Obama & Rezko – Illegal Campaign Contributions & Shady Conduct

If you hear about shady loans and illegal activities today – you might think the story is about one of Obama’s Advisors who worked for Fannie Mae.

Not so in this instance – this post is about Obama and his dealings with a convicted felon Tony Rezko ………… OBAMA’S LONG ASSOCIATION WITH REZKO RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT OBAMA’S CHARACTER …..

Obama’s name likely to come up at Rezko trial

 The name of Democratic presidential front-runner is likely to brush up against the impending federal corruption trial of Antoin “Tony” Rezko as the result of a judge’s ruling Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve told prosecutors they could introduce evidence to support allegations that Rezko used straw men to make political contributions on his behalf. (“Straw men” is the term used to describe illegal contributions through “front men”.)

Prosecutors have alleged that the money came from fees Rezko illegally siphoned from a state pension board.

In her ruling, St. Eve said the government contends that Rezko directed business associates Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof to make contributions to an unnamed political candidate in late 2003 and 2004 because Rezko had already contributed the maximum legal amount.

The only candidate Maloof and Aramanda contributed to during that time frame was Obama, then running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. Maloof and Aramanda each gave $10,000 to Obama’s campaign.

Maloof of Vernon Hills had supported Obama in an earlier political campaign, and disclosure reports from that effort listed her as a vice president of operations for a Rezko pizzeria management firm. Aramanda is a Glenview businessman whose son received a coveted summer internship in Obama’s Capitol Hill office in 2005.

Rezko had been a longtime friend and financial supporter of Obama’s political career.

Obama’s campaign says it has given more than $150,000 in Rezko-linked contributions to charity, including the money from Aramanda and Maloof.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-obama-rezko_both26feb26,0,5415448.story

One Month Later: The Story Changes & The Amount of Money Increases

Barack Obama acknowledges indicted businessman’s campaign funds

Saturday, March 15th 2008, 10:10 AM

Presidential candidate Barack Obama said Friday that he got more political money from indicted Chicago businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko than he has previously acknowledged.

Rezko helped raise up to $250,000 for his various political races, Obama’s campaign said. The campaign had previously put the figure at $150,000 but now says that amount was only for his 2004 Senate race.

And in interviews with two Chicago newspapers, the Democrat again said it was a mistake to involve Rezko in his purchase of a new home — not just because Rezko was under federal investigation but because he was a contributor and political activist.

“He never once asked me for any favors, or ever did any favors for me,” the Illinois senator said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. “He never gave me any gifts or gave me any indication he was setting me up to ask for any favors in the future.” 

OBAMA’S FAVORS FOR REZKO WILL BE COVERED IN A SUBSEQUENT POST ON THIS WEBSITE.

Rezko was convicted of charges which included mail fraud and attempted extortion. Federal prosecutors say he tried to use his connections to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to demand kickbacks from companies wanting to do business with state government.

Rezko advised Obama on buying a new Chicago home in 2005 and his wife bought a vacant lot next to the Obamas’ house. Rezko’s wife, Rita, later sold part of the lot to Obama so they would have a bigger side yard.

Obama said he got no price break on his new house because Rezko was buying the lot next door from the same sellers. And he said it was Rezko’s idea, not his, to buy the lot.

“He said, ‘Well, I might be interested in purchasing the lot.’ And my response was, ‘That would be fine,'” Obama said. “This is an area where I can see sort of a lapse in judgment, where I could have said ‘No, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.'”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/03/15/2008-03-15_barack_obama_acknowledges_indicted_busin.html

A subsequent post on this WEB SITE will review this claim by Obama – Obama stated “it was a stretch” to buy the house and that “he could not afford the house and lot together”. Are we to believe that Resko came to Obama, out of the blue and said – gee I’d like to buy an empty lot – Barack, why don’t you buy the house next door.

Obama claims that he donated the illegal contributions to charity – however – Obama did not do this until after Obama and Resko got caught.

Even Salon Magazine, the Liberal, pro-Democrat publication had this to say:

“Obama’s dealings … show that, despite his high-minded politics, he was no purer — or no savvier — than Illinois’ biggest hacks in his weakness for a generous contributor. He wouldn’t even say no when Rezko cooked up a deal to help the newly elected senator buy a gracious Georgian-revival home. ”  Why would Obama associate with such a character – Salon also noted, ” Rezko, after all, built part of his fortune by exploiting the black community that Obama had served in the state Senate, and by milking government programs meant to benefit black-owned businesses. But Obama took Rezko’s money even after the businessman was sued by the city of Chicago for failing to heat his low-income apartments, and even after Rezko was caught using a black business partner to obtain a minority set-aside for a fast-food franchise at O’Hare Airport.” http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/02/01/rezko/

Thats right, Obama continued to take Resko money after Resko had been sued for being a slum lord. 

Rezko was also accused of swindling the late Jabir Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the “Nation of Islam”, out of his home, several investment properties and cash. Rezko had befriended Jabir Muhammad after he became ill. 

In 2005, a fast-food company that listed Muhammad as its president lost its minority business certification and closed its restaurants after city officials alleged that Rezko was using it as a front. Muhammad and the company’s other principals were disqualified from participating in the city’s affirmative action contracting program. http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/Nation.of.Islam.2.337922.html

Through all of this  – Obama continued to accept Rezko cash.

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