The Obama-Rezko scandal heatens up!

I’m sure most of you missed it, but during the summer a Chicago fixer named Antonin Rezko was indited by the FBI for bribery and corruption charges. In an attempt to make bail Rezko disclosed his financial records which show…suprise suprise “mysterious” dealings with Obama. According to ABC news:

In sharp contrast to his tough talk about ethics reform in government, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., approached a well-known Illinois political fixer under active federal investigation, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, for “advice” as he sought to find a way to buy a house shortly after being elected to the United States Senate.

The parcel included an adjacent lot which Obama told the Chicago Tribune he could not afford because “it was already a stretch to buy the house.”

On the same day Obama closed on his house, Rezko’s wife bought the adjacent empty lot, meeting the condition of the seller who wanted to sell both properties at the same time.

Rezko had been widely reported to be under investigation by the U.S. attorney and the FBI at the time Obama contacted him and has since been indicted on corruption charges by a federal grand jury in a case that prosecutors say involves bribes, kickbacks and “efforts to illegally obtain millions of dollars.”

Obama maintains his relationship with Rezko was “above board and legal” but has admitted bad judgment, calling his decision to involve Rezko “a bone-headed mistake.”

While Rezko’s wife paid the full asking price for the land, Obama paid $300,000 under the asking price for the house. The house sold for $1,650,000 and the price Rezko’s wife paid for the land was $625,000.

Obama then expanded his property by buying a strip of the Rezko land for $104,5000, which the senator maintains was a fair market price.

Tell me that that doesn’t look damn shady…

Rezko is also a major financial donor to Obama’s political efforts:

An ABC News review of campaign records shows Rezko, and people and corporations connected to him, contributed more than $120,000 to Obama’s 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate, much of it at a time when Rezko was the target of an FBI investigation.

“It surprised me that late in the game he [Obama] continued to take contributions from somebody who was under a rather dark cloud in the state,” said Cynthia Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a group that has worked closely with Obama and supported his legislative efforts.

An ABC News review of campaign records shows Rezko, and people and corporations connected to him, contributed more than $120,000 to Obama’s 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate, much of it at a time when Rezko was the target of an FBI investigation.

“It surprised me that late in the game he [Obama] continued to take contributions from somebody who was under a rather dark cloud in the state,” said Cynthia Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a group that has worked closely with Obama and supported his legislative efforts.

UPDATE::: YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THE ABC SEGEMENT HERE:

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15 thoughts on “The Obama-Rezko scandal heatens up!

  1. I didn’t know heatens was a word. Also, you selectively quote the article, leaving out the explanation as to why the price on the house went down.

    All that aside, so what? Barack Obama bought a house, Rezko buys the land next to the house, Rezko sells part of that land to Obama. Unless there’s specific favors that Senator Obama has done for this guy, I’m not seeing the scandal.

  2. Mark

    Are you really saying that Obama Mrs Rezko just happend to buy a random empty plot of land right after Obama admittedly sought his “advice” on buying the house, and they just happend to buy it on the same day. And Obama just happend to get a substantial discount on the house? Don’t be naieve.

    PS. I hardly doubt citing Obama counts as a credible source for why his own shady house deal was legit.

  3. I might not be a dab hand at real estate, but I’ll postulate an explanation. When a house is listed at a price that is too high, people won’t buy it. Therefore, in order to sell the house, the owner might be willing to take a lower price for it.

    Even so, Phil, you have yet to demonstrate any quid pro quo here. What has Obama done for the Rezkos in return that makes this a scandal?

    And really, for a Clinton supporter to be criticizing a politician for being corrupt is laughable.

  4. Your “explanation” only deals with the significant discount that Obama mysteriously received on the house. It ignores several important facts such as:

    – the fact that Obama, admittedly, asked Rezko for “advice” on buying a house.

    – That Obama and Mrs Rezko just happened to buy the house and the plot of land on the same day.

    – That previously, the owner was only willing to sell the house and the plot of land together

    – That Rezko later “sold” this plot of land that Obama couldn’t afford before

    Furthermore, even if Obama were innocent of his shady land deals with Rezko, Obama still accepted money from a known political fixer while he was being indited by the FBI. That’s not good judgment and that’s not change from the normal politics that he claims to be so much better than.

    Last, it’s not my burden of proof to find the favor Obama did for Rezko, or if he has done a favor. Trading IOU’s for personal favorites is still illegal and at the very least unethical. But its particularly unethical and hypocritical for someone who claims to be an advocate of “change” and “cleaning up washington” to be doing the samethings that, in his own eyes, makes Washington so corrupt.

  5. Rezko also happens to be a real estate developer. Shocking that someone would ask a real estate developer for advice on buying a home.

    The owner wanted to sell both properties at the same time. That doesn’t mean the owner was bundling the property together.

    Lastly, Rezko sold part of the land that was bought to Obama, not the whole thing. Read the article you’re selectively quoting.

    Unless Obama has done a favor for Rezko, it’s not a scandal, it’s just bad judgment. Something which Hillary Clinton has demonstrated time and again with her shady dealings as First Lady of Arkansas.

  6. Mark

    You’re not a debater anymore, stop making assertions. If you think I’m misquoting or selectively quoting the article then point to the place in the article. Nu-uh isn’t filler for arguments.

    You’ve yet to explain the fact that Rezko’s wife just happened to buy the land on the same day as Obama bought the land below market value.

    Lastly, Rezko sold part of the land that was bought to Obama, not the whole thing. Read the article you’re selectively quoting.

    Okay?

    The owner wanted to sell both properties at the same time. That doesn’t mean the owner was bundling the property together.

    This has no relevance. Arguing that she was not looking to sell the lands together is grasping at best. But lets say that you’re right and Obama finds a house that he wants. The owner says “I’ll only sell the house and plot together” Obama talks to Rezko and Rezko, through his wife, agrees to buy the plot adjacent to the house. According to state and federal laws, thats still against the law. And at the very least, it contradicts the sort of shady politics Obama claims to be so different than.

  7. Phil

    You’re not a debater anymore, stop making assertions. When you quote the entire article, but insert ellipses where Obama is defending himself, I would call that selective quoting.

    I don’t know what the motivation of the Rezkos was in buying the land. At worst, it’s a favor, that you have yet to demonstrate as being illegal in any way shape or form.

    The fact that the owner wanted to sell the properties at the same time is relevant. You are asserting, without demonstrating it to be true, that the owner wanted to sell the properties to the same person. Actually reading the article would demonstrate that the owner wanted to sell the properties at the same time.

    Lastly, what laws has Barack Obama broken? I certainly think if he has broken the law, he would be under indictment, which would certainly hinder his ability to be campaigning for the Presidency. I’m certain you will oblige me in posting the relevant state and federal laws that Barack Obama has broken in your next reply.

  8. Interesting… Here we have two people going back and forth over an issue in which all the information they have to work with is second hand. Neither of you are personal friends of Rezko or Obama and neither of you have access to all the facts. Neither do I, for that matter. You are wasting your time trying to convince one another of one individual’s integrity. It appears shady. The end. Now lets continue to observe what we can of Obama and see if a pattern arises.

    And incidentally Joe, just because a man would like to see a member of his own culture group in the White House doesn’t imply hate. The use of simple buzz-words is juvenile at best and displays a glorious lack of understanding.

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