Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sun Times: on Rezko's deal in Iraq

Bravo to the Sun Times for continuing to connect the dots with Rezko, Alsammarae and Illinois's efforts to export Illinois's politics of graft to Iraq.

That Blagojevich's staff could be talking to a company like Companion this summer given the history with Alsammarae, Rezko and Runman is unfathonamble. What can they be thinking.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company owned by now-indicted businessman Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop with a checkered financial past.

Within a month, an Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo.

Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States.

Companion found support last summer from Gov. Blagojevich, whose staff offered to let the company lease a military facility in western Illinois. Since then, Companion has been lobbying officials from Washington to Baghdad about its Iraqi deal, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Blagojevich's offer to assist Companion came as a federal investigation into Rezko's state-government dealings was heating up. A former top fund-raiser for the governor and other politicians, Rezko was indicted on corruption charges in October -- four months after Blagojevich's homeland security chief wrote a letter inviting Companion to train the guards at the Savanna Army Depot.

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