Obama Advisor Says He Answered Rezko Questions

Update: Reporters quizzed Obama about Rezko today in Texas.


Chicago Sun Times reporter Lynne Sweet disagrees with Obama advisor David Axelrod that Obama answered the media's questions about Tony Rezko. In addition to her own experiences, she points to this April 27, 2007 news clip.

Sweet writes today:

For more than a year, that has been a pretty small group of investigative journalists—from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. I checked with the Sun-Times reporters before I wrote my column and rechecked again. They all said they have never had a chance to discuss Rezko with Obama.


There have been two times where Obama took questions on Rezko reporters—in Waukegan, Ill. in November, 2005 (transcript is reposted below) or LINK where none of the investigative reporters were present because Obama commented after a political event

Here is David Axelrod yesterday on George Stephanopolous' This Week (ABC) (video here):

STEPHANOPOULOS: Before you go there, David, let me just follow up on one point, because Lynn Sweet writes in the Chicago Sun-Times, I believe it was yesterday, that in fact Senator Obama has not sat down with the Chicago reporters who are most familiar with the Rezko case. Is he willing to do that, or is Ms. Sweet wrong, in your opinion?

AXELROD: I think she is wrong. We've talked to reporters from -- and he's talked to reporters from both papers several times in several sessions about this, and each time the conclusion is the same: There's no evidence of any wrongdoing related to Mr. Rezko.

Sweet gives plenty of examples to the contrary on Obama's refusal to speak with reporters. And yes, no one is saying Obama did anything wrong. But he didn't answer all their questions, avoided them on many occasions and only discussed the matter a few times.

As to the what Hillary's campaign is seeking (from the transcript which I received yesterday by e-mail from ABC News's This Week):

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... the Obama campaign has not answered about Tony Rezko. You have David Axelrod right here. What are the questions they need to answer?

WOLFSON: Well, I can't imagine he's going to answer them, but I wish that he would, and I think Democrats hope that he will. For instance, how many fund-raisers did Mr. Rezko throw for Senator Obama? What did Senator Obama do for Mr. Rezko? Did he write letters for him? What projects of his did he support?

How many business meetings did he attend where Mr. Rezko had business associates there? What are the -- one more important one -- what are the full details of this very unusual real estate transaction that Mr. Rezko and Mr. Obama entered into?

What I would suggest to my friend, David, and he is my friend, they should put out all of the information regarding that real estate
transaction -- all of the e-mails, all of the correspondence, all of the letters, every single piece of information -- so that the public
can really look at this and say, what's going on here?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let's give him a chance to answer some of those questions now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How many fund-raisers, what kind of quid pro quos were there, what did Senator Obama do, were there business meetings, and the full details of the real estate transactions?

AXELROD: George, there have been 255 stories done on this issue, many by the Chicago media, others by the national media. All these questions have been asked. All these questions have been answered.

WOLFSON: Well, then answer them today, David.

AXELROD: And there is not -- wait a second, just one second, Howard.

WOLFSON: Fair enough.

AXELROD: There has not been one -- as the Associated Press said in their summation of this thing, there has been not one bit of evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Senator Obama in this or any other matter. And Howard knows that.

Look, we are at the end of a campaign. Senator Clinton has lost 11 primaries in a row. Last week, the New York Times said she would throw -- that the campaign's plan was to throw the kitchen sink at Senator Obama to try and stop him, and this is what this is all about. And I think people will see it in those terms.

This isn't what the people want us to be talking about. They want to talk about their lives, their problems, and how we're going to move this country forward.

WOLFSON: I think everyone watching today will note that he didn't answer any of those questions, and in fact, the Chicago Tribune has said, when they endorsed him, "come forward, Senator Obama.
Answer the legitimate questions. How many fund-raisers? How much money raised? How much of it was given through straw donors?"

AXELROD: We've answered those questions, Howard.

WOLFSON: No, you haven't. You haven't, David.

AXELROD: As you know, as you know, we returned $150,000...


AXELROD: ... as you returned $850,000 of Norman Hsu's...

WOLFSON: And I answered a lot of questions about that.

AXELROD: ...who sits in a prison in California today, having raised almost $1 million for this campaign, this presidential campaign.

WOLFSON: David, we'll...

AXELROD: Tony Rezko hasn't raised a dime for this presidential

WOLFSON: David, I just want a simple yes or no.

