Rezko and Obama: Nothing Here Folks

I was hoping to avoid writing about the Barack Obama-Tony Rezko connection as I believe Obama did nothing wrong. Big Tent Democrat agrees it's a non-issue. Unfortunately, the AP is highlighting it today.

That said, perhaps if Obama hadn't attacked Hillary last night as a "corporate lawyer sitting on the board of WalMart", she wouldn't have responded calling Rezko a slumlord and it wouldn't be in the AP today. From the transcript (More...)

OBAMA: What I said -- and I will provide you with a quote -- what I said was is that Ronald Reagan was a transformative political figure because he was able to get Democrats to vote against their economic interests to form a majority to push through their agenda, an agenda that I objected to. Because while I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart.

...HILLARY: CLINTON: Now, wait a minute. Wolf, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Just a minute....Bad for America, and 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.

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  • Display: Sort:
    They are (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:15:40 PM EST
    both non issues and she had every right to bring it up, in response to his cooperate attorney cheap shot.

    I don't agree (none / 0) (#28)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:59:37 PM EST
    Sen. Clinton has raised her years of working on behalf of women, children and the poor. I'll grant her that.

    But, did she do it when she was a corporate lawyer for Savings and Loans?

    Did she do it when she sat on the board of one of the largest coporations on earth as well as one that has a history of treating its employees not as well as one should?

    Did she work for the poor when she supported welfare reform?

    Did she work for minorities during her husband's "Mend it, don't end it" work on affirmative action?

    Did she stand up and fight for gays during Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act?

    She gave up the fight for universal health care after one year during an eight year term. Why? If she was so concerned wouldn't she have continued the fight?

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

    Sen. Obama made a mistake that doesn't have much of an effect on anyone, admitted it, and moved on...


    Not true (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:05:18 PM EST
    It had the effect of wasting public resources and loss of affordable housing units.  It is not trivial.  It verges on negligence in community organizing world.  

    I'm not excusing it (none / 0) (#52)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:18:26 PM EST
    I'm not excusing it, however Wal-Mart is just a tad larger.

    How many poor children were hurt by the welfare reform act?

    How many poor children as well as families aren't treated fairly by Wal-Mart?

    By the way, can you name a few things Sen. Clinton has personally done over the years to help women and children? Speeches don't count because, as she put it so well, you need politicians to enact the legislation...


    She didn't approve of Walmart's policies (none / 0) (#57)
    by MarkL on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:29:32 PM EST
    ---in fact, that's why she left the board.
    We NEED people like Hillary Clinton on the boards of major corporations, actually.

    You're kidding, right? (none / 0) (#61)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:39:23 PM EST
    All those years in Arkansas, in the White House, and what has she done to curb the abuses of Wal-Mart? She didn't have any problems cashing their checks (political and personal) did she?

    She quit? Why not use her influence and power to change things?

    I'm tired of speeches and finger pointing. Do something!


    Yes. . . (none / 0) (#32)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    she was working on children's and poverty issues at the same time she sat on a number of corporate boards and engaged in other activities.

    The policy issues you cite are either distortions (for instance, Don't Ask, Don't Tell was the retribution taken by the military for the Clinton's (sadly) ahead-of-it's-time attempt to wipe out anti-gay discrimination in the military), attempts to ameliorate the policies of the Republican majority in Congress, or genuine failures in which the Clintons tried to do something right and simply lost.


    Point is (none / 0) (#51)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:15:59 PM EST
    Pres. Clinton could have but didn't do anything about gays in the military.

    You conveniently left out the part of his signing the Defense of Marriage Act in the middle of the night...

    When faced with taking a stand and doing the right thing, or choosing his own (and her) political needs, the needs got met...


    Completely Wrong About History (none / 0) (#53)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:22:57 PM EST
    Pres. Clinton could have but didn't do anything about gays in the military.

    He did try.  In fact, it was one of the first things he tried to do after he was inaugurated.  And he was blocked by the military leadership and Congress, including Democrats like Sam Nunn.  

    The DOMA signing was not one of his finer moments, but I do think that that decision was informed by the complete backlash he had faced over gays in the military.  Still, not good.

    One of the things that is remarkable to me is how so many of the failures of the 1990s are not painted as the Clintons failures instead of Democratic failures.  So now, despite the fact that Democratic Congressman kneecapped him on gays in the military, DADT is CLINTON'S fault.  Just as Congressional Democrats did a terrible job handling their Republican colleagues, but universal healthcare's failure is all HILLARY'S fault, when in fact it was primarily Republican opposition that killed universal healthcare.  To the extent the Clintons and other Democrats are to blame, it's for failing to have a plan to overcome the oppostion.  Part of that is certainly the Clintons' fault, but part of it is Democratic congress members.


    Now Not Not (none / 0) (#54)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:24:05 PM EST
    It should be:

    ...are noW painted as the Clintons' failures...


    You say (none / 0) (#62)
    by HeadScratcher on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:43:14 PM EST
    That the DOMA was not one of his finer moments? Using the pen to sign a piece of legislation that is discriminatory is abhorent!

    Point is this! He didn't have to do (and she was right next to him, so we're told) these things. He could have fought them.

    Look at it this way - What did he fight harder, impeachment or health care, discrimination, etc...?

    He (and she) could have but did not. It doesn't matter the reason. They either lacked the backbone, or didn't want to ruin their grasp on power.


    Don't Ask Don't Tell (none / 0) (#63)
    by Kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:08:34 PM EST
    I am sorry, but considering the anti-gay climate (remember, Reagan did not once acknowledge the AIDS epidemic and actually joked about men dying) I, and many friends in the military who were being scrutinized, found DADT a positive step toward ending discrimination.  I think we all forget how bad it was during the time of Reagan, and how repressive his regime was toward gays.  Having lost many, many good friends to the disease, I can never forgive the man for his unwillingness to act, and I cannot thank Clinton enough for making it possible--at least for a while--for GLBT soldiers to serve their country.

