So Far, it Seems to be Guilt by Association with Rezco for Obama

Thanks to Leo Drew for the comment re: Hillary’s attacks on Obama. I watched the videos Mr. Drew sent, and at least one correction to my earlier post is in order. According to both ABC News and CNN, Rezko’s contributions to Obama’s various campaigns are in the multiple thousands, rather than $1000.

ABC News claims “Rezko and people in his circle have contributed more than $120,000” to Obama’s campaigns, although who knows exactly what “people in his circle” means.

Tony Rezko does sound like a bad character; he is under indictment following a three-year, undercover FBI investigation that uncovered evidence of bribery, kickbacks, and extortion, according to U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. So naturally any connection Obama has with him is going to be scrutinized. In 2005 Obama bought a $1.6 million home for $300,000 less than the market value on the same day Rezko’s wife bought the lot next door at full price for 625,000. That does sound more than a little fishy, as if Rezko were laundering his contribution to Obama (offering the seller more for this empty lot so Obama could get a discount). Then again, homes often sell for well below market; in fact, it’s pretty rare for anyone to buy a home at asking price (sort of like paying retail for jewelry). And maybe Rezko’s wife wanted a vacant lot, who knows?

But what was in it for Rezko? Obama maintains he has never done any favors for the man, and indeed the most damning piece of evidence The Chicago Sun-Times has come up with so far is a single letter, from 1998, which Obama wrote to city officials endorsing Rezko’s plan to build a complex for senior citizens on Chicago’s South Side. As far as I am know, there is no scandal connected with that particular complex. If that’s as bad as it gets, it’s not much of a scandal. If Obama had been advocating for this guy right and left or had lent his support to a terrible, slummy project, it would be another matter. But it seems that at this point, most of what the press and the Clintons have on him is guilt by association, which should no more prevail in the court of public opinion than it should in a court of law. We’ll see what unfolds.

This entry was written by and posted on January 23, 2008 at 12:02 am and filed under Blog.