Old Chicago Politics – Obama Style

David Axelrod, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama must reconsider their stonewalling of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. Guys, the story is not going away. The Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, two very big newspapers, know they have a big Pulitzer story here and they will keep on digging and digging and digging until the shovels hit the coffin.

Today the Chicago Sun-Times writes that “As a state senator, Barack Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens. The deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and his partner, Allison S. Davis, Obama’s former boss, according to records from the project, which was four blocks outside Obama’s state Senate district.”

Ordinarily when a campaign gets caught with letter evidence contradicting previous statements the smart move is to get the full story out and not mock people’s intelligence. Not so with this Obama campaign.

The letters appear to contradict a statement last December from Obama, who told the Chicago Tribune that, in all the years he’s known Rezko, “I’ve never done any favors for him.”

These letters demonstrate without doubt that Obama did political favors for indicted slumlord Antoin “Tony” Rezko ” who was “a longtime friend, campaign fund-raiser and client of the law firm where Obama worked” and it is this very same Rezko who worked out a deal which benefited Obama personally to the tune of $925,000 “who was indicted last fall on federal charges that accuse him of demanding kickbacks from companies seeking state business”.

Incidentially Obama campaign, we are still looking for a clear denunciation by Obama of his indicted slumlord friend. Please send us what you have.

To further insult the search for the facts and to laugh in the face of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune this is how the Obama campaign responded – gorilla dust:

“On Tuesday, Bill Burton, press secretary for Obama’s presidential campaign, said the letters Obama wrote in support of the development weren’t intended as a favor to Rezko or Davis.

“This wasn’t done as a favor for anyone,” Burton said in a written statement. “It was done in the interests of the people in the community who have benefited from the project.”

Further we are supposed to believe that the letters from State Senator Obama magically appeared. Hey, no one requested them, they wrote themselves,

“Asked about the Obama letters, Rezko’s attorney, Joseph Duffy, said Tuesday, “Mr. Rezko never spoke with, nor sought a letter from, Senator Obama in connection with that project.”

Again, Obama campaign, this is not going away.

“Since announcing his presidential bid, Obama has faced repeated questions about his 17-year relationship with Rezko, one of his earliest political contributors, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Obama.

“Rezko backed Obama’s election to the Illinois Senate in 1996, his successful re-election bids and his 2004 election to the U.S. Senate.”

“Two years ago, the two men were involved in a real estate deal that Obama later apologized for, calling it “boneheaded” and a “mistake” because the transaction occurred while Rezko was widely known to be under federal investigation. Rezko’s wife paid full price for a vacant lot in Chicago’s historic Kenwood district on the same day Obama bought the mansion next door from the same property owner for $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko’s wife subsequently sold a sliver of the land to Obama.”

We will emphasize again, the house and the yard next door were the same property. The yard was part of the property with the house. It was Obama who apparently had the seller separate the house from the yard so Obama could buy the house for $1.65 million (a discount right there of $300,000) while his indicted slumlord friend Rezko bought the yard for full price at $625,000 and Obama got a house he could not afford. $925,000.

Obama’s former boss “Davis soon went into business with Rezko, creating a company called New Kenwood LLC to build the seven-story apartment building for senior citizens on a vacant stretch of land once occupied by a gas station at 48th and Cottage Grove. The city of Chicago owned the land — nearly two acres tainted by lead, benzene and other toxic chemicals. Davis is a member of the Chicago Plan Commission. He was originally appointed to the commission in 1991 by his friend, Mayor Daley. Davis, like Rezko, has been a prolific campaign fund-raiser for politicians including Daley and Obama.”

This is Chicago after all. Michelle Obama works for the Landmarks Commission, Obama’s boss is on the Planning Commission, Obama does legal work for Rezko real estate, Michelle works for a hospital, the Obama house was sold by a doctor, there are doctors investing in real estate with Rezko including in the Pizza parlors now in such deep legal troubles. We are sure this is all coincidence. We won’t even mention Todd Stroger and the corruption swirling around him and his dad and how Obama endorsed Todd and why Todd’s father had to leave public life. That’s for another day.

We do recall, as we have written before, that while Obama was writing letters to benefit by millions of dollars his indicted slumlord friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko, Obama’s African-American constituents were freezing in their tenements. Obama was busy writing letters.

”Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko’s low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems — including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers. 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.“

Read the whole story for yourself. There are enough strings to follow, that we have not included, to keep us busy through the summer. One piece of advice for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times: When the Toledo Blade began to dig into the Ohio coin scam, they kept finding more and more strings to follow. Eventually they had to even pull reporters from the sports pages to cover the story. Maybe you Chicago papers will soon have to cut back on the Cubs to concentrate on the Rookie.