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ABC News: Rezko $50 million in debt [Updated x3]

UPDATE, A RANT: Some people are suggesting that, if Obama does not come up in the Rezko trial, that that is reason to drop the subject. To which I have this to say:

Even IF there is no wrongdoing in a legal sense — or, more precisely, any legal problem that is relevant to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s very specific case against Antoin Rezko (meaning that Fitz, whether or not there are problems there, will not introduce Obama into the trial unless it aids his case) [ED: added point] — tell me why on earth a famous politician would consort with a man like this — known at the time about to be indicted by Fitzgerald — and do a clearly cozy real estate deal?

It’d be one thing if you or I did it. We’re not elected officials under constant media scrutiny, so if there’s nothing “illegal,” nobody will ever know about our cozy deal. We’re not entering the f–king U.S. Senate. We’re not planning to run for president. We’re not running for the most powerful job on earth on the premise that we represent a different, more pure kind of politics. The “boneheaded” excuse doesn’t cut it.

Besides, was Rezko the only guy in all of the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, or anywhere in the U.S. — from all of the connections Obama had developed for decades among the powerful — that he could get to help him do the deal? The only one? And his wife the only person in all of the U.S. who could buy that empty lot on the same day he bought the house?

Why did he have to go to a man under indictment to do this real estate deal? Why did he have to use Reko’s wife, with no known means, to buy the lot? Why not go to someone above board? Why not sweet-talk a bank or lender? WHY? WHY? That is why all of this stinks. Now this:

UPDATE x3 at 5:47 a.m. PST, March 6, via “Rick Ellensburg has no ethical standard for Obama [Karl]“:

Stories reported in the Chicago Sun-Times suggest that Obama may have looked the other way – and wrote letters supporting more Rezko projects — as eleven Rezko buildings turned into slums in his state Senate district. That may or may not be a crime, but the many African-American families who lived in Rezko buildings riddled with problems — including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers — might have a different opinion than Ellensburg as to whether Obama may have been involved in “wrongdoing.”

There is also the possibility [QUOTING LARRY JOHNSON's article here] that Obama may have asked the State Department to get an Iraqi felon a visa to the US at Rezko’s request — and that money from said felon may have ended up financing that now infamous Obama-Rezko real estate deal. … Read all.

UPDATE x2: (March 6, 5:00 a.m.) Here’s the Chicago Tribune‘s backgrounder on the attorneys, prosecution and defense || Follow daily trial reports here.

Original: Well, yes, there’s some silly story that all the rightwing bloggers are very exercised about and peddling today (“FARC endorses Obama“) but this is truly fascinating and comes from heretofore sealed court documents. I have uploaded the 63-page PDF to our server so that you can download and read it: rezko_testimony_070116.pdf.

IMPORTANT from the ABC News summary: Rezko “told the judge he had no current source of income, saying his last business deal involving a proposed power plant in Iraq had been cancelled.” That venture involved convicted Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. See Larry Johnson’s story, “Will Rezko Blow Up Obama?

Rezko In Debt $50 Million; How Did He Afford Obama Lot?
Court Transcript Says Rezko Depends on Family Handouts of $7,500 a Month

By BRIAN ROSS and RHONDA SCHWARTZ
March 5, 2008—

Accused Illinois fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko is in debt by $50 million and relies on “family” handouts of $7,500 a month to pay monthly costs, according to a previously sealed court transcript reviewed by ABC News.

Rezko’s bleak financial picture raises the question of how the Rezkos were able to buy a vacant lot adjoining the home of Sen. Barack Obama in 2005, at a time Rezko says he was already in deep debt.

Rezko also reveals in the testimony, before Judge Amy St. Eve on Jan. 16, 2007, that he already knew he was under federal investigation at the time of the land purchase and had hired a criminal defense attorney to deal with the “feds.”

Obama says he sought Rezko’s help because the house he wanted to buy in Chicago’s Hyde Park came with an adjoining lot the seller wanted to sell at the same time.

Unable to afford it himself, Obama says Mrs. Rezko bought it for $625,000, and then later sold a strip of the lot back to Obama so he would have a larger yard. Obama says he paid Mrs. Rezko a fair market price. …

Here’s a bit more from the ABC News story:

… Mrs. Rezko makes $37,500 a year.

[...]

According to the transcript, Mrs. Rezko sold the vacant lot a few weeks before the hearing, with all proceeds going to pay previous debts.

Asked how he was able to pay his lawyer, Joseph Duffy, Rezko said family and some unnamed “friends” were paying his legal bills.

Duffy told the judge, “Mr. Rezko has not provided us any money since his indictment.”

Rezko told the judge he had no current source of income, saying his last business deal involving a proposed power plant in Iraq had been cancelled.

He said he had an ongoing relationship with Nadhmi Auchi, a London-based Iraqi billionaire convicted on French fraud charges, who Rezko described as a close friend and business associate. …

Questions. We have a few.

Check this out for more on the questions swirling around Obama’s relationship with Rezko, and that mysterious involvement of Nadhmi Auchi, including a link to Larry Johnson’s story on Auchi/Rezko.

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  • http://www.debt-general.com/ debt-general

    The internet is one of the best places for you to find many interesting debt free programs like a debt calculator. With programs like this you can map the way your life is progressing with regards to financial matters.

  • Pingback: Today’s Rezko Trial Scoops (and prosecutors on $20K kickback to Obama) : NO QUARTER

  • votermom

    I think the slum issue is worse than the house deal. The heat was turned off in winter. This is like stuff out of Charles Dickens.

  • Desert Dawg

    Not sure, but didn’t BO earn his chops in community housing? If he did enable Rezko’s slumlording, it would be another sell-out, like Exelon. This goes to the heart of who he is as a politician, a “uniter” who’s really a sell-out.

  • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

    CHECK OUT Update x3.

  • LuLu

    Some of us in the real world have been questioning the house deal for several weeks. Obama supporters go into hysterics upon any queries and scream the press has already said nothing is wrong. As the Chicago press have now come out and shown, nothing and I mean nothing has been answered. To anyone who has been subject to ethical standards required of public officials, rocket launchers went off in our brains when presented with the barest information. Sen and Mrs Obama are both Harvard educated attorneys, one law review and a law lecturer, both in public life for many years, yet neither one of them saw a problem of conflict of interest in this. They are either the worst attorney public officials in Il or they are not being truthful.

