Rezko Guilty Verdict: The Relevance

Bump and Update: My long thoughts on the relevance of Rezko's conviction are below:

Earlier: Guilty on 16 of 24 counts.

Here's the blank verdict form (pdf)listing the counts.

The Rezko verdict will be announced in five minutes.

Guilty on one count, more counts still being read

Guilty on more than one count.No cameras in the courtroom.

My thoughts on the verdict below:

First, I don't like the guilty verdicts. I was hoping the jury would reject the testimony of star snitch and lowlife Stuart Levine, who in exchange for singing about Rezko, is going from a sentencing guideline range of life in prison to 67 months, assuming the Judge does what the prosecutor wants. Levine's plea agreement is here.

Second, as to Obama, this trial was not about him. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest any connection between him and the illegal activity charged in the case. The Government said so. Obama's name was barely mentioned at the trial.

Rezko's case is important in the context of government corruption in Illinois. This is a state that put more innocent people on death row than guilty people. The Republican Governor, George Ryan, emptied death row and imposed a moratorium. He was later indicted on corruption charges, tried and convicted, a case I followed continuously here at TalkLeft. He is now serving 6.5 years in federal prison.

As I've written several times, Obama was instrumental in getting state legislation passed to require mandatory taping of interrogations to reduce false confessions and confessions that are beaten out of people and in reforming the Illinois death penalty system. He is to be credited for that. Police brutality, torture and coverups by the cops in Chicago has been well-documented, including in the fine investigative reports in the Chicago Tribune by reporters like Maurice Possley, Steve Mills and Ken Armstrong. I have been highlighting these problems on TalkLeft since I began blogging in 2002.

What's significant about Rezko's trial are the allegations of corruption in the current Illinois governor's administration. The allegations aren't limited to Republicans or to Governor Ryan. We don't know if the current Democratic Governor will be indicted, or now that Rezko has been convicted, whether Rezko will cooperate with that probe. There are also other defendants and probable defendants in related investigations (all mentioned in my prior posts on Rezko's trial) that have yet to conclude their cases.

Not one of these corruption investigations has anything to do with Barack Obama. What they have in common is they show there is something rotten in Illinois politics and it has yet to be fully weeded out. Its systemic, it carries through from one administration to the next, business as usual.

So it is completely unfair to say that Obama should be under some kind of cloud or suspicion of illegal conduct for his association with Rezko.

But as I wrote here, it does call his judgment into question. He said as just 3 months ago when he sat down with the reporters at the Chicago Sun Times:

Is Rezko still a friend?

"Yes,'' Obama said, "with the caveat if it turns out the allegations are true, then he's not who I thought he was, and I'd be very disappointed with that.''

And it's that friendship, Obama said, that probably kept him from realizing it was a mistake to enter into a real estate deal with Rezko.

"Probably because I'd known him for a long time, and he'd acted in an aboveboard manner with me," he said. "And I considered him a friend. ... It's further evidence that I'm not perfect.''

On the question of Obama's judgment regarding Rezko, and why it isn't comparable to something like Norman Hsu, see here. As I wrote then,
Obama says voters who are concerned about his judgment should view his involvement with Rezko as "a mistake in not seeing the potential conflicts of interest."

Obama says despite his mistakes (engaging in personal real estate deals with someone under criminal investigation who was a contributor to his multiple campaigns for public office and involved in politics -- and his failure to spot the potential conflicts of interest) voters should "also "see somebody who is not engaged in any wrongdoing . . . and who they can trust."

I think that's a fair statement of what voters should ask themselves. For me, I see someone who is not engaged in any wrongdoing, but the trust issue gives me pause.

Now, having had months to follow Obama's campaign closely , I can say for me, as a voter, he's passed the trust test with respect to his character. He's honest and he has integrity.

But there's more than integrity at stake when we put trust in our future leaders. We also have to trust their ability to lead us and their experience and judgment are very much a part of that. Obama's failure to spot both the warning signs and clear indicators of conflicts of interest with Rezko do go to the issue of experience and judgment.

As Obama said, voters will have to decide that issue for themselves.

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    Chicago Tribune says (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:50:20 PM EST
    guilty on at least one count - don't know which one.

    From the Salon.com article in (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by nativenycer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:28:00 PM EST

    Obama, on the other hand, seems to have derived some material benefit from his friendship with Rezko. During his first year in the Senate, flush with the book advance for "The Audacity of Hope," Obama and his wife decided to trade up from a condo to a bigger, more secure home in Kenwood, a South Side neighborhood of turreted, balconied piles popular with University of Chicago econ professors looking to blow their Nobel Prize loot.

    They found a $1.65 million house with four fireplaces, a wine cellar and a black wrought-iron fence. The doctor who lived there also owned the vacant lot next door and, although the properties were listed separately, wanted to sell both at the same time.

    Despite their new income, the Obamas could not have afforded both parcels. The Obamas closed on their house in June 2005. On the same day, Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the vacant lot for $625,000.

    They later sold a portion of the lot to the Obamas, for $104,500, so the family could expand its yard. The Rezkos then paid $14,000 to build a fence along the property line.



    From the Chicago Sun Times (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by nativenycer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:49:19 PM EST
    The building in Englewood was one of 30 Rezmar rehabbed in a series of troubled deals largely financed by taxpayers. Every project ran into financial difficulty. More than half went into foreclosure, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

    "Their buildings were falling apart,'' said a former city official. "They just didn't pay attention to the condition of these buildings.''

    Eleven of Rezko's buildings were in Obama's state Senate district....

    Rezko and Mahru had no construction experience when they created Rezmar in 1989 to rehabilitate apartments for the poor under the Daley administration. Between 1989 and 1998, Rezmar made deals to rehab 30 buildings, a total of 1,025 apartments. The last 15 buildings involved Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland during Obama's time with the firm.

    Rezko and Mahru also managed the buildings, which were supposed to provide homes for poor people for 30 years. Every one of the projects ran into trouble:

    • Seventeen buildings -- many beset with code violations, including a lack of heat -- ended up in foreclosure.

    • Six buildings are currently boarded up.

    • Hundreds of the apartments are vacant, in need of major repairs.

    • Taxpayers have been stuck with millions in unpaid loans.

    • At least a dozen times, the city of Chicago sued Rezmar for failure to heat buildings.


