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8 things you need to know about Obama and Rezko

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Tale in national spotlight, thanks to Clinton

All of a sudden, seems as if everybody's talking about Barack Obama and Tony Rezko. Even Jay Leno.

Rezko already was a big story in Chicago, accused of influence-peddling in the Blagojevich administration and set to face trial Feb. 25.

But Monday, he became national news -- and an issue in the presidential race. That's when Hillary Clinton blasted Obama for having represented "your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner-city Chicago."

Having a hard time keeping track of the facts? Here are eight things to know:

1. They met in 1990. Obama was a student at Harvard Law School and got an unsolicited job offer from Rezko, then a low-income housing developer in Chicago. Obama turned it down.

2. Obama took a job in 1993 with a small Chicago law firm, Davis Miner Barnhill, that represents developers -- primarily not-for-profit groups -- building low-income housing with government funds.

3. One of the firm's not-for-profit clients -- the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., co-founded by Obama's then-boss Allison Davis -- was partners with Rezko's company in a 1995 deal to convert an abandoned nursing home at 61st and Drexel into low-income apartments. Altogether, Obama spent 32 hours on the project, according to the firm. Only five hours of that came after Rezko and WPIC became partners, the firm says. The rest of the future senator's time was helping WPIC strike the deal with Rezko. Rezko's company, Rezmar Corp., also partnered with the firm's clients in four later deals -- none of which involved Obama, according to the firm. In each deal, Rezmar "made the decisions for the joint venture," says William Miceli, an attorney with the firm.

4. In 1995, Obama began campaigning for a seat in the Illinois Senate. Among his earliest supporters: Rezko. Two Rezko companies donated a total of $2,000. Obama was elected in 1996 -- representing a district that included 11 of Rezko's 30 low-income housing projects.

5. Rezko's low-income housing empire began crumbling in 2001, when his company stopped making mortgage payments on the old nursing home that had been converted into apartments. The state foreclosed on the building -- which was in Obama's Illinois Senate district.

6. In 2003, Obama announced he was running for the U.S. Senate, and Rezko -- a member of his campaign finance committee -- held a lavish fund-raiser June 27, 2003, at his Wilmette mansion.

7. A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood -- a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million -- $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko's wife paid full price -- $625,000 -- for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko's wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard. At the time, it had been widely reported that Tony Rezko was under federal investigation. Questioned later about the timing of the Rezko deal, Obama called it "boneheaded" because people might think the Rezkos had done him a favor.

8. Eight months later -- in October 2006 -- Rezko was indicted on charges he solicited kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business under his friend Gov. Blagojevich. Federal prosecutors maintain that $10,000 from the alleged kickback scheme was donated to Obama's run for the U.S. Senate. Obama has given the money to charity.

Tim Novak

Source: http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/757340,CST-NWS-watchdog24.article

lmfao, does this ever stop? I mean really... [geek-small]

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Really matters not who ends up in office, the poor, like myself, are gonna get the shaft, the rich will continue to richer, the oil companies will continue to laugh all the way to the bank, just makes me sick. Now that our country is trillions in debt, (thank you president bush) I just keep asking. Iraq has all this oil, we have spent billions over there, spending millions a month with no end in sight, why can't iraq start repaying some of the cost with oil??

Man bush is still push a war with iran. Wanna bet we end up getting into it with them next?? Man something has to give, scares me what that "something" ends up being. God help us all.

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Really matters not who ends up in office, the poor, like myself, are gonna get the shaft, the rich will continue to richer, the oil companies will continue to laugh all the way to the bank, just makes me sick. Now that our country is trillions in debt, (thank you president bush) I just keep asking. Iraq has all this oil, we have spent billions over there, spending millions a month with no end in sight, why can't iraq start repaying some of the cost with oil??

Man bush is still push a war with iran. Wanna bet we end up getting into it with them next?? Man something has to give, scares me what that "something" ends up being. God help us all.

You should be reading around a little because we are going to start to get oil from iraq very soon. Pumps are getting very close to coming on. They had to fix everything first which is just about done now.

If you think the poor gets shafted, you should check out the middle class. Or better yet stay poor, you will have a lot more friends there soon. And the rich don't have it as well as everyone says, unless your mega rich. The upper 5% pay 70% of the tax, and obama wants to tax them more, how much should these people be paying?

As for iran, I don't think we will go into full scale war with them, it will be Israel, going to war with them. We will be just in the back giving them stuff and if they need some help then we would be there, but not till. And I don't think they would really need help against iran, they are not going to be putting boots on the ground, it will be basically air strikes only. All they really want to do is take out the nuclear facilities.

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Mostly true, we are eliminating the middle class here in america. And yet more come in every day to live. Like that is helping.

As far as the oil, if that was so true then why is Kuwait not paying up in oil? We literally gave them their country back also. For what, we should have just kept the damned thing.  :smiley: I doubt we will get much out of Iraq. All they have to do once we get them set up is say "So sue me".

Iran has always been on the hit list. Nothing new there.  :smile2:

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