Kirk W. Tofte
by Kirk W. Tofte
was recruited to become a community organizer in Chicago twenty
years ago. After three years of doing this work, Obama realized
that he could have far more influence in Illinois if he pursued
a career in politics as had Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold
Washington. In furtherance of this notion, Obama began to attend
Harvard Law School.
third year at Harvard Law, Obama was offered a job by a Chicago
real estate developer named Tony Rezko. Obama turned down this opportunity
in order to become an attorney with the Davis, Miner and Barnhill
It was probably
no coincidence that one of this firm’s biggest clients was Tony
Rezko. The firm’s senior partner, Allison Davis, was also a power
broker behind the rise of Harold Washington to the mayor’s seat
in the city of Chicago again, probably no coincidence as far as
Obama was concerned.
subsequently left his law firm in order to go into the real estate
development business full-time. He became a 51% owner of DV Urban
Realty Partners along with Robert Vanecko who owned the remaining
49% of the firm. Vanecko is Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew.
Two of Allison Davis’ sons, Jared and Cullen, work with their father
in the real estate business.
his associates have received more than $100 million in taxpayer
subsidies to build and rehab apartments and houses in Chicago. They
have also been paid over $4 million dollars in development fees.
As Tim Novak, a Chicago Sun-Times reporter, noted in a November
7, 2007 article for his paper, "Davis has gotten deal after
deal from the mayor, helping to make him one of the Chicago’s top
In 1993, the
same year he was hired by Davis’ law firm, Obama began serving on
the board of Woods Fund, a Chicago charity foundation. After Allison
Davis left his law firm, he went to the foundation for money and
Obama voted to invest $1 million of the organization’s assets in
a Davis real estate partnership.
as those described above run rampant in the career of Barack Obama
from 1993 to the present. Obama has a long history of working with
Allison Davis, Tony Rezko, Mayor Daley and Illinois’ Democratic
governor, Rod Blagojevich, to obtain government funding for housing
development in Chicago. Davis, Rezko, Daley and others have, in
return, helped fund Obama’s rise to political prominence. It has
been classic, Chicago machine politics with the requirement that
people "pay to play."
funding from political Godfathers like Tony Rezko, Obama’s career
in politics would never have gotten off the ground. But without
the aid of corrupt government officials, slumlords like Tony Rezko
would never have made the money to contribute to politicians such
as Obama, Daley and Blagojevich in the first place.
Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s Federal Indictment of Tony Rezko
The U.S. Attorney
for Northern Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, has made quite a name
for himself in recent years. He has successfully prosecuted Dick
Cheney’s former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, and former Illinois
Republican governor, George Ryan, within the past year. Fitzgerald
also convicted several former members of Mayor Daley’s administration
for "pervasive fraud" in city hiring practices. This spring
he successfully concluded a trial against Tony Rezko, convicting
him on multiple corruption charges.
indictment of Rezko, he lists eight persons that he refers to as
"Co-Schemers." Virtually all of these people have been
major contributors to the political campaigns of Barack Obama, Rod
Blagojevich and Richard Daley.
Fitzgerald’s indictment makes specific references to Blagojevich
and Obama. The governor is referred to as "Public Official
A" and the senator is called a "political candidate."
The fact that
Obama, Blagojevich and Daley are all mixed up together in the Rezko
affair is not surprising. Favored politicians of both parties in
Illinois are often joined at the hip when it comes to political
fundraising. For example, a recent analysis done by the Chicago
Tribune revealed that Obama has taken in more than $1.5 million
dollars for his various campaigns from over seven hundred people
who have also contributed to Mayor Daley’s candidacies.
case against Rezko involved two state regulatory boards. One controls
the Teachers Pension System (TPS) and the other, the Health Facilities
Planning Board, reviews all proposals for construction projects
that involve medical facilities in Illinois.
Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois, the "Co-Schemers"
stacked the TPS board so that favored investment firms were allowed
to invest parts of the retirement fund’s $30 billion in assets.
The "Co-Schemers" then demanded kick-backs and worked
to funnel money into the political organizations of Blagojevich
Next the "Co-Schemers"
worked to reduce the Health Facilities Planning Board from fifteen
members to nine members. Subsequently, they proceeded to stack the
board with a bloc of five members that would guarantee them a majority.
Three doctors, Imad Amanaseer, Michel Malek and Fortunee Massuda,
were named new members in order to secure the necessary majority
votes. All three became large contributors to the various campaigns
of Barack Obama from this point forward.
On April 21,
2004 the Health Facilities Planning Board approved the building
of a new hospital in Crystal Lake, Illinois even though state analysts
had said the new facility was not needed. The builder of the hospital,
Jacob Kiferbaum, was to have paid bribes to those who made the construction
of the hospital possible. The hospital was never built because Fitzgerald’s
investigators blew the case wide open and even secured a guilty
plea from Kiferbaum who is now cooperating with the Feds. Throughout
much of this time, Barack Obama was the chairman of the Senate Committee
on Health and Human Services and was copied in on e-mails and other
correspondence regarding these matters.
Trial of Tony Rezko
At the recently
concluded trial of Tony Rezko, the star witness for the prosecution
was a Chicago businessman named Stuart Levine. This individual sat
on the board that controls the TPS and the Health Facilities Planning
Board. He testified that Tom Rosenberg’s investment firm, Capri
Capital Advisors, was to have received approval to invest a total
of $320 million of TPS assets in exchange for a $500,000 kickback
to Levine and $1.5 million in political contributions to Governor
Blagojevich. Rosenberg was also a producer of Hollywood films and
was so close to Allison Davis on a personal level that he had Davis
make a cameo appearance in one of his movies.
has strong ties to investment companies that seek to do business
with the state of Illinois. Once the Democrats took over the state
legislature in 2003, Obama was assigned to an Illinois senate committee
that began looking into public retirement plan matters. Four firms
with close relationships with Obama were subsequently awarded hundreds
of millions of new dollars to invest on behalf of these plans. Executives
of these firms helped raise $300,000 for Obama’s U.S. senate seat
race in 2004 and even more money for his presidential campaign.
Daley’s office hired Michelle Obama as an assistant to his chief
of staff, Valerie Jarrett, in 1991. Daley later appointed Jarrett
chairperson of the Office of Planning and Development where Michelle
became her assistant.
is the CEO at Habitat, a real estate development and management
firm. It manages the housing program for the Chicago Housing Authority.
Jarrett was also a member of Obama’s U.S. Senate Finance Committee
in 2004 along with Tony Rezko, Rita Rezko and Allison Davis. Jarrett
currently serves as an advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.
W. Tofte [send him mail] is
the manager of the BWIA Private Investment Fund and the author of
Principled and Grow Rich: Your Guide to Investing Successfully in
Both Bull and Bear Markets. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com
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