Patterico's Pontifications


An Introduction to the Tony Rezko Story

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In October 2006, Antoin “Tony” Rezko entered a plea of not guilty to federal charges that he used his influence with public officials “to extort illegal payments and a campaign contribution from investment firms seeking to do business with Illinois.”

Today, Chicago federal district Judge Amy St. Eve revealed that one of those public officials was, as most suspected, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Blogojevich is believed to be the intended recipient of a $1.5 million campaign contribution at the center of the alleged scheme.

Judge St. Eve also entered a ruling that makes it likely the name of Barack Obama will come up in Rezko’s trial:

“U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve, who is presiding over Rezko’s trial, told prosecutors they could introduce evidence to support allegations that Rezko used straw men to make political contributions on his behalf. Prosecutors have alleged that the money came from fees Rezko illegally siphoned from a state pension board.

In her ruling, St. Eve said the government contends that Rezko directed business associates Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof to make contributions to an unnamed political candidate in late 2003 and 2004 because Rezko had already contributed the maximum legal amount.

The only candidate Maloof and Aramanda contributed to during that time frame was Obama, then running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. Maloof and Aramanda each gave $10,000 to Obama’s campaign.”

Prosecutors have not alleged any wrongdoing by Obama but Rezko is described as his long-time friend and financial supporter. Obama’s spokesman denied the campaign had any knowledge of straw donations and noted that the campaign has returned or donated to charity more than $150,000 in Rezko-linked contributions.


9 Responses to “An Introduction to the Tony Rezko Story”

  1. Shit, just getting the hell rid of Rod would be a good start…

    But nailing Obama as well would be GREAT…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  2. It’s incestuous Illinois politics at its finest. It the phrase “pay to play” wasn’t invented in Chicago, it should have been. I thought they were also going to nail Blago’s father-in-law, who’s a slimeball.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. That thing is so complex that nobody will ever figure it out. Belmont Club has it completely broken down.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  4. You mean politics in Illinois may be corrupt. Next thing they’ll try and tell you is the earth is round.

    Illinos, where politics is a full contact sport. Where was HRC born and raised again?

    Gerald A (0cf74e)

  5. Well, now it’s our turn to hope for a great “Fitzsmus” (perhaps a Fall celebration?).

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  6. This story just became exponentially more interesting this morning with the article out of the Times of London on a heretofore unreported fact on the Rezco-Obama relationship.

    In addition to the campaign contributions, Rezco is linked to Obama by a land transaction. Obama bought a very expensive Georgian Mansion in Chicago (I want to say $1.6 million) and on the same day Rezco bought an empty plot of land abutting the house from the same buyer. The implication is that Rezco overpaid for the plot of land so Obama could get the house cheaper as part of a package deal. Obama paid for landscaping and upkeep on the lot, and eventually bought 10 foot strip of the lot.

    Now its reported this morning that Rezco obtained a $3.5 million loan from a British national named Nadhmi Auchi approximately 3 weeks before he and Obama closed the land deal. The article says Auchi has a conviction for corruption in France.

    I’m going to run down some more facts on this later today, and will have a post up on it by this evening.

    Jeff Gerth where are you?

    wls (e9f058)

  7. ITA…

    But nailing Obama as well would be GREAT…

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  8. A shame Obama will never so much as be indicted…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  9. A shame Obama will never so much as be indicted…

    That all depends on how much the “Clinton Machine” is interedted in payback.

    Gerald A (0cf74e)

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