    Jeralyn, since BTD is a "tepid" (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:19:58 PM EST
    Obama supporter, it makes sense that he would stry to steer interest away from Obama's association with Rezko.  But why you?  The Chicago Sun-Times articles support the conclusion Obama's judgment in continuing his association with Rezko was poor.  

    Obama shills we are today (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:26:13 PM EST
    You giving Obama a pass on Rezko.

    Me critcizing Bill Clinton.

    What is this blog coming to?

    Heh (none / 0) (#9)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:35:01 PM EST
    And now shilling for Edwards (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:36:30 PM EST
    Shameless, really. (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:47:44 PM EST
    What are you (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:50:37 PM EST
    some kind of democrat?
    You never shill for Rudy, or Huckabee, or McCain!

    Hey (none / 0) (#55)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:24:48 PM EST
    Why not those three?  They could really use the help!

    Not nothing. . . (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:29:43 PM EST
    Obama has conceded his poor judgement in engaging in a real estate transaction that might allow Rezko, or anyone else, to believe that Rezko had done him a favor.

    As it stands now, it's not a very big issue, but it's still an issue.  Rezko is not some anonymous internet donor but rather an old friend and political sponsor.  No quid pro quo, even on the real estate deal.  But certainly an association that Obama wishes he hadn't had.

    At the very least, Obama's admission of poor judgement is a fair retort for the other candidates to make when he claims that only he has the necessary "good judgement" to be President.

    I think Obama's continued association with (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:34:04 PM EST
    Rezko detracts from Obama's meme he has worked hard to help poor people in Chicago.  Rezko, with the assistance of the law firm for which Obama worked, got city grant money to fix up housing for poor people; then Rezko's firm was the property manager for the buildings; didn'tsupply heat; did supply campaign donations; many buildings went into foreclosure.

    Several levels of innuendo here. . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:36:28 PM EST
    Obama's association with Rezko is not continuing, it's over.  The "assistance of a the law firm for which Obama worked" is not the same as participation by Obama.  "Didn't supply head; did supply campaign donations" suggests a connection between the two facts where no actual evidence is supplied.

    I base my opinion on information contained (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:40:28 PM EST
    in the numerous Chicago Sun-Times articles about Rezko's business, and he and his wife's relationship with Obama.  What I do not know is whether Obama was always an associate in the law firm or, at some point, became a partner.  He was with the firm long enough to become a partner.  He continued working as a lawyer for the firm while an IL. state senator, the firm continued to represent Rezko's business, and Obama continued accepting donations from Rezko.  

    Of council (none / 0) (#23)
    by ogo on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:50:44 PM EST
    Obama is still of council at the firm.  Thats different then partner (which he never was). Would he have any say in who they do or do not take on as clients?

    Don't know. But this is interesting (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:55:30 PM EST
    [snippet from bio you linked to; the quote is regarding his work with the law firm]:

    [H]elped to structure and finance efforts to construct mixed-income housing to replace public housing in and around Cabrini Green.

    Law Firm (none / 0) (#29)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:02:13 PM EST
    Well, in the new privatized housing world, the deals are so complex.  The way that money goes to housing is mostly through Low Income Housing Tax Credits.  What happens is that a non profit, gets a joint venture with a community based non profit, they create a limited partnership.  These deals are complex and require lots of real estate and tax work from legal firms.  Usually, developers have intimate relationships over years with developers.  
    The Cabrini project was part of the Hope VI which basically restructures the low income housing into mixed income housing.  The Feds get out of subsidizing the housing for very very low income people, the neighborhoods get a new mixed income development.  On an aside, this is what they are doing in New Orleans.  

    It was a very large favor (none / 0) (#31)
    by MarkL on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:12:02 PM EST
    worth at least $700,000 over two transactions.
    Considering that these deals are what let Obama buy his home, I have to say this makes Obama's judgment look extremely poor---and that's in the best case.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#64)
    by ghost2 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:23:23 PM EST
    It really stinks when you see the blogsphere continues to mention the one fundraiser Murdoch had for Hillary Clinton, even though everyone should know how much he tried to hit and undermine them with fox news.  Well, you don't have to be very bright to know that he hedged his bets (even then, he is not a huge bundler, or anything else).  How many articles on MSM and diaries on blogsphere I read about Hsu, when she had no way of knowing he was a fugitive, and she immediately returned all the money that came through him to the original donors?

    Hillary gets intense scrutiny partly out of the misogeny in press and blogsphere (they need excuses to justify their hatred of her), partly b/c press and  blogsphere never liked Clintons (a whole essay is there, but I won't go there), and well, because she is Hillary and she creates a lot of interest.

    Meanwhile, the Obama buying his house was at the very least a boneheaded mistake.  A big mistake, I might add.  He couldn't afford to buy the house and the lot, so he gets a campaign donor, someone who is constantly doing business with the State, someone who has housing in Obama's district itself, to buy the lot at the asking price?? Sorry, it smells very much like Rezko was doing him a favor (or thought he was).  Why did Rezko do with the remaining lot, anyhow?? Did he develop it? or Did he just left it there? Add to that the fact that the transactions were made on the same day, so this was not a coincidence.  

    Look, senators and congressmen have gotten in trouble for far less than this.  Obama's ethics reform, which he mentions at each opportunity, prevents lobbyists from buying lunch for members of the congress.  So they can't buy you a hamburger, but can buy a whole lot for over $600k, so you could afford your home next door?  Does that make sense to anyone??


