Another in a series of 2008 posts that are as relevant today as when they were first published. You will agree. (Reprinted with the author’s permission and request for anonymity.) Special thanks to FlopFlipper for bringing this to my attention. Beyond Cullen Davis and Tony Rezko, note the inclusion of Valerie Jarrett‘s name below the fold. At that time (June 2008), no one could have known that she would become the top White House adviser to a president of the United States.
A little boy is dead because Barack’s key fundraisers cared more about profit than a safe environment for children. While his mother watched him to be sure he was safe, Curtis Cooper, a three-year-old boy riding his tricycle, was crushed to death by a heavy iron fence that suddenly fell over on top of him at a housing project run by Obama contributor Cullen Davis — whose family received huge government subsidies as well as a $1,000,000 grant for the properties from the Woods Fund’s board, whose members included Barack Obama and unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.
CBS2 Chicago also reports:
Curtis’ aunt Lisa Springfield said, “It just crushed him all up, his whole face.”
According to witnesses, five or six men rushed to the boy to try to pry the heavy fence off of him. An hour later he was pronounced dead at Children’s Memorial Hospital.
Cullen Davis, the son of Obama’s first boss and major benefactor Allison Davis, is a beneficiary of Obama’s prominent effort to privatize the management of public housing in Chicago. As Un coup de des wrote here yesterday in “Boston Globe Exposé, Part I: Introducing Cecil Butler, Obama’s West Side Slumlord Patron,” the privatization of this housing — while highly profitable for investors like Cullen Davis, Allison Davis, and the now-convicted Tony Rezko — has left residents with chronic plumbing failures that led to sewage throughout units and backing up into kitchen sinks, “collapsed roofs and fire damage,” rampant rodent infestation, vacant units, and the displacement of thousands of low-income residents because the buildings are either uninhabitable or have been destroyed in order to “gentrify” neighborhoods.
Furious neighbors reacted last night, reports the Chicago Tribune:
A 3-year-old boy was crushed to death Friday evening by a large, rusted steel gate at the Cabrini-Green housing complex, prompting a crowd to gather and hurl accusations of mismanagement at property managers.
“How many accidents happen over here because of failed inspections,” screamed Willie J.R. Fleming, a resident and a director with the Coalition to Protect Public Housing. “There’s no accountability, there’s no oversight of this.”
Barack Obama and Mayor Daley backed the privatization schemes and personally interceded to ensure that THEIR cronies made money off the privatization. Here’s how DEEPLY INVOLVED Barack Obama is in these schemes that contributed to little Curtis Cooper’s death, via the Boston Globe’s “Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy“:
- “As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers.”
- “As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies.”
- “And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.”
An outrageous example of the privatization profiteers is Tony Rezko. Reports the Boston Globe‘s superb investigative report (a must-read in full):
Antoin “Tony” Rezko, perhaps the most important fund-raiser for Obama’s early political campaigns and a friend who helped the Obamas buy a home in 2005. Rezko’s company used subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,000 apartments, mostly in and around Obama’s district, then refused to manage the units, leaving the buildings to decay to the point where many no longer were habitable.
Campaign finance records show that six prominent developers – including [Valerie] 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.
You’ll note that on his Web site describing his business, Obama donor Cullen Davis, the owner of the property at which little Curtis Cooper died, touts that his company offers “visionary and strategic leadership to Urban Property Advisors (UPA) plus a number of companies and ventures impacting change in urban environments.”
Apparently, Mr. Davis’s “vision” doesn’t include close inspection of old, rusting heavy iron gates. From CBS2 Chicago:
As for Regional Property Advisers, the firm which has been inspecting this CHA property for the past two years, it contended that due diligence was exercised.
Spokesman Ronald O’Neil said, “We visually check the property on a regular basis and I can tell you that in this particular instance, there’s a gate that has a chain on it and it has been chained up and it did not fall over.”
That’s of small comfort for Curtis’ family. They expressed skepticism over that explanation.
“They didn’t do anything to that one. I guess they thought because it wouldn’t move. The gate wouldn’t move, so I guess it was rusting out, that’s why it wouldn’t move. Then all of a sudden, he touched it and the whole dang gate fell on him,” Springfield said.
For more on the powerful who have managed to privatize and profit from these low-income housing projects, read:
- Un coup de des‘s “Boston Globe Exposé, Part I: Introducing Cecil Butler, Obama’s West Side Slumlord Patron,” and
- the Boston Globe’s “Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy“
Note: Un coup de des plans a series of reports on this privatization scheme that enriched Barack Obama’s allies and benefactors but left Chicago’s poor in disgusting, uninhabitable or dangerous housing.