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Rezko Convicted of Influence Peddling


Antoin "Tony" Rezko, center, returns to the federal courthouse with his two sons for the reading of the jury's verdict in his corruption trial in Chicago, June 4, 2008. (Associated Press)

Updated 8:29 p.m.
By Peter Slevin
CHICAGO -- A federal jury today convicted political fundraiser Antoin Rezko, a longtime backer of Sen. Barack Obama, of influence peddling in the high councils of Illinois state government.

The verdict comes after weeks of vivid insider accounts about attempts to sell political favors in the administration of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D).

The jury concluded that Rezko was part of a corrupt money-making scheme and found Rezko guilty of 16 of 24 felony counts, including fraud, money laundering and joining a bribery conspiracy.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was not connected to the case and has not been implicated in wrongdoing.

The verdict nonetheless makes it more likely that critics will continue to question his relationship with Rezko, who contributed to and raised money for earlier campaigns and bought property adjacent to Obama's Chicago home.

Indeed, within 20 minutes of the verdict's announcement, the Republican National Committee sent an e-mail to reporters under the subject line, "Rezko: Obama's Longtime Friend and Money Man."

Obama has said whenever asked -- and he has been asked often -- that Rezko asked for no favors and that he did him none.

Rezko, once the prosperous owner of restaurant chains, did not testify at the trial.

"I'm saddened by today's verdict," Obama said in a statement. "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. "

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 4, 2008; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , DEPT. OF JURISPRUDENCE  
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Next: Next Year in Jerusalem

Comments

Pat:
"These associations with Obama make former President Clinton's questionable associations look like child's play, or at best insignificant. What is the Democratic Party thinking? "

Race and sexism and the luck of Obama's association with Wright not hitting the news until after the first 11 primaries.

Posted by: JC Tennessee | June 5, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

These associations with Obama make former President Clinton's questionable associations look like child's play, or at best insignificant.

What is the Democratic Party thinking?

Posted by: Pat | June 5, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Chuskamok:
"Obama's got a copy of BubbaJeff's handy dandy "Pardon Rates for Dummies". "

He might fare better (better rates) with a copy of the Slick-Willy's "Handy Dandy Pardon Procedures and Fees".

Posted by: JC Tennessee | June 5, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It seems Sen. Obama's supporters have no problem in calling out Sen. McCain's involvement withthe Keating 5. Even though in retrospect although there was a very bad appearance of impropriety - McCains involvement in the whole affair seemed to be as relatively minor role - He was after all as pretty new to the Senate twenty some years ago.

Also, Robert S. Bennett, who was the special investigator during the scandal, said that he fully investigated McCain back then and suggested to the Senate Ethics Committee to not pursue charges against McCain. Bennett, a Democrat who would represent McCain in the future for another matter, wrote years later in his autobiography that it was his opinion that McCain was not dismissed from the case because without him, the investigation would have "solely been against Democrat".

Sen. Obama is also relatively new to politics has a sleaze ball fund raiser who has now been convicted - But his supporter's are happy to say that this issue has nothing to do with Him. Sen. Obama response is, "this is not the man I knew", sounds like we may hear that response for anything negative that may come up with his relationships. I suppose that should make the issue go away....

Posted by: Bill_Szym | June 5, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The media is failing us again. This story should be in bold typeface, lead story on page one. Obama the politician was not immaculately conceived. No, no, no. He got his start on the mean streets of Chicago. He's as dirty as the rest of them. Open your eyes, because the MSM is most fascinated by Obama's amazing ability to deflect criticism. All you Obama fanatics should watch an HBO special called "Pimps Up, Hoes down." Obama reminds me of pimp, and yes, I guess the taxpayer is the ho. He talks so sweet; we give him our money willfully, but in the end we get screwed. One of the pimps in the special said that in this society, "you are either a pimp or a ho". Don't make excuses for Obama. We've been Bush's ho for the last 8 years; it's our time to turn the table on his pimp/politicians.

Posted by: David | June 5, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans who are damning Obama in these posts aren't going to vote for him anyway. Obama makes mistakes, who doesn't? But corrupt, he's not. Corporate America and their Lobbyists are very afraid that Obama will be elected. Does that not say something? I trust this man over anyone else running. He is our best hope to gut Washington of it's filthy practices of selling favors to the highest bidder.

