Governor's response to home lien accusation

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Gov. Blagojevich's spokeswoman, Abby Ottenhoff, responds to an allegation that Tony Rezko shook down former Blagojevich official Ali Ata to pay an impending lien on the governor's home.

Ata said he gave Rezko $25,000 in cash after Rezko told him he needed to pass the money to contractors who were about to place on a lien on the governor's home.

“We can’t comment on alleged conversations that the governor was not a party to,” spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said today. "As we said last year, the Blagojeviches personally paid for the work to renovate their 14-by-20 family room out of their checking account."

Ata, the former $127,000-a-year head of the Illinois Finance Authority, gave $60,000 in contributions to the governor's campaign fund before winning his post. Rezko's lawyers say there is nothing to back up Ata's accusations. Ata is expected to take the stand in Rezko's trial Thursday.

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3 Comments

Was this the same construction company that did work for the Obama mansion - that iron work, etc?

Wow this is a huge scandal- even by Illinois standards.

Dems(Bago, Rezko), Republicans (Cellini, Kjellander, Hurtgen, Rove who else?), Invesmtent Bankers, two State boards, the State pension fund, basically alomost everyone who is a part of the currption is being brought down.

Does the man on the street connect to how huge this is? Does he care?

If you gave half as much scrutiny to the Clinton scandals, like a blog devoted to the hundred mil the Clintons made over the past few years by cashing in their government service, their relationship with billionaires like Berkle who gave them hundreds of times more than is even alleged to have been given Obama by Rezko, all the anonymous donors to their half a BILLION dollar charity and the like, that would be fair. That's fine, life's not fair. Obama is a bit better than the typical politician and Clinton is no better at all.

Senator Clinton is like our current President. A relative of a Bush or a Clinton. We've had them for two decades now. To say that extending the streak to at least 24 years is a change is wrong.

By the way, Hillary Clinton does not have a strong record. That is just media spin. She has done 3 major things in her political career and all have been failures:

1. Failed to reform healthcare in the early 1990s. The process was poorly run and secretive. It was such a failure that in the next election the Democrats lost control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

2. Made the wrong call on the most important vote of her career in voting for Bush's Iraq War. She also supported the war longer than most other Democrats and wouldn't admit she made an error until her campaign was on the rocks.

3. Speaking of which, her campaign has been poorly run. She came in the clear frontrunner and now has nearly no chance because she let herself slip so far behind in delegates, states lost, and popular vote lost. She had to fire a bunch of people for poor performance and dirty Washington tricks. They ran out of money.

I'll take Senator Obama. In contrast to Hillary Clinton, Obama stood up against the Iraq War when it counted - before Bush rammed us in. Obama has run a good campaign with not nearly as many low blows. He crosses party lines. He has energized a whole new group of young voters. He has proven himself by singlehandedly taking on the double-headed Clinton machine.

PS I'll tell you another thing. Hillary Clinton and John McCain's "tax relief" for Summer gas taxes are a fraud. They are not even relief in the short term. They will save the average American about $25 bucks or less all Summer, or about 1/16th of the $400 tax rebate we are getting.

The whole half-backed gas tax "relief" thing is just pandering for our votes. I give Obama credit for not going along with this typical Washington baloney. He knows we need real energy reform to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and ease demand so prices will drop. Playing around with taxes to win votes is just a band aid.

Obama is a Senator who has worked across party lines:

"Partnering first with Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), and then with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Obama successfully introduced two initiatives bearing his name. "Lugar-Obama" expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines.[15][16][17] The Lugar-Obama initiative subsequently received $48 million in funding.[18] The "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for the web site USAspending.gov, managed by the Office of Management and Budget. The site lists all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward and provides breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract.[19]"

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_career_of_Barack_Obama

And here is a result: www.usaspending.gov. I suggest you spend some time visiting it. It's a web site you can go to so you can see where our incompetent, corrupt Administration is throwing away our money on contractors with no-bid contracts, outsourcing good government jobs and the like.

To address another myth that Senator Obama is a scary liberal, it's interesting that on average Obama is one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate. In fact, he is rated more conservative than Hillary Clinton, and Obama is less liberal than McCain is conservative (only 9 points away from a perfect score versus Obama being 20 points away).

www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Comparison/Maps/Apr09.html

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 29, 2008 8:15 PM.

Blago hired Rezko firm for home renovation was the previous entry in this blog.

Rezko trial: U.S. seeks to limit questioning is the next entry in this blog.

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