    The questions a person trained in fraud investigation , banking and real estate would be endless. All information has been carefully sifted through the Obama campaign press office. Any attempt online and off that I have made to gather information has been promptly screamed down by the Obama gang. Their arguments, explanations and simple understanding of these matters are disturbing. The Obama campaign has not released enough information to determine if there has been any wrongdoing. I suspect that very little information is coming out because there are many individuals involved and they have motives for keeping it under wraps. Is it illegal? We do not know. Also the argument that Fitzgerald has not implicated Obama is not true. Dept of Justice regs do not allow public investigations and indictment of officials during their elections. Although the Rove US attorneys did not follow this, Mr Fitzgerald will do so. Mr Rezko is the first case on his way up the food chain.

    • prostratedragon

      Dept of Justice regs do not allow public investigations and indictment of officials during their elections.

      My, you don’t say! I don’t think I knew that.

  • Angelight

    Hillary and Camp Clinton made a big deal about Barack Obama returning money from Tony Rezko, at the same time she refuses to return money back from a firm allegedly accused of sexual harrasasment. Read the report below:

    Sen. Hillary Clinton has declined to return $170,000 in campaign contributions from individuals at a company accused of widespread sexual harassment, and whose CEO is a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record, federal campaign records show.

    The federal government has accused the Illinois management consulting firm, International Profit Associates, or IPA, of a brazen pattern of sexual harassment including “sexual assaults,” “degrading anti-female language” and “obscene suggestions.”

    In a 2001 lawsuit full of lurid details, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims that 103 women employees at IPA were victimized for years. The civil case is ongoing, and IPA vigorously denies the allegations.

    “This is by far, hands down, the worst case I’ve ever experienced,” said Diane Smason, one of the EEOC lawyers handling the lawsuit. “Every woman there experienced sex harassment, they were part of a hostile work environment of sex harassment. And this occurred from the top down.”

    Sen. Clinton’s spokesman, Howard Wolfson, told NBC News in a statement that the senator decided to keep the funds because the lawsuit is “ongoing” and because none of the sexual harassment allegations has been proven in court.

    “With regard to the pending harassment suit, as a general matter, the campaign assesses findings of fact in deciding whether to return contributions,” Wolfson said.
    From NBC’s Lisa Myers and Jim Popkin

    (Let the Vetting Begin)!

    • chris

      “Hillary and Camp Clinton made a big deal about Barack Obama returning money”

      Yes, Barack Obama began returning the money without much prompt…didn’t he…just like she did with Norman Hsu. When they don’t want that association they begin giving away the dough.

      Since she gave the money Norman Hsu raised,…because she realized he was a crook…she did clean house.

      But why did Obama do it if Rezko is clean?

      You are missing an apples/oranges association here.

      The fact that Obama gave away Rezko dough little by little by little…after a 17 year association…what does that tell you?

      Finger pointing at a different camp doesn’t alleviate Obama of his role in Rezko.

      And I find it laughable that you’d accuse Hillary Clinton, a woman who has been dealing sexism in some of its ugliest forms…is coddling sexual harassing contributors.

      Deal with apples and apples.
      Norman Hsu was convicted. That pretty much makes his case over, adjudicated.

      • Cee

        Chris,

        Why doesn’t she give the money back? Because John Burgess is a close Clinton friend?

        Uh huh.

        I want to thank John and Dana for being such good friends to Hillary and to me,

        http://www.clintonfoundation.org/120801-sp-cf-gl-ter-sp-wjc-addresses-international-profit-associates.htm

        Rubbing Shoulders With Trouble, and Presidents

        By MIKE McINTIRE
        Published: May 7, 2006
        John R. Burgess makes for an improbable courtier of presidents, or of a senator who might become one.

        Mr. Clinton’s foundation publicized a pledge by I.P.A. last year to provide $10 million worth of free services to businesses damaged by natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina. The commitment raised the company’s profile. Now, however, I.P.A. says that the pledge was “premature and unrealistic” because the storm damage drove away so many businesses that providing much consultation was impossible.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/07/nyregion/07company.html

        • Simon

          Cee,

          Do you actually believe this type of old school diversionary propaganda works?

          If I make you believe it is, say, give you the illusion of control, do you proceed as if you have control, when you don’t, because you so must believe, using propaganda in the simplistic Karl Rove way, the virtual reality of your mind, fed, daily, just so, like biosphere, 1975?

          Boy, imagine a US government run by men who use propaganda like Cee, or CK.

          Hard to wrap your head around, isn’t it?

          That’s some moldy oldie stuff, so simple to defeat, and control.

    • chris

      oh and “(Let the Vetting Begin)!”

      More fucking plagarism from the Obama camp.
      What is our count now?
      Just Words…

      3 ring phone ads…
      and now…

      (Let the Vetting Begin)!

      This is choice.
      Does David Axelrod just write down other people’s words, jump in his personal studio and in 3 minutes comes back out with an answer?
      (your answer) + they can do it better.

      Their game is about up. People are catching on, so you hold on skippy.

      Politically speaking I’m offering No Quarter to the Obama campaign on this shit. They’ve screwed the pooch. I really hope nobody is stupid enough to have him as a fucking VP now. Because each and every comment he makes only diminishes any level of respect I could have had for him.

      He’s arrogant. He’s full of his message and feeding off the enthusiasm of good hearted people who are buying into a dream, an illusion. His camp are some of the most vindictive fuckers out there.

      Quick, take what I said, and add: We can do it better.

    • Mike Howell

      Bulbous Nebbish (Angelight) –

      Possibly Cee/CK –

      If the candidates no longer took donations from companies wherein an EEOC complaint had been made there would quickly be no more corporate donations.

      Would your have Barack Obama return all donations from all companies where there have been EEOC complaints made?

      What if they are still in the investigative stage?

      Or untried and denied as above?

