Rezko Trial: Recap Day One

Bump and Update: Rezko's lawyer mentioned Barack Obama while sliming the government's star cooperating witness Stuart Levine in opening argument:

Duffy mentions Levine's close political ties to the late Mayor Harold Washington, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), former Gov. Jim Edgar and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) as examples of how connected Levine was.

Wait, we may need a transcript. Politico says Duffy mentioned Obama as one of many politicians Rezko, not Levine, was connected to. Which is it? The Chicago Sun Times version is similar to Politico's.

Day One trial testimony: The first and probably only witness today is Kelly Glynn, former finance director for Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She said Rezko was a top bundler. The Government queried her about Chris Kelly, Blagojevich's chief fundraiser and an alleged "co-schemer" of Rezko's. She then moved on to William Cellini.

Glynn said Republican power broker William Cellini held a fundraising event for Blagojevich, a Democrat, at a suburban hotel. She said she, Kelly and a co-worker would meet at Rezko's office to discuss fundraising strategy. Glynn testified that Rezko held the first post-election party for the governor at his Wilmette mansion.

Bump and Update: The Government laid out its case, stating out front that it's built in large part on the testimony of a cooperating defendant who was wiretapped:

"Levine is going to give you an inside look into this scheme," she said. "He has pleaded guilty and he expects to go to jail. He's going to admit his own personal financial crimes and his own personal drug use. He's going to explain to you in detail how he abused the trust of the teachers of Illinois."

I hope the defense points out that Levine's testimony is purchased testimony, bought with promises of leniency. Freedom is a commodity far more precious than money. [Update: That's precisely what he did.]

As expected, there was no mention of Barack Obama.

[AUSA Hamilton] did not mention the name of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, whose U.S. Senate campaign in 2004 allegedly was the beneficiary of $20,000 in campaign cash from intermediaries in the kickback schemes the government says were orchestrated by Rezko.

The defense gets its turn after lunch.

Original Post:

Opening arguments begin this morning in the Chicago corruption trial of Tony Rezko. They got started late because a juror didn't arrive on time. The local reporters live-blogging the trial are in the overflow courtroom because laptops aren't allowed in the main courtroom.

The main courtroom is fairly small and reporters were given numbers when they arrived. Most ended up in the overflow courtroom.

The principal advantage to being in the main courtroom is being able to view the jurors and their reactions to the proceedings. On days like today, when lawyers are arguing directly to the jury, and on the days the key witnesses are testifying, I like to be in the main courtroom. Of course, today I'm in neither, but following the coverage from 1,000 miles away.

To get a sense of what the trial is about, here is Patrick Fitzgerald's press release from October, 2006 (pdf)when the Indictments against Rezko were announced.

The Chicago Tribune's has a live blog and the Chicago Sun Times latest coverage is here.

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    I really hope (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:10:42 AM EST
    this is one of those situations where Fitzgerald keeps running the indictments higher and higher up the flagpole like he did with the George Ryan scandal.  It certainly has the air of that sort of scandal.

    Fitz really let us down when he nailed Scooter Libby and then just... stopped.  That's not supposed to be his style!

    Let us down? (none / 0) (#11)
    by QuakerInABasement on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:12:52 PM EST
    Fitz really let us down when he nailed Scooter Libby and then just... stopped.  That's not supposed to be his style!

    You do understand what the case against Libby was about, don't you? Fitzgerald couldn't develop a case against anyone else because Libby lied. What else are you thinking Fitzgerald was supposed to do?


    I am speaking rhetorically (none / 0) (#14)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:23:18 PM EST
    I am not suggesting that Fitzgerald failed to do his job.

    ABC is pounding hard on this (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:37:29 AM EST
    They had this headline last night:

    Rezko In Debt $50 Million; How Did He Afford Obama Lot?


    Fitzgerald Press release (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:41:02 AM EST
    Nothing about the millions in Federal Housing dollars he ripped off.  Wondering if Chicago or if there are other indictments in the works.  These Feds, they chase a Housing Authority for 90 dollars when a tenant is over income and they let this stuff slide.  

    Self-Answering (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by QuakerInABasement on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:22:18 PM EST
    The first part of the headline answers the second, doesn't it? If Mr. Rezko has borrowed $50 million, $600,000 is chump change.

    Not even $600K was needed. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:31:11 PM EST
    Only $125K for the down, and a bank loan for the rest. But Kathy is veeeery well aware of all that.

    Haven't seen you around much lately, Quaker.


    WGN TV - Chicago (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:03:26 PM EST
    which I get, covers it and no mention of Obama. This is a nonissue.

    But you're watching. (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 07:18:10 PM EST
    Defense Mentions Obama (none / 0) (#46)
    by BDB on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:50:03 PM EST
    Rezko's a regular Robin Hood, apparently. (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:53:53 PM EST
    In his opening statement Thursday, Rezko's lead defense attorney, Joseph Duffy, mentioned Obama and five other politicians in explaining Rezko's motivation for political involvement.

    That involvement, Duffy said, stemmed from Rezko's affection for the political process and desire to help candidates he believed had the public's best interest at heart. Duffy said Rezko raised money for the campaigns of Republicans and Democrats alike and expected nothing in return.

    Rezko's affection for political process (none / 0) (#82)
    by Prabhata on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:15:54 PM EST
    I would have a great affection for the US political process too if I could buy the politicians that will ensure every law or contract benefits me and works against my competitors.

    Summary (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by QuakerInABasement on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:19:22 PM EST
    Let's see if I can summarize.

    A wealthy real estate developer was crooked. Before anyone knew he was crooked, he threw money at politicians with both hands.

    Now that the developer has been indicted, we're interested in who helped with his criminal enterprises. We have not even a whisper that Mr. Obama or any other politician who received money from Mr. Rezko knew he was acquiring his money illegally.

    Is anyone suggesting there's evidence of complicity or cooperation in Mr. Rezko's schemes?

    TL has gone out of its way (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:29:49 PM EST
    to state-repeatedly-that Obama has not been named in any of this.  They are covering it purely under the scope of their two interests, which you can read in the blue bar at the top of your screen: the politics of crime.

    Any Obama connection at this point is speculation (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by DaleA on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:26:38 PM EST
    not supported by the record. Some Clinton supporters have found letters recommending Rezko from Obama. But that does not really indicate any crime. Just standard political practice in Chicago.

    the letters were not found by Clinton supporters (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:41:28 PM EST
    they were found by investigative journalists.

    Rezko's wife bought the lot next to Obama's house and Rezko worked as Obama's campaign finance director on one of his senate campaigns.  Rezko funneled money into many Chicago democrats' coffers, including Obama's.  He held at least one fundraiser for Obama.  NONE of this is Clinton's fault.  She did not "expose" this or influence any of it.  The Chicago papers are on this like ducks on a junebug.  

    Obama has not been named in the indictment and he has not been put on the witness list.


    Well I do believe that Jeralyn would be.... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:31:18 PM EST
    ...covering this trial whether Obama was involved in it or not. At least for me, potential Obama involvement is not what interests me about the trial. As a transplanted Chicagoan who grew up in the era of the original Mayor Daley I find the whole thing fascinating and somewhat nostalgic. ;-)

    I find it hard to believe that Jeralyn would (none / 0) (#33)
    by JoeA on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:49:34 PM EST
    be posting a daily update on this trial if it weren't for the current primary battle, adding an "as expected Obama wasn't mentioned today" at the end of each post.

    Well I think you are wrong... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:07:05 PM EST
    ...because a lot of people were interested in this case as it pertained to Fitzgerald's portfolio of government corruption cases. But I do agree that she probably wouldn't be mentioning the Obama part if he weren't running for president.

    Not Unusual (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:12:55 PM EST
    TL writes about cases that interest her. This one does, and many other cases have been followed closely by TL because of her interest in the case, for whatever reason.

    Jeralyn covers many trials (none / 0) (#83)
    by Prabhata on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:29:00 PM EST
    I can point to many trials that Jeralyn has written about.  Some of them I could care less, like the Duke mess. I don't put any ulterior motive about her report of the trial and any Obama reference because the association of Obama with Rezko, is part of the mix.  Jeralyn will report on details that she picks up but ignored by the regular press.

    In the grander scheme of things Rezko is a nobody (none / 0) (#86)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 05:10:31 AM EST
    and this trial would not be getting 1% of it's coverage if it weren't for the primary.

    Interestingly I read elsewhere that of Rezko's co-defendents most were Clinton donors and none had donated to Obama.  Not sure if that was referencing purely the primary or if it goes back any further.


    Obama knew (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:58:58 PM EST
    Rezko was the target of a federal investigation when he sought help from Rezko with his house deal - because it had been in Chicago papers for months.

    Obama's judgement clouded with self-interest (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Prabhata on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:33:41 PM EST
    The point that Obama would call a person under investigation is understood only in relation to his self-interest.  This is not a boneheaded mistake but bad judgment at best.

