being given deference in filling board and job positions, and by influencing how certain boards conducted business,” prosecutors said last week.

    The star witness will be Stuart Levine, a member of both state boards, who has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against his alleged accomplice, Mr Rezko. Defence lawyers, however, plan to assail Mr Levine as a man who is said to be a heavy user of drugs who led a “secret life”. The court is also expected to hear from John Thomas, an FBI mole, who reportedly witnessed Mr Obama and Mr Blagojevich making frequent visits to Mr Rezko. Judge Amy St Eve has said that she will allow prosecutors to offer evidence that Mr Rezko directed two associates to make two $10,000 contributions to Mr Obama’s 2004 senate campaign because he had already donated the legal maximum.

    [/QUOTE]

    [url]http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3471633.ece[/url]

    kickbacks....political fixers...money-laundering....fraud....etc-

    just the type of "change" morons like [B]ignorantjetsfan[/B] are applauding and hoping for.....:yes:
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 03-02-2008 at 09:35 PM.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2404537]You think a single $200 contribution --1/10th the legal limit-- is more interesting than Tony Rezko, a soon-to-be felon who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for pols all over Illinois?

    Neither case has alleged any wrongdoing by Obama, but there's no question Rezko is "more interesting."[/QUOTE]

    the $200 means squat...

    the fact hussien continued to serve on the same committee/group with a terrorist who claimed in a NYSlimes article, on 9-11 nonetheless, that "I don't regret setting bombs" makes him completely accountable as to why he did not step down or ask Ayers to step down...

  7. #7
    What more would you like for him to do?

    [QUOTE][B]Mr Obama has not been accused of any wrongdoing and will not necessarily have known how donations were raised[/B][/QUOTE]

  8. #8
    All this is interesting stuff which often seems typical of politicians to one degree or another! Yet I hear a lot of Obamaites so adamant that he is above politics! What do they mean that he's "above politics?"

  9. #9
    They did the same thing to Cynthia McKinney. Likely a planted contributor, knowing a candidate can't possibly keep track of all his/her donors.

    Amazing how the Reich Wingers will blow a gasket over the NYT "hit piece" on Maverick, and not say a word about the NYT when it reports a negative story on Obama.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;2405401]this is getting better by the second....

    [url]http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3471633.ece[/url]

    kickbacks....political fixers...money-laundering....fraud....etc-

    just the type of "change" morons like [B]ignorantjetsfan[/B] are applauding and hoping for.....:yes:[/QUOTE]

    Here is a few things that [B]Come back to Earth [/B]fails to highlight from that piece:

    Canary says about Obama that [B]``there has been no link whatsoever that ties him to their troubles.'' [/B]

    lets evaluate, while Obama has to answer questions about a $200 donation, lapel pins, and school essays, McCain will be talking about this......

    [B]Nothing in Obama's 11 years in public office rises to the level of the scandal that embroiled the likely Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, in the 1980s. McCain, 71, was among five senators who took contributions from savings- and-loan executive Charles Keating and were then accused of seeking favors from regulators for him. The Senate Ethics Committee reprimanded McCain, though it cleared him of wrongdoing.[/B]

    [url]http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...hN0&refer=home[/url]
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 03-03-2008 at 06:07 AM.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=Press_Coverage;2406026]They did the same thing to Cynthia McKinney. Likely a planted contributor, knowing a candidate can't possibly keep track of all his/her donors.

    Amazing how the Reich Wingers will blow a gasket over the NYT "hit piece" on Maverick, and not say a word about the NYT when it reports a negative story on Obama.[/QUOTE]

    People like [B]CBTE[/B] do not care where they get information. In fact they make heroes out of them. Observe the typical [B]Come back to Earth[/B] day;

    [B]7 am[/B]: Ronald Wilson Reagan Alarm clock rings. Change out of NIxon "footsy" pajamas. say morning prayers to Rush Limbaugh. start countdown to his show.

    [B]8 am[/B]: make waffles in Sean Hannity Waffle Maker. continue Rush countdown.

    [B]9 am:[/B] Watch tapes of "Bedtime with Bonzo". wait for rush Limbaugh show

    [B]11 am: [/B] Rewind bedtime with Bonzo and watch over again.

    [SIZE="5"][B]RUSH LIMBAUGH IS ON[/B][/SIZE] Now he can teach what to think and what to say. today he will convince me that climate change is a myth and Obama used to go to the same dairy queen as organized crime members so I should vote republican.

  12. #12
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    Once again Rosie O’donnell with the strawman conspiracy argument….

    [QUOTE=Press_Coverage;2406026]They did the same thing to Cynthia McKinney. Likely a planted contributor, knowing a candidate can't possibly keep track of all his/her donors.

    Amazing how the Reich Wingers will blow a gasket over the NYT "hit piece" on Maverick, and not say a word about the NYT when it reports a negative story on Obama.[/QUOTE]

    of course the donation had to be planted- rat wingers would never accecpt money from criminals....i'm sure hussien, a man of the people who wants change, never knew he was purchasing property at a huge discout nor that Ayers was involved with a terrorist organization...

    in fact I'm sure that was all the work of the evil karl rove....this way it gives morons such as ignorantjetsfan and all the other conspiracy theorists something to post about....:yes:

  13. #13
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    Politicians get donations from tens of thousands of different people. The odds that some of them are corrupt really shouldn't be surprising. I'd say corruption is almost universal, not just a democrat or republican ill.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;2405503]the $200 means squat...

    the fact hussien continued to serve on the same committee/group with a terrorist who claimed in a NYSlimes article, on 9-11 nonetheless, that "I don't regret setting bombs" makes him completely accountable as to why he did not step down or ask Ayers to step down...[/QUOTE]

    It was a charitable foundation that gives money to inner-city schools, antipoverty programs, etc. And they were both on the board, along with a bunch of other executives from major local corporations (including noted radicals UBS and BP), etc.

    It's a run of the mill charitable outfit.

    Check it out at the link below and see if you can find anything objectionable in the list of things it funds.

    [url]http://www.woodsfund.org[/url]

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2406430]It was a charitable foundation that gives money to inner-city schools, antipoverty programs, etc. And they were both on the board, along with a bunch of other executives from major local corporations (including noted radicals UBS and BP), etc.

    It's a run of the mill charitable outfit.

    Check it out at the link below and see if you can find anything objectionable in the list of things it funds.

    [url]http://www.woodsfund.org[/url][/QUOTE]

    what part of the fact he should've had Ayers stepped down or at least stepped down in protest himself after the comments Ayers made on 9-11, though not referring to the specific events of that day, did you miss???

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=Big L;2406182]Politicians get donations from tens of thousands of different people. The odds that some of them are corrupt really shouldn't be surprising. I'd say corruption is almost universal, not just a democrat or republican ill.[/QUOTE]

    True, but when it becomes known, then what?

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;2406464]what part of the fact he should've had Ayers stepped down or at least stepped down in protest himself after the comments Ayers made on 9-11, though not referring to the specific events of that day, did you miss???[/QUOTE]

    I'm not going to defend Bill Ayers. He's done some terrible things in his life and he hasn't apologized for them. Bad guy.

    I just think that the fact that he happens to sit on an wholly legitimate charitable board with Obama --and once wrote a check for 1/10th the allowable amount to his senate campaign-- is hardly a significant connection between the two men.

    It strikes me as a weak attempt to smear by association.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=asuusa;2406506]True, but when it becomes known, then what?[/QUOTE]

    Typically what hapopens then is they give the tainted money to charity. That's what Obama did in this case. It's also what Hillary did with Norman Hsu (her crooked fundraiser).

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY;2406175]Once again Rosie O’donnell with the strawman conspiracy argument….

    of course the donation had to be planted- rat wingers would never accecpt money from criminals....i'm sure hussien, a man of the people who wants change, never knew he was purchasing property at a huge discout nor that Ayers was involved with a terrorist organization...

    in fact I'm sure that was all the work of the evil karl rove....this way it gives morons such as ignorantjetsfan and all the other conspiracy theorists something to post about....:yes:[/QUOTE]

    Karl Rove is white trash but when did I say he had anything to do with this? Once again, [B]Come Back to Earth[/B] shows us why he is lost in space. At no point did I ever mention "White Trash" Rove and a conspiracy with Obama. But why let the facts get in the way. Its easier to make up nonsense and gossip.

    So thats why you will see[B]Come Back To Earth [/B] drivel on about serious subjects such as how did Obama pay for his first music album in 1971. And where did he get the money to buy bananna splits during the summer of '73
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 03-03-2008 at 12:13 PM.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2406781]Karl Rove is white trash [/QUOTE]

    Time to move on, intelligentjetsfan.

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