March 5, 2008

"I don’t think it is fair to suggest somehow that we have been trying to hide the bone on this."

Said Barack Obama. And that real estate transaction, it was "a boneheaded move." No one wants to pay attention to Rezko, and for some reason, Obama's answers all contain the word "bone." Surely, there's a skeleton somewhere.

80 comments:

Original Mike said...

Well, at least he didn't follow Howard Dean's example and deny playing hide the salami.

gophermomeh said...

Surely, you jest. As time allows, I've tried to keep up with this story...and came across today's Glenn Greenwald's article on Salon.

Could he be right?

Jamie Irons said...

No one wants to pay attention to Rezko, and for some reason, Obama's answers all contain the word "bone." Surely, there's a skeleton somewhere.

Even though I have been inclined to be an Obama supporter, I have to say that that is my favorite comment so far in this political season!

;-)

Jamie Irons

The Napa Valley

John Stodder said...

A friend of mine co-won a Pulitzer exposing a real estate deal involving a lobbyist and Rep. Duke Cunningham of San Diego. Cunningham is now in prison, as is the lobbyist.

Now, Cunningham was a thorough sleazeball. Obama is nothing of the kind.

But how does the fact pattern of Cunningham's real estate deal differ from Obama's "bonehead" move? I'm honestly curious if someone can explain.

Rocker 419 said...

The Rezko bone's connected to the NAFTA bone...the NAFTA bone is connected to the Flag lapel-pin bone...that bone's connected to the plagerism bone...that bone's connected to the keep the voting booths open until 9 pm bone...that bone's connected to the...(more to come)!

John Stodder said...

That Greenwald piece was the equivalent of a haiku for him. I believe it came in under 3,000 words.

However, it is very strange. You really have to work hard to make it seems as if it's the Republicans and the mainstream media -- and not the Clinton campaign -- that are trying to feed this story, but Greenwald's done it. To omit Howard Wolfson's name from this column renders the entire thing an exercise in disingenuous political pamphletting.

George said...

Here is the article that discusses Rezko/Alsammarae's machinations...

MC Guy yesterday, I think, said that Obama's office had denied doing anything for Rezko re: this matter.

One wonders....

Anyway....here is the indictment in pdf form.

A whole bunch of stuff going on, multiple shakedowns involving many parties and state entities involving sacred things like state pension plans. Complex. The guy is no amateur. The governor is "Individual A."

If it were to be shown that Rezko was controlled or aided by a hostile foreign power or entity, one might say that he was a financial terrorist.

froggyprager said...

As part of the Clinton effort to throw every thing they can think of at Obama, they have brought up the skeletons in his closet which he will need to fight off if he is the nominee. All politicians have some skeletons in their closet. Obama has taken the high road and not brought up all the numerous skeletons in the Clinton's large closet. Many Democrats have forgotten or are not aware of all the past and current Clinton scandals which she will have fight off in the general election. It would be foolish to not support Obama because of the Rezko thing and think Hillary and Bill will have an easy walk into the White House.

Anthony said...

The GOP here in Chicago wants the Rezko story to go away because they are as tied into Rezko as the Democrats.

And when you consider the prosecutor is Peter Fitzgerald it makes both parties nervous.

It may turn out to be Fitzmas after all -- though Obama is the one to be the gift.

madawaskan said...

How many "bones" has Rezko paid him?

The plotline thickens and the real estate deal is only the tip of the femur.

Dig deeper.

Start here-
Suntimes

People in apartments owned by Rezko in Obama's DISTRICT went WITHOUT heat for almost THREE months-but Rezko's slumlord front company- Rezmar still had $1,000 to donate to Obama right in the MIDDLE of that time frame.

The City had to sue them to turn the heat on.

Read the article -it is not the same.

And you know just because one candidate is slime doesn't excuse the other.

Rezko and Obama have been friends for seventeen years.

Rezko was one of Obama's first political patrons.

The real estate agent that closed the deal is forwarded to the Governor and recommended as a state hire.


That real estate deal may be the least of it.

SteveR said...

