My latest column at Pajamas Media is up and it’s a doozy.
Basically, it’s a primer for those who don’t know as much as they’d like about the relationship between Barack Obama and Tony Rezko, the Chicago “Fixer” who has been indicted on 24 counts of fraud.
It is by no means a complete history. This is a very complex relationship with many threads interwoven in the story. I had to leave out some sidebars that may or may not prove significant – such as Obama’s relationship with the former Iraqi Minister of Electricity who is being investigated for stealing perhaps some of the $2 billion in US taxpayer reconstruction funds that have gone missing. Did Obama intervene to get a contract for Rezko with the Iraqi government to train power plant workers in Illinois?
It is issues like this that continue to feed the notion that there is much more to this story than a simple transaction involving Rezko’s wife and Obama’s house. Just as Whitewater was not just about a failed real estate deal, there are aspects to this relationship that investigators and journalists are looking at as I write this that may prove to be extremely troubling.
Here’s a small sample from a very long and detailed piece:
WHO IS TONY REZKO
Antoin â€œTonyâ€ Rezko is a Syrian born businessman who was known in Chicago political circles as â€œa fixer.â€ Need to get a waiver of some kind of regulation to close a real estate deal? Call Tony. Want your kid to intern in the office of a United States senator? Call Tony. Are the wheels of government turning too slowly and need to have a legislator or two goose the bureaucracy? Call Tony.
Rezko had a lot of friends and associates because he collected politicians like a kid collects baseball cards. He was a fundraiser with the ability to shake the money tree for his political friends.
Entrepreneur, real estate tycoon, developer, and pal of the powerful, by all accounts Tony Rezko had his fingers in many pies.
He was also, according to Sun Times political reporter Carol Marin, a â€œstaggeringly talented shakedown artistâ€: