Every Day this Rezko thing gets smellier and smellier. As described in the LA Times
It’s [the trial] an unfolding, seemingly local political story that’s fascinating in its revealing details about the subterranean world of business, financial and family connections in Illinois and Chicago politics that helped take a virtually unknown black Chicago attorney, nurtured him politically and financially and turned him into…. the polished candidate who today thrills crowds of thousands across the country with his eloquence….
….This story concerns two men, neither of whom face any legal charges today. They are two of Illinois’ top Democratic politicians — Gov. Blagojevich, who’s been mentioned often in court, and Sen. Obama, who’s received only passing mentions. They’re entwined in the Rezko saga, particularly through the bounteous campaign money he raised for them both….
…..So far, Blagojevich, reelected in 2006, is more deeply enmeshed in the scandal than Obama, who’s not been implicated in any wrongdoing. But all three operated in the murky world of Illinois Democratic politics, where money, family relationships and long business associations provide the invisible glue of the local political world
Here comes the fun part:
An early trial exhibit from prosecutors was a spreadsheet. Prepared by an FBI agent , the spreadsheet identifies Rezko-related donors who supplied $1.43 million between 2001 and 2004 to Blagojevich, who was first elected governor in 2002. Using Federal Election Commission and Illinois state records, The Times’ Dan Morain compared donors on the FBI spreadsheet to Obama’s contributors. Guess what. Sen. Obama received $222,000 during the same 2001-2004 period from Rezko-related Blagojevich donors. And Obama received at least another $32,000 from them for this presidential run — although Rezko, indicted in 2006, has not been involved in Obama’s current campaign.
Let me put it this way…this candidate of CHANGE started from tainted money AND IS STILL USING TAINTED MONEY.
Jay Stewart, of the nonprofit government watchdog Better Government Assn. in Chicago, called the overlapping list of donors a “who’s who of the inner circle” of Democratic politics in the Land of Lincoln. “Did they come from the same general political environment?” Stewart said of Blagojevich and Obama. “Yes. They’re Chicago pols. They both knew Tony Rezko. Tony Rezko raised money.” In his presidential race, Obama increasingly has relied on small donations delivered via the Internet from more than a million individuals. But when he started in Illinois politics, Stewart noted, “if you wanted money, you needed to ask the big boys.” Rezko was a big boy. He was, for instance, a link between Obama and Santa Monica developer Jay Wilton of Wilton Partners. On July 16, 2003, Wilton gave $5,000 to Obama’s first U.S. Senate run. A few days later, Wilton gave $50,000 to Blagojevich, Illinois state records show…..
Here comes a classic version of QUID QUO PRO ..
Another overlapping donor is John Rogers, head of Ariel Capital, a major Chicago-based investment firm. Rogers gave $12,500 to Blagojevich in 2004, the FBI spreadsheet shows. Rogers has also given Obama $25,000, state and FEC records reveal. Aides to Obama and Rogers said the pair has a friendship that is separate from Rezko. Ariel vice president Matt Yale said Rogers’ inclusion on the FBI spreadsheet was a surprise, adding, “To the best of our knowledge, we have not made any contributions to Governor Blagojevich or any political candidate on behalf of Tony Rezko.” Ariel is not implicated in the criminal case. As an Illinois state senator, Obama appeared before Illinois pension funds in 2000 and 2001 to urge that they provide more business to black-owned investment houses including, as it happens, Ariel. Describing his efforts to the Urban League last year, Obama said African-American-owned firms were not getting any business from state pensions. Obama singled out Rogers’ Ariel Capital, calling it a well-respected investment house, but one that received no business. “We didn’t have to implement a formal program,” Obama told the Urban League, taking no credit. “I simply said, ‘Listen to what these folks have to say,’ and in about six months they got about a half billion dollars worth of business simply on their own excellence.” In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew to $442 million by 2005.
Ladies and gentlemen when Obama says he is an agent of change, he is only being HALF TRUTHFUL. Barack Obama is not only an agent of Change but judging by the record…Whole dollars also.