Well Obama is just as bad at Clinton and Ron Paul in his campaign finances… It appears that his camp still has at least $100,000 of Tony Rezko’s raised funds, including funds from his wife… The rest of the funds come from close friends of Rezko or employees. Mr. Obama, come clean and relinquish all of these fraudulent funds…
How Much Did an Accused Political Fixer Raise for Obama?
ABCNews.com Review Shows an Additional $100,000 in Rezko-Linked Contributions Not Returned by the Campaign“We have returned any money that we know was associated to Mr. Rezko,” Obama told Diane Sawyer on Wednesday morning during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “That is something that if there’s additional information we don’t know about, we’d be happy to return the money.”
The Obama campaign says it has given away more than $85,000 in Rezko-linked contributions since Rezko was indicted on federal fraud and extortion charges in the fall of 2006.
An ABCNews.com review, however, has identified an additional $100,000 in contributions made to Obama from Rezko’s associates that have not been returned, including $19,500 in contributions from Rezko’s wife and employees of Rezko’s business enterprises. The ABCNews.com review includes individuals who have been linked to Rezko in news reports, court documents and public records.
Other news organizations have reviewed Obama’s campaign finance records and have also found Rezko-linked contributions that are more than double what the campaign has publicly acknowledged. The Chicago Sun-Times, which published its review last June, found that “Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle,” and earlier this week the Los Angeles Times reported that it had found that Rezko and his associates had given “Obama more than $200,000 in donations since 1995.”
When asked to respond to the findings, campaign spokesman Bill Burton replied, “We think they are casting a wide net and overestimating.”
But the campaign does acknowledge that it does not have an exact record of money raised by Rezko. Its best estimate of what Rezko has raised is $60,000, including contributions from a fundraiser Rezko held for Obama in 2003. “We don’t have an exact record of the money raised at the event, but we have given to charity all contributions that seemed appropriate to return,” said Burton. “We review our donations and where there are questions, we make decisions about donating to charity those which, in the circumstances, do not seem appropriate to retain.”The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Saturday that Obama was the unnamed “political candidate” referred to in a court filing in the Rezko case last month. The court document accuses Rezko of funneling money from a kickback scheme to Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign through an associate. Obama is not accused of any wrongdoing in the document, according to the Sun-Times.
Obama has known Rezko for more than 15 years. Much of the scrutiny surrounding their relationship has centered around a real estate deal involving Obama’s home on the South Side of Chicago. Obama says he approached Rezko for “advice” as he sought to purchase the house in 2005. The owner of the house was trying to sell a neighboring vacant lot as a part of the deal, Obama later told the Chicago Tribune he could not afford to buy the lot because “it was already a stretch to buy the house.”
Rezko’s wife purchased the vacant lot and later sold a part of it to Obama to expand his yard. Obama has since called his decision to involve Rezko in the deal “a bone-headed mistake.”
Obama is not the only presidential candidate who has had to face questions surrounding contributions linked to a fundraiser. Sen. Hillary Clinton returned more than $850,000 in cash linked to her fundraiser Norman Hsu, after it was revealed that Hsu was a wanted fugitive.
Now for those Obama supporters that are to naive to understand this, Obama claimed he did not know about Rezko’s reputation when he initially accepted his donations, however now there is no excuse…
After ABC News cited a December 2006 Washington Post story about Sen. Barack Obama’s knowledge of legal problems faced by his friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Obama campaign complained that the Post story mischaracterized what Obama had told the Washington Post reporter.
The Post reported that “Obama said that he was unaware of Rezko’s brewing troubles in 2005,” at the time Obama called Rezko about a real estate deal. Washington Post assistant managing editor Bill Hamilton told ABC News it stood by its reporter’s story.
“Our story was accurate and the Obama campaign never raised any questions before,” he said.
Obama’s knowledge of the extent of the investigation of Rezko, now under federal indictment, is important because it raises questions about his judgment in approaching a man who was under federal investigation.
The Post reported that Obama said he “should have seen some red flags” Here is the full transcript of what Obama said to the Post, as provided by the Obama campaign:
Peter Slevin, Washington Post reporter: You must have been aware he was under investigation, no?
Barack Obama: Well, I’ll be honest with you. I’ve known him for 20 years — well, let me make sure I’m not exaggerating here, 1991, so, 15 years, I’ve known him for 15 years. He had never asked me to do anything, had never behaved in any untoward way with me. And, the, you know, I wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about these various issues that he was involved with, but as I’ve said before, there’s no doubt that I should have seen some red flags in terms of me purchasing a piece of property from him. Again, my focus was just making sure that the purchase itself met ethical guidelines, but there’s no doubt that the optics of it I think – partly – well, no, I’ll just stick to that, there’s no doubt I should have been more attuned to it.
Slevin: Did you know that he was having trouble then, what was in the newspapers?
Obama: Well, the way — I was aware of what was in the newspapers, but I certainly was not aware of the serious charges that have subsequently been brought. I had no idea that those kinds of issues would be raised.
Obama also told the Washington Post and other reporters that while his contact with Rezko had been entirely legal, he made “a bone-head mistake” to approach Rezko about a personal business deal because it could appear to be improper.