Monday, August 25, 2008

Biden's Rezko problems

Joe Biden's ties to the Tony Rezko scandal were reported on in the last 24 hours by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and Daily Herald. The accounts focused on Joe Cari, a longtime Democratic fundraiser.

Biden has described himself as a 30-year friend of a key figure in the Rezko trial who's pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in Chicago and is awaiting sentencing.

Another angle to the story is David Wilhelm. The former DNC chairman and Bill Clinton campaign manager was a key advisor to Biden's 1988 and 2008 campaign run. Wilhelm also is a longtime confident of Barack Obama's senior strategist David Axelrod.

As I wrote previously, the news media has curiously failed to ask Wilhelm questions about his role in the Rezko scandal in Illinois, dubbed Operation Board Games. His firm was subpoenaed after taking a no-bid pension contract from the Teachers' Retirement System, the agency where a significant portion of the Rezko related fraud was centered. He was campaign chairman in 2002 for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is so entwined in Operation Board Games the DNC won't allow him to speak at the convention this week. The Rezko scandal centered on funneling money to Blagojevich's campaign fund, and Wilhelm served as the captain of that ship when it raised much of its money.

Then, suddenly, as the Blagojevich investigations heated up, Wilhelm moved back to his native Ohio, denying the move had anything to do with the prosecutorial atmosphere in Illinois. That was two years ago. At the very least, you would think the media would ask him if he's been questioned by the feds about Operation Board Games.

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