Let’s Help Barack Obama’s Slumlord Friend REZKO, Part II

What does Tony Rezko know and when will he say it?

In Part II of Let’s Help Barack Obama’s Slumlord Friend REZKO we’ll discuss why we suspect Prosecutor Fitzgerald kept Obama out of the Rezko trial. We’ll discuss more questions regarding Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s attorneys and their ineffective and perplexing “defense” of Rezko. Also “When will Rezko sing?” – our timeline estimates.

* * *

Poor Tony. Antoin “Tony” Rezko is now a convicted felon. The grim future Rezko faces is a factor when considering if and when Rezko will “flip” and “give up the goods” on Obama.

Let’s inventory Rezko’s future.

In his first trial, Obama’s slumlord friend Rezko was presumed innocent. No longer. Obama’s friend Rezko will face further trials with the added burden of being a convicted felon. And there will be more legal trials and tribulations for Obama’s slumlord friend:

With the ink barely dry on the verdict form in one trial, a federal judge on Monday set a trial date for Tony Rezko’s next case. The trial for the onetime influential political fund-raiser is set to start Feb. 2, 2009. It involves a $10 million loan fraud scheme. Rezko allegedly asked a former state official, Ali Ata, to doctor up a letter to help secure loans for his pizza franchises, as part of the case. On Wednesday, a federal jury convicted Rezko of far-reaching fraud tied to state deals. He surrendered to jail immediately.

In limbo now is a third case against Rezko. That one, filed just two weeks ago in a Las Vegas-area county court, accuses Rezko of skipping out on $450,000 in gambling debts racked up at local casinos.

Poor Tony. Tony faces a maximum jail term of 300 years as a result of his first trial. More convictions would add yet more years and years to Tony’s grim future paying back society for his crimes.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s second trial will in all liklihood not go well. Ali Ata will be an imporant prosecution witness in the second trial as he was in the first Rezko trial. How well did Ali Ata testify in the first trial?

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports prosecution witness and real estate developer Ali Ata spent another day on the witness stand. The longtime friend of Rezko claimed Rezko got him a job running the State Finance Authority in return for big money campaign contributions to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“After Stuart Levine, Tony Rezko had a lot to be thankful for, and his lawyers did a great job,” said CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller. “Then comes Ali Ata, the last major witness and I think the roller coaster is going the other way right now. He was a tremendous witness for the government.” [snip]

“If Joe Duffy and Tony Rezko knew that Ali Ata was going to be a witness in the case to bolster the testimony of Stuart Levine, that would have been a major consideration before this trial even started,” Miller said.

After Ali Ata testifies once again against Rezko, Tony will probably be convicted and face additional years to an already life sentence in prison.

Tony has money problems which will go to court too. A lot of questions about Rezko’s finances will be asked and answered. We might even find out about the Obama house deal.

Tony Rezko has gone to jail, but his money troubles won’t go away.

A former Rezko business associate went to court Thursday to try to get the former top political fund-raiser and adviser to Gov. Blagojevich declared bankrupt and force an investigation into his finances.

Lawyers for Semir Sirazi said Rezko owes him $18 million from business deals in which Sirazi put up assets to secure Rezko loans. In 2006, Rezko promised to pay Sirazi if he sold his stake in various properties, according to Sirazi’s lawyer, Gregory Scandaglia.

Rezko then sold his interest in 62 acres in the South Loop to a company owned by London billionaire Nahdmi Auchi. But Sirazi didn’t get any of the $3.8 million proceeds, Scandaglia said. Rezko later told U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve that much of the money went toward his legal fees, and some to his wife, Rita Rezko, and other family members. [snip]

To recoup what Sirazi is owed, Scandaglia said he will seek the appointment of a bankruptcy trustee to sell off Rezko’s remaining assets. The trustee also would have the power to investigate Rezko’s past financial transactions. “We think that there are distributions that were made that the trustee will have the ability to undo,” Scandaglia said.

Rezko received some odd representation at his trial in which the prosecution presented nine weeks of testimony.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s defense attorneys staked their case Monday on the prospect that jurors have found more credibility problems than compelling evidence during weeks of testimony from prosecution witnesses.

That’s the most plausible conclusion to be drawn from lead defense attorney Joseph Duffy’s surprise announcement Monday that he will neither call defense witnesses nor put his client on the stand. No defense presentation is needed, he told reporters outside the courtroom, because the government has failed to make its case against Rezko, a longtime associate of and top fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Odd. It is not unusual for a defense team to bluster by not presenting a defense, preferring instead to denigrate the prosecution case. But Ali Ata by most accounts was a very good last witness for the prosecution. Yet no witness was called by the Rezko legal defense team. Hey, why not call Obama as a character witness?

Slumlord Rezko is a 20 year friend of Barack Obama. By many accounts Barack Obama is popular in Chicago. Would it not have been powerful testimony to subpoena Barack Obama and have him testify about his good “honest” friend Rezko? Obama and Rezko have always maintained that their relationship is on the up and up. Why not call Obama as a character witness? Surely Obama could answer any pesky questions the prosecution would have brought up. Why not call Obama if there is nothing to hide?

Of course there were questions besides the odd house transaction for Obama to answer. The prosecution had a whole bushel of questions to ask Obama.

In January, the Sun-Times reported that a portion of the Tony Rezko case led to Barack Obama’s campaign fund. Obama isn’t accused of doing anything wrong. But Rezko allegedly used straw donors to kick into Obama’s campaign fund during his run for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

While none of that came out at trial, today, for the first time, a filing recently unsealed shows the government’s initial intent to call witnesses about that aspect of the case. The judge in the case, Amy St. Eve, ruled that the prosecution could bring up Obama’s name. But they never did. And references to Obama were not only kept out of the trial during his run for the primary — it was kept under seal. Until today.

The filing indicates that the prosecution wanted witnesses to talk about Rezko’s prowess as an Obama fund-raiser and his influence in getting two others — Joseph Aramanda and Semir Sirazi — to donate Rezko money to Obama’s campaigns in their names. The money kicked into Obama’s campaigns came from an illicit kickback scheme. Obama has since donated that money to charity.

Additionally the newly unsealed documents indicate that prosecutors considered offering witnesses to explore why Rezko used others to contribute to Obama One of those “straw” donors was Joseph Aramanda whose son, at the request of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, was gifted with an internship in Obama’s Senate office.

Calculations

Putting aside the possibility that Rezko’s attorneys were more interested in helping Obama and other powerful Illinois officials (who had the wealth and power to help said attorneys in the future), than their waning in power, increasingly penurious client – let’s make some calculations as to who did what and why.

The Prosecutors – why did they not call Obama as a witness or bring up shady Obama/Rezko deals and connections in the first Rezko trial? Patrick Fitzgerald is known to convict lower-level conspirators in order to work his way up the chain of corruption. For prosecutors a solid conviction is the priority. Once the Rezko prosecutors convicted Rezko they could move up the ladder in their quest to rid Illinois of corruption.

The prosecutors might have made the calculation that Obama was indeed popular in Chicago and that the jury might not be partial to convicting Rezko if it meant also hurting Obama. The prosecution calculus was a bird in the hand….

For prosecutors the conviction of Rezko in a court of law and a potential Rezko “flip” would remedy the compromise of not targeting Obama in the first Rezko trial. In other words, get Rezko first, Obama and Blagojevich later.

Rezko and his attorneys, what were their calculations?. Again, assuming that Rezko and his legal team had Rezko’s best interests in mind why didn’t Rezko’s attorneys call Obama as a witness. Obama was a supposedly popular Chicago politician who could have influenced the jury to not convict slumlord Rezko. However, Rezko might have counted on winning the case and regaining his perch in Illinois power. Calling Obama as a witness would have meant hurting Obama. Calling Obama as a witness would have been tantamount to a declaration of war against powerful political officials and therefore Rezko could never, even if found not-guilty, regain his Illinois power perch.

Now that Rezko has been convicted and faces further prosecutions likely to further convict him, Rezko has major decisions to make. Rezko would like to be released from prison after 5 or 10 years as well as retain some measure of wealth. Considering that Rezko faces enormous financial penalties and the likelihood of decades in prison after all his trials are finished – Rezko needs one hellava big “get out of jail free” card.

In order to get the major reductions in financial penalties and prison time, over 50 years old Rezko has to make one huge proffer to prosecutors. That proffer has to be at least a Governor and a Senator as well as more than just a few members of corrupt Illinois government boards. As the Sun-Times has written The million dollar question following Tony Rezko’s conviction is whether he will crumble under the pressure of being behind jail bars and agree to talk to the feds.

Rezko has 3 dates to keep in mind: August 25 – the beginning of the Democratic? National Convention; September 3 – sentencing day for conviction in the first Rezko trial; February 2, 2009 – the beginning of the next Rezko trial.

For Rezko it is important to “flip” on Obama before the Democratic? Convention begins in late August. Rezko does not want to add the burden of testifying against an actual Democratic? Party presidential nominee (not just a pompous presumtive nominee) and all the powerful national forces which will be mustered in defense of the nominee.

If Rezko is in complete denial of the grim facts and future he faces before the August Democratic? Convention, that denial will crumple on September 3 – Judgement Day. The prospect of a very long prison sentence as he prepares for a February 2 additional trial date will shatter all Rezko illusions about life without family, luxury home, and freedom.

Prosecutor Fitzgerald will let Rezko consider his future in prison as Rezko sits hour by hour, day by day in jail. When Rezko stops fooling himself; when Rezko begins to consider whether he wants the same legal team (if he can afford them) for the next series of trials that so ineffectively represented him at the first trial; when Rezko realizes that you have to give a lot to get a lot; when Rezko decides that his so-called friends are not worth donating his life for; when Rezko realizes his family will have to move on without him – Rezko will break and decide to tell all.

Rezko will soon realize that protecting Obama is not worth a life in prison.

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41 thoughts on “Let’s Help Barack Obama’s Slumlord Friend REZKO, Part II

  1. Here’s a place worth posting at:

    h t t p : / / http://www.topix.net/forum/source/baltimore-sun/TRI9K1KD069FJF9FG/p2#lastPost

    Only 35 posts so far. No hassle, form is at the bottom of the page, no registration.

    Short thoughtful posts. Headlne to the actual story is:
    Baltimore Sun
    Obama has to convince the undecideds
    Posted in the Baltimore Sun Forum

    I’ve started an email list, PumaResponders, for alerts like this (like HIllarysResponders used to do). If anyone would like to join, pls email me at 1950democrat/at/gmail/com

    Even if you don’t want to post at such sites, I’d appreciate if you’d email me the url when you see good threads and I will send it out on the list.

  2. Yes, sooner or later, something has to break for us…unless the promises are so monumental, like PARDONS and all that, Rezko’s lips will be sealed..

    Mrs. Smith

  3. The pardons only come true if he wins in November. Right now, things are not looking all that good, especially if you follow the accurate polling.

  4. We Will Remember in November.

    The Backstabbers.

    countusout.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/backstabbers-we-will-remember-in-november/

  5. I can’t believe the stupid and awkward imitation of ‘swift boating Kerry’ strategy rolled out by Obama campaign over the past few days. It’s just a idiotic strategy for the following reasons:

    1) McCain is not phony, flip-flopping elitist John Kerry. Unlike Kerry, Mccain hasn’t really talked about the ordeal he’d been through during vietnam war. Frankly, not many voters paid much attention to the details of mccain’s service back in 1960s besides knowing he’s a hero. By discreting McCain’s military service, Obama camp gave a huge opening for McCain to discuss his heroic service, which will further bolster his national security credentials.

    2) Unlike right wingers, leftists have a stereotype image of being anti-military, anti-war, weak-on-national security. By awkwardly copying right wingers’ ‘swift boating’ tactics, Obama will be further regarded as an anti-military lunatic. The right wingers could get away with ‘swift boat’ tactics in 2004 because independent voters don’t necessarily think GOP is an anti-military party.

  6. I think Gen. Clark really does want to do more damage to BHO or the other way to think about it is that Gen. Clark is part of elite assessing military services of those who did not make to be four-star general.

    Gen. Clark won’t back off critique of McCain
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080702/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_clark

    and also check this out:

    McCain Camp Seeks to Keep Focus on Gen. Clark’s Comments
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/07/01/mccain-camp-seeks-to-keep-focus-on-gen-clarks-comments/?mod=googlenews_wsj

  7. For Immediate Release:

    From: Sheri Tag/NO WE WON’T RADIO

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/NO-WE-WONT

    I am pleased and excited to announce that we have added another night of NO WE WON’T Radio to our schedule. We will now have two shows a week.

    Sheri Tag will continue as host on Sunday evenings at 8:00pm EDT.
    Julie Johnson will be hosting on Wednesday evenings, 7:00pm EDT.

    Julie’s first show is tomorrow, Wednesday, July, 2nd, 2008 at 7:00pm EDT. Please join Julie as she talks with the much interviewed Cynthia Ruccia of Women for Fair Politics, http://www.womenforfairpolitics.com/index.html. Cynthia has some very exciting news to share with the listeners on how we can be active participants in the swing states.

    Here is a link to listen to the show live:

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/NO-WE-WONT/2008/07/02/No-We-Wont-and-Cynthia-Ruccia-of-Women-for-Fair-Politics

    Julie is a PUMA Member who has been an activist in the Women’s Right movement since the 1980’s.

    For Julie, “It’s about being an American first. If our votes do not count or the politicians simply ignore them, then there is no accountability, no democracy, and no America.”

    Julie understands how important it is to take a stand for something you believe in.

    Let’s give Julie a Big Welcome! Be sure to tune in and call in with your questions!!!

  8. that is high for nader. in other words dissaffected dems are voting for him over obama.

  9. With his feet to the fire over Rezko, BHO has had to state up front that he will not pardon Rezko. The sooner Rezko starts warbling the better. The more details he “recalls” and diagrams he begins to “fill in” the more time and $$$$ is shaved off his life sentence. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Even though Rezko has a very checkered past, in no way does it begin to match the checkmate he faces on the board he now sits backed into a corner.

    He can move swiftly without fanfare to dismantle the House that Dean Built and save his own hide. There would be at least 18 million fans that would gladly each chip in a dollar to find the best plastic surgeon on the face of the planet to change his appearance (and his family’s as well) along with the Feds granting the Witness Protection Program. Hey, their own private island would be a nice payoff to rid the world of a BHO presidency, nes’t pas?

    Rezko, do what is in your family’s best interest as well as your own. Be the same friend to BHO as he is being to you.

    SING AND SING NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Rezko needs tdo be in a very high maximum security setting so that he fears no strage occurences in the middle of the night, much less during the day, if you know what I mean.

    Maybe I’ve watched too many whodunits but hey, this IS Chicago we’re talking about.

    Fitzgerald needs to guard his cell himsepf if need be. Do whatever it takes to get the goods on BHO. Take all necessary precautions in who has access to Rezko.

    This and Sinclair/Young are THE stories of the historic Democratic campaign of 2008.

  11. tdo = to strage = strange occurences = occurrences himseph = himself

    now you know why I’m not a secretary 40 wpm? Yeah, right

  12. good grief-
    July 1, 2008, 9:01PM
    Congressman Edwards coy about Obama VP chances

    By ANGELA K. BROWN
    Associated Press

    WACO — U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards was tight-lipped Tuesday about whether he has talked with Barack Obama’s campaign about a No. 2 spot on the ticket a week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi singled him out as the best House member for the job.

    Pelosi told Newsweek last week that Edwards would be a good running mate for Obama because “we want the House in the mix as well.”

    She later cited Edwards’ leadership and work on veterans issues.

    “He’s really one of the finest people I’ve ever served with,” she said.

    Edwards, a conservative nine-term Democrat representing the district that includes President Bush’s Crawford ranch, is chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. But his name had never before surfaced as a possible running mate for Obama, an Illinois senator.

    Last week Edwards’ office issued a statement saying he had not met with Obama’s staff and wanted to keep focusing on serving his Central Texas district.

    An Obama spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

    Former Sens. John Edwards, of North Carolina, and Sam Nunn, of Georgia, have surfaced as possibilities for Obama’s vice-presidential running mate. Chet Edwards’ name has only been mentioned by Pelosi.

    Chet Edwards was in Waco Tuesday for the unveiling of a $3.5 million mobile MRI unit at the Waco Veterans Affairs Hospital.

    When asked about Pelosi’s comments, he said he “cannot imagine that many Americans would not consider it a privilege” to be considered a vice-presidential contender.

    Edwards, who is generally well-liked by his congressional colleagues, said he thought Pelosi singled him out because he has worked on veterans causes, has strength on national defense, is a Southern moderate, represents a Republican-leaning district and “would provide real balance.”

    After GOP-led redistricting in Texas a few years ago, he was the only Democrat in a competitive race to survive the 2004 elections.

  13. June 30, 2008
    Ohio Ticket Match-Ups
    SurveyUSA has released its ticket match-ups for Ohio and things are looking good for McCain:

    McCain/Bloomberg – 46
    Obama/Webb – 44

    McCain/Bloomberg – 46
    Obama/McCaskill – 43

    McCain/Bloomberg – 47
    Obama/Kaine – 40

    McCain/Bloomberg – 46
    Obama/Strickland – 44

    McCain/Jindal – 44
    Obama/Webb – 42

    McCain/Jindal – 44
    Obama/McCaskill – 42

    McCain/Jindal – 44
    Obama/Kaine – 39

    McCain/Jindal – 45
    Obama/Strickland – 45

    McCain/Fiorina – 44
    Obama/Webb – 42

    McCain/Fiorina – 44
    Obama/McCaskill – 42

    McCain/Fiorina – 44
    Obama/Kaine – 41

    McCain/Fiorina – 44
    Obama/Strickland – 45

    McCain/Jindal – 43
    Obama/Bloomberg – 43

    McCain/Fiorina – 43
    Obama/Bloomberg – 43

    So the only match-up where Obama beats McCain is with Strickland against Fiorina. Unfortunately for Obama, Strickland has said he will not accept the VP offer.

  14. Here’s a good link for Paul V’s videomaking skills. I think the guy intends the copy to be public domain but who knows?

    tominpaine.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-obama-loses-election-in-30-seconds.html

  15. America’s Hope Foundation Announces Two New Radio Ads Concerning Barack Obama to Air in Several States

    NewswireToday – /newswire/ – Charlottesville, VA, United States, 07/01/2008 – The America’s Hope Foundation, which has planned to air both TV and Radio ads aimed at exposing the truth about Barack Obama, has announced two new radio ads which begin airing in several swing states on July 2, 2008.

    America’s Hope Foundation, which plans to run TV and Radio ads in swing states throughout the United States from July to November, announces two new radio ads that will begin airing on July 2, 2008 in markets across the country. The ads may be heard on the Foundation’s website (see below).
    The ad descriptions follow:

    • Obama – Iran ad – This ad focuses on the discrepancies in Obama’s statements related to the nuclear situation in Iran. In his own words, Obama downplays Iran’s threat level, only to dramatically reverse himself two days after. This ad calls into question whether Obama, who seems to have such an elementary grasp of foreign policy issues, will be able to keep the American people safe in this time of war. This ad is airing in Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, and Alaska.

    • Obama – Sinclair ad – This ad focuses on the allegations from Larry Sinclair, former Obama associate, who alleges that he and the Senator engaged in drug use and sexual activity together in 1999. The mainstream media has largely ignored Sinclair, but his statements must be brought to light so that they may be properly investigated. This ad is airing in Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Nevada.
    The ads will air over the next two weeks before a new round of TV and Radio ads are announced.

    The Reverend Tim L Donovan, Executive Director of the America’s Hope Foundation, is available for comment and for interviews. Please use the contact below to inquire further.

  16. BREAKING – new scandal about Obama’s Rezko house, from the front page of tomorrow morning’s Washington Post:

    ————-
    Obama Got Discount on Home Loan
    Campaign Defends Lower Rate as Lender Competition for Business

    By Joe Stephens
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008; A03

    Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate and while enjoying a surge in income, Barack Obama bought a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in an upscale Chicago neighborhood. To finance the purchase, he secured a $1.32 million loan from Northern Trust in Illinois.

