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Rezko STILL Not An Issue

By Big Tent Democrat

At FDL, one of our favorite blogs, a post argues that Rezko IS an issue for Obama. Both Jeralyn and I are on record stating our view that Rezko is NOT an issue. After reviewing the FDL post, nothing I see there changes my view. Indeed, I endorse the analysis provided in this dkos diary:

The author claims that Miner, Barnhill firm that employed Obama was a "sleazy" and "ethically spotty" firm, insinuating that it essentially acted as an arm of Rezko's business and that Obama's choice of this firm itself is deeply suspicious. In this light the Rezko connection become ominous. But a little research shows this entire construction to be [false.]

Pols are pols and to expect them to scrutinize every donation they get is simply ridiculous. In my review of Obama's dealings with Rezko, I see nothing untoward. It remains a nonissue in my view.

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    Possible Rezko issues. . . (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:06:35 PM EST
    1. Simply being near a crook.  I understand that there's a movement afoot among some of the more crazed Obama supporters to send Clinton to the Hague to answer for the funds she accepted from Hsu and Tan.  Rezko is apparently also a crook, he gave lots of boodle to Obama.  That's no more a crime on Obama's part than Clinton's getting the money from the other folks, but it's worse because Obama and Rezko were much closer than Clinton and those particular donors.

    2. The land deal.  The allegation I've heard (I haven't read any source material or reporting) is that the plot of land that Rezko's wife bought that was part of the original listing for Obama's house was not fenced off until Rezko's indictment -- in other words, it effectively remained part of the Obama holdings with the family having free use of it, until it began to look really bad.  If so, Obama's statement that his boneheaded mistake might have led Rezko to believe he had done Obama a favor would be something of an understatement.

    In any event, the land deal was a boneheaded mistake (as Obama stated) and I think if Obama is the nominee we're going to hear a lot more about Rezko as November approaches -- using a land deal, even if perfectly innocent, against Democrats is obviously a time-honored Republican / media play.

    Let's leave it to the GOP (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:08:29 PM EST
    to gin up falsehodds then.

    ON ALL OF IT.

    Are you calling the Obama supporters on their hypocrisy? Then I am with you.

    But if you are arguing that because the GOP will gin it up we should first then I am NOT with you.

    Parent

    No, I'm calling. . . (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:16:36 PM EST
    the crazed Obama supporters on their amazing and self-righteous hypocrisy.  I don't let a lot of this political infighting get under my skin, but this particular issue seems somehow to drive me around the bend.

    I'll never bring up Rezko except in response to a post like this one (in which I do think you dismiss it too lightly) or when I'm faced with an Obamacrite who's slamming someone else (usually Clinton, of course, but formerly Edwards occasionally as well).

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:28:36 PM EST
    I brought up Rezko so disagreeing with me in saying it is an issue seems fair to me.

    Just disagree with you on it, that's all.

    Parent

    If only I were confident you and J (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:45:58 PM EST
    had read and digested the investigative journalism articles about the Rezko/Obama relationship, and I don't mean the stuff on blogs.  The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, and L.A. Times have all run articles about the relationship.  Of course, you and J could then conclude Rezko is STILL not an issue.  

    Parent
    I don't think so (none / 0) (#9)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:09:37 PM EST
    The problem for the Republicans is that Obama has already admitted error.  Constantly bringing up past dealings, particularly ones as convoluted as this, will simply make them seem petty.  And I seriously doubt that Mr. Keating 5 is all that keen on bringing up past misdeeds.

    Parent
    I don't think. . (none / 0) (#13)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:13:52 PM EST
    having admitted to an error is going to inoculate one against sleazy Republican attacks.  The attacks won't come from McCain or anywhere near him, of course -- no doubt he'll wring his hands and decry the negative ("Oh, my friends, I'm so upset").

    And the basic outline isn't convoluted -- in it's worst possible presentation (which is what you can expect from the Right) an indicted Syrian businessman paid for half of Obama's house using his wife as a straw buyer.

    Parent

    probably 99% of Americans outside Chicago (none / 0) (#15)
    by Kathy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:17:49 PM EST
    have never heard of Rezko.  That's been a problem with Obama that I've noticed--he doesn't seem to realize that everyone has not read his books or seen every interview or heard every speech.  To say, "I've already addressed that" will seem shady the first time he gets asked and the part of America who doesn't have a sick Talk Left blog obssession thinks, "What's he got to hide?"  Same with drug use, same with the slanderous Muslim rumor.  He will have to totally reintroduce himself if he gets the nom, and if he doesn't frame how that is done, then the republicans will do it for him.

     Also, the attack will not come from McCain.  It'll be a 527 or PAC.

    I don't think the validity of the charge means much.  It smells funny.  that's all that matters.  Let us not forget that millions of dollars were proven to investigate Whitewater.  Even though nothing came out of it, most folks only know that it was a shady land deal.  They don't know that it was proven to be above board.

    Parent

    The Attack Will Help Obama (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:29:02 PM EST
    Americans will see through it in a second as being pathetically minor.

    Compared to being a warmongering Bushlicker like McCain, Obamas one mistake makes him look great.

    Parent

    I don't agee (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by standingup on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:51:39 PM EST
    And part of the problem has been the way that Obama has repeatedly bungled his explanations of his relationship with Rezko.  The Chicago Tribune covered the problem in their endorsement of Obama:

    One more time, Senator:

    You need to divulge all there is to know about that relationship. Until you do, the journalistic scrubbing and opposition research will intensify. You should have recognized Rezko as a political seducer of young talent. But given that you've not been accused of any crime or ethical breach, your Rezko history is not a deal-breaker.

    Nor do we know of similar lapses during the 12 years we've been watching Obama.

    Obama needs to deal with this in a way that will close the book on it if he becomes the nominee.  If not, the well funded US Chamber of Commerce via their 527 of the year will push, twist and distort the story in every way possible.  We can defend Obama all we like but people who are not familiar with him will possibly be less inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.  He comes from Chicago where political corruption has been a well documented problem.  

    Parent

    Just today (none / 0) (#39)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:58:27 PM EST
    The former Governor of Illinois, a staunch Republican, said talk about Rezko's dealings with Obama has been overblown. He said he believes Rezko's relationship with Ron Blagojevich is a greater cause for concern than the Rezko ties to Obama.

    Parent
    Could be true (none / 0) (#97)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:46:10 PM EST
    the Gov did seem to be trying to muddy O a bit with the we all do it last week.

    Parent
    Hypothetical: Obama is locked in (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:12:27 PM EST
    a Primary battle with HRC.  What should he do to put his relationship with Rezko to rest?  I don't think she will use any information he puts out there now against him in the Primary, but, of course, he has to look to the possiblity of also being in the GE.  what would you advise?

    Parent
    Good question (none / 0) (#52)
    by standingup on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:46:55 PM EST
    and I don't really have an good suggestion.  I am not concerned about it in the primary but the general is different.  If I had a chance to give input when the story first broke back in Nov 2006, I would have advised him do a thorough check of all records of contributions and other dealings, lay it out for what it was and have it behind him.  Instead, he has sort of slow walked it so that the story played out longer than necessary.  

    I am not sure what the Trib editorial board is still looking for but apparently he has not satisfied them with his response to date.

    Parent

    It seems to me the earlier he (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:49:51 PM EST
    takes the offensive, the better.  Not excuses, though.  

    Parent
    Sun Times Brown (none / 0) (#95)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:07:55 PM EST
    This is the part that concerned me the most in Browns article...............

    .....Most troubling to me is how Obama keeps handling this, a continuing lapse in judgment that leaves me wondering if there's more here than meets the eye instead of less......

    and My concern is not swift boating but the truths and why has Obama not acknowledge as it was reported that he is one of the unnamed politicians in the indictment who received one of these alleged kick backs from this Rezko scheme, is he cooperating with Fitzgerald possibly he has not been charged?

    Parent

    No (none / 0) (#111)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:08:35 PM EST
    He did acknowledge that assuming the leak was true, he is the person to have received the donation.  

    He has said he had no knowledge and in one of the batches he donated the money from that contribution.

    There's virtually nothing for him to help with in the investigation. It's about the executive branch in Illinois and contracting scandals involving pay for play where people had to make some sort of donation to Rezko and his friends to get something done.  

    If you read the public stuff, there's a huge scandal there, but it involves Rod Blagojevich who is clearly the ultimate target.  

    Parent

    Mark Brown Of the Chi Sun Times (none / 0) (#93)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:57:37 AM EST
    .....gets it about right, and the Party should demand it as well he wrote in his

    Time for Obama to come clean article...

    Barack Obama just keeps bobbling the Tony Rezko hot potato, and if he doesn't get a handle on it soon, his campaign for the presidency is going to be badly burned.

    On Wednesday, the Illinois senator fumbled again as he continued to try to minimize his relationship with Rezko while making the rounds of the morning news shows.

    "My relationship is he was somebody who I knew and had been a supporter for many years," Obama said on CBS in response to Hillary Clinton's "slumlord" attack from earlier this week. "He was somebody who had supported a wide range of candidates all throughout Illinois. Nobody had an inkling that he was involved in any problems."

    Somebody who I knew?

    Wow.

    That's such an understatement that it borders on a falsehood.

    Parent

    wondering if there's more (none / 0) (#94)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:05:32 PM EST
    This is the part that concerned me th emost in Browns articale...............

    Most troubling to me is how Obama keeps handling this, a continuing lapse in judgment that leaves me wondering if there's more here than meets the eye instead of less.

    and My concern is not swift boating but the truths and why has Obama not acknowledge as it was reported that he is one of the unnamed politicians in the indictment who received one of these alleged kick backs from this Rezko scheme, is he cooperating with Fitzgerald possibly he has not been charged?

    Parent

    why write things that are not true? (none / 0) (#103)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:08:25 PM EST
    The unnamed politician that you assume is Obama is not accused of recieving any kickbacks. Either you know nothing about the thing you write about, or you are doing this deliberatly.

    Parent
    No, A Recipient of a Campaign Donation (none / 0) (#112)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:11:30 PM EST
    That was directed by Rezko.  

    The kickbacks primarily went to Rezko and a guy named Stuart Levine. Both of them have donated to most of the statewide office holders over the last 20-30 years.  

    In terms of donations to candidates, that which might have been organized kickbacks went to Blagojevich who is prominent in the indictments.  

    Parent

    I strongly disagree. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:36:57 PM EST
    Just Like All Those Americans Saw Through (none / 0) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:52:30 PM EST
    the unfounded attacks on Gore and Kerry.

    Parent
    And Max Cleland n/t (none / 0) (#59)
    by standingup on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:09:30 AM EST
    Not Correct (none / 0) (#91)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:49:24 AM EST
    My sister mentioned Rezko to me last week now she is a Republican but that she even knew some of the candidates running was a shock she is in Ohio.  Now true Ohio has just experience several trials about these types of associations and how they have harmed the State costing millions so maybe a heightened sensitivity to any unethical behavior or associations dont know. I ask where she heard it TV news forget which one.

    Parent
    The house price (none / 0) (#79)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 07:57:11 AM EST
    is troubling. The lot was sold for full price but the house was bought by Obama for $300,000 under the asking price. It has the looks of a sweetheart deal.

    Senator Lisa Murkowsky of Alaska got into trouble for getting a sweetheart deal on real estate from a contributer. TPM Muckraker was all over it.

    Parent

    Obama has explained this (none / 0) (#102)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:06:22 PM EST
    on what grounds are you questioning his explanation?

    Parent
    Because it smells, duh! (none / 0) (#107)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:32:03 PM EST
    A Few Things (none / 0) (#113)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:31:03 PM EST
    The Property had been listed for several months by the time Obama bought the house. On top of that, there were apparently several offers for the vacant lot, but only one other offer for the house that was lower than Obama's.  

    To give  you some sense of how that price came to be, the doctor who lived there had taken a job in the Baltimore area and needed to sell the house.  He and his wife essentially decided their drop dead price was what they paid--and it was 1.65 million for the lot with the house.  