Posted by: Vicki | June 5, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans who are damning Obama aren't going to vote for him anyway. Obama makes mistakes, who doesn't? But corrupt, he's not. Corporate America and their Lobbyists are very afraid that Obama will be elected. Does that not say something? I trust this man over anyone else running. He is our best hope to gut Washington of it's filthy practices of selling favors to the highest bidder.

Posted by: Vicki | June 5, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans who are damning Obama aren't going to vote for him anyway. Obama makes mistakes, who doesn't? But corrupt, he's not. Corporate America and their Lobbyists are very afraid that Obama will be elected. Does that not say something? I trust this man over anyone else running. He is our best hope to gut Washington of it's filthy practices of selling favors to the highest bidder.

Posted by: Vicki | June 5, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Media "journalists" are lower than scum."

I agree; so too the Chicago courts.

They PURPOSELY delayed a decision until Hillary dropped out (excuse, "suspended").

It's all part of a VAST LEFT WING CONSPIRACY. I tells ya, out to GET THE CLINTONS!

Hillary Clinton, the Rodney Dangerfield of the Dem Party. It's enough to make ya vote for McCain, I tells ya.

Posted by: Chuckamok | June 5, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

"If he makes it to the White House, Obama will pardon Rezko for another $250,000."

Obama's got a copy of BubbaJeff's handy dandy "Pardon Rates for Dummies".

Nothing like learning from a pro.

Posted by: Chuckamok | June 5, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Albina-af | June 5, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Albina-af | June 5, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

"This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew," says Obama. Didn't he say the exact same thing about Rev. Wright?

Posted by: Mary | June 5, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: vote both | June 5, 2008 3:44 AM | Report abuse

So what!

NOW there is a story about Rezko!

Media "journalists" are lower than scum.

No wonder they love Obama!

Posted by: Media is scum | June 5, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

If he makes it to the White House, Obama will pardon Rezko for another $250,000.

Posted by: JC Tennessee | June 4, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain has more than served our country in a very honorable way, putting his life on the line, as well as his sons serving our country. He is a patriot.

Anyone saying he is too old knows nothing about history. Some of the greatest leaders of this world have been as old or older than McCain. Look it up. With age you gain wisdon and have life experience, which Obama has very little. Obama is an arrogant sob who thinks he should be King and his wife Queen. We gave that up when we defeated the Brits.

Posted by: Clyde | June 4, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

McCain married into a mob connected family with a long verifiable history of their relationship to mob bosses. He was also one of the keating five. He has a criminal past that can't be denied. Obama has not been implicated in anything illegal.

Posted by: John | June 4, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Good. Let the Nov Campaign start. Hillary is gone and whoever left on this board supporting her against Obama, Get a life!! McCain is senile old man who cannot string a comprehensible sentence together and cannot tell whether we are fighting Shiia or Sunni in Iraq. LET THE GENERAL ELECTION BEGIN!! I CANNOT WAIT TO CREAM THIS BAG OF FART

Posted by: Jan E | June 4, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Obama claims that a friend of many years is suddendly someone different than the person he knows. Either he hangs out with shape shifters or he is one himself. I suspect it is the later. Even his references to his own grandmother alternate between wincing judgment and belated gratitude, depending on the political needs of the day.

This life long democrat ain't buying this. I am appalled that my party has nominated someone with so little experience and so many problems! The fact that he has proclaimed Michael Pfleger his "moral compass" says it all. This guy has no moorings, no center of gravity.

Posted by: Nancy, DC | June 4, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Connect the dots. Read Evelyn Pringle's excellent 9 part series on "Operation Board Games" and why it is Curtain Time for Obama.

Investigative journalist Evelyn Pringle set out to research Barack Obama's legislative history, and review the accomplishments which led to his rise. What she unexpectedly discovered became the series of articles linked below. She is not associated with any campaign.

Part 2 of "Curtain Time for Obama," "shows that Obama was "the inside guy in the Illinois senate as far as setting up the Health Facilities Planning Board to extort contributions from companies in exchange for the approval of applications to build medical facilities," was released May 13, 2008. It is available at OpEdNews.

In Part 3 of "Curtain Time for Obama," published May 15, 2008, at OpEdNews, Pringle continues by weaving together the events surrounding Aiham Alsammarae, Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, the power plant contract in Iraq, and Companion Security, as well as the role played by Sen. Obamainto the overall tale of Operation Board Games, showing how it fits neatly within the scenario.

For links to the full series:

http://rezkowatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/follow-money-pringle-final-chapter.html

Posted by: Rez | June 4, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Ah, just in time for Obama's coronation. Welcome to change you can believe in.

Posted by: thinkwithyourbrain | June 4, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse


"This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew...."

-Barack Obama.

Not the Rezko he knew. Not the Rev. Wright he knew.

Maybe it's Obama we don't know.

Posted by: WylieD | June 4, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Jason above that media treatment of Obama and Clinton accounts for about half of his "victory."

Posted by: jilll n-b | June 4, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"LAS VEGAS - A felony arrest warrant has been issued for indicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, on charges he hasn't repaid more than $800,000 in gambling debts to three Las Vegas Strip casinos."

The Chicago Tribune, 5/29/08

A young Chicago politician on the make can't be too choosy about his buds.


Posted by: WylieD | June 4, 2008 7:51 PM
__________________________________________

This actually isn't much news.

In Las Vegas, failing to honor a marker (actually, a check) is a crime along the lines of writing a bad check. Customarily, if a casino can't collect, they refer the case to the DA, who basically acts like a bill collector. It happened recently to Charles Barkley and some other public figure whose name I can't recall.

I'm intrigued Tony had credit to get $800K in markers in the first place, and time to gamble. Whatever. LV casinos seem to be stepping up this form of collection, which implies more people are trying to stiff them on their markers.

You used to be able to negotiate a 20% discount on an outstanding marker; they would do it because (a) it's all profit, (b) they like to keep you as a happy, losing customer, and (c) 20% used to be the amount the casino allocated towards marketing. Thanks to the leveraged buyouts of casinos, I'm thinking the casino marketing budget is lowered, so they're not as willing to take less than 100 cents on the dollar, and with the economy as it is, more people are trying to stiff 'em.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I have research on this, and yes, Obama bought his mansion to actually
help Renzko launder dirty money. Obama
will be indicted!! But today party leaders force Hillary out she is going to conceded
on Friday, if it is actually going to happen it remains to be seen. Also it was
posted in this blog where you can go and
learned about the Michelle DVD, it is real
and it will be devastating to the Democrats. Yes for the first time in my
adult life I'm ashamed of the Democratic
process in our Country.

Posted by: amurcia | June 4, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by: BLme | June 4, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Barack was not connecting with the concicted Rezko, BUT WITH HIS STOLEN MONEY YES. That makes a good democratic nominee?! I will vote John McCain.

Posted by: Rony | June 4, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Get a grip, people...

ALL politicians are corrupt. What cabbage patch did you all just crawl out of?

Doesn't ANYONE remember Whitewater? Doesn't ANYONE remember the Keating Five?

Politics is dirty. Get used to it.

Obama was NEVER implicated, and if he COULD have been he would have. Guilt by association is the booby prize card played by boobies who have nothing else to play.

Posted by: EthanQ | June 4, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

What does this Mr. Rezko has to do with:
- the price of gasoline
- the state of our Health Care system
- the war in Iraq and Afghan
- our Social Security
- our veterans
- our Public Schools
- the mortgage crisis
- the continued rape and plundering of the savings of the hard-working (all over the world) for selfish reasons
- global warming

I'll stop. Monkeys are actually more brilliant that us A-Holes. They know what is important in their lives. Some of these posters are absolutely amazing. I wonder how many are:
- deep in credit card debt
- losing their homes
- jobs outsourced
- no health insurance

For those of you...please, "stay the course. Mission Accomplished". Follow your leader, and please, enlist...see what war does. Maybe, just maybe...

Posted by: logic | June 4, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to have read someone from this forum, who apparently is an Obama supporter, characterizing Obama as a Boy Scout. Yes, that is exactly the problem with Obama; we are trying to elect a Boy Scout as the next US president.

I can see it coming now, the presidential limousine suddenly coming to a screeching halt and Obama's jumping out of the car trying to help an old white lady cross the intersection, and her running way from him screaming: "Help, help, I'm being mugged."

Posted by: George S. | June 4, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was not connected to the case and has not been implicated in wrongdoing"

Re Rezko, for the last 3 months we having been hearing that the Rezko trial wold bring some horrible revelations about Obama. Now the trial is over, no revelations, the prosecutor says Obama had no involvement in any of the wrongdoing and Obama's name hardly came up in the trial. No smoking gun, no smoke, no gun, nothing. Now, does anyone want to talk about McCain and the Keating Five? Oh...right, only Obama is guilty by association, Republicans get a free ride on that kind of stuff.