    Josey (4.50 / 2) (#57)
    by auntmo on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:29:38 PM EST
    Obama  has  also  now  admitted  that  Rezko  toured  the house  with  him when they  were  considering    making  a  bid on it.      

    Obama's own words say otherwise (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by catfish on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:02:16 PM EST
    I was shocked but here is my transcript of video from his 8-question press conference:
    "There have been several hundred stories written on this issue." "Tony Rezko is a friend" ... "he is now in trouble and is now on trial for corruption charges. Those charges are completely unrelated to me." "I had entered into a real estate transaction with him" "I have said that was a mistake because at that point there was already a cloud over Tony Rezko" ... "I don't excuse myself from having made a error"

    So, Quaker, iow, no. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:07:07 PM EST
    No one is suggesting there's evidence of Obama's complicity or cooperation in Mr. Rezko's criminal enterprise schemes.

    Agreed - no complicity (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by catfish on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    Just saying he knew Rezko was the target of investigation, and there "was a cloud over him" when he did the real estate transaction. He admits it was a "boneheaded move on my part".

    It just highlights judgement.

    As far is illegal, no Obama appears pretty clean.


    Say Otherwise? (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:07:01 PM EST
    Drop it. Obama never said that he knew he was accepting money illegally.

    you are missing one thing (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:37:23 PM EST
    To answer your last question, none. But your facts are not quite correct. Obama acknowledged he knew Rezko was under federal investigation when he engaged in a business transaction with his wife and sought his opinion on the matter. Goes to judgment, not wrongful conduct, but let's be clear on the facts.

    OK, "goes to judgment" (none / 0) (#64)
    by QuakerInABasement on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:40:45 PM EST
    OK, it "goes to judgment." What exactly does it say about his judgment? To say it "goes to judgment" is highly suggestive of...something.

    I'm just not sure what.


    Really good article (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jen on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:47:47 PM EST
    A slumlord is a slumlord (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by glennmcgahee on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:14:13 PM EST
    My take is if Obama was a friend of Rezko, and Rezko owned so much goverment subsidized housing for poor people, and some of the poor people had actually gone without heat for 5 months, and Rezko has access to millions of dollars, how on earth could a politician stand by and watch constituents suffer while a friend profits. Thats not exactly what I am hoping for in America.

    Link. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:26:44 PM EST
    Do you have a link which proves that Obama knew that Rezko buildings didn't have heat?

    There are lots of people who own lots of property in Chicago.  There are a number of people who allow portions of their property to be rented out to Section 8 tenants.  Not every single tenant who gains housing under Section 8 lives without heat or in slum-like conditions, nor is every building which allows for this type of renting under-code, without heat, etc. In fact, I'd say the vast, vast majority of Section 8 buildings are up to code.  Why do I say this?  Because by reporting buildings which aren't to the city, the property is foreclosed upon and either operated by the city or sold to someone who fixes it up.

    Yes, sometimes buildings fall through the cracks.  And it's likely Rezko knew how to circumvent fines, foreclosures, and other punitive measures in this regard.  But to say that Obama was not only aware, but essentially complicit with these situations is completely absurd, unless you can back it up with documented evidence.

    (Pardon my frustration.  I work for a moving company, and the misrepresentation and ignorance of the Chicago housing system is something I see on a near daily basis.  Not every section of public housing is slum, nor is every owner of said building a slum lord.  A lot of the buildings, particularly recently, are having hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, poured into them to improve conditions on a yearly basis.  My company provides a large number of moves from sub-code buildings and into better buildings, often pro-bono, and I've had enough of people saying they know the situation when they don't.)


    Here's a clip (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:59:30 PM EST
    from a Chicago station showing the dilapidated, unheated, unclean buildings that were in Obama's state senatorial district (and where he worked a a community organizer).  As you will see, the conditions were appalling-and obviously broadcast on the local news.  I imagine there were stories in the local paper.  So, the bigger question might be: how did Obama not know that this was going on in his district to his constituents?  His argument is that he was a community organizer and brought people together, yet he couldn't help people in his own district?

    Yesterday, one of the Chicago papers published a phone number asking Obama to call and go on the record with Rezko.  You'll see in the clip where Obama blasts by reporters wanting to ask him questions (the black SUV is very Matrix!)

    Maybe Obama should pick up his cell and talk to them so we know exactly what he knew and when he knew it?  Because I don't understand why he won't go on record with this.  There are more than 8 questions that need to be answered here.