      What if a donor has been convicted of rape? Or was ever charged with a sex offense?

      What if a donor has a drug offense? Or a DUI?

      What if a donor has been convicted of FRAUD?

      What if the donor isn’t American or is from a country with interests contrary to the U.S.?

      What if the person is on State Aid?

      What if the person fails to pay child support?

      If Barack Obama going to return all of these donations?

      You failed to answer this elsewhere, but surely your Messiah will only except clean cash – yeah right!

      • Mike Howell

        Sorry – should be

        Is Barack Obama going to return all of these donations?

        • CK

          The search for purity in others is never ending.
          I personally only take money from people who are alive, or dead but have not yet been reported as such. If someone offers me money and they look like John McCain is usually ask for cash instead of a check. I prefer gold to silver and silver to stocks and bonds and about anything else to FRNs. Ah the delightful swan dive of the FRN. Until Sony really gets that robot thing americanized, companies cannot sexually harass; only people can.
          If you want to know which companies, lobbyists or law firms have contributed how much to whom,
          http://www.opensecrets.org/ is the place to start. The FEC is supposed to handle this, but since the congress and the president have agreed not to fill the open positions on the FEC, asking there is basically a waste.

  • CK

    So Naftagate was the work of Bush’s Canadian ally Stephen Harper attempting to sabotage Obama and the democrats. And the initial call came from the Clinton camp, how droll.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080305.wharpleak0305/BNStory/National/home

    Rezkogate is starting to look like Oakland. No there, there.
    The Hussein middle name attack is kinda lame, as is the “he’s a secret muslim Manchurian candidate thing.”
    And Hillary again endorsed John McCain several times ( the Hagee endorsement and McCain’s blanket acceptance of Hagee should call his judgement into question), I think that endorsement might just preclude her from being the VP on the ticket.
    I noticed in the foreign press the other week, that Senator Obama had said that his administration would go after the offshore money havens and the American’s who use them to defraud the country. The specific speech received zero play in the US press but immediately thereafter, the press and the talking heads turned negative on the Senator. Quel surprise.
    8 more years folks 8 more years. McCain/whoever or Clinton/whoever is 8 more years of Bush.
    Well at least Ron Paul is still a candidate for the presidency. And now that he has demolished the neocon the republicans paid to run against him, he will be back on the campaign trail.

    • Cee

      CK,

      Who knew, huh? Oh, I did, you did, and anyone else who didn’t have partisan blinders on.

      • CK

        I have to admit that I have my partisan blinders back in place. Ron Paul managed to squeak by his neocon funded opponent by a mear 40%. 70 to 30.
        There is no ambiguity about Ron’s stand on NAFTA; flush it, twice.
        No ambiguity about Ron’s stand on Iraq: All the troops home asap. Mercenaries can find and fund their own trips back.
        No ambiguity about how to engage cuba, iran, etc.
        Talk to them, trade with them, let them go to hell internally in their own ways.
        No flipfloppery about torture, it is unconstitutional as well as reflecting poorly on america’s morals.

        • Simon

          Talk to them, trade with them, let them go to hell internally in their own ways

          But when they OWN a Congressperson, or have an 80 per cent stake in Carlyle, or Boeing, they can call the shots, men like Auchi, say, who trade arms illegally to countries like Iran,(or even legally, through China, for example).

          And if they own a President, and tangentially control the US economy, like the Saudis, and China?

          In “Charlie Wilson’s War,” I believe it was said AIPAC got Charlie his seat on the Ways and Means committee.

          So who is really calling the shots, in Washington?

          (Not a slam at AIPAC, specifically, it’s ALL the PACS…)

      • Simon

        Rezkogate is starting to look like Oakland. No there, there.

        That’s not true, Cee.

        No matter how much you wish it so.

        Bad news for Cheney, too, isn’t it, now that the CPA has been brought into the picture?

  • TeakWoodKite

    Cee Might I ask why you repeat the work of others with

    Having paid only casual attention to it in the past, I spent several hours yesterday

    “partner in a standard residential real-estate purchase which nobody suggests, at least in terms of Obama’s conduct, was anything but above-board.”

    ???

    1) It is obvious you have never dealt with organized crime of any kind.
    2) You are intellectually incurious, considering you would take the word of anyone who lies when they say it took them several hours to read EVERY Rezko artical they could find. One would be required to spend months to have an understanding of what is involved. How this yahoo you quote can be called a writer, never mind a journalist is laughable.
    3) “standard residential real-estate purchase” …you ever sold real estate? Any where?
    Get with the program and do your own home work.

    • Rob Gard

      Actually, Glenn Greenwald is a former prosecutor, a pretty good blogger, and a pretty good writer, so I’m really surprised that he can’t see the improprieties in the Obama Rezko deal. His postings on the FISA spying and telecom immunity issues have been excellent and probing, but he has sure dropped the probe here (or may be sitting on it and spinning). I’ve done some real estate practice in Chicago as well, and this was anything but an ordinary deal. The banking industry and Chicago politics are very much in bed together (lots of union and govenment pension money and bond issues to fight over), and politicians boast of their connections to banks. I certainly recognize “the appearance of impropriety” issues at work her, but I’m also interested in the potential “quid-pro-quo” issues. You scrath my back and I’ll scratch your back. Rezko didn’t back Obama and help him by his house because he was inspired by the “hopium”; that sure as hell is not the Chicago way. There was something or many things that Rezko got out of this relationship while the relationship was still in its infancy. Rezko was not just looking to build up a politician so that he could call on Obama for future favors. Rezko saw Obama as someone who could and did help him, and would continue to help him as long as the favors kept flowing both ways. Just need to keep digging, and the skeletons will eventually be found.

      • Cee

        Rob,

        I appreciate it that you didn’t say that Greenwald was a deluded cult member, a bigot, a sexist or SOMETHING because he doesn’t agree with your point of view.

        • TeakWoodKite

          Hey Cee Spending several hours is lazy.
          Nor did ever state that I thought he OUI.
          Just LAZY. The assumptions you make are laughable.

          • Cee

            Teak,

            Keep laughing. Maybe he’s a speed reader. LOL!!

            Why waste the time like you folks did?