    While  one would have expected appreciation, I think the high end of the housing has lots of variation centered upon demand for such units.

    And the vacant lot was valuable to a developer because not only could you build, but you could build townhouses on the lot making it a pretty good piece of land in a hot neighborhood and the potential for maybe up to four units.  

    I am not criticizing the questioning that you did, just filling in some details that don't appear to be known by most folks.

    Parent

    Some Clarification (none / 0) (#110)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:01:49 PM EST
    ==The allegation I've heard (I haven't read any source material or reporting) is that the plot of land that Rezko's wife bought that was part of the original listing for Obama's house was not fenced off until Rezko's indictment --

    I have most of it linked in a Rezko primer. Let me explain the fence part quickly--the two lots were listed separately when they went on the market many months before the sale.  Once sold, the vacant lot had to be fenced because it was a vacant lot so when ownership became different for the two lots--the fence became necessary according to Chicago zoning.

    =in other words, it effectively remained part of the Obama holdings with the family having free use of it, until it began to look really bad.

    The Trib talked to the fence builder and by all the information they gathered, the fence was in process soon after the purchase.

    ==  If so, Obama's statement that his boneheaded mistake might have led Rezko to believe he had done Obama a favor would be something of an understatement.

    I think Rezko thinks he did do Obama a favor.  He was clearly trying to and that's why buying the strip was so dumb.  

    And essentially--yes, the Republicans will use it if he's the nominee.  Even if there wasn't a scandal, it would be created. That said, it's a legitimate issue to probe and I think it's something that can be shot down as easy as most things can be.  

    Parent

    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:26:15 PM EST
    I don't think Rezko is an issue. Every candidate has a crook-ish candidate, and there's no way a candidate can realistically call him on this without fear of massive backlash. Rezko's almost bait to me. If a rival candidate bites on it, then I'm sure that they'll have that met back sevenfold.

    That being said, Obama's supporters (of which I am one) are massively hypocritical about this, and like to point out the shady folks that Clinton has accepted donations from, all the while dusting the halo off for Sen. Obama. We aren't electing his supporters, though, thank God (or Obama, whichever you prefer.)

    I am happy to say though, that I think Obama can stand up to the Republican machine. He has a massively crooked bunch working for him (Kennedys, Kerry, Axelrod, etc.), and that's gonna help for winning elections. Those folks are as sleazy as it gets, and I'm proud of it. We need to not roll over to the attack machine this year in GE--let's fight back a little.

    If the Rezco facts (none / 0) (#86)
    by zyx on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 09:55:27 AM EST
    were the same, but Clinton were on the receiving end of the relationship, I can assure you that the Rezco story would have more legs than a millipede.

    Obama has the Teflon--like Bush did in Bush/Gore, eight years ago.

    Parent

    Rezko is an issue for me. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by carolyn13 on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:50:28 AM EST
    Let me perfectly clear. I am in no way implying that there was wrong doing or criminal activity on Obama's part. I am not saying that Obama is lying about the land deal or that he accepted bribes. I was an Edwards's supporter until it came time for me to make a choice between the big two. I leaned towards Hillary as my second choice. Obama was too preachy for me, but this one issue is what sealed the deal and lead to my support for Clinton despite the Media baggage that comes along with her.

    Rezko was a major supporter of Obama, their families socialized and Obama worked on cases for him. For him to claim that he was unaware of Rezko's problems or the bad management of the low income housing in Obama's own district doesn't pass the smell test.  He looks evasive when he tries to brush it off with the "boneheaded mistake" remark or an attempt to distance himself from someone he knows well by calling him "this individual." It feels phony and phoniness is something Obama can not indulge in without putting the lie to his own campaign narrative.

    This issue is a chink in Obama's armor and the GOP is going to exploit it, along with Obama's evasiveness. I think it has the potential to bury Obama in the general, especially because Obama's response to it has been lame. We don't get to choose the issues the Media runs with and we certainly aren't going to have much input in McCain's campaign strategy. Obama needs to get on top of this now.


    Earlier in this thread, I asked this (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:05:46 PM EST
    question:  if you were managing Obama's campaign and decided to affirmatively try to address the Obama/Rezko connection, 1) would you do it now or wait until you are for sure the Dem. candidate?, and 2) regardless of when you would disclose, how would you do it?  

    Parent
    Disclosing (none / 0) (#100)
    by carolyn13 on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:45:35 PM EST
    I'm not sure exactly how he should handle it. I wouldn't make a very good campaign manager. I just know the way he's done it so far hurt him with me as a voter.

    I don't think he's going to get to choose when this blows up in his face. With McCain set as the GOP candidate, it's right around the corner. The minions are writing their Rezko stories even as we speak.

    Parent

    With Rezko's federal criminal trial (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:48:13 PM EST
    set for late Feb., there will be lots to write about, lots of questions to Obama and his reps., etc.  

    Parent
    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by carolyn13 on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    That will be when the real assault begins. We will start to see the peeling away of the Obama Media love, surrogates among the talking heads raising questions about Obama's evasiveness and a serious attempt to cripple him going into the general. By the time the general arrives, if Obama takes the nomination, it will be a full throated cry of Mr. Straight Talker to Obama's Mr. Phony Baloney. IMHO

    Parent
    McCain will have to tread very carefully (none / 0) (#106)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:28:12 PM EST
    thought, given the Keating 5 scandal.

    Parent
    I think the lady who wrote that's a prosecutor (none / 0) (#1)
    by Teresa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:00:13 PM EST
    and looks at things from that perspective. I think his friend helped him out by buying the lot next door and like Obama said, he used bad judgment.

    The only issue to me is to just imagine if it was a Clinton. The media would be in a frenzy to make it look bad.

    That's a given (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:04:11 PM EST
    What the Obama supporters, especially at dkos, do not realize is the spin the FDL post gives is sop for anything involving the Clintons.

    But THAT they cheer. That is truly the most galling thing about this primay season. The blogs have given the Media a pass.

    The whining about ONE BLOG POST as compared to the crap that the Clintons get every day from the Media is astounding.

    Truly a myopic group.  

