ABC News: Rezko Will Reveal "Cesspool of Obama's Allies"

ABC News reports on the implications of Tony Rezko's trial for Barack Obama.

I think one line Obama may wish he never said when defending his toughness is,

"I come from Chicago politics. We're accustomed to rough and tumble," he said.

Chicago politics is well-known for being dirty. Perhaps he should have talked about his experience staying above the fray of it rather than implying he knew how to get into the fight.

< There Is A Problem If Obama Can Not Win The Key Big States | Why Polling TX And OH Is Difficult >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Primary Season Must Not End (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by Athena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:00:42 PM EST
    As Rezko's trial opens, the primary season must continue so that Obama becomes more fully vetted.

    Obama's coronation by the media is the best argument for continuing the primaries.  Let the voters weigh in - when the MSM has done very little investigation into Obama.

    On to Pennsylvania - and let's have the 6 weeks ahead to more fully understand who Obama really is.

    So let PA vote.  At the very least.

    Totally agree (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Lena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:07:08 PM EST
    that the primary season should not end now, whatever the results in Texas (am assuming a Clinton win in Ohio, especially now with the CTV scandal).

    With a headline like that from ABC News, I think we can pretty much see how this Rezko trial is going to impact Obama. The press is signaling that it is no longer his friend.

    And his "I'm above-politics-as-usual" attitude is going to come in for some serious hits.


    Can't Hide A Federal Trial (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Athena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:14:09 PM EST
    It's going to take a federal corruption trial of a political sidekick to get the MSM to look more closely at Obama and drop the rose-colored glasses.

    All the more reason to make the Democratic party - and electorate - pause and investigate.


    Perhaps this trial is why the Obama people (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by hairspray on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:41:46 PM EST
    have been screaming and insinuating that Hillary is done and should get out now. If this and the information about the  NAFTA  "its just politics" seeps into the public consciousness over the next few weeks there could be considerable erosion of support.

    Yup (none / 0) (#69)
    by Foxx on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:44:01 PM EST
    OBAMA-REZKO-SADDAM (1.00 / 1) (#49)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:23:47 PM EST
    The Times of London follows the money in the journalistic tradition of Watergate and finds a strange connection between Tony Rezko, Barack Obama, and Nadhmi Auchi.

    The latter, one of Britain's richest men, has a long history of shady financial dealings as well as numerous connections to Saddam Hussein, who he helped to power. According to the Times, Auchi sent a lot of money to Rezko just before his wife bought property adjacent to the Obamas in a land deal that has already raised a lot of eyebrows:

    A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses.

    The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain's wealthiest men, helped Mr Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.

    A company related to Mr Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr Obama's bagman Antoin "Tony" Rezko on May 23 2005. Mr Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.

    Three weeks later, Mr Obama bought a house on the city's South Side while Mr Rezko's wife bought the garden plot next door from the same seller on the same day, June 15.

    Why is this important to the land deal?
    Mrs Rezko paid the asking price for the garden but the Obamas bought the house for $1.65 million, - $300,000 less than the asking price. The sellers deny they offered the Obamas a discount on the house because the garden had fetched full price from Mrs Rezko.

    They took 15% less than the asking price? That's a rather remarkable discount. And how exactly did the Rezkos afford to buy the adjacent plot? It cost $625,000, and they needed to make a $125,000 down payment on the land. Yet at the time, Tony Rezko had "no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations" -- according to a sworn court statement a year later. His wife had an income of $37,000 and assets of around $35,000.

    How could they qualify for a mortgage on the adjacent plot? Where did they get the money for the down payment? More importantly, why did Auchi lend so much money to Rezko, when Rezko had been in such financial straits? And why was Auchi so interested in Rezko in the first place?

    Let's take another look at Auchi:
    Auchi's brother was among the many Baathists killed by Saddam, but the execution did not inhibit Auchi's business dealings with Iraq which, he says, didn't stop until the Gulf war of 1991. His first coup in the West was to broker a deal to sell Italian frigates to the Iraqi Defence Ministry, for which he received $17m in commission. Italian investigators claimed that a Panamanian company owned by Auchi was used to funnel allegedly illegal payments. Auchi denied he had done anything wrong.
    In the mid-1980s he got to know Pierfrancesco Pacini Battaglia, a man whose role in directing money to politicians led Italians to call him 'the one below God'. Saddam Hussein had ordered the construction of a pipeline from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. Battaglia and Auchi secured the contract for a Franco-Italian consortium. In a statement to New York lawyers Battaglia alleged he knew how. 'To acquire the contract it was necessary, as is usual, especially in Middle Eastern countries, to pay commission to characters close to the Iraqi government... In this case, the international intermediary who dealt with this matter was the Iraqi, Nadhmi Auchi.'

    Nick Cohen suggests that Britain only extradited Auchi to France to face fraud charges in 2003 because our invasion of Iraq had ended his usefulness as an expert on the Hussein regime for MI-6. In any case, Auchi also allegedly had a hand in defrauding the UK's National Health System after his fleecing of the French oil company Elf.

    Obama is not the Agent of Change. He is a calculating politician who plays the game the same way politicians have been playing it for hundreds of years - receiving money in exchange for favors from government for his friends and cronies, influence selling, the sweetheart deals, and all the rest of this sleazy mess.

    There seems to be a lot more to Rezko than just slumlording. When a figure like Auchi gives a low-rent figure like Rezko that kind of money, he's not looking to expand tenement ownership.


    I don't think there is any connection (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:22:59 PM EST
    between Auchi and Obama.

    And you are only painting a partial picture of Auchi from one news article in England.

    Here's more on him, from Rezko's Response to the Government Motion for Issuance of Arrest Warrant and Revocation of Bond, filed on or about January 29, 2008:

    While the government attempts to besmirch Mr. Auchi's character, he is one of Britain's wealthiest men, has been a guest at the White House and met with two of the last three
    presidents, was Co-Chair of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, is President of the
    Anglo-Arab Organisation, and has received numerous awards and honorary positions from heads
    of state, including Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, and King Abdullah II of Jordan. While
    Mr. Auchi is apparently no longer welcome in the United States, he apparently is welcome to
    travel to France, where he maintains a home, and every other country in the world,
    notwithstanding a criminal conviction in France, for which he was tried in absentia and received
    a suspended sentence.

    Doesn't sound like such a bad guy to me. And again, there's no evidence Obama knew him, and if they did meet, Obama doesn't remember and it might have been while Obama was at the Four Seasons and as he was leaving, he passed a room with a private party with some people he knew -- Auchi may have been at that private party and introduced.

    I don't think anything with Auchi connects to Obama.


    You SOund Like Bush (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:27:56 PM EST

    Auchi and Rezko (none / 0) (#68)
    by Foxx on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:43:15 PM EST
    have a number of business partnerships in the US. And it is a very interesting question why since he is a billionaire and Rezko is small potatoes.

    The really interesting question is what are Auchi's connections to the terrorist financing network. Rich Arabs are where they get their money.

    And what did Auchi think he was buying when he "loaned Rezko" 3.5 million TWICE?


    sadly (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:04:33 PM EST
    I dont think it will continue that long

    I thought so too. But yesterday I saw the (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:28:11 PM EST
    interview Hillary did with NewsHour and noticed she mentioned people coming up to her and saying "don't give up. Don't quit" and I knew she was blowing the dog whistle to let her supporters know that she might go on past Tues.

    She's in for long haul... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by cmugirl on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:34:51 PM EST
    She opened her campaign office in Wyoming yesterday (or the day before), and is scheduled to open an office in Philly this weekend.

    Good! (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:36:30 PM EST
    She needs to stay in.  Dropping out would NOT be for the good of the country.

    Bill said win both or done (none / 0) (#93)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:46:20 PM EST
    How she can go back on that?  The Superdelegates will stop the fight if she doesn't hit her targets......

    Yeah, "Where I come from, everyone (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by tigercourse on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:01:58 PM EST
    is a crook" isn't the best slogan to put out there.

    Hillary MUST (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:04:56 PM EST
    stay in until PA.

    I Know this isn't Obama's fault (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:06:34 PM EST
    But it's polarizing and will keep him from being able to unite the country the way he says he can.

    LOL (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Lena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:07:54 PM EST
    Ah yes, two can play at that game!

    Is This Sarcasm? (none / 0) (#104)
    by AmyinSC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:32:00 PM EST
    Because Obama would be lucky to unite the PARTY after all of the crapola he has spewed.  And his sexism hasn't endeared him to a lot of women.  Or his nasty attacks on Clinton.  Or his lies.  Or his manipulations.  Or his "I Won't Take A Stand On Anything On Which I Can Be Checked Later"...You probably get the picture...

    I've Been Trying to Say (none / 0) (#113)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 08:12:02 PM EST
    It will be his first challenge.

    Too Late? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Paladin on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:08:03 PM EST
    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, my fear is that all of this stuff will come crashing down around him after he's sewn up the nomination.  Just like Nixon beat McGovern when Watergate was a faint blip on the radar screen (I am NOT comparing Obama or Hillary to either of these guys - just the situation).

    I guess it's a little too early to tell how all of this will shake out.  But if Hillary's campaign tries to raise the issue, it will probably backfire at this point.

    This is why Hillary is staying in the race (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by vicsan on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:17:46 PM EST
    for as long as she can. The Rezko case is will finish Mr. Hope's presidential run. I think Hillary knows that.:)

    I don't think it will be the Rezko trial (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:41:46 PM EST
    all by itself - I think it will be the pattern that begins to reveal itself.  Obama likes to be portrayed - using details he supplies himself - as the altruistic force for change who has spent his whole life working for the greater good - and he's been pretty good at selling that version of Barack Obama.  I mean, who needs hearings on the aftermath of Katrina and government contractors and homeland security?  

