Obama's Bisiness partner Real estate developer and Democrat money man, Antoin "Tony" Rezko is on trial in a Chicago federal courtroom on political corruption charges for allegedly buying influence with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration. Rezko is charged with 15 counts of fraud, as well as money laundering, bribery and attempted extortion. The trial is expected to last three to four months.
Rezko doesn't deny his role as a high-powered money man for major Democrats — including presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama when Obama served in the Illinois Legislature — but he refutes prosecutors allegations that he tried to shake down companies that wanted to do business with the state.
Tony Rezko's defense attorney wants to make it clear that in no way did the memo/e-mail entered as evidence today in court imply that Obama or other Illinois state lawmakers were "consulted" about any who should or should not be recommended to serve on a state hospitals planning board.
Defense attorney Joe Duffy says the memo shows that "Obama was one of the sponsors of the SB 1332, (designed to restructure the board). The memo had nothing to do with any recommendations." Obama and the rest of the lawmakers named in the memo voted in favor of SB 1332 in May 2004.
Yesterday, Rezko's defense team revealed an e-mail sent from an associate of David Wilhelm, the former campaign manager for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to the governor's former general counsel, Susan Lichtenstein. The memo states that Obama -- then an Illinois state senator --consulted with other state lawmakers about who should serve as board members on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (IHFPB).
The IHFPB oversees the construction and expansion of Illinois hospitals. It's one of two state boards Tony Rezko is accused of trying to steal money from in what prosecutors call a "pay-to-play" scheme. Rezko never served on either board, but today two former employees with the governors office testified Rezko recommended dozens of people to those boards who eventually were appointed by the governor to serve. Prosecutors say Rezko's plan was to recommend people he knew would conspire with him to accept bribes and kickbacks from companies doing business with the boards.
Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's name surfaced briefly during day two of testimony in the public corruption trial of Chicago businessman and political fundraiser Tony Rezko.
During his opening statement to the jury, Tony Rezko's attorney described his client as a family man who came to the U.S. from Syria to pursue the American dream, eventually achieving that dream as a successful businessman.
Rezko is on trial in federal court accused of 15 counts of fraud, money laundering, aiding and abetting bribery and attempted extortion of a Hollywood movie producer, Tom Rosenberg (Million Dollar Baby).
Rezko was indicted in October 2006, accused of soliciting kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business. Rezko has a strong reputation in Illinois for being a political fixer. He's donated thousands of dollars to Illinois political campaigns, including U.S. Sen. Barack Hussein Obama.
Lead defense attorney, Joe Duffy, says Rezko has a long list of friends in Illinois politics including Obama. Duffy told the jury, "Tony Rezko met Barack Hussein Obama when Obama was a student at Harvard law school and he (Rezko) offered him a job with his business," which Obama declined. "Tony was a friend and supported Obama through the years."
Barack Hussein Obama's name was mentioned twice during defense attorney Joe Duffy's opening statement.
Duffy told the jury that Rezko had many friends in Illinois politics, too many to name. But he did name Obama and said how Rezko met the Democratic presidential candidate at Harvard Law School and how he offered Obama a job.
Rezko was indicted in October 2006 accused of soliciting kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business. Rezko has a strong reputation in Illinois for being a political fixer. He's donated thousands of dollars to Illinois political campaigns, including Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Barack Hussein Obama. Obama's campaign confirms that approximately $150,000 was donated by Rezko.
(Politics as usual. You would expect better from Al Sharpton ... I ment Jesse Jackson ... er... Oh Yeah, Borrat Insane Obama. Change my eye.)