Did Michelle Obama funnel contract to big fundraiser? (updated)

The Washington Post notes that Michelle Obama's employer, University of Chicago Medical Center,  gave a $650,000 contract to Blackwell Consulting.  The son of the owner,  Robert Blackwell Jr., a former partner in the consulting firm, is one of her husband's long time fundraisers.  In a now familiar refrain 
Blackwell Sr. described the genesis of his contract as "really fuzzy." Sometime in 2004, he said, an employee of the center's diversity office -- he cannot remember who -- mentioned an opportunity to bid on contracts there and offered to "talk us up." 
The University of Chicago Medical Center has been the recipient of several of Senator Obama's earmarks, as have been several other thriving Chicago not for profit organizations that have Obama fundraisers on their boards such as the Shedd Aquarium. The son of the owner,  Robert Blackwell Jr., a former partner in the consulting firm is one of her husband's long time fundraisers.  In a now familiar refrain 
Blackwell Sr. described the genesis of his contract as "really fuzzy." Sometime in 2004, he said, an employee of the center's diversity office -- he cannot remember who -- mentioned an opportunity to bid on contracts there and offered to "talk us up." 
The University of Chicago Medical Center has been the recipient of several of Senator Obama's earmarks, as have been several other thriving Chicago not for profit organizations that have Obama fundraisers on their boards such as the Shedd Aquarium.

Update:
 
A big HT to Hot Air for remembering where that name Blackwell has shown up before during this campaign. It seems that as a State Senator Obama requested that taxpayer money go to the Blackwell company Killerspin, which specializes in running table tennis tournaments.
A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin.

Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.

Obama's staff said the senator advocated only for the first year's grant -- which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama's U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.

The Washington Post notes that Michelle Obama's employer, University of Chicago Medical Center,  gave a $650,000 contract to Blackwell Consulting.  The son of the owner,  Robert Blackwell Jr., a former partner in the consulting firm, is one of her husband's long time fundraisers.  In a now familiar refrain 
Blackwell Sr. described the genesis of his contract as "really fuzzy." Sometime in 2004, he said, an employee of the center's diversity office -- he cannot remember who -- mentioned an opportunity to bid on contracts there and offered to "talk us up." 
The University of Chicago Medical Center has been the recipient of several of Senator Obama's earmarks, as have been several other thriving Chicago not for profit organizations that have Obama fundraisers on their boards such as the Shedd Aquarium. The son of the owner,  Robert Blackwell Jr., a former partner in the consulting firm is one of her husband's long time fundraisers.  In a now familiar refrain 
Blackwell Sr. described the genesis of his contract as "really fuzzy." Sometime in 2004, he said, an employee of the center's diversity office -- he cannot remember who -- mentioned an opportunity to bid on contracts there and offered to "talk us up." 
The University of Chicago Medical Center has been the recipient of several of Senator Obama's earmarks, as have been several other thriving Chicago not for profit organizations that have Obama fundraisers on their boards such as the Shedd Aquarium.

Update:
 
A big HT to Hot Air for remembering where that name Blackwell has shown up before during this campaign. It seems that as a State Senator Obama requested that taxpayer money go to the Blackwell company Killerspin, which specializes in running table tennis tournaments.
A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin.

Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.

Obama's staff said the senator advocated only for the first year's grant -- which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama's U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.