    The "real" Obama is the one who is considerably more opportunistic than altruistic, who has happily let others do the groundwork so that he can come in at the last minute and claim victory, has downplayed his friendship with Tony Rezko.  He claims to have the ability to effect change in DC, but his three years there have not exactly been revolutionary - what kind of person lobbies to get the plum chairmanship of a Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe and then fails to hold a single hearing, visit a single head of state, be any kind of advocate for repairing our relationships with our European allies - and then brushes off criticism using the excuse of a presidential campaign?  Hey, Barack - if you're too busy, maybe there's someone else who could have been actually doing the work that comes with that position!  Reminds me a lot of Lieberman, who stomped his feet and threatened to caucus with the GOP if he didn't get his chairmanship, and once he had it, has put in the same kind of mediocre performance as Obama.

    The deafness and blindness that afflicts the media is all so eerily - and sickeningly - reminiscent of what happened in 2000 and 2004, and in the run-up to the war.  Whatever ugliness that tried to surface on Bush was ignored, excused or downplayed by the media.  The voices that opposed the war, the conflicting information - oh, who needed that when we had the administration telling us everything we really needed to know?

    No, Rezko alone will not sink Obama, and unfortunately, there will be no sinking at all unless the media wakes up and starts doing its job.  My prediction is that it will arise from its stupor within seconds of Obama officially getting the nomination, and then it will be too late to do anything about it.


    Well Said. (none / 0) (#105)
    by AmyinSC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:34:59 PM EST
    And Kathy, I'm surprised, too.  Now let's see if they actually look at some of the wins he claimed in the debate, like abt the Wounded Warrior thing that only got teeth after CLINTON got a bunch of amendments attached!  Yeah - I'm not holding my breath, either...

    wow (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:22:01 PM EST
    I am shocked by that headline and had to go check it out at ABC for myself.  This is the kind of headlining we've seen at HuffPo.  I cannot believe ABC wrote that.  I mean--yeah, they wrote it, but the fact that I can't believe is that this is some major negative spinning; the most damning thing I've seen linking Obama and Rezko.

    Maybe the media is turning faster on the Mighty O than I thought...

    Hopefully - but doubtful (none / 0) (#21)
    by Josey on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:33:29 PM EST
    ABC seems to be the only network exposing the Obama-Rezko dealings.
    Is the Obama-NAFTA-Canadian thingy on TV?

    CTV-NAFTA (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by 0 politico on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:48:06 PM EST
    Haven't seen the Canadian TV NAFTA piece really brought up on the US news so far.  But, CNN has taken notice of the Obama's campaign and/or supporters trying to strong arm black delegates into supporting their candidate.  One has even been reported to have received threatening emails over her continued support for the other candidate.  Story link below.



    For what it's worth. . . (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:27:28 PM EST
    my cousin, a left-leaning independent, has lived in Obama's district for about 15 years.  He told me a month or so ago that he'd vote Clinton - McCain - Obama in that order, largely because he doesn't like many of the Chicago politicians Obama has been associated with.

    I'm from Chicago, though not his district (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:41:53 PM EST
    and feel exactly like your cousin. Check out this story from a reporter that covered Obama in his early days.

    Barack Obama and Me.


    I read the original article (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:01:51 PM EST
    that Spivak wrote - the one he says Obama yelled at him for; I guess when you're running on a self-created myth, it hurts to have even a little bit of truth come out, huh?

    Seems odd, doesn't it, that the same media that can dig out a well-kept secret about Prince Harry serving in Afghanistan can't find its ass with both hands when it comes to Obama.


    the press (not to defend them) (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:22:45 PM EST
    knew about Harry serving.  It was agreed that in order to protect him, the information would not be published.  As nasty as the press can sometimes be in the UK, they do have some standards that they adhere to, and they did a pretty good job until Drudge took it upon himself to endanger the lives of soldiers.

    Of course, what do you expect from someone who prints a "story" about a "leaked photo" he claims is from the Clinton campaign, yet cannot verify who this is or how he came upon it?


    As much as I... (none / 0) (#53)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:28:24 PM EST
    ... hate the work that Drudge does, Drudge did not break this story.

    A magazine in Australia broke the story.


    you are correct (none / 0) (#54)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:32:31 PM EST
    The Age (I think) did it first, but Drudge is the one who took it really international.

    No Drudge here please (none / 0) (#59)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:41:28 PM EST
    stay on topic.

    obama's my senator (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:03:21 PM EST
    your cousin is smart.

    Now that's what I call an anecdote! (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:36:25 PM EST
    Misleading Title (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:30:39 PM EST
    The title of the ABC piece is:

    Reformer: Trial Will Reveal 'Cesspool' of Obama's Allies

    Yours suggests that either Rezko said that or ABC said it.

    squeaky (none / 0) (#22)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:33:33 PM EST
    you are incorrect.  Via the structure of her sentence, she made it clear that the quote is from ABC news, and if you click on the link, you will in fact see the headline ABC wrote saying those exact same words.

