Obama's Rezko deal: the view from above

Thomas Lifson
Thanks to the release of Barack Obama's income tax records, we are finally able to get some necessary perspective on the big favor Tony Rezko did for the Obamas in buying what has been termed in the press "the adjacent, undeveloped lot". It turns out this is a seriously misleading description.

The Obamas' tax returns from 2000-2005 had personal information blanked out, but strangely enough, the 2006 Form 1040 left in the home address. Thanks to Google Earth, by typing in the Obamas' home address we are able to obtain an overhead view of the Obama mansion and the "undeveloped lot" next door. (We won't reveal the Obamas' home address, as we do not wish to contribute to any danger or harassment they might experience from strangers armed with this information.)

But the matter of the Rezko land purchase enabling their home purchase is a matter of serious public concern.

Here is the Google Earth overhead view:

Obama manse
courtesy Google Earth

As can be seen, the house and the adjacent lot are landscaped as one property. There appears to be a wall around both properties together, enclosing the house and its side yard.  There appears to be no access from the street to the property Rezko purchased except through the Obamas' driveway. It is, in other words, the yard of the Obamas' house.

Rather than merely purchasing a separate lot, Rezko appears to have purchased the yard of the Obama manse, and allowed them to live in the house+yard property, amounting to a gift (or loan, if you will) of considerable value.

Reportedly, since purchasing a strip of the Rezko lot for $104,500 when the deal became public, the Obamas have errected a fence on the dividing line between the two properties. That is not visibly reflected in the Google Earth picture, though. 

For more on the Rezko Affair see this backgrounder from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hat tip: Jay Rubin

Update: a closer-to-earth view of the Obama mansion here:

MSNBC image of Obama mansion
    Photo: MSNBC
Thanks to the release of Barack Obama's income tax records, we are finally able to get some necessary perspective on the big favor Tony Rezko did for the Obamas in buying what has been termed in the press "the adjacent, undeveloped lot". It turns out this is a seriously misleading description.

The Obamas' tax returns from 2000-2005 had personal information blanked out, but strangely enough, the 2006 Form 1040 left in the home address. Thanks to Google Earth, by typing in the Obamas' home address we are able to obtain an overhead view of the Obama mansion and the "undeveloped lot" next door. (We won't reveal the Obamas' home address, as we do not wish to contribute to any danger or harassment they might experience from strangers armed with this information.)

But the matter of the Rezko land purchase enabling their home purchase is a matter of serious public concern.

Here is the Google Earth overhead view:

Obama manse
courtesy Google Earth

As can be seen, the house and the adjacent lot are landscaped as one property. There appears to be a wall around both properties together, enclosing the house and its side yard.  There appears to be no access from the street to the property Rezko purchased except through the Obamas' driveway. It is, in other words, the yard of the Obamas' house.

Rather than merely purchasing a separate lot, Rezko appears to have purchased the yard of the Obama manse, and allowed them to live in the house+yard property, amounting to a gift (or loan, if you will) of considerable value.

Reportedly, since purchasing a strip of the Rezko lot for $104,500 when the deal became public, the Obamas have errected a fence on the dividing line between the two properties. That is not visibly reflected in the Google Earth picture, though. 

For more on the Rezko Affair see this backgrounder from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hat tip: Jay Rubin

Update: a closer-to-earth view of the Obama mansion here:

MSNBC image of Obama mansion
    Photo: MSNBC