Evelyn Pringle: Barack Obama - The Wizard of Oz (An investigation of his finances and political ties)





... This article is the first in a series that will give the details of Obama's rise to fame.

As for the most recognized allegation against Obama, that helped slumlords operate in Chicago, while accepting their campaign contributions, its true. Obama was a member of the political machine that helped a whole gang of slumlords funnel local, state and federal tax dollars, over the backs of poor people in need of affordable housing, to line their own pockets and fund the campaigns of politicians in positions to recommend and award contracts.

The Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland law firm, where Obama worked for nearly a decade, served as a hub for a slew of slumlord deals, many that benefited the firm's founder, Allison Davis, and Obama's claims that he knew nothing about the inner workings of this small firm, represent an insult to the intelligence of the American public.

Tony Rezko was Obama political Godfather. Obama received his first contributions of $2,000, to launch his political career as a state senator on July 31, 1995, from Rezko. Obama started out saying that Rezko only raised $50,000 or $60,000 for his political career but after a year of lying his way through the primaries, the latest total he gave to the Sun-Times and Tribune during interviews on March 14, 2008, adds up to $250,000.

For a year, he also minimized his relationship with Rezko by telling the media that he only had dinner or lunch with Rezko one or twice a year. But when confronted by Sun-Times reporters during the March 14 interview, with the allegation that an FBI mole saw him coming and going to Rezko’s office often and that three sources said he talked to Rezko on the phone daily, Obama changed his tune.

Now the story is that he may have talked to Rezko daily at times during campaigns but sometimes he went for a whole month without talking to him. “I have to say we're talking over the course of 10 years,” Obama said, “there might have been spurts where I talked to him daily.”

But then he added: "There might have been stretches over a month where I wouldn't have talked to him at all."

This story is a far cry from the picture Obama gave to the public of him and Rezko meeting once or twice a year, and he never did respond to the allegation by the Times reporter that an FBI mole “saw you coming and going from Rezko’s office a lot.“

Without Rezko's fundraising, Obama would not have been elected to the Illinois senate, or the US Senate, and he would not have sold the books he wrote about himself because like the Wizard of Oz, Obama is nobody special.

Even with Rezko's massive fund raising, Obama could not beat former Black Panther, Bobby Rush, in his 2000 bid for a seat in Congress. And the only reason he won the US Senate race was because his viable opponents had to drop out due to the public airing of personal scandals. Beating Alan Keyes is hardly a victory to brag about.

The media needs to quit grouping all the Obama backers under the name Antoin "Tony" Resko because the list of contributors to his political campaigns includes the names of many individuals and entities with their own agendas.

The trail of corruption involving the people raising money for Obama's political career stretches from the city of Chicago to the Illinois tollway to the O'Hare airport all the way over to Iraq. And testimony in Rezko's corruption trial reveals that an equal number of Democrat and Republican crooks benefited from all the moneymaking schemes.

Rezko is not a Democrat; he's an equal opportunity profiteer. He supported President George Bush and attended a Christmas party at the White House in December 2003, at the same time that he was a top fundraiser for Obama's US Senate campaign.

Rezko co-hosted a $3.8 million Chicago fundraiser for Bush in 2003, and on December 9, 2003, he donated $4,000 to Bush, as a "self-employed businessman," and gave another $2,000 on December 19, 2003, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Prior to backing Rod Blagojevich for governor of Illinois, Rezko threw his money behind Republican candidates for governor, including George Ryan, who was convicted of doling out leases and contracts to cronies and sentenced to prison for more than 6 years.

Rezko then switched horses and chose Blagojevich in 2002 and Obama has supported Blagojevich, even when his administration was embroiled in corruption investigations.
Recent testimony in the Rezko trial by his co-conspirator, Chicago businessman, Stuart Levine, explained that Rezko had plans for Blagojevich to be Presidential, not Obama. However, anybody following the trial knows that Blagojevich is more likely to be headed to the "Big House" rather than occupying the White House.

Obama's entering into real estate deals with Rezko, while it was public knowledge that he was under investigation for funneling illegal contributions to Illinois politicians, was not a "boneheaded" move, it was motivated by pure greed. While knowing that he would get caught up in a major scandal, Obama went ahead with the deal because he and his wife wanted that mansion, with four fireplaces, six bathrooms, and a wine cellar, period.

On March 16, 2008, the Boston Globe added an interesting twist to the story when reporting that Donna Schwan, of MetroPro Realty, which listed the mansion and lot next door for the owners, "said it is her recollection that the Obamas may not have made the highest bid, and that other bidders may have matched Rezko's bid," but the willingness of both buyers to close in June 2005, "was decisive."

Which logically means had Rezko not been willing to buy the lot in June, the deal was off.

According to an article by Edward McClelland in the February 1, 2008 Salon Magazine, when asked who approached her about the house, Donna Schwan told Salon, "I honestly don't remember. Tony Rezko lived across the street, so he'd been interested in the lot."

Any claim that Obama was unaware of the investigations into the corrupt dealings of Rezko with Illinois politicians in June 2005 is ridiculous. On February 15, 2005, the Chicago Tribune reported:

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich long has vowed to purge the Illinois tollway of cronyism, yet two of his closest friends and political advisers have links to food vendors awarded lucrative contracts to operate inside the toll road's sleek new oases, government records show."
"The Subway sandwich shops and Panda Express Asian restaurants now being installed in the tollway's seven revamped rest stops are controlled by firms with strong ties to the food-service empire of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a Blagojevich confidant who has seeded the governor's cabinet with former business underlings."...


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