    The attribution is to ABC.


    Exact Words (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:34:45 PM EST
    Reformer: Trial Will Reveal 'Cesspool' of Obama's Allies

    uhm... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:41:11 PM EST
    ABC News: Rezko Will Reveal "Cesspool of Obama's Allies"

    Are you saying that ABC news did not use the words "cesspool of Obama's allies"?

    Or would you rather it be quoted, "'Cesspool' of Obama's allies"?

    Because you need to check your MLA if you think this is improperly attributed.

    Kathy: Squeaky trying unsuccessfully to split hairs again to divert attention from Obama's "cesspool" of allies


    Shilling? (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:32:45 PM EST
    From the title of this thread, I read the quote coming from Rezko. I find that misleading. I can see why a Hillary shill would not see any difference. Obama is a convict already, as far as you are concerned.

    squeaky (none / 0) (#57)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:34:13 PM EST
    you really do take the cake.  Or cheese, as the case may be.

    Yes I am saying (none / 0) (#62)
    by AF on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:06:14 PM EST
    that ABC news did not use the words "cesspool of Obama's allies."  It quoted somebody else as using them.

    as I recall (none / 0) (#63)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:10:37 PM EST
    the ABC headline quoted someone using the word "cesspool" then added the Obama's allies part.  Jeralyn then quoted the entire headline.

    If you will take the time to consult an MLA, you will find that Jeralyn's quoting style was wholly accurate.

    And I stand by my original comment: the headline IS the story.  Someone in the msm is writing something extremely negative about Obama, using a headline device to paint him in a negative light.  Very interesting development.


    As was Obama's quote of "boon" (none / 0) (#65)
    by AF on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:12:40 PM EST
    But both passages, in context, mislead as to who said the quoted word.

    No... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:16:55 PM EST
    Check your MLA on quoting style.  This is not rocket science.  I am telling you how to verify this and your refusal to do so leaves us at an impasse.

    So, have fun.


    This isn't about quoting rules (none / 0) (#78)
    by AF on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:25:21 PM EST
    This is about the convention for titles of newspaper articles and blog posts. The tile --X:"Y" -- implies that X said Y.  It does not imply that X quoted Z saying Y.  This is, in fact, not rocket science.

    Wrong (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:11:10 PM EST
     Jeralyn then quoted the entire headline.

    Jeralyn changed the headline.


    all right-whatever (none / 0) (#74)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:14:28 PM EST
    Some people (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:42:28 PM EST
    will never see the word "Reformer" no matter how many times they read it.

    Yes, I understand that the word (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:48:51 PM EST
    "cesspool" came from the reformer, but the HEADLINE came from ABC news, which was my original point way back upthread.  Jeralyn quoted ABC news.  She made it clear when she said, "ABC NEWS:..."

    But, as usual, here were are arguing semantics.  It seems to me that "Some People" insist on making straw arguments because they can't discuss the merits of a charge.

    I think a good question would be: if Obama cannot reform the state government of IL in his self-described 20 years as an activist, then how can he reform the US government in four?


    the broader point (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Nasarius on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:54:14 PM EST
    Is that the negative media coverage of Obama has started. Of course Jeralyn's quote wasn't made by ABC itself. That would be brazenly biased. It's the fact that this story was reported, and that quote was the headline, which is truly notable.

    More on what Jay Stewart Actually Says (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by AdrianLesher on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:58:36 PM EST
    Jay Stewart's complaint about Obama is not that he is corrupt, but that he did not go after the Chicago machine:

    It's a simple political calculus," Jay Stewart, executive director of the Chicago-based watchdog group Better Government Association, tells NewsMax. "Here is a popular guy with a reasonable shot at winning, from the same party. It's good for Illinois if he wins. So the machine [and] the mayor [are] backing Obama."

    Stewart adds that Obama has cultivated a "peaceful coexistence" with the Daley machine, without becoming one of its operatives.

    Emphasis added, of course.

    Not going after the machine aggressively (none / 0) (#66)
    by hairspray on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:33:56 PM EST
    is what has concerned many about Obama in terms of style.  That he may not go after the government  "go along to get along" style is demonstrated here in this diary about the role Obama played in Chicago machine politics.

    Some of us remember Sen. Obama (none / 0) (#71)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:58:46 PM EST
    playing king maker and backing Alexi Giannoulias. Those of us in Chicago with really good memories remember Obama standing with Mayor Daley and endorsing Dorothy Tillman in the run off election with Pat Dowell. We remember just how "divisive" and "polarizing" Dorothy Tillman was/is. We remember the election where Dorothy Tillman the "status quo" was confronted by Ms Dowell who called herself an "agent of change" who was ridiculed by Tillman's daughter as "the white man's agent" because she was backed by unions and labor groups in opposing Wal-Mart coming into Chicago.

