FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Tony Rezko’s talking.
And antiperspirant sales to Illinois politicians just went through the roof.
This is going to be one whale of an investigation, if true:
Oct 11 03:26 AM US/Eastern By MIKE ROBINSON Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) – 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.
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. Jake Tapper has a bit more, and he’s speculating – slightly – about whether there’s going to be anything directly alleged against Obama by Rezko. Personally? I doubt it – although this bit about Rezko’s dealings with a yet-unnamed bank has generated a certain amount of speculation. Comes right down to it, I won’t shed a tear if it turns out that Senator Obama is personally innocent of any felonies, unethical behavior, or criminal conspiracies that might have involved Tony Rezko. You know why?
Because watching the Feds frog march out selected members of Obama’s Illinois-originated staff from DNC headquarters in Chicago will be just as much fun, that’s why. You know and I know that some of them aren’t innocent (they’re part of the Illinois political class, which makes them arguably corrupt by default), they won’t have covered their tracks well enough, and Senator Obama won’t dare protect them if they get fingered. They’ll be on their own, just like every other suddenly-sweating politician in Illinois. From both parties.
And just like, most particularly and emphatically, the Governor of Illinois himself.