AXELROD: And we returned the money he raised for us in the Senate race.

WOLFSON: Will you put out all of the information, the emails, the correspondence relating to the real estate transaction, all of it? Will you put it out?

AXELROD: Howard, we have been forthcoming. And all that information has been...


WOLFSON: No, it has not.

Axelrod then changes the subject to Hillary's tax returns.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Mmm, that is some damaging video (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:08:57 PM EST
    I realize there's nothing "illegal", but it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth--especially the connection b/w Rezko's 'slums' being where he was a community organizer and later represented?  

    In terms of scandals effecting BO or HRC, I may be wrong, but I'll go back to the dirt analogy--old dirt is dry, doesn't stick; new dirt is wet and does.  

    For example, that NYT story about where BC got the 100M for his Foundation to help fight HIV/AIDS didn't have legs, people (minus those with CDS) didn't care.  I think people know the Clinton's can be a bit shady, but people also know that the Clintons know how to run things and get stuff done--AND (most importantly) don't stand on a high horse.  It's the hypocrisy about BO that bothers me the most.  

    What bugs me... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:42:34 PM EST
    is that Axelrod was so evasive -- and everytime he said "255 stories have been written" I was like...um, yeah, and Obama didn't answer any questions for any of them.

    Rezko is the perfect reason for Hillary to continue regardless of what happens tomorrow.  The longer Obama refuses to answer questions, the worse this is going to get.  He needs to get out in front of it....do one of those "I'll stand here and answer questions until you run out of them" press conferences to at least give the appearance that he has nothing to hide.

    Obama Was Evasive In His Press Conference Today (none / 0) (#47)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:55:05 PM EST
    He said he'd be happy to provide any info the press wanted, but then refused to give up the number of fundraisers Rezko held for him or, really from what I could see, any new info whatsoever.  Between Rezko and Goolsbee's little Canadian adventure, he got kind of touchy.  Apparently, scrutiny sucks.

    There's video at Fox, but I haven't been able to find one unedited version.  Here's a write-up at First Read.  

    And in other cheery news for Obama, the Chicago Tribune has a website devoted exclusively to the Rezko trial.


    For Those Interested In Such Things (none / 0) (#48)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:57:14 PM EST
    In the first embeded video, Obama gets into a dispute with reporters about whether or not the closing documents have been provided to the Tribune and Sun-Times.  Obama said they had been, reporters from both papers appear to dispute that, er, vigorously (to say the least).

    I'm going to predict that Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:56:43 PM EST
    will all of a sudden find they care about poor black people on the south side of Chicago.

    I can picture commercials in the general election with moody music and Rezko residents talking about not having heat, open air drug markets and various crimes occurring in or around the buildings in Sen. Obama's ward. And a guy with a soft voice doing the voice over asking where the hope and change was.

    even if they can't find real people to say it (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:02:50 PM EST
    I'm sure they will pay some to read from that script.

    One of the Brit papers found someone (none / 0) (#41)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:53:26 PM EST
    who lived in one of the buildings something like 7 blocks from the Obama mansion. I think if they were able to find someone who lived in them the Republicans have probably found a few and have paid handsomely for some on camera comments.

    the media has completely ignored Obama/Rezko (none / 0) (#42)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:53:28 PM EST
    So many unanswered questions...
    Why did Obama choose to be involved in a transaction with Rezko? knowing he was the target of a federal investigation.

    Why not another billionaire friend? one with a cleaner record.


    Yeah they could (none / 0) (#55)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 03:26:06 AM EST
    but they will not, they will talk about the mismanagement of millions of federal dollars.  Do you guys understand what goes on in Affordable Housing?  There are meager resources and to have such a large chunk go down the toilet is basically immoral and unethical.  Obama and his firm were involved in structuring the transactions.

     If I was running Chicago's housing office they would all be indicted with good reason.  We cannot afford these kind of mistakes.  It puts at risk the whole affordable housing sector which is something the republicans are chomping to eliminate.

    Shame on Obama for not caring.   Shame on all the alleged Progressives for not caring.    This coolness on this issue really makes me not trust him to his core with any progressive issue.  He should have been the first speaking out against Rezko, but instead entered the boneheaded deal when all this was known.   And he blamed the "neighborhood demographics" for the failure of the buildings.  