            I checked on the Talk Left blogger/attorney.

            Rezko Trial Set to Begin: Implications for Barack Obama
            By Jeralyn, Section Elections 2008
            Posted on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 12:12:00 PM EST

            Let me start out by saying, as I have before, that I don’t think Barack Obama did anything illegal in his dealings with Anton “Tony” Rezko. Obama has labeled his involvement with Rezko and his wife in the purchase of his home “boneheaded.”
            http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/2/25/43120/9891

    • Cee

      Teak,

      There are several lawyers who wrote about this and say Obama has done nothing wrong. One (unless she changed her mind recently) is Jerlyn Merret(Talk Left)and Glenn Greenwald is another.
      I’ll take their word.

      You’re right on one point. I’m not curious about nonsense.

  • http://www.sugarnspice.typepad.com SUGAR

    Once that trial starts if Mrs. Rezko is called to the stand I bet she will sing like a bird spilling beans unnecessarily about Obama.

    • Cee

      Maybe she’ll sing about these people since you folks think this is such an issue.

      Clintons got money from Rezko co-defendants
      by margieburns on Sat 02 Feb 2008 01:26 PM EST

      Since the name of Chicago defendant Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko has come up in national debate, it seems fair to look at donations from other defendants in Chicago’s “Operation Board Games.”

      Of the other five defendants, three have donated to the Clintons or to Clinton supporters, three have donated mostly to Republicans, and at least two have donated to Obama’s political opponents. None have donated to Obama.

      Rezko’s trial is scheduled to begin March 3. The legal cases comprise several indictments of Chicago political and business figures on multiple counts of fraud, extortion and kickbacks. Rezko’s co-defendants include Chicago businessman Stuart Levine; construction executive and Chicago Medical School trustee Jacob Kiferbaum, who is cooperating with the investigation, and Bear Stearns executive P. Nicholas Hurtgen; and attorneys Joseph Cari and Steven Loren, doing business for the Teachers’ Retirement System. Mr. Loren has not been a significant donor.

      http://www.margieburns.com/blog/_archives/2008/2/2/3501879.html

  • Cee

    From Glenn Greenwald

    Wednesday March 5, 2008 08:39 EST
    The “Rezko” game

    Having paid only casual attention to it in the past, I spent several hours yesterday morning reading every “Rezko” article I could find in an attempt to understand as much as possible about the allegations. The point isn’t that there is no credible evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Obama, although that’s unquestionably true. It’s far beyond that. There aren’t even any theoretical allegations or suggestions as to what he might have done wrong at all. The person who is accused of wrongdoing is Tony Rezko, in matters inarguably having nothing to do with Obama. Nobody claims otherwise (although many try to imply otherwise).

    The only substantive connections Obama and Rezko have is that the latter was a contributor to Obama’s campaign and was a partner in a standard residential real-estate purchase which nobody suggests, at least in terms of Obama’s conduct, was anything but above-board. But Rezko himself has a sinister-sounding, villain-like last name and is of Syrian origin, which, for multiple reasons, helps build the shallow media drama.

    But Obama isn’t even accused of — let alone proven to have engaged in — any wrongdoing at all.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

    And as to NAFTAgate. Ugh.

    “He said someone from (Hillary) Clinton’s campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. . . That someone called us and told us not to worry.”

    Government officials did not deny the conversation took place.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080305.wharpleak0305/BNStory/National/home

    Can we please stop with the breathless rumors now?

  • TerminatorX

    A good summary of Alsammare and Rezko

    http://www.zimbio.com/Obamamania/articles/288/One+degree+separation+Obama+Rezko+Iraqi+power

    One-degree of separation: Obama, Rezko and the Iraqi power plant contract (Updated)

  • TerminatorX

    Alsammare is an old, old friend of Rezko’s who was
    working as the Iraqi electricity minister then arrested for stealing like $1.5 billion from U.S. taxpayers before he escaped his Iraqi jailers “the chicago way”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/20/world/middleeast/20minister.html

  • TeakWoodKite

    when you read that transcript bring your favorite color markup marker…
    court:

    . Who did the commission go to?
    A. Uh –
    Q. Do you not remember or are you reluctant to tell me?
    Reluctant to tell me?
    A. It went to his brother-in-law’s wife. I don’t want to
    make his name public.
    Q. Well –
    A. Nater Auchi, your Honor.
    Q. Pardon me?
    A. Nater Auchi.
    Q. Nater?
    A. Yeah, Auchi.
    Q. Can you spell that?
    A. A-u-c-h-i.
    Q. Now, why was the money — I mean, it went to his
    brother-in-law’s wife.
    A. Because they don’t want his brother to know he got
    commission, your Honor

    Can’t Imagine how Nadhmi Auchi felt when he found out his brother was scamming him out of 400,000, Yikes! This kickback is part of a money laundering scheme that involved numerous pol’s and LLC’s, several banks on different continents, transactions in 6 different countries with investors from Syria, Los Angeles, Canada, London and others; and it starts to sound like BCCI redux.
    All that from a bond hearing. But wait there’s more!
    The Obama Chronicles: Waukegan interview transcript. On Rezko, mistakes and being held to a high standard.
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2006/11/post_41.html

  • vee

    Setting aside the question of legalities, the problem Obama has now is that he is not telling the tuth abut the deal. In a Q&A published in todays Chicago Sun-Times on line, Obama stated, “The property was subdivided and two lots were separately listed when we first learned of it.” I tink that this is not true. The property chronology from rezkowatch.com would seem to indicate that Rezko was the first person to sub-divide the property. Also, in the NYT article 03-02-08 by McIntire and Drew, Obama said he did not know why Rezko bought the lot. That seems strange since he toured the property with Rezko before the sale. I don’t think these duplicities of Obama’s will go over well in the general election.

    • Mike Howell

      Vee –

      There’s a fairly dirty joke that I won’t tell now, but it has to do with

      “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?”

      Everytime I see the Charlatan from Chicago, I think about that dark little joke.

      It’s really not funny though. Sad actually. He thinks that we’re the schmucks. Suckers.

