Thursday, May 01, 2008
The Three Men Who Can Bring Down Obama
If you think Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been a problem for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, just wait until the attention is focused on his closest political associates in Illinois politics, Tony Rezko, Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the man who has been called Obama's political Godfather, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Jr.. Rezko, of course, is the political fixer on trial in U.S. federal court in Chicago. He helped Obama raised $250,000 in political contributions and helped him out with the purchase of he and his wife's South Side mansion. As Obama struggles to put out the fires started by his former pastor, Wright, things are just starting to heat up with these three associates. As the foul stench from daily news of the "government for sale" rolls out of Rezko's trial, implicating persons at the highest levels of state government, even many Democrats in Illinois have had enough.
House Speaker Michael Madigan has advanced a bipartisan constitutional amendment to allow the state's voters to recall elected officials. Specifically, he wants the amendment on the ballot for approval this fall so voters will have the opportunity to recall Gov. Blagojevich before his current four-year term ends in 2010. Madigan says the recall amendment is the state's number one priority for one reason: Gov. Blagojevich. Madigan has a problem though. Sen. Emil Jones, Obama's Godfather, is a partner in crime with Blagojevich. He and his goons in the Illinois Senate killed the recall amendment today. Having spent six years working for the Illinois legislature back in the 1980s, it is astonishing to me that Jones ever managed to be elected by his colleagues as President, let alone lasted all these years in office without being indicted. When he chaired the Senate Insurance Committee years ago, the big joke at the State House was that his committee meetings were nothing more than an auction. This is the man to whom Obama sold his soul when he first won election to the Illinois Senate in exchange for Jones' agreement to help him get elected as a U.S. Senator.
When it's all done and said, you can take it to the bank that Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich and Emil Jones, Jr. will become far bigger problems for Sen. Obama and his hope of becoming president than Rev. Wright. An examination of FEC records and Illinois election records found that Obama's campaign raised money from the same Rezko-related Blagojevich donors during the period of 2001-2004. With several associates already pleading guilty to charges and cooperating with federal prosecutors as Rezko's trial continues and with Blagojevich likely to face charges as well, I wouldn't trust any of these guys not to turn on Obama in an effort to avoid possibly lengthy jail sentences. And if that happens, it will make Obama's problems with Wright look like, well, he and Michelle's walk in Indianapolis' Garfield Park yesterday afternoon.