Tag Archives: November 5

Obama on Rezko deal: It was a mistake, Chicago SunTimes, November 5, 2006, BY DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO, Obama regrets Rezko lot purchase

Obama on Rezko deal: It was a mistake, Chicago SunTimes, November 5, 2006, BY DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO, Obama regrets Rezko lot purchase

“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

“Where did Rita Rezko get the money to buy the lot she sold to Barack and Michelle Obama?”…Citizen Wells

The following article was presented by the Chicago SunTimes on  November 5, 2006. It has been quoted numerous times since then. The article disappeared from the internet quite some time ago due to what appears to be the standard policy of the SunTimes to not retain articles for any length of time. I cannot guarantee that this is the entire original article.

From the Chicago SunTimes November 5, 2006.

“Obama on Rezko deal: It was a mistake

November 5, 2006

BY DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO Staff Reporters Contributing: Mark Brown
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama expressed regret late Friday for his 2005 land
purchase from now-indicted political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko in
a deal that enlarged the senator’s yard.
“I consider this a mistake on my part and I regret it,” Obama told the
Chicago Sun-Times in an exclusive and revealing question-and-answer
exchange about the transaction.

In June 2005, Obama and Rezko purchased adjoining parcels in Kenwood.
The state’s junior senator paid $1.65 million for a Georgian revival
mansion, while Rezko paid $625,000 for the adjacent, undeveloped lot.
Both closed on their properties on the same day.

Sen. Barack Obama says he regrets purchasing land from politcal
fundraiser Antoin Rezko.

Last January, aiming to increase the size of his sideyard, Obama paid
Rezko $104,500 for a strip of his land.
The transaction occurred at a time when it was widely known Tony Rezko
was under investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and as
other Illinois politicians befriended by Rezko distanced themselves
from him.

In the Sun-Times interview, Obama acknowledged approaching Rezko about
the two properties being up for sale and that Rezko developed an
immediate interest. Obama did not explain why he reached out to Rezko
given the developer’s growing problems.

Last month, Rezko was indicted for his role in an alleged pay-to-play
scheme designed to fatten Gov. Blagojevich’s political fund. Rezko
also was accused of bilking a creditor.

“With respect to the purchase of my home, I am confident that
everything was handled ethically and above board. But I regret that
while I tried to pay close attention to the specific requirements of
ethical conduct, I misgauged the appearance presented by my purchase
of the additional land from Mr. Rezko,” Obama said.

“It was simply not good enough that I paid above the appraised value
for the strip of land that he sold me. It was a mistake to have been
engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing
that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a
favor,” the senator said.

The land deal came up in a court hearing Friday that delved into
Rezko’s finances. Obama said he has not been approached by federal
prosecutors about the transaction nor has plans to go to them about
it.

Obama and Rezko have been friends since 1990, and Obama said the
Wilmette businessman raised as much as $60,000 for him during his
political career. After Rezko’s indictment, Obama donated $11,500 to
charity–a total that represents what Rezko contributed to the
senator’s federal campaign fund.

After the controversy surfaced on Wednesday, the Sun-Times presented
Obama’s office with a lengthy set of questions about the land deal,
Obama’s relationship with Rezko and the story’s impact on a potential
2008 bid for the White House.

Here are his responses:
Q: Senator, when did you first meet Tony Rezko? How did you become
friends? How often would you meet with him, and when did you last
speak with him?
A: I had attracted some media attention when I was elected the first
black President of the Harvard Law Review. And while I was in law
school, David Brint, who was a development partner with Tony Rezko
contacted me and asked whether I would be interested in being a
developer. Ultimately, after discussions in which I met Mr. Rezko, I
said no.

I have probably had lunch with Rezko once or twice a year and our
spouses may have gotten together on two to four occasions in the time
that I have known him. I last spoke with Tony Rezko more than six
months ago.
Q:. Have you or your wife participated in any other transactions of
any kind with Rezko or companies he owns? Have you or your wife ever
done any legal work ever for Rezko or his companies?
A: No.
Q: Has Rezko ever given you or your family members gifts of any kind
and, if so, what were they?
A: No.
Q: The seller of your house appears to be a doctor at the University
of Chicago . Do you or your wife know him? If so, did either of you
ever talk to him about subdividing the property? If you ever did
discuss the property with him, when were those conversations?
A: We did not know him personally, though my wife worked in the same
University hospital. The property was subdivided and two lots were
separately listed when we first learned of it. We did not discuss the
property with the owners; the sale was negotiated for us by our agent.
Q: Did you approach Rezko or his wife about the property, or did they
approach you?
A: To the best of my recollection, I told him about the property, and
he developed an interest, knowing both the location and, as I recall,
the developer who had previously purchased it.
Q: Who was your Realtor? Did this Realtor also represent Rita Rezko?
A: Miriam Zeltzerman, who had also represented me in the purchase of
my prior property, a condominium, in Hyde Park. She did not represent
Rita Rezko.
Q: How do you explain the fact your family purchased your home the
same day as Rita Rezko bought the property adjacent to yours? Was this
a coordinated purchase?
A: The sellers required the closing of both properties at the same
time. As they were moving out of town, they wished to conclude the
sale of both properties simultaneously. The lot was purchased first;
with the purchase of the house on the adjacent lot, the closings could
proceed and did, on the same day, pursuant to the condition set by the
sellers.
Q: Why is it that you were able to buy your parcel for $300,000 less
than the asking price, and Rita Rezko paid full price? Who negotiated
this end of the deal? Did whoever negotiated it have any contact with
Rita and Tony Rezko or their Realtor or lawyer?
A: Our agent negotiated only with the seller’s agent. As we understood
it, the house had been listed for some time, for months, and our offer
was one of two and, as we understood it, it was the best offer. The
original listed price was too high for the market at the time, and we
understood that the sellers, who were anxious to move, were prepared
to sell the house for what they paid for it, which is what they did.

We were not involved in the Rezko negotiation of the price for the
adjacent lot. It was our understanding that the owners had received,
from another buyer, an offer for $625,000 and that therefore the
Rezkos could not have offered or purchased that lot for less.
Q: Why did you put the property in a trust?
A: I was advised that a trust holding would afford me some privacy,
which was important to me as I would be commuting from Washington to
Chicago and my family would spend some part of most weeks without me.
Q: A Nov. 21, 1999, Chicago Tribune story indicates the house you
bought “sits on a quarter-acre lot and will share a driveway and
entrance gate with a home next door that has not yet been built.” Is
this shared driveway still in the mix? Will this require further
negotiations with the Rezkos?
A: The driveway is not shared with the adjacent owner. But the
resident in the carriage house in the back does have an easement over
it.
Q: Does it display a lack of judgment on your part to be engaging in
real estate deals with Tony Rezko at a point his connections to state
government had been reported to be under federal investigation?
A: I’ve always held myself to the highest ethical standards. During
the ten years I have been in public office, I believe I have met those
standards and I know that is what people expect of me. I have also
understood the importance of appearances.

With respect to the purchase of my home, I am confident that
everything was handled ethically and above board.

But I regret that while I tried to pay close attention to the specific
requirements of ethical conduct, I misgauged the appearance presented
by my purchase of the additional land from Mr. Rezko. It was simply
not good enough that I paid above the appraised value for the strip of
land that he sold me. It was a mistake to have been engaged with him
at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow
him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a favor. For that
reason, I consider this a mistake on my part and I regret it.

Throughout my life, I have put faith in confronting experiences
honestly and learning from them. And that is what I will do with this
experience as well.
Q: Why did you not publicly disclose the transaction after Rezko got indicted?
A: At the time, it didn’t strike me as relevant. I did however donate
campaign contributions from Rezko to charity.
Q: Have you been interviewed by federal investigators about this
transaction or about your relationship with Rezko? If not, do you
intend to approach them?
A: I have not been interviewed by federal investigators. I have no
reason to approach them.
Q: Did Rezko or his companies ever solicit your support on any matter
involving state or federal government? Did Al Johnson, who was trying
to get a casino license along with Tony Rezko, or Rezko himself ever
discuss casino matters with you?
A: No, I have never been asked to do anything to advance his business
interests. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation
to bring a casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked
riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony Rezko were
interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with
either of them. I was a vocal opponent of the legislation.
(http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/srollcalls91/pdf/910SB1017_05251999_001000C.PDF)
Q: Has this disclosure about your relationship with Rezko changed your
thoughts about a White House run?
A: No. As I have said, how I can best serve is something I will think
about after the 2006 election next Tuesday.
Q: Did Rezko ever discuss with you his dealings with Stuart Levine,
Christopher Kelly or William Cellini or the role he was playing in
shaping Gov. Blagojevich’s administration?
A: No.
Q: Are the Obamas the only beneficiaries of the land trust?
A: Yes.
Q: Are you aware of any efforts by previous owners to develop what is
now the Rezko lot, possibly as townhomes?
A: I was not aware of any prior effort by the seller to develop the
property, but always understood the other lot was to be developed upon
sale.
Q: Did Rezko have an appraisal performed for the 10-foot strip?
A: I had an appraisal conducted by Howard B. Richter & Associates on
November 21, 2005.
Q: Was there a negotiation? Did he have an asking price, or did he
just say, whatever you think is fair?
A: I proposed to pay on the basis of proportionality. Since the strip
composed one-sixth of the entire lot, I would pay one-sixth of the
purchase price of the lot. I offered this to Mr. Rezko and he accepted
it.
Q: How many fundraisers has Mr. Rezko hosted for you? Were these all
in his home? How much would you estimate he has raised for your
campaigns?
A: He hosted one event at his home in 2003 for my U.S. Senate
campaign. He participated as a member of a host committee for several
other events. My best estimate was that he raised somewhere between
$50,000 and $60,000.”

