Is Barack Obama tainted by slumlord pal?

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Investigative reporter Tim Novak dug up the rest of the story involving U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's connection to indicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, raising questions about the presidential candidate's involvement with a guy accused of demanding kickbacks from companies seeking state business from Gov. Blagojevich's administration.
Here's some story highlights:
Rezko and a business partner developed in what was Obama's state Senate district, particularly 30 buildings in Englewood that were rehabbed "in a series of troubled deals largely financed by taxpayers."

More than half of them went into foreclosure, Novak writes.

Obama worked for a small Chicago law firm that helped get Rezko's firm more than $43 million in government funding to rehab 15 of the 30 buildings.

Obama accepted $54,416 in campaign contributions from Rezko and his associates.

It's unclear how much legal work Obama did on those deals, but ...

do you think information could Obama's chances at winning the White House?

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So far, Obama's camp seems like they have responded truthfully to the relationship and the questions posed about it. Much of the info has been corraborated by the law firm Obama worked for. There is no possible way for Obama to have known that many of Reszko's buildings were falling apart. And of course, with affordable housing there is always a large risk involved with the project even when funding is approved. Granted, Rezmar seems to have mismanaged the funds, but Obama was not responsible for trying to manage a private firm. Besides, it seems like one of those things where the buck gets passed from legislator to legislator. The City never really batted an eye at Rezmar's behavior, at least not until it was too late. And Obama probably was just going along with the program as far as approving of such projects in his district. At face value, those projects probably seemed like a good thing to Obama, especially when you have community organizations involved with the project. There doesn't seem to be conflict of interest here. Therefore, I think this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion, possibly planted by the Clinton camp knowing that the topic would be sensationalized by the media as to try to discredit Obama.

Well, I think we need to look at the whole story that was written. He actually would have had knowledge of these developments being sub-standard due to the fact they were in is district in Illinois. I also think it is very strange that unethical business practices surround 3/4 of the Candidates in this election. Obama would not be alone in being involved with some shady characters. Its very disheartening to see us so willing to just take their word for it on issues like this. As the report said they never really answered most of the questions they posed to his law firm. Its also important to remember that this would not be the first time Obama has lied. Check out his voting record. He claims to want us out of this war but, keeps voting to spend more and push us further and further into military actions in the middle east.

Hillary's comments on Rezco will come back to haunt her. Please check out this post:

i think obama is totally carrupt. just like all of the rest of the goverment.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on April 23, 2007 12:34 PM.

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