      I’d rather have a President that screwed around than a President that screwed U.S.!

      • vee

        I have to confess that the line “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” doesn’t ring any bells, but that is ok, I don’t need to know. Obama and his campaign people are throwing off lies, saying he was running for U.S. Senate when he was running for Illinois Senate, stating Rockefeller voted against Iraq military authorization, etc., all the time and the press just keeps letting them go. What is going to happen when the Republicans start listing all those “mis-statements”?

        • Fred C. Dobbs

          It’s not that he plays fast and loose with the facts. I expect that from a lawyer in politics.

          It’s that his ruses and cover-ups are so ham-handed and amateurish as to defy belief; and that the Obamanauts take great unbrage when these inconvenient factual/ethical disconnects insult our intelligence. Their reactions remind me of Johnny L. Jones’ acolytes/defenders in Florida, circa 1980. (You can Google it).

          So far, all we’ve seen from this new Messiah is a string of cheesy missteps and ethically questionable acts which seem to escape the notice of the Opinion Makers, who are too distracted by tingling sensations in their legs when he speaks.

          Sort of an Adam Clayton Powell Jr., without the long record of accomplishment in the Congress.

          ACP is somewhere over Bimini right now, sipping a Scotch and milk and laughing at us for getting sucked in by this poseur.

  • Simon

    Your antidote to Dutch Elm Disease got me through last night’s Texas two-step.

    I look upon the wood chipper with a whole new respect, now.

    • Mike Howell

      Simon – SCORE!

  • barbh

    Hillary should have a list of questions for BO to answer if his campaign brings up more of that tax return shit. Maybe she ought to get them from the Chicago reports covering or even better from the excellent list that Mel asked.

    I would also like to know how the Rezkos financed the lot since he was broke.

    • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

      Howard Wolfson has issued a list of questions on Rezko — last week, before Ohio/Texas. The press all mocked him. It’s up on Hill’s Web site and I think I published it here…. so many stories, I forget sometimes what I post :) And I’m so tired tonight, i’m too lazy to search for it. Try our search engine: Wolfson Rezko

      • Simon

        And I’m so tired tonight, i’m too lazy to search for it.

        As you’ve been ill, it’s really important you rest, nothing is more important than your health, really, nothing.

        How are you feeling?

        Is the infection clearing, and healing?

      • Mike Howell

        barbh & Susanunpc –

        The 3 main questions were and still are as they remain unanswered):

        1. How many fundraisers, where, when, who came etc.

        2. How was the money bundled and how much by whom?

        3. Did Barack Obama offer to do or in fact do any governmental actions for Rezko?

  • Iphie

    Susan,

    You ask why would Obama would get involved with someone like this in the first place? I just can’t imagine why, but I think it may have something to do with … judgment.

    And now let’s elect that man president based on that judgment!

    • Simon

      And then, you know, as President, a man like Obama, (with connections to Auchi), has certain security clearances, as does his staff.

      And if Auchi DID finance Obama’s house, or at the very least, intimidates Obama (Auchi being a former Saadam bagman, and baathist, Saddam was infamous for his “creative” torture), will Obama be strong armed, or black mailed, into passing classified information?

      Do you think these politicians who sell themselves to men like Auchi are paragons of courage?

  • Mel

    Question after question!

    Here are questions:

    Question #1:

    6 months after Rezko/Obama bought the land/house, Obama paid $104,000 for a 10ft strip of the land to expand his yard! The Sun Times reports that the vaue of the 10 ft strip of land was only $40,000!

    Since according to Camp Obama, this is math day so:

    6 X $40,000 = $240,000

    Now land values in Chicago did not drop by 2/3′s in 6 months, so why did Rezko (a supposed real estate player) pay a premium of $385,000 for the land?

    Question #2:

    The original lot was a full plot, requiring sub-dividing in order to make the sale to 2 different parties (Rezko/Obama). Who paid the re-zoning and sub-divide fees and additional costs?

    Question #3:

    When Obama bought the 10 ft strip of land, who paid the new sub-divide and re-zoning costs and fees for the transaction?

    Question #4:

    The property and house in question was a Heritage home, subject to stringent by-laws for alterations which have long processes to undergo for passage of the alterations! How did these alteration after alterations occur so quickly, especally in Chicago’s infamous slow bureaucratic system?

    Question #5:

    Keeping in mind that Obama bought the strip of land for $104,000, to maintian the appearance of intergrity on the deal, Rezko sold the remaining plot of land for $500,000 to an associate! Now a fence was required to be installed to maintain the Heritage integrity of the home after the sub-division of the 10 ft strip of land! The reported amount for the installation of this fence was $14,000+ to be paid for by Rezko, who was broke at the time and hasn’t paid for the work done as of yet! But the question becomes, Obama paid a premium of $4,000 for a plot of land to include a $14,000+ fence, so was the difference of $10,000+ a gift of was it a loss taken by someone who was broke at the time of the transaction?

    Question #6:

    Michelle Obama sat on the City Land Board at the time of all these transactions, re-zoning and alterations going on, and she quit 6 months after achieving all the alterations, which are normally length to move through City zoning and Heritage boards! Anyone investigate to find out what influence or inproprieties occurred to move the alterations through in record speed?

    Question #7:

    Obama happens to not only be a Constitutional lawyer, but also a real estate lawyer, but who did the legal work on all these land transactions?

    Question #8:

    If it was Obama doing the legal work, then isn’t that conspiring to work in conjunction with and on a transaction that was not only deceptive, but was acting in a way of fraud by devalueing a transaction for self profit?

    Question #9:

    Does Obama’s tax returns show the gift given by Rezko in the form of a $300,000+ payment for Obama’s house and the $10,000 for the fence?

    There are probably more questions, but these just popped into mind at the moment!

    • Mel

      Oh forgot to add, please know Michelle Obama, nothing in my questions were racially motivated or could be constrewd as such that a Black man cannot run for President of the United States and in fact become President of the United States!

      • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

        Do you love your country, Mel?

    • Mike Howell

      Mel –

      The 10 foot strip of land was a not so clever ruse Barack Obama employed to put distance between him and Rezko after Rezko started drawing too much bad press.

      The strip was used to build a fence on.

      For a year, Barack Obama was the only person using the lot.

      The lot wasn’t up for sale and Obama was taking care of all of the maintenance for a year even though it was allegedly Rezko’s wife’s lot.

      Mrs. Rezko, who makes $37,000.00 a year with $35,000.00 in assets, yet we’re to believe that she’s looking for investment properties costing over $600.000.00 that she can pay full asking price for?

      Does that pass anyone’s smell test? If so, the Brooklyn Bridge may still be available…

      • Simon

        The lot wasn’t up for sale and Obama was taking care of all of the maintenance for a year even though it was allegedly Rezko’s wife’s lot.

        Last I read, the person who now owns the lot was thinking of building a house on it, or an apartment building.

        Tough year for the Obamas, wow.

        • Mike Howell

          Simon –

          Too bad it’s not big enough or zoned for a smelting plant or pig farm.

          I know Susan – I’m mean…

          • Fred C. Dobbs

            A tannery is appropriate, as well.

      • Rob Gard

        The photos that I’ve seen of the house and the lot next door show that the 10 foot strip is used as a driveway for the Obama family SUV, and that he had been parking the car on that strip since the house was purchased. The strip was purchased so that Obama could say that he was not receiving a continuing easement from Rezko, and that he actually owned the property. The fence was a deal whereby Obama paid for the architect and the plans, but Rezko paid (or appears failed to pay) for the fence construction. It is a rather nice fence made of brick (to match the color and style of the home) and wrought iron (Mayor Daley has always been a big fan of wrought iron fences, particularly since one of his monied friends owns a company that builds these things all over the city, many on no-bid contracts). The fence surrounds the entire double lot, and there may be another smaller fence that runs along the divider between the strip that Obama owns and the rest of the vacant lot, with a small opening to allow access to the vacant lot (for landscapers)formerly owned by Mrs. Rezko. The larger fence around the entire double lot has no separate entrance for the former Rezko owned vacant lot, and the only access to that vacant lot is from the strip owned by Obama. From the pictures, there does not appear to be enough room on the remainder of that vacant lot to build a home of anything near the size of other homes in the area, and if you did shoehorn a home onto that lot, you would be within the “Obama Compound”, unless the fence were torn down and reconstructed.

        • mostest

          From the pictures, there does not appear to be enough room on the remainder of that vacant lot to build a home of anything near the size of other homes in the area, and if you did shoehorn a home onto that lot, you would be within the “Obama Compound”, unless the fence were torn down and reconstructed

          You would think, a sitting US Senator (at a minimum) would have security issues having a bldg/dwelling so close to his “compound”. No?

    • Andy

      Excellent questions Mel; nicely thought out.

  • Mike Howell

    The code of ethics for Judges, Prosecutors, and Attorneys is whether the individual’s actions gave the appearance of impropriety = does it look bad?

    An ethics professor has already gone on record saying that this was “unsavory“.

    U.S. Senators are not to ask for favors from constituents. They can be censured or impeached for doing so.

    The jury hasn’t been picked in the Rezko case (just the panel to pick the jury from), so the jury isn’t yet out regarding whether there was any quid pro quo involved, which would be criminal i.e. corruption of a public official.

    This is a hideous display of audacity by professor, lawyer, Senator, and now Presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

    Now it appears likely that the funds for Barack Obama’s mansion were funneled through Rezko, but originated with an Iraqui billionaire convicted of fraud.

    And there are even more strange asides such as Syrian national Rezko telling Judge St. Eve that he gave Auchi’s brother-in-law’s wife a $400,000.00. finders fee to allegedly hide the payment from Auchi.

    This whole thing stinks and ultimately the poor and predominately black constituents of Barack Obama were made to freeze in unheated buildings, so that he and Michelle Obama could get a mansion that they could not otherwise afford.

    When I hear him talk about being a community organizer all I can hear is community destroyer.

    Barack Obama endorsed every corrupt Daley machine candidate he could. He turned a cold shoulder on the reformers.
    It’s one big pay to play machine. Yes, things can always get worse than they are now.

    Barack Obama’s change would make one big Tammany Hall out of the White House.

    Just say no to Boss Tweed Barack Obama.

    • Andy

      Mike Howell: this is good. What you say
      “The code of ethics for Judges, Prosecutors, and Attorneys is whether the individual’s actions gave the appearance of impropriety = does it look bad?”
      is even more true for the public perception’s of a politician.

      • Simon

        And there are even more strange asides such as Syrian national Rezko telling Judge St. Eve that he gave Auchi’s brother-in-law’s wife a $400,000.00. finders fee to allegedly hide the payment from Auchi.

        This, I thought strange too.

        So, the brothers have some issues?

        Interesting.

        And now Rezko and Auchi’s brother?

        And btw, does Auchi do business with Iran, too?

        • Mike Howell

          Simon –

          Allegedly this finders fee was for finding some businessman in Lebanon – yeah right!

          And the strangest thing is that the MSM isn’t all over this craziness.

          Is the 4th Estate really such a bunch of drunks, drug addicts and lazy asses that they can only write editorials?

          Barnacle Mike should have been banished after making up his stories, yet he’s an opinion guy on MSNBC!

          It’s sickening. For all of the folks that say that there isn’t anything illegal with Barack Obama’s unsavory actions, I challenge you to prove it!

          The only thing that you can truthfully allege is that as far as you know he hasn’t been charged with any criminal wrongdoing yet.

          Otherwise STFU until Rezko’s trial is over and Barack Obama has actually been vetted.

          Have you ever seen a candidate in a Presidential primary turn tail and run out of an alleged press opportunity like Barack Obama did two days ago?

          Clearly the mark of an innocent man – yeah right. It reminded me of the scene in Fargo when Marge says that the suspect is fleeing the interview!

          • Mike Howell

            Simon –

            I don’t mean for you to be quiet. My comment is directed at the uninformed, yet opinionated.

            • Mike Howell

              Simon –

              BTW –

              Chris Matthews looks even dumber with that bottle cap sticking out of his forehead doesn’t he?

