Influence Peddling

Obama secured state tax dollars for local slum lords. Those slum lords provided the financial backing for his 2004 senate run, hold senior positions within his campaign and can look forward to federal dollars should Obama become president.

The spin


Anonymous said...

So the only substantive allegation in that video is that the buildings happen to be in Obama’s district?

Do you have any other evidence connecting Obama to influence peddling?

I admit, there are slums on the south side of Chicago. And I admit that the south side of Chicago is Obama’s former state congressional district. Thus, it must be true that Obama “secured tax dollars for local slum lords!” You’ve really got him there! Hands down, case-closed, inning over! Wow, there is no question as to causation. A exists, and B exists, thus A and B together must have caused C. C could not have been caused by anything else because A and B exist together!

It’s really pretty recklessly irresponsible to make those allegations without knowing anything about the details of Chicago’s south side.

Andrew said...




Andrew said...

These are all within the first 6 paragraphs of the article. You should be able to get through them if you sound the words out.

As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.

Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama's presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which managed Grove Parc Plaza from 2001 until this winter and co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006, after city inspectors found widespread problems.

Don't presume because you spent a few months there that you're the authority on Chicago politics.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that’s definitive. Obama helped to pass/create government subsidies to private contractors to help pay for the creation of low-income housing. And wait, wait, here it comes: Those subsidies did not, I repeat did not entirely wipe-out the slums of Chicago’s south side. It may be shocking that partial government funding of private enterprise did not entirely wipe-out a social problem that has plagued humanity for the last century, but it is, in fact, true.

Anonymous said...

That Valerie Jarret connection is a bit disturbing. Most of the other people connected to Obama are only circumstantially connected to his campaign. Jarret seems to be more seriously connected and she most definitely had responsibility with the company's running those slums (she was at extremely high levels of the management). It is a large company, but still....

None of that means Obama was aware of it or doing it intentionally. One must never conflate motive with causation. But, I'd be interested to know more about Valerie Jarret's knowledge and duties when she was working at Habitat Co.

Andrew said...

Good job! Now just read a little bit farther:

Allison Davis, a major fund-raiser for Obama's US Senate campaign and a former lead partner at Obama's former law firm. Davis, a developer, was involved in the creation of Grove Parc and has used government subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,500 units in Chicago, including a North Side building cited by city inspectors last year after chronic plumbing failures resulted in raw sewage spilling into several apartments.

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, perhaps the most important fund-raiser for Obama's early political campaigns and a friend who helped the Obamas buy a home in 2005. Rezko's company used subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,000 apartments, mostly in and around Obama's district, then refused to manage the units, leaving the buildings to decay to the point where many no longer were habitable.

Campaign finance records show that six prominent developers - including Jarrett, Davis, and Rezko - collectively contributed more than $175,000 to Obama's campaigns over the last decade and raised hundreds of thousands more from other donors. Rezko alone raised at least $200,000, by Obama's own accounting.

One of those contributors, Cecil Butler, controlled Lawndale Restoration, the largest subsidized complex in Chicago, which was seized by the government in 2006 after city inspectors found more than 1,800 code violations.

Butler and Davis did not respond to messages. Rezko is in prison; his lawyer did not respond to inquiries.

Jarrett, a powerful figure in the Chicago development community, agreed to be interviewed but declined to answer questions about Grove Parc, citing what she called a continuing duty to Habitat's former business partners. She did, however, defend Obama's position that public-private partnerships are superior to public housing.

So...Obama makes funds available for private interests. Those private interests are disproportionately dominated by Obama’s political backers. In exchange for millions in subsidy they fund Obama’s campaigns. One of them is, Rezko, is already convicted.

What part of quid pro quo don’t you understand?

Now you'll respond that Obama's connection was only business. We'll the buddies are known to have vacationed together in Lake geneva WI.


Ben said...

When temper gets you snippy, and you can't manage to channel that snip into a reasonably cogent argument, you just snip, I will moderate.

Especially if you would like to remain anonymous.

I don't want to moderate.

Please keep it civil.

That is all.

Andrew said...

I think we're still pretty far from Godwin's law.

Ben said...

Hmm, learn somethin' new every day. For those of you who haven't looked it up on Wikipedia, Goodwin's law is the following, "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

"Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a caution against the use of inflammatory rhetoric or exaggerated comparisons, and is often conflated with fallacious arguments of the reductio ad Hitlerum form."

Well, I'm glad there's a name for it.

No we weren't quite at the Godwin's law. However an insult, no matter how clever won't fly (at least with me), unless purveyor of said insult would be willing to attach their handle to the thing. It's unfortunate, because this one was at least reasonably clever.

So, that's my law. "If you haven't the balls to stand by what you say, it won't be heard. On this blog anyway."

We must have our standards, however arbitrary.

Anonymous said...

you guys should work for the FCC

Andrew said...

You say FCC but you reall mean Hitler.

Ben said...

Simply allow your name or even your pseudonym to go along with your comment and you're all set.

The part of me that operates purely on principle could give a shit what you say in the comments section. Even if it makes my blood boil, I think it's kind of nice that there's conversation happening here. Most of the time I don't say much because I don't have the energy to offer as thorough a response as I'd like and I hate it. God knows how many half written responses I have in my documents folder. Currently this sort of thing is being dominated by Andrew, and a congenial tone is obviously not something he cares about. I don't intend to stop him. He, or you are welcome to be the biggest jerk in the world as long as you own up to what you say.

That would be my one rule if I worked at the FCC. I probably wouldn't take in much revenue in fines.

Andrew said...

They say when you're reading text messaging you should imagine the sender with a smile on his face:)