Read Rezko For Dummies before reading Rezko For Dummies, Part II.
In our post A Challenge To Big Media and Big Blogs we dared these peas in a pod to Prove us wrong. Show us where we are wrong in the Obama benefactor and friend, the indicted Antoin “Tony” Rezko, story. No one has come forward to take up the challenge.
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In old Chicago, paper bags filled with money were passed, literally “under the table” to politicians. These days complicated schemes are employed by politicians on the take. Herewith, as lawyers say, is our “theory of the case”. As TV show detective “Monk” says “Here’s what happened”:
Obama had multiple land dealings regarding Rezko. Obama and his supporters answer a question about a particular land deal by bringing up details about a different land deal. This is how they try to kill the REZKO scandal – distract, distort, deflect. But they never answer directly.
I. Obama/REZKO land dealings benefitting REZKO:
Both as part time State Senator and part time lawyer, Obama helped his friend of 17 years, REZKO, obtain tens of millions of dollars in government subsidies. There are many of these land deals.
At the Chicago political machine law firm where Obama worked, Obama helped pump tens of millions of government subsidy monies to the REZKO company called REZMAR. [This video explains some of these Obama/REZKO deals HERE.]
As State Senator, Obama, in his official capacity, also helped pump tens of millions of more dollars to REZKO. [Obama denied doing “favors” for REZKO as a state senator but this video proves that too was an Obama lie HERE]
II. Obama/REZKO land dealings benefitting Obama:
Obama received many contributions from REZKO and even more money from contributions raised by REZKO for all of Obama’s political campaigns (the failed congressional race, the state senate race, the U.S. Senate race). But the biggest personal benefit Obama received from REZKO, that we know of, is the big house Obama lives in today.
Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. Obama and Michelle owned a condominum at that time but now that Obama was a U.S. Senator they wanted to move to a big house. Obama could not afford the big house he wanted. The house cost $2,305,000. However, in 2005 Obama bought the house he could not afford. Here is how Obama bought a house he could not afford:
Step 1 – Obama talked the doctor selling the house into selling the house and the house’s side yard separately. There would be two separate buyers of the single property – both purchasing the property on the same day.
Step 2 – Obama had previously asked his friend REZKO to buy the side yard of the house. REZKO was doing financially well at this point.
Step 3 – Obama purchased the land with the house on it. REZKO, probably to hide his involvement in this land deal and protect Obama, had his wife Rita purchase the side yard. Both purchases of the single property closed on the same day.
Result – Obama got a $300,000 discount on the much more valuable property on which the house stood. REZKO’s wife, Rita, purchased the side yard for full price. After the deal, Obama paid for mowing of his front lawn as well as REZKO’s yard.
The math is this: Obama gets a $300,000 discount and pays $1,605,000 for his house; REZKO’s wife buys the yard at full price for the undeveloped, less valuable side yard for $625,000. Obama gets a $2,305,000 house for $1,605,000. “Profit” to Obama = $925,000.
III. Obama/REZKO land deal benefitting REZKO:
By 2006 Obama and REZKO had reversed fortunes. Obama was a U.S. Senator peddling books (his latest autobiography chock full of “composite” characters and made up situations). Obama’s wife, Michelle, had fortuitously received all sorts of financial benefits from her new found status as wife of a U.S. Senator – including a promotion and a $316,962 salary from the hospital she worked at. REZKO was in financial difficulty and it was reported that REZKO was about to be indicted.
Obama came to the REZKO rescue. REZKO, Obama’s friend, slumlord and Chicago fixer was in trouble. Money was drying up and Patrick Fitzgerald was on his tail. REZKO needed money. The cash flushed Obama obliged. Obama offered to buy some of the REZKO-owned side yard.
The 10 feet of land Obama decided to purchase from REZKO was appraised at $40,000. Obama paid the financially troubled REZKO $104,500. Shortly thereafter, REZKO was indicted by “Scooter” Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on charges including Bribes, Kickbacks, and Extortion.
Why Obama rescued REZKO remains a mystery. Why would an up and coming Chicago politician risk his political future for a slumlord about to be indicted remains a question. Obama supporters will no doubt burn incense and declare Obama a great humanitarian and friend. Impartial observers, and prosecutors, might suspect this transaction was “hush money”. “Hush money” talks real loudly in Chicago.
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REZKO For Dummies – Questions and Answers.
[We will take questions from the comments and emails and answer them throughout the day.]
Question: What is a REZKO? “Rezko” refers to Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Rezko is an Obama friend of 17 years, a slumlord, and an indicted Chicago “Fixer“. The New York Times described Rezko this way: “Antoin Rezko, an entrepreneur of considerable charm who found riches in fast food and real estate, is known around Chicago as a collector of politicians.” “Mr. Obama has portrayed Mr. Rezko as a one-time fund-raiser whom he had occasionally seen socially. But interviews with more than a dozen political and business associates suggest that the two men were closer than the senator has indicated.”
