Friday, December 12, 2008

Speculation from the Blagosphere

Bob Robbins has forwarded a post by Joan Swirsky of Rightside News. Swirsky speculates that Blagojevich may buy it just like Lee Harvey Oswald and Alexander "thank goodness for cut and paste" Litvinenko.

No Quarter USA Blog's Larry Johnson, speculates that John Harris, Balgo's chief of staff may sing, David Axelrod may be implicated and that President-elect Obama is already being soiled by drive-by sludge dripping from the Chicago-DC Sludge Aquaduct ("...rather than come out today and admit that he talked to Blagojevich about possible choices -nothing wrong with that- he lied to the press conference and claimed to have had no conversation. Simply not true. David Axelrod admitted they had talked and, if you read the indictment, Blagojevich talks about the conversation.")

Swirsky quotes Johnson:

"'Barack Obama is not sleeping well tonight...Patrick Fitzgerald and the FBI could be sitting on some other tapes/wiretaps that are damaging to Obama...We also do not know what Rezko is saying at this point nor do we know what Blagojevich and Harris will spill...This scandal is not going away."

Swirsky asks: "What, if any, is the connection between Obama, the convicted felon Rezko, and the soon-to-be-convicted Blagojevich?

She notes:

"Rezko helped both Blag and Obama rise in Chicago and Illinois politics.
"Obama himself has credited Rezko with helping to his political career.
"Rezko raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both Blag and Obama.
"The FBI says between June 2001 and August 2004, Rezko raised over $1.4 million for Blagojevich's political campaigns, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"In all, prosecutors said, Rezko squeezed various companies for some $7 million in kickbacks. Following his conviction on 16 counts of fraud, money laundering, and aiding and abetting bribery, Rezko said federal authorities tried to pressure him "to tell the wrong things" about Obama and Blagojevich. The Sun-Times reported prosecutors pushed Rezko to cooperate in the corruption probe against Blagojevich."

Swirsky wonders about a Clinton coup and whether Rahm Emanuel is a Clinton mole. And, of course, if Blago does a Jimmy Hoffa, there will be alot to speculate about here in the Blagosphere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any names stick out to you?

In 1971, Davis opened a small law firm that would include Carol Moseley-Braun, who became a one-term U.S. Senator from Illinois. Years later, Davis would serve on the finance committee of another former employee running for the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama, along with Tony Rezko and Valerie Jarrett.

Obama worked at the firm from 1993 until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Last year, the Sun Times asked the Obama Campaign if Obama's letters of support for the project represented a conflict with his statement on December 2006 wherein he told the Chicago Tribune that, "I've never done any favors for him [Rezko]." The Sun Times reported (June 13, 2007) that,

"On Tuesday, Bill Burton, press secretary for Obama's presidential campaign, said the letters Obama wrote in support of the development weren't intended as a favor to Rezko or Davis."

On April 23, 2007, the Sun Times submitted questions to the Obama Campaign through Robert Gibbs, the campaign's Communications Director, probing Obama's knowledge of development deals involving a donor (Rezko) and a former boss and donor (Davis). The entire 28 questions and answers merit reading. Here are two samples:

Q. At the time of those deals, Tony Rezko was a client of the senator's firm, a campaign donor to the senator, a personal friend, and a business partner with the senator's boss, Allison Davis. But Mr. Rezko was also a landlord to many constituents living in the state Senate district that Senator Obama represented at the time. And many of those Rezmar properties had fallen into disrepair, while Rezmar began to fail financially. Did the senator ever talk to Tony Rezko about the deteriorating status of his housing projects?

A. To reiterate: the firm did represent entities in which Tony Rezko had an interest but never Tony Rezko, personally. Senator Obama does not remember having conversations with Tony Rezko about properties that he owned or any specific issues related to those properties.

Q. Was the senator aware of Rezmar's financial problems at the time?

A. No.

Stateway Gardens
So how much taxpayer money have Davis and his partners gleaned over the years for their government housing projects? Sit down before you read the answer. According to the Sun Times (November 11, 2007),

"Davis and his partners - including sons Jared and Cullen - have gotten more than $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to build and rehabilitate more than 1,500 apartments and homes, primarily for the poor. His deals include a massive redevelopment of the Chicago Housing Authority's Stateway Gardens, across the Dan Ryan Expy from Sox Park. It is a lucrative business. Davis and his partners have made at least $4 million in development fees over the last decade."

And, Davis has generously shared his winnings.

"He has donated more than $400,000 to dozens of political campaign funds. His top beneficiaries include Daley, [Illinois Gov.] Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama, who worked for several years as an attorney in Davis' law firm." (Sun Times, Nov. 11, 2007)

You can see Davis' impressive list of political donations here. Since 2003, about $25,000 has gone to Barack Obama. Before 2003, it was $1,000.