Rezko Singing: Obama Sweating?
Jailed political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who helped launch Barack Obama on his political career, is whispering secrets to federal prosecutors about corruption in Illinois and the political fallout could be explosive.Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration faces multiple federal investigations over how it handed out jobs and money with advice from Rezko, is considered the most vulnerable.Rezko also was friendly with Obama - offering him a job when he finished law school, funding his earliest political campaigns and purchasing a lot next to his house. But based on the known facts, charges so far and testimony at Rezko's trial, there's no indication there'll be an October surprise that could hurt the Democratic presidential nominee - even though Rezko says prosecutors are pressing him for dirt about Obama."I think this strikes fear into the Blagojevich administration and the Statehouse Democrats but not into the Obama campaign," says state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, a John McCain delegate to the GOP convention but an old friend of Obama.
Rezko is not necessarily a problem for Obama. But one of the convicted fraudster's cronies might be:
It is the Giannoulias family and their ownership of The Broadway Bank. Specifically, the bank's vice president and chief loan officer Alexi Giannoulias who has, to put it mildly, a rather checkered history:
A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Sen. Barack Obama.Young Alexi's dealings with Obama may make the candidate a target:
Alexi Giannoulias, who became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator's Oval Office bid.Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael "Jaws" Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state's speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama's help.
4) The Giannoulias family was involved with Obama as far back as his first state senate campaign in 1996. It has been long rumored here in Chicago that Obama obtained a sweetheart deal on his first town home here in Chicago - which he could not have afforded otherwise - and guess who the financing came from for that house? We've been told it was Broadway Bank, the Giannoulias bank. Now, this sets up a scenario where the Giannoulias family helps Obama with his campaign finances and gets him deeper in their pocket with his sweetheart mortgage deal (for the first home he owned that he could not afford) - all in exchange for quid pro quo to be determined later.
(5) One favor political Chicago claims Obama did for the Giannoulias family was in 2006 when, out of the blue, 29 year old Alexi Giannoulias, with no experience, and without ever having voted before, decides to run for State Treasurer of Illinois. Also out of the blue, Barack Obama endorses Alexi Giannoulias for State Treasurer. This was a SHOCK to everyone in Chicago - and Giannoulias would have never become State Treasurer without Obama's help. In political circles here, it has always been believed that this endorsement was bought years ago with that sweetheart mortgage deal Broadway Bank arranged for Obama to buy his town house.(6) So, the Tony Rezko sweetheart deal was not the first magic home loan Obama ever received to buy a house he could not afford.
Obama's ties to the Giannoulis family have been shrouded in mystery. If Fitzgerald can untangle the web, there very well may be something there that would cause Mr. Obama a lot of trouble - after he was president.
Much of this blog post appeared originally at Right Wing Nuthouse