Big Media waking up? We wrote on April 30, 2007 “Will Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald Destroy the Obama Campaign?” about the pending doom facing the Barack Obama campaign. Here is what we wrote:
The national media are missing the big picture in their coverage of the hundred-million dollar plus scandal involving Barack Obama and his friend of 17 years, major donor, former Finance Committee Co-Chair and now indicted slumlord.
Debate moderator Brian Williams asked Obama about the scandal during last Thursday’s first Democratic Candidates for President debate. But Williams did not reference the political implications of the Obama scandal: the trial of Obama’s decades long friend and major donor and fundraiser will coincide with the 2008 primary calendar.
“Will Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald Destroy The Obama Campaign?” The legendary Patrick Fitzgerald indicted and convicted top Vice President Cheney aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Fitzgerald has now set his relentless prosecutorial eyes on a new target.
Fitzgerald’s United States Federal Prosecutor Office for Illinois has filed a 65 page indictment of Antoin “Tony” Rezko .
The trial has been scheduled for February 25, 2008 by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve. Judge Eve called the trial date of Febuary 25, 2008 a firm date. The trial preparations and news will coincide with the first Democratic Primaries and Caucuses in January and February 2008. The headlines are sure to draw attention to Obama’s shady deals with Rezko in the purchase of Obama’s $1.65 million house.
This weekend Big Media began to catch up on this story: “Rezko remains part of the history that is likely to trail Obama into the presidential campaign. His federal trial is scheduled to begin in February, during the opening rounds of the 2008 Democratic primary season.”
What is shaking drowsy Big Media from their Big Sleep? After beating up on Hillary about Norman Hsu the Washington Post finally discovered that Hsu was generous to Obama too. “Federal Election Commission records show that Hsu gave $5,000 to Obama’s Hopefund PAC in connection with the fundraiser and that people publicly identified with Hsu and his companies gave an additional $19,500 to the PAC in 2005 and 2006.”
A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Sen. Barack Obama.
Alexi Giannoulias, who became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid.
Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael “Jaws” Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.
Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state’s speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama’s help.
Giannoulias was the bank’s vice president and chief loan officer for most of the more than $15 million in loans.
Recall, Obama’s other long time friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko was widely known as about to be indicted when Rezko bought and paid for a yard attached to a house Obama could not afford. This allowed Obama, in what he wishes to wave away as a “boneheaded” move, to purchase the mansion he calls home. With this Rezko history fresh in everyone’s mind, has Obama steered himself away from Giannoulias? No.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias as the Great Gatsby party scene unfolded before him on Winfrey’s meadow under a gorgeous sky. Real celebrities mingled with Obama’s best donors and bundlers rewarded for their fund-raising efforts with a star-studded afternoon.”
Giannoulias perhaps is not aware that the Great Gatsby made his money in crime family bootlegging and that the Fitzgerald novel was a foreshadowing of the grimmer mob epic The Godfather when Giannoulias made that ill-chosen reference.
We have previously written about Giannoulias in The Senator From Rezko, Part II. Quoting a Chicago Tribune article Critics: Obama Endorsements Counter Calls For Clean Government we wrote
“But Obama’s record of local endorsements — one measure of how he has used his nascent political clout — has drawn criticism from those who say it reflects his deference to Chicago’s established political order and runs counter to his public calls for clean government.”
“In the 2006 Democratic primary, for example, Obama endorsed first-time candidate Alexi Giannoulias for state treasurer despite reports about loans Giannoulias’ family-owned Broadway Bank made to crime figures. Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaign, which banked at Broadway.”
“Obama endorsed former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd), calling her “a very early supporter of my campaign.” Tillman was then under fire for her stewardship of the scandal-plagued Harold Washington Cultural Center, where contracts benefited members of her family.”
Obama’s real history is catching up with him. This past week the L.A. Times had a solid profile of Obama called Obama: A Fresh Face Or An Old-School Tactician?
Here are excerpts from the L.A. Times article reminiscent of our article Obama’s Dirty Mud Politics:
He managed to burnish a reformer’s reputation while swimming in the muddy waters of special-interest- infested state politics.
He worked on a nice-guy image while practicing the hardball and brawling tactics of Chicago-style politics.
Now, promoting himself as a fresh face on the national political stage, proclaiming his distance from lobbyists and the Washington culture of special interests, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has to contend with his own history.
From Chicago to Springfield, his past is filled with decidedly old-school political tactics — a history of befriending powerful local elders, assisting benefactors and special interests, and neutralizing rivals.
Obama may be packaged as something new among presidential contenders, but in this town where politics is played like a blood sport he fit right in.
Our explorations into the real Barack Obama will continue in Barack Obama’s Mob, Part II