    Those of us who remember, remember Obama playing the Daley operative and standing in the way of "change" and "hope" in the 3rd ward. Fortunately for Ms Dowell  even thought the status quo was threatened and the "claws" came out to oppose her she won.


    Sad Commentary (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:09:38 PM EST
    ABC created the Obama craze with the help of Oprah, World News Tonight, and This Week with George.

    Now, on the Friday before the most important election of the primary season, ABC is releasing information they should have known the minute the Rezko trial date got reset from before the March 4 vote until after it.

    This kind of bait and switch media tactic is what put Bush in the White House for 8 years.

    plus even sadder is the fact that it works!! (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:13:36 PM EST
    ABC actually pulled back on a punch (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:14:39 PM EST
    that could have been delivered in this story: "'This wasn't just some guy who wrote a check once for Barack Obama, it's someone who was an early supporter and had a personal relationship with Sen. Obama for quite some time," Stewart said." The next sentence, for anyone who got a good grade in Journalism 101, ought to have been: "That is counter to Obama's statement in a nationally televised debate, when the candidate disavowed a personal relationship with Rezko. Obama said that the extent of their relationship was only five hours of work and only for an organization affiliated with Rezko," etc.

    Misleading (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:51:24 PM EST
    The context was Obama's response to Hillary saying he did work at his lawfirm for a slumlord....

    Obama responded he only had 5 billable hours for Rezko entity.....The issue there was being a slumlord....

    Innuendo sells....

    Only 3 1/2 days to go.....


    5 hours (none / 0) (#107)
    by 0 politico on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:58:44 PM EST
    Yes, the saying that he did not know this person well and only worked for 5 billable hours did not seem to ring true when talking about fund raiser who he has known for 17 years.

    heh (1.00 / 3) (#14)
    by myed2x on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:23:51 PM EST
    You must all be sighing with relief, now you have your excuse for HRC to continue on after Texas (well a better one than Texas is so unfair)...good work.

    Bonus points for for the first few posters for grabbing hold so transparently....

    I look forward to PA and seeing you twist yourselves in to knots spinning that one, and of course don't count your chickens (as you're so fond of saying re OB) before Ohio is done.

    It's Called Democracy (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Athena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:31:58 PM EST
    Are Obama's supporters worried about more voters weighing in?  Why?

    Speaking for myself (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Paladin on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:57:53 PM EST
    I think the concern is that these potential troubling issues (Rezko, Canada/NAFTA could devolve into an ugly firestorm after he's secured the nomination.

    So we're left with a possible situation where the Repubs benefit from the nastiness.

    Most of us take no joy in any of this.  We want a candidate who can win the GE and one of the arguments for Obama's candidacy is that he has a better shot.  That could change if this stuff gains traction.

    Let's hope, for the good of the party, that it doesn't, because it's probably too late for Hillary unless she's competitive on March 4.


    Rezko/NAFTA, etc. (none / 0) (#108)
    by 0 politico on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:14:27 PM EST
    Those are not going to help.  Neither is the sub committee chairmanship he was given, with foreign relations (Europe, Afghanistan) and national security and coalition implications (NATO) will not help either.  I see the Republicans being able to use these effectively against Obama.  Seriously, his response in the debate when asked him about this was that he was, "a bit busy" to worry about a sub committee he inherited in January 2007.  Many Obama supporters may have not picked up on this, but I assure you the other side was listening.  

    Why were you to busy to hold hearings regarding NATO support and the combat efforts in Afghanistan?  While our troops are in need of partner support and equipment taking the fight to the Taliban, you were too busy.

    Obama, "Well, I was busy working on a job promotion.  You know, I wanted to be President."  

    That will sound really good in the GE.  They will hit him on this - hard.

    On a depressing note, CNN ran a poll during the Lou Dobbs show tonight asking is potential voters would vote for "None of the above" if that were a choice on the November ballot.  The response was that 81 percent said they would.  Ouch.  Is the election cycle too long in the country?


    You, on the other hand (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by echinopsia on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:56:00 PM EST
    don't seem at all concerned that you may have been taken in my someone who is not what he would like to appear to be.

    I mean, at what point does the infatuation end? Is there anything he could do or have done that would lead you to question your loyalty? Or is your devotion truly blind?

    Just wondering.


    Facts might (none / 0) (#95)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:53:29 PM EST
    end my "delusion."  Innuendo, nope.  

    Hillary's only way of winning is what exactly?  And, Obama supporters are accused of being unrealistic?....


    Hillary's way of winning (none / 0) (#110)
    by echinopsia on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:28:36 PM EST
    is no different than Obama's. Either one has to win by superdelegates. There is no other way.

    Not sure what you're getting at here, or what it has to do with what I asked.