Posted by: bgjd1979 | June 4, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama certifies his own nomination. The SuperDelegates can change their minds at any time. He self anoints. The press confirms. And Obama's main money man (and you should take a gander at his partner) is convicted.

I love it. Recipe for another garbage stew.

Or do you disagree?

Posted by: jatox | June 4, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

'The verdict comes after weeks of vivid insider accounts about attempts to sell political favors in the administration of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D).'

Whoa!

Rezko owned the Governor but didn't own an Illinois state senator for whom he bought and practically gave a lot adjacent to the Illinois state senator's home?

Who was that Illinois state senator?

Not the Lone Ranger, Kemo Sabe!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

'Obama has said whenever asked -- and he has been asked often -- that Rezko asked for no favors and that he did him none.'

So, according to Obama, Obama was the one Chicago politician who was not in Rezko's hip pocket. Well, Obama would say that, would he?

Posted by: DaTourist | June 4, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Is the Illinois political culture more corrupt than New Jersey?

I wouldn't presume to say that. There plenty of room at the bottom of the cess pool for both Illinois and New Jersey.

Posted by: DaTourist | June 4, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Only four years ago, Obama was an Illinois state senator, intimately connected to Tony Rezko, who raised money for Obama hand over fistful.

Barack and Michelle got a bargain, almost a steal, on their home, courtesty of Tony Rezko.

Posted by: DaTourist | June 4, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

...and the Obama Myrmidons sing:

{{{fingers in ears}}}}} LA LA LALALA LA LA LA {{{/fingers in ears}}}}}}

Posted by: Joe | June 4, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse


"LAS VEGAS - A felony arrest warrant has been issued for indicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, on charges he hasn't repaid more than $800,000 in gambling debts to three Las Vegas Strip casinos."

The Chicago Tribune, 5/29/08

A young Chicago politician on the make can't be too choosy about his buds.


Posted by: WylieD | June 4, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Well here we go agaib Another of Obama's cdear friend and associate is as NO GOOD as a $3.00 bill and poor innocent Barak did not have a clue that he was dealing with the KING OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION.

WHAT A SURPRISE. BETWEEN HIS ANTI AMERICAN ENDORSERS AND HIS CRIMINAL ENDORSERS, HIS S--T WILL START TO HIT THE FAN AND THE TRUTH WILL OUT!

nOT TOO LATE YOU EGGHEADS, SUPER DELEGATES. JUST REMEMBER THE POPULAR VOTE IS STILL AND WILL ALWAYS BE WITH HILLARY.

rEMEMBER "wE tHE pEOPLE" CAN KNOCK YOU ON YOUR FAT a---S AND WITH PLEASURE. MIGHT SHAKE YOUR BRAINS UP A BIT, CAUS IT SEEMS THATS JUST ABOUT THE REGION OF YOUR THINKING POWER

Posted by: LYNN PARKER | June 4, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse


"And our broker said, 'you certainly shouldn't be paying the list price on this because it might be a little bit overpriced.' And so at that point, Michelle and I talked about who did we know that knew Kenwood who might have a sense of these properties."

Barack Obama; Chicago Tribune, 3/16/08

Posted by: WylieD | June 4, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"A European friend"

Posted by: | June 4, 2008 6:48 PM

----

The election is in November.

We're doing party nominations now - its an internal process to each party, and they can really do anything they want.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

all this proves is that obama isn't as squeaky clean as he or his campaign would have you beleive. yes he's a chicago politician yes hes a washington politician and plays the game the same as anyone else bc you can't win if you don't play by the long standing rules

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Bill and Hillary invested in and lost money in the Whitewater development project. Their partners, the McDougals went to jail for their role in the Whitewater project. Hillary would not testify under oath and the Clintons were never charged. Bill's Lt. Governor, Jim Guy Tucker, was also convicted and served time in prison for his role in the fraud. Susan McDougal later served time in prison for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions relating to Bill Clinton's role in Whitewater. White Water cost the American taxpayers about $60 million. And let's not forget TravelGate and FileGate.

Obama has said whenever asked -- and he has been asked often -- that Rezko asked for no favors and that he did him none.

Compared to the Clinton's, Obama is a Boy Scout.

And John McCain has had more than his share of skullduggery.

Posted by: Jack | June 4, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Why was this not mentioned before the preliminary nomination? MEDIA manipulation??

Further, I will never understand why there were an election i Florida in the first place! If invalid contests cannot be redone! But after all the Democratic party had descided to act as if all citizens in the Union would be allowed to make their voices heard. If mistakes were made a re-vote should have been arranged as quickly as possible! Democratical aspirations cannot be suppressed by lack of money. Than it´s will appear as an in advance faked election in order to support one of the candidates. That leaves an ugly taste in your mouth! Is this another example of Democratic manipulations?

"A European friend"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS:

Hillary is married to "Bill Clinton". Yes, that one!

For Shame!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Explains why Edwards delegates came out on Tuesday so to make sure he was the nominee before this came out.

We all knew what was going on, but the Edwards and DNC crew are all crooked enough to push this through quick, quick.

This Rezko thing is not good for Mr. Obama, and the idiot media are discussing whether Hillary will be VP. I am so sick of the inept media - Fox included

Posted by: Judy | June 4, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Many comments posted here are filled with false statements by Obama detractors. Rezko case implicates IL Governor not Obama. Not the first IL Governor to have legal issues.
Chicago reporters have investigated Obama Rezko links not enough found to change Obama candidacy. This will just be another Obama is muslim attack by the wingnuts.

Posted by: S Davis
************************
So you have noticed the sharp decline in IQ on this board too?

Posted by: Wingnuts! To the idiot mobile! | June 4, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing, for a bunch of capitalists, these right windbags sure have an obsession with people having mansions. It seems that if a democrat has what in capitalist terms would be consider milestone of success, then it is bad and evil, even though that is precisely the type of lifestyle most right wingers aim for. In one sentence they call him "marxist" (which in itself is bizarre) , then turn around and call him a rich elitist...WTF?

That aside form the fact over the last 8 years more Republican politicians and lobbysts have been busted for corruption than any other time in history. A short memory, it seems, is another quality of the wingbags you cannot understaimate. They will f##k up royally and then forget about in a week.

Posted by: Mighty7 | June 4, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse


And the timing for today of this little news item would be . . . er, . . . coincidence, Mr. Slevin???

You are a bad reporter. In fact you are not a reporter at all. You are something else. A manipulator. Of no use to America at all.

Posted by: wardropper | June 4, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Garrison, your dirty pillows are showing...

Posted by: When Hillary supporters post drunk ... | June 4, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Change you can believe in! Sounds like the same old story to me.

Posted by: ljsack | June 4, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

listening to the obama followers is a lot like 2002, listening to the bush followers

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh my -- let the Obama-games begin. It's so cool. The media's tar-baby is about to find out what it's like to be skewered and then to be thrown from the highest of the medias graces. (They love to do that) Weren't you all paying attention when you when ga-ga over him? Didn't you realize that the 'pubs are all set with a long list of "oopsies" about Jug Head. Shoulda stuck with Hillary. We all know where she buried the bodies. It's been long known. Now we have a whole new pathetic display of public corruption to undergo. Hang on to your anti-depressants, folks, it's going to be a bumpy several months.

Posted by: Mrs. Garrison | June 4, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

one final thought.... any one wants to bet whether the good Mr. Rezko does not come to an untimely end, such as an accident in his holding cell or fall in the shower or some other suspicious end? he's got the goods on quite a few folks, including it looks like the Gov of Illinois....being a song bird can be dangerous....

Posted by: dave | June 4, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Of course if the rumors prove true about that Michelle Obama tape, no one will even remember Tony Rezko. http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/06/04/thread-2-larrys-hillbuzz-story/

Posted by: cursor | June 4, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

If this occurred to anyone but Obama, it would be lights out but not ST Obama.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama the Harvard grad could not smell out his crooked land deal under his nose? He's either crooked too or this incident just adds to the mounting evidence for his empty suit status.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

let's hope, for the sake of not only the Dems, but espec. for all of us Americans, that rezko does not have anything major on obama....if rezko is looking at much more than a year in Federal pen, he could start talking, naming names, and providing documents..... altho it would look likely that any fallout from a REzko deal would most likely affect the current Gov. of Illinois, Blagojevich, rather than obama.... but you can be sure that if Rezko needs to sing a song to keep out of jail, he will do so.....

Posted by: dave | June 4, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Many comments posted here are filled with false statements by Obama detractors. Rezko case implicates IL Governor not Obama. Not the first IL Governor to have legal issues.
Chicago reporters have investigated Obama Rezko links not enough found to change Obama candidacy. This will just be another Obama is muslim attack by the wingnuts.

Posted by: S Davis | June 4, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I thought Barack Hussein Obama was the "agent of change". Smells like old-school Chicago politics to me. Let's see, his friends are racist "Christian" ministers, members of the Jew-hating and white hating Nation of Islam, convicted terrorists, convicted money launderers and his wife is hostile to this country. Now, that sounds like the values of middle America.

Had the Big Media simply done its job by investigating this fraud and reporting the facts as they are (not as they'd like), Barrack Hussein Obama would be the butt of a bad joke. Unfortunately, so much of the Big Media couldn't help but have an
Obamism. Consider the "objective NBC reporter" Chris Matthews and his man-love for Obama when he said, "...the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I feel this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that feeling too often."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama has written many letters for Rezko and did legal work for his company Rezmar, his administrator Seamus Ahern met with Daniel T. Frawley of Companion Security Rezko also co-owner for over 6 months sending letters and emails, Obama said he didn't know Frawley was Rezkos partner. What a crock. Obamas problem with all of this is he thinks he covered his tracks, he didn't. When Rezko rolls, it's Obamas turn to get thrown in front of the bus.

Posted by: Bessie | June 4, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's sexier for the national media and Washington Post readers to try to link Obama to Rezko's conviction, but the Feds in Chicago are not concerned with Obama. They're concerned with Blagojevich. If there were any dirt on Obama in relation to this, the Feds (Patrick Fitzgerald) would be looking at it - and there is no indication that's happening.

Posted by: Vulture Breath | June 4, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you talk about McCain's relationship with Black. McCain is a criminal. Im sure where going to hear alot about McCain's criminal pals. You heard them say that Obama was not connected to any wrongdoing. Two priests and a friend on the take is all you got. A saint compared to Hillary and McCain.

Posted by: Mike M | June 4, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The reporters from Chicago indicate prosecutors intend to try persuading Rezco to give up Obama. Now, its more apparent why Obama supporters in the media seek to push Clinton to concession, and why it makes sense for Democrats and Clinton to allow her to make her case over the summer.

Posted by: equityeducational | June 4, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Where there is smoke there is fire. Obama has dirty hands tied to this crook. Hopefull the truth will surface soon. Rezko bought the mansion that Obama lives in with dirty money. The demoncrats have nominated a Chicago gangsta.

Posted by: Obama is dirty politician | June 4, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy.. I can see the blogs buzzing for weeks on this one. They've been posting it over and over already, now there's a conviction. My response of course will be, over and over again, that he was not connected to the case and has not been implicated in wrongdoing, period.

Posted by: aBigSAM | June 4, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Slevin:
Would you please monitor your site for hate mail, "personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material" ?

I for one believe that WaPo has to do a better job at this, or the small racist crazies will put the dialogue at risk!

Posted by: Tyler Jones | June 4, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Father Pfleger, Tony Rezko. BOY OBAMA SURE CAN PICK 'EM

(Before all you Obama cultists start digging up McCain's associations, remember, the above four are CLOSELY TIED with your messiah, one is--in his words--his spiritual mentor, uncle and spiritual advisor.

OK have at it!

Posted by: Tony V | June 4, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

-Jane- The real question is why are we hearing about this now? If this candidate had been vetted and researched when his name first went on the ballot, the primary results would have been different and the Democratic Party wouldn't be facing another defeat in November.

Posted by: Dem 4 Life | June 4, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Please wake up Democrats....

Posted by: greg | June 4, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Mary, that's no townhouse. That's a mansion. You can look it up. He brought Rezko in to take a tour before he bought it. At the time, many published reports had Rezko about to be indicted.

Posted by: wordslinger, chicago | June 4, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Who is Antoin Rezko and what is his relationship to Peter Slevin? Is Slevin pushing a book deal? Whatever is going on with those two is something I'm not interested in. Go McCain-Hillary in 08.

Posted by: McCain Man | June 4, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

PS the strip of land he bought next door to him and his neighbor Rezko was sold to him way under fair market value according to real estate experts in the area that have reviewed the sale. So yes, it was sleazy. Rezko wanted to be in good favor with Obama, Obama said why of course!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama takes a hit on this one.

He's running on the "big change" in Washington theme.

McCain isn't running on nearly as fundamental change.

So even if you counter punch, you're left with two typical pols in the eyes of the republic, and Obama's image of change gets dented.

Obama can still win though. You have to love that charisma of his, and that counts for alot. Probably 10x any scandal.

Posted by: Comment | June 4, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

If it smells like a rat, it probably is. Mr. Obama, how many more rats are we going to see in the next few months?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

wooooops! the stupid priest, Wright and now Rezko......nice friends Obama chooses.....how many more will we hear about?

Posted by: jane | June 4, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh Boy, here we go again. Rev. Wright, Rezko, The non existent white mom. This so called African American, straight out of the very corrupt Chicago govt., is not the savior he espouses to be. He's touting himself as the great black hope, when he is not just black. Why is he denying his true heritage? What else will he do to get elected and what other things will rear their ugly heads in the next few months.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Had he not paid fair market value for the townhouse and the strip of land from the adjacent lot, then I'd have questions. Given who's in charge of the federal government, I presume if there were issues of possible wrongdoing vis-a-vis Obama, the Bushies would have (eagerly) pursued.

Posted by: Mary | June 4, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see the republicans try to attack obama on this. Anyone remember KEATING FIVE? or LAND DEALS? McCain would be playing with fire if he touched this stuff.....

Posted by: Chris


Right on, Chris. The McCain camp has absolutely no room to comment on anyone else's ethical issues, given some of the businesses McCain has (literally) climbed into bed with.

But watch the right-wing spin machine go into overdrive with the Rezko issue.
After all, it's the only way the GOP knows how to win an election anymore.
How sad, indeed.

Posted by: vegasgirl | June 4, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

You are going to be seeing 82nd level spin
coming out of the Obama campaign and its media defenders and ESPECIALLY the nancy pelosis of our DC world - its gonna be hillaryous!

(Get prepared for the word "guil;t by association" to be repeated so often it'll melt your frontal lobe)

But still - Just enjoy it!

Hillary should sit back - take a vacation - let the GOP and the few eager outside the bubble journalists start to track down the connects..

hell, maybe even rezko will roll over - what are the odds? 50% - 50%

OH BOY!

Obama lost the Rezko primary!

Yee ha!

Youll be seeimng history folks - stuff to really tell your grand kiddies...it seems that the reports of Mrs. Clintons death have been - ONCE MORE - Premature.

Posted by: Holden Caulfield | June 4, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see the republicans try to attack obama on this. Anyone remember KEATING FIVE? or LAND DEALS? McCain would be playing with fire if he touched this stuff.....

Posted by: Chris | June 4, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Note to the right: calling people Marxists, or Socialists, when they clearly aren't kind of makes every other point you are trying to make look ridiculous. Rev/ Wright is a U.S Marine who fought against Marxists. Just because they want to help poor people does not make them Marxists, it makes them Christians....

Posted by: mike | June 4, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama bought land from Rezko when Rezko was under federal investigation.

If McCain had done this it would be non stop news.

Obama is friendly with marxists like father plfager, wright, and rezko.

Obama has been close with wright, rezko, and plfager.


Obama will win because of the media.

If the coverage was fair he would have lost months ago.

Posted by: Jason | June 4, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Rezko has got to hope that either Hillary steals the nomination, or that one of her snipers assassinates Obama so that she will become President. That way, he can buy a pardon the same way that all the other sleaze balls bought pardons from Bill.

Posted by: Hillary is for Sale | June 4, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Peter Slevin, you just took a cheap shot at Obama. You just justified the reasonableness of others attacking Obama for Rezko. An attack on Obama for Rezko is as disingenuous as an attack on Bill Clinton for Whitewater. The Republicans can do it but you don't have to.

Posted by: Ron M | June 4, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was not connected to the case and has not been implicated in wrongdoing."

Of course Mc'Cain right-wing party dolts will try their best to connect this guilty verdict to Barack Obama in the weeks to come.

Barack 08"

Posted by: Barack 08" | June 4, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, Obama's friend Tony (gangsta) Rezko convicted of corruption. Perhaps Hillary will have to stand aside and let Al Capone be vice president.

Posted by: JIM, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA | June 4, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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