    Is there no decency left in this  world?   This man is no Progressive.  I do not trust him for a minute with the Democratic core values.  


    Don't try that answer in the GE (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by eLadinMO on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:17:05 PM EST
    If Axelrod thinks he can answer these valid questions with "We answered these already, so look at John McCain's record on....." or "We answered these already, so look at John McCain's....." is going to fly, WRONG. I have no idea where the answers will lead, but he better address them "again" for our party's sake. We CAN NOT afford this campaign tactic in the GE. It has worked swimmingly against Clinton, but in a head-to-head against the GOP candidate, it will be the ONLY thing they have to drive a bus over the Democratic nominee, and it'll sway voters that are tired of unanswered questions regarding the financial dealings of another Democratic hopeful.

    Feels like the story has changed (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by rghojai on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:37:04 PM EST
    Seems like the first responses from BO and his people were not accurate, which is going to leave reasonable people wondering (and doesn't come across as smart or a fresh, new approach to politics). Sure, maybe it was simply "bone-headed," but it and how it's been handled doesn't have the best appearance, nor does the contention that all the questions were answered in 2006.

    I really don't think Obama's corrupt (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:50:10 PM EST
    but I have to admit that I'm enjoying seeing him squirm a little. And my motives are driven largely by Obama supporters. After every debate I have to read about how "masterful" he was, how smooth under fire, how Hillary couldn't touch him. Now the guy who's running on his judgment wants to be able to shrug this whole thing off by calling it "boneheaded." The fact is, the seller wanted to sell both properties at once, so Obama enlisted Rezko's help. Nothing necessarily crooked there, but it was already well-known that Rezko was under investigation, and Obama (along with many other Chicago pols) must have been hoping that none of the mud from the investigation would stick to him. Yet he goes ahead and enters into a private financial transaction with the guy. I'm sorry, but if you're going to run for President, you have to be ready to have this kind of thing looked into.

    And something the Obama camp seems to be missing is that this is now in the courts. Court cases aren't dismissed because the papers have already written about it and found no wrongdoing. Papers don't have subpeona power, and as we've seen, Obama seems to have avoided discussing this case with the reporterts who are actually versed in the details. When this has come up in the past, Obama has been able to walk away from the questions in large part to an extreme lack of curiosity on the part of the press. The picture on the Today Show of Hillary and Rezko is Exhibit A in any examination of how the press has handled this story up to now.

    The sad part is that I'm absolutely certain that if this story somehow undoes Obama's candidacy, his supporters will go to their graves blaming Hillary for it, as if she initiated the investigation.

    I'm not proud of the satisfaction I'm getting from this story, but it's definitely there. I've seen it here in Massachusetts with Deval Patrick (whom I still support). When you run as the new broom, it's only a matter of time until the theme in the press is "You're not who we thought you were."

    from everything i've read, (4.50 / 2) (#30)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:12:48 PM EST
    the land deal was structured by the sellers, not the obama's or rezko's. they wanted to dispose of both parcels simultaneously, but the obama's couldn't afford that, and had no interest in the entire second parcel. the rezkos stepped in, as personal friends, to help out.

    with respect to the price paid for both parcels, that was an arms length transaction, between unrelated parties. the properties had been on the market for some time, with no offers of substance. the obama/rezko offers were the best of the bunch, they were accepted.

    the strip the obama's subsequently purchased from the rezkos, unless everyone, including public records, is lying, was purchased at what appears to be a pro-rata allocation of the rezko's original purchase price, six months later. given the real estate market at the time, it hardly appears to have been a bargain price for the obamas.

    all of this has been confirmed by the unrelated third party, the original seller.

    that there is no "there, there" clearly won't stop the right-wing smear machine, especially if obama refuses to sit down once and for all and answer all the burning questions of our time, with regards to his relationship with rezko.

    if he doesn't, loudly and publicly, this will be a hot button attack item for the GE, should he be the dem nominee.

    Yes, But (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:18:01 PM EST
    Since there is nothing there, isn't BHO giving the GOP a nice long rope to hang themselves with. My feeling is that it will blow up in their face, lots of egg. All BHO has to do is mention a few of the choice indictments that have been the norm for the GOP and the will look even worse in the eyes of voters.

    John Kerry (none / 0) (#36)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:28:01 PM EST
    Yes, the fact that there was no "there there" worked well for John Kerry in 2004 didn't it?