    Example #1 (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:54:39 PM EST
    This was not Section 8, this was LIHTC, Low Income Housing Tax Credit Projects; Obama was the attorney for the Joint Venture non profit client with Rezmar.  The troubles with Rezko started i 97, Obama did the deal with house in 2005.  

    For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago's South Side.

    It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.

    It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.

    Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on.


    Example #1

    watch it. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:27:12 PM EST
    You can insult me all you like, but don't drag TL into this.

    yup, watch it! making negative comments (none / 0) (#81)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:00:22 PM EST
    about the blog is not acceptable.

    we always say (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:28:56 PM EST
    read at your own risk, TalkLeft often disagrees with the comments on the site. see the disclaimer on the front page, bottom right.

    GIve It A Rest (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:45:18 PM EST
    HRC is also a politician. Need I say more.

    But the problem (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by tree on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:13:20 PM EST
    with a response like that is that Obama is running as someone who is NOT an old-style politician.

    "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss"


    But A 'Politician' Nonetheless (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:28:46 PM EST
    yes, actually (none / 0) (#39)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:47:07 PM EST
    you do need to say more.  What exactly are you accusing Clinton of doing?  Or are you saying she has done just as many bad things, so it excuses any poor judgment on Obama's part?

    I Am Accusing HRC (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:03:57 PM EST
    Of being as much of a politician as BHO. Sorry to disappoint you she is not a Saint and has 'friends' that have turned out to be crooks too.

    Squeaky (none / 0) (#58)
    by auntmo on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:32:32 PM EST
    Like  who,  Squeaky?

    Name  the   friends  who  turned out to  be  "crooks,"  please.    


    Try Google (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:35:13 PM EST
    You will get a gold mine of dirt.

    Translation of Squeaky: (none / 0) (#62)
    by auntmo on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:38:46 PM EST
    I   can't  remember   any.  

    Got  it,   Squeaky.  Thank you  for playing.


    Wow (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:47:06 PM EST
    Talk about ODing on Kool Aid. To believe that HRC has had no shady associations in her political career. Obviously you are unable, or unwilling, to do your own research.

    BTW-Rezko has not been convicted of anything... yet.


    I hope it starts soon (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:40:14 PM EST
    I am dying to know why Hsu mentioned the candidate of "hope and change" in his suicide note.  Thank goodness the attempt failed!

    (and he contributed to Obama, too-granted, not as much, but he was just getting started)


    Too funny. (none / 0) (#69)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:51:08 PM EST
    The rumor is that in his suicide notes he blamed Obama for leaking his sordid criminal background to the press. He truly is a victim.

    I've heard different rumors (none / 0) (#70)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:53:17 PM EST
    I hope they move up the trial so we can find out which is true.

    Oooooh. A different conspiracy?! (none / 0) (#73)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 06:04:17 PM EST
    Mayhaps Hsu loaned money to Rita Rezko so she could pay off the bank and thereby subdivide her lot for Obama?

    Sounds delish.


    Really? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:44:02 PM EST
    Is this a real question, or are you joking? I mean really, Webb Hubbell, the Macdougall's any of this ringing a bell?

    I think that was 5 weeks was it not (none / 0) (#65)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:43:40 PM EST
    also did not Senator Reid who when a perception of a land deal he was involved in was being exploited request the Senate ethics committee to review the deal, Obama should do that and get this behind him.

    Totally Different (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:48:57 PM EST
    Situation. Try google.

    so do you actually (none / 0) (#72)
    by SarahinCA on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:58:30 PM EST
    want people to know what you are talking about or are you going to continue with this stock reply?  If you have evidence post it, otherwise, your accusations are meaningless.  

    Why Would I Want (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 06:06:08 PM EST
    To Slime HRC. I voted for her. The question came up because some commenters here are fond of sliming BHO. If they can so adeptly google dirt about BHO they can easily dig up up garbage about HRC. Try it yourself if it turns you on, it is not my thing. I save that kind of work for the GOP.

    Most Pols have connections with slime bags. I take it as a given. Most are also not criminals, at least on the dem side of the aisle.

    If you are interested in the mounds of dirt on HRC be my guest, it is a google entry away. Sorry it is not my thing.


    Oh My (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by tek on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:27:32 PM EST
    Looks like another big scandal in IL!  Love those Chicago politics.

