More Democrat Corruption

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. red states rule
    Offline

    red states rule Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    16,011
    Thanks Received:
    571
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +572
    The Dems ran on the "Culture of Corruption" and promised the most ethical Congress in the history of America

    Well, the truth is getting in the way of their political slogans and the rising star in the Dem party has to answer some troubling questions


    Obama on Rezko deal: It was a mistake

    November 5, 2006
    BY DAVE MCKINNEY AND CHRIS FUSCO Staff Reporters Contributing: Mark Brown
    U.S. Sen. Barack Obama expressed regret late Friday for his 2005 land purchase from now-indicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko in a deal that enlarged the senator's yard.

    "I consider this a mistake on my part and I regret it," Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times in an exclusive and revealing question-and-answer exchange about the transaction.

    In June 2005, Obama and Rezko purchased adjoining parcels in Kenwood. The state's junior senator paid $1.65 million for a Georgian revival mansion, while Rezko paid $625,000 for the adjacent, undeveloped lot. Both closed on their properties on the same day.

    Last January, aiming to increase the size of his sideyard, Obama paid Rezko $104,500 for a strip of his land.

    The transaction occurred at a time when it was widely known Tony Rezko was under investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and as other Illinois politicians befriended by Rezko distanced themselves from him.
    In the Sun-Times interview, Obama acknowledged approaching Rezko about the two properties being up for sale and that Rezko developed an immediate interest. Obama did not explain why he reached out to Rezko given the developer's growing problems.

    Last month, Rezko was indicted for his role in an alleged pay-to-play scheme designed to fatten Gov. Blagojevich's political fund. Rezko also was accused of bilking a creditor.

    "With respect to the purchase of my home, I am confident that everything was handled ethically and above board. But I regret that while I tried to pay close attention to the specific requirements of ethical conduct, I misgauged the appearance presented by my purchase of the additional land from Mr. Rezko," Obama said.

    "It was simply not good enough that I paid above the appraised value for the strip of land that he sold me. It was a mistake to have been engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a favor," the senator said.

    The land deal came up in a court hearing Friday that delved into Rezko's finances. Obama said he has not been approached by federal prosecutors about the transaction nor has plans to go to them about it.

    Obama and Rezko have been friends since 1990, and Obama said the Wilmette businessman raised as much as $60,000 for him during his political career. After Rezko's indictment, Obama donated $11,500 to charity--a total that represents what Rezko contributed to the senator's federal campaign fund.

    After the controversy surfaced on Wednesday, the Sun-Times presented Obama's office with a lengthy set of questions about the land deal, Obama's relationship with Rezko and the story's impact on a potential 2008 bid for the White House.

    Here are his responses:


    Q: Senator, when did you first meet Tony Rezko? How did you become friends? How often would you meet with him, and when did you last speak with him?


    A: I had attracted some media attention when I was elected the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. And while I was in law school, David Brint, who was a development partner with Tony Rezko contacted me and asked whether I would be interested in being a developer. Ultimately, after discussions in which I met Mr. Rezko, I said no.

    I have probably had lunch with Rezko once or twice a year and our spouses may have gotten together on two to four occasions in the time that I have known him. I last spoke with Tony Rezko more than six months ago.


    Q:. Have you or your wife participated in any other transactions of any kind with Rezko or companies he owns? Have you or your wife ever done any legal work ever for Rezko or his companies?


    A: No.


    Q: Has Rezko ever given you or your family members gifts of any kind and, if so, what were they?


    A: No.


    Q: The seller of your house appears to be a doctor at the University of Chicago . Do you or your wife know him? If so, did either of you ever talk to him about subdividing the property? If you ever did discuss the property with him, when were those conversations?


    A: We did not know him personally, though my wife worked in the same University hospital. The property was subdivided and two lots were separately listed when we first learned of it. We did not discuss the property with the owners; the sale was negotiated for us by our agent.


    Q: Did you approach Rezko or his wife about the property, or did they approach you?


    A: To the best of my recollection, I told him about the property, and he developed an interest, knowing both the location and, as I recall, the developer who had previously purchased it.


    Q: Who was your Realtor? Did this Realtor also represent Rita Rezko?


    A: Miriam Zeltzerman, who had also represented me in the purchase of my prior property, a condominium, in Hyde Park. She did not represent Rita Rezko.


    Q: How do you explain the fact your family purchased your home the same day as Rita Rezko bought the property adjacent to yours? Was this a coordinated purchase?


    A: The sellers required the closing of both properties at the same time. As they were moving out of town, they wished to conclude the sale of both properties simultaneously. The lot was purchased first; with the purchase of the house on the adjacent lot, the closings could proceed and did, on the same day, pursuant to the condition set by the sellers.


    Q: Why is it that you were able to buy your parcel for $300,000 less than the asking price, and Rita Rezko paid full price? Who negotiated this end of the deal? Did whoever negotiated it have any contact with Rita and Tony Rezko or their Realtor or lawyer?


    A: Our agent negotiated only with the seller's agent. As we understood it, the house had been listed for some time, for months, and our offer was one of two and, as we understood it, it was the best offer. The original listed price was too high for the market at the time, and we understood that the sellers, who were anxious to move, were prepared to sell the house for what they paid for it, which is what they did.

    We were not involved in the Rezko negotiation of the price for the adjacent lot. It was our understanding that the owners had received, from another buyer, an offer for $625,000 and that therefore the Rezkos could not have offered or purchased that lot for less.


    Q: Why did you put the property in a trust?


    A: I was advised that a trust holding would afford me some privacy, which was important to me as I would be commuting from Washington to Chicago and my family would spend some part of most weeks without me.


    Q: A Nov. 21, 1999, Chicago Tribune story indicates the house you bought "sits on a quarter-acre lot and will share a driveway and entrance gate with a home next door that has not yet been built." Is this shared driveway still in the mix? Will this require further negotiations with the Rezkos?


    A: The driveway is not shared with the adjacent owner. But the resident in the carriage house in the back does have an easement over it.


    Q: Does it display a lack of judgment on your part to be engaging in real estate deals with Tony Rezko at a point his connections to state government had been reported to be under federal investigation?


    A: I've always held myself to the highest ethical standards. During the ten years I have been in public office, I believe I have met those standards and I know that is what people expect of me. I have also understood the importance of appearances.

    With respect to the purchase of my home, I am confident that everything was handled ethically and above board.

    But I regret that while I tried to pay close attention to the specific requirements of ethical conduct, I misgauged the appearance presented by my purchase of the additional land from Mr. Rezko. It was simply not good enough that I paid above the appraised value for the strip of land that he sold me. It was a mistake to have been engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a favor. For that reason, I consider this a mistake on my part and I regret it.

    Throughout my life, I have put faith in confronting experiences honestly and learning from them. And that is what I will do with this experience as well.


    Q: Why did you not publicly disclose the transaction after Rezko got indicted?


    A: At the time, it didn't strike me as relevant. I did however donate campaign contributions from Rezko to charity.


    Q: Have you been interviewed by federal investigators about this transaction or about your relationship with Rezko? If not, do you intend to approach them?


    A: I have not been interviewed by federal investigators. I have no reason to approach them.


    Q: Did Rezko or his companies ever solicit your support on any matter involving state or federal government? Did Al Johnson, who was trying to get a casino license along with Tony Rezko, or Rezko himself ever discuss casino matters with you?


    A: No, I have never been asked to do anything to advance his business interests. In 1999, when I was a State Senator, I opposed legislation to bring a casino to Rosemont and allow casino gambling at docked riverboats which news reports said Al Johnson and Tony Rezko were interested in being part of. I never discussed a casino license with either of them. I was a vocal opponent of the legislation. (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/srollcalls91/pdf/910SB1017_05251999_001000C.PDF)


    Q: Has this disclosure about your relationship with Rezko changed your thoughts about a White House run?


    A: No. As I have said, how I can best serve is something I will think about after the 2006 election next Tuesday.


    Q: Did Rezko ever discuss with you his dealings with Stuart Levine, Christopher Kelly or William Cellini or the role he was playing in shaping Gov. Blagojevich's administration?


    A: No.


    Q: Are the Obamas the only beneficiaries of the land trust?


    A: Yes.


    Q: Are you aware of any efforts by previous owners to develop what is now the Rezko lot, possibly as townhomes?


    A: I was not aware of any prior effort by the seller to develop the property, but always understood the other lot was to be developed upon sale.


    Q: Did Rezko have an appraisal performed for the 10-foot strip?


    A: I had an appraisal conducted by Howard B. Richter & Associates on November 21, 2005.


    Q: Was there a negotiation? Did he have an asking price, or did he just say, whatever you think is fair?


    A: I proposed to pay on the basis of proportionality. Since the strip composed one-sixth of the entire lot, I would pay one-sixth of the purchase price of the lot. I offered this to Mr. Rezko and he accepted it.


    Q: How many fundraisers has Mr. Rezko hosted for you? Were these all in his home? How much would you estimate he has raised for your campaigns?


    A: He hosted one event at his home in 2003 for my U.S. Senate campaign. He participated as a member of a host committee for several other events. My best estimate was that he raised somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000.
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/124171,CST-NWS-obama05.article
     
  2. red states rule
    Offline

    red states rule Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    16,011
    Thanks Received:
    571
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +572
    How should Pres Bsuh deal with Democrats?

    According to CNN - Give the Dems what they want!


    CNN’s Cafferty: Arrogant Bush Should Stop Opposing Democrats
    Posted by Scott Whitlock on November 17, 2006 - 17:26.
    What’s the definition of bipartisanship? According to CNN’s Jack Cafferty, it’s completely supporting the Democratic agenda. On the Friday edition of "The Situation Room," the CNN host complained that President Bush, whose "arrogance" he decries, had the temerity to re-nominate John Bolton as UN Ambassador and still supports the terrorist surveillance program:

    Jack Cafferty: "After the Republicans got the stuffing knocked out of them in the midterms last week, President Bush wanted to make nice. So he had these little sit-downs with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the new powers in Congress, and talked about how they were all just going to get along. That tired old phrase bipartisanship was heard over and over again, as it always is after somebody get’s dusted up at the ballot box....And as proof that [Bush's] arrogance was not lost in the election, he wants Congress to pass legislation legalizing the NSA spy program, the one that’s already been ruled illegal by a federal judge. That’s not going to happen either. Great idea though, right? You do something illegal, you just get your toadies in Congress to pass a law saying that it’s legal. Same thing they did with the violations of the Geneva Conventions."

    So, in Cafferty’s world, It’s Bush that has to be bipartisan, not Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Quite a convenient situation, for the Democrats, that is.

    A transcript of the segment, which aired at 4:12p.m. on November 17, follows:

    Jack Cafferty: "After the Republicans got the stuffing knocked out of them in the midterms last week, President Bush wanted to make nice. So he had these little sit-downs with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the new powers in Congress, and talked about how they were all just going to get along. That tired old phrase bipartisanship was heard over and over again, as it always is after somebody get’s dusted up at the ballot box. Well, here’s what’s happened since then: Bush wants John Bolton confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the UN by the lame duck session of Congress. Ain’t gonna happen. Bush has resubmitted six formally blocked judicial nominees to federal appeals courts and he wants those confirmed by the lame duck session. Ain’t gonna happen. And as proof that his arrogance was not lost in the election, he wants Congress to pass legislation legalizing the NSA spy program, the one that’s already been ruled illegal by a federal judge. That’s not going to happen either. Great idea, right? You do something illegal, you just get your toadies in Congress to pass a law saying it’s legal. Same thing they did with the violations of the Geneva Conventions. Here’s the question then: ‘Is there really such a thing as bipartisanship in Washington? E-mail your thoughts on that to Caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to Cnn.com/Caffertyfile.com. Wolf?"

    Wolf Blitzer: "We’re going to find out very, very soon if there is, Jack. Thanks very much."

    Cafferty: "Doesn’t exist."

    Blitzer: "We’ll see in a few weeks. We’ll get some initial indications."
    http://newsbusters.org/node/9155
     
  3. Stephanie
    Offline

    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    70,236
    Thanks Received:
    10,818
    Trophy Points:
    2,040
    Ratings:
    +27,360
    Cafferty must of escaped from the mental hospital he was in and landed on CNN....I can't even watch that ugly stupid man....

    The liberals want to talk about Rush, and Coulter......

    Look at Overblownman, Cafferty, Randi Rhodes, Mikey Moore.....the NYslimes, the Laslimes, kos, huffington and the list is too long to post......:food1:
     
  4. red states rule
    Offline

    red states rule Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    16,011
    Thanks Received:
    571
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +572
    Speaking of your buddy Keith..........


    Fuzzy Math: Olbermann 'Miscorrects' Rumsfeld Tribute, Thinks 58 is Not 'More Than 50'
    Posted by Brad Wilmouth on November 17, 2006 - 23:49.
    What's more embarrassing than making a basic math error live on national TV? Making that error while smugly trying to highlight an error made by a regular target who was actually right in the first place. Such was the case on Friday night's Countdown show as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tagged as "jawdropping" the contention on the Defense Department's Web site that, under Donald Rumsfeld's leadership, the U.S. military has "liberated more than 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq." As Olbermann read from the tribute to Rumsfeld, he pointed out that the site's listing of 31 million Afghans and 27 million Iraqis as benefitting from this liberation add up to 58 million instead of 50 million, as if this were some embarrassing mistake, even though the site had actually estimated the number as "more than" 50 million. Before previewing his latest "Special Comment" attack on President Bush scheduled for Monday, Olbermann concluded: "And neither calculation includes anybody who's not really liberated yet, like from sectarian violence. The Pentagon clearly much better at hyperbole than it is at math." (Transcript follows)

    Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Friday November 17 Countdown show. After having spent time criticizing President Bush's comments about what lessons might be learned from the Vietnam War about how to deal with Iraq, Olbermann continued:

    Keith Olbermann: "Any jawdropping induced by the President's take on Vietnam history today possibly equaled if you take a gander at a new feature on the Pentagon Web site. With Defense Secretary Rumsfeld now a short-timer at the Department, he or at least his press office, hoping to tout all he has accomplished in six years at the Pentagon with a new Internet page titled appropriately enough, 'Six Years of Accomplishments with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.' Near the top of the list, a war on terror that has, quote, 'liberated more than 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq.' Breaking it down specifically, 31 million in Afghanistan and 27 million in Iraq, which should equal 58 million instead of the aforementioned 50. Heck, round it off, and it should at least read 60. And neither calculation includes anybody who's not really liberated yet, like from sectarian violence. The Pentagon clearly much better at hyperbole than it is at math.

    Olbermann: "And this program advisory, Mr. Bush's trip to Vietnam continues throughout the weekend. Thus, there is plenty of time for him to amend or worsen his misunderstanding of the lessons for us there, a 'Special Comment' among a thousand other things urgently needed about Iraq is a special Vietnam history tutor for this President. That will be on Monday's edition of Countdown, 'Special Comment' 8pm and Midnight Eastern, 5 and 9 Pacific."

    http://newsbusters.org/node/9158




    and leave it to CNN to spread the side of the terrorists.........



