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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Rezko-Obama payoff reduced to one sentence

I just don't understand how anyone can't grasp this: Tony Rezko did a six-figure favor for Barack Obama in connection with Obama's house purchase. The only other explanation requires one to believe that Obama is a brilliant real estate pro and that Tony Rezko is stupid enough to pay full asking price at exactly the same time. But I go over this all again in a guest-post today at HughHewitt.com.

And now I'm caught up in my cross-posting.


[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day.

Don Vito Corleone to townsman Bonasera in The Godfather (1972)

I last wrote about this subject at length on June 4, 2008, when Tony Rezko was convicted on 16 counts of financial corruption, many of which had to do with buying off politicians via sham real estate transactions. But let me reduce the Rezko-Obama house transaction into a one-sentence question which ought to make it clear to you:

If not to bestow a six-figure financial payoff to Barack Obama who was getting a $300k discount on the same day in June 2005 from the very same seller why would Tony Rezko ever agree to pay the full asking price of $625k for the adjoining property, instead of insisting upon at least sharing proportionately in that $300k discount?

Convicted felony money-launderer, politician-buyer, and Obama contributor Tony Rezko

Ignore the later sale by Rezko of a strip of the property he purchased to the Obamas after they had some more book revenues coming in and were more flush with cash. We can argue until the cows come home about whether that was a delayed partial pay-back of the original favor to Obama or not. It's a red herring, and requires you to make judgments about property values.

Instead, put your trust in the much easier judgment you can make about who, as between Obama and Rezko, was a shark in the real estate market. No one can explain how real estate neophyte Obama supposedly managed to out-negotiate real estate "professional" Rezko — who's not so coincidentally also a professional politician buyer through fraudulent real estate deals, which is exactly what Rezko has since been convicted of — by fully $300k.

While admitting that this was a package deal that had to be closed on the same day, the seller denies any explicit agreement to link the two sale prices — i.e., to grant a bigger discount to Obama in exchange for Rezko paying the full asking price. The seller effectively has to say that, because to make any contrary admission might subject him to potential criminal liability as a co-conspirator, along with Rezko and his wife, to the making of false statements on the federally guaranteed loan application paperwork in which Rezko's wife had to deny the existence of any side deals. (That would be an excellent reason for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to be subpoenaing those loan documents, as the new Isakoff article linked below by Hugh reveals.)

Now, let me be perfectly clear: I'm certainly not accusing the seller of having actually violated any law, and neither do I have any specific reason to believe that the seller was necessarily a party to any discussions between Obama and Rezko about what Rezko expected in return for the favor he was doing Obama by facilitating the transaction by paying the full asking price. Indeed, even between Obama and Rezko there may not have been anything more than a wink and a nod. But surely the seller at least had to hold his nose and avert his eyes to keep from perceiving the strangeness of this transaction, and even his retrospection about the transaction ought to be circumscribed by his potential criminal liability, if he's been getting any decent legal advice.

You, gentle readers, need not be so willfully imperceptive. When something stinks, you can and should say: "That stinks!"

This was a political payoff, friends and neighbors, from Day 1, and it was in the age-old tradition of mobsters doing favors for rising but ethically challenged young politicians whose influence the mobsters may someday need. If you cannot see this, then you ought to climb back on the pumpkin truck, and please don't ever try to purchase real estate yourself.

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 07:43 PM in 2008 Election, Obama, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to The Rezko-Obama payoff reduced to one sentence and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) nate made the following comment | Oct 27, 2008 8:30:55 PM | Permalink

Obama-Rezko house deal. Proven! Check out this documented analysis.


(2) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 28, 2008 12:45:46 AM | Permalink

Nate, that's a very interesting post, but I'm not familiar with the author, nor can I find a way to contact him, and I'm very curious about some of his sources. Any more info?

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