    Rezko's wife bought the empty lot; (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:35:33 PM EST
    then the Obamas purchased 1/6 of that lot at 1/6 the price she bought the whole lot for.  Not sure who owns the remainder of the vacant lot now, although  my brother says he's read the entire lot is fenced and the only gate connects with the Obama backyard.  

    Poor judgement? (none / 0) (#71)
    by felizarte on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 05:24:52 PM EST
    That is good.  Except that he has been substituting or highlighting his "good judgement" in the Iraq issue as the equal of all of Hillary's experience.  I think that John Edwards did all of us a favor by pointing out that Obama accuses others of what he himself does from time to time.

    Big problem (none / 0) (#79)
    by jen on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:21:36 PM EST
    Here's a YouTube video that points out how many times Obama has changed his story on this. Not good and it will be a huge issue if he wins the nomination.

    Only 3 min 42 sec.



    "Big Problem? (none / 0) (#107)
    by diogenes on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 11:47:27 AM EST
    Is this a bigger problem than the $82,000 cattle futures.

    The issue (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:31:59 PM EST
    The issue is not the donation.  The issue is that a community orgainizer, who walked the streets did not know the state of these buildings.  He was a community organizer taking 160,000 from a developer.  It's not the legal work, it's how did he not know what was going on?  Did he not pay attention? Did he not listen?  This is the burning question to me and I cannot find a timeline anywhere.  

    Yes, the obvious is candidate takes money from bad guy, disavows any knowledge of bad guy or his work.  But Obama was in the community as an organizer, went to law school, got a job offer from this developer but took the job with law firm that did developers work.  

    They foreclosed on 30 of this guys buildings.  By the time cities get to this point there was a lot of stuff that anyone with an ear in the community would know.  There is something that just does not make sense, it's too nuanced for a general scandal, but it speaks to his character as a "manager".  My god, if you drown in the politics of the neighborhood, what will happen on a national level.  

    asdf (none / 0) (#65)
    by ghost2 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:25:00 PM EST
    some of those buildings were apparently in his own district.  

    Did people complain?  How did he and his office handle those complaints?


    Obama probably did not do anything improper or (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by felizarte on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:32:15 PM EST
    unethical with his Rezko deals.  And Hillary probably did not participate in any oppressive or improper policies of Walmart either.  But Obama should have known better about "throwing the first personal punch" by bringing up Clinton's short stint in the Walmart board, intimating something unsavory on the part of Hillary.  And Hillary just threw his punch back at him.

    It's politics.  And both of them are using whatever they have in their "arsenal" of information on each other.  "What's good for the goose goes for the gander too."

    professionally attorney and others (none / 0) (#95)
    by hellothere on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:14:49 PM EST
    such as doctors ect are taught not to give the appearance of impropriety. personally i think obama may not be guilty of anything but there is an appearance problem. obama throws it out there but doesn't want it thrown back. it is called politics.

    I will end with this. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:27:35 PM EST
    Why I got all worked up about this.  

    First it's not a "scandal".  It's an example of how I feel about Obama.  He uses his years in the community as a red badge of courage, but I think that it was self serving.  He did a sloppy job as a community organizer.  The Rezk thing is community organizing 101, you don't go to bed with developers that are questionable cause inevitably the community gets screwed.

    Second, I am tired of the adulation and the Obama supporters who think he is not a politician and that somehow he is above all "that stuff".  I am tired of them accusing everyone else of lying and being viscious, when I think that the minute you get into politics, you do politics.  It's your job.  In another blog, TPM actually, this person said he is not a politician, he is an agent of change.  

    Finally, this story will go nowhere cause the Dems don't want him damaged.  The Republicans will play with it at a General Election.  In the end, he is a politician, not a saint.  So, his followers need to see his flaws.   On a personal level, I have seen way to many "over achievers" do an internship in the community, then parlez that into some other career.  In the end, they never had their heart in the community.  

    So I will stop, cause it's getting obsessive and I don't like obsessive.  

    stellaaa, i used to be chairman of (none / 0) (#99)
    by hellothere on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:22:54 PM EST
    a nonprofit board and we obtained and dispensed grants for home purchase assistance. i certainly don't have your background, but i agree with you about the housing issues. i have seen times when others just refused to see what was right in front of them because it wasn't convenient. now i am not applying that comment to obama but it is a problem.

    Grandmother (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:22:47 PM EST
    I think you make a very good point.  For all of this talk about electability, there is also the fact that on a blog I (very sadly) no longer read it was reported that the swiftboaters have a war chest of around 250 million bucks ready and waiting.  No matter who we put up, they are going to open with all guns.  I am obviously a Clinton supporter, so take this with a grain of salt: I think what she says is true.  She has been battling this for sixteen years.  She knows how to fight back.  She's not going to set up a "hotline" to catalogue offenses, she is going to meet them toe to toe on their turf and give it right back.  Is that change and unity and vision?  Well, tell me how you are going to make Fred Phelps pro-choice, pro-woman and pro-gay with your unity and I will give you my vote right now. (though, again, I will vote for ANY dem who gets the nom)

    Sexism (none / 0) (#77)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:55:04 PM EST
    I think that sexism is rampant in the anti-Hillary crowd....I see no reason for them to be so rabid about their hatred otherwise....Makes no sense to me....

    Yes. (none / 0) (#92)
    by ghost2 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:04:13 PM EST
    And sadly, many of them pose as progressives.   Note that the DNC and big guys have remained silent in the face of rampant misogeny in media.  

    Obama harms Democrats with his false narratives (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by lily15 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:47:47 PM EST
    No, this does not harm Clinton.  It harms Obama.  It takes the glow off, as Oprah called him, "The One."
    And Obama started the mud slinging...Obama created the narrative of a new type of politics.  So we should know what type of politics. Chicago politics?
    Illinois politics?  The same Illinois type of politics that encourages "present" votes as strategy?  The same type of politics that praises Republican ideas and a transformational (as opposed to an  Alzheimers Reagan)Reagan?  I'm sorry...this does not benefit the Democratic party.  Obama is the divisive one who is doing tremendous damage to Democratic principles....under the ruse of unity.

    I can't imagine a worse thing for (none / 0) (#89)
    by Rojas on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:55:32 PM EST
    "Democratic principles" than unity.

    Get him now before it's too late.


    Obama is the divider (none / 0) (#93)
    by lily15 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:06:41 PM EST
    which makes his claim that he is a unifier false.  Obama bandies the word unity around yet acts in a divisive way.  Unity is good in principle...but clearly Obama is practicing the opposite. Obama brought up the race issue with the MLK/LBJ distortion, claiming through surrogates that the remarks were racist.  

    misogeny (none / 0) (#96)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:14:57 PM EST
    that is what will defeat Hillary ultimately not Obama....I have been appalled at how much of it is out there....Even amongst the Obama supporters....it is strong and down dirty....they are willing to destroy the only successful two term president we have had in decades in order to destroy Hillary....That is pitiful...

    If he could just get that triangulation thing down (none / 0) (#102)
    by Rojas on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:51:56 PM EST
    and a Sister Souljah moment or two..

    That would be the soup


    Tough issue here. (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 10:15:24 PM EST
    I support Hillary Clinton, but I don't dislike Obama or Edwards. I want her to win because of her strengths, not because unseemly things come to light about Obama. On the other hand, any whiff of impropriety will be magnified a thousandfold by the Republicans, so it's important to know the truth now.

    What I can see is this. (All this from articles in the Chicago Sun-Times.) Obama and Rezko knew each other for a very long time (17 years). Their relationship lasted at least until 2005, when Obama and Rezko's wife bought adjacent lots on the same day.

    During that time, Rezko and his associates donated about $168,000 to Obama's political campaigns.

    In 1998, in his role as state senator, Obama wrote at least two letters in support of a development that Rezko and his partner wanted to build. At that time, he was also a lawyer in a private firm which represented some other companies owned by Rezko. There was also something about an internship, but that seems like small potatoes.

    So there's a certain amount of circumstantial evidence here. What's safe to conclude?

    1. Obama's description of his work for Rezko (five hours of legal work) last night in the debate was understated to the point of being deceptive.

    2. There's enough kindling here for the Republicans to start a fire. At the very least Obama accepted significant contributions from Rezko, took political actions that benefited Rezko (he may have genuinely believed these to be the right actions in any case), and as recently as 2005, had some personal financial interaction with Rezko.

    I'm not sure why Jeralyn and BTD are so certain that there's nothing wrong here. I'm not saying there is, but it's certainly worrisome.

    Mixed Feelings (none / 0) (#7)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:33:51 PM EST
    On the one hand, I think the Rezko stuff does show bad judgement and I think Obama's explanation of his relationship with Rezko was less than forthcoming last night.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure there's any there there in terms of corruption and having seen all the wasted resources on Whitewater, I'm not exactly excited about the idea of going through that again with another potential Democratic nominee.  Where the press manufactures a "corruption" scandal where there is none.  

    On the third hand, heh, if the press is going to do that, I'd rather they do it now so we can see how it's going to go than in October 2008.

    As for the debate, my guess is the Obama folks are unhappy this morning.  Furious at Clinton for bringing up Rezko.  And, if they have even an ounce of selfawareness, angry at themselves for having given her the opening and permitting her to mirror Obama's language on Walmart.  Because of the way she used Rezko, it's difficult to bash her for it.

    And let me say that if that's how Clinton will fight against Republicans in a debate - that will be awesome.  Although to be fair, one of the things that struck me last night was that any one of these three candidates wipes the floor with the Republicans.  I still worry about Obama's ability to play defense, but he's much improved overall from the beginning of the campaign, IMO (although I know others feel he had a terrible night).

    Obama and Wallmart (none / 0) (#12)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:37:12 PM EST
    Sorry for posting here as well, but there is an interesting Znet article about Obama and Wall-Mart:
    Znet Article

    I really want people to find local community folks to tell us about this.  This is not simple.  

    Link doesn't work (none / 0) (#94)
    by jen on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:09:20 PM EST
    yes.. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:52:39 PM EST
    this is the article

    non-issue versus issue (none / 0) (#15)
    by diogenes on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:41:07 PM EST
    Being a corporate lawyer who sits on the board of Walmart says something about a person.   Maybe it is a good thing, maybe it isn't.  It's very different from Hillary's claim that Obama was somehow bad for "practicing law and representing Rezko".  Lawyers have all kinds of sleazy clients, as criminal defense lawyers know, without it reflecting on them (or Jeralyn).  
    Maybe Hillary should give a constructive defense of how being on Walmart's board was a good thing to do and qualifies her to be president.  Unless she did it then but is now sorry she did it (which is a familiar refrain coming from her campaign).  

    Not just the 5 hours (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:43:54 PM EST
    Obama had a longer term relationship with Rezko, beyond the five hours.  That is what needs to come out.  He spun it.  

    What does it say? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:46:53 PM EST
    Curious what you think it says.

    Well (none / 0) (#24)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:51:20 PM EST
    I think it gives Hillarys side of the argument...Am I wrong??

    My query was for (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:57:57 PM EST

    I hate innuendo.