    CNN Anchor Derides Kidnapped Contractors as ‘Mercenaries’
    Posted by Scott Whitlock on November 17, 2006 - 15:38.
    On Friday’s "American Morning," anchor Miles O’Brien characterized a group of kidnaped contractors, which included four Americans, as "mercenaries." The program, which airs on CNN, a network that has been severely criticized for airing terrorist footage of American soldiers being murdered, featured a segment on the activities and tasks of military contractors. Introducing reporter Ali Velshi, O’Brien said this:

    Miles O'Brien: "In southern Iraq, more now on the search for four American security contractors, one Austrian, feared kidnaped. It happened in Nasiriyah where Iraqi troops have taken control of security, but there's reason to believe the contractors were stopped at a checkpoint manned by insurgents masquerading as the authorities. 'American Morning's Ali Velshi is here to give us some perspective. The big picture, you know, we call them contractors. In another era, we would call them mercenaries."

    Ali Velshi: "That's right, they are paid armed forces. There are different kind of contractors in, in Iraq right now."

    Mercenaries? Now, according to Dictionary.com, the definitions of mercenaries are:

    1. working or acting merely for money or other reward; venal.

    2. hired to serve in a foreign army, guerrilla organization, etc.

    Now, O’Brien would claim that he’s referring to the second definition, and Crescent Security Group, the company the contractors were working for, does provide security and defensive military services. But considering CNN’s reputation, the unfortunate airing of terrorist propaganda being one example, "mercenary" is not a word that the network should be using.

    There’s another example of the term being used in a derogatory manner. In April of 2004, liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, better known as "Kos," famously derided contractors who were murdered in Fallujah as mercenaries. The comments, which have since been removed from his website, are below:

    Markos Moulitsas Zúniga: "Let the people see what war is like. This isn’t an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush’s folly. That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries [sic]. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them."

    A quick Google search finds several examples of extreme left-wing sites referring to contractors as mercenaries. CNN’s liberal bias is well known by many, but Truthout and Daily Kos? Is this the type of company that the cable network wants to keep?

    A complete transcript of the segment, which aired at 8:34p.m. on November 17, follows:

    Miles O'Brien: "In southern Iraq, more now on the search for four American security contractors, one Austrian, feared kidnaped. It happened in Nasiriyah where Iraqi troops have taken control of security, but there's reason to believe the contractors were stopped at a checkpoint manned by insurgents masquerading as the authorities. 'American Morning's Ali Velshi is here to give us some perspective. The big picture, you know, we call them contractors. In another era, we would call them mercenaries."

    Ali Velshi: "That's right, they are paid armed forces. There are different kinds of contractors in, in Iraq right now. But one of the largest groups might be security contractors, private security contractors, many of whom you spoke to, to a guest earlier are very highly trained soldiers. By one estimate last year, there might be 50,000. 48,000 civilian security employees and 181 different companies operating in Iraq. What they're doing is a lot of the jobs that the military might have done, but they are doing now. They are guarding convoys, they're guarding bases, they are guarding embassies and things like that. The costs of these, these groups are very high. In some cases up to a third of the cost of a given project, reconstruction project, but the average cost according to the Government Accounting Office, the GAO, is 16 percent to 22 percent of the entire effort in Iraq is going towards security forces. And they are very big. You were talking to the gentleman this morning who worked with Crescent, the company-"

    O'Brien: "Colonel Shumcher, yes."

    Velshi: "And these, Blackwater, which one of the biggest firms there, has said that it is in a position to now provide a brigade- sized force for low intensity conflicts. It's different than guarding an airport."

    O'Brien: "Yeah. It's like a whole separate force."

    Velshi: "It's a whole separate force. A lot of armed, armed people out there. It's dangerous work. They are getting paid very well, in many cases they are being billed out at $1,500 a day. But, these, these soldiers can earn well over $100,000 a year, which means it's very enticing for them in some cases to leave military forces."

    O’Brien: But, but at great risk."

    Velshi: "Absolutely."




    The Dems are in for smooth sailing in the liberal media over the next two years
     

Share This Page