Archive for the ‘fundraiser’ Category

Obama fundraiser, convicted of fraud, spills beans

October 11, 2008

By MIKE ROBINSON, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO – Jailed political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who helped launch Barack Obama on his political career, is whispering secrets to federal prosecutors about corruption in Illinois and the political fallout could be explosive.

In this Wednesday, June 4, 2008 file photo, Antoin 'Tony' Rezko ... 
In this Wednesday, June 4, 2008 file photo, Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko returns to the Federal Courthouse where a jury found him guilty on 16 counts of a 24-count indictment in his corruption trail in Chicago. Federal prosecutors moved Monday, Oct. 6, 2008 to delay indefinitely the sentencing of convicted fundraiser Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko, sending their strongest hint yet that he is ready to spill his political secrets.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration faces multiple federal investigations over how it handed out jobs and money with advice from Rezko, is considered the most vulnerable.

Rezko also was friendly with Obama — offering him a job when he finished law school, funding his earliest political campaigns and purchasing a lot next to his house. But based on the known facts, charges so far and testimony at Rezko’s trial, there’s no indication there’ll be an October surprise that could hurt the Democratic presidential nominee — even though Rezko says prosecutors are pressing him for dirt about Obama.

“I think this strikes fear into the Blagojevich administration and the Statehouse Democrats but not into the Obama campaign,” says state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, a John McCain delegate to the GOP convention but an old friend of Obama.

Rezko, 53, a real estate developer, was convicted in June of scheming to use his clout with the Blagojevich administration to squeeze $7 million in kickbacks out of a contractor and seven money management firms seeking to do business with the state.

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