    From what I've read (none / 0) (#228)
    by Jeannie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:24:37 PM EST
    there is a good deal more to it than that. The large single lot was subdivided only for this sale, and Michelle was on the committee that approved this (it needed approval because it is a heritage house). So Obama and Rezko bought the properties on the same day - with Obama paying $300,000 less than the price on his part and Rezko paying full price. Now, the part Rezko bought for $650,000 was actually Obama's lawn and driveway.
    All this may be legal, but it is certainly fishy....

    Guilty 16 counts (none / 0) (#48)
    by Leisa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:01:04 PM EST
    not guilty 8. Chicago Sun-times...

    Jeralyn, any ideas as to what this means? (none / 0) (#106)
    by jawbone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:28:07 PM EST
    Read on RezkoWatch blog that he was found not guilty on the extortin charge, which sounds to me, a nonlawyer, like a biggie.

    But I really don't know--would appreciate your input and analysis.


    Count 16 was predicted (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:32:58 PM EST
    to be the count that hung the jury. It was the extortion count, despite the name, not a biggie. Not compared to the multiple convictions on the other counts. See my explanation of the extortion count here.

    David Shuster is not giving very good report on (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jawbone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:55:00 PM EST
    Rezko verdict--MessNBC protection of their fave Dem?

    Have the various counts been determined to all be guilty verdict?

    When Shuster subbed for Ed Schultz (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:25:44 PM EST
    a few weeks ago, he airily dismissed the Rezko affair as being a big bunch of nothing.

    On the other hand, he said if Hillary were to be nominated that all kinds of new stuff, important stuff, was going to explode about...get ready for this...the Travel Office.

    Shuster is such a tool.


    NPR and the BBC both looked at (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:38:54 PM EST
    And said there was nothing to it, outside of the relationship.  No criminal acts in other words.

    Outside of the relationship? (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by pie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:44:18 PM EST
    Well, okay.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

    As far as anyone knows. (none / 0) (#146)
    by vicsan on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:45:26 PM EST
    NOW is the time they will more than likely get the info they are after. I would think, but I'm no attorney...so I could be wrong.

    How can he be (none / 0) (#148)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:45:46 PM EST
    guilty if they aren't criminal acts?  There would be no charges if they weren't criminal acts.  By virtue of the fact he was arrested and went to court, these are criminal acts.  

    So long as there was no conviction (5.00 / 0) (#158)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:54:06 PM EST
    journalists could say that there was no there there. A mortgage deal with this guy is a political headache for November. A twenty year long political ascoiation with his is also a headache.

    Yeah. (5.00 / 0) (#162)
    by pie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:55:53 PM EST
    Just like Whitewater.



    it 's a headache. (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:12:41 PM EST
    That's all i'm saying.

    Somehow Starr turned a Whitewater headache into Monicagate and an impeachment trial--a political yellow fever.

    Do you now see?


    THE TRAVEL OFFICE (none / 0) (#254)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 08:21:12 PM EST
    My God. Then I suppose we would have been treated to filegate, Vince Foster, etc., etc.

    I read an AP story a week or so back, may have been a Nedra Pickler special, that threw a bunch of this old pseudo-scandal crap in just for good measure along with the usual WWTSBQ.

    Of course all those youth voters were too young to remember any of this stuff. The press so often knows who the suckers are.

    All this for the sake of nominating someone clearly not ready for prime time.

    Absolute madness.


    Obama response to Rezko verdict (5.00 / 3) (#241)
    by Josey on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:47:09 PM EST
    LOL - from Riverdaughter -

    UPDATE: In comments, Pat Johnson breaks the news on Obama's statement in response to the verdicts.

    I would like to apologize for my past associations, which also include my white grandmother, and pastor, and visiting pastor, and chief fund raiser, and wife, and anybody else in the future who may come out of the woodwork who will reflect badly on me and whom I will have to disavow.

    They do not reflect my values. They do not reflect my beliefs. They are not what my campaign is all about. I stress hope and change as the model of the message I am attempting to convey.

    I never knew what Rev. Wright said in his sermons. I was busy directing the cars in the parking lot when he said those things. Some Sundays I just slept in.

    Rev. Pfleger deceived me and I am sorry I ever contributed or passed legislation on his behalf in the amount of thousands of dollars. He told me he was only an amateur comic and impersonator and had I known he was going national I would have distanced myself long before. Sorry.

    Even though our association goes back some 17 years and we spoke daily during my various campaigns, I hardly knew Tony Rezko. Simply because we vacationed together we always had separate rooms.

    I always knew Michele to be soft and sweet and deferential to me. However, I can only say that this militant side of her is something I never noticed before. She will remain in Chicago when I take up residence in the WH.

    I hope that I have managed to clear up any misconceptions you may have had about me because of these people. As I have said often in my campaign, in that same speech you have heard repeated over and over and over, you can trust me. I am the Transcender after all.


    Excellent. (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by vicsan on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:55:29 PM EST
    Perfect timing. My guess is GUILTY on all counts.

    A few days ago they were conflicted on (none / 0) (#43)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:00:09 PM EST
    one count, so I guess it would be hard to say if it is all, part...

    Lynn Sweet said (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by americanincanada on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:56:25 PM EST
    Guilty of 5 so far

    fox (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by CHDmom on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:57:05 PM EST
    fox said so far guilty of 16 counts

    keep 'em coming....next I want to hear he will (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:01:32 PM EST
    get a fine and probation because he rolled over on some people.

    Fox says guilty on 16 counts (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by badu on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:57:09 PM EST

    GUILTY 16 of 24 counts!!! (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by vicsan on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:57:32 PM EST
    Ruh Roh!

    All I know is that (5.00 / 15) (#25)
    by madamab on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:57:38 PM EST
    Obama barely knew Rezko, so who cares?

    The Republicans will not dare to bring this up anyway. They always run fair and truth-based campaigns.

    /drinks more Kool-Aid

    Obama is screwed either way (4.50 / 8) (#73)
    by Exeter on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:07:14 PM EST
    If he does know Rezko well enough to buy a house with him, then it shows poor judgement in who he chooses to hang out with. If he does not Rezko very well... then wtf is he buying house with somebody he barely knows? BTW, I thought Obama has charactorized their relationship as "friends" in the past?