    The thing is, with Hillary I KNOW what I'm getting. NO ONE has been more vetted than she, no one has survived and endured and even thrived over the years of false charges, baseless slanders, public humiliation, and groundless and malicious opprobrium.

    And she's still standing, she's still smiling, and she's still fighting. Not just for herself, but for what she believes in, which is helping other people, particularly those who need help the most.

    She's still a fine, decent, caring, courageous human being, and after all the scrutiny spent on her, we'd know if she weren't. Even David Brock had to give up his career as a RW hit man when he couldn't find any dirt to throw at her in his biography of her.

    Obama? Not so much.


    So now (1.00 / 1) (#64)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:11:59 PM EST
    you're just going to throw open ended diaries about Rezko that don't actually say anything but imply a bunch of stuff?

    Yup (none / 0) (#96)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:54:38 PM EST
    Hoping for a miracle.....

    OT: But are you going to post the GDT poll? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:08:08 PM EST
    Just curious, because its been posted several times here, and its apparently starting to show the opening everyone was expecting to see.

    What's the GDT poll? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Lil on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:14:41 PM EST
    Gallup daily Tracking (none / 0) (#27)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:39:35 PM EST
    It was all rage when it was a 1 or 2 point split but now that Obama's up 7, its not a big deal.

    2 things (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    1.  He's not up 7, he's up 5.

    2.  He's been up 4+ before and then went tied again.

    Link to Gallup daily tracking poll

    um, substance? (none / 0) (#15)
    by mike in dc on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:26:52 PM EST
    I coulda sworn I read that article through without finding anything substantively impugning Obama.  It's all innuendo.  It's not even guilt by association, since the article doesn't say "political figure X took money from Rezko to do something improper, and since X is a major supporter of Obama, this reflects poorly on Obama".  It's sort of a negative puff piece.

    the article is about appearances (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:39:52 PM EST
    No one has said Obama did anything wrong or illegal. I think I've put that statement in every post on Rezko.

    But, now that you raise that specific point, ABC didn't mention it but it's in the Indictment and Government pleadings. Example: Joseph Aramanda.

    Aramanda is identified as "Individual D" in Rezko's indictment.

    Also, from the Chicago Tribune:

    According to Saturday's Chicago Sun-Times, which cites an unnamed source, Obama was the unnamed "political candidate" referred to in a Dec. 21 court 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 Glenview entrepreneur Joseph Aramanda, the story said.

    Rezko also recommended Obama hire Aramanda 's son as an intern. He was hired but only worked 5 weeks.

    Just this week Rezko and the Government have been dueling about whether Amaranda's financial dealings with Robert Kjellander, Illinois' Republican national committeeman, can come into evidence. The Judge ruled for Rezko on this one, saying it was too complex and would confuse the jury, but the Government has filed a motion for reconsideration.

    So yes, there are allegations that someone who made money with Rezko in an illegal deal then donated some of it to Obama. Does that implicate Obama? Of course not. Does it reflect poorly on him? I don't know.


    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#61)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:56:20 PM EST
    I know I am asking for speculation, so treat it as such.  I won't use Obama's name here, but in the case of the governor of IL, whose name is so complicated I can't spell it--legally, what would have to be proven to charge him (not convict, per se) with fraud?  Would the gov't have to prove that the governor knew where the money was coming from?  Would it have to prove that, say, the governor took X amount of money from Rezko, then gave Rezko Y in return?  I am assuming there would have to be someone on the inside who would have to give testimony that this actually occurred, right?  That's what happened in AL (though, the veracity of the "witness" is another story).

    Politicians do favors for donors all the time.  It would be naive to say otherwise. Lots of them keep bad company and do favors for their friends.  I suppose what I am asking is, when does this kind of thing cross the line between being morally questionable and illegal?  


    Keating was worse (none / 0) (#97)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:56:23 PM EST
    He brought down an entire S&L and half of Arizona....

    McCain gets a pass....Guilt by association won't work....


    Keating (none / 0) (#109)
    by 0 politico on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:24:55 PM EST
    Actually, if I remember correctly, McCain was the one Republican who got a "wrist slap" over this.  I read recently that he is still sore over that.  My opinion is that may have slowed down his full powered attempts at the presidency for at least an election cycle.  Would that happen in Obama's case?  I doubt it.  But, the stink could linger.  Even if he did nothing wrong.  If elected, there could still be an independent prosecutor assigned.  Remember Whitewater?  Years of nothing ever proved against the Clintos regarding Whitewater.  But, it lingered, lead to more investigations, and not counting the "Gotcha!" regarding Monica, distracted energy and attention from other administration goals.

    what does it take, though? (none / 0) (#112)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:39:04 PM EST
    In Alabama, it seemed there had to be a witness (fabricated or not) to finally make a charge stick.  The FBI had a mole in the Rezko camp, right?  Maybe he saw something.  Otherwise, I don't see any of this stopping anytime soon.