    The freshman Democratic senator received a discount. He locked in an interest rate of 5.625 percent on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, below the average for such loans at the time in Chicago. The loan was unusually large, known in banker lingo as a “super super jumbo.” Obama paid no origination fee or discount points, as some consumers do to reduce their interest rates.

    Compared with the average terms offered at the time in Chicago, Obama’s rate could have saved him more than $300 per month.

    Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the rate was adjusted to account for a competing offer from another lender and other factors. “The Obamas have since had as much as $3 million invested through Northern Trust,” he said in a statement.

    Modest adjustments in mortgage rates are common among financial institutions as they compete for business or develop relationships with wealthy families. But amid a national housing crisis, news of discounts offered to Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the banking committee, and Kent Conrad (D-N.D) by another lender, Countrywide Financial, has brought new scrutiny to the practice and has resulted in a preliminary Senate ethics committee inquiry into the Dodd and Conrad loans.

    Within Obama’s presidential campaign organization, former Fannie Mae chief executive James A. Johnson resigned abruptly as head of the vice presidential search committee after his favorable Countrywide loan became public.

    Driving the recent debate is concern that public officials, knowingly or unknowingly, may receive special treatment from lenders and that the discounts could constitute gifts that are prohibited by law.

    “The real question is: Were congressmen getting unique treatment that others weren’t getting?” associate law professor Adam J. Levitin, a credit specialist at Georgetown University Law Center, said about the Countrywide loans. “Do they do business like that for people who are not congressmen? If they don’t, that’s a problem.”

    Under financial disclosure rules, members of Congress are not obliged to disclose debts owed to financial institutions for personal residences. Names of lenders and rates paid on mortgages sometimes can be determined by scrutinizing property transaction records. In March, in response to media questions, Obama posted on his campaign Web site records related to his house purchase.

    Last week, during debate on a bill to help homeowners caught in the foreclosure crisis, some members of the Senate ethics committee proposed an amendment to require that lawmakers disclose their mortgage lenders and loan terms in annual financial forms starting next year.

    In Obama’s case, he received a lower rate than the average offered at the time in Chicago for similarly structured jumbo loans. He secured his final mortgage commitment on June 8, 2005, and during that week, rates on similar loans for which information is available averaged 5.93 percent, according to HSH Associates, which surveys lenders. Another survey firm, Bankrate.com, placed the average at 6 percent.

    “It’s certainly safe to say that this borrower did better than average,” said Keith Gumbinger, an HSH vice president, noting that consumer rates vary widely. “It’s a good deal.”

    The Obama campaign called the rate “consistent with Northern Trust policies, and it reflected the base rate set for that period discounted to address the competition for the account and other opportunities, such as personal financial services, that the relationship would bring to Northern Trust.”

    When the Obamas secured the loan, their income had risen dramatically. Obama assumed his Senate seat in January 2005, with an annual salary of $162,100. That same month, Random House agreed to reissue an Obama memoir, for which it originally paid $40,000, as part of a $2.27 million deal that included two future nonfiction books and a children’s book.

    Around the same time, the University of Chicago Hospitals promoted Michelle Obama to a vice president and more than doubled her pay, to $317,000.

    The couple wanted to step up from their $415,000 condo. They chose a house with six bedrooms, four fireplaces, a four-car garage and 5 1/2 baths, including a double steam shower and a marble powder room. It had a wine cellar, a music room, a library, a solarium, beveled glass doors and a granite-floored kitchen.

    The Obamas had no prior relationship with Northern Trust when they applied for the loan. They received an oral commitment on Feb. 4, 2005, and locked in the rate of 5.625 percent, the campaign said. On that date, HSH data show, the average rate in Chicago for a 30-year fixed-rate jumbo loan with no points was about 5.94 percent.

    Jumbo loans are for amounts up to $650,000, but the Obamas’ $1.32 million loan was so large that few comparables are available. Mortgage specialists say that many high-end buyers pay cash.

    Obama’s Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, has no mortgages on properties he owns with his wife, Cindy, who is a multimillionaire.

    Unlike Countrywide, where leaked internal e-mails documented a special discount program for friends of chief executive Angelo Mozilo, Northern Trust says it has no formal program to provide discounts to public officials. Loan officers may consider a borrower’s occupation when establishing an interest rate, the bank said.

    “A person’s occupation and salary are two factors; I would expect those are two things we would take into consideration,” said Northern Trust Vice President John O’Connell. “That would apply to anyone seeking to get a mortgage at Northern Trust.” He added that the rates offered to Obama were “consistent with internal Northern Trust rates at that time.”

    “The bottom line is, this was a business proposition for us,” he said. “Our business model is to service and pursue successful individuals, families and institutions.”

    O’Connell referred additional questions to the campaign.

    Since 1990, Northern Trust employees have donated more than $739,000 to federal campaigns, including $71,000 to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    Obama’s house purchase has been a source of controversy. In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that on the day of the closing, the wife of Obama’s longtime friend and fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko closed on an adjoining lot that had been the estate’s side yard.

    The Obamas bought the house for $300,000 less than the asking price of $1.95 million, while Rezko’s wife, Rita, bought the neighboring lot for the full asking price of $625,000. Rita Rezko later sold a portion of the undeveloped lot to the Obamas, enlarging the senator’s yard.

    Tony Rezko already had been linked to a grand jury investigation involving public corruption. Last month, he was convicted of 16 counts in an influence-peddling scheme that reached the highest levels of Illinois state government.

  17. Thanks Berkeley Vox for the Rezko article. We have a lot more information on this issue. We know many do not understand the Rezko case or the potency of the issue but we will keep hammering away.

    Good to see someone in Big Media is reading our articles.

  18. admin
    i was just over on a pumapac and a trend has started in response to all the kids changing thier middle names to hussein. i think you should add rodham to all of our monikers.

  19. especially when you consider that these people have little to no knowledge about the political process. its because he is cool. yuck

  20. that wapo story is great. esp the part tht the lender gave obama over 70grand in contributions and of course obama got a low interest rete in return.

  21. HOW OBAMA LOSES THE ELECTION IF 30 SECONDS–by mark rubin @Tom Paine.

    In the Obama campaign’s most recent bizarre moment, Barack Obama, exercising the judgement he has become famous for, decided it was a good idea to send Wesley Clark onto the Sunday talk show circuit to criticize John McCain’s war record and military service saying it was not sufficient for him to be commander-in-chief. This is something like a colander accusing a pot of having holes. It is also crosses the line into incompetence considering that Ret.Major General Barack Obama’s war record consists entirely of a successful attack on Alice Palmer to get his start in Chicago politics.

    Now we can add another Obama “what were they thinking moment” to go along with his other famous moments including his recent seal of disapproval which doesn’t just call his judgement into question, it shows he simply doesn’t have any. And while being a Navy fighter pilot and a POW for 4 years certainly doesn’t qualify someone to be Commander-in- Chief, being mentored for 17 years by Jeremiah Wright doesn’t exactly move you to the top of the list either.

    Nancy Pelosi said not too long ago that she supported Obama because he has the judgment to be President. This is of course, like a homeless person giving advice on how to fix the housing crisis. We’ve been seeing Obama’s judgement on display for the past two weeks and it hasn’t been pretty. Breaking his pledge on public campaign financing, embracing the telecom immunity bill, reversing himself on Jerusalem within 24 hours which managed to unite both Israelis and Palestinians in their contempt for him, the Johnson episode before that, flip flopping on the recent Supreme Court gun decision while trying to pretend his reversal was because of “inartful” phrasing a year ago, and that obnoxious seal. And now an attack on McCain’s military service as being insufficient to be Commander-in-chief in support of a Presidental candidate that doesn’t have any of his own.

    This is another extension of the judgment Obama showed in his 17 year relationship with Wright and his insufficient and evasive explanations about it during the primary.

    After being caught in a series of lies about what he actually knew and heard, he finally admitted what he knew and heard said he disagreed with every inflammatory anti-American statement Wright ever made and found them all reprehensible and despicable. But he never gave a credible explanation as to why it took him 17 years to leave the room.

    He has shown a propensity for saying anything to anyone at anytime to get what he wants right at the moment or to try and make a favorable impression and worry about the consequences later and he’s been able to get away with it with the terminally gullible.Especially the journalists covering his campaign. But that’s how you get reversals and broken pledges and flip flops on Supreme Court decisions and Jerusalem and how the person who claimed he had the judgement to be Commander-in-Chief from day one didn’t leave Wright and his church until day 6,205.

