Category Archives: Bribes

Steven Loren sentencing September 19, 2012, Teachers Retirement System corruption with Cellini Rezko Levine Obama

Steven Loren sentencing September 19, 2012, Teachers Retirement System corruption with Cellini Rezko Levine Obama

“Why was Obama promoting Capri Capital and other investment firms at the same time that Rezko, Levine and Cellini were shaking them down?”…Citizen Wells

“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“Why was Tony Rezko’s sentencing delayed?”…Citizen Wells

Steven Loren is scheduled for sentencing today, September 19, 2012,  in the courtroom of  Judge  Amy J. St. Eve.

Daily Calendar

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (As of 09/19/12 at 06:46:51 AM

Honorable Amy J. St. Eve                    Courtroom 1241 (ASE)

1:05-cr-00691   USA v. Loren                           09:30   Sentencing

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

Steven Loren.

From Citizen Wells October 19, 2011.

“Following Obama’s efforts, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System gave Ariel Capital $112.5 million to manage, and added hundreds of millions more over the next few years.”

“Three other minority-run firms — Holland Capital, Loop Capital and Capri Capital Partners — also saw hundreds of millions of assets turned over to them to manage after meeting with Obama and the state pension boards.”

Capri Capital is a little more interesting.
From the William Cellini Indictment Press Release:

“WILLIAM F. CELLINI, SR., INDICTED FOR ALLEGED ROLE IN DEFRAUDING TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM WITH REZKO, LEVINE AND OTHERS”

“A longtime political insider in Springfield was indicted today on federal corruption charges for allegedly conspiring with two Chicago businessmen and others to obtain political contributions for a certain public official by shaking down an investment firm that was seeking a $220 million allocation from the state Teachers Retirement System (TRS.) The defendant, William F. Cellini, Sr., was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.”

“Cellini’s alleged crimes – essentially conspiring with others to force Capri Capital, also a real estate investment firm, and Thomas Rosenberg, a principal and part owner of Capri, to raise or donate substantial political contributions for Public Official A – were the subject of testimony earlier this year at the trial of alleged co-conspirator Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, former TRS trustee Stuart Levine, the pension fund’s outside lawyer Steven Loren and others between the spring of 2003 and the summer of 2005 to defraud TRS beneficiaries and the people of Illinois of Levine’s honest services as a TRS trustee. TRS, a public pension plan for teachers and administrators in public schools statewide except in Chicago, serves hundreds of thousands of members and beneficiaries and has assets in excess of $30 billion.

Cellini is the 13th defendant charged as part of Operation Board Games, an ongoing federal public corruption investigation of insider-dealing, influence-peddling and kickbacks involving private interests and public duties related to various state boards and non-profit organizations.”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/william-cellini-trial-capri-capital-obama-connection-obama-arrest-prevented-by-corrupt-us-justice-department-where-is-the-house-judiciary-committee/

Obama and GE pay to play politics, General Electric high profits low US taxes, 24.9 Million stimulus money cut 18000 US jobs, Rezko loans from GE Capital

Obama and GE pay to play politics, General Electric high profits low US taxes, 24.9 Million stimulus money cut 18000 US jobs, Rezko loans from GE Capital

“Citizen Wells, we bring bad things to light”…Citizen Wells

“Why did Mutual Bank fire whistleblower Kenneth J Connor after he
challenged the appraisal on the land purchased by Rita Rezko, just
prior to the land sale to Obama?”…Citizen Wells

“Why did the Rezkos enter into an agreement to purchase the lot next to the Obama house and pay the asking price of $ 625,000 at a time when they were broke and heavily in debt?”…Citizen Wells

From CNS News October 11, 2010.

“The Obama administration gave corporate giant General Electric—the parent company of NBC–$24.9 million in grants from the $787-billion economic “stimulus” law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009, according to records posted by the administration at Recovery.gov.

Despite getting $24.9 million from U.S. taxpayers, GE decreased its U.S.-based employees by 18,000 in 2009, according to the company’s 2009 annual report.

According to Standard & Poor’s, GE took in $156 billion in revenue in 2009.

GE was the primary recipient of 14 stimulus grants, a spokeswoman for Recovery.gov confirmed to CNSNews.com. These 14 grants provided GE with $24.9 million in tax dollars. On four additional stimulus grants, the primary recipient of the federal money hired GE as a contractor. Recovery.gov is the administration’s website that tracks stimulus expenditures.

At the end of 2008, GE employed 152,000 U.S. workers, according to its 2009 annual report. But at the end of 2009, according to the report, it employed only 134,000 U.S. workers, a decline of 18,000 workers.

The Energy Department provided GE with 9 stimulus grants, the Department of Health and Human Services provided the company with 3, and the Justice Department and the Commerce Department each gave the company 1 stimulus grant.

All of these federal stimulus grants went to GE’s Global Research Center.

The earliest of the stimulus grants went to GE in July 2009 and the latest in April 2010.

CNSNews.com asked a GE spokesperson if the company contested Recovery.gov’s representation that GE had received 14 stimulus grants worth $24.9 million, and also whether the company now employed more or fewer workers as a result of receiving the grants.

In an e-mail response, GE spokeswoman Anne Eisele said, “I’m afraid I must politely decline to comment.”

What did all the money to GE go for? Recovery.gov posts brief explanations of each grant. For example, the Department of Justice gave GE $999,955 in stimulus money. “The goal of this program,” said Recovery.gov, “is to develop a comprehensive reasoning system for event and scenario recognition for an intelligent video system.”

In addition to the $24.9 million it received in stimulus grants, GE was also awarded $5 million in federal contracts under the economic stimulus law. These contracts were payment for services provided by the company.”

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-administration-gave-general-electric-parent-company-nbc-249-million-stimulus

Interesting.

I saved this article a few hours ago. I now get this:

“Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘=’, expecting ‘)’ in /cluster/www_system/www/v2.cnsnews.com/public_html/sites/default/settings.php on line 216″

A search on the link yields:

Obama Administration Gave General ElectricParent  – CNS News

cnsnews.com › News

Oct 11, 2010 – health care-obama. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden react to cheers as they arrive in the East Room of the White House 

You’ve visited this page 3 times. Last visit: 9/15/12
That wasn’t supposed to be part of this story. It just happened.
Seems like Obama really likes GE.
From NewsMax March 23, 2011.

“General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt is super-close to President Obama. The president named Immelt chairman of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Before that, Immelt was on Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

He’s also a regular companion when Obama travels abroad to hawk American exports. (Why does business need government to do that?)

“Jeff Immelt is perhaps the CEO who is most cozy with President Obama,” says journalist Tim Carney. “General Electric is structuring their business around
where government is going . . . high-speed rail, solar, wind. GE is lining up to get what government is handing out.””

http://www.newsmax.com/Stossel/Obama-GeneralElectric-CorporateWelfare-Immelt/2011/03/23/id/390486

From Hot Air March 25, 2011.

“What a coincidence! I’m sure that GE’s ability to generate $14.2 billion in profits, $5.1 billion in the US, and end up getting back $3.2 billion from
taxpayers has nothing at all to do with its political connections and favorable tax breaks and loopholes it has pushed through Congress.”

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/25/obamas-favorite-ceo-gets-ge-out-from-paying-any-us-taxes/

What a coincidence! Tony Rezko likes GE too.

General Electric Capital Corporation

“Company Description

General Electric Capital (GE Capital) encompasses the financing operations of sprawling conglomerate General Electric. The group’s five segments provide
commercial loans and leases, consumer loans and credit cards, and real estate financing services around the world. GE Capital’s largest segments are
commercial lending and leasing and consumer lending, which together account for about 80% of revenues. Its GE Commercial Aviation Services specialist segment leases commercial aircraft, while its energy financial services segment provides project funding for customers in the energy and water sectors. GE Capital is active in more than 50 countries but does most of its business in the US and Europe.”

http://www.hoovers.com/company/General_Electric_Capital_Corporation/hchhri-1.html

From the Tony Rezko Indictment Press Release, October 11, 2006.

“The second indictment alleges that Rezko fraudulently obtained more than $10 million in loans for a pizza restaurant business from General Electric Capital Corp. (GECC) and also defrauded investors in that business.”

“The loan fraud indictment, which charges only Rezko, alleges that he fraudulently caused GECC to extend more than $10 million in loans to finance what Rezko portrayed as sales of two different groups of pizza restaurants in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. In fact, the indictment alleges, the sales were sham transactions that occurred at inflated prices, and involved the presentation of false financial information to GECC. The indictment alleges that in addition to defrauding GECC, Rezko defrauded investors in his pizza business by concealing the fact that he was transferring the company’s assets to himself and a straw purchaser.”

““This indictment describes a frenzy of corrupt scheming, particularly in April and May 2004, in which political insiders sought to manipulate the activities of two state boards to fleece investment firms and individuals. The defendants and their associates put the word out loud and clear: you have to pay to play in Illinois,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.”

“The indictment alleges that Rezko and his co-schemers fraudulently obtained a $4.5 million loan from GECC in March 2001 to finance the purchase of the Milwaukee stores by a straw purchaser and his company at an inflated price, and through the submission of fraudulent documents, including false financial statements about the condition of the pizza stores.”

“The indictment alleges that Rezko and his co-schemers made similar fraudulent representations to obtain a $6 million loan from GECC in October 2001 in connection with Rezko’s sale of the Chicago area pizza restaurants from Rezko Enterprises to his own company, Chicago PJ LLC. After closing on the loan for the Chicago stores, the loan became delinquent, and Rezko caused additional false financial information to be submitted to GECC in asking for forebearance on the default.”

From the San Francisco Chronicle March 3, 2008.

“Obama, a Democrat, is not part of the case against Rezko, who is accused of shaking down companies seeking business with the state of Illinois. Obama has
conceded it was a mistake to bring Rezko into his personal real estate dealings, although he has insisted there was nothing unusual about the developer
deciding to buy a sought-after lot in an upscale neighborhood. But a review of court records, including new details of Rezko’s finances that have emerged
recently, show that the lot purchase occurred as he was being pursued by creditors seeking more than $10 million, deepening the mystery of why he would plunge into a real estate investment whose biggest beneficiary appears to have been Obama.

Dodging creditors

As Obama and Rezko were completing the property purchases in June 2005, Rezko was fighting to keep lenders and investors at bay over defaulted loans and
failing business ventures. But he sidestepped that financial dragnet by arranging for the land to be purchased in his wife’s name, making it the only
property she owned by herself, according to land records.

As a result, when Obama and his wife, Michelle, bought a portion of the land from Rezko seven months later to widen their yard, the money they paid was
beyond the reach of Rezko’s creditors, including one conducting a court-ordered hunt for his assets to recover a $3.5 million debt.

Two lawyers involved in the civil litigation against Rezko said they believed that the property was subject to possible seizure on the premise that Rezko had
been trying to hide behind his wife, Rita, who had little money of her own to complete the $625,000 purchase.

The lawyers, both of whom requested anonymity because they did not have their clients’ permission to speak about the cases, said there was little purpose in
pursuing it because the legal costs would have outweighed the value of the property, which was encumbered by a $500,000 mortgage.”

“Federal prosecutors recently filed papers saying Rezko had trouble paying creditors for years. At least 12 lawsuits had been filed against Rezko and his
businesses from November 2002 to January 2005, including one by GE Commercial Finance Corp., which had extended more than $5 million in loans for Rezko’s pizza franchises.

GE obtained a court judgment against Rezko in November 2004 for the $3.5 million it said was outstanding on its loans, but the company put collection efforts on hold during the first half of 2005 as it negotiated with Rezko, court records show. When the Obamas and Rezkos bought their adjacent parcels that June, Rezko’s wife, Rita, put down $125,000 in cash and financed the rest with a bank loan.”

http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Obama-could-feel-heat-from-developer-s-trial-3292768.php

Obama and Rezko like GE, especially in 2005.
More to come.
Citizen Wells, we bring bad things to light.

Obama tax returns hide and reveal problems, Obama reveals attorney income but hides details, How you hide a bribe on tax return, Robert Blackwell Killerspin

Obama tax returns hide and reveal problems, Obama reveals attorney income but hides details, How you hide a bribe on tax return, Robert Blackwell Killerspin

“Why has Obama, since taking the White House, used Justice Department Attorneys, at taxpayer expense,  to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells

“Birth Certificate, College Records, Tax Returns. Obama has engaged in a consistent pattern of lies and deception.”…Citizen Wells

“Illinois ethics disclosure forms are designed to reveal possible financial conflicts by lawmakers. On disclosure forms for 2001 and 2002, Obama did not specify that EKI provided him with the bulk of the private-sector compensation he received. As was his custom, he attached a multi-page list of all the law firm’s clients, which included EKI among hundreds. Illinois law does not require more specific disclosure.

Stanley Brand, a Washington lawyer who counsels members of Congress and others on ethics rules, said he would have advised a lawmaker in Obama’s circumstances to separately disclose such a singularly important client and not simply include it on a list of hundreds of firm clients, even if the law does not explicitly require it. “I would say you should disclose that to protect and insulate yourself against the charge that you are concealing it,” Brand said.”…LA Times April 27, 2008

I was researching and preparing more articles on Obama’s hidden college records and benefactors when, as usual, one Obama puzzle piece led to another. I was examining Obama’s tax returns, dug a little deeper and was reminded of a series of events around the year 2000. Aside from the Larry Sinclair and Obama drug and sex encounter in 1999, there was another damning interaction.

From the LA Times April 27, 2008.

“After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure: numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client — a longtime political supporter.

Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an $8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000.
A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin.

Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.

Obama’s staff said the senator advocated only for the first year’s grant — which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.”

In his book “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama tells how his finances had deteriorated to such a point that his credit card was initially rejected when he tried to rent a car at the 2000 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. He said he had originally planned to dedicate that summer “to catching up on work at the law practice that I’d left unattended during the campaign (a neglect that had left me more or less broke).”

“Six months later Blackwell hired Obama to serve as general counsel for his tech company, EKI, which had been launched a few years earlier.

The monthly retainer paid by EKI was sent to the law firm that Obama was affiliated with at the time, currently known as Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he worked part time when he wasn’t tending to legislative duties. The business arrived at an especially fortuitous time because, as the law firm’s senior partner, Judson Miner, put it, “it was a very dry period here,” meaning that the ebb and flow of cases left little work for Obama and cash was tight.

The entire EKI retainer went to Obama, who was considered “of counsel” to the firm, according to details provided to The Times by the Obama campaign and confirmed by Miner. Blackwell said he had no knowledge of Obama’s finances and hired Obama solely based on his abilities. “His personal financial situation was not and is not my concern,” Blackwell said. “I hired Barack because he is a brilliant person and a lawyer with great insight and judgment.”

Obama’s tax returns show that he made no money from his law practice in 2000, the year of his unsuccessful run for a congressional seat. But that changed in 2001, when Obama reported $98,158 income for providing legal services. Of that, $80,000 was from Blackwell’s company.

In 2002, the state senator reported $34,491 from legal services and speeches. Of that, $32,000 came from the EKI legal assignment, which ended in April 2002 by mutual agreement, as Obama ceased the practice of law and looked ahead to the possibility of running for the U.S. Senate. .”

“Illinois ethics disclosure forms are designed to reveal possible financial conflicts by lawmakers. On disclosure forms for 2001 and 2002, Obama did not specify that EKI provided him with the bulk of the private-sector compensation he received. As was his custom, he attached a multi-page list of all the law firm’s clients, which included EKI among hundreds. Illinois law does not require more specific disclosure.

Stanley Brand, a Washington lawyer who counsels members of Congress and others on ethics rules, said he would have advised a lawmaker in Obama’s circumstances to separately disclose such a singularly important client and not simply include it on a list of hundreds of firm clients, even if the law does not explicitly require it. “I would say you should disclose that to protect and insulate yourself against the charge that you are concealing it,” Brand said.”

“Shomon, working part time for Obama’s campaign and for Killerspin, helped prepare Killerspin’s initial grant application in 2002. Still working part time with Obama, Shomon helped Killerspin secure a $200,000 grant for its 2003 tournament and a $100,000 grant for its 2004 tournament.”

 http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-killerspin27apr27,0,2875554.story

From Contrarian Commentary April 27, 2008.

“The disclosure today in the Los Angeles Times that Barack Obama laundered money through a law firm to conceal the source of his income while an Illinois state senator is the “smoking gun” that is going to doom his candidacy.”

“The Times details how Obama was still “of counsel” to his former law firm, but that he was not providing any services to that entity. Then Obama made a deal with Blackwell, and wanted to conceal that Blackwell was supporting him. So Obama “laundered” the “legal fees” by running them through the law firm and then issuing a list of the law firm’s clients-none of which had anything to do with Obama–to disguise the Blackwell money in a laundry list of hundreds of unrelated “clients.” This was a classic case of money laundering and business fraud. Obama wanted to conceal the large sum he was receiving from Blackwell, so he concealed that Blackwell was the source of his income by pretending he was providing services to the law firm’s other clients. Utter fraud. “Barry O” ain’t stupid, he’s slicky and tricky, and he’s a ticking time bomb for the Democratic Party.”

http://www.contrariancommentary.com/community/Home/tabid/36/mid/363/newsid363/196/Default.aspx

There is more to this story.

From Citizen Wells May 14, 2008.

Obama and his supporters have downplayed the legal retainer and grant
request. The MSM is barely touching this story. Even the LA Times,
that broke this story, downplays the significance of Dan Shomon and
refers to him as an Obama aide. Dan Shomon was much more than just
an Obama aide. Consider the following facts about Shomon and his
relation with Obama and other politicians and businessmen.

Here are the facts about Dan Shomon, Robert Blackwell, Alexi Giannoulias and Obama’s ties to Shomon, Blackwell, Alexi Giannoulias and Chicago and Illinois corruption:

Dan Shomon was a long time employee of Robert Blackwell and Barack Obama as well as main political advisor to Obama.

Obama initiated the request for Robert Blackwell company Killerspin to receive a grant from Illinois and made the request on official Illinois Senate stationery.

Shoman, while an employee of both Blackwell and Obama secured grants for Blackwell company Killerspin:
$200,000 grant for its 2003 tournament
$100,000 grant for its 2004 tournament

Robert Blackwell had strong ties to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who has been mentioned many times during the Tony Rezko corruption trial.
The following is from a news release by EKI Consulting:
“BLACKWELL JR. NAMED TO ILLINOIS GOVERNOR’S TRANSITION TEAM”
The top of the press release reads:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Shomon, (312) 578-0450
(* reference 1)

Obama supported the re-election of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is embroiled in corruption probes.

EKI, a Blackwell company, gave $20,000 to Blagojevich.
Electronic Knowledge Interchange won $6 million in technology consulting and software development contracts. EKI did no state
work until after Blagojevich took office.
(* reference 2)

Robert Blackwell Companies gave the following to Obama’s campaign in 2007:

BLACKWELL CONSULTING SERVICES $9,200.00
EKI  $6,925.00
KILLERSPIN  $16,500.00
(* reference 3)

Dan Shoman was referred to as an Obama aide in the LA Times article but he was much more than that:
October 2002
“He (Obama) consulted with Shoman, still his main political adviser”
(* reference 4)

April 13, 2006

“Like the ill-advised connection to Obama in Aurora, thanks to Dan Shomon, Obama is mentioned in the same discusion with all these problems with Giannoulias.”
“Shomon’s main activities are political campaigns and helping Obama and his friends like Alexi Giannoulias who is now the Treasurer for the State of Illinois.”
“We think it’s HIGHLY unethical of Dan Shomon or Tom Weisner to exploit the taxpayers of Aurora for political purpose. Barack Obama’s credibility is also risked in the process of Shomon and Weisner’s games at the expense of taxpayers.
“Aurora Mayor Thomas J. Weisner gave Shomon the lobbying gig in exchange for political work, including getting the endorsement of Barack Obama back in 2005 when Obama first said he would remain “neutral” in the heated mayoral race.”
“In the 2006 Democratic primary, for example, Obama endorsed first-time candidate Alexi Giannoulias for state treasurer despite reports about loans Giannoulias’ family-owned Broadway Bank made to crime figures. Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaign, which banked at Broadway.”
(* reference 5)
“Andy Martin says ‘retainer’ by Robert Blackwell, Jr. was classic Illinois ‘pay to play’ and may have been criminal behavior.”
(* reference 6)

From Obama’s website. Reveals connection to Shomon:
“”She is as strong and stubborn as he is,” said Dan Shomon, an aide to Obama during his unsuccessful challenge to U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) eight years ago.”

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/04/22/michelle_obama_baracks_rock.php
“After just a few years, Obama was talking about running for Congress, and thought he saw an opportunity. In 1999, black congressman Bobby Rush had challenged Richard M. Daley for mayor, and lost. Obama conducted a poll, says then-campaign manager Dan Shomon, and it suggested that some voters, particularly white ones, were looking for an alternative to Rush.”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/dan-shomon-obama-robert-blackwell-illinois-state-grants-obama-retainer-killerspin-blagojevich-rezko-alexi-giannoulias-not-on-msm-msm-being-bought/

Now that you know more about the money that Obama received from Robert Blackwell and his companies, you tell me if you believe that Obama was transparent and open with the presentation of this tax form.

Obama tax returns.

http://www.barackobama.com/tax-returns/

….Not to mention the fact that Obama and Michelle did their own tax return preparation and provided no W2’s.

Raghuveer Nayak indicted, Campaign bundler and contributor to Blagojevich and Obama, Jesse Jackson Jr. US Senate seat, 19 count indictment

Raghuveer Nayak indicted, Campaign bundler and contributor to Blagojevich and Obama, Jesse Jackson Jr. US Senate seat, 19 count indictment

“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald, instead of protecting the citizens of Illinois as he has touted, prosecute Tony Rezko first, a businessman, instead of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois.”…Citizen Wells

“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

From the Morris Daily Herald June 21, 2012.

“A longtime friend of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.who was at the center of a Senate seat scandal that sent ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to prison was arrested Wednesday in his own federal fraud case, accused of bribing doctors to send patients to his surgical centers.

Raghuveer Nayak, a wealthy businessman and former campaign fundraiser for both politicians, was indicted on charges he secretly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to physicians from 2000 to 2010 to have patients referred to Rogers Park One Day Surgery Center, Lakeshore Surgery Center and other Chicago-area facilities he owned.

The investigation of his businesses had hung over Nayak’s head for years, and his lawyer, Thomas McQueen, said the charges were not unexpected. “He knew this had never gone away,” McQueen said after the FBI arrested his client at Nayak’s Oak Brook home.

A frowning Nayak appeared Wednesday at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in a rumpled shirt and entered a plea of not guilty to the 19 fraud counts against him. U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez ordered him released on a $10 million bond secured by six properties in Illinois and Indiana after Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner told the court that Nayak has “rather significant assets” and ties to India.

Nayak left the courthouse without commenting.

In making their case against Blagojevich, federal authorities alleged that it was Nayak, a longtime friend of the Jackson family, who offered up to $6 million in campaign money in exchange for Jackson being named a senator. Blagojevich was found guilty on corruption charges last year that included counts involving the attempted sale of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after his 2008 election to the presidency.

Nayak was never charged in the Blagojevich case, and he quickly spoke with authorities after Blagojevich’s arrest in a bid for leniency. But he never was used as a witness, either, and investigators continued to look into his businesses.

Jackson testified at Blagojevich’s trial that he had no knowledge of a scheme to buy the Senate seat.

The indictment of Nayak is seen as one of the final offshoots of the sweeping federal investigation known as Operation Board Games, which in addition to Blagojevich led to convictions of fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, formerAld. Edward Vrdolyak, Republican power broker William Cellini and others. One of the final sentences in cases connected to that probe could be handed down as soon as next week, when political insider turned federal witness Stuart Levine is expected to learn his punishment.
Sources have confirmed that the Board Games investigation is wrapping up. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald is leaving office at the end of the month, and one of the lead prosecutors against Blagojevich, Reid Schar, already has left.

Although he raised money for politicians for more than a decade, Nayak mostly worked under the radar until his connections to Blagojevich and Jackson surfaced in 2008 as part of the burgeoning federal investigation into the governor’s office.”

“The indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges as part of the scheme that “physicians deceived their patients by not disclosing that they were being paid for making referrals to Nayak’s facilities,” but Nayak was the only person charged. He allegedly created false contracts to disguise some of the illicit payments, describing them as money for advertising, according to the document.

Prosecutors are seeking $1.8 million in “alleged fraud proceeds” in the case.

In one kickback scheme, prosecutors alleged, Nayak paid one person, identified only as “Individual A,” more than $2 million in checks drawn on his surgery centers’ accounts. In return, “Individual A” gave Nayak cash equaling about 70 percent of the value of the checks, according to the indictment.

In the Blagojevich case, Nayak’s friend Bedi testified that Nayak issued about $2 million in checks to a Bedi-owned company. Bedi testified he provided cash in return and said he knew Nayak was cheating on his taxes by making the payments.

Nayak’s businesses have over the years needed the approval of state regulators and auditors, and Nayak became a big campaign bundler and contributor, donating more than $779,000 to elected officials including Blagojevich, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Obama from the late 1990s until his name surfaced in the Blagojevich scandal.

The Tribune previously reported that after Nayak first opened several Chicago drugstores in the early 1980s, his businesses faced multiple audits by state and federal authorities. His name also came up repeatedly in one of the largest health care fraud investigations in Illinois history.

That multiyear federal probe resulted in the shuttering of two hospitalsDoctors Hospital and Edgewater Medical Centerand the convictions of seven doctors and administrators. Nayak, who then owned a lab testing company called NR Laboratories as well as an outpatient surgery center, was among numerous people who came under scrutiny, the Tribune had reported.

Some of Nayak’s associates and friends were convicted in the scheme, which included charges that two patients died from unnecessary procedures performed by doctors looking to collect fraudulent public aid checks.”

Read more:

http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/2012/06/21/blagojevich-fundraiser-accused-of-health-care-fraud/aui3jyk/

Raghuveer Nayak indictment.

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/sites/default/files/Nayak%20Indictment.pdf

From Citizen Wells December 22, 2008.

“MARCH 18, 2008 ARTICLE ON NAYAK, BLAGOJEVICH, REZKO, WEISNER

“Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Move Over Rezko; Weisner-Blagojevich Crony Raghuveer Nayak
Continues to Spend Thousands on Elected Officials…in Iowa?

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, boytoy Gerry Galloway and
crony Raghuveer Nayak are viewing a property in downtown
Aurora in the path of a major development back in 2005.
Nayak is spreading his money around. All the way to Iowa.”

“Raghuveer Nayak, the campaign crony who has dumped tens of
thousands of dollars into the campaign pockets of Aurora
Mayor Tom Weisner and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, seems
to in a race to compete with another star campaign donor
from Illinois, Tony Rezko, to see how many people he can
contribute to and apparently “influence.”

While Rezko’s list includes some power names in Illinois,
including our local political rockstar, U.S. Senator and
Presidential candidate Barack Obama, Nayak seems to be
broadening his geographical reach (and Nayak is a Hillary
Clinton buddy).””

“The Case Against Barack Obama reveals Shomon connection

SHOMON CONNECTIONS TO WEISNER AND AURORA, IL
“Dan Shomon, who’s background is in media, has a lobbying
contract for the City of Aurora (scroll down or click for
our post on how Dan Shomon is fleecing the taxpayers of
Aurora). He got that contract after helping to secure a
political endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for then-candidate
for Mayor of Aurora, Tom Weisner. That’s after
Obama said he wan’t going to be a “kingmaker” in Aurora.

We think it’s HIGHLY unethical of Dan Shomon or Tom Weisner
to exploit the taxpayers of Aurora for political purpose.
Barack Obama’s credibility is also risked in the process of
Shomon and Weisner’s games at the expense of taxpayers.”

“Like the ill-advised connection to Obama in Aurora, thanks
to Dan Shomon, Obama is mentioned in the same discusion with
all these problems with Giannoulias. Not good for a
political rockstar who otherwise could be on his way to
becoming President of the United States.””
“Aurora Mayor Thomas J. Weisner gave Shomon the lobbying
gig in exchange for political work, including getting the
endorsement of Barack Obama back in 2005 when Obama first
said he would remain “neutral” in the heated mayoral race.

Shomon’s main activities are political campaigns and helping
Obama and his friends like Alexi Giannoulias who is now the
Treasurer for the State of Illinois.”

“Plus, when all hell breaks loose on Weisner’s various problems
with cronyism and allegations of corruption (and it WILL),
it’s probably in Obama’s interest that Dan Shomon has nothing
to do with Weisner any longer.”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/obama-indictment-obama-must-be-arrested-patrick-fitzgerald-blagojevich-arrest-raghuveer-p-nayak-seeks-immunity-december-22-2008-obama-rezko-levine-weinstein-blagojevichnayak-pay-to-play-chi/

 

Obama crony Dr. Eric Whitaker bribed Jeremiah Wright, Accept Christianity without renouncing Islam, Michelle Obama raise, Whitaker federal investigation

Obama crony Dr. Eric Whitaker bribed Jeremiah Wright, Accept Christianity without renouncing Islam, Michelle Obama raise, Whitaker federal investigation

“Why was Michelle Obama’s salary nearly tripled in 2004?”…Citizen Wells

“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

From the Daily Caller May 14, 2012.

“Book says U. of Chicago Medical Center VP bribed Jeremiah Wright”
“On an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show on Monday, “The Amateur” author Edward Klein revealed the name of a close ally of President Barack Obama that his book alleges offered a $150,000 bribe to Rev. Jeremiah Wright to be quiet until after the 2008 election.

“Well, what happened is that after ABC’s Brian Ross broadcast the video tapes of the Rev. Wright ‘God damning America’ and slamming whites and slamming Jews and America, he was contacted by one of Obama’s closest personal friends — a guy who travels on Obama’s plane, who plays basketball with him, who goes on vacation with him,” Klein said. “His name is Dr. Eric Whitaker. Dr. Whitaker is the vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center and he’s a member of Obama’s very tight inner circle. And he sent an email to a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ.”

Klein reminded listeners that Whitaker’s hospital is the same one that paid first lady Michelle Obama $316,962 a year to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center while her husband served in the U.S. Senate.

In an email, Klein said Whitaker had offered Wright $150,000 “if he would shut-up and not criticize Obama anymore.” When Wright refused Whitaker’s offer, Klein said Obama himself personally met with Wright, which supposedly took place after Obama’s March 18, 2008 “race speech,” confirmed by both Wright’s word and the U.S. Secret Service logs.

Whitaker, who attended Harvard Graduate School in the early 1990s with Obama, was known for having been a proponent of Obama’s health care legislation.

Klein also said Wright told him he “made it comfortable” for Obama to accept Christianity without having to renounce his “Islamic background,” which Klein said he has on tape.”

http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/14/book-reveals-obama-ally-who-bribed-jeremiah-wright-to-stay-quiet/

Obama and Eric Whitaker.

From the Examiner May 25, 2010.

“In yet another scandal-waiting-to-happen linked to the Obama White House, a close friend, advisor and donor of the president’s is being investigated by federal officials for allegedly misusing public funds on faith-based minority outreach programs while he ran the State of Illinois’ health department.

With Obama pal Dr. Eric Whitaker at the helm, Illinois spent millions of taxpayer dollars on highly questionable publicity campaigns to educate African-American and other minorities about common diseases such as AIDS and Herpes in their communities.

Dr. Whitaker was the powerful director of the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2003 to 2007, thanks to a recommendation from his good friend Obama who at the time was a state senator, claims public-interest law group Judicial Watch..

The federal investigation into Whitaker’s minority health programs has been kept under wraps by the Obama Administration but a Chicago newspaper revealed details after obtaining records under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. However, the leftist President’s sycophants within the national news media continue to cover up misdeeds of “all the President’s men — and women.”

Federal grand jury subpoenas obtained by Chicago’s local newspaper disclose that the investigation involves “faith-based initiatives” and health-awareness campaigns funded by the Health Department when Whitaker ran the health agency for the criminally indicted former Illinois Governor-turned court jester Rod Blagojevich.”

“A member of Obama’s tight-knit circle of friends from Chicago’s Hyde Park, Whitaker resigned as Illinois health chief in 2007 to join Michelle Obama as an executive at the University of Chicago.

In 2008, according to Judicial Watch, Whitaker was a fixture within Obama’s presidential campaign and was considered a valued advisor who also helped the then-senator relieve stress with pickup basketball games during campaign stops.

Whitaker and Obama have remained close since meeting during graduate school at Harvard and the doctor has donated money — along with radicals such as Bill Ayers — to Obama’s political campaigns.”

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2684-Law-Enforcement-Examiner~y2010m5d25-Another-Obama-Friend-Probed-by-Grand-Jury

From Citizen Wells September 1, 2008.

“Sen. Barack Obama sought more than $3.4 million in congressional earmarks for clients of the lobbyist son of his Democratic running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, records show.”
“Obama’s spokesman also acknowledged lobbying for Mercy Hospital, another client of Hunter Biden.”

“This is where Michelle Obama
worked as a $317,000 a year vice president. This also is the hospital that nearly tripled her salary in 2004, just after Barack Obama was elected to the US Senate. 

“Michelle Obama — currently on unpaid leave from her $317,000-a-year job as a vice president of the prestigious hospital”

“Obama’s top political strategist, David Axelrod, co-owns the firm, ASK Public Strategies, that was hired by the hospital last year to sell the program — called the Urban Health Initiative — to the community as a better alternative for poor patients. Obama’s wife and Valerie Jarrett, an Obama friend and adviser who chairs the medical center’s board, backed the Axelrod firm’s hiring, hospital officials said.”

“Another Obama adviser and close friend, Dr. Eric Whitaker, took over the Urban Health Initiative when he was hired at U. of C. in October 2007. Whitaker previously had been director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Obama has said he recommended Whitaker for the state job, giving his name to Tony Rezko, who helped Gov. Blagojevich assemble his Cabinet. Rezko, a former fund-raiser for Obama and Blagojevich, was convicted in June on federal corruption charges tied to state deals.”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/obama-bidens-lobbyists-corruption-joe-biden-hunter-biden-attorney-general-beau-biden-michelle-obama-mercy-hospital-dr-robert-weinstein-stuart-levine-more-indictments/

Obama bribed Jeremiah Wright, Church Sermons?, Donald Young murder?, Obama and Wright closet homosexuals?, Larry Sinclair allegations

Obama bribed Jeremiah Wright, Church Sermons?, Donald Young murder?, Obama and Wright closet homosexuals?, Larry Sinclair allegations

“Instead, since I have some reporting history here, I am noting a pattern that has emerged: This is Obama’s third ethical conversion of convenience — taking on a higher standard, but only when it appears to be politically expedient. Obama is making government transparency and ethics a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.”…Lynn Sweet, Chicago SunTimes

“Why did Obama deny his close ties to Jeremiah Wright?”…Citizen Wells

“Why was Obama absent from the opening session of the IL Senate on November 4, 1999, the start date of Larry Sinclair’s visit to Chicago?”…Citizen Wells

From the NY Post  May 13, 2012.

“The ‘bribe’ to silence Wright”

“When sermons of Obama’s Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, surfaced during the Iowa primaries, it threatened to derail Obama’s campaign. ABC aired one where Wright screamed, “Goddamn America!” Edward Klein interviewed Wright, who told him Obama’s team tried to buy his silence.

‘Man, the media ate me alive,” Wright told me when we met in his office at Chicago’s Kwame Nkrumah Academy. “After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election.”
MICHELLE OBAMA’S ‘JEALOUSY’ AND ‘RESENTMENT’ LED TO RIFT WITH OPRAH

“Who sent the e-mail?” I asked Wright.

“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”

“He offered you money?”

“Not directly,” Wright said. “He sent the offer to one of the members of the church, who sent it to me.”

“How much money did he offer you?”

“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Wright said.

“Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?”

“Yes,” Wright said. “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.

“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’

“And what did you say?” I asked. “I said, ‘I don’t see it that way. And anyway, how am I supposed to support my family?’ And he said, ‘Well, I wish you wouldn’t speak in public. The press is gonna eat you alive.’

“Barack said, ‘I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s my problem?’ And he said, ‘You have to tell the truth.’ I said, ‘That’s a good problem to have. That’s a good problem for all preachers to have. That’s why I could never be a politician.’

“And he said, ‘It’s going to get worse if you go out there and speak. It’s really going to get worse.’

“And he was so right.””

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/the_bribe_to_silence_wright_io9jneobl3fUF0cb7LpcNM

Obama’s long time, close ties to Jeremiah Wright and TUCC, the church of Louis Farrakhan, are damning enough. But there is far more controversy than that at play.

Donald Young, the gay choirmaster at TUCC, was murdered in December 2007. Everything about Young’s murder is suspicious, not the least of which was the announcement at TUCC before Young was pronounced dead.

Larry Sinclair, who alleged a gay sex encounter with Obama in November of 1999, has also stated that he was contacted by Donald Young and that Obama and Young had engaged in gay sex.

Pastor James Manning has accused Obama and Jeremiah Wright of being closet homosexuals.

From Citizen Wells May 1, 2008.

“Larry Sinclair is asking Jeremiah Wright this question:

Rev. Wright: I ask you to do what Jesus would do!

Here is Sinclair’s letter:
May 1, 2008

Open Letter to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright: The Ship is Sailing

Dear Rev. Wright:

I am posting this open letter to you, to appeal to you, please DO WHAT JESUS WOULD DO, Tell the truth about Barack Obama.

You and I both know that you did counsel Barack Obama in the fall of 2007 on how to best address my request to him to come clean about his 1999 crack cocaine use.

You and I both know, that even though I never once mentioned the sexual encounters between Barack Obama and myself to his campaign, he did acknowledge said sexual encounters to you and your former Choir Director Donald Young.

You and I both know that Barack Obama and Donald Young had an intimate relationship with each other.

You know that Barack Obama knows who murdered or had Donald Young murdered! And you know why Donald Young was murdered.

Rev. Wright, you claim you are running for Jesus not for votes. So I appeal to you now, DO WHAT JESUS WOULD DO, come forward, be honest, and tell the truth! If you honestly had nothing to do with the planning, assisting, and executing of Mr. Young’s murder, then just come clean with what you know about Baracks involvement as his Pastor. DO WHAT JESUS WOULD DO, and give this man’s family closure and a sense of peace again.