    Parent

    BTD, I'm practically weaned for now but (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Teresa on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:18:18 PM EST
    I did visit just long enough to get today's spin.

    1. HC is totally broke and she only wants to debate more to get free TV, and

    2. HC has plenty of money and she pulled a fast one on those poor old ladies.

    The same people are arguing both of these points.

    Parent
    Can Rezko's lot be built on? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 07:55:02 AM EST
    That's not clear at all. If not, then the deal was a sham, and Rezko gave Obama a huge gift.

    Parent
    Obama only used the lot (none / 0) (#80)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:03:15 AM EST
    he did not own it outright. He did maintain it, and the fence which surrounds the lot can only be accessed from the Obama property. The lot went up for sale after Rezko was indicted, so Obama will not benefit from that. I would like to know if the selling price of the house at $300,000 below the asking price was also significantly below market value. If so, then there could be the same kind of issue that Senator Murkowsky faced for her below-market-value land deal and the Republicans can have a field day with it.
    After all, Obama's theme is to be above this kind of politics. If he got a sweetheart deal in violation of the Senate gift ban, so much for the Sir Galahad image.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#114)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:32:54 PM EST
    The lot still has something like 7500 square feet left after the strip was sold.

    Parent
    That's pretty fair (none / 0) (#115)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:33:55 PM EST
    And I've made this point--that knocking down these stories is everyone's responsibility.  

    That said, I know a lot more about Rezko.  

    Parent

    Seems Like Something (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:02:27 PM EST
    That would backfire if blown out of proportion. Obama is not Clinton.

    Stellaaa! (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:04:02 PM EST


    Ahh (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:05:15 PM EST
    The Rezko brigade.

    Let me ask you a question, have you ever worked in a private law firm or have you always been a government lawyer?


    Parent

    You aren't "outing" me, are you? (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:31:41 PM EST
    I don't want to end up in Wiki!

    Without waiving that objection, commenter responds as follows:

    During law school, I clerked for a private law firm and a private company as a lawyer.  Since then I've worked for various public entities, as a research attorney, prosecutor, and defending civil lawsuits against public entities and their employees.  

    From what I've read about the law firm for which Obama worked before he was elected to the IL Senate and while he was an elected IL Senator [a part time position], the firm has lawyers with excellent academic credentials.  Although I initially questioned whether, in fact, the firm could be deemed a civil rights firm, as Obama says, it appears the firm has done a significant number of cases in employment discrimination and one involving strip searches, so yes it is a civil rights firm and a business law firm.

    Of course, Obama met Rezko prior to going to work for the law firm, but who cares. Some of the firm's work involved interfacing with government entities on behalf of Rezko and/or community non-profit groups to obtain funding for cooperative ventures to rehab. low income housing.  Much of this rehabbed housing turned out to have defects.  Rezko's business operation also was responsible for property management post-rehab in many cases, but didn't always keep the heat on in Chicago in the winter.  Many of the Rezko rehab properties went into foreclosure.  Not sure if Obama's work at the firm had any connection with any of this, but he had a continuing relationship with Rezko from the start of Obama's political career.  House transaction in conjunction with Rezko's wife occurred after  Rezko was under investigation for kick back scheme that doesn't involve Obama.  Obama probably knew or should have known Rezko's rehabbed properties were in disrepair, foreclosure, etc, since the Rezkos and Obamas were frequent social friends, Obama well-connected to Daley machine, etc., and the properties were in Obama's Senate district.    
    Although Obama campaign has disgorged Rezko-connected campaign contributions to unidentified charities, this is happening in increments and seems to occur only when the press inquires.

    House/adjacent lot deal reminds me of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who, unfortunately represented my Congressional district due to Dem. state legislature's machinations in redistricting.    Cunningham convicted of felonies involving paybacks to military contractors.  Nothing like this between Obama and Rezko.  Obama has acknowledged he showed bad judgement in entering into the house deal with the assistance of Rezko's wife.

    None of this matters if Obama would just not pretend he is above the less savory aspects of politics.

    If he is the Dem. nominee, I think we will hear lots about Rezko/Obama relationship without any neutrality.  Of course, today Obama sd. no one would be able to swift boat him about being black or having admitted to drug use, including coke, as a young man.  He didn't mention his 17 year relationship with Rezko.

    Yeah, I know, a pol is a pol, including Obama, and, as you say, he should act more overtly like a pol.

    Stellaa has additional, more personal reasons to   deplore the Obama/Rezko relationship.  But she is very good at expressing them.

    And in conclusion, . . .    

    Parent

    no wonder (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:11:12 AM EST
    you always say you visit here for Big Tent, not for the criminal defense posts...you used to be a prosecutor!

    Parent
    My daughters used to call me (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:26:37 AM EST
    "the avenging angel."  I was going to jump into the Miami indictment post but decided against it.  

    Parent
    Um (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:34:11 PM EST
    I just wanted to know if you had worked at a private law firm.

    Yes or no would have sufficed.

    I do not think we could have narrowed down which of the hundreds of thousands of lawyers you might be.

    Parent

    Now on the merits of my brief, councilor. (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:38:26 PM EST
    Unconvinced (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:41:25 PM EST
    That the GOP will TRY and make an issue of it of course. That it IS an issue. That is a different story.

    Parent
    Now we're getting somewhere. Just don't (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:47:38 PM EST
    brush it under the rug until the GE.  

    Parent
    That will depend on (none / 0) (#82)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:17:07 AM EST
    the media and how much they still love Obama. If you look at the history of Whitewater for which there was little to no evidence (the Clintons had lost all their money), it was Jeff Gerth of the NYTimes that got and kept this story going. He printed accusations he was being fed from right wing Swiftboat types, and the Times just let him run with it, much like they did with Judith Miller and her WMD reporting. The rest of the media believed what the Times was printing without doing their own checking, again like they did with the WMD story(with the exception of McClatchy). A big echo chamber was created for the right wing slime machine.
    The media also willingly repeated right-wing lies and spin about Gore. If they do this to Obama Rezko will be a big issue for sure.

    Parent
    The Firm (none / 0) (#116)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:41:19 PM EST
    is well known for work on sexual harassment and a lot of voting rights cases including redistricting types of cases.  

