Just one more association of Obama’s that puts the exclamation point on Chicago politics:
After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure: numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client — a longtime political supporter.
Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an $8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000.
A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin.
Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.
The Obama campaign argues that he only urged the 2002 grant, not any other grants afterwards but we can all see what this is. He profited from his association with the man and in return he sent some taxpayer money his way. This brings up another association and “favors” done. Once upon a time a couple in Hyde Park wants to sell their mansion and the adjoining lot. They were asking 1.95 million but somehow Obama was able to get 300 grand knocked off of that and did purchase the house while Tony Rezko brought the land next to it on the very same day for the full purchase price of 625 grand. Later Rezko would sell a portion of that land to Obama to expand their garden.
How in the world could Rezko afford this when at the time he had “no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations.”
Well, three weeks prior to the purchase Rezko received a loan from Nadhmi Auchi, a Saddam associate:
He was charged in the 1950s with being an accomplice of Saddam Hussein, when the future tyrant was acquiring his taste for blood. He was investigated in the 1980s for his part in alleged bribes to the fabulously corrupt leaders of post-war Italy. In the 1990s, the Belgium Ambassador to Luxembourg claimed that Auchi’s bank held money Saddam and Colonel Gadaffi had stolen from their luckless peoples. In 2002, officers from the Serious Fraud Squad raided the offices of one of Auchi’s drug companies as part of an investigation of what is alleged to be the biggest swindle ever of the NHS.
Mr. Auchi sent 3.5 million Rezko’s way and ta-da….Rezko and Obama buy some land.
Obama and Tony knew each other for some time:
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.
And now Tony is accused of and on trial for using extortion to force businesses throughout Chicago to pay certain associates fees in order to be approved to do business in the State.
Hmmm….. Rezko and Auchi, Odinga, Ayers, The New Black Panther Party, La Raza, Farrakhan, Mr. Wright, and the homophobe Rev. James T. Meeks. Typical Chicago politics, and the Obama fans ignore it all in their zeal for “change”.