A Chicago pol's wife gets a 200 grand salary bump (almost tripling her compensation) and a year later hubby seeks to channel a million bucks to the wife's employer. Good old time Chicago poltics, right?
Apparently not, because the candidate in question is running on a platform of change, and he seems like such a nice fellow. Leon H. Wolfe of Redstate is being awfully judgmental here isn't he? Barack Obama, allegedly decent guy and agent of "change" in Washington, requested an earmark in 2006 for $1 million taxpayer dollars for the hospital where his wife works. Said hospital, by the way, gave Michelle Obama a huge raise (nearly $200,000, more than doubling her salary) in 2005 after Barack got elected to the United States Senate. Now, I know that there are lots of ways to talk about transactions like this involving public officials - quid pro quo, etc., but I prefer to call a crook a crook and just say that we're dealing with good, old fashioned, public corruption here.
I am sure that Barack Obama will be able to distinguish between his acts here and the actions that landed Randy Cunningham in jail. But like Wolfe, I am curious about what he would have to say. Of course that would require a media willing to ask tough questions, and probably be branded as a racist for their trouble.
We noted back in 2006 that her salary nearly tripling , oddly followed the election of her husband to the United States Senate:
According to a tax return released by the senator this week, the promotion nearly tripled her income from the hospitals to $316,962 in 2005 from $121,910 in 2004.
Her income coincidentally jumped when her husband was elected to the United States Senate. She handles "community outreach" for the University of Chicago Hospitals, which does indeed sound like vital work, right up there with open heart surgery.
Maybe we are all supposed to hope that Obama, who rose through the Chicago political machine, really is different. After all, this could be just coincindence.
Hat tip: Barbara S.