Rev. Wright please allow Barack Obama to be required to answer for his lies, betrayal, and selling of his soul for the sole purpose of winning an election. Come forward about Barack’s confiding in you as to the truthfulness of my allegations against him.

I truly hope you will stop protecting this man; stop allowing this liar and his handlers to abuse, attack and slander those of us who speak the truth about him. Rev. Wright, you have the power to put all of this to rest once and for all by being honest and telling the American People, that Barack Obama admitted to you I am telling the truth about his drug use and sexual encounters with me in 1999.

DO WHAT JESUS WOULD DO!”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/jeremiah-wright-donald-young-murder-obama-larry-sinclair-rev-wright-i-ask-you-to-do-what-jesus-would-do/

From Citizen Wells July 19, 2008.

“Larry Sinclair has a new post up. Sinclair has compared information on the death certificate of Donald Young to the announcement of Young’s death by Jeremiah Wright. Sinclair also provides information on the death of Nate Spencer and Larry Bland.

“OBAMA PASTOR JEREMIAH WRIGHT ANNOUNCES YOUNG DEATH BEFORE YOUNG IS PRONOUNCED DEAD!
Posted by Larry Sinclair on July 18th, 2008

CERTIFIED COPIES OF DEATH CERTIFICATES RAISE EVEN MORE QUESTIONS
Below is the Chicago Television News report on the murder of Trinity United Christian Church Choir Director and openly gay lover of presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama.

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=5854125

Now I have the following questions to ask based on fact, not fiction as has been claimed by the Obama internet warrior.

1. Jeremiah Wright announced Donald Young’s death at either the 7:30 AM or 11:00 AM Service. Based on the Certified copy of Chicago Death Certificate on Donald Young, Young was “found shot at 7:30 am,” but was not pronounced dead in his apartment from multiple gunshot wounds by Medical Examiner until 12:10 PM, Sunday December 23, 2007.

How did Jeremiah Wright already know Donald Young was dead? Who told him?
The following information is also provided to demonstrate that which I have always stated was my knowledge, instead of the pro Obama factions making claims I have accused Obama of being involved in multiple murders.

I have always stated that while Larry Bland was indeed the victim of murder (Bland was pronounced dead by Medical Examiner of Multiple gun shot wounds November 17, 2007 at 8:40 AM) I have always stated it was my belief Young’s murder was intentionally made to appear to have been committed by the same killer of Bland.

Nate Spencer was not murdered, and in fact the information that I posted and informed people was my understanding is in fact verified based on the certified copy of the Death Certificate of Nate Spencer. Nate Spencer pronounced dead of natural causes, “septicemia, pneumonia, HIV December 26, 2007 at 6:31 AM”

I repeat my above question: How did Jeremiah Wright already know Donald Young was dead? Who told Wright that Young was dead well before Donald Young was pronounced dead?”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/donald-young-murder-jeremiah-wright-larry-sinclair-new-post-obama-pastor-jeremiah-wright-announces-young-death-before-young-is-pronounced-dead/

From Citizen Wells May 14, 2012.

“Sean Hannity interviewed the Reverend James Manning on his radio show on Wednesday, May 14, 2008. Reverend Manning accused Obama and Wright of being closet homosexuals on a YouTube video last weekend. I am not sure what Hannity’s strategy is. He may fear racist comments. I do applaud Hannity for interviewing Reverend Manning even though Hannity barely stopped talking the entire time.”

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/sean-hannity-reverend-manning-interview-wednesday-may-14-2008-obama-homosexual-obama-and-wright-homosexuals-manning-has-proof/


Obama role in corrupting IL Teacher Retirement System pensions, Cellini trial, 2007 NY Times article, Where is Tony Rezko?, Where is House Judiciary Committee?

Obama role in corrupting IL Teacher Retirement System pensions, Cellini trial, 2007 NY Times article, Where is Tony Rezko?, Where is House Judiciary Committee?

“Why was Obama promoting Capri Capital and other investment firms at the same time that Rezko, Levine and Cellini were shaking them down?”…Citizen Wells

“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren

Before I delve deeper into Obama’s connections to the corrupting of the Illinois Teacher Retirement System pensions, I present an article from the NY Times dated October 1, 2007. This article came out before the Tony Rezko trial and at the beginning of Obama’s campaign for the presidency. Apparently the NY Times staff had not done their homework and connected the dots. If they had read the Joseph Cari, Steven Loren indictment press release from August 3, 2005 they probably would not have allowed Obama’s ties to the IL Teacher Restirement System pension, investment companies and people like John Rogers to come to light.

Perhaps this is the reason that the William Cellini indictment was separated from the Blagojevich indictment and the trial delayed until late 2011.

From the NY Times, October 1, 2007, presented in entirety.

“In 2000, after losing a Congressional race, Barack Obama was looking to revive his political fortunes. And he soon found a springboard — a group of black entrepreneurs also trying to break out.

Month after month, Mr. Obama, then an Illinois state senator, showed up at the Chicago group’s meetings, listening to members’ concerns about the difficulties they faced in getting government and corporate business, and asking them what he could do to help.

And help them he did. Members of the group, the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, say Mr. Obama checked into their problems and helped start a drive that enabled minority investment executives to win millions of dollars in business from the state’s giant pension funds.

If Mr. Obama was able to deliver by helping the executives overcome some of the historical barriers facing minority-owned companies, he also would subsequently benefit from his ties to the group. Several of the businessmen or their wives would help clear the debts from his Congressional race, and six of the group’s members are now among the top fund-raisers for his presidential campaign, according to campaign finance records.

All told, employees at more than 30 of the 42 companies listed on the group’s Web site and their relatives donated more than $300,000 to help Mr. Obama win his seat in the United States Senate in 2004 and set fund-raising records early in the 2008 presidential race.

In his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama has been running on a platform of reducing the influence of money in politics. But with Mr. Obama, as with every politician, money has been the blood flow of his campaigns. And at a critical point in his career, he greatly expanded an early pillar of his fund-raising network while trying to help the black entrepreneurs secure work with the state.

The senator’s courtship of the Chicago group and its members is a little-known chapter in his political development that shows the inextricable link between money and politics and the different interpretations people attach to it.

Jay Stewart, executive director of an Illinois watchdog group known as the Better Government Association, said that in helping these and other executives as a state senator, Mr. Obama also benefited from the kind of special-interest-driven politics he now decries.

“Raising large chunks from special interests was common in Illinois,” Mr. Stewart said. “Obama did that too. Now he’s talking about chasing away special interests; that’s great. But that doesn’t change the past.”

Mr. Obama says his involvement with the alliance reflects his longtime passion for ensuring that minority businesses are treated fairly, and there is no indication that he helped the businessmen simply to secure their donations.

“The suggestion that these pioneering leaders would need my help or anyone’s help in order to succeed is troubling, to say the least,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “I’m proud that I’ve spent my career fighting to ensure that minority-owned businesses would have a chance to compete, and I will continue to do so as president.”

Mr. Obama also recently pointed to his work on the Illinois pension issue as a model for what he would do as president to promote minority-owned companies.

In that push, Mr. Obama met with three state pension boards and introduced a bill on the executives’ behalf. He also worked closely with the state’s top legislative leaders to encourage the pension funds to increase the share of their investment portfolios managed by minority-owned firms. That share has risen to 12 to 20 percent now from 1 to 3 percent in 2000.

Other alliance members said Mr. Obama also looked into whether they could get state business in other areas, including legal work on bond issues and the printing of official notices. As Stephen H. Pugh, a lawyer who belongs to the group, said, “He wanted to understand what our needs were and how government could help.”

Mr. Obama, Mr. Pugh said, “would be our representative — our advocate — to bring our views back to state government.”

The alliance was founded in 1992 to help Chicago’s top black executives and entrepreneurs share business tips and push for greater opportunities. According to the group’s Web site, the companies — which also include architecture, engineering, transportation and communications firms — average 65 full-time employees and annual revenues of $19 million.

The goal was always “to open up doors,” said John W. Rogers Jr., the chief executive of Ariel Capital Management, one of the investment firms that received state business. “It was, as the Rev. Jesse Jackson has eloquently put it, to force other industries to have their ‘Jackie Robinson’ moment.”

During its early years, the group’s main political patron was State Senator Emil Jones Jr., who later became the State Senate president and one of Mr. Obama’s chief mentors. In 1993, Mr. Jones took the first crack at opening up the pension business, persuading the Legislature to pass a bill encouraging the multibillion-dollar funds to use minority-owned firms “to the greatest extent feasible.”

But by the time Mr. Obama, then a junior state senator, began meeting regularly with the group in 2000, little progress had been made. As a result, said Hermene Hartman, the alliance president, the pension issues got “a lot of attention” in the discussions with Mr. Obama.

The investment firms were also among the largest and most prominent companies in the group, and some of their executives were among Mr. Obama’s closest friends.

Mr. Rogers, who also sits on the boards of the McDonald’s Corporation and other major companies, played basketball at Princeton University with Mr. Obama’s brother-in-law. James Reynolds Jr., the chief executive of Loop Capital, a brokerage firm, had been a top fund-raiser for Mr. Obama’s Congressional race.

Mr. Rogers said the investment managers also solicited support from Michael J. Madigan, the powerful Democratic speaker of the Illinois House. In 2001 and 2002, Mr. Madigan and Mr. Obama — at times joined by the investment executives — made formal pitches before three of the state pension boards.

And after Mr. Jones became the State Senate president in 2003, he assigned Mr. Obama to a committee looking into the pension questions to help raise his political profile.

During this period, campaign finance records show, executives from Ariel, Loop and two other leading Chicago investment firms, Holland Capital Management and Capri Capital, sharply increased their donations to Mr. Obama’s State Senate campaign fund. And once he began his campaign for the United States Senate, they quickly became a fund-raising core that has carried over into the presidential race.

Mr. Rogers, who is one of three people at his company who have each bundled at least $50,000 in donations for Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign, said that his financial support for the senator had “no connection” to his company’s efforts to win state contracts, but that it reflected the broader excitement over what Mr. Obama’s success meant for blacks in America.

Pointing to his parents’ struggles to break into the legal business in Chicago, Mr. Rogers said that pushing for greater opportunities was “in your blood, and when you have a peer come along like Barack, who is your own age and lives in your neighborhood, you can’t wait to help him.”

Mr. Reynolds of Loop Capital, who is also one of the bundlers in Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign, did not return calls for comment.

In the end, Mr. Obama dropped off the State Senate committee in late 2003 as his United States Senate race heated up, and just as the panel began a series of hearings that produced the most substantial changes.

Still, William Atwood, the director of the Illinois State Board of Investment, said Mr. Obama regularly asked about minority participation in the pension funds when their paths crossed. “He would ask: ‘How are we doing? Are we making progress?’” Mr. Atwood recalled.

The changes have generated several million dollars in fees for some of the investment firms, although the complete totals could not be obtained. Loop Capital, for instance, saw its brokerage fees related to one of the pension funds shoot up to $2.4 million last year from just $5,700 in 2001. All told, Loop Capital received $5 million in fees from managers for that fund over those six years.

Still, things have not worked out as well for some of the investment managers. Both Ariel and Holland were given several hundred million dollars to invest.

But one of the funds dropped Ariel and two dropped Holland last year after their investment returns lagged behind those of other firms.

Mr. Rogers, the Ariel chief executive, said his firm’s value-oriented stocks tended to lag in fast-rising markets, and other state funds say they are sticking with Ariel for now because it has produced impressive long-term returns. Officials at Holland declined to comment.

But Mr. Rogers also complained that the Illinois funds, which are free to hire minority managers from anywhere in the country, have given much of their business to out-of-state firms owned by women and Asian-Americans.

And while Mr. Obama recently told the Urban League that if he was elected president he would use the same model in helping black-owned businesses nationwide as he did on the pension issue, Mr. Rogers said, “Actually, it is a model of how hard it is to get sustained traction.””

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/us/politics/01obama.html?pagewanted=print

The article appears to be lauding Obama’s role in helping minority firms. However, indictments in Operation  Board Games and court testimony paint a different picture. One that strongly impacted Illinois teachers and taxpayers.

From the LA Times April 7, 2008.

In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew to $442 million by 2005.

In 2006, after the federal investigation became public, the teacher pension board severed its relationship with Ariel, concluding that Ariel’s investment returns were insufficient.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/04/obamarezko.html

From Natasha Korecki of the Chicago SunTimes tweets from the William Cellini trial courtroom, October 21, 2011.

“Defense now has first witness on the stand, a TRS attorney who is talking real estate investments, like Cellini’s firm.”

“Cellini’s Commonwealth, used by TRS, had a 20 percent rate of return in 2003 vs Capri Capital (Rosenberg) at 7.35 %”

http://twitter.com/#!/natashakorecki

 Obama is doing to the nation what he did to Illinois teachers for many years.

Where is Tony Rezko?

Where is the House Judiciary Committee?

Howard Coble, et al, are you paying attention?