    After this (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:38:12 PM EST
    Rezko will be someone Obama barely knows.  

    Probably wouldn't recognize him if he ran into him on the street.  


    Turn the page! (none / 0) (#135)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:40:05 PM EST
    Move on!

    Like George didn't know Kenny Boy (5.00 / 5) (#159)
    by MontanaMaven on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:54:34 PM EST
    Probably (none / 0) (#198)
    by Andy08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:41:24 PM EST
    wouldn't recognize him after being thrown under the bus.

    What about sentencing? When does that take place and what are the possibilities? I'm sure Jeralyn wrote about this before;  a link would be appreciated.


    CNN guilty of 16 (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by bjorn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:58:00 PM EST

    guilty on 4 of first 5 says the Sun Times (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by karen for Clinton on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:58:18 PM EST

    CNN just had a screen (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by badu on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:59:00 PM EST
    but unfortunately they have cafferty bashing hillary again, so I have to change the channel

    So now Tony can roll over for leniency (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ineedalife on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:00:07 PM EST
    I know the immediate target is Blago. But Tony may have bigger chips to bargain with. Of course he may have Jan 21 circled on his calender with party hats drawn all around it. His appeal should keep him quiet that long.

    Plea bargains occur before trial, not after (none / 0) (#205)
    by seanwright on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:48:35 PM EST
    Can't they negotiate on sentencing, (none / 0) (#256)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 08:57:35 PM EST
    though?  Assuming he knows where some bodies are buried.  I think that's not unusual.

    The Company One Keeps (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by Redshoes on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:00:17 PM EST
    Well no wonder the urgency to declare the nomination.  They were racing the jury -- this would have stepped on the that a bit.  

    trib's article (none / 0) (#78)
    by Redshoes on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:08:23 PM EST
    Sad commentary (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Redshoes on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:19:44 PM EST
    "The trial also provided ample fodder for cynics who see Illinois politicians as members of a cozy club motivated more by greed than altruism or ideology."

    I think last year (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:42:03 PM EST
    the Trib ran a story that Illinois has more pols under indictment than any other state in the union, really embarassing and demonstrates how ingrained it is. Pretty pathetic for such a stronghold of demos.

    Illinois, it's a sad "state" of affairs. (none / 0) (#182)
    by AX10 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:20:56 PM EST

    Best anniversary present, thanks. (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:01:19 PM EST

    No gloating, Stellaaa! (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:02:51 PM EST
    Still, I am more (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:07:20 PM EST
    angry about the housing money he used to gamble.  URG.  But Obama did not know, I forget.  

    Suspicious minds (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:03:39 PM EST
    "wondering" who the hold out juror was...I know, but it is Chicago.  

    I do hope the Clinton campaign, including (5.00 / 6) (#87)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:12:16 PM EST
    Bill Clinton, say "no comment" re this verdict.*

    Perfect answer. (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:29:50 PM EST
    Or "I'm not familiar with that topic.  You should ask someone who knows more about that than I do.".

    (aka None of my business.)


    Didn't Rezko's "associates" (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:13:34 PM EST
    spring for his very high bail?

    Oh, yes they did!  $8.5 MIL worth!

    Anyone here have friends like that?  Anyone here need friends like that?

    Wasn't that Auchi? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by vicsan on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:29:42 PM EST
    I can't remember. Auchi is the man who wired Mrs. Rezko the money to buy the lot on BO's property so he could afford his mansion......and they just happened to close those 2 real estate deals on the same day, but they don't know each other.
    ~~rolling eyes~~

    He was also the guy who wired Rezko Millions and the authorities then thought Rezko was going to flee and that's when they arrested him.


    Article doesn't say. (none / 0) (#115)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:31:20 PM EST
    No names named.
    I just googled up the one article though.

    Ha Ha..... (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by apolitiko on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:13:42 PM EST
    ....it's kind of fun to watch Obama supporters spin this over in places like Mydd. Please tell me 16 guilty counts won't have some effect on Obama.

    It's plain bad news. (5.00 / 6) (#95)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:17:27 PM EST
    It couldn't be more poorly timed.

    Obama the Dem nominee!
    Obama's friend Rezko convicted of doing dirty business with politicians!

    Can you feel the g-forces?


    Obama is going to (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by Grace on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:42:21 PM EST
    run his campaign based on that "Good Judgment" he has.  Uh huh.  

    Speaking of timing (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:58:49 PM EST
    I read on a previous TL thread today that Obama's campaign is accusing McCain of shady financials.

    That's the pattern, accuse the other side of your behavior and get the dogs off your scent.


    They'll need Hillary more than ever (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:03:11 PM EST
    How else will they keep the media from spending time on the story?  Quick!  Talk about Clinton!

    Obama's "twenty years of service" seems to cut both ways.  Twenty years of doing what and with whom?


    Will MessNBC even mention it? Anything on NPR? (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by jawbone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:31:42 PM EST
    Can anyone imagine the MCM fever pitch if this were some case tied to the Clintons? Or even a big Clinton donor?

    Who needs the MSM (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:38:16 PM EST
    when you have 527s?

    so why are you here if all the fun (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:50:26 PM EST
    is at mydd?

    Ha. CNN "reports" Rezko guilty.. (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Shainzona on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:13:58 PM EST
    on some counts.

    Some?  How about 16 or 14 counts!

    Uh oh. (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by pie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:19:06 PM EST
    A federal jury today convicted political fundraiser Antoin Rezko, a longtime backer of Sen. Barack Obama, of influence peddling in the high councils of Illinois state government.

    And so it begins...

    The big fish they are after is (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by gabbyone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:23:24 PM EST
     Governor Blagojevich...and that is where Obama comes in.  There was a vote Obama made in the State Senate to move some money that could be the one that gets the presumed Presidential nominee.

    It's more than that. (4.40 / 5) (#111)
    by Boston Boomer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:29:58 PM EST
    Obama sponsored legislation to allow Blagovich to reduce the size of a health care board so that he could control it and get kickbacks.

    rephrase your comment (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:36:36 PM EST
    that was not the purpose of Obama's legislation.

    Your first comment was false as well.

    Do not post false information here.


    I'm sorry, Jerelyn. (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Boston Boomer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:05:26 PM EST
    I did think it was true.  It won't happen again.

