Thursday, November 02, 2006

Obama and Rezko

Kass and Brown today on Obama's connection with Rezko.

It's hard to understand why Obama thought this would go unnoticed.

The books, his wife's six figure job with U of C Hospitals, now this... tell me it ain't so, because it's looking like plain greed now.

Greed is something I understand, but I'm baffled Obama would have associated with Rezko; even just casual contact. The guy is political-poison and we've known it for years.

21 comments:

Pat Hickey 7:59 AM  

Hi Bill,

As always, you presnet the problem in a cogent and thoughtful - not to mention gentlemanly,as it goes without saying - manner.

Rezko is NOW poison. He like his Republican starched counterparts fuel the beast in political life.

I feel that this is a tempest in the teapot, but a storm that the young Senator can use. He has been Oprahfied since the DNC and now faces the same sand-paper scrutiny as any poor guy closing his lids at a stop-light with Pam Zekman in the car next to him -'HIS EYES WERE SHUT, PEOPLE, ON THE TAXPAYER'S DIME - WHAT A WORLD< WHAT A WORLD! - FILM at 10.'

Game on, Senator.

Amjat Ali,  8:03 AM  

Rezko and Obama are very close.

Obama has been given a pass by the media. Especially on the Rezko issue.

The Obama popularity is media driven and not necessarily grass roots.

The Obamamania in the media (numerous front page stories, these kind of soft "celebrity" stories about what he can cook, and book signings, and speculation if he will run for President)

Pat Hickey 8:19 AM  

Ali,

'The Obama popularity is media driven and not necessarily grass roots.'

Naw, I liked the guy way back when - so did a lot of grassroots ( and not the artifically crafted 'grassroots-nets-nerds'type) folks who met Obama at benefits and the Beverly Area Planning Association's Falling Leaves Festival back in the 1990's.

Obama was a hit at the Snowflake Ball when Congressman Rush ignored everyone present and conducted 'business' on a cellphone the whole night at the Evergreen Plaza. Barack table-hopped and pressed the flesh like he was Ronald Reagan.

The media screwed up the real Obama, as they usually do.

Fulton Sheen,  8:26 AM  

Even if you are pro-choice, Obama supports PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION--this is against 70% of voters.
Merely a protection of babies who can already live outside the womb.
Banning infanticide is not forcing women into back alleys or forcing women who are raped to have abortions. This is common sense and civilized. I realize most people are pro-choice and Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, but if a baby is born and can survive outside the womb than we should not kill it or law and society should not allow it to be killed.

While I am opening up a pandoras box on this one, Obama wants it both ways on gay marriage and plays a typical politician but does have a understanding of a certain cultural conservatism in the religious parts of his community.

Obama was a beneficiary of private schools, including elite Muslim schools in Malayasia with his step father. Most of the African American political elite went to Catholic schools, including Todd Stroger (including Art Turner, Calvin Giles--many of whom are Catholic which is analyzed in Bitter Fruit by Grisham) YET, Obama has NO ideas for education, is not sympathetic to parents who choose the private school option, represented a district with many low income and children below educational standards and did nothing privately or through public policy to keep institutions open in his District or surrounding area serving low income African American children like Hales, St. Martin de Porres/Mendel, among others. Many good private school closed down serving poor children. Obama has not offered African American children the same benefits his wealthy step father or his white mother provided him. Obama never went to Chicago Public Schools nor had to deal with urban poor. The rhetoric of hope and a good speech do not match the low key hard work of people like Pat Hickey at Leo. Obama and Hickey are both white guys active in the African American community, Hickey actually provides real service and educational product, Obama provides words and had policies and private inaction that closed down good educational alternatives.

Bye now, and God love you.

Bill Baar 8:58 AM  

Thanks Pat, appreciate it.

Bruno said this a few posts down on a differnt topic.

Too bad politics is ruled by timidity and lack of imagination. Decent conservatives and progressives might actually have something to vote for if the populace would get out of "Party Sheep" mode.

I thought some of the things Obama was doing with Brownback were in that spirit.

Hate to see Obama chuck his potential for a house.

Cal Skinner 9:40 AM  

I have another view today about the side yard relationship on McHenryCountyBlog.com.

It comes out of my own experience as a young elected official.

Anonymous,  10:17 AM  

I recall a story of him getting private jet service from corporate interests. This is taboo in the campaign reform circle.

This kid is tempted by the good life to easily.

I like him for supporting Abortion and Partial Birth Abortion.

the Other Anonymous,  10:33 AM  

I'm not at all sure there's a there there.

Obama bought his house -- admittedly, a really nice and expensive house -- and sleazy Rezko buys the vacant lot next door. Yes, Rezko paid more than market value -- but if he really wanted to own land next to the US Senator, he would pay above market. There's nothing more than imaginative speculation to indicate that Rezko, Obama, and the seller struck a deal to give Obama a discount while charging Rezko more.

As for the sale of the 10 ft of land: the Trib reports that the Obamas paid far more than the appraised value. Rezko was willing to sell the land at the appraised value, and probably would have given it away to get Obama in his debt.

I don't know, but I thought Obama's answers as reported in the Trib were pretty forthright, and showed a far amount of caution in dealing with a guy who imposed himself as Obama's neighbor. Now, if there's more to the story -- any shred of evidence that Obama asked, suggested, etc., that Rezko be his neighbor, or that Obama worked to get any sort of government deal with Rezko -- well, then let's look into it. But for now, this isn't the scandal that some people wish on Obama.

Pat Hickey 10:45 AM  

'Now, if there's more to the story -- any shred of evidence that Obama asked, suggested, etc., that Rezko be his neighbor, or that Obama worked to get any sort of government deal with Rezko -- well, then let's look into it. But for now, this isn't the scandal that some people wish on Obama. '

Well Said.

This is a tempest in a teapot - and no not a Teapot Dome - this is a 'politics' wake-up call after being treated like Oprah for so long.

Good to have You back, Senator! Stick around with the folks for a while.

So-Called Austin Mayor 2:15 PM  

The books, his wife's six figure job with U of C Hospitals, now this... tell me it ain't so, because it's looking like plain greed now.

Uh Bill... when a guy writes a book that makes its publisher millions of dollars, that publisher can be expected to pay that author a substantial sum for his future books. Check into it -- its how capitalism often works.

And with regard to an attorney making a six figure salary -- do you find that unseemly because she is a woman or because she is black?

Because I don't recall your batting an eye about any white male attorneys making more than 100k per year.

And just where is the greed in this house deal anyway?

But keep on trying. The more you cry wolf about Obama the more you marginalize yourselves -- all the better for those of us who want him to run for president.

Bill Baar 3:22 PM  

And with regard to an attorney making a six figure salary -- do you find that unseemly because she is a woman or because she is black?

She's taking a job with U of C hospital which gets what, a third of it's rev from Federal Grants, plus who knows what in Federal research dollars.

...when a guy writes a book that makes its publisher millions of dollars, that publisher can be expected to pay that author a substantial sum for his future books. Check into it -- its how capitalism often works.

Obama's a Senator, not a Capitalist. What he does is of interest to voters, just as what a Capitalist should do is of interest to stockholders. If he wants to go private and be judged by Capitalist rules, he should do that...

....otherwise he faces the electorates judgement.


Imagine if Lynn Cheny went to work for Haliburton. Not much difference as far as I can tell.

(And I'd feel the same way if his spouse were a white male. This kind of scrunty of your sig others work relationship is one of the most compelling arguments for recognizing same-sex marriage.)

Because I don't recall your batting an eye about any white male attorneys making more than 100k per year.

I haven't blogged much on tort reform.... I'm still open to the idea these lawyers still somehow give a club of sorts to the oppressed... but maybe that's a paleo liberal notion I should chuck.

And just where is the greed in this house deal anyway?

It's the sum of the picture that's adding up like greed. He's not there yet, but he's on a bad bad path.

Progressives tell me to vote for Blagojevich because he'll get indicted and Quinn will become Gov.

So imagine the two years between 2006 and 2008 with an indicted Blagojevich who maybe refuses to step down from Office and maybe the State consumed with talk of Impeaching him.

And then here's Sen Obama wanting to run for Prez trying to explain his connection with Rezko... real pretty sight. A tremendous waste of Obama's talent that could have been avoided.

Bill Baar 3:26 PM  

...a third of it's rev from Federal Grants...

Not grants, but Medicare... most Hospitals get about a third of their revenue from Medicare.

They're vendors to the Federal Gov like any contractor although they escape the bad guy image of defense contractors.

Anonymous,  3:28 PM  

The book was not even that good.

His wife is well educated and seems classy.

The question still is WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE?

I do agree with Hickey at least before he was elected US Senator (as State Senator and running and losing for Congress) Obama was likeable, not arrogant and a good campaigner. But so are a lot of people winners and losers I met.

So-Called Austin Mayor 7:41 PM  

It's the sum of the picture that's adding up like greed. He's not there yet, but he's on a bad bad path.

Or, as the kids say, "You got nothin'."

Bill Baar 7:49 PM  

...as the kids say, "You got nothin'."

When I was a kid, my mom told me to be careful about the crowd I hung with. People would judge me by it.

I tell my kids the same thing now.

Ignatius J. Reily,  8:01 PM  

Wow-- there are so so many apologists out there. If this deal was in Chicago Heights or Cicero or Melrose Park you'd all be crinkling your noses.

Wether Obama orchestrated it or not--Rezko's action is in effect, a subsidy--that's right a 33% plus/minus subsidy to the Senator--deniable of course, because of the "separate" ownership of the side lot, etc, etc. Ok then--let's give 'em something for creativity-- it is a Sophisticated Subsidy. Not quite like the California Congressman who bought the boat from the lobbyist at much below market value-- that was sort of crude. This is after all not San Diego-- no, this is the Sterling City on the Lake that....Al Capone built. Our kinky deals are much slicker....this isn't a Water Department Operation---this is a US Senator--the standards at that level are really really high.

So-Called Austin Mayor 8:10 PM  

I'm still waiting for someone to point to the impropriety on the part of the Senator.

I understand Rezko's bad behavior, i.e. attempting to suck up to the Senator, but I don't see what, if anything, he received in return.

I don't doubt that Rezko wanted Obama to behave improperly, but Resko's intentions don't make the Senator's proper behavior improper.

Bill Baar 5:05 AM  

SCAM,

I think Rezko would consider the subsidy to Obama as an investment in the future.

Like in the Godfather where Marlin Brando tells the undertaker someday I'll return to you for you for a favor in return.

I think that's how Chicago works.

Anonymous,  2:28 PM  

http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/LynnSweet/020206.htmol

I recently reported in the Chicago Sun-Times about eight of those trips taken in the first half of 2005: Two were on Illinois-headquartered Archer Daniels Midland aircraft. Another was on a plane controlled by John Rogers, the chairman and CEO of Chicago’s Ariel Capital Management. Another was supplied by Quintin Primo, co-founder and CEO of Chicago’s Capri Capital Advisors and an Obama fundraiser. Another was underwritten by the Synovus Financial Corp. in Columbus, and three flights were on planes provided by a major donor to Obama and other Senate Democrats, John Gorman, the Austin, Texas-based chairman of Tejas Securities.

From now on, Obama will use money mainly from his Washington, D.C.-based Hopefund leadership political action committee to pay the market rate for use of an aircraft, rather than then cheaper price of a first-class ticket.

I guess first class is beneath him?

So instead of a free ride give me money to charter the jet.

Ignatius J. Reily,  3:59 PM  

So-called Austin:

Maybe if Rezko swung by everytime you were having lunch and picked up the appetizers and drinks you'd understand then? Or splain this--what happens if the Good Senator decides to sell today...what "paperwork" would be required to secure the side-lot/fence. It would be like regurgitating those appetizers and drinks---AFTER--you concumed them. If his name was Rocco D'Obamini you'd have a different perspective--4 sure.

Nice subsidy--if you can get it. It is what it looks like...not right.

Milton 8:26 PM  

Does it seem elitist that he can't fly first class?

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