              Your antidote to Dutch Elm Disease got me through last night’s Texas two-step. Laughter really is the best RX.

              Gracias!

    • TeakWoodKite

      Being a member of the bar involves oath of ethical behavior. Obama is failing this Oath.

      After reading the transcript I am wondering if Rezko assisted Obama with his purchase of the condo prior to his purchase his current residence. The layers of LLC’s is a kaleidoscope of shell companies engaged in “friendly forclosures”, kickbacks and political favors. Imagine 17 years of a transcript like that. It will be an ongoing eye soar for the Senator…..and will only get worse.

  • chrisss

    How dare Barack Obama ever question Hillary Clinton’s judgment about anything?

    The malign acceptance of corruption and sleaze by Barack Obama.

    • Antonia

      Do you really believe Hilary Clinton is without sin. You are very naive. If we were voting on morals no one would be elected. The holier than thou attitude is not believable.

      • Andy

        Antonia: You don’t get it, do you? We all know *no* politican is without sin. The outrage is for Obama to campaign trumpeting the card of being “better”, so superior and transparent, someone that can completely “transform politics”. That’s total nonsense. Obama’s campaign is only based on that as
        a man he is not like other politicians he says:

        “I am holier than thou”

        That is his and only his claim. Noone else’s claim

        But you know what, as you very well point out the problem with him is that

        “The holier than thou attitude is not believable.”

        • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

          It’s like that ethics bill he brags about passing in the Senate. The one that only constrains lobbyists from eating sitting down. It’s such a joke. ‘sides, as I always say, I love buffets!

  • Tab

    By the way, a corporation that donated to Hillary Clinton is on the list of Rezko trial witnesses. She has not returned the money from that corporation.

    Fitzgerald is an outstanding prosecutor – if there was anything wrong with Obama he would be on the witness list. He is not.

    Discovery is done BEFORE the trial.

    • Simon

      Discovery is done BEFORE the trial.

      Thanks, Tab, good to know, I’ll pass it on.

      The relationship between rezko, auchi and Obama is beyond the focus of this specific trial, correct?

      But enough information, and enough questions have arisen, from blatant inconsistencies between what Rezko and Obama SAY, and what the evidence indicates.

      WTH is Obama involved with this man?

      Does Clinton have direct connections to Saddam’s former convicted bribing bagman, Auchi, and to Syrian baathists?

      Nope.

      Rezko says he has no money, yet he manages to scrounge up 625 000 for a back yard, for the bamster.

      How?

      See?

      Lots and lots of questions, all need to be answered…

      Now say : racist!

      I knew you could…

    • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

      Even IF there is no wrongdoing in a legal sense, tell me why on earth a famous politician would consort with a man like this — known at the time about to be indicted by Fitzgerald — and do a clearly cozy real estate deal?

      It’d be one thing if you or I did it. We’re not an elected official. We’re not in the f–king U.S. Senate. We’re not planning to run for president. The “boneheaded” excuse doesn’t cut it.

      Besides, was Rezko the only guy in all of Chicago, Illinois, or the U.S. that he could get to help him do the deal?

      Why did he have to go to a man under indictment to do this real estate deal? Why not someone above board? WHY?

      • Simon

        Even IF there is no wrongdoing in a legal sense

        But the stench from the deal is overwhelming.

        We just don’t know the truth, yet, and everyday, Obama lets something more slip, evidenced by the house tour he took with Rezko, before purchase.

        What’s the REAL timeline?

        All sorts of questions, about even how the Obama’s financed the house, and where that came, never mind Northern Trust…

        And if Rezko bought the lot with Auchi’s money FOR Obama, what did Auchi want?

        Wasn’t that transfer of funds from Auchi, the 3.5 million, made around that time, in April, or May of 2005?

        And Auchi is Saddam’s former bagman, fercryingoutloud?

        What?

        Does he think Auchi stays home, baking cookies?

        • Simon

          Susan, what you’re doing is called investigative journalism, newspaper reporters used to do it in the old days, before the era of celebrity journalists, and Kos.

          Don’t let anyone tell you to stop,
          if they’re misguided tell them, if they’re trying to intimidate you, tell the little shits to go fuck themselves.

          (Fist fight? I can take Kos, have you seen him?
          lolololololol. I’m kidding.)

          Obama’s criminality is the main reason he should NOT be elected, particularly when he is connected to a man with Auchi’s record.

          I wish those people advising you to stop were aware of the Auchi’s reputation in England.

          Why in the world would ANYONE want to enable this type of corruption in the US?

          Anyway, the uk times says Auchi lent Obama millions of dollars (to a fundraiser) three weeks before Obama bought his house.

          If there’s enough smoke, there is fire.

          http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3433485.ece

          A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama’s fundraiser just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses.

          The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, helped Mr Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.

          A company related to Mr Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr Obama’s bagman Antoin “Tony” Rezko on May 23 2005. Mr Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.

          Related Links
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          Three weeks later, Mr Obama bought a house on the city’s South Side while Mr Rezko’s wife bought the garden plot next door from the same seller on the same day, June 15.

          Mr Obama says he never used Mrs Rezko’s still-empty lot, which could only be accessed through his property. But he admits he paid his gardener to mow the lawn.

          Mrs Rezko, whose husband was widely known to be under investigation at the time, went on to sell a 10-foot strip of her property to Mr Obama seven months later so he could enjoy a bigger garden.

          Mr Obama now admits his involvement in this land deal was a “boneheaded mistake”.

          Mrs Rezko’s purchase and sale of the land to Mr Obama raises many unanswered questions.

          It is unclear how Mrs Rezko could have afforded the downpayment of $125,000 and a $500,000 mortgage for the original $625,000 purchase of the garden plot at 5050 South Greenwood Ave.

          In a sworn statement a year later, Mrs Rezko said she got by on a salary of $37,000 and had $35,000 assets. Mr Rezko told a court he had “no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations.”

          Mrs Rezko, whose husband goes on trial on unrelated corruption charges in Chicago on March 3, refused to answer questions about the case when she spoke by telephone to The Times.

          • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

            Btw, no one personally is advising me to stop. I read a couple blog posts tonight from smart, well-meaning people who are, um, a bit naive about this all.

            It does stink. It also makes NO sense for him to have done this deal, as a famous politician, unless there was something else subterranean going on. Right? Why else consort with this sleazebag slumlord? Why?

            • Fred C. Dobbs

              Why?

              1. Poor judgement.
              2. Lack of Imagination.
              3. Michelle just had to have that house!

              I’m unsure of the citation, but someone said that Character is shown by what we do when we think no one else is looking.

      • AF

        Even IF there is no wrongdoing in a legal sense, tell me why on earth a famous politician would consort with a man like this — known at the time about to be indicted by Fitzgerald — and do a clearly cozy real estate deal?

        Why? Oh, because Obama exercised that stellar judgement he’s always bragging about.

    • Mike Howell

      Tab –

      Not all of the witnesses are “bad”. As you don’t bother to name the company that allegedly gave HRC a donation, one can only guess that they aren’t.

      Frequently individuals become subjects of other investigations “targets” and are later indicted, when they are not witnesses in the first case.

      In the Rezko case, the Gov’t made sure people were aware of this. Bury your head in the sand at your peril.

  • Andy

    As I wrote before:

    Q. Obama’s plan for the foreclosures crisis?

    A. Befriend Rezko !

    He should haave not bought a house he knew couldn’t
    afford b/c of the adyacent lot. Shouldn’t buy more than you can afford. Wasn’t this at the core of the subprime loan fiasco?

  • Inquiring minds

    Wasn’t there some discussion that Obama had possibly tried to help Rezko get a deal for a nuclear plant in Iraq? From Brian Ross’s piece:

    Rezko told the judge he had no current source of income, saying his last business deal involving a proposed power plant in Iraq had been cancelled.

    • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

      That must be in the 63 pages, which I still haven’t begun to read (dealing with some spam at the moment).

      I HOPE SOME OF YOU READ IT ALL and report back!

      • Simon

        I wanted to add Rezkowatch brought up an interesting point about another cash transfer that seemed related to Obama’s Senate run, in 2004.

        In June of 2003, Obama needed to have a million in the bank, to prove he was a serious contender.

        MY take is he was short of cash, and Rezko again arranged for one of those “cash IV’s” to make it appear Obama had enough money to run.

        All this done at the last minute.

        My take, again, and only mine, is the bulk of the money for Obama’s senate run came from one source, at the last minute, in June of 2003.

        (rezkowatch posed this as a possibilty)

        The Rezko fundraisers held for Obama also seem of interest, a transfer of funds to Rezko, say, from the middle east.

        • Simon

          The lawyer, Ziegelmueller, I wonder what his story is, seems I’ve heard that name in passing, for quite awhile now…

          • barbh

            Duffy and he were lawyers for Enaam Arnaout in US vs Arnaout. Pat Fitzgerald has apparently crossed one of their clients’ paths before.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enaam_Arnaout

            You probably know a lot more about the case than I do. Very intersting indeed.

        • barbh

          Simon, I wonder if he has released his income tax returns for 2003? It would be interesting to see them.

      • barbh

        Susan,
        I read the whole 63 pages. Though I couldn’t prove it, I have a feeling that under all those layers of LLCs, etc. there lies Pat’s Fitzgeralds climb up the ladder of corruption to the head of the snake.

        Brief summary – 1) Rezko owns MT property first he says he owns 80%, then he says he gave up 2% interest to settle some debt (later in the 63 pages he says this). Then he owns some property at Clark and Roosevelt owned by Riverside District Development, but Riverside is owned by Heritage District Partners, then Heritage has its own structure (which Duffy insists is very complicated, it is in fact so complicated that Mr. Rezko doesn’t seem to understand the way it works, but Mr. Duffy does, interesting in that he isn’t the lawyer who structured it, but is so very understanding of) part of which is MT Property Holdings, go back to 1)! Seems like a classic case of which cup is the coin under?

        Then MT Property Holdings (back once again to 1) working with General Mediteranean (Auchi) and there is more details about that.

        From what he says some of the deals are in foreclosure, they are supposedly totally broke and getting handouts from the family and friends for the 7500.00 a month it keeps them going. This was before his bond was revoked in 01/07 of course.

        Regarding the Hyde Park property (I’m assuming that is Obama’s since he references his wife). Judge St. Eve asks him about property transfers, etc. since he hired Duffy (2004), he mentions this and says that she sold it for 120,000.00 more than it was mortgaged for, don’t believe that they had any of that at the time left (01/07). He doesn’t mention at any point in his testimony before St. Eve that he sold the parcel of land to Obama! Strange that huh….must have just slipped his mind. Anyhow oddly enough a former lawyer of Rezko’s now owns he property. Wonder if he is holding it for him and owner in title only…

        There is also a reference to the 400,000. finder fee given to Nater Auchi Nahmdi’s brother and the Iraqi power plant deal that fell through…

        How much legal work did Obama do for Rezko and what kind of legal work did he do. I know his former boss Davis was partner with Rezko in some real estate dealings. This stuff is seriously multilayered and the only reason that I can think of to do something like this is to hide something.

        Real estate dealings are multilayered and the pizza and Panda Den dealings are also.

        You can get whiplash just looking at all those LLCs..

        • TeakWoodKite

          I had to re read all that LLC mumbo jumbo and take notes to keep it straight. These are the circles Obama wanted to be a ‘made man’ in.

          In the hearing there was an investor in LA mentioned;

          Cellini has not been indicted, but he has been implicated in a scheme to shake down an investment banker with Hollywood connections, and now Cellini has retained one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state.
          Also mentioned is Cellini’s plump handmaiden, also known as “Individual K” in the case’s court documents, none other than Big Bob Kjellander (pronounced $hell-ander).

          Kjellander, a friend of former White House adviser Karl Rove, remains a Republican National Committee bigshot who is planning the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in September.

          http://pstern.statesmanblogs.com/entry.aspx?q=5dda7616-714b-4690-b1e0-9a5400fd8dd0

  • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

    ABC News summarizes, rather briefly, what’s in the court document. Now to read it. Let me know what you see in the PDF — linked at the top of the story.