Can Teflon Obamessiah continue to deflect this corrupt connection? Remember, Obama took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Rezko and details from court docs of the Rezko criminal trial showed Obama hired the son of Joseph Aramanda, a Rezko business associate who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal corruption case against Rezko. Aramanda has contributed $11,500 to Obama since 2000. (more on that here.)
Now, Obama's name comes up Monday in the context of a 2003 e-mail shown to jurors by the defense that listed him among several public officials who were consulted by the firm of Gov. Blagojevich's former campaign manager, David Wilhelm, about a bill re- authorizing the state's health facilities advisory panel on which Levine served. Levine is in bed with Rezko.
By Andrew Harris, hat tip rut
Rezko, 52, a political fundraiser and low-income housing developer, was indicted in 2006 on charges he and Chicago-area businessman Stuart Levine sought millions of dollars in kickbacks from firms doing business with the Illinois Teachers Retirement System pension fund and another public board on which Levine served. Rezko faces at least 10 years in prison if convicted.
Witness Jill Hayden for four years led the state's Office of Boards and Commissions, which tracked public board memberships and helped fill vacancies. Asked by federal prosecutor Christopher Niewoehner what happened when Rezko recommended candidates, Hayden said, ``Generally those were approved.''
Hayden is the fourth government witness to testify in the trial that started March 6. Others told the court of Rezko's money-raising prowess and access to the governor's inner-most circle of advisers.
Rezko raised more than $1.4 million for the governor between June 2001 and August 2004, according to a chart prosecutors showed the jury last week.
Rezko, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, is charged with fraud, attempted extortion, money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery. He maintains he's innocent.