    "Innuendo" (none / 0) (#76)
    by diogenes on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:42:22 PM EST
    Someone who chooses to serve on a board of directors for any length of time and doesn't quickly rabble-rouse or resign in protest is supporting the board's consensus.
    I myself as a free-trader believe that many poor people in my town (elderly, people on welfare or social security disability) are helped by cheap prices am proud of Walmart.  A handful of workers earn less than they would have at Sears or K Mart.  I send patients to Walmart because Walmart pioneered four dollar prescriptions.
    Hillary can define for herself whether or not it was a good thing to be on the board of directors of Walmart.  If it was a good thing then that would have been the best response at the debate.
    Otherwise, "I did it then, but I won't defend having done it now".  Just like the bankruptcy bill and the Iraq bill vote.

    She did good where she could (none / 0) (#98)
    by jen on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:22:14 PM EST
    She advocated for women and for environmental issues while on the board.

    ...Fellow board members and company executives, who have not spoken publicly about her role at Wal-Mart, say Mrs. Clinton used her position to champion personal causes, like the need for more women in management and a comprehensive environmental program, despite being Wal-Mart's only female director, the youngest and arguably the least experienced in business. On other topics, like Wal-Mart's vehement anti-unionism, for example, she was largely silent, they said.

    ~ snip ~

    "Did Hillary like all of Wal-Mart practices? No," said Garry Mauro, a longtime friend and supporter of the Clintons who sat on the Wal-Mart Environmental Advisory Board with Mrs. Clinton in the late 1980s and worked with her on George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign.

    "But," Mr. Mauro added, "was Wal-Mart a better company, with better practices, because Hillary was on the board? Yes."

    ~ snip ~

    Mrs. Clinton had greater success on environmental issues. At her request, Mr. Walton set up the environmental advisory group, which sent a series of recommendations to the company's board.

    When it came time to pick members, Mrs. Clinton, who led the advisory group, reached out to at least two colleagues from the McGovern presidential campaign -- Mr. Mauro and Roy Spence, who headed an advertising firm in Texas that did extensive work for Wal-Mart.

    Under her watch, the advisory group drew up elaborate plans. Consumers would bring in used motor oil and batteries for recycling. Suppliers would reduce the size of their packaging. And Wal-Mart would build stores with energy-saving features.

    Wal-Mart executives put much of the program into place. In 1993, for example, they opened an experimental "eco-store" in Kansas, with skylights and wooden beams from forests that had not been clear cut.

    ~ snip ~

    "She was not an outspoken person on labor, because I think she was smart enough to know that if she favored labor, she was the only one," Mr. Tate said. "It would only lessen her own position on the board if she took that position."...


    Here is a fact (none / 0) (#18)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:45:06 PM EST
    Link that should help...it is Hillarys link

    HRC on Walmart's Board (none / 0) (#58)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:31:02 PM EST
    Based on what I've read, which is admittedly hardly definitive, she pushed Walmart to promote more women and I think I read they were not very happy about this and it caused tension (although if they had listened to her, perhaps they wouldn't be facing class action lawsuits).  I don't believe she was all that vocal about their general labor practices.  However, she also apparently pushed them to be more environmentally friendly or to conserve.

    Now, we can argue if she did enough, but - again, based on my limited reading - she did apparently try to do some positive things - from a progressive view - while on the Walmart Board.  Walmart, of course, is an incredibly important business in Arkansas.  Frankly, I'm kind of surprised she did anything.  But I'm cynical that way.

    I'd love to know if anyone else has a better handle on what she did at Walmart.


    Ugh (none / 0) (#17)
    by standingup on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:45:02 PM EST
    I agree there is nothing to support that Obama has done anything wrong.  But when is he going to learn how to drive a point home or put an issue to rest?  

    Obama just invited more attention to his relationship with Rezko with his attempt to downplay it in the debate last night.  He made a similar mistake in his interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal.  You can't leave the door open during a campaign and expect people won't walk through.    

    Here (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:46:02 PM EST
    Rezko connection not clarified (none / 0) (#25)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:51:56 PM EST
    Obama was organizer for three years.  What did he know and how did he know Rezko in this stage?  
    Goes to law school.
    Gets job offer from Rezko, takes job with law firm.
    Obama gets 160,000 in political donations, plus real estate deal with house.  
    The fiver hours are nothing in this equation, just what is documented.  
    So, what is missing: What did he know about Rezko when he was an organizer, what he neglected to find out, how did her serve the community?  I hate people who step on neighborhoods to get connections and bona fides to talk about helping the community.  

    um (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:14:25 PM EST
    Gets job offer from Rezko, takes job with law firm.

    I'm going to use my fav BTD quote.

    What in blazes are you talking about?  Obama's job at the law firm had nothing to do with Rezko.


    Rezko's firm was represented by the law firm. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    Doesn't mean that's why Obama went to that firm or that he knew that before he went there.  

    um (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:19:39 PM EST
    Obama was organizer for three years.  What did he know and how did he know Rezko in this stage?  

    Ohh innuendo


    Well, he had at least heard of Rezko then (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:21:37 PM EST
    because Rezko offered Obama a job while Obama was still in law school at Harvard.

    So what (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:27:06 PM EST
    does that have to do with anything?
    Find me the evidence he did something wrong and we can  have a discussion.

    I've at least heard of a lot of bad people, what does that say about me? not a thing.


    I haven't read anything (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:29:14 PM EST
    indicating Obama did anything "wrong."  I have read quite alot that convinces me his judgment was faulty.  

    Specifics? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:38:44 PM EST
    any instances in particular?

    See articles in the Chicago Sun-Times (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:44:04 PM EST
    re relationship between Rezko and Obama.