Lets keep things in perspective here lest Eli Blake have to remind us of the John McCain/CindyMcCain/ AZ Mob/multiple crime families/ connection which is surely more scandalous (and true) than alledged silly little land deals and bribes to Iraqi ministers on the part of presidential candidates and their major fundraisers.

Pogo said...

"that we have been trying to hide the bone on this."

It would be the better part of discretion that the Clintons avoid this particular phrasing entirely.

Blue Moon said...

I say this as an Obama supporter. Why is it that no one seems to have learned the lesson from the Monica situation? The coverup is nearly always worse than the matter you are trying to coverup. Obama is doing the political equivalent of jumping in a car and leading the police on a multi-county high speed chase after stealing a piece of brach's candy from the bin at the market. Get out a chair, sit down before the journos, and say "You have 90 minutes, ask me whatever you want about Rezko." Otherwise, the Clintons are going to bleed Obama to death with this thing.

There are 7 weeks between now and PA -- plenty of time for him to take heat from the scandal, apologize, and then scold Hillary 4 weeks from now about continuing to bring up that "old news."

CJColucci said...

Isn't it obvious? The "bone" references are meant to suggest "boner," subliminally telling us that Obama, who can have a boner, is a man and Clinton, who can't, is -- Oh My God, I didn't know! -- a woman.

AJ Lynch said...

Dems better verify Obama's bone-afides before he gets the nod. If they wait too long, it could be too late for them to change the nominee.

Trevor Jackson said...

So, wait. What did Obama do wrong? Took some money from an allegedly bad guy who has shady connections. For his campaign. And then he gave it back or away.

What did Rezko get in return? Anybody?

But all you have to do is, like George here, just say "one wonders" and use those sinister ellipses . . .

Rezko. Rezko. Scary word, isn't it?

This shit is weak. Keep digging, though, maybe Scaife will throw some bucks at Pajamas Media for this.

richard mcenroe said...

'Now, Cunningham was a thorough sleazeball. Obama is nothing of the kind. '

Assumes Facts Not In Evidence, Counselor.

Obama's only been here less than one term and already he has a very impressive string of dubious associates. And we didn't even get a few good years out of him as a fighter ace, the way we did with Cunningham.

Korla said...

These bones?

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elliott A said...

That Bones was (will be) from Georgia

Michael_H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael_H said...

"been trying to hide the bone"

Is Obama trying to pick up a few more votes by trying to sound like Bill Clinton?

I'm just waiting for Hillary to proclaim that she's anti-bone. That'll clear up a few things lotsa folk wondered about in the past.

Middle Class Guy said...

Rezko this and Rezko that. Who are the Clinton friends? Are they sooooo clean? How did they rake in a 50-70 million dollar fortune- depending on who you believe- with no business experience? Where did the money come from? Who is Bill doing business with?

They have a history of dealing with unsavory people. It is like to like as they are unsavory themselves. Why not drag out the whole Clinton history of unethical legal, business and political practices? Maybe she is right, she has thirty five years of experience; causing great harm. Remember Whitewater- forget the criminal stuff; what about the financial ruin? If they want to go there, then their whole sordid history can and should be brought up.

If they bring up the character issue, they better be careful, as they have none.

Kirby Olson said...

The Clinton machine let Obama have a good run, and now they're going to bury him.

The run was to make it all look fair.

It's the political equivalent of the short story, "The Most Dangerous Game."

Obama had a nice run, and he even started to enjoy himself, thinking he was in charge.

Sheeee's bacccckkk!

Elliott A said...

In all fairness to any politician, it is very difficult to thoroughly investigate each and every professional you come in contact with in life. Successful business associations are hard to give up. If the individual in question has never been indicted, charged or convicted of a crime, how does one know that he is someone to stay away from? There are plenty of shady chaaracters out there who do not step over the line. We all deal with them every day, lawyers, accountants, agents, etc. Unless Sen. Obama was an active and willing participant in Rezko's illicit activities and was accepting payoffs for favors and protection, this is a non-story. The media needs to sell news so they keep beating any drum they find.

Dash said...