Original link.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/124171,CST-NWS-obama05.article

Republicans vow to cut spending repeal health care bill, John Boehner, New Speaker of the House, Citizen Wells open thread, November 5, 2010

Republicans vow to cut spending repeal health care bill, John Boehner, New Speaker of the House

From the Chicago Tribune November 5, 2010.

“Victorious at the polls, congressional Republicans asserted their newfound political strength on Thursday, vowing to seek a quick $100 billion in federal spending cuts and force repeated votes on the repeal of President Barack Obama’s prized health care overhaul.

At the White Houses, Obama said his administration was ready to work across party lines in a fresh attempt to “focus on the economy and jobs” as well as attack waste in government. In a show of bipartisanship, he invited top lawmakers to the White House at mid-month, and the nation’s newly elected governors two weeks later.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, in line to become the new speaker of the House, brushed aside talk that the No. 1 GOP goal was to make sure Obama is defeated at the polls in 2012. “That’s Senator McConnell’s statement and his opinion,” he told ABC, referring to the party’s leader in the Senate and adding that his own goals included cutting spending and creating jobs.”

“Many House Republicans campaigned on a platform of cutting government spending to levels in effect in 2008, before enactment of an economic stimulus bill and other increases that Democrats passed. Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, the senior Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, notified Democrats during the day that GOP lawmakers will try and implement the cuts when Congress considers the spending bill needed to keep most agencies running for the next eight months. The estimated savings total $100 billion.

“The unmistakable message sent by the American people on Tuesday is that they are justifiably angry at Washington. They want Congress to cut spending,” wrote Lewis, who faces an internal challenge in his attempt to become chairman of the panel next year.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the president signaled he was ready to jettison his campaign-long insistence that tax cuts be extended for earners at incomes up to $250,000 but be allowed to expire for higher-income people.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-ap-us-washington-new-reality,0,4954825.story

Michele Bachmann, Jon Voight, Mark Levin, Republican congressmen, November 5, 2009, Health Care Bill Tea party, Protest of socialist government health care

The Tea Party protest at the Capitol steps today, Thursday, November 5, 2009 and organized by Representative Michele Bachmann was a huge success. We were told that the sounds of the protest could be heard inside of the Capitol Building. That is no wonder. A large crowd showed up and at one time, their constant chants of “No” to government run health care could probably be heard across the Potomac.

Mark Levin was Mark Levin. He told it like it is.

“Thousands descend on Washington DC to protest the Pelosi Health Care Bill. Thousands more attend their Representatives offices around the country to send the message. NO NO NO YOU CAN’T! “

Jon Voight, who gave a magnificent speech and brought two of this friends to speak, will be on the Hannity Show on Fox, tonight at 9:00 PM ET.

At least one of the commenters on this blog was brought to tears by the inspiration of this protest. I must admit, my eyes too were moistened. I also, once again, want to say how much I admire Michele Bachmann. She should be an inspiration to all who have obtained or seek public office.

As many of you know, I am not fond of either political party. However, the Democrat party is being held hostage by the far left socialists. If the Republicans will listen, serve the American people and stop this socialist Health Care Bill, they will get my support. That is with one stipulation. No more business as usual. Defend the US Constitution, behave more as statesmen and less like politicians and save this country.

Michele Bachmann, Nancy Pelosi, November 5, 2009, Capitol Building steps, Tea part protest, Judge Napolitano warning, Socialist government Health care Bill

Judge Napolitano, substituting for Glenn Beck on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, warned Michele Bachmann about Nancy Pelosi and her power to disrupt the tea party protest on the Capitol steps today, November 5, 2009.

“Bachmann Warned Of Pelosi Security Crackdown On Capitol Tea Party”

From Fox News, November 5, 2009

“Republicans Try to Rally Resistance to Health Care Bill, as House Vote Nears”

“With health care reform tracking toward a possible vote in the House Saturday, Republicans are making a last-ditch bid to derail or at least delay the legislation by bringing public pressure to the steps of Congress.

The GOP is organizing a “House Call” Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill, where they plan to rally constituents concerned about the implications of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill. Republicans are calling on those who attend to corner, politely, their elected representatives in Congress and put pressure on them to think twice about voting for the more than $1 trillion health care overhaul.”

“”It seems like the lessons of the town halls and the tea parties are lost on these people,” Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., told Fox News. “So we need to bring the town hall here … and plead for real freedom-loving Americans to come to the steps of the U.S. Capitol.” 

The conservative “tea party” movement has gotten involved with the rally, which is expected to feature speakers as well as the formal unveiling of the Republican version of health care reform. 

Bachmann said she hatched this idea as a way to “really kill this bill.” “

“”A lot of Blue Dogs in this country are going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do back at home in their districts, where people do not want the health care that’s being peddled by this administration,” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told Fox News. “They don’t want government control. They don’t want a government option.”  The Senate, where Democrats have a slighter majority, is not progressing quite as fast. There are emerging doubts over whether the Senate can bring a bill to the floor by the end of the year.”

Read more

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/05/republicans-try-rally-resistance-health-care-house-vote-nears/

Michele Bachmann, Tea Party Express, November 5, 2009, Capitol Building, Washington DC, Nancy Pelosi, Congress, Defeat socialist health care bill

TeaPartyExpressII

“THE TEA PARTY EXPRESS SENDING
DELEGATION TO WASHINGTON!

We’ve tipped you off to the fact that we have a lot of big announcements to make, and here’s one more to add to the list (and there are many more to come in these next few days).
As you know, last week Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann put out the call to patriots across the country to head to Washington, D.C. this Thursday, 12:00 Noon for a press conference and rally on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. 
Well, friends, we are answering her call!  The goal:  to defeat Nancy Pelosi’s government-run, socialistic healthcare plan.
During this time we’ve been collecting thousands upon thousands of letters at each of our Tea Party Express rallies across the nation.
Tomorrow we will be flying out two leaders of the Tea Party Express from the middle of our tour to Washington, D.C.  with those letters – and they will be carrying your message to the politicians in D.C.  Those two representatives will be the great tea party activist, Amy Kremer, and Tea Party Express Co-Chair, Deborah Johns.
Then on Friday, Mark Williams – our other Co-Chair of the Tea Party Express, will be flying out to Washington to follow up that effort – including an appearance on the nationally syndicated “America’s Morning News” radio program hosted by Melanie Morgan and John McCaslin.
This will all be taking place as the Tea Party Express II: Countdown to Judgment Day tour continues – building more and more momentum as we cross the nation.
We continue to ask for your support for the Tea Party Express as we cross the country for the next 12 days.  As we keep incurring more and more costs – to expand this effort – we ask for your support by making a donation to the Tea Party Express effort.
You can make a contribution – HERE.

https://secure.donationsafe.com/tea/

Or, you can mail in a contribution to our headquarters:
Our Country Deserves Better Committee
ATTN: Tea Party Project
770 L Street #1020
Sacramento, CA 95814
We’ve got to keep pushing harder and harder.  We hope we can count on your support once more!  Again to contribute – JUST CLICK HERE.

P.S.  We’ll keep updating our trip reports on the Tea Party Express II rallies at our blog – including going back and adding more details, pictures and news accounts of the rallies that have taken place over the past 9 days: http://teapartyexpressblog.blogspot.com/

Here is an update from the Tea Party Express site

“Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What a fantastic rally in Rapid City, South Dakota!

After our great rally in Bozeman, MT we made up some of the distance to Rapid City, SD by driving a ways to Billings, MT.

It was Halloween night and we were sick of the ‘tricks’ being played on “We The People” by the politicians. The next morning we had a long drive across Montana, Wyoming and into South Dakota – in a land where cell phone towers are few and far between. That meant no Internet access and no cell phone access.

We arrived at our venue at the Central States Fairgrounds and had a fantastic event in their rodeo hall. Here are some pics for you all to enjoy:”

Read more and view photos

http://teapartyexpressblog.blogspot.com/

Michele Bachmann, Capitol Tea Party, November 5, 2009, Super Bowl of Freedom, Health care Bill, MN Representative Bachmann, NC bus trip, Washington DC, Confronts Nancy Pelosi and Congress

MN Representative Michele Bachmann will be at the steps of the US Capitol Building on Thursday, November 5, 2009 to confront Nancy Pelosi and Congress about the socialist Health Care Bill being rammed down our throats.

“Bachmann: My Capitol Tea Party is ‘The Super Bowl of Freedom'”

Despite this occuring on a work day, many are planning on traveling to Washington DC to attend. Here is a notice of a bus trip from NC.

Due to overwhelming response from AFP members in North Carolina, we will take a bus from Raleigh to DC on Thursday, November 5th.

Nancy Pelosi is trying to ram a 1,990 page House bill down the throats of the American people, and Congress is expected to vote by the end of this week.

I’m asking you to take a crucial step before the House votes on the Health Care Bill and make a “Congressional House Call” this Thursday, November 5th in Washington, DC to tell your Senators and Congressman to vote NO on the government health care takeover.

Please catch the bus leaving from Raleigh if you are able. Michele Bachmann is gathering Members together for this event as we all join together and say, “Keep Your Hands Off My Health Care.  Vote NO!”

Limited space available, the bus is leaving from the Raleigh District Drive Park and Ride lot at 6:30 am. (Directions Below) Eat breakfast before you come, bring a packed lunch and some cash for an inexpensive dinner on the way home.
Please register online for only $40. Due to limited time and space, we will only accept online registrations. Please click here to register.

If you wish to drive to DC yourself, here are the event details:
WHAT: Health Care “House Call” on Capitol Hill
WHO: Americans concerned about our health care future
WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 12:00-1:00pm
WHERE: East Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol (House Side)
Dress casually and appropriately for the weather. Wear your walking shoes! If time permits, we will visit our Congressional offices. We hope to be back in Raleigh mid to late evening.

Additionally, there will be a Conference Call with Tim Phillips and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-6) today, November 3rd at 5:00-5:30pm. Call 888-632-5950 and you will be directly connected by an operator. (This will be a short informational call with details for Thurs, there will be no Q&A)

Directions to catch the Bus
We will leave at 6:30 am at the District Drive Park and Ride which is just north of the intersection of Wade Avenue and Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. Please leave early to catch the bus Thursday morning allowing time for rush hour traffic, road construction, and getting lost.

Raleigh Bus Driving Directions

From Raleigh

Coming from downtown Raleigh on Wade Avenue, you will exit onto Blue Ridge Road.  At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Blue Ridge.  Make a quick Left onto District Drive.

Coming from Hillsborough Street, you will go north on Blue Ridge Road, pass the intersection of Wade Avenue/I-40 and then turn left onto District Drive.

From Durham, Chapel Hill and other places west of Raleigh

Traveling on I-40 East, you will take the Wade Avenue Exit.  Go a couple miles and then take the Blue Ridge Road exit.  At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Blue Ridge Road.  Go a short distance and turn left on District Drive.

From East of Raleigh

Traveling on I-40 W, take INNER Beltline/I-440/I-40 West.  You will drive quite a distance across the southern edge of Raleigh on this road.  You will take exit 293 and then a quick 293B which is still INNER Beltline I-440.  Then take Exit 4 Wade Avenue.  At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Wade Avenue/I-40 West. Go about ½ miles and take Blue Ridge Road exit.  At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Blue Ridge Road.  Go one short block and turn left onto District Drive.

Sincerely,

Dallas Woodhouse
Americans for Prosperity – North Carolina, State Director
AFP-NC on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/AFPNCarolinia
AFP-NC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AFPNC

Michele Bachmann, Health Care Bill, November 5, 2009, Make a House Call on Congress on November 5th and Stop the Government Take Over of Health Care

From Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s website.

“Make a House Call on Congress on November 5th and Stop the Government Take Over of Health Care!

November 5th, 2009

Democrat leadership in the House wants to pass a government run health care bill before Veteran’s Day, and it’s up to us to make sure this prescription for socialized medicine doesn’t pass.

If you can come to Washington to look your Member straight in the eye and tell them to keep their hands off your heatlh care, do it. If you can’t make it to Washington, go to your Member’s district office. And, if you can’t do that at least call and email.

Also, Americans for Prosperity is organizing a House Call to legislators district offices on Thursday at noon, and I encourage you to check out their website at www.americansforprosperity.org to see how you can take part in their efforts if you can’t make it to D.C.

Thanks so much and let’s keep up the fight!”

http://www.michelebachmann.com/news.php?cid=62