    Do You Think (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:34:47 PM EST
    The issues are of equal weight in the mind of the public? If so you have been drinking way too much kool aid.

    My point is (none / 0) (#60)
    by plf1953 on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 01:29:20 PM EST
    that the relative "weight" of the issues is irrelevant.

    The Right will manufacture "weight" where none exists and will make molehills into mountains.

    As for as the Rezko deal, I'm not convinced that there is no "there" there.

    With all the behind the scenes machinations by Michelle Obama to get the original house/lot subdivided so they could afford their piece (the house), for Rezko's wife to buy the other piece (the vacant lot) without ever having entered into such a transaction in her married life, with the sale of a strip of the lot to Obama for a "proportionate" payment when the benefit to him was highly disproportionate, the property tax exemption the Obama's received in return for the house being permitted as a "historical" monument or treasure or whatever, the timing of the their and Rezko's purchase, etc. etc. ...

    Well, I smell a lot of "there" there that has yet to come out.

    Obama and his campaign's obfuscation is tantamount to proof that there is plenty of "there" there.  Criminal "there" there.

    And trust me, I don't own any tin foil.


    Please show us your sources that:: (none / 0) (#61)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 03:08:58 PM EST
    1. the property was subdivided
    2. MO had anything to do with a subdivision
    3. buying a piece of property is an inordinately difficult thing to do for someone who'd never done it before
    4. the benefit to Obama was "disproportionate"
    5. that the home Obama bought was not already listed as a historical treasure, or whatever, before he bought it

    No Tin FOil? (none / 0) (#62)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:42:06 AM EST
    But plenty of Kool Aid.  It does not matter what the GOP does. To imagine that the public will give any attention to this matter compared to all the convolutions regarding war service, war protest, and allegations about lying in order to become a war hero is really nuts.

    Now were Abramoff to testify that Obama was running the GOP corruption racket as key advisor to  J. Steven Griles, Will Heaton, Adam Kidan, Bob Ney, Tony Rudy, Michael Scanlon, Roger Stillwell, Neil Volz, Mark Zachares, David Safavian, John Doolittle,Tom Feeney, Richard Berglund, Duke Cunningham, John Michael, Mitchell Wade, Brent Wilkes, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, Robert Fromm, Thomas Kontogiannis, Claude Allen, Richard A. Berglund, Ed Buckham, Lester M. Crawford,Brian J. Doyle, Tom Feeney, Shaun Hansen, Adam Kidan, Scooter Libby, Chuck McGee, John T. Michael, Allen Raymond, Allen Raymond, James Tobin, Neil Volz, now that would have some traction.


    how did (none / 0) (#43)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:59:51 PM EST
    Obama, Rezko, and the seller "find" each other?
    Seems like a realtor found Obama a house and Obama went straight to Rezko to make it come true.
    Why Rezko??

    Now they're personal friends, but (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:56:51 PM EST
    in the debate, Obama said they only were in contact for five billable hours or so. That's on tape, that can look bad. And there was another offer at the same price for the Rezko lot. And . . . a few other of your points don't seem to agree with others I've read. Bottom line: Yes, it was boneheaded then -- but more recently, it has been badly handled in an ever more boneheaded way by Obama, a way that can come back to hurt him and us if he's the nominee, it seems. He has got to get ahead of this, and fast.

    It was more than 5 billable hours (none / 0) (#59)
    by cmugirl on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 01:01:38 PM EST
    Obama asked Rezko to come look at the house with him. Why?  I know they've been friends for over 17 years, but as another post said - why him?

    And it was Rezko's WIFE who bought the adjacent property - on a salary of $35,000 with about $30,000 in assets.  Rezko himself said he had no money at the time. So, where did SHE get it?


    You're forgetting that (none / 0) (#46)
    by g8grl on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:44:35 PM EST
    after the Rezko's sold 1/6th of their lot for the pro-rated price, the 5/6th became worth a great deal less since it was unbuildable without the portion sold to the Obamas.  This means that the Rezko's gave up the whole $600,000 value of their land to give the Obamas their 1/6th.  That's a giveaway.