    Just to clarify a few other things--Obama isn't that close to Daley. Daley is just scared of him now.  Daley backed his oppoenent in 2004--Dan Hynes.

    Rezko is interesting in part because he funded so many different politicians in different camps. He didn't just support both parties, he supported the different political networks with the Madigans, the Daleys, Blagojevich, and independents such as Obama.  He didn't just look to get in good with a few people, he spread the net wide.  All those groups above don't get along well and have very different areas they control, but Rezko made himself close to all of them in a variety of ways.  He gave money to Pat Quinn who is completely outside of the machine as anyone could be.  

    One thing to keep in mind about the crappy buildings is that Obama was a State Senator by the time most of that surfaced and State Senators are about the last people to hear about such problems because the problems go through the Alderman.  His work with the firm for the Rezko projects (Obama actually represented the non-profits) was only about 5 or 6 hours and was done in 1996.  He then went of counsel and his work with the firm was greatly reduced.  

    Parent

    Kudos to you BTD (none / 0) (#7)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:07:33 PM EST
    I've given you some heat over past comments that I believed to be unreasonably harsh towards Obama.  But I will credit you for honesty and candor on this.  

    FTR, I don't believe that any of the Clinton's many
    personal financial "scandals" had any merit either.

    It is important to read (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:10:15 PM EST
    the ENTIRE body of work at Talk Left.

    Our position on Rezko is not new.

    On drivers licenses for undocumenteds, J. and I were positively slavish in our praise of Obama.

    I wish people could see that we give our honest opinions here.

    We shill for no one.


    Parent

    As the resident Rezkophile (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:01:59 AM EST
    I will attest to that.

    Parent
    And even thoughshe hasn't brought it up (none / 0) (#18)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:21:20 PM EST
    I would think that, like the drivers license issue, Jeralyn's stance on the cluster bomb ban vote is equally slavish in praise for Obama.

    Parent
    Don;t know about J. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:26:56 PM EST
    But I think I am opposed to a ban on cluster bombs.

    Parent
    I say that (none / 0) (#31)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:39:15 PM EST
    because she talked about it this and this

    The cluster bomb vote is another area, like the drivers license issue, she'd view as right/wrong and nobody could accuse her of candidate loyalty.

    Parent

    Wait? (none / 0) (#40)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:59:51 PM EST
    You're opposed to banning cluster bombs?

    Parent
    I think if you were to see (none / 0) (#24)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:29:24 PM EST
    The general tone of the diaries you guys write you would understand why it appears that you have a bias.  

    I don't think you hate Obama.  As a matter of fact I suspect you guys like him quite a bit. And I am sure you would vote for him in the GE.

    When you guys write a diary suggesting that Obama supporters are cultish or that Obama refuses to debate Clinton because he won't go on Fox News(which up until 2 days ago neither would Hillary) or suggest that Obama is the candidate of the establishment then that certainly gives the impression of a bias.

    Now I will admit that I have probably unfairly judged you guys to some degree based on the churlish behavior of some of the denizens of TL.  And for that I apologize.  You can't control what other people do or say.  

    I'm not here to start trouble.  I just believe that Obama isn't really given a fair shake and we ALL need to realize that come September we all have to get on the same bus together.

    I do think you guys are beating the media bias horse well beyond it's natural life.  It's easy to FIND media bias.  It's hard to show that it has any impact unless you want it to.

    Parent

    I read all my posts (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:32:06 PM EST
    I stand by all of them. Especially the ones on Obama, which I started writing in 2005.

    Parent
    Like I said (none / 0) (#28)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:36:17 PM EST
    I'm not trying to pick a fight with you at all.  I was giving you my perspective that's all.

    Parent
    Unsolicited advice: (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:41:26 PM EST
    evaluate J's posts separately from BTD's.  I don't see a TalkLeft position on Obama's campaign or candidacy.    

    Parent
    Yes I noticed that (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:47:11 PM EST
    My error in that regard.

    Parent
    Rezko (none / 0) (#10)
    by Me414 on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:10:06 PM EST
    There was a lot more to the Rezko  situation than buying the land. Obama had a 17 year business and social relationship with Rezko. Even when Rezko was under investigation, Obama was taking donations from him and allowing him to have fundraisers for Obama's Senate run. Obama knew the guy was dirty, but he didn't care. There's a lot more about this than most of the blogs and the MSM is talking about. I wrote a post about it on my blog which goes into more detail.

    Here is the link.

    The Timeline is off (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:46:13 PM EST
    Obama's run for the Senate started in 2002. The events Rezko is under investigation for started essentially in 2003--maybe late 2002 towards the end of the Blagojevich campaign.  

    The public knowledge of the investigations really came about in latter 2004.  So by the time everyone started to connect the dots, Obama had given the speech at the DNC and wasn't so much relying on local fundraising as he did in the primary. However, between that time and Summer 2005 when Obama bought the house and then early 2006 when he bought the strip of land from Rezko, the extent of the problem became very clear and that was incredibly stupid.  

    Parent

    If Rezko is an issue (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jgarza on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:41:51 PM EST
    then i might bring you to the source of Hillary's self funding.  Now since she is donating to her self, the source of it becomes important.  So i think we need to have a discussion bout Bill and HIll's wealth.  So how much of their money came from advising Dubai firms trying to buy up US ports?  Does this mean they have a conflict?  Here is an article, if Obama needs to be "vetted" so does Hillary, if we need to get everything out in the public lets be fair.

    I personally would like to know where the Clinton's make their money if thats how they are funding there campaign.  Who do they owe something too?

    Parent

    This is what bothers me: (none / 0) (#12)
    by Kathy on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:10:42 PM EST
    from my reading, and my understanding of building codes (which is boringly extensive), when 1/16th of the lot (the part that contained the driveway for the Obama house) was sold, that rendered the lot virtually unbuildable without a zoning variance.  

    That part of the city does not have zero lot lines, so without the variance (difficult in an historic neighborhood with rich folks who want to keep it that way) you would have to spend 700K on the lot and build a skinny little house that won't price you out of the neighborhood.  People who spend that much money for a lot are not going to put a 20'x20' house on it.