    Link? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:32:32 PM EST

    google is your friend (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by karen for Clinton on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:41:39 PM EST
    You can also try the archives of any Chicago daily, they've been reporting about it for years.

    Or of course any Hillary board search.

    Sorry if you find me snarky, but I am weary from saying vet your candidate for a year.


    If someone brings up the subject (none / 0) (#156)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:52:28 PM EST
    I expect them to provide the link.

    Especially with all the garbage floating around the internet.  One person's amazing piece of investigative journalism may be another's conspiracy theory.


    I can't figure out how to post a link here. (none / 0) (#171)
    by Boston Boomer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:07:08 PM EST
    As I said, it won't happen again.  I'm not a regular offender.  Please excuse my excitement this time?

    Hey, BB (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Davidson on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:10:07 PM EST
    Just highlight the words and then click on the icon that looks like a chain/link (third from right).  Paste the link in the box that shows up and press OK.

    Note, too (none / 0) (#190)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:30:13 PM EST
    if your browser is set not to allow, a bar the width of your screen will appear, click on it and select "temporarily allow....", then click the LINK button above the comment box again to get the popup you need to paste your link into.

    See that little chain in your comment section? (none / 0) (#185)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:25:20 PM EST
    Click on it and it will ask you for http address.Insert the address and click ok: Then between the >< insert the name you want to call it such as Yahoo. Then it will be linked.yahoo

    This lady has written it all up (none / 0) (#136)
    by befuddled on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:40:17 PM EST
    in (to the non-legal mind)numbing detail:
    Scroll down to her articles, the part about the hospital I think is in Chapter IV or V. She repeats herself too.

    Illinois Political (none / 0) (#255)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 08:41:25 PM EST
    gunk is bi-partisan.  Former Governor Ryan (R)is in the slammer and now his Democratic successor is exhibiting an odor.

    Is this what Obama means by unity?


    the next DKos headline you will see is (5.00 / 7) (#114)
    by p lukasiak on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:30:36 PM EST

    LOL. You bet. (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:31:53 PM EST
    And the Top Rec Diary (5.00 / 4) (#149)
    by BDB on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:45:47 PM EST
    "How Hillary Clinton Framed Rezko"

    LOL; yep (5.00 / 0) (#201)
    by Andy08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:43:11 PM EST
    he was "only" convicted on 2 out of 3 counts !!!  

    These guys are really so pathetic that'd be laughable if it were not related to the US Presidency...


    My favorite headline of this type was (none / 0) (#216)
    by andrys on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:11:22 PM EST
    the one someone posted re what the headlines would be
    for West Virginia's primary

     Clinton places next to last"

    What's funny is that HuffPost did treat that 41-point win
    as a tiny font sub-heading without percentage points mentioned, underneath a huge-font headline about an Obama accomplishment of the moment.


    Good News (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by seanwright on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:35:25 PM EST
    The trials over, nothing bad came out about Obama.  Time to move on.

    nothing bad except Obama's judgment (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Josey on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:53:49 PM EST
    Hmm...didn't Obama base his campaign on his "good judgment"?
    Oh wait - that only involved his opposition to the war before he was a senator and couldn't vote.
    But when he could vote, he was all for it.
    And when he could buy a lot from a friend under federal investigation,
    he was all for it.

    Man.. (5.00 / 5) (#125)
    by JustJennifer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:36:32 PM EST
    Can you imagine if this case was about someone tied closely to the Clintons?  The MSM would be acting very differently right now.

    Exactlly... (5.00 / 1) (#237)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:41:51 PM EST
    And I hate to quibble, but if this is an indication of a systemic political problem in IL, then it DOES reflect somewhat on Obama.  He is a PRODUCT of the IL political system, and came out of that system.  And he IS connected to Rezko at LEAST as a close friend and associate, so it does reflect on his JUDGMENT at best.

    LOL! (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by vicsan on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:36:55 PM EST
    Why are you so sad?:) ROTFLMAO!

    I know EXACTLY how you feel! I'm ECSTATIC!

    The MSM will drop this like (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by kenosharick on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:41:10 PM EST
    a hot potato to concentrate on the veep contest and continue bashing Hillary. I wonder. If she were the veep, woud the MSM stop attacking her to help Obama?

    If you want (5.00 / 0) (#203)
    by Andy08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:45:51 PM EST
    good and serious coverage go to foreign press; Times Online or BBC.

    The MSM is not media in a journalistic sense any more; it's just a lousy reality show.


    Let's not be so judgmental. (5.00 / 8) (#151)
    by OrangeFur on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:46:38 PM EST
    Let she or he who is without close friends who have been convicted of sixteen crimes in federal court throw the first stone.

    More info. (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Fabian on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:47:39 PM EST
    The jury convicted Rezko of wire and mail fraud, money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery. He was acquitted of attempted extortion.

    Chi Trib reports.

    Rezko Convicted (5.00 / 0) (#195)
    by roywalser on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:33:50 PM EST
    Anyone who has followed this story could see this coming for months. I'm sure Hillary could as well and this may be the reason she has hung on so long. Mr Obama is hip deep in the "board games" illegality and would likely be the big fish Fitzgerald would love to land. Look for Rezko to sing some not so pretty tunes for our "new politics" candidate.

    Once Obama had his hand in deeper pockets.... (5.00 / 0) (#199)
    by ineedalife on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:41:41 PM EST
    he returned Rezko's tainted money. I do think that is relevant. The American people should know that  the seed money for Obama's political career may have been looted from the Illinois pension funds. They may not care, but they should know.

    I do not cast any negatives on whether (5.00 / 0) (#202)
    by zfran on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:44:16 PM EST
    there is anything more to Obama and Resko, however, it was reported that during the trial (or at least during the first days of the trail,) Obama had a representative in the courtroom taking notes. Why??

    Good analysis, TL (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by scribe on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:52:04 PM EST
    I think the same thing can be said about Chicago politics as being corrupt, as (a long time ago) a former US Attorney being interviewed about the pervasive, generational corruption in Newark, NJ was reported to have said:  "I have no explanation for why [it is so persistent, even in the face of our best efforts].  I think it's in the water."

    A former partner of mine went to law school in Chicago and one of his friends/classmates was also an up-and-coming pol.  You worked your ward.  If people would put out yard signs, they got first dibs on new trash cans of the municipally-required design.  Around election time, the guy had a pickup full of new trash cans....  It starts from there.

