Obama Questioned About Sweetheart Real Estate Deal

Brian Zick

Lyn Sweet for the Chicago Sun Times reports For the first time, Sen. Barack Obama was playing defense with the press. It was after a get-out-the-vote rally on Monday. Instead of the usual fawning Washington reporters tossing softballs as they worked up adoring stories about him running for president in 2008, Obama was taking questions from the City Hall news crew about his astoundingly bad judgment.They drove up to Waukegan to find out for themselves why on earth Obama had anything to do with the shady, recently indicted Tony Rezko.WLS radio reporter Bill Cameron put it this way in the lead-off question: "What in the world were you doing in a real estate deal with Tony Rezko?'' (…) To recap: Obama inked a book deal after winning election to the Senate in 2004. With his new wealth, in June 2005, Obama bought a $1.65 million mansion in Kenwood, some $300,000 below asking price. Rezko's wife Rita paid $625,000, the list price, for an adjacent empty lot the Rezkos may develop.The deals closed the same day because the seller insisted both parcels be sold at the same time.When the deals went down, Rezko -- who befriended Obama when he was a nobody Harvard law student -- was already cast in news stories as a controversial figure and political fundraiser.By January 2006, when Obama bought a strip of Rezko's yard, Rezko's status was elevated to politically radioactive, since it was known he was under investigation by federal prosecutors. (…) Obama, in a written reply to questions submitted to him from the Sun-Times about Rezko last week, said he made a mistake and "I regret it." via Jane Hamsher at firedoglake

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue