Jun 11, 2008 1:18 pm


This is not my usual cup of tea but the sourcing the circulating email seems reliable. It deals with certain iffy Democratic candidate Obama's earmarks and grants Practices. Say what you wish, new kind of politics this ain't.

1) Rezko

"For the first time, Sen. Barack Obama put a figure Friday to the amount of campaign contributions that indicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko raised for the senator's campaigns, and the number -- about $250,000 -- was far more than he previously acknowledged."

"However, we later learned that you wrote a letter on Oct. 28, 1998, to city and state housing officials urging them to fund a senior-citizen building that Rezko was developing with your former boss, Allison Davis - a deal that paid them $855,000 in development fees." Sources, More dough found; Interview with Obama ; Obama letter in support of Rezko.

2) Pfleger

One of those long-time supporters was Rev. Michael Pfleger, the politically active leader of St. Sabina Church. He gave Obama's campaign $1,500 between 1995 and 2001, including $200 in April 2001, about three months after Obama announced $225,000 in grants to St. Sabina programs. Source, State pork to Obama's district

3) Khalidi

"In 2000, the Khalidis held a fundraiser for Obama's unsuccessful congressional bid. The next year, a social service group whose board was headed by Mona Khalidi received a $40,000 grant from a local charity, the Woods Fund of Chicago, when Obama served on the fund's board of directors."

"Serving with Obama and Ayers was the prominent Palestinian activist, Rashid Khalidi, then a historian at the University of Chicago and now the Edward Said Professor at Columbia. (While they were all on the board, the Woods Fund gave a generous grant to the Arab American Action Network, headed by Khalidi's wife, Mona.)" Source, Palestinians see Obama as friend and Four stumps in the water for Obama

4) FORUM Inc.

"In 2001, for example, Obama steered $75,000 to a South Side charity called FORUM Inc., which promised to help churches and community groups get wired to the Internet. Records show five FORUM employees, including one who had declared bankruptcy, had donated $1,000 apiece to Obama's state Senate campaign."

"As the grant dollars were being disbursed to FORUM, the Illinois attorney general filed a civil lawsuit accusing the charity's founder of engaging in an unrelated kickback scheme. Just days after the suit was filed, Obama quietly returned the $5,000 in donations."I didn't want to be associated with money that potentially might have been tainted," he said." Source, State pork includes donors

5) Emil Jones

"He (Emil Jones) said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

"So how has Obama repaid Jones?

"Last June, to prove his commitment to government transparency, Obama released a comprehensive list of his earmark requests for fiscal year 2008. It comprised more than $300 million in pet projects for Illinois, including tens of millions for Jones's Senate district." Obama wrote letter

6) University of Chicago Hospitals

"Ms. Obama's income from the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she was a top administrator until going on leave, more than doubled when Mr. Obama was elected to the Senate in 2004." Obama began to run

The beneficiary of the Aug. 2, 2006, earmark from him and Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) was undeniably close to home: the University of Chicago, where his wife, Michelle, worked as the university hospital's vice president for community and external affairs. Source, Earmarks put candidates on spot

7) Political Supporters

His campaign's list said the senator had secured $1.3 million of an $8 million request in 2006 for a high-explosive technology program for the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The list said the program was overseen by General Dynamics.

One of Mr. Obama's top supporters, James S. Crown, serves on the board of General Dynamics, a military contractor. Mr. Crown is a member of Mr. Obama's national finance committee.

Mr. Obama also secured $750,000 of a $3 million request for renovation of a space center named for Mr. Crown's grandfather, Henry Crown, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Mr. Obama secured several million dollars for a project at Chicago State University. Emil Jones Jr., the president of the Illinois State Senate and an early and powerful political benefactor of Mr. Obama's, has been a dogged champion of Chicago State, and one of Senator Obama's closest friends. A Chicago businessman, James Reynolds, sits on its board. Source, Obama earmarks

8) Ex-Boss

Seven years ago, Sen. Barack Obama was on the board of a Chicago charity when his former boss, Allison S. Davis, came looking for money.

At the time, Davis was a developer represented by the law firm where Obama worked, as well as a small contributor to Obama's political campaign funds. He wanted the charity to help fund his plans to build housing for low-income Chicagoans.

Obama agreed. He voted with other directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago to invest $1 million with Neighborhood Rejuvenation Partners L.P., a $17 million partnership that Davis still operates.

It's not clear whether Obama told other board members of his ties to Davis, whose family would go on to donate more than $25,000 to Obama's political campaigns, including his bid to be president of the United States.

"Let me get back to you on that," Obama presidential campaign spokesman Bill Burton said when asked about that two weeks ago. He never did. Source, Obama helped ex-boss

Also see, Friends of Barack

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E. Simon - 6/10/2008

Out of the eight instances which Queen of Irrelevancy Klinghoffer cites, two at most have anything to do with anything occurring in the last year or two. One of which is wife Michelle's job as an administrator at U of Chicago Hospitals - surely a corrupting position if ever there was one.

The fact that the DNC is now following Obama's lead and rejecting PAC money tells us more about we need to know about the potential for this man to change politics - but mentioning that current detail apparently doesn't fit into Klinghoffer's script.

The more desperate Obama's political enemies get, the more entertaining it is to watch. The idea that they believe it will be anywhere near as easy to tarnish Obama as it was to tarnish the scandal-driven Bill Clinton is laughable. Not that Hillary supporters seem to understand that. But they're Democrats, rather than the many Republicans for whom issues of character might actually matter.

I understand your need to shift tactics, but I really do think this will ultimately end up making you look more and more pathetic the longer you try it.