    You also note:

    Police brutality and torture by the cops in Chicago has been well-documented, including in the fine investigative reports in the Chicago Tribune by reporters like Maurice Possley and Ken Armstrong and others. I have been highlighting these problems on TalkLeft since I began blogging in 2002.

    IIRC, was not one of the original lead interrogators at GITMO a reservist, who in civilian life was a Chicago detective (and tangled up in tortured-defendants'-confession cases)?  

    Rezko's fundraiser for Obama's... (5.00 / 0) (#211)
    by citizen53 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:04:48 PM EST
    senate campaign, that seemed to skirt FEC rules, was  also a troublesome episode.  Not illegal, but an indicator that illusions can be deceiving.

    Open Secrets (none / 0) (#249)
    by suisser on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 07:07:10 PM EST
    Very interesting info on both fundraising and spending by the candidates LINK

    DNC fundraiser (none / 0) (#261)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 03:02:54 PM EST
    - The night before Obama announced the revised faux-saintliness of DNC donation guidelines, as well as renovations to the usual back-door, he starred at a $28,500 per plate DNC fundraiser.

    If you want to see something spectacularly funny, take a look at the reported lobbying income of Sidley-Austin, the law & lobbying firm where Obama interned and met his wife.

    It spikes bigtime after Obama reached D.C.

    Nothing like hoping for change, eh?


    dear Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by dem08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:24:35 PM EST
    I HAVE had my comments here removed and I support Obama.

    But/and/however, despite MY comments being struck occasionally and my support for Obama, I love Talk Left.

    The poster who uses Seymour Glass is out of line when he criticizes you, Jeralyn, and when he criticizes Talk Left. You have built something great here. You do not need me to defend you, but I am because Talk Left is valuable and rare.

    I don't read Kos or too many pro-Obama blogs. I prefer political discussions that are not based on "winner takes all". Talk Left allows me to understand the passion of pro-Hillary people.

    I wish there were a similar pro-Obama site. Holy Moonbeams, I wish there were a similar pro-McCain site.

    We need more civility and less contempt.

    Seymour Glass (none / 0) (#242)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:47:43 PM EST
    has been removed from the site.

    Chicago Tribune (5.00 / 1) (#246)
    by Andy08 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:51:37 PM EST
    has extensive coverage along with a very good time-line of the Rezko-Obama long relationship  --scroll down) and the MLS Property listings of this slumloard--as Hillary correctly called him in the SC debate


    The Tribune has a very interesting quote (note second paragraph Obama indeed throws Rezko under the bus; gosh it's summertime and with all that crowd must be suffocating under there)

    Rezko's guilty verdict on 16 of 24 corruption counts could have broad repercussions for Blagojevich, who made Rezko a central player in his kitchen cabinet. It could also prove a political liability for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser, as the likely Democratic presidential nominee heads into the general election campaign against Republican John McCain.

    "I'm saddened by today's verdict," Obama said Wednesday. "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future."

    As if he didn't know.... Please .... If you don't know about this; watch NBC Local Reporting on some of this  

    It is shameful what it was done to these poor people; no heating in Chicago's winter.   This was Obama's district.

    Sorry, but not much integrity here.


    RNC has just put out its first (5.00 / 1) (#257)
    by gabbyone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 08:59:00 PM EST
    Obama's honest and has integrity? (3.66 / 3) (#210)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:57:56 PM EST
    I'm sorry, but I don't agree; a person of honesty and integrity would not have done the despicable things this man has done throughout the campaign.  I'm not going to bother to list them, because we all know what they were.

    Obama's told multiple versions of his relationship with Tony Rezko; it seems like someone who had nothing to hide would not have had to do that.  He's done the same thing with Ayers and Auchi and Wright; that's a pattern I'm not very comfortable with.

    Maybe all Obama is guilty of is being a user of the first order, someone who seeks out people who can serve as rungs on the ladder he needs to reach his ultimate goals.  All I can say is, I hope he likes the view, because his practice is to kick out those rungs once he's moved up - and a fall from atop that ladder is going to be a pretty hard one without any rungs to rest on on the way down.

    If Obama not having been convicted - or even accused - of any crimes is the standard for judging his honesty and integrity, all I can say is, that's a bar that's set a little too low for me, and I suspect, for millions of other Americans.  

    Sorry if this violates any of the rules, but I could not let these things go unchallenged.

    Just one count? (none / 0) (#14)
    by masslib on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:55:05 PM EST

    Fox News is saying guilty (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Boston Boomer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:00:17 PM EST
    on 16 counts.

    Guilty on 16 of 26 counts so far (none / 0) (#30)
    by swiss473 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:58:26 PM EST

    I can't get in to ChiTrib site--hammered? (none / 0) (#31)
    by jawbone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:58:41 PM EST

    SunTImes: Guilty on 16 (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jawbone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:01:07 PM EST
    guilty on 16 charges against him -- including mail and wire fraud -- and not guilty of eight charges.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#33)
    by americanincanada on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:58:57 PM EST
    Is it possible for Rezko to mitigate his sentence by implicating Obama in something?

    Heck yeah, anything is possible (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by angie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:01:07 PM EST
    and the feds always like trading up for the bigger, sexier fish.

    have you missed the last 8 years? (none / 0) (#239)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:46:05 PM EST
    The president is going to control quite a bit more that you either think or pretend to think.  he will not sign bills that ruin his 2012 chances.

    UHC demands of the signatory the sacrifice of re-election prospects.  It's what happened to labour when they passed the NHS into law.


    Will Rezko sing for his sentence? (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 03:59:12 PM EST

    He could always (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by LoisInCo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:00:04 PM EST
    hold out for a Pardon.

    Or a commutation (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by madamab on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:03:05 PM EST
    a la Scooter Libby?

    I think he'd have to sit (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:07:52 PM EST
    in jail for 5 years before the pardon would come.

    I suspect he prefers to sing if he has anything to sing about.


    Hola... (4.00 / 4) (#57)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:02:09 PM EST
    now, get him for the Housing Projects and I will be happy.  

    Nah... (none / 0) (#248)
    by NWHiker on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:57:34 PM EST
    Don't get him for the housing projects, make him spend a winter in one.

    Question? (none / 0) (#47)
    by JustJennifer on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:00:28 PM EST
    I am curious.. there has been talk that if he is found guilty he will try to strike a deal and throw people under the bus.  Some have even suggested he would do this to Obama.  I don't understand that type of thinking - wouldn't he have already done this if there was anything there?  While I understand this story is newsworthy because he knew Obama I don't think there is anything damaging to his campaign here.

    As I recall, Obama most recently (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:02:26 PM EST
    stated Rezko is his friend, but he may need to reevaluate if Rezko is convicted.  

    Make room for one more (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by madamab on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:03:39 PM EST
    under our bus!

    Nah (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by BDB on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:30:25 PM EST
    Obama will speak very carefully about Tony Rezko.  Even if Obama did nothing illegal, he won't want Rezko to be tempted to try to make it into something it's not because he's angry at Obama.

    True, but... (none / 0) (#253)
    by jackyt on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 08:05:46 PM EST
    we're not basing our campaigns for the presidency on our superior judgment.

    He could have rolled before the trial, true (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by angie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:05:09 PM EST
    because you never know what a jury is going to do. BUT by that same token, you might be able to beat it. So, why give up names before you absolutely have to -- that goes on a lot with criminal mindsets. I do like how you are pretending this guy only "knew" Obama --like some kind of social friend seen every blue moon at a cocktail party though. Hope for your sake that is the tack the msm decides to take too.  

    You can always roll (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:20:25 PM EST
    and get a sentencing break before and after sentencing.

    your comments (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:45:33 PM EST
    consistently violate our comment rules. Read the comment rules. I delete offending comments.

    have you thought about ignoring the story? (none / 0) (#177)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:14:36 PM EST
    If it does affect the Dems nationally why post things that are so close to obama at all?   If you want to avoid the speculation about Rezko, don't post about Rezko.

    This place would rapidly deteriorate (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by pie on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:50:21 PM EST
    if not for the levelheaded and reasonable monitoring by Jeralyn and BTD.

    They're doing a fabulous job.  Please respect them and this space.

    There are plenty of other places to go that are more than willing to play in the mud.


    Hi want is the possible sentence that he can face (none / 0) (#102)
    by WelshWoman on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:24:46 PM EST
    ballpark figures will do as I know nothing about the law!

    Just read in Chi-Sun Times online (none / 0) (#188)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:28:53 PM EST
    article that "Sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sept. 3. On Wednesday afternoon, Rezko voluntarily surrendered himself to federal custody."

    Rezko's Attorney (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:41:28 PM EST
    seems to have thought Rezko would get off.  A gamble?  Or, perhaps since Rezko was allowed out of prison on bail, the pressure to cut a deal was off for a while.  

    According to the Chicago-Sun Times, Rezko could be He could be fined up to $4 million & serve up to 300 years in jail.  I wonder if he'll remain out of jail on bail pending appeals.


    They presented no defense witnesses (5.00 / 0) (#208)
    by andrys on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:51:20 PM EST
    That surprised some people, but then when Obama (acknowledged as an unnamed official in the case) was asked whether he would testify if asked, he said his attorneys would decide that.  There's a video of that on the web.

    I remembered this at the time when I read that they would not be calling defense witnesses for Rezko.


    Not one shred of evidence (none / 0) (#142)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:42:58 PM EST
    that he has anything to say that would implicate Obama in illegal conduct.

    The Gov. of Illinois may be a different story.


    Evelyn Pringle on OP Ed has reported that (5.00 / 4) (#153)
    by gabbyone on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:50:14 PM EST
    Blagojevich signed the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act with an effective date of June 27, 2003. However, before he could sign the act, a bill had to be passed by the Illinois House and Senate. Obama was the inside guy in the senate who pushed through the legislation that resulted in the Act.

    Obama was appointed chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The minute the bill was introduced, it was referred to his committee for review. The sponsors of the bill also served on this committee with Obama. Within a month, Chairman Obama sent word to the full senate that the legislation should be passed.

    On May 31, 2003, Senate Bill 1332 passed and specified that the "Board shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate." The legislation reduced the number of members from 15 to 9, paving the way for the appointment of a five-bloc majority to rig the votes.

    The corrupt members appointed included three doctors who contributed to Obama. Michel Malek gave Obama $10,000 on June 30, 2003 and donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003. Malek also gave Obama another $500 in September 2003.

    Fortunee Massuda donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003, and gave a total of $2,000 to Obama on different dates. After he was appointed, Dr Imad Almanaseer contributed a total of $3,000 to Obama. Almanaseer did not give money to Blagojevich.

    When the first pay-to-play scheme was put in play, and the application for approval of a new hospital was submitted, the Department of Human Services, along with four other Illinois agencies, sent recommendations that the project should be approved even though experts said the hospital was not needed.

    During the trial, Rezko's attorney presented an email exchange to the jury that hinted at Obama's role in setting up the scheme. The exchange showed that Obama and seven other top Illinois politicians consulted on the legislation passed in 2003 and were involved in recommending the members for the board.


    Jeralyn, you say there is... (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by Larry Bailey on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:58:51 PM EST
    ..."no shred of evidence" and I agree with you, but is that perhaps because no one with any legal authority has examined the relationship? For all that I can gather, the only questions about the long relationship and the fairly recent '05-'06 real estate transactions between the two families have come solely from the Chicago press (and mainly from the Sun-Times at that). And those questions have been met with, and ended with, Senator Obama's personal denial of anything wrong. Why are we waiting for the Republicans to ask the questions that will inevitably be asked?

    because we are a naturally censorious (none / 0) (#179)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:16:16 PM EST
    political party. Also Jer could get sued if she steps over teh line.  Personally i'd suggest she drops the story if she is not interested in listening to the Obama speculation that will surround the story.

    Suppose you're right as... (5.00 / 0) (#207)
    by Larry Bailey on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:51:19 PM EST
    ...it would only be speculation. (Though that certainly never stopped anyone trying to slur or defame Hillary Clinton in this campaign.) The problem with our not having vetted this issue during the primary is that, with a 16/24 count conviction now on the record, the Republicans are free to do all the speculating it will take to retain the White House.

    I wonder if it is ok to discuss (none / 0) (#122)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:34:48 PM EST
    I get the land deal and that Rezko has now been found guilty and Blagodovich (sp).  What is the connection to Obama other than he hung with a ummmm 'less than reputable person'  I just don't get why this will cost him the nom.  Other seems more damaging to me.

    Go to (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by vicsan on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:39:31 PM EST
    Rezko Watch dot com. All you need to know is on that site.

    Its called ITS THEIR BLOG (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Marvin42 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:11:24 PM EST
    They can have any rules they want....sheesh.

    I don't think that RezkoWatch is a credible site (none / 0) (#161)
    by rjarnold on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:55:13 PM EST
    I saw someone on the front page argue that he might be a communist.

    no connection to Obama (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:39:41 PM EST
    other than his admittedly poor judgment about Rezko. The land deal was not an issue at the trial. There is no evidence of illegal conduct by Obama in the charges involved in this trial or anything else involving Rezko.

    So no you may not discuss the land deal here.


    Jeralyn (5.00 / 0) (#169)
    by ChuckieTomato on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    What exactly are we allowed to discuss? You're supporting him when he's the nominee but many other people aren't. Are you expecting every one to not criticize, and vote for the dem. candidate, and those that aren't to leave?

    He's the de facto nominee (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by ChuckieTomato on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:21:29 PM EST
    I just wanted to know what's off limits. If it becomes another promotion blog then I guess people will go back to the original for that, dkos.

    You can discuss the Rezko verdict (5.00 / 1) (#214)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:09:48 PM EST
    and the implications for Obama.
    You cannot smear Obama with allegations not related to the Rezko case.

    You can question his judgment.

    See my very lengthy explanation I added to the post as to what's fair game and what isn't.

    This is a legal site and we don't throw around unfounded criminal allegations, regardless of where you found them.

    It has nothing to do with supporting Obama -- it has everything to do with criminal law and what I do for a living and why this site was established in the first place.

    This is the last place you will find rumors and innuendo of criminal conduct.


    with her opnion on it (none / 0) (#181)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:18:05 PM EST
    I don't see why she's bothering really.  it's a fairly boring tale if it doesn't connect to Obama. if it doesn't connect to Obama why bother posting about it for a national audience?

    I'll probably be the tenth person to tell you this (none / 0) (#184)
    by Teresa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:23:01 PM EST
    because I got interrupted while reading the thread. Talkleft is a blog about crime as much and sometimes more than politics. They just let us non-lawyer types hang out here.

    Thanks (5.00 / 0) (#194)
    by ChuckieTomato on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:31:50 PM EST
    I'm just a simple architect, not an attorney, but I can read. Every diary on the FP is politics related., and has been for a long while. I'm just wondering what's off limits

    you have no idea who i am (none / 0) (#197)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:36:34 PM EST
    and i have no idea who you are.  The context of the election makes Rezko into an Obama associate.  If there's nothing there, if you don't want to inflame it why bother talking about it?

    unless the point is to repeadly point out that Rezko has nothing to do with Obama.  


    Salo, I didn't mean anything offensive. I was (none / 0) (#218)
    by Teresa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:14:34 PM EST
    just telling you why Jeralyn would post about a criminal case whether or not it involves anything political. I agree with you, though, that the way the blog has evolved, if people aren't allowed to discuss it, I wouldn't bother posting about it either.

    What about the Senate ethics gift rules? (none / 0) (#150)
    by Exeter on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:46:02 PM EST
    Simply file a new (none / 0) (#196)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:34:02 PM EST
    disclosure form.  No biggie.  They (oops) forget money all the time.  Really, Obama's is nothing.

    No -- the gift limit is $49.99... not $499,999 ; ) (5.00 / 1) (#236)
    by Exeter on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:38:49 PM EST
    What about indications of impropriety (none / 0) (#193)
    by andrys on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:31:27 PM EST
    Obama did, this year, have to admit to several things he denied earlier (never having any contact with Rezko re the property except to ask him at some fundraising event about it and then saying he dealt only through the broker after that.

      Later it turns out he took Rezko on a tour of the house and himself did much of the paperwork.  The point has been that he needed a house that cost $1.6 million but said, in an interview, they were "stretched" already by the cost of the home and could not afford to buy the lot that was with it but being now sold separately but needing to be sold on the same day or the house could not be bought.

      This year, he said in newspaper editorial interviews he and Rezko happened to buy the two portions by coincidence - Rezko was apparently just interested in that empty lot with no entrance except through Obama's property.

      Later Rezko paid for the fence that separated the two properties by the way.

      Rezko's wife (who earned $16k a year) paid $650,000 or so for it, at full price.  There are stories that Rezko was wired money that allowed him to pay for this.

      Obama was able to buy the home for $300k under asking price and recently it was said that it was not true it was the highest offered price.  But the lot was sold at asking price.

      Since Obama did write letters to the federal government for Rezko in order to help him get revenue to build more buildings, not in Obama's district, there is worry about any propensity toward favors in return for financial support.

      Obama says he was 'bone-headed' in not realizing that Rezko might want any favors and he'd never done any for him.

      Obama is running on how much better his 'judgment' is than the other candidates.  The nomination is not certain until August 25.  So is this really not up for discussion at all?


    The shifting explainations (5.00 / 0) (#204)
    by Salo on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:46:33 PM EST
    set off my investigative instincts.  Fitz of course has no brief to go fishing for him, yet other investigators might want to get Obama's stories writen down consistently.

    Obama couldn't just say "I had a penchant for hanging around with dodgy and shift fixers back in the day, sorry folks."   That would look really awful.


    It's because this is a credible site.. (none / 0) (#200)
    by rjarnold on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:41:42 PM EST
    I think that they don't want people bashing the presumptive nominee on something where there isn't any actual evidence that he did anything wrong.

    On the other hand, Rezkowatch is not a credible site and it seems that it revolves around nothing but antipathy towards Obama.


    I do understand Jeralyn's concern (none / 0) (#212)
    by andrys on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:05:46 PM EST
    ...that we don't launch into totally unverifiable speculation about Obama and Rezko's co-buying of adjoining land.

      One reason I come here is that the conversation is based on facts that can be ascertained and not just wild conjecture.

      However, there is quite a bit to be read from Chicago newspaper stories on Rezko and the questions re Obama's 17-year connection with him, during which Rezko was a prime fundraiser for him, and now we know Rezko definitely asked favors from the others for his money.