    I read conflicting sources on that (none / 0) (#51)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:18:58 AM EST
    but tended to think, from my "experience," that it must be as you have it here. And I have seen exceptions granted to build on narrower lots like what is left now, but usually architectural modernistic wonders -- and that would not be allowed in a historic neighborhood, which would require not only a similar look but also standard setbacks, etc.

    Fascinating. Wolfson advocating (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:31:24 PM EST
    for the peoples' right to know.

    The similarities between Rezko. . . (none / 0) (#2)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:31:37 PM EST
    and Whitewater and the way the two stories are unfolding are eerie.

    In neither case is there a whole heck of a lot to see, but in both cases the stories began to circulate during the election.  If Obama's elected in November will we see a series of articles in the Times on Rezko?

    Obama: I will not be able to unite the country (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:36:54 PM EST
    The thing I obsess over, as many here already know, is Obama saying that if you're attacked too much you become, even if it's not your fault, polarizing and then you can't unite the country.  I think this is wrong, but more than that a sign that you've given up.  Just tell republicans: "Attack me too much, then I'll become polarizind, and I won't be able to unite the country."

    Yes.  The situations are very similiar.

    And they will attack Obama more than too much.


    heh (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:45:52 PM EST
    Obama isn't running for the divine uniter.

    He is running for President at a time when at least 50% of the country disagrees with his defense positions... or perhaps it his lack of a defense position.

    So Obama's comments are just hogwash passed out as koolaid to the  true believers.


    Obama's potential (none / 0) (#15)
    by Nasarius on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:56:02 PM EST
    Actually, I think Iraq is potentially a decisive issue for Obama. Even after our Glorious Surge, the public is overwhelmingly (about 2/3) opposed to this war. If Obama can figure out how to force Iraq as a wedge issue, it's all over.

    the big problem (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by joei on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:35:33 PM EST
    is you cannot have something like this going on while you are running for presidential campaign, specially if you are the nominee.

    guilt or no guilt, bad pr/marketing.

    i am sure other president's might have had similar problems but not while running a campaign


    Guilt by association (none / 0) (#14)
    by 0 politico on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:53:45 PM EST
    will occur, and it will be exploited by the other party, if BO is the nominee.

    Add to that NAFTA-gate, war funding and statements as "flip-flopping", sub committee neglect...

    And a media that is seemingly supportive of McCain.

    HRC may have "baggage" (real or perceived), but these will be festering sores for OB.  It doesn't help that he and his campaign are sounding more and more "politics as usual" in the handling of these flaps.  And, remember, if nothing else, the property deal sounds a bit fishy, as well.


    very fishy (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:03:25 PM EST
    Obama claims he made a boneheaded mistake by involving the Rezkos in his house transaction in June 2005.
    But 6 months later - he made the same "mistake" again and bought MORE land from the Rezkos.
    Maybe Obama thought the extra 10 feet would be perfect parking for Secret Service cars?

    For the Obamas' cars (none / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:31:14 PM EST
    and the tenant of what is said to be a carriage house behind theirs. That strip of land is a driveway. Ever try to sell a mansion where you have to park on the street?

    huh? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:43:31 PM EST
    you mean the Obamas bought a house but it took them 6 months to realize they had no room to park their cars?

    Look at the overviews -- (none / 0) (#34)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:19:59 PM EST
    they're on the 'Net, look at the location of the carriage house, especially look for the before-and-afters of that strip of land. And no, of course they didn't buy the house and only then realize they would need the strip of land; read back about who bought it the same day . . . and sold it to them as soon as possible, after all permits, etc.

    Obama couldn't have bought the house (none / 0) (#39)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:38:45 PM EST
    without the Rezkos' help - or someone to buy the adjoining lot.
    Why did SEN. Obama want a deal involving Rezko?
    Why not another benefactor who wasn't the target of a federal investigation?

    That's something I don't understand. (none / 0) (#35)
    by LatinoVoter on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:23:23 PM EST
    I've read what you have said in other reports and tv investigations. But there is no drive-way  between two lots. There is a driveway to the north of the Obama lot but no driveway between the Rezko and Obama lots. The last I've seen of the house the strip of land.

    At the 1:30 mark in this video there is an aerial shot of the two lots and they're colored to show which is which. There is no drive way between the lots and at the 1:51 mark there is the shot of the driveway or access to the carriage house in back.

    And the strip of land that the Obama's bought from Rezko does not go out into the street. There is sort of a retaining way in front of the property and it is broken only where the door that leads up to the property is. You can see the front of the properties at the 3:40 mark in this video.

