From the NYTimes‘s Caucus Blog, via Time‘s Mark Halperin: “Nearly two decades ago, Valerie Jarrett hired a young lawyer named Michelle Obama for a job at Chicago’s City Hall. Now President-elect Barack Obama has hired Ms. Jarrett for a senior role in the White House.
A longstanding member of Barack Obama’s tiny core of top advisers, she will continue providing him with counsel on a wide-ranging set of issues, she said Friday evening. Second, she will serve as the White House’s point person for business with state and local officials. Additionally, she will supervise the Office of Public Liaison, a relatively quiet office which she hopes to turn into a more active channel for government-citizen collaboration.” (Read all. Italics mine.)
When you’ve done as much opposition research on Obama as has this blog, it is amazing what can be found right HERE about a woman about whom most American are saying, “Who’s she?” — at the very same moment that all of you veteran NoQuarter readers are saying, “Oh yeah. Her. It figures.”
Here, in chronological order, are snippets from many of our stories that refer to Valerie Jarrett. Even with our handy administrative-section search engine, this took a while, but it’s worth it:
(1) From the great investigative story by City Nell, a true must-read, “How to Buy a Mansion You Can’t Afford,” February 4, 2008 (edited brilliantly by Truthteller) — which, besides pointing out Jarrett’s significant role in the trajectory of Michelle’s career path, also explains how Michelle Obama became aware of the availability of the historic mansion:
… In 1996, she left the Public Allies to help create a student volunteer program at The University of Chicago. By the time of this interview, she was the Executive Director of Community Affairs for The University of Chicago Hospitals. This is how Michelle portrays her change of career:
She was devastated when her father died from MS complications. “That’s when I started analyzing my life, sitting in a firm,” she recalls, adding that in that same year she also lost one of her best friends from college to cancer. She soon left the firm to pursue a much lower-paying path in the public sector.
The fact is Michelle was actively recruited for City Hall by a close friend, Valerie Jarrett, who was Mayor Daley’s Deputy Chief of Staff at that time. Valerie later became the Finance Chair of Obama’s 2004 US Senate campaign and then First Treasurer of Barack’s political action committee, Hopefund.
It helps to have friends at City Hall. Among other positions, Michelle was appointed twice to sit on the board of the Commission of Chicago Landmarks for two consecutive terms. Michelle maintained this board seat from 1998 to March 2005, although normally a member only serves one 4 year term. …
(2) From NoQuarter’s story (formerly known as nasuS), “Obama’s 2006 Earmarks & the Crown Family,” March 13, 2008 (aided, as always, by Truthteller‘s considerable knowledge of all things Chicago and by Andy, a reader who’s sent me great tips for a long time):
Lynn Sweet, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, has more on Michelle Obama and Obama’s other earmarks:
Obama sought money for the University of Chicago Hospitals. Wife Michelle works for the University of Chicago Hospitals, appointed in spring 2005 as vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She is now on leave from the job to campaign for her husband. Top campaign adviser and friend Valerie Jarrett is the Chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board and also Chair of the Executive Committee of that board. She has also been named Vice-Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. Obama taught at the U. of Chicago law school and the Obama’s two daughters attend school there. [bold mine]
Here’s an FYI digression: My March 13th story begins with the significance of the Crown family’s money to Obama’s rise — Larry Johnson has correctly tagged the billionaire Crown and Pritzker families as of the highest influence to both Barack Obama and his aide-de-camp Rahm Emanuel — and a cautionary tale for those KoolAid dipsomaniacs:
Do you remember the Crown family? Do you remember the Crown patriarch who sits on the board of Maytag? Do you recall that Barack Obama, as a U.S. Senate candidate, met with Maytag workers, asked for their donations and promised them he’d help save their jobs, and that he then went to the Crown family and took their large donations, but never said a word to Crown about saving the jobs of the Maytag workers? …
(3) From Larry Johnson’s story, “Let’s Help Barack Fight the ‘Smears’,” June 12, 2008, which answered his critics taunting him about the “whitey tape”:
Now, are you ready for the shocker? Look at the next paragraph of [Time magazine reporter Karen Tumulty’s] piece:
When the Obama campaign got wind of the rumor in April, Michelle’s close friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett asked Michelle if there could be anything to it; the candidate’s wife dismissed it out of hand.
