Blagojevich trial, Obama, Ali Ata, Ata ties to Blagojevich Obama
*** Update Below ***
You now know that Obama’s name was mentioned again during the Rod Blagojevich trial. You were advised of this earlier at Citizen Wells and Citizen News.
There are many opportunities for Obama’s name to surface during the Blagojevich trial, just as Blagojevich’s name surfaced during the Tony Rezko trial. Obama is deeply enmeshed in Chicago and Illinois corruption. There is another side of Obama, his connections and allegiance to Muslims and Arabs. Now, as Paul Harvey always said, “The rest of the story.”
Ali Ata is another name likely to surface soon as a witness. Apparently, or at least from the documentation I have read, Ata was more involved in corruption than Joseph Aramanda. Perhaps not. Ali Ata has ties to Barack Obama.
From Citizen Wells December 19, 2008.
“Why Barack Obama should be indicted
“Longtime Blagojevich friend Ali Ata, in a plea bargain on charges of lying to the FBI, said that he handed $25,000 to a Blagojevich fundraiser and that the governor immediately brought up the subject of getting Ata a state job.”
“Obama’s ties to Ali Ata
“The morning after the prosecution announced that Loren would testify, Hamilton dropped another bombshell by informing the judge that Jordanian-native and co-schemer, Ali Ata, the former head of the Illinois Finance Authority, had pled guilty and entered into a plea agreement and he would testify that he received the same information in 2004.”
“Maloof is one of the donors used to funnel two $10,000 contributions to Obama through bank accounts from Rezko‘s pizza businesses from the pension fund kickback. An exhibit produced for the jury shows Maloof also made a $10,000 contribution to Blagojevich.”
“As predicted, on May 1, 2008, Ata testified that he was assured there was a plan in place to remove Fitzgerald after Bush was reelected in 2004. “Mr. Rezko informed me that they had just finished meeting with Mr. Kjellander and that there will be a change in U.S. attorney’s office come the new administration,” he said.”
“Ata told the jury he delivered one $25,000 contribution to Blagojevich at Rezko’s office in the latter part of 2002, and the three men discussed the prospects of Ata getting an appointment in the administration. He said people at the office that day included Blagojevich’s campaign chief and later chief of staff, Lon Monk, Christopher Kelly, and state Representative Jay Hoffman.”
““The way Ali Ata described it, the waiting room in the North Side office of Antoin “Tony” Rezko seemed as busy as an airport terminal,” the Tribune noted on May 1, 2008.
Ata brought another $25,000 check to a fundraiser on July 25, 2003, and he was appointed to lead the Finance Authority.
Ata made a $5,000 donation to Obama less than a month earlier on June 30, 2003. Ata is also an investor in Riverside Park. Almost without fail, the people identified in the Board Games cases as investors in Riverside Park contributed to Obama’s US senate campaign.””
““The corruption in this case involves the Illinois Finance Authority. The IFA was established, “to support the Governor of Illinois’ economic development agenda,” and “IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year,” according to its web site.
Co-schemer Ali Ata was appointed to lead the IFA. He made a $5,000 donation to Obama on June 30, 2003.”
“Talat Othman was appointed to the IFA Board, and he donated $1,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003.
David Gustman was made chairman, and his wife, Lisa, also gave Obama $1,000 on June 30.
Co-schemer Abdelhamid Chaib is the former the director of Rezko Concessions. Chaib’s wife was appointed to the Department of Employment Security Review Board. Obama received $5,000 from Chaib on June 30, 2003.”
“As part of the scheme, Ata signed a letter on Finance Authority letterhead that falsely made it appear that Dr Paul Ray had applied for financing with the IFA for acquisition of the pizza restaurants. The letter stated that Ray’s financing would be recommended for approval by the IFA Board on March 15, 2004, and that the IFA would guarantee 50% of the total $16 million.”
“But Ata said Rezko scoffed at the concerns. “He said as far as the publicity, he will get the governor’s office to approve the transaction, and as far as the board,” Ata told the jury, Rezko said, “We put them there.”””
“”Ata is a former president of the Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He represents “a deeper corruption” in the Arab American community, “an aspect of the story that has not received much attention,” according to a May 2, 2008 report by Ray Hanania in the Southwest News-Herald.”
“In his report, Hanania explains how Ata and others would help organize political dinners attended by Arab Americans from the suburbs at which politicians where “honored.”
“These Arab community “leaders,” he says, “would tell the community that if they bought tickets to their “candidate’s nights,” their organization fundraisers or donated through them to local politicians, these politicians would respond by giving the Arab American community empowerment.”
“In truth,” Hanania says, “these political leaders lied.”
“They did get jobs, contracts and clout,” he notes, “but the people who benefited were not members of the community but rather the relatives, children, friends and business associates of these leaders.”””
“More Obama ties to Ata and slumlords
“”The Illinois Finance Authority was established by Blagojevich in 2004. Its “role is to support the Governor of Illinois’ economic development agenda,” and “IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year,” according to the its site.
Rezko business associate, Ali Ata, was appointed to head the Finance Authority. He is now under indictment in a separate criminal case in which Rezko is also charged. On June 30, 2003, Ata contributed $5,000 to Obama’s US senate campaign.
On June 13, 2007, the Sun-Times reported that as a state senator, “Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens.”
“I am writing in support of the New Kenwood LLC’s proposal to build a ninety-seven unit apartment building at 48th and Cottage Grove for senior citizens,” Obama wrote in October 28, 1998 letters to both city and state housing officials. “This project will provide much needed housing for Fourth Ward citizens.””
“In the Times, Novak reported that the deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and Davis, while Obama was still working at the Davis law firm, for a bid on a project that was “four blocks outside Obama’s state Senate district.”””
You knew this
From the LA Times April 10, 2008
“Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Obama”
“It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.
A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.”
“Their belief is not drawn from Obama’s speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.
At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”
One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”"
Did you know this?
From Islam for Today, April 10, 2001.
“Halal Food Act Passed In Illinois Senate
In a landmark event for Illinois’ more than 400,000 Muslim, the Illinois senate has unanimously passed the Halal Food Act on Thursday to safeguard the interests of the Muslim consumer.”
“It also specifically defines the term “Halal” as food “prepared under and maintained in strict compliance with the laws and customs of the Islamic religion including but not limited to those laws and customs of zabiha/zabeeha (slaughtered according to appropriate Islamic code), and as expressed by reliable recognized Islamic entities and scholars.”
“The Illinois Halal Food Act was sponsored by Sen.Christine Radogno (R-La Grange) with Senators Thomas Walsh, Barack Obama, Louis Viverito, and Ira Silverstein as Chief Co-Sponsors.”
*** Update June 17, 2010 5:30 ET ***
Right on cue, Ali Ata’s name was mentioned during the Blagojevich trial today.
Jill Hayden, director of boards and commissions, testified today and brought up Ali Ata as Tony Rezko’s friend and a member of the IFA, Illinois Finance Authority.