People keep asking where the scandal is. Let me spell it out for everyone in plain english.

Obama wanted to buy a house that cost 2.6 million ( roughly) but he didn't want to pay that much. So he bought the house without the yard for 1.9 and his "friend" Rezko bought the yard for the difference. The yard and the house were a single piece right up until the point that Obama needed some help with the purchase. Rezko had no money and no reason to purchase that yard. His wife had to sign the actual papers because he was under scrutiny by the Feds and claiming to be bankrupt. The $600,000 that he borrowed from Aruchi to pay for the lot was a flat out gift/bribe to Obama. It was illegal. As yet we don't know what Rezko got in exchange, but it is certain that he got or expected to get something.

That's more than just a "bonehead" mistake.

Roger said...

Rezko/Hsu--I think both candidates are going to get pretty muddy by the time this is all over--I agree with Middle Class Guy: Clinton is hardly pure in her fund raising, and contrary to what she has said, her dealing with HSU (and the Clinton Library and Foundation) have NOT been covered. This next 7 weeks will not be pretty.

Blue Moon said...

"I borrowed money from a shady guy to buy a house" does not sound like much of a scandal to my (possibly biased) ears. Especially without a quid pro quo. That said, the Obama team needs to boil down Bill Clinton's Kazakhstan story to a digestible scandal that can be eaten in one bite by the press and public.

M. Simon said...

I suspect a temporary hydraulic overpressure. Often cured by joint manipulation.

George said...

Trevor--

People will "keep digging."

That's what happened in the summer of 1972.

People thought it was crazy to think that Nixon--headed for landslide reelection--would committ felonies to ensure victory.

Obama has known Rezko since 1990. 18 years. He's socialized with him and his wife numerous times. Rezko held a fundraiser in Obama's home. Bought property side-by-side, property that was seemingly useless to Rezko, property that was bought with Rezko's aid with dirty money from overseas.

They were reasonably close associates, it would seem.

And we know that Rezko received at least $7 mil. from Auchi, an arms dealing billionaire Baathist, and that Auchi met at least once with Obama.

We have a long way until the Democratic Convention.

The Clintons are no angels. But they have been vetted. Can there possibly be any new dirt on them?

With Obama, we don't know nuthin'. Not yet at least.

M. Simon said...

In all fairness to any politician, it is very difficult to thoroughly investigate each and every professional you come in contact with in life.

So true. Especially some one who had been a friend for about 20 years.

There is no reason that after 20 years of interaction Obama should know anything about Rezko.

M. Simon said...

"Tony Rezko, who I have known for 18 years, was a bad choice for a friend" is not going to make the Syrian go away.

Fen said...

Unless Sen. Obama was an active and willing participant in Rezko's illicit activities and was accepting payoffs for favors and protection, this is a non-story.

"Rezko was among the people Obama appointed to serve on his U.S. Senate campaign finance committee, the Sun-Times reported in 2003. The committee raised more than $14 million, according to Federal Election Commission records, helping send Obama to Washington in 2004."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/353829,CST-NWS-rez23.article

Fen said...

"I don’t think it is fair to suggest somehow that we have been trying to hide the bone on this."

"For months, Sun-Times investigative reporters have had a standing request to meet with Obama, face to face, to get answers to questions such as these:

• How many fund-raisers did Rezko throw for Obama?

• Obama is donating $150,000 to charity that Rezko brought into the campaign. But how much in all did Rezko raise?

• Did Rezko find jobs for Obama backers in the Blagojevich administration or elsewhere?

• Why did Obama only recently admit -- after Bloomberg News broke the story -- that Rezko had toured his South Side mansion with him in 2004 before he bought it?"

http://www.suntimes.com/news/commentary/823666,CST-EDT-edit04b.article

Revenant said...

"I borrowed money from a shady guy to buy a house" does not sound like much of a scandal to my (possibly biased) ears. Especially without a quid pro quo.

Like the $885,000 Rezko made off his low-income housing project after Obama pushed government officials to approve it? That kind of quid pro quo?

Another question: if, as Obama claims, Rezko isn't a friend -- why DID Rezko do him that favor? Anyone here in the habit of doing expensive favors for people who aren't friends without getting something in return?

Blue Moon said...

Revenant:

That may be a quid pro quo, but Obama gets to hit that ball back by saying "Poor people in Chicago needed housing, Rezko was willing to provide it... I now know he was a crappy landlord."

I agree that there may be a bit of shadiness, and I acknowledge that it hurts Obama more to wrapped up in this stuff because he is running as a "different" kind of pol, but it is pretty standard fare as far as politicians go. The Clintons are likely involved in the same sort of stuff (Hsu anyone?).

Don't get me wrong though, I find it very disappointing that he would entangle himself with this guy knowing he was about to be indicted. "Everybody else does it" is no defense at all. He definitely should have just waited to buy the house and the land when could afford to do it on his own. But that's how evil trips you up --Rezko must be pretty damn charming and Obama must have been equally desparate to get in that home.

bearbee said...

With Obama, we don't know nuthin'. Not yet at least.

I thought the other 'O'(prah) had him vetted.

The Drill SGT said...

I agree with Dash,

Inquirying people in the general public can understand a question like:

Mrs Rezko made 37k a year, but got a 600k loan and with no assets put down 150k for a lot that apparently can't be built on. Why did she do that?

Fen said...

Obama -> Auchi/Rezko -> Saddam Hussein.

Even more curiously, this transaction ["boneheaded mistake"]occurred a few weeks after Rezko obtained a $3.5 million loan from a former Saddam Hussein bagman [Auchi]


Auchi is emerging as a key figure in the corruption trial of Rezko and also played a part in one of Rezko’s attempts to exploit his relationship with Obama. Obama denies he ever did any favors for Rezko or his associates but the crooked Obama fundraiser told prosecutors that after Auchi gave him another “loan,” he asked Obama to intervene with the State Department in order to get a visa for Auchi who was being denied entry into the US

Follow the links for evidence that Rezko was owned by Auchi.

[...]

Begs the question: why was Obama really opposed to ousting Saddam Hussien? Is he our George Galloway?

madawaskan said...

Look that line about Obama graduating from Harvard and rejecting the Wall Street job, and the Wall Street life so that he could move to Chicago and enroll Democrat voters?

That is the "offical" spin by the way-well here is what he did-soon after-

The next year, Obama joined Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, a 12-lawyer firm that specialized in helping develop low-income housing. The firm's top partner, Allison S. Davis, was, and is, a member of the Chicago Plan Commission, appointed by Mayor Daley. Davis was also a friend of Rezko. Davis and Rezko would eventually go into business together, developing homes.

The same Rezko that had eleven buildings in Obama's state senate district.

The same buildings that were under these conditions-

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.


One of the buildings in Obama's DISTRICT has their HEAT TURNED OFF TWO DAYS after Christmas.

In HIS damn district-
and during the proceedings Obama has the AUDACITY to accept-

$1,000 from Rezko.

Again-It takes them almost three bloody months to turn the damn heat on in the middle of winter in Chicago over Christmas break.

Gawd does that not peeve you liberals in the least!?

madawaskan said...

Oh ya but they got this kind of money for Rezko

Obama was an attorney with a small Chicago law firm -- Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland -- that helped Rezmar get more than $43 million in government funding to rehab 15 of their 30 apartment buildings for the poor.

garage mahal said...

I doubt Obama will bring up Norman Hsu. See here.

madawaskan said...

Blue Moon-

Rezko had been under indictment for eleven days, it was on the front page of all the Chicago papers and Obama still went through with the property deal.

*ugh* watch this video from ABC News were they delineate the plot lines using Google Earth and perhaps more importantly the
timeline because that's where Obama really changes the story, along with the property line.

ABC News video

Revenant said...

But that's how evil trips you up --Rezko must be pretty damn charming and Obama must have been equally desparate to get in that home.

Calling Rezko "evil" seems overwrought. Besides, what reason is there to assume that Obama isn't similarly "evil"? Just because he's got personal charisma?

Let's get real, here. We've been hearing for over a year now that Obama's a smart guy and that his lack of experience isn't a problem because he knows politics (from his time at the city and state level) and he knows the law. Well, guess what, a smart guy who knows politics -- Chicago politics especially -- and knows the law doesn't make "mistakes" like this. He doesn't get "tricked" into entering into shady real-estate deals with crooked slumlords. At the same time, crooked slumlords know better than to pull these stunts with -- or politically support -- politicians who really ARE smart, politically astute, and honest.

You could argue that Obama was a clueless newbie three years ago, I guess. You could argue that he's just another crooked politician. But in light of this deal with Rezko, how the heck anybody can argue that he's smart, astute, AND honest is a mystery to me.

rhhardin said...

Suspicious intuition doesn't get to the bone, but it shows you where to start digging.

(Metaphor drives its point home on a two-way street.)

H/T Erving Goffman, who used those somewhere.

Fen said...

evil trips you up --Rezko must be pretty damn charming and Obama must have been equally desparate to get in that home.

Well, if Obama is such an easy mark, so easily tempted, then he has no business sitting down with people like Ahmadinejad for unconditional talks.

Quite frankly, I'd prefer to have Broomstick One deal with our enemies.

Michael said...

Hey Fen, pass the popcorn, will ya?

Original Mike said...

Thanks, Dash. That was helpful.

Brian O'Connell said...

Shady real estate developer... contracts in Iraq... federal indictments...

Sounds like the plot to Arrested Development.

Is Obama more like Michael or Tobias Fünke?

Elliott A said...

Brian

What program lets you do umlauts? I correspond with some folks in Germany and must write without them. Thanks

Kirby Olson said...

He's always struck me as hopelessly naive about the real world.

Perhaps this Rezko affair just shows what his rhetoric has been telling us: hope has harsh reefs and there is no such thing as smooth sailing under clear skies, and he can't see the rocky reefs enough to stay off of them.

There's something defective about an individual who thinks they can glide through life with a smile.

I'd rather have a hardened realist like McCain at the helm who can keep us off the shoals.

AJ Lynch said...

Is this tidbit accurate and true?

Rezko accompanied Mr. & Mrs. Obama on a tour of this house?

Fen said...

Rezko accompanied Mr. & Mrs. Obama on a tour of this house?

Obama: I toured home with Rezko

George said...

Kirby--

"Hopelessly naive..."?

He's Harvard Law, a Chicago pol, and a US Senator....the opposite of naive.

The old "golly, gee, whiz, I'm a simple country boy from Hawaii, Kansas, and Kenya who's bringing the hope for change" thing won't wash, but it is what has gotten him this far.

Roost on the Moon said...

Fen sez:
"Begs the question: why was Obama really opposed to ousting Saddam Hussien?"

Even if "begging the question" meant what you think it does, it wouldn't.

Revenant said...

Begs the question: why was Obama really opposed to ousting Saddam Hussien? Is he our George Galloway?

The timing on that one doesn't really work out. Galloway was bought and paid for by Hussein, but why would Hussein, or any of his associates or co-conspirators, BOTHER to bribe Barack Obama? He wasn't a national political figure back then, and by the time he became one we'd already deposed Hussein.

vnjagvet said...

Dash:

It would be interesting to see seller's listing for the house, wouldn't it?

Was the house on the market including all of the land for one price? What was the asking price for the whole thing? [I think this is the most likely scenario, given the lot's location.]

Or, were the house and lot for sale separately? If so, what was the asking price of each? [less likely IMHO.]

What has happened to the lot since then?

Rezko didn't live in a house adjacent to the lot, did he?

vnjagvet said...

BTW, most of those questions could be answered by someone with access to the Chicago MLS archives. The remainder could be answered by checking building permits and title records, all of which are public.

former law student said...

put down 150k for a lot that apparently can't be built on. Why did she do that?

Why do you say that lot can't be built on? At the original 7500 square feet, it was three city lots.

George said...

Rev--

You ask why would anyone want to bribe Obama?

Bribery is too obvious.

Rezko and his bosses, if he had any, would have seen Obama as a long term play, someone to cultivate over a 20 or 30 year period. You can see why he would be attractive....Muslim fathers, Afrocentric church, anti-Bush on Iraq.... It would be best to just support him in the usual American ways...fundraising, but who knows....

John Fund wrote in the WSJ on 3/3 that "an official report to the Pentagon inspector general in 2004 obtained by the Washington Times cited "significant and credible evidence" of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal and illicit smuggling of weapons to the Hussein regime."

Surely, the Syrians and Iraqis would want to penetrate or influence the American government, just as we want to infiltrate theirs. The question is would the Syrian regime or ex-Saddam Baathists who fled to Syria have used Auchi to fulfill their ends.

"An aide to Mr Obama said he did attend an event at the Four Seasons at which Mr Rezko was present but does not remember meeting Mr Auchi. "He shook a lot of hands and met a lot of people," the aide said. "We do not remember individual people."

Prosecutors say that, after Mr Auchi was unable to enter the United States in 2005, Mr Rezko approached the US State Department to get him a visa and apparently asked "certain Illinois government officials to do the same." Mr Obama denies he was approached. Mr Auchi's lawyer has emphasised to The Times that it would be entirely false to imply that money had been lent by GMH to Mr Rezko in return for Mr Rezko seeking to assist Mr Auchi to obtain a visa. The two men's relationship, the lawyer stressed, was a business one."

former law--The Rezko lot was inaccessible...the only access was through Obama's side yard, or so I've read.

former law student said...

former law--The Rezko lot was inaccessible...the only access was through Obama's side yard, or so I've read.

Referring to the google earth shot from the abcnews video, we see that the Rezko lot is a corner lot. It is at least a third larger than the Obama house lot. Although there is likely a fence around the lot, that should not stop anyone from building at least a six-unit building there.

AJ Lynch said...

Fen:

Thanks for the answer re Rezko.

FLS:

Typically, neighborhoods with million dollar homes have minimum lot-size restrictions. I bet in that area, you would also be precluded from building multi-family dwellings.

Revenant said...

Rezko and his bosses, if he had any, would have seen Obama as a long term play, someone to cultivate over a 20 or 30 year period. You can see why he would be attractive....Muslim fathers, Afrocentric church, anti-Bush on Iraq.... It would be best to just support him in the usual American ways...fundraising, but who knows....

Eh, that's way too Vince Fostery for me. Obama's a Chicago politician. You don't need a conspiracy theory to explain why he is both (a) connected to crooked businessmen and (b) against the war.

Middle Class Guy said...

Christ, how the worm turns. One real estate transaction and the guy is a bumb. Remember Whitewater? That was a real estate disaster.

garage mahal said...

Remember Whitewater? That was a real estate disaster.

Nah, never heard of it? What happened.

former law student said...

The remainder could be answered by checking building permits and title records, all of which are public

The records relating to the Obama house are not available online on the appropriate Cook County websites. Although the recorders web site shows both aerial views and street views of individual lots, there is a void surrounding where the purported Obama lots should be. You can find out about the condo where the Obamas used to live, however.

Will Conway said...

I actually have nothing to say, I just noticed there were 66 comments, so I had the urge to change it.

I'm sorry

Cruel Reality said...

Anyone who reads this blog knows you could not possibly vote for Obama. So your "cruel neutrality" is a lame hoax. Or a cheap trick.

Whatever. It is absurd on its face.

Let's be honest and call it for what it is: McCaintrality.

Middle Class Guy said...

Will Conway said...
I actually have nothing to say, I just noticed there were 66 comments, so I had the urge to change it.

I'm sorry



That is the most intelligent comment on this thread.

former law student said...

Typically, neighborhoods with million dollar homes have minimum lot-size restrictions. I bet in that area, you would also be precluded from building multi-family dwellings.

There's a three-flat on the block I think is Obama's, so no. The block was a rich man's neighborhood a century ago, but although Hyde Park has been an island in a sea of change, most of the South Side fell on hard times before WW II and never quite got back up.

The lot I think is Rezko's is surrounded by a low stone wall, what I'm guessing from brick piers is a four foot fence, and a screen of trees tall enough and thick enough to shield the Addams Family from the public gaze. Until someone puts a gate on it, you can't get in from either street it fronts on. There's a moderne house in the neighborhood that's only 20 years old, so the lot is certainly developable.

Daryl said...

Elliot A. wrote: Unless Sen. Obama was an active and willing participant in Rezko's illicit activities and was accepting payoffs for favors and protection, this is a non-story.

It's hard to take you liberals seriously.

Obama took a $625,000 (SIX HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR) bribe and you think this is a non-story?

Reality-based community, indeed. The audacity of SOMETHING, indeed.

No matter how you spin it, Rezko's purchase of the lot for $625,000 brought zero benefit to Rezko (having title to the property wasn't worth anything to him because he was going bankrupt anyway) and only benefited Senator Obama.

It benefited Senator Obama in two ways:

1 - it may have reduced the price Sen. Obama paid for the house itself, because both lots were sold at the same time, and Rezko paid the full asking price

2 - Sen. Barack Obama, and his family, received the full, undivided private use of that lot. It was walled off by a fence. Rezko wasn't using it at all.

Rezko got 0% of the benefit and Obama got 100% of the benefit. That makes it a bribe, just the same as if Antoin "Tony" Rezko had handed Sen. Obama an envelope with $625,000 in cash.

Daryl said...

cruel reality wrote: Anyone who reads this blog knows you could not possibly vote for Obama.

Professor Althouse is a liberal, through and through. If Obama had clinched the nomination by now, he would already be "pivoting" back towards the center.

All he has to do is eschew irresponsibility on foreign affairs, and in Iraq in particular, and (at least I get the sense) Althouse would prefer to vote for him over John McCain.

Do you think there's a liberal out there who doesn't want to vote for an inspiring African-American who can bring people together and push the liberal agenda forward? It's Obama's own fault if he can't convince liberals to vote for him.

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

Daryl: "Cruel Reality" is Althouse's most senior stalker/troll, AJD. It's just here to insult Althouse -- not to actually argue or debate anything.

George said...

Image of the Obama Rezko homestead. Grassy knoll in background.

former law student said...

No matter how you spin it, Rezko's purchase of the lot for $625,000 brought zero benefit to Rezko (having title to the property wasn't worth anything to him because he was going bankrupt anyway) and only benefited Senator Obama.
http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/pdfs/obama.pdf

June 25, 2005: Rita Rezko bought corner lot for $625K
Jan 2006: Rita Rezko sells 10 foot strip of lot to Obamas for $104.5K
Dec 2007: Rita Rezko sells remainder of corner lot for $575K

Gross Rezko profit: $54.5K for holding corner lot for 18 months.

Korla said...

Dem Bones, Dem Bones...

Original Mike said...

George - Thanks for the link to the video. It's very instructive. I think the "no access except through Obama's property" claim is clearly not accurate. But I also think it's clear Obama got a huge benefit by having his friend buy and hold hold that property.

Revenant said...

Gross Rezko profit: $54.5K for holding corner lot for 18 months.

There's no such thing as a "gross profit". There's gross income; profit is what you call a positive net income.

Rezko's wife sold the property, after a year and a half, for 8.72% more than she'd paid for it. After taxes and fees I doubt that there was any profit at ALL in that transaction -- a year and a half of property tax, plus transfer taxes and fees, etc etc. It certainly wasn't a very good investment in relation to, say, simply putting the money into the stock market.

It is also worth nothing that all of that $54.5k came from selling a choice strip of land to Obama (the land was sold for more than its appraised value); the remainder of the land was actually sold at a loss.

What it looks like is that Obama couldn't afford the entire lot, but he COULD afford the house and PART of the lot. The original owner wasn't willing to make that sale, so Rezko bought the rest of the land, sold Obama the chunk he was willing to pay for, and dumped the rest.

Joe said...

What's the quid-pro-quo for Rezko?

Gee, I dunno, a pardon?