    Also one of the things that a lot of the reports leave out about the land deal is that Rezko was billed the $14K dollars to build the fence between the two properties, while Sen. Obama paid for the legals and architectural fees. I guess rick folk do things different because when my parents recently put up a fence the split the cost with the neighbors.


    Interesting -- not the way it looked (none / 0) (#45)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:40:34 PM EST
    with that retaining wall in an MSNBC video about a month and a half ago -- a video I bookmarked, but now what comes up on MSNBC is that it's no longer available. The MSNBC video was much clearer, must have been a helicopter shot and on a good, clear day -- and it showed a driveway, and with a vehicle in it, on the Rezko strip. (The driveway on these videos was the neighbor's, per the earlier video.) That's all I can tell you -- that what these videos show (and they're very poor) is not quite what MSNBC showed and now has pulled. Very interesting. . . .

    I'm not sure what Cream thought she saw (none / 0) (#49)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:12:04 AM EST
    a month or so ago, nor what the significance might be of what she thought she saw, but the driveway to the (occupied) "carriage house" behind Obama's home is on the north side of Obama's home and the "Rezko" lot is on the south side. There is no driveway on the "Rezko" lot, and there is no record of there ever being a driveway there.

    Zillow the Obama home, you can clearly see two driveways between Obama's home and his neighbor to the north.

    The southern-most driveway (the driveway closest to the Obama home) is the driveway to the "carriage house" behind the Obama home, and the other is their neighbor-to-the-north's driveway. The "carriage house" is "behind" (to the west) of the Obama home.


    Add: (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 09:02:35 AM EST
    The driveway just to the north of the Obama home is the driveway used by both the Obamas and the "carriage house" occupants.

    I think I know what video you're (none / 0) (#50)
    by LatinoVoter on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:16:22 AM EST
    talking about. Is it the video where the current owner and real estate agent try to get access to the lot and the secret service tells them to shut off the camera? There's also a scene in that vid where the owner jumps on the retaining wall and holds onto the fence while making the point that the only access to the property is through the Obama's yard.

    In that video they had camera footage from the roof of a building across the street and there was indeed a car (Maybe a Land Rover) parked in the Rezko strip. But I've never seen any pics of video of the Rezko strip running into the street. I think that car gets there by going up the driveway and around behind the house to get into the Rezko strip.


    Yes, that's the video -- (none / 0) (#52)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:22:00 AM EST
    and I'll trust you that the drive doesn't go to the street then . . . but a drive, it is, and it looked like access to the carriage house, to the side door of the Obama house, and as you recall, to the only gate -- from their side -- to the ex-Rezko lot. The one now not accessible to the owner, an ex-Rezko lawyer trying to sell it. (Btw, what I can't imagine, with that narrow strip, is how a car that gets in there gets out again, with no turnaround room, if there is no egress to the street.)

    NoQuarterUSA has a pic (none / 0) (#53)
    by LatinoVoter on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:22:03 AM EST
    to show you what I mean.

    Obama house pic.

    No driveway between the two lots, but you can barely make out a vehicle out in the distance.

    That pic came from this thread.


    I wonder if this changes (none / 0) (#16)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:58:28 PM EST
    BTD's electability argument.

    I think Clinton could make a case for scandal fatigue where anything that comes up against her is concerned.  All of this Rezko stuff is new and exciting.


    New York Times and LA Times (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:36:23 PM EST
    have both printed articles about Rezko/Obama relationship.  

    they even have their (none / 0) (#9)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:39:24 PM EST
    Vince Foster in the person of Orlando Jones.

    It is eerie.


    I hesitate to ask. . . (none / 0) (#19)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:05:01 PM EST
    but who's Orlando Jones?  Any relation to this guy?

    Orlando Jones (none / 0) (#27)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:55:15 PM EST
    wound up dead on the shores of Lake Michigan back in September with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.  He was a former Cook County official who left public office to form "a lobbying firm in association with Rezko."  The Feds were targeting him over some hospital sweetheart no-bid deals in Chicago and Las Vegas.  

    An article on KLAS' Web site said hospital chief Lacy Thomas, who had once headed the former Cook County Hospital, had given contracts to politically-connected Chicago companies rather than putting them out to bid, among them Jones. KLAS reported that Jones' "business dealings in (Chicago) are already under law enforcement scrutiny."



