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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Obama, Rezko, McCain

posted by on June 5 at 15:40 PM

As the the Presidential campaign begins—how long till November? Fuck… —I’ll endeavor to provide updates from Chicago on issues involving our sorta native son Barack Obama.

Yesterday, political fixer Tony Rezko was convicted of 16 of 24 counts against him, and some Obama-haters see this as a way to get at Obama. He arranged a house deal through Rezko, and had taken campaign contributions from him (since donated to charity). While some have dismissed this as Obama’s Whitewater—a manufactured scandal, ginned up by political foes, but ultimately empty—it will still be a factor in the race. But a factor in ways that are complicated by the details of local politics.

To wit: John Kass of the Chicago Tribune points out that McCain and the Rs cannot make too much of a stink about Rezko, since Rezko had such close ties to two Illinois R power-brokers, Bill Cellini and Bob Kjellander. All Obama has to do is point this connection out, and the attack bounces back on McCain and Co, since their boys are (currently) un-indicted co-conspirators.

But it might get more complicated, in that inimitable Chicago Way. In a very rare move, Rezko decided to begin serving his sentence immediately, rather than going free on bond while awaiting sentencing. Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times speculates as to why this is: perhaps Rezko will feel safer inside of prison, since there are a lot of people who really really want him to keep his mouth shut, people who might know people who know how to shut mouths permanently. Brown never quite comes out and says that someone might put Rezko in the River or a landfill, but it’s happened in the past. With his immediate surrender to the Feds, Rezko could either be sending the message that his lips are sealed, he’s going to do his time quietly (like John “Quarters” Boyle did) or he’s going inside now to begin cooperating with the G.

Either way, this is going to be part of the general election campaign, and I’ll keep Slogfans informed of the latest, leaving the best-in-baseball Cubs for Brad to weep over as the M’s suck in so many ways.

RSS icon Comments

1

I hear he gave a lot more money to Clinton, actually.

And, if you think this is something, how come we haven't seen Cindy McCain's trust tax returns or her personal tax returns.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 5, 2008 4:15 PM
2
Rezko could either be sending the message that his lips are sealed ... or hes going inside now to begin cooperating with the G.

So... he's talking, unless he isn't.

Still, it's interesting speculation as speculation goes.  Thanks for bringing us the local perspective.

Posted by lostboy | June 5, 2008 4:22 PM
3

I heard Rezko is building 100 story low cost housing apartments.

Posted by ouch | June 5, 2008 4:55 PM
4

Low cost because government loans, and no need to heat them.

Posted by Windy | June 5, 2008 5:46 PM
5

@1 got data? Or rumor only? Rezko was Obama's no. 1 fundraiser for years. Total donations linked to him is hundreds of thousands, very critical when you are a state senator just starting out.

Posted by diogenes | June 5, 2008 6:13 PM
6

Hey, Barry's meeting Hill in her DC house right now.

Posted by PC | June 5, 2008 6:14 PM
7

@5 source - Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Do your own fuckin research.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 6, 2008 12:46 AM
8

Odrama is just another typical politician taking money fr. crooks. When his associates said or do some screwed up shit all his answers are "I don't know". What a freaking joke this guy is.

Posted by Odrama | June 6, 2008 8:33 AM
9

Rezko also contributed to G.W. Bush's campaigns, and supposedly hosted a fundraiser for W. in 2003 that raised $3.8 million for the Shrub. So if Obama goes down, this Bush guy is going down as well. Rezko rehabbed apartment buildings for the poor, and the churches and other charities that were clients of Obama's law firm were interested in housing the poor. So Rezko's meeting Obama was natural. But apparently Rezko and his partner Mahru mismanaged the business. Similarly it was natural for Obama to consult his real estate maven buddy Rezko when his book revenues made him think of buying a big-ass house.

Rezko contributed to a lot of politicians whom he liked, including fellow Arab Christian (and archconservative Republican) Spencer Abraham.

Posted by obama fo' yo' mama | June 6, 2008 10:02 AM

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