Saturday, December 23, 2006

More boneheadedness from Obama with Rezko

Clinton will clean Obama's clock with this stuff.

From today's Trib,

Political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko made a modest pitch to Sen. Barack Obama last year.Rezko recommended a 20-year-old student from Glenview for one of the coveted summer internships in Obama's Capitol Hill office.

The student got the job and spent five weeks in Washington, answering Obama's front office phone and logging constituent mail. The student was paid an $804 stipend--about $160 a week--for a position valued mostly for the experience it provides.
As the internship drew to a close in August 2005, the intern's father was cited in court records as an unnamed, unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged state government bribery scheme linked to Rezko. A news report about the court records identified him by name.

Obama's spokesman said Obama would not comment on the internship because he is spending the holidays with his family. But spokesman Robert Gibbs said the internship in no way contradicts Obama's previous statements that he has never done any favors for Rezko, given jobs to Rezko associates or been involved with Rezko "in any government activities of any sort."
Obama should just say it's the Chicago way.

Update: A little more from Gibbs in todays's Sun Times,
John Aramanda served as an intern for Obama for about a month in 2005, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. His father is Joseph Aramanda, a Rezko business associate who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption case against Rezko. Aramanda has contributed $11,500 to Obama since 2000, Gibbs said.

"Mr. Rezko did provide a recommendation for John Aramanda," Gibbs said. "I think that it's fairly obvious that a few-week internship is not anything of benefit to Mr. Rezko or any of his businesses."
Missed the point here Mr. Gibbs. This story says Rezko's word counted for someting with Obama. That Obama valued Rezko's word.

xp Bill Baar's West Side


jurassicpork 8:53 AM  

Here we go... Whitewater Redux...

grand old partisan 9:19 AM  

I always thought that Senate internships were unpaid. At least, that's what I was told back when I was in college

Skeeter,  11:12 AM  

Another negative post from Baar.

Anonymous,  1:27 PM  

Gee, didn't he unequivocally state that he never did any favors, political or otherwise, for Reszko? Liar-liar, pants on fire! Bet he doesn't get called on it by the media or his mindless minions, though!

boater,  2:03 AM  

Another stupid non-responsive comment from skeeter.

Rob 10:42 AM  

I don't know, this seems like a stretch. Obama had the son of a major contributor as an intern for a few weeks, and that means...what now? The letter of rec from Rezko amounts to quid pro quo exactly how?

Feels a little thin to me.

JB Powers 11:17 AM  


The issue is Obama's claim that he only has a vague acquaintance of Rezko, though TR owns BO's yard, and both were milling around Springfield at the same time (and Harvard, it turns out).

How vague is it when BO hires the son of a midling crook, on the recommendation of one the top crooks in politics today?

The key point is, Obama is just another mixed up politician. The kind that supports the Bridge to Nowhere, Todd Stroeger, and politics as usual, despite his long winded tomes against the above.


Anonymous,  1:21 PM  

Doesn't matter if he is rep or dem, Obama is a Chicago pol and that's that.
Merry Christmans to all.

Rob 5:34 PM  

Obama hasn't called Rezko a "vague acquaintance," JBP, he said they were friendly. But so what? Obviously Obama would know Rezko--TR was one of the top political fundraisers in the state. Does that really make Obama the same as Ted Stevens, Richard Daley or Rod Blagojevich?

Look, if you want to define "politics as usual" so broadly as to include any political fundraising activities, then I can't argue with you. But if you're talking about, you know, actual substance--bribes, kickbacks, shadowy influences, machine politics--well I just don't see how an internship for a contributor's son somehow means Obama was in bed with Rezko.

Bill Baar 9:55 PM  

Obama said he and Rezko go back to Obama's time on Harvard Law review. It sounds more like Rezko spotting an up-and-comer and making an investment in him.

crash-dev 11:17 PM  

And that is to do what?

What has Obama done for Rezko?

If all he has done is given someone a month long internship, that hardly seems worthy of all these posts.

I am worried that this is like when the right wing folks tried to get Ried on Abramoff. But when you looked at the votes around when Abramoff's associates gave money to Ried, Ried voted against them every time.

So what has Obama sold out? That is what he should be answering for.

Bill Baar 6:09 AM  

So what has Obama sold out?

Forrest Claypool? Reform in Cook County?

Bill Baar 6:16 AM  

Re Cook County and Rezko. The Sun Times from August 2005,

A native of Aleppo, Syria, Rezko has done prominent political fund-raising for Cook County Board President John Stroger, Obama and former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar. A
recent check of Cook County's payroll showed six Rezkos in paid county posts, including Rezko's wife, Rita, who is on the county Employee Appeals Board. Rezko has seen his business fortunes rise and fall of late. His Rezmar Corp. recently won a contract to build a power plant in Iraq, but Mayor Daley's administration is balking at Rezmar's request for millions in subsidies for a proposal at Roosevelt and Clark.

crash-dev 12:03 PM  

Thank you for the link, but I am still not entirely sure what you are alleging. That Obama took money from someone who was corrupt?

Or that Obama got his company the contract to build the power plant in Iraq?

Or that Obama intervened or did not intervene enough in the Cook County President Primary?

Or that while he was a state senator he did not do enough to clean up corruption?

Anonymous,  12:39 PM  



Bill Baar 9:46 AM  

...but I am still not entirely sure what you are alleging. That Obama took money from someone who was corrupt?

It's not an allegation. From the Sun Times,

Obama and Rezko have been friends since 1990, and Obama said the Wilmette businessman raised as much as $60,000 for him during his political career. After Rezko's indictment, Obama donated $11,500 to charity--a total that represents what Rezko contributed to the senator's federal campaign fund.

I don't know if Obama had a hand in getting Resko and Alsammarae a deal on the power plant. I am concerned about Alsammarae getting back to Chicago to talk with Fitzgerald about the deal. The righty blogs all blame President Bush because Alsammarae donated to the Bush campaign.

Alsammarae's family had asked Durbin and Obama's offices for help in securing his release from prison in Iraq. I hope Alsammarae gets back to Chicago to talk with Fitzgerald.

Bill Baar 9:52 AM  

Or that Obama intervened or did not intervene enough in the Cook County President Primary?

He supported the wrong guys: Stroger and Giannulious. Not exactly the Progressive-Good-Government choices.

crash-dev 10:35 AM  

I don't remember Obama backing either candidate in the Stroger-Claypool primary. If I am wrong please link me. Nor do I remember him being terribly vocal in the general about it, as he spent pretty much all his time nationally.

So Obama has taken money from someone who is corrupt, that does not make him corrupt. Future posts should be about what Obama has given to Rezko and company, this is information I want to know and would change my opinion of him.

JB Powers 11:30 AM  

BO backed Stroeger 1 in the primary and Stroeger Jr. in the general election.

Go find the link yourself, but Obama sent out mailers on this.


Skeeter,  11:36 AM  

Let me get this right:

You are bashing an elected official for backing an incumbent in the primary and the slated candidate in the general?

No wonder you people lose every election in Illinois.

crash-dev 11:46 AM  

Trib-Blog 2nd of Nov.
talks of Obama backing Stroger in the General.

Medill-news-service March 7th
talks of Obama walking a fine like by not backing either candidate in the primary.

This is what I found.

Bill Baar 1:15 PM  

Sunil Garg said it best as quoted over at Public Affairs,

[Senator] Obama missed a real chance to use some of the vast reservoirs of political capital he has built to unequivocally demonstrate his commitment to reform and good government. He has weakened his moral authority by seemingly safeguarding his political career.

I--and many others--cannot understand how someone can be considered presidential when he refuses to take a stand on the most important race in recent memory in his own back yard [The contest for President of the Cook County Board, Democratic Primary, March 21, 2006].

Made sense to me at the time.... and today.

crash-dev 1:47 PM  

This upset me at the time and it still bothers me. Do I think this makes him unpresidential? no. So I guess Sunil cannot understand me.

If this is where the bar for presidential is going to stand? I wonder how many of the past presidents would be considered presidential.

Bill Baar 2:05 PM  

Crash Dev,

From Froma Harrop's column today,

"I serve as a blank screen," Obama writes, "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."

Leave a blank screen, as obama admits doing, we start connectiong the dots.

I've started getting a picture of Cook County Politics, Tony Rezko, and wondering what the deal is with Rezko, Alsammarae, Rumman, and Nadhmi Auchi.

That's what happens when you put a blank screen in front of a world with bloggers today.

I think it will eventually turn around and bite Barack when all the hues and shades are filled in with this story.

Just a hunch... the Chicago Way...

Skeeter,  4:52 PM  

Of course, that last post, predictimng the demise of Sen. Obama, was written by the same person who predicted the total destruction of the Democratic Party.

Thirty House seats and six Senate seats later, it looks like the party is doing O.K.

And other than in minds of the nattering nabobs like Baar, Sen. Obama is going to do pretty well too.

Give it up Bill. As long as you continue that boring drumbeat of negativism nobody will listen.

Posts like yours are exactly why your party lost so big in November. You have nothing to offer but hatred for Demcocrats. That's no way to run a political party or a country.

Bill Baar 6:14 PM  


You really need to move over to the Happy News web site if you problems with negativism....

...the rest of us on Illinoiz well discuss cold realities.

Skeeter,  7:23 PM  


You post negative because your party has nothing to offer.

Rather than talk about accomplishments from six years of Repubican rule, you claim that just maybe, Sen. Obama should have backed somebody else in a primary campaign.

You have no message. That's why you lose, and that's why you will continue to lose. The ILGOP is the weakest Republican Party in the U.S. for a reason. There is no doubt that people like you are a big part of the problem for the GOP.

JB Powers 9:38 PM  

I see, so since Barr posts a bit of common sense vs. Obama's sloganeering, so he is responsible for the ILGOP.

It is all beginning to add up now, if only Bill Baar would support Senator Obama, Tony Rezko and, Gov Blago, we could live in the perfect kleptostate with much joy and harmony.

Turn Back Bill Barr from your doubting ways! Do not question our glorious and quite holy leaders, just learn from the annointed state!


Skeeter,  9:54 AM  

Good plan, JBP.

That strategy cost you 30 and 6 in November.

Going for double?

If my party had

Control of the House for the past 12 years;

The Senate for the past 4;

The White House for 6;

The Courts for about 20,

and all I could talk about was how bad the junior senator from Illinois was, I would be pretty angry at my own party for the failure to govern in all those years.

Of course, Sen. Obama has been the junior senator in a minority party for the past two years, and we are already talking about his record of accomplishments in those two years.

What a contrast.

Bill Baar 11:48 AM  

I would be pretty angry at my own party for the failure to govern in all those years.

Are you happy with Cook County? It's provided for many Rezkos.

Skeeter,  12:55 PM  

Another negative post, Bill.

That's why you lose elections. For every Rezko I can toss a Ryan or Hastert or Fawell back at you. There is nothing to be gained by the stream of negativity.

You need to talk about what your party has done and what your plans are for the future. That's why Reagan won: He had vision. The GOP has lost that, along with 30 House seats and 6 Senate seats and just about every race in Illinois.

Your party has no record and has no vision and as a result your party has no future. You don't stand for anything other than "We don't like Democrats." That's no way to run a country.

Bill Baar 6:23 PM  

Unlike Obama, I would have supported Forest Claypool in the primary.

If that's negative, well, so be it....

Bill Baar 6:25 PM  

Like I'm the only blogger who'll post anything on Bill Dock Walls.... when the negatives come crashing down around the machine, that may not look so much the loser.

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