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January 30, 2008
Obama to give Rezko Money to Charity
Presidential candidate Barack Obama is giving nearly $70,000 raised by jailed financier and fundraiser Antoin Rezko to charity:
The campaign announced the decision to shed the money Tuesday evening, saying it was the result of a further review of contributions related to Antoin Rezko, a real estate developer and fast-food magnate who has been a long time political figure in Chicago, Obama's hometown. The campaign made the announcement on the day of the Florida primary thus insuring minimal coverage by the media.
Overall, the campaign has now given to charity nearly $150,000 in contributions received by Obama's House and Senate campaigns that came from Rezko, his employees, his associates and his family.
Obama's relationship with Rezko came under greater scrutiny this week after prosecutors disclosed Rezko received $3.5 million from an Iraqi billionaire while claiming to be broke. He was jailed on Monday and a federal judge on Tuesday refused to reinstate his bond.
The Rezko-Obama relationship goes back nearly a decade and involves some questionable real estate transactions as well as some apparent favors done by the candidate for Rezko and his associates. While there has been nothing illegal discovered, Obama's relationship with such a shady character has raised eyebrows even in Democratic circles.