I guess Senator Obama was just too busy working for the poor and homeless in Chicago to take time to watch the Tom Cruise movie, The Firm. Because if he had the Tony Rezko case would not be biting him in the ass. In case you forgot, Cruise played a white version of Barack Obama–a charming, up-and-comer fresh out of law school idealist who fell in with a crowd of scalawags who were tied to the mob.
But I digress. Here’s the problem. Why is Barack not coming clean about his relationship with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who is facing charges on federal corruption charges? If there really is nothing there, then don’t do the Bill Clinton shuffle. Just tell the truth.
But Obama can’t or won’t do that. And I wonder why? During Monday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton brought up Obama’s past association with Rezko. Wolf Blitzer gave Obama a chance to set the record straight:
BLITZER: I’m going to go to Suzanne Malveaux in a second, but I just want to give you a chance, Senator Obama, if you want to respond. Senator Clinton made a serious allegation that you worked for a slumlord. And I wonder if you want to respond.
OBAMA: I’m happy to respond. Here’s what happened: I was an associate at a law firm that represented a church group that had partnered with this individual to do a project and I did about five hours worth of work on this joint project. That’s what she’s referring to.
So he was just associated with a law firm that partnered with Rezko? Just some guy? This is not true. In some circles it is called a lie. Now I don’t know about you, but when someone starts tap dancing about simple, easily investigated facts it means they are covering something up. Obama had more than an incidental relationship with Rezko.
FACT. Obama bought property with Tony Rezko. Here are the facts from Obama’s own mouth:
Q: Senator, when did you first meet Tony Rezko? How did you become friends? How often would you meet with him, and when did you last speak with him?
A: I had attracted some media attention when I was elected the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. And while I was in law school, David Brint, who was a development partner with Tony Rezko contacted me and asked whether I would be interested in being a developer. Ultimately, after discussions in which I met Mr. Rezko, I said no.
I have probably had lunch with Rezko once or twice a year and our spouses may have gotten together on two to four occasions in the time that I have known him. I last spoke with Tony Rezko more than six months ago.
Q: Did you approach Rezko or his wife about the property, or did they approach you?
A: To the best of my recollection, I told him about the property, and he developed an interest, knowing both the location and, as I recall, the developer who had previously purchased it.
Q: Why did you not publicly disclose the transaction after Rezko got indicted?
A: At the time, it didn’t strike me as relevant. I did however donate campaign contributions from Rezko to charity.
Doesn’t everybody buy an adjacent piece of property with a casual acquaintance whom you barely know?
FACT. Rezko has been a major contributor to Obama’s political campaigns. According to the Chicago Sun-Times:
During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.
Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle. Obama also has taken in an unknown amount of money from people who attended fund-raising events hosted by Rezko since the mid-1990s….Sources close to both Rezko and Obama, however, said Rezko raised money often for Obama….
Tony was one of the biggest fund-raisers.”
FACT. Obama used his political position to lobby on behald of Rezko’s business interests.
There’s also been a lot of back and forth about the letters Obama wrote on behalf of a project that Rezko owned. One story has Rezko’s attorney saying adamantly that his client didn’t ask Obama to write the letters. Obama still wrote them. Another letter written by Obama was on behalf of New Kenwood LLC, a company formed by Obama’s former boss, Davis, and Rezko.
“I am writing in support of the New Kenwood LLC’s proposal to build a ninety-seven unit apartment building at 48th and Cottage Grove for senior citizens,” Obama wrote in separate letters, each dated Oct. 28, 1998, to city and state housing officials. “This project will provide much needed housing for Fourth Ward citizens.”
At the time he wrote the letters, Obama was also a lawyer with Miner Barnhill & Galland, the law firm Davis formerly headed. Among the firm’s clients were several companies owned by Davis and Rezko. The firm did not represent New Kenwood.
Davis and Rezko hired Daley & George, the law firm of the mayor’s brother Michael, to help them get $3.1 million from bonds issued by the city of Chicago. … ..
I am sick and tired of the word parsing. I did not like it when Bill Clinton did it, but at least he could argue he was trying to save his marriage. Hillary took too long to admit her mistake in supporting the Iraq war resolution in 2002. And George W. Bush takes the prize. We have had seven, going on eight years, of him flat out lying about terrorism and war, and Americans have died because of it.
So excuse me if you expect me to take Senator Barack Obama seriously while he claims not to know some guy who was his neighbor. Yeah he ate lunch with him but only twice a year for several years. Tony somebody. And then there’s that matter about Rezko giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaigns. Anyone who has ever run for public office does not give a rats ass about anyone willing to pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars for their campaign. And I am sure Obama feels the same way. Why would he remember a generous contributor?
And finally, Senator Obama, you don’t know this guy but you’ll write two letters using your good name to shill for his business enterprises? Cut me a break. If you are going to lie at least do it with some style. You don’t know dick about Tony Rezko? I don’t think so.