    Chicago journalists speculate he stayed at Trinity Church for 17 years for political reasons because it was in the district he represented and he did it to continue to get re-elected. Whatever Obama’s reasons 17 years is a long time. And his actions and what he had to say about its says everything there needs to be said about his judgement and his credibility and who and what he is as a politician. How he could even think that attacking McCain’s military service and war record as making him unfit to be the Commander-in-Chief could have any credibility in boosting his own standing to be Commander-in-Chief should be enough for the super delegates who declared for him on June 5 to undo the damage when they get to the convention and cast their votes when it really counts.

    I used to be in advertising. I did print ads and TV commercials and ad campaigns for a living. I won a lot of awards doing it. Everything I did was successful. Everything. I worked for some of the top agencies in the business. And I’m still good at it

    It took me less than 5 minutes to write a commercial for John McCain using this one issue, that he could run against Barack Obama from now until election day and John McCain could go fishing from now until November and win an election that would make Reagan – Mondale look like a squeaker.

    I’m not bragging. I’m just trying to make a point. I didn’t do the commercial as a gift to John McCain. I did it as a gift to the Democratic Party and any superdelegates who still wants to win in November. They have seven weeks to take it. I hope they do.

  22. Texan4Hillary, that’s a fun article. The Hopium is beginning to wear off. The Obama incense burners are beginning to take a first look at their flip-flop-flim-flam God That Failed.

    Wbboei, do you have a link to that article. We have not commented on the latest Obama gaffes but it does seem to us that this latest fight with McCain is not wise, especially during Fourth of July week.

  23. Someone at 18 million voices told me that Bambi spent $750,000 buying off superdelegates. How can anyone with integrity call that democracy.

  24. ADMIN; the only thing I can figure is it must be part of his “new kind of patriotism” which includes dissing war heroes, refusing to salute the flag, refusing to wear a flag pin. goddamning America and other little stunts etc. which lasts only until he gets called on it, and then comes a speech which makes everyone forget what he said before, which he will undoubtedly use at the convention. A colleague of mine was researching another issue de jour, up popped the birth certificate and for some reason the name of his father did not appear. Immaculate conception??? No chance. She pushed the refresh button and this time it did. Fathers name was Barack Huessein Obama too. Guess that makes him Jr. Just like W was a junior.

  25. admin
    wait till obama comes home from his big intl trip and declares the surge has worked etc…

  26. texan4hillary –

    I have to laugh at that one – just like Obama to come back from Europe and say the surge has worked. Mr. Hopium’s smoking more than hope.

  27. CountTheVotes – don’t laugh. Obama is going to Iraq too. Obama is sure to gain some new “insight” to flip-flop-flim-flam his way closer to staying in Iraq. Texan4Hillary is close to the truth. Obama will flip-flop-flim-flam more and more in July when few are paying attention.

    Wbboei, thanks for the link. The ad written on TomPaine is likely to be in the McCain playbook. The McCain North Vietnam video is very powerful which is why we are perplexed as to why Obama would dare engage McCain on the patriotism issue.

    McCain has 2 sons (19 and 21) who have been in Iraq and a long family history of military service. Obama, fairly or unfairly, will be creamed by McCain on patriotism, military, trust, honesty issues.

  28. Obama is TOAST, American do not tolerate BOLD FACE LIARS, who is DUMB as a arrogant door nail.

  29. HEY……..where is everyone today????

    I am still busy packing and fighting with my teen age son’s who don’t want to help, they want to “RUN” with their friends before they move (of course i understand, but i can’t pack this farm by myself LOL )

    so a major battle here at the home front as of lately……aarrrggghhh KIDS!!!

    So is everyone getting ready for BBQ’s and Fireworks??
    I am trying to do that too LOL….. we are heading for a whole day at lake okoboji and Arnolds Park (amusement) along with an all day out door concert at the beach……. I can’t wait!!! 😀

  30. Maybe Rezko figures Barack will “pardon” him once Barack become President. Just a thought. Deals are made all of the time.

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