Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trib endorses Obama, stuffs investigation story

UPDATE: A very useful backgrounder on the Obama, Rezko, Blagojevich connection to Mutual Bank.

The Chicago Tribune, on the day it announced an endorsement for Barack Obama, quietly slipped a potential bombshell story about The One on its Swamp blog as the day was ending.

Just weeks before Election Day, a former banker has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court claiming he was fired for reporting to his bosses that there had been some shenanigans with the paperwork on a loan involving the purchase of Barack Obama's South Side home and its neighboring lot.

Kenneth Conner claims in the suit that an appraisal found the vacant lot purchased by Obama fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko was worth $125,000 less than the bank's first appraisal. The Republican National Committee was peddling the suit today with the apparent hope that Conner's allegation would lend credence to the suggestion Obama needed Rezko's help to finance the purchase of the Kenwood home--something Obama has denied.

The suit also includes this intriguing assertion: The Rezko loan file was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in Chicago, and when the bank responded to the subpoena the lower appraisal wasn't included in the papers sent to federal investigators.

Note that the Tribune was quick to tell readers this story was being "peddled" by the Republican National Committee as a signal to Obama that it was forced to write this negative story.

The Tribune also tried to downplay the story by saying, absurdly, that that a federal grand jury subpoena on the Rezko loan records was issued before the paper first revealed the same day Obama house and Rezko side yard purchase. I guess the Tribune believes that the feds never look into criminality until it is published in its paper.

This story appears to be further evidence that Obama received a de facto gift from Rezko totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, allowing him to afford his house. A gift that would violate Senate ethics rules and could very well be illegal.

But, seriously, MSM, keep looking at Joe the Plumber's tax liens.

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