    There really isn't (none / 0) (#48)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:56:25 PM EST
    much there I have read them.  Politicians have supporters that end up being corrupt, there is no evidence Obama did any favors for him.

    If that is your sole criteria, I agree. (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:14:40 PM EST
    How long did Obama know Rezko (none / 0) (#56)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:28:31 PM EST
    Obama worked in that community as the organizer before going to law school.  Did he know of Rezko while working in the community before law school?  

    Neighborhoods are small.  Some developer does not amass 30 projects over night and then they all go into foreclosure.  


    Innuendo (none / 0) (#59)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:31:07 PM EST
    I have worked in community development and organizing for 30 years.  There is no way if you are an organizer that you would not know about the dealings of a developer of that caliber.  That you would not want to find out, or that you would not hear of things.  

    Jeralyn, you need to consider the house (none / 0) (#36)
    by MarkL on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:21:11 PM EST
    It's  not clear to me you are addressing that issue.
    Do you really think there's no problem for Obama on that score?

    I would be more comfortable with the (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:23:15 PM EST
    "move on" advice from both BTD and Jeralyn if I were confident they had actually read all the Chicago Sun-Times articles on the relationship between Rezdo and Obama.  

    Please be gentle (none / 0) (#41)
    by Kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:29:49 PM EST
    This is my first post here, but I've been reading for a while and cannot stand Kos anymore.  (What the heck happened over there?)  HuffPo ain't so great, either.

    Anyway, I'd like to say two things on Obama's Walmart line (while admitting I love Hillary, but also admitting I will vote for whomever gets the nom because I am a lifelong dem):

    1.  Hillary resigned from the board because she said she did not agree with their practices.  She was a long-time friend of the Waltons and was asked to join out of that friendship.  She gave back the money they gave to her campaign.

    2. --and this is important--let us not forget that Obama is a bestselling author, and that the number one paperback merchandiser in America is Walmart.  Top hardcover seller behind Costco is Sam's Club.  Has anyone checked to see if, since Senator Obama has a problem with Walmart, he has given back the money from the sale of his books?

    And in closing (I promise posts won't be so long in the future) if anyone thinks some crazy land deal that doesn't pass the land test is not relevant, then I have one word for you: Whitewater.

    Excellent post Kathy (none / 0) (#43)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:35:38 PM EST
    I competely agree with you

    woops (none / 0) (#42)
    by Kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:32:04 PM EST
    screwed up already: doesn't pass the SMELL test.

    pps: I believe Rezko's later partner in the deal is the one who hired Obama at her firm...

    Do you have a link? (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:37:47 PM EST
    oculus (none / 0) (#47)
    by Kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:49:07 PM EST
    I got all of the info I posted from the Chicago Trib.  The info about Hillary and the board came from ABC news.  I am so, so sorry that I am not very adept at posting links (haha, so probably I should be treated like the other hacks!) but you can find a whole "area" on the Trib site that has pdf's of letters Obama wrote on behalf of Rezko as well as a timeline and a narrative of those involved.

    If you want a link about Walmart being the top seller, that's something I know from being in the book biz, and I am not going to out myself because, well, that's my perogative!  Walmart does not report to the NY Times list (they report to USA Today, which is why the lists tend to be vastly different and reflect what people are actually reading [thrillers, self-help, romance] rather than what the Times-reporting stores are selling).  I cannot direct you as to where to verify this info, but Walmart has around 3400 stores selling paperback books in the US.  B&N has around 800+ stores. Borders has around 500-.  Not to sound glib, but do the math.

    And here I was saying my posts would not be long!

    I was interested in your source for (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:04:28 PM EST
    the last sentence in your earlier comment, i.e. about the law firm and Rezko's partner.  I'll check Chicago Tribune.  Thanks.

    Rezko, etc. (none / 0) (#68)
    by xjt on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:39:26 PM EST
    I must be mistaken. I thought Rezko helped Obama buy a house under market value, and also bought a very expensive empty lot next to his house/mansion also as a favor to Obama. My understanding was that these favors amounted to several hundred thousand dollars. Am I wrong? I mean, I guess it's legal, but it sure seems like a guy like Rezko would expect something in return. Is that insanely cynical of me? If so, my bad.

    As for Clinton signing DOMA, it was shameless. Just like his backing off gays in the military was shameless. I happen to think that the military issue was a stupid issue for the gay community to start off with, but that's just my opinion. We should have started off with civil unions. But whatever.

    Hillary says she'll repeal part of DOMA, the part that allows us federal benefits. I hope that's true because that would change my life and give me so much more security to be eligible for my partner's benefits. I'm taking a risk on HRC, because I believe she will be more progressive than her husband, and also because this is a better climate for gay people than 1992.

    Obama lost my vote with Donnie McClurkin. The fact that he should have known better, and then did nothing when there was an outcry from the gay community tells me volumes about him. He never even apologized. I have had it with gay hating "Christians" and the phony "ex gay" movement is as offensive to gays as Uncle Toms are offensive to blacks.

    In Obama's citation of his own (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 04:43:30 PM EST
    Christianity during last night's debate, he sd. something about evangelical Christians and their discomfort about homosexuality and women's right to choose an abortion.  Not sure what he was driving at or if I even have it right as to what he sd.  More research needed.

    You are not mistaken about the house (none / 0) (#75)
    by MarkL on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:38:39 PM EST
    I do not understand why discussion of this deal is being suppressed. By itself, that is certain to cause Obama substantial trouble as the nominee, because of Rezko's trial.

    Easy, (none / 0) (#90)
    by ghost2 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:56:30 PM EST
    That's the double standard the media and blogs have when it comes to Obama and Clinton. It is so eerily reminescent of Bush and Gore in 2000 that it's not funny, and now it has started to scare the hell out of me.  

    That deal (which his supporters don't dispute, they just answer everything with rah rah... don't critize this guy... ) smells.  It may be perfectly legal, but it smells.  Say, Obama knew Rezko and just mentioned that he wanted to buy this house and couldn't afford it, and Rezko says sure, I buy the lot.  Don't you think it smells like Rezko wanted to be on the good side of the legislator, and expected easier passages of deals favorable to him in the legislature?? That's what it would look like to average voters.

    Maybe democrats get lucky and the infatuation of media with Obama lasts during the general election.  Maybe America and the world would get lucky and the guy with little expertise in foreign policy wouldn't make a boneheaded mistake early in his tenure.  

    God bless Biden.  I remember he kept saying the next president has no margin of error.  Never mind the American voters, what is it with media and bloggers that they don't want to see the amazing intelligence, sheer diligence, hard work, and knowledge that Hillary brings?  I am really, really baffled by this.  

    Let me say that despite my ranting here, I very much respect both BTD and Jeralyn.  BTD is one of the few people despite leaning towards a candidate, can remain objective when discussing issues and distractions.  For that, I really respect his opinions.


    My fear about Clinton (none / 0) (#70)
    by jmf on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 05:00:58 PM EST
    This is my first post here.  I am at this point an Edwards supporter, so I am taking in all the comments by posters here about Senator Obama's and Clinton's  past history with Rezko and Wal-Mart with concern on both sides.  Since I come from New York, however, that makes me one of Sen. Clinton's constituents.  And I am more concerned about the present connections of the candidates.  I have to say that, aside from Sen. Clinton's vote on Iraq authorization, her co-sponsorship of anti-flag burning legislation, and her yes vote on Kyl-Lieberman, the thing that has most upset me recently was the fundraiser she had Rupert Murdoch throw for her this June (pictures all over the papers here.)  If she wins the nomination I am going to have a very hard time voting for someone who would connect themselves in this way to one of the slimiest media owners in the world.  

    Really? (none / 0) (#91)
    by ghost2 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:58:42 PM EST
    All rich people in Murdoch category hedge their bets.  It was one fundraiser.  That bothers you, but the topic of discusion doesn't?

    A hedge fund (none / 0) (#97)
    by Rojas on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:20:20 PM EST
    That's the ticket

    Kathy is correct about Whitewater (none / 0) (#72)
    by Grandmother on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 05:25:14 PM EST
    Deos anyone remember that Whitewater had already been investigated and there was nothing illegal or improper found by the time Clinton took office.  Then the Republicans got hold of the story and we know the rest.

    If Obama or his supporters don't think this is a big deal they are sadly mistaken. This has been a big deal in the Chicago papers for some time and the Rezko trial starts at the end of February.  

    The Clintons lost money in the Whitewater fiasco but look what the Obamas have: a home worth almost two million dollars and to the best of my knowledge the Rezkos still own the lot next door.  Clearly, when the deal on the properties were closed on the same day and the Rezkos were known contributors to Obama's campaigns, there is a connection even if it is only to "help out" a friend.  

    If Obama thinks HRC and BC have been mean to him, then he'd better get ready for a rough ride if he gets the nomination - the Republicans can and will call you a liar, can and will slice and dice you and they will never apologize or fire anyone for an alleged racist remark.  Drudge, Newsmax and every republican outlet will be screaming the headlines for days and days. If you are arguing that Hillary should not be elected because no one wants "to relieve the fights of the 90s" do you think Rove and Co. will be any nicer to Obama. Does anyone think they can't and won't make up dirt and scum on any Democrat.

    I've said it before, if Dukakis, Gore or Kerry had been elected, there would have been major made up crap on them just like the Clintons.  We saw it during the elections and it would have continued throughout any Dem presidency.


    that's right! (none / 0) (#100)
    by hellothere on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:25:41 PM EST
    Ok, I promise this is it... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:16:08 PM EST
    I was wondering about the details of what happened with Rezko's properties, the slumlord part, not the house buying side:
    Read the article if Obama was doing the due diligence when, what and how?    

    Kathy (none / 0) (#78)
    by Grandmother on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:10:37 PM EST
    You have said it better than I could.  I am a strong Hillary supporter.  And while in the spring of last year I wondered if I could really get behind her, one of the things that pushed me over the edge was the sexism and the absolutely trashy remarks that were left unchallenged on those "other sites."  I mean if you can be called a murderer (read Vince Foster), a lesbian, a dyke among others, and still be standing, then you have my vote.  

    I too was inspired by Obama's 2004 speech.  As Democrats we still believed that because our candidate was "reporting for duty" he could not be sullied by the opposing team.  I have no doubt that there is a war chest waiting to be spent on whoever the Dem nominee is.  However, I'll take my chances with the one person, the one name, the only family that has been able to beat the Republican machine in my lifetime as a voter.  One time, but only once, before Bill Clinton I voted and my guy was the winner - Jimmy Carter.  And now all the so called progressive and liberal blogs trash the only two time Democratic president since - let's see -when my parents were young and World War II was the war we were fighting.

    And I will bet money that if Obama wins the nomination or the presidency, we will be reliving those horrible years all over again - just substitute a few names and there it is - like magic.

    Investigate this purchase and sale--don't suppress (none / 0) (#80)
    by lily15 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:22:57 PM EST
    Jeralyn--Your statement to us to "move on" is offensive.  How dare you suppress an investigation of the facts.  The appearance of impropriety is sufficient to make Obama a questionable candidate with questionable judgment.  Why wouldn't you think it necessary to explore further?  You are aware that the lot was purchased by Rezko's wife?  Generally, the wife does the buying when someone is trying to hide something.  And then the under market allegations?  Doesn't that smell like the Dukester?

    Duke Cunningham was selling his house for the wrong value, wasn't he?  It's just in his case the feds were able to link the favors he received with the purchase.  What type of lawyer are you that you would dismiss these various serious allegations in a federal corruption trial?  This is a guy Obama knew for 17 years.  And after they buy the lot and house together (and the wife of Rezko is buying the lot for full value while the house is undervalued) then Rezko's wife resells a 1/6 part of the lot back to Obama for a backyard?  This is your idea of "nothings there?"  What type of hypocrite are you?  Do you expect anyone to read what you write and find you credible when you make stupid remarks like this?

     Intellectual honesty is critical now.
    There is something there...and you Jeralyn...a criminal lawyer...have a duty to tell us in detail exactly what went on and why Obama is named in the indictment as the politician.  At the very least, this is terrible terrible judgment.  And something can be wrong, possibly illegal yet still be short of possessing all elements of a crime for purposes of indictment.  But it is absolutely ethically improper.  And one can engage in improper and unethical behavior without it being criminal. It certainly leaves an appearance of corruption. And for a candidate who holds himself out as pure and fresh and not a traditional politician, these are very relevant questions that deserve further investigation. And even if one could not prove a crime or a connection to political favor, that doesn't make it OK, does it?

    Lily (none / 0) (#81)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:30:44 PM EST
    While I appreciate the smell of the yucky stuff in Chicago, I think Clinton or Edwards would be better served discussing the real issues of this nation....Digging in the mud is the sport of Republicans....

    I disagree, because Obama (none / 0) (#83)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:32:51 PM EST
    holds himself out as above the fray of politics. But he seems to be deeply immersed in politics CHicago style.

    Relevant to Dems accusing Rethugs of corrupt (none / 0) (#82)
    by lily15 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:31:22 PM EST
    behavior.  Dems are calling Republicans the party of corruption.  Isn't it in the Republican's interest to point to Obama and his questionable links to a man facing a federal criminal trial, and say Dems do it too?  It certainly hurt Rudy to have a good friend facing federal charges.  Why wouldn't it hurt Obama up against a Republican?

    Because (none / 0) (#84)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:38:46 PM EST
    because discussing this at length right now harms the democratic party more than it hurts Obama....If the dems just go to bickering about this stuff it will do major harm to the party....We have to get the message out about our ideas and what we propose to do to change this country....that is vital right now....because people are making up their minds about who they will support....

    we have to do it now (none / 0) (#87)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:43:29 PM EST
    We have to get him out now.  Not after he is nominated or the second in the ticket.  It has to be early.  

    Not just this... (none / 0) (#86)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:42:36 PM EST
    We are talking about running the US Government.  If in one small neighborhood and not so complex transaction or set of transactions, he missed the failings of this developer, I just cannot see how he is qualified to be President.  This has really thrown me into a tailspin.  How did he not have a clue about this guys properties if he was such a man of the people?  I really, do not understand.  It's beyond belief.  

    He moved Edwards aside with his posing to be the man of the people.   Can we now go beyond inspirational?  The guy cannot hold his own in the debates.   This stinks.  


    good point. n/t (none / 0) (#101)
    by ghost2 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:46:26 PM EST
    It is critical Dems explore Obama's Chicago friend (none / 0) (#85)
    by lily15 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:38:57 PM EST
    This will not go away.  Except it could also damage Democrats irreparably if Obama were nominated.  Because the press already tried to push Obama down our throats....before anyone could figure out his liabilities.  Why would any Democrat be so naive as to foolishly imagine this will stay quiet?  The trial starts Feb. 25. The Republicans have already been very busy with this.  The Democratic Governor of Illinois had ties to Rezko.  Rezko was a big Chicago fixer very tied to Obama for 17 years. The appearances are awful.  And Patrick Fitzgerald is the prosecutor going after Rezko big time.  And it is Patrick Fitzgerald we're talking about.  This is like playing with dynamite.  We need to fully explore this before it blows up in our faces. Appearances of corruption or ties to corruption such as these are sufficient to taint a Democratic nominee.

    This one answer from Obama beats all. (none / 0) (#104)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08:58:56 PM EST
    The reporter, unfortunately, his name happens to be Novak, sent him all these questions to answer.  This are his answers:  

    This is what he says about the tenants of the projects.  No one who cares about affordable housing and low income communities would give this as the reason for the project failing:
    "Housing partnerships in which low-income-housing tax credits are syndicated frequently struggle financially. The reasons for the problems such partnerships struggle are complex but frequently include urban crime, demographic changes and social factors outside the control of any developer or owner. Senator Obama was not otherwise aware of financial and physical problems attributable to misconduct by Mr. Rezko"

    Projects fail because they were structured badly, bad management, exorbitant developer fees and no oversight from the city and the equity partner.  This is blaming the victims of the worse kind.  It will get swept under the rug.  But I am saddened that the Hope candidate would even utter these words.  I guess that is why he thought the 60's and 70's were full of excesses.  

    I think (none / 0) (#105)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 09:46:09 PM EST
    Sen. Obama's social concience is outweighed by his ambition to rise in political circles....Really sad cause I really wanted to believe the man....turns out that golden tongue is about all he has....

    It Takes a Shantytown (none / 0) (#108)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 03:35:02 PM EST
    Let them work at Walmart fulltime and eat -- foodstamps. Certainly a decided improvement over the three bowls of rice Walmarts subsidized Chinese workers get.

    Will anything remotely resembling a livable minimum wage be anywhere near the table if her nibs gets elected? Something tells me not.

    Maybe it should be changed to It Takes a Gated Community.