    I think (none / 0) (#20)
    by ajs214 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:33:20 PM EST
    That this issue won't pick up enough steam before the March 4 primaries to impact the nomination. Obama has the money to keep the electorate distracted until then, and after that it will be nearly impossible for HRC to come back. He is polling up four but close to the margin and Texas and he is trending towards a dead heat in Ohio. Vermont is his and my feeling is RI is pretty solid for Hillary, but it is such a small state things could change in a hurry. If he takes/loses closely 3/4 on March 4, HRC cannot justify staying in the race; it hurts the party in the GE even if she were to take it to the convention.

    How does she (none / 0) (#40)
    by ajs214 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:01:29 PM EST
    get over Bill Clinton saying she needs to win Texas or the campaign is over - if she loses Texas? If she plays Texas as another state with a weird primary (completely legitimate point this time) it only adds to the supposed "disrespect 40 states" strategy rhetoric. The media will jump all over that argument.

    Texas is so weirdly configured, that (none / 0) (#67)
    by hairspray on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:41:50 PM EST
    what could happen is that Hillary takes the popular vote and loses the caucus.  That would put Texas in a draw like category something like Florida and give her some breathing room IMHO.

    Rezko STILL not an issue? (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:53:28 PM EST

    "Chicago politics known as dirty" (none / 0) (#39)
    by scribe on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:59:26 PM EST
    has to be one of the bigger needless redundancies in the English language.

    Right after "suicide in Buffalo", I'd place it.

    I saw it as inevitable, just by virtue of his coming from Chicago (where the ward leader will make sure you get for free the new, approved trash cans if you vote correctly), that there'd be some nasty-looking stuff in his background.

    Among people with a clue, I'd say the market has already discounted the impact of any such dirt.

    The only thing that would hurt him in this regard would be something like actual videotape, Abscam-style of an envelope being passed (and money counted) along with quid pro quo, or Marion Barry and his crack pipe.  Other than that - not a real issue.  

    hey! (none / 0) (#42)
    by Nasarius on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:02:27 PM EST
    I've only got three more months in Buffalo, and I plan on making it out alive ;-)

    Good luck to you, then. (none / 0) (#86)
    by scribe on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:49:41 PM EST
    You might need it.

    Sorry... (none / 0) (#47)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:20:11 PM EST
    ... but this headline is incredibly misleading.  This is what the article states:
    ...reform watchdogs say it will reveal the "cesspool" of Illinois politics in which Obama came of age and has said little about in his campaign for president.
    Yes, I know that ABC's headline was just as misleading as Jeralyn's, but I am not sure why TL is perpetuating such a misleading headline that doesn't align with the rest of the article.

    as I said upthread (none / 0) (#50)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:24:12 PM EST
    the fact of the headline is in and of itself shocking.  This is from the MSM that has long been in the pocket of Obama...looks like they got tired of the lint...

    I agree... (none / 0) (#51)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:26:18 PM EST
    ... that the headline is jolting.  

    But the headline is also very misleading from the rest of the article, and I am disappointed that TL would perpetuate such a misleading statement.


    perhaps (none / 0) (#56)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:33:18 PM EST
    that the headline is the story.

    Desperation now (none / 0) (#98)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:58:44 PM EST
    Unsubstantiated headlines are the basis of a Hillary comeback?

    If there's dirt, dish it....Misleading headlines ain't dirt.


    I'm not perpetuating it (none / 0) (#101)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:16:15 PM EST
    I'm showing how the media is beginning to play it.

    Rezko party (none / 0) (#76)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:20:30 PM EST
    and I am late and in the wrong time zone....DUH!!!

    welcome! (none / 0) (#79)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:29:16 PM EST
    Did you see the Chicago article?  New tidbit in there about Mrs Rezko not being able to qualify for a half million dollar loan in there and "where did the money come from..."

    It's very easy to do an MLS search and see what someone paid for a piece of property as well as how they paid--cash, mortgage, how much down, etc.  I wonder if anyone has bothered to find out who at the mortgage company gave a 500K loan to a woman making less than 37K a year...?  Also, where the down payment of 100K+ and change came from...?

    But, you'll be pleased to know that, as a courtesy, Obama paid to have the grass mowed on the Rezko lot.


    Grass cutting (none / 0) (#111)
    by 0 politico on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:32:02 PM EST
    Is that the Chicago way of saying, "Thanks."

    Or is that a form of political back scratching?

    Sorry.  Just the idea of Chicago politics and paybacks, etc.


    LOL Stellaa...... N/T (none / 0) (#81)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:31:36 PM EST
    On the dangers of mistaking names... (none / 0) (#77)
    by tree on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:23:16 PM EST
    The Jay Stewart who is a Morton International executive, who made the donations listed above, is apparently NOT the same Jay Stewart who is a staff attorney at the Chicago Better Government Association. Not all Jay Stewarts are the same. Better to check these things before making assumptions.

    Morton International (none / 0) (#80)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:30:32 PM EST
    If only salt had made this post!