I did not hear about the tape until MAY. REPEAT. I DID NOT HEAR ABOUT THE TAPE UNTIL MAY. Yet, the Obama campaign knew about the tape in April. Got it? And I am the one responsible for the so called rumor? …
(4) From Un coup de des’s story, “Boston Globe Exposé, Part I: Introducing Cecil Butler, Obama’s West Side Slumlord Patron,” June 27, 2008, a stunning and sickening story of how Obama abetted his greedy friends in making millions from taxpayers by privatizing public housing and letting it go to ruin or driving out the poor. You will see that Valerie Jarrett had a DIRECT ROLE and MADE MILLIONS from taxpayers’ monies while making the inhabitants of public housing criminally miserable. If you’ve never read this story, you simply must do so. If only the MSM had picked up this courageous investigative report by the Boston Globe and given it the “play” it deserved, Barack Obama would likely not be president-elect. That is how devastating this story is.
It is stomach-churning that Valerie Garrett had ANY role in this cruel, corrupt, and calamitously consumptive plundering of public monies.
First, a brief introduction from the No Quarter story is in order:
This is the first of a series of articles to be written on a lengthy exposé published in the Boston Globe entitled “Grim Proving Ground for Obama’s Housing Policy.” The 27 JUN 2008 investigative report is required reading for all No Quarter users. …
Now, here is first of the bizarre, baffling and bold sections that describe some of Valerie Jarrett’s plundering and political moves:
Campaign finance records show that six prominent developers – including Jarrett, Davis, and Rezko – collectively contributed more than $175,000 to Obama’s campaigns over the last decade and raised hundreds of thousands more from other donors. Rezko alone raised at least $200,000, by Obama’s own accounting.
One of those contributors, Cecil Butler, controlled Lawndale Restoration, the largest subsidized complex in Chicago, which was seized by the government in 2006 after city inspectors found more than 1,800 code violations.
Similar to Rezko, Cecil Butler is a developer who profited from the privatization of low income, public housing in Chicago during the 1990s. Butler is also not coincidentally a major supporter of Barack Obama whose low income tenements were ultimately seized by the government for multiple building code violations.
The Boston Globe provides a description and a brief history of Butler’s Lawndale Restoration.
And yet more:
Who helped Cecil Butler secure government funds for Woodlawn Restoration? Barack Obama, of course: the same Barack Obama who wrote letters on behalf of Rezko’s slum properties the same year residents of Rezko’s tenements were complaining of lack of heat and sanitation services. For the Executive Vice President of Habitat Co., the company who helped Butler manage his deteriorating warren of slums, was Valerie Jarrett, another Obama contributor who develops low income housing and serves as a top advisor to the Obama for President campaign. The Boston Globe explains how Obama exploited his position as state Senator to assist Jarrett and Cecil Butler. I quote:
Obama translated that belief into legislative action as a state senator. In 2001, Obama and a Republican colleague, William Peterson, sponsored a successful bill that increased state subsidies for private developers. The law let developers designated by the state raise up to $26 million a year by selling tax credits to Illinois residents. For each $1 in credits purchased, the buyer was allowed to decrease his taxable income by 50 cents. …
This No Quarter story ends thusly:
A disturbing pattern emerges, and it can be summarized as follows:
- Obama secured funds for developers who desired to earn profits off of low income housing during the privitization scheme of the Chicago Housing Authority that occurred during Barack Obama’s tenure as a state Senator. Those developers include Tony Rezko, Valerie Jarrett and Cecil Butler.
- These public-private partnerships failed, leaving many in squalor.
- Barack Obama remained silent, but he accepted contributions from Rezko, Jarrett, Butler and others.
- Rezko is not an isolated case. Obama also colluded with the likes of Cecil Butler, whose negligence inspired African-American residents of the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side to organize support for radical Republican Alan Keyes during Obama’s 2004 Senate bid.
- Obama’s desire to privatize public housing has resulted in a series of failed projects that have left the indigent in squalor.
- But Obama accepted the political contributions of these unscrupulous developers nonetheless.
Flineo created a video entitled “Obama’s Forgotten People,” and I publish it again, as there is a new group of low income housing residents on the West Side of Chicago Obama we can add to the group on the South Side Obama abandoned in order to climb the political and social ladder.
Nothing, in my opinion, is more deplorable than a career politician who exploited African-Americans in low income housing for political and personal gain. And Obama did it again and again in inner city Chicago. Now he has manipulated African-Americans across the country to view his candidacy as the empowerment of the very people Obama ignored in order to line the pockets of his slumlord friends and contributors. Progressives and ostensible Democrats may forget, but those of us who are concerned with social justice will continue to serve as the true muckrakers this election cycle.
The edifices reproduced in this essay are buildings managed by Cecil Butler. The restoration project that followed in the wake of Cecil Butler’s mismanagement of Lawndale Restoration is described in this document.
There are so many more stories to share with you, but I’m weary at the moment. You can find so many more by simply searching our site.
These stories about the public housing always tear me up. Let’s end with Flineo’s great video: