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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

debunking Jerome ‘Bigot’ Corsi’s Smear Attack Book: ‘The Obama Nation’

LIE: “Undoubtedly, Obama’s advance for the book had worn thin and Project Vote! was work he was qualified to do, given his community organizing experience and his law degree.” [p 157]


REALITY: OBAMA WAS RECRUITED TO PROJECT VOTE

Newman Approached Obama For Project Vote.
Chicago Magazine reported, ““Project Vote! is nonpartisan, strictly nonpartisan. But we do focus our efforts on minority voters, and on states where we can explain to them why their vote will matter. Braun made that easier in Illinois.” So [Sandy] Newman decided to open a Cook County Project Vote! office and went looking for someone to head it. The name Barack Obama surfaced. “I was asking around among community activists in Chicago and around the country, and they kept mentioning him,” Newman says. Obama by then was working with church and community leaders on the West Side, and he was writing a book that the publisher Simon & Schuster had contracted for while he was editor of the law review. He was 30 years old. When Newman called, Obama agreed to put his other work aside. “I’m still not quite sure why,” Newman says. “This was not glamorous, high-paying work. But I am certainly grateful. He did one hell of a job.” [Chicago Magazine, 1/93]


LIE: “As we shall see, Rezko was persistent, ultimately convincing Obama to drop working for political organizing causes so he could supplement the dwindling advance he had received at Harvard to write a book with real income as a lawyer, working in the small Chicago law firm where the lead partner did much of Rezko’s slumlord legal work for him.” [p 157] … “if Obama did not want to work directly for Rezko, then having Obama in David Miner Barnhill & Galland was possibly the next best thing for Rezko.” [p 158] … “The liklihood is that Rezko played a role in getting Obama to join Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland.” [p 158]

REALITY: JUDSON MINER RECRUITED OBAMA TO HIS FIRM OUT OF HARVARD

Judson Miner Recruited Obama To Miner Barnhill Out Of Harvard.
The AP reported, “Attorney Judson Miner called Harvard to offer a job to a graduating student named Barack Obama and didn’t expect to be showered with gratitude. Still, he wasn’t expecting the reception he got. ‘You can leave your name and take a number,’ the woman who answered the phone at the Harvard Law Review said breezily. ‘ You’re No. 647.’ That was 1991 and even then Obama -- the Illinois senator now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination -- was a hot commodity. As the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama had his pick of top law firms. He chose Miner’s Chicago civil rights firm, where he represented community organizers, discrimination victims and black voters trying to force a redrawing of city ward boundaries.” [AP, 2/20/07]


LIE: “Rezko found the house for Obama.” [p 165]

REALITY: OBAMAS LOOKED AT SEVERAL HOUSES VIA THEIR BROKER, HOUSE LISTING IS AVAILABLE ON OBAMA’S WEBSITE

Obama Said That Michelle Obama Toured The House And Had Most Contact With Agent, Asked Obama To See It Himself And Obama Did.
“So just fast forward – I win the Senate race, we go to Washington. Because of the good fortune of publicity, the book starts selling, I have more money, our kids are growing, and we become interested in moving out our condo and buying a house. So at that point, I contact our broker who had helped us buy our condo, a woman named Mariam Zeltzerman, and who was with a real estate agency called Urban Search, which is very prominent in the Hyde Park area, and told her that we’d like to list our condominium for sale, and that we were interested in buying a new house. I was in Washington much of this time, this is the beginning of 2005 – or somewhere in 2005. So Michelle started taking some tours with Mariam, and at some point ends up being shown the house which we now live in. Michelle calls me and says ‘I love this house, but it’s more than we were talking about paying for, but I really think it’s a great house and you should go take a look at it.’ I did, and I also thought it was a terrific house.’” [Transcript, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Meeting, 3/14/08]

Obama Said Michelle Obama And Realtor “Probably Looked At Ten Houses” But Both He And Michelle Obama Fell In Love With The South Greenwood Property. “‘[The broker] and Michelle went off and probably looked at 10 houses. One of the last ones they looked at was the house on Greenwood, which Michelle fell in love with and was actually slightly above, well it was above, what we’d originally intended to pay. Michelle called me. She says, ‘I saw this house, I really like it, it’s more than we originally budgeted for. I’d like you to take a look at it.’ So I went with Miriam to take a look at the house. It was a wonderful house.” [Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board Meeting Transcript, 3/14/08]

Obama’s Home Listing Is Publicly Available. On Barack Obama’s website, the public can view the listing of Obama’s house. [BarackObama.com]


LIE: “The letters appeared to contradict statements from Obama that he never did any favors for Rezko.” [p 162]

REALITY: THE LETTER WAS WRITTEN – UNSOLICITED – TO SUPPORT WHAT WOULD BECOME A SUCCESSFUL SENIORS HOUSING PROJECT

Obama Supported The Project “Because It Was Going To Help People In His District…It’s A Successful Project…And He’s Proud To Have Supported It.”
Burton said, “I don’t know that anyone specifically asked him to write this letter nine years ago…There was a consensus in the community about the positive impact the project would make and Obama supported it because it was going to help people in his district…They had a wellness clinic and adult day-care services, as well as a series of social services for residents. It’s a successful project. It’s meant a lot to the community, and he’s proud to have supported it.” [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/13/07]

Rezko Attorney: “Rezko Never Spoke With, Nor Sought A Letter From, Senator Obama In Connection With That Project.” Rezko’s attorney, Joseph Duffy, told the Sun-Times: “Mr. Rezko never spoke with, nor sought a letter from, Senator Obama in connection with that project.” [AP, 6/14/07]

5/2006: Cottage View Terrace “Successfully Completed Inspection Without Finds Or Violations Of Regulations.” Rosalyn Banks-Jordan, an Associate Asset Manager for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, wrote in a cover letter to the inspection report, “Please note that this development has successfully completed the inspection without findings or violations of regulations.” [IHDA Letter, 5/15/06]


LIE: “Yet Obama’s campaign characteristically denied Obama had been involved in working at the law firm for Rezko or his rehab projects.” [p 163]

REALITY: “OBAMA NEVER REPRESENTED REZKO. NEVER. EVER.”

Zeldin: “No One Who Has Ever Practiced Law…Could Argue, With A Clear Conscience, That These Five Hours On Behalf Of A Church Group…Equated Knowingly Representing A Chicago Slumlord.”
Michael Zeldin, a former independent counsel and federal prosecutor wrote “No one who has ever practiced law, let alone Mrs. Clinton, could argue, with a clear conscience, that these five hours on behalf of a church group that partnered with a man who at a later point in time would be alleged to be a scoundrel equated to knowingly representing a Chicago slumlord. Yet she could not resist leveling the accusation.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/31/08]

Russell: “Obama Never Represented Rezko. Never. Ever.” Karen Russell wrote, “Clinton claimed Obama represented Tony Rezko. Obama never represented Rezko. Never. Ever.” [Yahoo, 1/24/08]

FactCheck.org Says It’s “Untrue” That Obama Represented Rezko. Factcheck.org reported, “Obama was associated with a law firm that represented the community groups working with Rezko on several deals. There’s no evidence that Obama spent much time on them, and he never represented Rezko directly. So it was wrong for Clinton to say he was “representing ... Rezko.” That’s untrue.” [FactCheck.org, 1/21/08]

Chicago Tribune Review Of “Land And Court Document And Law Firm Files As Well As Correspondence And Other Records…Supports [Obama’s] Contention That He Did Not Directly Represent Rezko’s Development Firm.” The Chicago Tribune reported, “Obama angrily rejected Clinton’s accusation at Monday’s Democratic debate. And a Tribune review of land and court documents and law firm files as well as correspondence and other records related to Obama’s eight years as an Illinois state lawmaker supports his contention that he did not directly represent Rezko’s development firm. Instead, the records show, he represented non-profit community groups that partnered with Rezko’s firm.” [Chicago Tribune, 1/23/08]

Tribune Examined Miner Barnhill’s “260 Civil And Criminal Cases,” IHDA And DOH Files, Clients From Obama’s “Unusually Frank Ethics Disclosure Reports” And Found Obama Represented The Non-Profit Partner. The Chicago Tribune reported, “At the Tribune’s request, Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans produced a list of all 260 civil and criminal cases in which the firm filed appearances, and the Tribune separately examined 1990s lawsuits that Rezmar Corp. listed in applications for government grants. The paper also examined files from the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the city housing department, as well as the hundreds of clients Obama listed in the unusually frank ethics disclosure reports he filed as a state senator from December 1995 through April 2004. Those and other records disclosed five instances in which Obama did legal work for ventures that included Rezmar Corp. The case of City of Chicago vs. Central Woodlawn Limited Partnership is one example. In 1992, that community group partnered with Rezmar Corp. to rehab the former slum apartment building at 6107-6115 S. Ellis Ave. As work was ongoing, city officials sued the developers, alleging 16 serious code violations at the property, including a dangerously dilapidated porch. Obama and a co-counsel filed appearances in February 1994, but the court records show they appeared on behalf of Central Woodlawn, Rezko’s nonprofit partner, not Rezko or his company.” [Chicago Tribune, 1/23/08]


LIE: “Rezko came up with a solution. His wife, Rita, bought the vacant lot at full price, permitting Obama and Michelle to negotiate buying the house for $1.65 million, a discount of $300,000 from the asking price.” [p 165]

REALITY: OBAMAS MADE THE THREE OFFERS ON THE HOUSE, INCLUDING THE HIGHEST; THE PRICE OF THE HOUSE WAS NOT CONTINGENT ON THE PRICE OF THE LOT

The Sellers Did Not Discount The Price Of The House Based On The Lot, Obamas Made Several Offers For The House Including The Highest.
Bloomberg reported, “Burton said a campaign adviser discussed the sale with Wondisford by phone and followed up with an e-mail to Wondisford repeating his points. Wondisford responded: ‘I confirm that the three points below are accurate,’ according to the e-mail, provided to Bloomberg News and authenticated through records shown by the adviser. The e-mail says that the sellers ‘did not offer or give the Obamas a ‘discount’ on the house price on the basis of or in relation to the price offered and accepted on the lot.’ It also says that ‘in the course of the negotiation over the sales price,’ Obama and his wife, Michelle, ‘made several offers until the one accepted at $1.65 million, and that this was the best offer you received on the house.’” [Bloomberg, 2/18/08]

Zorn: There Was No “Special Discount” And The Price Of The Lot Was Not Inflated. Eric Zorn wrote, “The Obamas did not get a special discount on the house” and “The sellers rejected two lower bids from the Obamas” and “The Rezkos did not pay an inflated price for the vacant lot.” [Chicago Tribune, 6/10/08]

Brown: “I See No Proof” That Obama Did Something Improper In The Purchase Of His House. Mark Brown wrote, “On the central question: Did Obama do something improper in the purchase of the house? I see no proof he did, other than that he had no business at all getting involved with Rezko in any personal financial transaction.” [Chicago Sun-Times, 3/15/08]

AP: Obama “Has A Spotless Reputation” And “Has Been Accused Of No Wrongdoing Involving Rezko Or Anything Else.” The AP reported, “Obama, who has a spotless reputation after 11 years in public offices, has been accused of no wrongdoing involving Rezko or anyone else.” [AP, 1/22/08]


LIE: “Rezko agreed to pay the $14,000 cost of building the fence and Obama agreed to pay his landscaper to mow Rita’s lot for her.” [p 166]

REALITY: MUNICIPAL CODE STATED THAT REZKO HAD TO PAY FOR THE FENCE

Obama Said Rezko Was Obligated To Pay For The Fence Under The Municipal Code.
Obama was asked, “Was the paying for the fence by Tony, uh, would you consider that a gift?” Obama replied, “No. He was obligated to do so under the municipal code.” [Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Transcript, 3/14/08]

Chicago Municipal Code: It Is The Duty Of The Owner Of An Open Lot To Maintain A Fence. The Chicago Municipal Code read in part, “It shall be the duty of the owner of any open lot located within the City of Chicago to cause the lot to be surrounded with a noncombustible screen fence as defined in Section 13-96-130 of this code, except that this section shall not apply to any governmental agencies or units of local governments, nor to sideyards. The owner shall maintain any such fence in a safe condition without tears, breaks, rust, splinters or dangerous protuberances and to vehicular traffic by obstructiving the view of drivers.” [Chicago Municipal Code, Article VI, 7-28-750]

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