    Thanks for digging that up, tree.  Jay Stewart is such an unusual name.  I can see why the original poster made a mistake.

    It just amazes me how quickly this stuff gets out there.


    You are correct (none / 0) (#82)
    by dannyinla on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:32:58 PM EST
    Jay E. Stewart and S. Jay Stewart are not the same.  This more accurately reflects the dangers of blogging while attempting to multi-task.

    or even worse... (none / 0) (#85)
    by tree on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:38:29 PM EST
    attempting to multi-task while blogging! I've done that way too many times.;-)

    I still maintain that the fact that the Rezko's (none / 0) (#83)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:33:53 PM EST
    agreed to sell part of their lot to Obama's thereby making Rezko's lot not large enough for use is in and of itself a type of bribe....

    I dunno about that (none / 0) (#87)
    by scribe on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:51:53 PM EST
    though if I were the planning and zoning people in town, I'd be scratching my head at that sale.

    I concur, athyrio (none / 0) (#88)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:53:07 PM EST
    I find it shocking that those folks (andrewwm? was that you?) who were So Very Concerned when Clinton made the 5mm loan to her campaign that perhaps Bill Clinton's acceptance of money from foreign companies (Arab ones, in particular) somehow tainted her loan and pointed to the financing of a campaign by foreign interests, yet NO ONE on that side is at all interested in how Rezko knowingly took money from Auchi and funneled said money into Obama's campaign coffers.

    Missing piece of info. (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:12:27 PM EST
    Apparently Auchi applied for a Visa to come to U.S. and a so-far-unidentified (to my knowledge) U.S. politician wrote a letter on his behalf re that application.  Who wrote the letter?  What did the letter state?  

    we need to know who that was.... (none / 0) (#90)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:19:53 PM EST
    I wonder if Cheney (none / 0) (#91)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:31:59 PM EST
    has the original letter in one of his man-sized safes?

    I plan to ask Stellaaa to (none / 0) (#92)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:34:21 PM EST
    look into this matter.

    Here's a bit on the two different Stewarts (none / 0) (#84)
    by tree on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:36:38 PM EST
    Jay Stewart, the retired Morton International executive, who lives in Lake Forest:

    "PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 PRNewswire -- Rohm and Haas Company (NYSE: ROH)
    today announced that S. Jay Stewart has elected to retire from the company
    effective October 31, 1999.  Mr. Stewart will retire as Vice Chairman, Rohm
    and Haas Company and CEO of its wholly owned subsidiary, Morton International,
        Mr. Stewart, 61, began his career as a chemical engineer with Monsanto.

        Mr. Stewart and his wife, Judy, will continue to reside in LAKE FOREST,
    Illinois, and Naples, Florida."


    Jay Stewart of the Chicago Better Government Association:

    Jay E. Stewart - Executive Director

    The Better Government Association's veteran staff attorney Jay Stewart returned to the BGA as its executive director in February 2004, after spending a year as general counsel to Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.

    Stewart began his legal career at the U.S. Department of Commerce, serving as a member of the Congressional Rapid Response Team, assisting the Office of U.S. Trade Representatives during the Congressional passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    He then joined the BGA as staff attorney and conducted public interest litigation, including lawsuits related to the BGA investigation of casino gambling and the "Licenses for Bribes" scandal. As is usual for BGA staff, he soon took on multiple roles within the office, including fundraising and personnel responsibilities. Before Stewart left the BGA for the Lt. Governor's office, he published the BGA Integrity Index, a project he designed to study the relative strength of state laws in areas related to open and accountable government.

    Totally different dudes.

    I just read the ABC news article... (none / 0) (#99)
    by robertearl on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:00:37 PM EST
    and there's nothing there.  This is a non-issue. If it was a bigger issue the right wingers would have been all over this by now.

    With that said, whomever gets the nom, I'm starting to feel like the Dems have shot themselves in the foot again. There is true hatred between the Obama supports and the Hillary supporters. How can we possibly come together on whomever is the nominee.

    Of course we will (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:15:11 PM EST
    There's nothing wrong with advocating for our favorite candidate and saying why. Once it's over, then we gather behind the Democratic nominee. Why? Because any Democrat is light years better than a Republican. The Republicans are going to be raising our arguments against Obama and Obama supporters' arguments against Hillary regardless. They aren't learning them or taking a cue from us.

    I'd rather have an inexperienced Democrat over McCain -- and Obama supporters should prefer a Democrat who's been there before and in their eyes doesn't represent change in Washington to McCain.

    Until the nomination is decided, bloggers should continue to express their preference if they have one.


    True, I want... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by robertearl on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:19:33 PM EST
    everyone to advocate for their favorite candidate, but I just think the attacks on one another is starting to get really viscious (*sp) and back biting.
    I'm an Obama supporter, but if Hillary gets the nom she will definately get my vote. But again, I can't say that for everyone else.