Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tony Rezko and Obama

Tony Rezko, Obama's buddy, is going to prison for 10 1/2 years.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

A federal judge sentenced Tony Rezko to 10 1/2 years in prison Tuesday, describing his actions under Rod Blagojevich’s tenure as “selfish and corrupt.”

Rezko, 56, has already served about 44 months. His daughter burst into tears at hearing the sentence.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve said she found it offensive that Rezko put at risk the Teachers’ Retirement System by scheming for kickbacks with a board member in 2004.

“You put their retirements at risk for your own greed and your own thirst for power,” St. Eve said.

A pale, thin Rezko gave a brief statement before he learned his sentence, saying “there are no words to describe the pain and regret,” he carries and the amount of suffering his family has endured. He apologized to the court and to his family.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Niewoehner said Rezko’s conduct was severe and included scheming with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and others to control state deals so they could make money off of it.

“That’s about as bad as it can get in a political corruption case,” he said. “Illinois was for sale at the very top levels of our government.” Rezko’s attorney, Joseph Duffy, said his client would never commit a crime again.

Rezko grew clearly agitated as Niewoehner said Rezko overstated poor conditions in county jail. Niewoehner said Rezko got sunlight -- through skylights.

Rezko, a former top fund-raiser to Blagojevich and a onetime friend to President Barack Obama, volunteered to go to jail in 2008 immediately after his conviction on 16 of 24 counts of corruption, including fraud, money laundering and plotting to squeeze $7 million in kickbacks from firms that wanted to do business with the state during Blagojevich’s tenure.

Rezko’s lawyers asked that he be released with just time served.

The government, though, wanted St. Eve to send him away for 11 to 15 years.

We should all know the corrupt Rezko's connection with Obama. All of the dirty dealings should have come out during the 2008 campaign and received lots of attention.

Naturally, they didn't.

Of course, every detail, real or trumped up, about conservative and Republican candidates is examined under a microscope. When it came to Obama, so much was swept under the rug, so much was dismissed. Nothing was going to disqualify Obama from being the Democrat nominee.

God knows Hillary tried to make Rezko an issue but it didn't stick.

Let's revisit just a bit of Obama's history with his buddy, Rezko.

From June 22, 2007:

Do you think that the likable Barack Obama is Mr. Clean when it comes to ethics?


Is he the embodiment of change, a new sort of government, hope that we can believe in and be proud of?

No. He's not.

Read what John Batchelor has to offer.

Here's more--

Mark Levin alerted his listeners to a piece from American Thinker, "The Obama-Rezko plot thickens."

There is much yet to be learned about the web of transactions involved, but it now appears that money originating from a convicted Middle Eastern wheeler-dealer found its way to indicted Chicago wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko, and then weeks later provided the means for a nearly simultaneous land transaction that enabled the Obamas to buy their home for substantially below asking price.

It certainly doesn't look like change we can believe in, when it comes to Chicago politics.

More on the Obama-Rezko connection and dirty politics, from Right Wing Nut House.

And more from the Chicago Sun-Times,

There's a strong chance White House hopeful Barack Obama's name will surface at indicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko's trial, which is to begin next week.

In a ruling released Monday, a federal judge also made clear that Gov. Blagojevich, too, stands to come up at trial, as she made public what Blagojevich has long denied: that the governor is the "Public Official A" who's repeatedly referenced in Rezko court documents.

Obama's name was not mentioned, but U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve said she would allow prosecutors to present evidence about a portion of a $375,000 finder's fee that a Rezko associate, Joseph Aramanda, obtained through an alleged kickback scheme orchestrated by Rezko.

Prosecutors, she ruled, will be allowed to ask about how money from that fee allegedly was used "to make a political contribution" in Aramanda's name "because Rezko had already donated the maximum amount by law."

The ruling does not identify Obama as the recipient of that contribution. But sources have identified him as the "political candidate" who prosecutors say received a $10,000 donation from Aramanda -- at Rezko's direction -- during Obama's 2004 run for the U.S. Senate.

Obama has donated that contribution to charity. Aramanda's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

In addition, Rezko allegedly directed another associate, Elie Maloof, "to donate for the same reason," St. Eve wrote.

"The evidence is admissible," she added.

As with the Aramanda contribution, Obama has donated a $10,000 contribution from Maloof -- who was out of the country and could not be reached -- to charity. The two contributions are among $157,835 in Rezko-linked donations that Obama has given away.

Rezko was once part of Obama's senatorial finance committee.

Yes, Obama and Tony Rezko go way back.

You're known by the company you keep.

Obama's connection with Rezko doesn't reflect well on him.

Maybe Obama will pardon Rezko. It's the least he could do for an old friend.


Read more about Rezko and Obama.

April 25, 2007: Maureen Dowd bashes Michelle Obama for failing to rein in Obama's dealings with the sleazy Rezko.

Michelle conveys the appealing idea that she will tell her husband when he’s puffed up or out of line. She aims high — she ordered her husband to stop puffing on cigarettes as he started campaigning. But then, why didn’t she see the red flags on the Rezko deal?

In order to get a bigger yard for their new house on Chicago’s South Side in 2005, the Obamas got into what the senator now confesses was a “boneheaded” real estate arrangement with a sleazy political dealmaker named Tony Rezko, who has been indicted on influence-peddling charges.

On Monday, The Chicago Sun-Times reported more shady Rezko news: “Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko’s low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems,” from a lack of heat to no lack of drug dealers and squatters.

Mr. Obama riposted that “it wasn’t brought to my attention.” But isn’t that where a dazzling, tough, smart and connected wife could help a guy out?

October 10, 2008: Charles Krauthammer writes about "Obama & Friends," including Rezko.
Convicted felon Tony Rezko. Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. And the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is hard to think of any presidential candidate before Barack Obama sporting associations with three more execrable characters. Yet let the McCain campaign raise the issue, and the mainstream media begin fulminating about dirty campaigning tinged with racism and McCarthyite guilt by association.

But associations are important. They provide a significant insight into character. They are particularly relevant in relation to a potential president as new, unknown, opaque and self-contained as Obama. With the economy overshadowing everything, it may be too late politically to be raising this issue. But that does not make it, as conventional wisdom holds, in any way illegitimate.

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