Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Meet the FOBO'S. Obama takes Chicago pals--and top fund-raisers--on campaign plane Tuesday.


WASHINGTON---A special group of FOBO's--Friends of Barack Obama who are at the top of the Obama fund-raising pyramid--were on presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama's plane to Minnesota on Tuesday, where Obama flew to clinch his nomination.

The FOBO manifest....

1. Valerie Obama advisor without portfolio, which means she has a hand in all portfolios. In Obama history, her chapter starts when she hires Michelle, then Obama's fiance, to be her deputy in Mayor Daley's City Hall.

2. Eric Whitaker, a doctor who is frequently on the Obama campaign plane is the executive vice president for strategic affiliations and associate dean for community-based research at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Michelle Obama worked before she took a leave for the campaign. Before that, Whitake was the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health

3. Marty Nesbitt, one of Obama’s best friends who is the treasurer of the Obama presidential campaign. Nesbitt is the CEO of the Parking Spot.

4. Billionaire real estate magnate Penny Pritzker --of Chicago's Pritzker family--is the Obama National Finance Director. Pritzker has long been an Obama financial backer.

5. Ariel Investment founder John Rodgers is an Illinois Finance co-chair and longtime friend.

6. Industrial magnate Jim Crown-- of Chicago's Crown family is an Illinois Finance co-chair.


"[A]s people have looked away [from our nation's political life] in disillusionment and frustration, we know what's filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government."

Here's hoping that Obama wasn't joshing us when he said he wants to change that.

Is this the same Rogers that Obama, from the Illinois Teachers' Retirement system gave Ariel Capital $112.5 million to manage and added hundreds of millions mover over the next few years, while Obama was the chairman of the Health and Education committee in the Illinois house. In 2006, the teachers' fund took its maoney back out, citing Ariel's 'under performance'. Who is not part of the 'pay and play' political group.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 4, 2008 8:06 AM.

Finally, Obama decides to open all his fund-raisers to pool press. was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama tells AIPAC: "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything in my power. Everything." is the next entry in this blog.

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