    I see (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:51:45 PM EST
    the difference as that Whitewater had a trial years prior to the election didn't it? The Rezko trial is going to be starting this week and lasting until June. At least that's what the papers were reporting this morning.

    I don't remember. (none / 0) (#18)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:03:49 PM EST
    Had there been a trial before the election?

    No (none / 0) (#24)
    by magisterludi on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:41:11 PM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 09:10:27 AM EST
    there was. It was the Madison Guaranty case IIRC.

    Hello, (none / 0) (#54)
    by ghost2 on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 02:42:10 AM EST
    Nice to you see you!  Check out goldberry's The Confluence too, it's a nice new place.  

    [sorry all, you may go back to your regular chats now!]


    Do you think Hsu is a non-issue, too? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:36:29 PM EST
    I know he gave considerably less to the Obama campaign than he did to Clinton, but Hsu also did that weird suicide note thing with "hope and change."  I mean, it sounds like something the Obama camp would not want to touch with a ten foot pole.  

    I think sticking to the charge about releasing tax returns is much more effective (inasmuch as Americans know what tax returns are but few know of Hsu, and even though Whitewater was disproven, the taint of impropriety is still there)

    ABC had the Rezko story tonight and they went after it pretty hotly.  I think we can probably expect more or that as the days wear on and the trial heats up.  They are careful to say that Obama has not been charged with anything untoward, but they are still covering it on the national news, which I don't think they would do without the Obama connection.  Am I wrong?

    I don't expect the national media (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:38:31 PM EST
    would be giving much attention to Rezko w/o the Obama relationship with Rezko.  

    Except that the Gov. of Illinois (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:34:32 PM EST
    is under investigation in this case...that's pretty big news.  Lucky for him, the interest is in Rezko/Obama at the moment, keeping the spotlight off the governor...for now.

    One thing to remember about Whitewater...the Clintons LOST money on that land deal.

    The Rezko deal resulted in acquiring a $1.6M  mansion at discount and an additional property deal for part of a lot next door as well, enlarging their property -- which the Obamas admit they couldn't have managed for themselves without Rezko's wife's intervention.

    Quite a different story, I'd say...and q few unanswered questions about who did what for whom?


    I don't think there was a personal relationship (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:32:18 PM EST
    between HRC and Hsu.  There is with Obama and Rezko, big-time!

    Obama Is Running On His Judgment...Lol! (none / 0) (#10)
    by OxyCon on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:42:36 PM EST

    Obama has stolen the central theme and rhetoric of someone else's campaign.

    He has shown extremely poor judgment in choosing his personal friends and how he uses those friendships to benefit financially.

    And lastly, he flat out lied about his NAFTA shenanigans.

    Oh boy, (none / 0) (#13)
    by dk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 07:53:09 PM EST
    this Rezko stuff never really hit home to me until I watched that clip.

    Now, I have no idea if Obama did anything wrong.  If Jeralyn and BTD say that there is no evidence, I would tend to believe them.

    But seriously, once Republicans and (once the honeymoon ends) the media start on this stuff, and all the national networks start running clips of those dilapidated buildings, etc., it is going to get real ugly, real fast.  What bothers me most is that the Obama campaign (and certainly not Obama supporters) seem not to be preparing for this.

    Frankly, if I was the Obama campaign, I would take the risk of keeping the primary going.  At least while that is going on, there will be less focus on it.

    I get the impression (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:19:06 PM EST
    that they think that once they've won the primary, they've won.

    It feels, to me, like they aren't thinking past that at all....not impressing me with their multi-tasking ability.


    Judgement (none / 0) (#56)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 03:32:13 AM EST
    Obama touts his anti war speech as an example of his good judgement.  At that time, this was an opinion, not judgement.  

    On the other hand we have one major event to evaluate his judgement:  entering into a questionable real estate transaction with a man who was in default on millions of loans, mismanaged hundreds of affordable housing units, took out all the reserves and fees from the projects, was under investigation for getting minority contracts under false pretenses and many other violations.  

    Obama called this boneheaded, well that is the quality of his judgement since we have an N of 1 to judge his judgement skills.  So, how does this qualify him as someone with judgement?   We are  talking about small local government stuff, what will happen in DC?