      But to stay to facts, I keep a set of stories from the newspapers on my reference-set site and there's a Rezko set there.

      Jeralyn doesn't want the land deal discussed here but while this certainly is my first-stop site, maybe another site for discussing only this topic can be recommended?  

      Or maybe Jeralyn might allow discussing of only-FACTS in the situation affecting the presumptive nominee while we avoid rampant and wild speculation not based on any reality?

      I realize that may be difficult.


    let me rephrase that (none / 0) (#217)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:13:23 PM EST
    you can't discuss the land deal in terms of criminality. In terms of bad judgment, it's fine.

    Thanks, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#221)
    by andrys on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:18:16 PM EST
    That makes total sense.  At the risk of being called a "toadie" I am very grateful for this site and for the emphasis on facts.

    RE: the land deal (none / 0) (#252)
    by ding7777 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 07:49:56 PM EST
    Was it Rezko or Rezko's wife who was involved in the land deal?

    Didn't Rezko declare bankruptcy prior to the land deal?


    Odd. I see nothing on Huff Post re (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:37:26 PM EST
    this verdict.

    And only one diary... (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Larry Bailey on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:00:27 PM EST
    ...at Daily Kos, and that diary there is naturally being pooh-pooh'd reflexively.

    please could someone let me known the possible (none / 0) (#143)
    by WelshWoman on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 04:42:58 PM EST
    sentence, ballpark figures will do,

    Many Thanks

    someone earlier (5.00 / 0) (#189)
    by ccpup on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:29:35 PM EST
    mentioned a possible 300 year sentence and a multi-million (maybe 8?) dollar fine.

    We should start taking bets as to when Rezko starts singing like an opera diva to save his hide.


    oops (5.00 / 0) (#192)
    by ccpup on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:30:41 PM EST
    the fine is only $4 million, not 8, but the 300 year sentence is still a distinct possibility ... unless he flips.

    Perhaps if Obama did become (none / 0) (#180)
    by zfran on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:17:53 PM EST
    president he could pardon Resko at the appropriate time (snark)

    All I know...... (none / 0) (#187)
    by Kefa on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 05:28:47 PM EST
    stranger things have happened in politics.....nothing surprises me.

    Didn't he say something similiar about Wright when (none / 0) (#220)
    by WelshWoman on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:17:13 PM EST
    threw him under the bus. Somthing about not knowing him and wright not knowing him. Can't remember the exact quote.

    Is Rezko still a friend?
    "Yes,'' Obama said, "with the caveat if it turns out the allegations are true, then he's not who I thought he was, and I'd be very disappointed with that.''

    This cause problems on the Judgement question especially as the relationships were over 15 years old.

    2000 charges o election fraud (none / 0) (#222)
    by chopper on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:19:36 PM EST
    Maybe it can't be proven at his time that Obama was involved in fraud and corruption with Rezko or others, but I wouldn't hold my breathe waiting for the boom to drop.

    In any case, over 2000 voters filed charges with the DNC about fraud, corruption, bullying, threats, assaults, theft, forgery, and mayhem going on to discourage Hillary voters.

    The proof is in the results.  Hillary won the TX primary, Obama and his goons stole the delegates.

    I apologize for confusing people (none / 0) (#225)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:23:22 PM EST
    as to what's okay here and what isn't.

    Let me try and clear it up. The topic is Rezko's guilty verdict and the relevance if any to Barack Obama.

    You cannot smear Obama with allegations not related to the Rezko case.

    You can question his judgment.

    See my very lengthy explanation I added to the post and you will see what kinds of things are fair game and what isn't.

    This is a legal site and we don't throw around unfounded criminal allegations, regardless of where you found them. We defend the rights of the accused.

    This has nothing to do with supporting Obama -- it has everything to do with criminal law and what I do for a living and why TalkLeft was established in the first place.

    This is the last place you will find rumors and innuendo of criminal conduct -- and certainly not for political gain. Nor do we promote guilt by association.

    Judgment and trust issues are fairly raised by Obama's relationship with Rezko, including the land deal. Just steer it clear of allegations of illegal conduct and keep it to questions of propriety and judgment.

    You won't go wrong in figuring out what you can discuss and what is out of bounds in these matters if you keep in mind that this is first and foremost a criminal defense lawyers site.

    Don't Worry (none / 0) (#231)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:32:22 PM EST
    Obama can always pardon Rezko once he becomes President in January!

    Talk about a great return on your real estate investment. That's called, "Bringing Chicago politics to Washington".

    Just Great (none / 0) (#233)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:36:10 PM EST
    I posted above and THEN read Jerlyn's guidelines to this discussion. My bad!

    Money-laundering (none / 0) (#232)
    by chopper on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:35:18 PM EST
    links must be in html format (none / 0) (#240)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:46:35 PM EST
    or they skew the site and your comment will be deleted. I do not have the ability to edit comments, only delete.

    Surely they will have a new style. (none / 0) (#245)
    by befuddled on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 06:50:55 PM EST
    The GOP will have their own trolls to be sure--I think they are going to take a seductively reasoned approach in blogs, though, as it would be so different from the Obama approach.

    Don't worry... (none / 0) (#251)
    by santarita on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 07:17:01 PM EST
    he's still young.  He'll have plenty of time to catch up to Sen. McCain.  

    McCain and Obama are both politicians.  Politicians sometimes have donors that are are ethically challenged.  It's unfortunate but politics is expensive and money doesn't grown on trees or even in the internet.  Obama received lots of donations from regular people but also received lots of donations that were bundled by special interest groups.  He also benefited from fundraisers hosted by special friends.  Rezko was once one of his special friends.  

    Obama is neither honest nor does he have integrity (none / 0) (#260)
    by SunnyLC on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 11:51:55 PM EST
    You are forgetting that Rezko ran slums and Obama (Mr. Community Organizer) did nothing to rectify the plight of tenants.  He abandoned his constituents for Rezko.  
    The whole house deal stunk to high heavens, starting with Michelle having 2 terms on the commission, not the usual 1.

    He never seems to really ditch the creepy people he associates with. Who is he loyal to?? Not to you or me...

    He can take a hike as far as I'm concerned.  Let's not gloss over this guy's connections and phony image...