Question: Isn’t this an “old” story? Most reporters and Democrats are unaware of the Rezko Obama wheeling and dealing. ABC News certainly does not think this is an old story. The Rezko trial for Bribes, Kickbacks and Extortion begins on February 25, 2008. The unvetted Obama is running for president in 2008. There has been zero investigation of this story. Obama has repeatedly been caught not telling the truth about his transactions with Rezko. Republicans are aware of Rezko and will use this story against Obama if he ever became the Democratic nominee. [Check out what right-wingers Tucker Carlson and Andrew Ferguson have to say about the Obama/Rezko house deal.]
Question: Does this story really matter? This story goes right to the question of Obama’s experience and judgment. Obama’s Chicago constituents were abandoned by Obama in unheated tenements while Obama relaxed in his big heated house counting the money slumlord Rezko donated to Obama. Rezko did not have money to pay for heating oil for his tenements but he did have money to donate to Obama. Obama represented his small state senate district badly. At best Obama can say he was incompetent and did not know African-Americans in his district were living in “buildings riddled with problems — including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers.”
Question: Who says the Obama house and the Rezko purchased yard were once part of the same property AND that both were purchased on the same day? In the words of the Chicago Tribune, “The same day the Obamas closed on the house, the Rezkos closed on the purchase of the adjoining vacant lot, which once was the estate’s lush side yard.”
Question: Any proof that Obama did “favors” for Rezko while Obama was a state senator? The Chicago Tribune: “On June 13, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that as a state senator, Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens. The Sun-Times said 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.
Question: Is there more to come on this Rezko story? Stay tuned to the Rezko trial. As reported immediately above, Allison S. Davis, Obama’s former boss at the politically connected Chicago law firm was an investor in some of Rezko’s deals. Michelle Obama and the medical community in Chicago continue to swirl around this story. As trial approaches Rezko might decide to try to get a deal. Usually, prosecutors will only work a deal if someone else is “offered up”.
Question: What about Hillary – what about Whitewater? Hillary has been fully vetted. The Clintons lost $50,000 in the media trumped up land deal known as Whitewater. Every single little thing that the Republicans can throw at Hillary during an election has already been thrown at her to no avail. Few people know about Rezko. Few reporters know the full Rezko/Obama story. With a Rezko trial starting on February 25, 2008 the Rezko tales will finally be told. At the very first glance it looks like Obama made a $925,000 “profit” on the purchase of his house. Clinton’s lost $50,000; Obama gained $925,000.
Question: Maybe Obama didn’t know what he was doing – Is Obama a real estate lawyer? Obama was a real estate lawyer. Obama tried to hide that fact but the Sun-Times exposed the truth:
Davis said he didn’t remember Obama working on the Rezmar projects. “I don’t recall Barack having any involvement in real estate transactions,” Davis said. “Barack was a litigator. His area of focus was litigation, class-action suits.”
But Obama did legal work on real estate deals while at Davis’ firm, according to biographical information he submitted to the Sun-Times in 1998. Obama specialized “in civil rights litigation, real estate financing, acquisition, construction and/or redevelopment of low-and moderate income housing,” according to his “biographical sketch.” And he did legal work on Rezko’s deals, according to an e-mail his presidential campaign staff sent the Sun-Times on Feb. 16, in response to earlier inquiries. The staff didn’t specify which Rezmar projects Obama worked on, or his role. But it drew a distinction between working for Rezko and working on projects involving his company.”
Also, Lynn Sweet, of the Chicago Sun-Times caught Obama in another discrepancy between what Obama is currently saying and his record. “Well said, except that this was not the first time Obama went through the process of buying a residence. Obama and his wife bought a condominium in Hyde Park before purchasing their mansion in Kenwood. Perhaps Obama was making a distinction between buying a condo and a stand-alone home. But Obama was not the first-time residential purchaser he portrayed in the interview.”
Michelle Obama served for 7 years on the Landmark Commission (1998-2005). Michelle Obama used those Landmark Commission contacts to navigate through Chicago law when the Obamas decided to build a fence for, as Lynn Sweet calls it, their Kenwood mansion.
Question: Did Obama know Rezko was about to be indicted when he made the last of the Obama/Rezko real estate deals? Obama changes his story with regularity. ABC News appears to have the evidence that Obama knew or should have known.
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We’ll have more Questions and Answers in our REZKO For Dummies series. We might even discuss the Chicago Suicide. Send in your questions.