    Oh, and then you would have to tell Obama to take his fence off of it.

    I think that lot (none / 0) (#16)
    by athyrio on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:18:00 PM EST
    was a wink and a nod to Obama because Rezko has now rendered it unattractive to others by making it smaller, therefore it is a rather backhanded way of giving it to him...plus the fence makes it rather obvious...

    Parent
    The Fence (none / 0) (#75)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:47:08 AM EST
    I think was required by the city to make Obama;s house meet the zoning codes.

    Parent
    Bingo (none / 0) (#68)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:59:58 AM EST
    The reason no one bought the land and lot was exactly this. Obama's house needed the side yard. So the lot is useless, the notion of being bought for future development, this is a single family neighborhood, what was he going to do, Condos?

    Parent
    according to Tano's post here, the (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:42:53 AM EST
    owner prior to the seller from whom the Obamas and Ms. Rezko purchased was a developer.

    Parent
    The seller (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:46:21 AM EST
    was a doctor that worked at the same hospital with Michelle. But Rezko was the developer who bought the lot with the intention to develop. But if you look at the zoning, you can hardly even put a house on the lot. So, whoever bought it would have to just sit on the lot.

    Parent
    If you're right, then there was a crime. (none / 0) (#108)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:34:14 PM EST
    Stellaaa, can you give me the (none / 0) (#109)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:35:58 PM EST
    specific zoning information? I'd like to email this information to someone.

    Parent
    It's Still 7500 Square Feet (none / 0) (#118)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:48:56 PM EST
    Plenty big to build upon and actually you could build townhouse condos and meet the historical design restrictions for the neighborhood.  

    You couldn't throw up the usual prefab fake brick, so the outside would have to look good, but given the neighborhood you could design say 4 walkup townhouses pretty easily.

    Parent

    Depends on the neighborhood (none / 0) (#127)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:04:59 PM EST
    regulations. You can't know that 7,500 is enough without checking specifically for that area.

    Parent
    You are welcome to check the zoning (none / 0) (#128)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:50:47 PM EST
    But even as a historically designated neighborhood, you can build on that.  If you go to the Landmarks site you can see the residential rules for any improvements.  

    Parent
    Been out of town (none / 0) (#132)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 05:14:26 PM EST
    I am assuming it's single family neighborhood at those prices, they would not allow multi family mixed in, I will check,.

    Parent
    How do we know (none / 0) (#98)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:56:55 PM EST
    That this event is not being investigated?  It was discovered from Rezkos bail papers just recently and his indictments are unrelated in the least.  Anyone know the answer?

    Parent
    Rezsko is not an issue (none / 0) (#21)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:27:33 PM EST
    Nor is:

    Norman Hsu
    Ron Burkle
    Marc and Denise Rich
    Aaron Tonken
    Peter F. Paul
    Sant S. Chatwal
    Charlie Trie
    John Huang
    James Riady
    Johnny Chung
    Roger Tamraz
    John K.H. Lee
    Abdul Rehman Jinnah

    why do you say that? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:15:15 PM EST
    are all those cases, including Rezko, exactly the same?

    Parent
    No (none / 0) (#48)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:31:44 PM EST
    They are all people with shady pasts that have donated to or been associates with the candidates. It's politics, this stuff happens.

    Parent
    There is a big difference (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:20:28 AM EST
    between having a donor among thousands who turns out to be crooked and having a crooked mentor who personally helps you get a deal on your house. This AFTER the man is publicly known to be under investigation for corruption. Obama used to call Rezko his "political godfather". Now he is just someone he knows.

    Parent
    Norman Hsu Also Contributed To Obama n/t (none / 0) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:07:56 AM EST
    Because a San Diego Union Trib. (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:17:16 PM EST
    reporter nosed around Del Mar and Rancho Sante Fe residences owned or formerly owned by Cunningham and his wife, looked at records of the sales, interviewed people involved, and wrote articles about how Cunningham sold the Del Mar price for an inflated price to a military contractor while Cunningham was chair of the House Armed Services committee.  Then the Cunninghams were able to purchase a very expensive property in Rancho Santa Fe.  Feds. got interested, grand jury indictment, conviction, prison.  It all started with the purchase of the residence in Del Mar.  

    So, why it reminds me is because of Cunningham's sale of first residence to a political crony.  

    thats it? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:27:48 PM EST
    Obama makes a real estate deal with a real estate developer that he knows, and that justifies stating that it reminds you of a case of blatant bribery? Even though there is nothing that smacks of that in the case?

    Why doesn't it, alternativly, remind you of some other real estate deal that a politcian has made, where there was nothing untoward going on?

    Parent

    Developer he knows (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:55:47 AM EST
    17 year relationship. Donor. Member of state fundraising and the biggest bundler in his Senate campaign. They socialized. And Obama was the attorney for the non profit in a join venture LIHTC project. This was not a mere acquaintance.

    Parent
    who ever said he was a mere acquaintence? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:40:07 AM EST
    Why do you love the guilt by association game?

    How long did Hillary know Webb Hubbell? Hell, they put him as #3 in the Justice Dept! You want to talk about bad judgement?

    Did Hillary do anything wrong?

    Parent

    What else (none / 0) (#90)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:38:22 AM EST
    They threw 70 Million dollars at Hillary; in my book she has the most extensive and expensive background and credit check of anyone besides Bill in this country.  

    The very definition of corruption is using ones power for personal gain, and Obama admitted he could not have purchased the home had he not called Rezko. Not to mention he was not forth coming on this and has told many differing version it surfaced at Rezko's bail hearing.

    But that you have no problem with his judgment or his ethical conduct in this manner is fine, but to believe others will not or should not is wrong.

    Parent

    This is false (none / 0) (#119)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:51:23 PM EST
    The condition of the listing for the two properties was that they close on the same day.  There were other bids for the vacant lot so Obama did not need anyone to buy the vacant lot, there were already interested parties. According to the reporting the second highest offer for the vacant lot was $25,000 less than Rezko's offer.  

