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December 09, 2008

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Rick Ballard

From the Fitz press release:

On October 21, the Government obtained a court order authorizing the interception of conversations in both a personal office and a conference room used by Blagojevich at the offices of Friends of Blagojevich. The FBI began intercepting conversations in those rooms on the morning of October 22.

I also note this tidbit:

Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Grant thanked the Chicago offices of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General for assisting in the ongoing investigation.

Is the Department of Labor focused on the dirtbags at SEIU?

rhodeymark

"Hey, does anyone remember why it was only a 10-foot strip that the Obamas bought from Rezko?"

Alright - I skipped ahead after several incomplete answers. If it was revealed already, apologies. The Obama's bought a house, Rezko bought a "lot". The big problem was that the only driveway, which bisected the entire width of the property, was on Tony's side of the property line. If the Obamas pulled up to the entrance of their estate, they would be exiting (and leaving)their vehicle(s) on the other property. That WAS going to be SOP - until the media started snooping and reporting the deal. Then the players worked out a deal to sell B&M the driveway to alleviate the obvious absurdity of the situation. Not satisfactory. They ended up putting up a fence between their new driveway and "the yard" to prove that they never intended the chillun playing there anyway...
The adjacent lot with no entrance will never be sold now, obviously. Of course, it was never intended to be, anyway.

Ranger

Excellent catch bad!

Advisor B stated that he likes the idea, but liked the Change to Win option better because, according to Advisor B, from the President-elect’s perspective, there would be fewer “fingerprints” on the President-elect’s involvement with Change to Win because Change to Win already has an existing stream of revenue and, therefore, “you won’t have stories in four years that they bought you off.”

I think this alone is enough to support appointing a special prosecutor to investigate this whole mess, including the possibility that Fitz pulled the trigger to protect close Obama associates. Advisor B is not part of the Obama camp, but that statement indicates some conversation between Advisor B and a member of the Obama camp talking about the pros and cons of how to launder a bribe.

This could be a twofer... a special prosecutor that gets to dig into the Obama campaign and drag Fitz himself through the process he so enjoys inflicting on others.

rhodeymark

BTW - the whole "two" lots for sale thing stunk to high heaven from jump, imo. One has a house - the other has the only entrance and driveway? Even in the market insanity of the time, that sounds ridiculous on its face.

Sue

The complaint is filled with stuff that happened on November 5th. The day Pofarmer's link said Obama met with the governor to discuss the senate seat. Interesting.

Sue

Interesting in that Fitz might be hiding something Obama and the gov discussed.

Sue

And why would Obama feel free to say he had not discussed the senate seat with the governor? If indeed they met on November 5th as the link indicates? Wouldn't Fitz have Obama and the gov on tape?

Extraneus

Gee. So first we have

According to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., Mr. Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, Emanuel, then-state senator Obama, a third Blagojevich aide, and Blagojevich's campaign co-chair, David Wilhelm, were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory.

Emanuel told the New Yorker earlier this year that he and Obama "participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor. We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.

and now we get

Privately, Obama allies are noting that the foul-mouthed governor and the president-elect, though both Democrats atop the Illinois power structure, are hardly close: Obama did not back Blagojevich in his 2002 primary race for governor, and Blagojevich did not back Obama in his 2004 Senate primary.
Just like the good ol' Clinton days.

fdcol63

Obama, lying? No way! LOL

fdcol63

PAGLIA: What do the Clintons have on Obama?

Yeah. That's what I want to know.

Pofarmer

including the possibility that Fitz pulled the trigger to protect close Obama associates.

I think it's a whole lot more than a possibility, at this point.

Pofarmer

And why would Obama feel free to say he had not discussed the senate seat with the governor?

Compulsive liar is my bet.

kim

There certainly some interesting questions that Fitz could ask Obama. I wonder if he'll do so, for, say, a coupla days in front of a grand jury. If Fitz is appalled at this depth of governing, he should be interested in the head.
==========================================

Extraneus

Hey, rhodeymark, can you describe where the driveway is in this pic? That's the garage in the back, right? I was thinking the driveway was to the right of the house (right when looking at the pic). Is that the fence to the left of the house?

Pofarmer

WMBD/WYZZ - SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Rod Blagojevich is turning to the president elect for help in a billion dollar budget shortfall.


The governor will meet Monday and Tuesday Philadelphia with Barack Obama. Their discussion will focus on Illinois' $2 billion deficit and how the Land of Lincoln will manage its 2009 fiscal year.


In November, Blagojevich announced a plan to manage the state's deficit. Part of that plan requests more than $1 billion dollars in federal money over the next three years, in addition to short-term borrowing to help pay bills on time. Illinois is currently facing a potential $5 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Rick Ballard

Extraneous,

Zero's driveway is on the right side (looking at the front door). The flat topped detached garage is just behind the house. The structure behind the garage is now a separate "house" but it was a carriage house and servant quarters when the Zero house was built in 1910.

No driveway cuts would ever be allowed on the Hyde St side of the Rezko lot. The only access would therefore be from Greenwood and if a multifamily was built it would take a large, common basement garage (or off site parking) to accommodate the owner's cars. It's not impossible to do it, just a real pain and an additional cost.

An alderman's relative might give it a whirl.

clarice

Bet that meeting's called off, Rick.


Media's still in the tank though.
http://sweetness-light.com/archive/nyt-obama-brought-down-blagojevich

Extraneus

Thanks, Rick. Looks like they share the driveway with the old carriage house.

Sue

In other news, it is now okay to use Obama's middle name.

"I think we've got a unique opportunity to reboot America's image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular,'' Obama said Tuesday, promising an "unrelenting" desire to "create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together."

The world, he said, "is ready for that message."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-barack-obama-muslim-1210,0,5694976.story>Source

narciso

Yes, the Moslem world, what exactly was their contribution to the nation of Kenya;
the one closest to the Wahhabi homeland, just a short border crossing from Somalia, to whom they supply the quat. Did he already forget what the likes of Zawahiri already told him.

Enlightened

"PAGLIA: What do the Clintons have on Obama?"

Well crazy Larry J tried to insinuate they had Mrs. Bambi on audio.....ahem.

dk70

Obama didn't lie.

Emanuel misspoke in 3...2...1...

rhodeymark

Extraneus - that photo is not the one that I saw from not so long ago. I am trying to call it up as we speak. The driveway was not on the right side of the house, it was on the left, along the fence line. It looks like some mighty fine landscaping (mature trees?) has gone on. The chances of my recollection being 180 out are slim.

rhodeymark

Of course - I may have lost my mind...

rhodeymark

OK - I found it. It was at NoQuarter, and being snow covered, I assumed that the car was on a driveway. My bad. Someone has a minivan parked on the left side of the house along the fenceline. The right side was excised by NBC. LUN

cathyf
No driveway cuts would ever be allowed on the Hyde St side of the Rezko lot.
I think that's just nonsense, Rick. 51st St (Hyde Park Blvd) is lined with apartment buildings. Hyde Park is a high-density city neighborhood. The research done by GOPMom is first rate -- this property was, and still is, a viable, developable corner lot, in a "hot", high-value area. Two of the four sides of the lot are street frontage. The lot, even after the sale to the Obama's, is still 50x150 -- which is a big lot even by suburban standards, and huge in a city where 30X50 lots are pretty common. It could be developed with a mansion on a huge lot, or 3-5 single-family houses facing 51st St., the townhouses that have been already proposed, or even a nice apartment building fitting in nicely with the rest of the neighborhood along 51st St. It's value as multi-family is clearly higher than single-family, but it is a valuable piece of land any way you look at it. The reason that it hasn't sold is simply that the owner has set the price too high. Which could be because on the downside of the real estate bubble there are a lot of owners in denial about the current value of property that they spent a lot more for just a few years ago. Or it could be because the current owner is attempting to hold up the Obamas, or the US government (i.e. secret service), and get them to overpay for the property.

If you read the GOPMom piece, it's clear that this is about the Rezko involvement. When the single-family covenant was removed from the lot at the time of the June, 2005 sales, the value of the lot went up and the value of the house went down. Which justifies the Obamas getting a $300K break on the house while the Rezkos paid full price for the (more valuable) lot. So, essentially there were 3 assets which changed hands on June 15, 2005: 1) the Obama house and lot, 2) the corner empty lot, and 3) the single-family covenant on the empty lot.

In the original real estate listings, the asking prices of the house and lot were based upon the existence of the covenant. So it is not accurate to say that Obama paid $300K less than the listing price for the house while Rezko paid the full asking price for the lot -- because the house Obama bought was worth less than the house as listed, while the lot was listed with the assumption that the covenant would be removed. Functionally, the lot was listed after the price was already negotiated.

The sleaze factor here is not some simple deal of Rezko subsidizing Obama's purchase of the house he couldn't afford. Rezko got something more valuable and Obama something less valuable than if the original arrangement as listed by the sellers had gone through.

The sleaze factor comes from the presumed ability of Obama to use clout to get the historical commission and Alderman Preckwinkle to do what he wants with zoning on the empty lot. To convert the lot from single-family to multi-family requires 2 pieces: the removal of the real estate covenant and the approval of the alderman. If Obama uses his clout to get a six-unit townhouse complex through the approval processes without the developer needing to pay any more grease to anybody, then the quid pro quo is that Obama got as the discount on the house the full value of the single-family-to-multi-family change. If the deal instead is that Rezko pays for a covenant-free piece of property and then builds single-family on it, or doesn't build at all, then Obama got the value of the covenant although Rezko paid for it.

All in all, a fairly subtle bit of pay-for-play. If nothing else, it really is a stark contrast to "pay for play" as practiced by a foul-mouthed moron thug...

dk70

So TM, did you get enough help on the Rezko/Obama story?

70% OK / 30% Not OK ?

MayBee

Or it could be because the current owner is attempting to hold up the Obamas, or the US government (i.e. secret service), and get them to overpay for the property.

Or it could be because the current owner is a business associate of the Rezkos, and has no intention of either selling to a 3rd party or developing the property as long as the Obamas are living in the house next door.

f the deal instead is that Rezko pays for a covenant-free piece of property and then builds single-family on it, or doesn't build at all, then Obama got the value of the covenant although Rezko paid for it.

Yes. Did anybody ever think the Rezkos intended to build on the property next to the Obamas? He was already under investigation.

secarr

1) Rezko overpays for adjacent lot so Obama can purchase house for less than asking price (seller of both parcels still gets total amount he was asking, but a disproportionate share comes from Rezko). In other words, Rezko paid for portion of Obama's house and disguised this by overpaying for the rest of the property that he (Rezko) bought for himself.

2) Some time passes, Obama has more money now and it's time to pay back Rezko for the portion of Obama's house he "financed" in original transaction. So Obama offers to buy 10 foot strip of property from Rezko. They need the appraisal to be big enough to cover the pay back (i.e. the amount by which Rezko initially overpaid for his portion of the whole property). 10 Foot strip has to be appraised high so this looks like a fair market trasaction and not a pay back.

3) Why so convoluted? Simple. Rezko could have simply loaned Obama the money outright, but that debt would have affected Obama's ability to obtain financing and it would have created a tangible and suspicious financial link between Obama and his felonious neighbor and friend, Tony Rezko. Thus this little shell game was born.

clarice

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/illinois-scandal-taints-obama-halo/

PD

and now we get

Privately, Obama allies are noting that the foul-mouthed governor and the president-elect, though both Democrats atop the Illinois power structure, are hardly close: Obama did not back Blagojevich in his 2002 primary race for governor, and Blagojevich did not back Obama in his 2004 Senate primary.

Huh. Doesn't quite square with this, from the Tapper article:

On the Chicago TV show "Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz" on June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, "Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we..."

"You working hard for Rod?" interrupted Berkowitz.

"You betcha," said Obama.

"Hot Rod?" asked the host.

"That's exactly right," Obama said.

In 2004, then-Gov. Blagojevich enthusiastically endorsed Obama for the Senate seat after he won the nomination, and Obama endorsed Blagojevich for his 2006 re-election race in early 2005.

In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago's hiring practices.

clarice

Why did Blag just fire his aide, Greenlee? Hmm.. Was he the guy wearing the wire?

kim

That hot rod done busted out the side of the crankcase.
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bgates

PD - there's nothing there. In #1, there's no support in the primary (aka, 'real') election. In #2, there's enthusiastic (aka, 'fake') support for the general election. By those articles, there's no endorsement anywhere it might make a difference until the incumbent Senator endorsed the sitting Governor's reelection bid.

Antimedia
Asked why he didn’t leave McCain’s campaign if he was “appalled” by the candidate, Wurzelbacher said, “honestly, because the thought of Barack Obama as president scares me even more.”
Leave it to Joe the Plumber to sum up the entire election in one brief sentence.
PD

bgates:

Yes, I noticed that difference in the two passages. I suspect the "Obama allies" are very narrowly phrasing their disclaimers so narrowly as to sound like there were *no* endorsements, while technically not contradicting what endorsements there were.

sophy

I will thank for my friends bringing me in this world. I am not regret to buy habbo gold .

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