    Rusty, returns now we really will relive the 90s (none / 0) (#66)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:45:39 PM EST
    Read Glenn Greenwalds The "Rezko" Game (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Independence33 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 12:12:06 PM EST
    All of you who think its just a great idea that this Rezko crap get pushed should please read this article written by Greenwald. He compares it to Whitewater which I have been doing for awhile on this site to much disdain. This has nothing to do with Obama period and it will hurt our party. Of all the people, you Clinton supporters should be the first ones to vilify this practice of tying in our Democratic leaders to this nonsense. Please, Jeralyn and Talk Left, lay off this non-story and dont be part of this. I understand that you dont like Obama but dont let this be the reason. It is really hypocritical.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#2)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:27:47 AM EST
    About a month and a half ago, Chicago Trib was suggesting that individual A or B don't remember was Obama?  Has that been confirmed?  

    Yes I am looking for the article link for you (none / 0) (#3)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:32:55 AM EST
    he was the 10,000K it was in the paper and that night Obama gave the 10,000 to charity.  I have it somewhere he I belive was B.

    Found it (none / 0) (#19)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:39:49 PM EST
    Hmm (none / 0) (#20)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:43:46 PM EST
    All eyes on Rezko power ties
    CORRUPTION TRIAL | Obama, governor among big names to be dropped

    February 26, 2008


    I don't think that's right (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:33:43 AM EST
    I think the only reference to Obama is as the unnamed national politician whose campaign received contributions from one or two individuals, one of whom I believe is individual "D" at the direction of Rezko. Again, no indication that Obama had any reason to know the contribution from "D" or any other individual was tainted, if it was.

    hmm could be correct (none / 0) (#7)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:41:29 AM EST
    was that the 10,000 K donation, the Sun Times and Tribune Brown web site is down or something I cant pull the articles...

    "Individual D" (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:11:23 PM EST
    Aramanda was identified by the Sun-Times as "Individual D," who allegedly received a $250,000 kickback tied to a scheme to steer lucrative state pension deals to firms and consultants that donated to Blagojevich.

    Did Obama hire Aramanda's son (none / 0) (#23)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:01:37 PM EST
    to intern in his senate office?

    Aramanda's son was an intern on (none / 0) (#49)
    by LatinoVoter on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:17:20 PM EST
    a campaign or something after Rezko called and asked him to give the guy the position.

    lots of political donors (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:26:36 PM EST
    have sons or daughters who are interns.  Not a huge deal in and of itself.

    only for five weeks, that's no big deal (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:27:08 PM EST
    I didn't say it was, I was just answering (none / 0) (#77)
    by LatinoVoter on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 07:45:40 PM EST
    the poster above who asked.  But I think the internship was a big deal because it will benefit someone who got it only because of money.

    Can you imagine if those highly sought spots where filled by a future Barack or Hillary? How much more of a leg up does Aramanda's son have in life because his resume says he was an intern on the Obama campaign?

    I don't really care except for the part of me that realizes that you can't get anywhere in Chicago or Il unless you know someone who knows someone or you can spread a lot of money around. :0)


    Add: "Individual D" (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:20:57 PM EST
    Aramanda has contributed $11,500 to Obama's campaigns since 2000, Gibbs said. He gave $1,000 toward Obama's run for Congress against Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) in 2000; $500 to Obama's Senate campaign in 2003 and $10,000 to his Senate campaign in 2004, Gibbs said.

    Gibbs said John Aramanda served in Obama's Capitol Hill office from July 20 to Aug. 26, 2005, during which he received an $804 cost-of-living stipend. Aramanda was one of nearly 100 interns who worked for Obama in 2005, Gibbs said.

    thanks for answering my question (none / 0) (#25)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:02:20 PM EST
    Ehn (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:08:50 PM EST
    politicians routinely hire interns who are the sons or daughters of big donors/supporters.  That's not the part that bothers me.

    I believe the Times (London, not NY) (none / 0) (#34)
    by JoeA on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:53:47 PM EST
    came out and claimed last week that Obama was un-named politician (a,b,c, or whatever) who was named as having been given a political donation of $10,000.

    No allegation of actual wrongdoing,  and given the Times putting a very pro Hillary slant on it's coverage of the US primaries I'm not going to rely too much on their coverage as being gospel.  


    London Times = Murdoch (none / 0) (#40)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:47:27 PM EST
    FBI mole (none / 0) (#60)
    by auntmo on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:36:19 PM EST
    in  the   Rezko  operation  also  said  Obama  was  always  appearing  at   Rezko  meetings   and involved in multiple  "fundraising"  conversations.