    Parent
    It's the price that is troubling (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:22:23 AM EST
    The lot the Rezkos bought was full price but the house was $300,000 below asking price. That is very odd and has the appearance of a sweetheart deal.

    Parent
    Corrupt (none / 0) (#89)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:30:00 AM EST
    think we suffer from Republican if it not a Crime its ok syndrome.

    The very definition of corruption is using ones political power for personal gain, and Obama admitted he could not have purchased the home had he not called Rezko and he also said he knew Rezko was under federal investigation at the time after saying he did not.  How you can slice it and say he did not benefit is irrational he did, if not for Rezko involvement he could not have purchased the home simple.

    And what else might he not have felt obligated to share about his rough and tumble time in Il politics...

    Parent

    I'm human. I vote. (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:36:13 PM EST
    I'm just giving my viewpoint.  I am not stating Obama did anything to benefit Rezko or his wife by entering into the real estate deal.  But I'm assuming you do acknowledge the Obamas financially benefited from Ms. Rezko purchasing the adjoining lot for the list price?  Some argue there was no benefit.  I disagree.  

    Parent
    any business deal (none / 0) (#51)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:45:50 PM EST
    is supposed to be of benefit, otherwise you dont do it. The question is whether there was any illicit benefit. And I dont see it.

    Parent
    What do you see as the benefit to Ms. Rezko (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:47:50 PM EST
    in buying the adjacent lot for the list price and subsequently selling 1/6 of the lot to the Obamas?  

    Parent
    did she lose any money? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:53:30 PM EST
    she sold it for the proportionate price, right?
    So its a wash.
    I dont think there is any doubt that Obama had a friendly relationship with them - so you do something for a friend.
    She didnt lose anything - so it was not like a gift, nor do I know of any corrupt advantage that she or her husband gained from it.
    So what is the problem?

    Parent
    She may be holding 5/6 of an unbuildable lot but (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:04:16 AM EST
    I guess that is her problem and that of her recently detained hubbie whose bail was revoked.  What it boils down to at present is a possible gift to the Obamas and poor judgment regarding the house deal.  

    Parent
    poor judgement, i would go along with (none / 0) (#58)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:08:18 AM EST
    because it gives opening to people like you to make all manner of unwarranted comparisons. A perception problem.

    But hey, who ever said he was perfect? :)

    Still dont see how you could spin it as a gift to him. He paid the market price.

    Parent

    It is my understanding Ms. Rezko pd. (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:26:57 AM EST
    the asking price and the Obamas pd. $300,000 below the asking price.  Some bloggers commenters opine it was the fmv.  Apparently the seller was Michelle Obama's boss at the time and the seller isn't talking to the media about the transactions.  

    Parent
    Obama answered these questions (none / 0) (#63)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:56:34 AM EST
    put to him by the Chicago paper:

    Q: The seller of your house appears to be a doctor at the University of Chicago . Do you or your wife know him? If so, did either of you ever talk to him about subdividing the property? If you ever did discuss the property with him, when were those conversations?

    A: We did not know him personally, though my wife worked in the same University hospital. The property was subdivided and two lots were separately listed when we first learned of it. We did not discuss the property with the owners; the sale was negotiated for us by our agent.

    Q: Did you approach Rezko or his wife about the property, or did they approach you?

    A: To the best of my recollection, I told him about the property, and he developed an interest, knowing both the location and, as I recall, the developer who had previously purchased it.

    Q: How do you explain the fact your family purchased your home the same day as Rita Rezko bought the property adjacent to yours? Was this a coordinated purchase?

    A: The sellers required the closing of both properties at the same time. As they were moving out of town, they wished to conclude the sale of both properties simultaneously. The lot was purchased first; with the purchase of the house on the adjacent lot, the closings could proceed and did, on the same day, pursuant to the condition set by the sellers.

    Q: Why is it that you were able to buy your parcel for $300,000 less than the asking price, and Rita Rezko paid full price? Who negotiated this end of the deal? Did whoever negotiated it have any contact with Rita and Tony Rezko or their Realtor or lawyer?

    A: Our agent negotiated only with the seller's agent. As we understood it, the house had been listed for some time, for months, and our offer was one of two and, as we understood it, it was the best offer. The original listed price was too high for the market at the time, and we understood that the sellers, who were anxious to move, were prepared to sell the house for what they paid for it, which is what they did.
    We were not involved in the Rezko negotiation of the price for the adjacent lot. It was our understanding that the owners had received, from another buyer, an offer for $625,000 and that therefore the Rezkos could not have offered or purchased that lot for less.


    Parent

    Obama called it boneheaded (none / 0) (#67)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:57:19 AM EST
    So, why do you think it was not boneheaded and a bad judgement?

    Parent
    huh, I just said, above that it was bad judgement (none / 0) (#70)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:32:46 AM EST
    precisely because it gives space to dishonest hacks from the other side to pretend that there is something untoward there, when there isn't.

    Parent
    You are really kidding? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:43:47 AM EST
    How many people you know would do you the favor that Rezko did for him? How many would buy a basically unbuildable lot, sit on it so that you can have the house next door? How many people that at that time were defaulting on millions of loans with the City of Chicago?

    Parent
    to what effect? (none / 0) (#76)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:53:25 AM EST
    What did Rezko get from this? What did he hope to get from this?
    What exactly are you charging here, or are you just throwing random facts around to try to create a smoky environment in which you hope against hope that people will assume there is fire within?

    Were you a Republican in the nineties?

    Parent

    I am asking you (none / 0) (#85)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 09:04:58 AM EST
    Someone who is in public life, should they be doing this kind of dealing with donors? To me it looks like a gift. To you it's fine. You know about the if I was a Republican in the 90's , is so clever. How did you bust me? Brilliant, just like your guy. I have always like my politics like my meat: Red, and I don't mean the red some tv station decided to color a state. Real old style red.

    Parent
    yeah, real red (none / 0) (#105)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 02:16:07 PM EST
    full of sleaze, misinformation, saying anything at all that can get your candidate ahead, irrespective of its truth value.

    Are you a clinton supporter?

    Parent

    i have no idea why he did it (none / 0) (#77)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 03:17:19 AM EST
    and neither do you.

    lots of possibilites. Here is one. Maybe he figured Obama was a rising star - as a pol, and as an author, and would continue to do well, and would some day soon easily be able to afford to buy the rest of the lot.
    So it wouldnt be like Rezko is throwing away half a mil, just sitting on the property for a few years till his friend could afford it.

    I have no idea if this is true, but it makes more sense than the nothing you have.

    Come to think of it, that lot might be a good place for the Secret Service outpost.

    Parent

    This is just false (none / 0) (#120)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:52:35 PM EST
    The doctor was an endocrinologist at University of Chicago who is now at Johns Hopkins.  

    Parent
    Probably because (none / 0) (#60)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:20:24 AM EST
    the guy in question is under indictment for a bribery/kickback scheme involving politicians other than Obama.

    Bad guy to be involved with.  Obama undoubtedly knew he was shady, but presumably just didn't realize how shady.

    Parent

    there was never any truth (none / 0) (#49)
    by english teacher on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 11:36:08 PM EST
    to whitewater but that didn't stop the republicans.  

    i can't imagine what anybody is thinking who wants to serve up a democratic nominee who has a formerly close associate in the middle of a federal trial.  

    they had close ties.  there is a federal case going on right now that could produce something nasty.  probably not, but you never know.  i guess this is where that "hope" comes in.  

    on the other hand, wasn't whitewater a total fabrication and why should i believe this isn't fertile ground for a similar campaign of smears once obama gets the nomination regardless of whether or not any of it is true?  again, it's a little too much to hope for.  

    Wow (none / 0) (#61)
    by jarober on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:25:14 AM EST
    So I guess the whole Abramoff thing is a non-issue for you now?

    The level of self-blinkered-ness amongst the extreme partisans (both sides) is kind of awe-inspiring

    Georgia Thompson (none / 0) (#88)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:13:04 AM EST
    I believe would disagree.  Think we just saw the strings pulled just a month ago on the old group grudge the white man Bill is beating down the black man and over night the Clintons were racist and that was intra party where both groups were family.  How hard do you believe it will be to pull the black man is a criminal lever grudge, is it wrong YES, but boneheaded behavior gives them the opportunity and how many of you really believe O has the depth of support or record to counter this view. And their will be a federal trial with the no leak Patrick Fitzgerald and lots of Politician in Chi Town and I sure we Rusty will soon be resurrected. All that is needed it the wedgies and the inflamed bias.  A large chunk of the Party will already be pissed off if this goes much further so no unity and 60 days from Convention to election, Bush revelation on his dui almost derailed him.

    And recall O was not forth coming about the co purchase with the Rezkos and told several differing stories all on record concerning the purchase and related events it became known from Rezko bail papers.

    Parent

    What Became known in the bail papers (none / 0) (#121)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:53:52 PM EST
    And where did you see it reported?

    Parent
    I disagree (none / 0) (#87)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 10:52:07 AM EST

    O  exploitated his power for personal gain he has himself admitted he could not have otherwise afforded the home, he also admitted he knew Rezko was under federal investigation at the time and he also did not disclose information on the co purchase. This is the very definition of corruption, higher standard et al, I know its been awhile but it also has not been that long ago that the Dem Party of Corruption Perception lost them Congress.  Me thinks you error to believe its not a problem my sister mentioned it to me just last weekend she saw it on the news and she could care less about politics that she even knew who was running shocked me.

    Was Obama an IL state senator (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 12:14:18 PM EST
    or a U.S. Senator when the purchases closed?  Has there been any info reported about his disclosure forms as an elected official?  Has there been any expert independent assessment of the fmv of the house on the date he purchased it, taking into account the simultaneous purchase of the adjacent vacant lot?  

    Parent
    SImply not True (none / 0) (#122)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:56:06 PM EST
    == exploitated his power for personal gain he has himself admitted he could not have otherwise afforded the home,

    I'm not sure where you think this admission occurred, but in the questions he answered for the Sun-Times he specifically didn't admit this and said that he couldn't afford both the lot and the house.  

    The lot had several bidders on it, the house had one other offer.  The only condition of the listing was that the two properties closed on the same day. The best of the reporting has indicated that the next best offer was $25,000 less than what Rezko paid for the vacant lot so he did not need Rezko to purchase it.  

    Parent

    Is it you position the Obamas' purchase of (none / 0) (#123)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 06:22:57 PM EST
    their residence was completed unrelated to Ms. Rezko's purchase of the adjoining lot on the same date?  Mere coincidence?

    Parent
    No one questions that Rezko was trying to (none / 0) (#124)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 07:29:56 PM EST
    gain influence, but the sale would have happened with or without him.

    Parent
    Wasn't Ms. Rezko offering the list price and (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 07:42:33 PM EST
    able to match sale dates w/the Obama offer?  

    Parent
    Offering $25,000 more than the second highest bid (none / 0) (#129)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:52:30 PM EST
    Given that a condition of sale according to the seller's real estate agent was that the two properties close on the same day, presumably any other offer would be made with the same understanding.  

    Parent
    Another question, has any independent (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 07:44:32 PM EST
    real estate appraiser offered on opinion of fmv of both parcels on the date of sale?  With comparable sales.  

    Parent
    FMV is determined by sale price (none / 0) (#130)
    by archpundit on Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 08:56:39 PM EST
    when you buy it.  

    Now, you can see if the property fits within the range of a assessment sales ratio study, but those are generally determined by getting rid of the top 5  % and bottom 5% for an area--and so a $1.65 million house is not easy to determine for valuation.  

    Without getting too complicated with the value of a property one uses comparable sales in an area to determine the assessment.  In this case, there is no comparable properties because the house is unique.  You can estimate the value, but ultimately sales determines the value.

    That said, the house had been listed for several months--the point being the people had wanted to sell it for some time and only had one other offer which the reports claim was lower.  

    Parent

    I'm curious if any enterprising reporter (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 01:32:57 AM EST
    has enlisted a real estate expert to do a comparable sales analysis.  Of course it is not exact, but is used frequently in condemnation cases.  

    Parent