August 21st, 2008
06:15 PM ET
6 years ago

GOP highlights Obama-Rezko land deal

Sen. Obama purchased land from Chicago businessman Tony Rezko in order to enlarge the yard next to this house.
Sen. Obama purchased land from Chicago businessman Tony Rezko in order to enlarge the yard next to this house.

(CNN) – It appears both presumptive presidential nominees have vulnerablilities when it comes to their homes.

Democrats and Sen. Barack Obama have pounced on Sen. John McCain’s inability in a recent interview to say definitely how many homes he owns with wife Cindy.

Now, Republicans are hitting back hard by highlighting a land deal between Obama and Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman who was convicted in June on federal corruption charges.

The Republican National Committee launched a new Web site - ObamaRezkoShadyDeal.com – Thursday. The site focuses on Obama’s relationship with Rezko and collects information about the presumptive Democratic nominee’s ties to the disgraced businessman.

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa also took the opportunity Friday to redirect attention away from McCain’s home ownership and onto Obama and his ties to Rezko. Suggesting that Obama had gotten a sweetheart deal in the transaction with Rezko, Issa said Obama received “a preferential Chicago-type deal.” Issa also told reporters on Capitol Hill that Obama had been the subject of “a near criminal investigation” and that there are doubts about whether the land deal with Rezko was legal.

Watch: Rep. Issa on Obama's land deal

In mid-2005, the Obamas and the Rezkos both closed transactions on adjoining pieces of property. The lot owned by the Rezkos was empty and the Obama land contained the Illinois senator’s newly purchased home. About six months later, Obama approached Rezko about buying a piece of the empty lot next to the Obamas’ property in order to enlarge the yard next to their home. The land deal occurred when it was widely known that Rezko was under investigation by federal authorities.

When news of the land deal surfaced in late 2006, Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times that he regretted not being more sensitive to how the land deal may have appeared. Obama has maintained that his conduct in the deal with legal and ethical and Rezko’s federal conviction was unrelated to the deal with Obama.

Raising questions about the nature and propriety of Obama’s relationship with Rezko was a strategy Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign employed during the primary battle against Obama.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Dave

    I'd rather have McCain's house "problem" .....

    August 21, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. Clinton/McCain

    Alright McCain! Down with Obama!

    August 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. S. Boatman

    It Has Already Been Proven That Obama Has Done No Wrong Doing Here Mccain! This Is A Lame Response To You Not Knowing How Many Houses You Have!

    August 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. jm from sc

    Old news. The man did not do anything illegal by purchasing his house at a good deal.

    August 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Franky

    That's it?? That's all you got?? O.K, I guess...

    And for the record, we finally took out "The Outfit." And if I'm not mistaken, my boy is not on the payroll...

    August 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Steve Harrison

    Can we agree at least that both are rich, come on America wake up!!!
    Both parties are gonna look out for their elite if elected.

    August 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Franky

    How do I know??? I know how my city works....I've been in this game for an awful long time, LOL!!!!

    August 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. McCain has no original thought in his head.

    SO WHAT?
    WHO HAS INVESTIGATED HOW McCAIN IS SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS. HE IS NOT PRESIDENT YET AND HE AND HIS WIFE HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN ADVOCATING JOB LOSS.

    August 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. Griff

    So an Aged Lady, who has no-doubt, Hundreds of years of Decendents in the USA. Is being taken to Market By Idiot Obama Cronies. Who can't even prove' the idiot Obama is an American....

    August 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. mama4obama

    Take off the gloves Obama....slap the crap out of that old far and show him what it means to actually be a man!

    August 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. Mike D

    who cares, this is NOTHING, compared to the Keating 5. McCain, caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    August 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Erika M. NYC

    And so what exactly is the problem with the deal? There was nothing illegal or unethical about the deal itself. Yes, it is true that Rezko was brought up on fraud charges. However, because someone is brought up on charges of fraud and you have dealings with them, you're a fraudster? That would eliminate nearly the entire political world. Read the facts....the seller of the property would only sell the house if the adjacent lot was purchased as well. Obama could not afford the asking price (so much for him being an elitist) which included the house and the lot. Rezko's wife bought the adjacent lot and Obama bought the house. Yes he bought the house for much less than the asking price but THAT'S BECAUSE IT DIDN'T INCLUDE THE ADJACENT LOT!! Why in the world should it cost the same amount?? That's not a sweetheart deal or a fraud. Stop letting the media think for you and do your own research.

    August 21, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. BJ

    This was NOT a naive or innocent transaction by Obama. As a lawyer, he should know the implications of such a deal. This was a calculated risk her took, and it did not turn out in his favor because it was exposed! Plain and simple.

    August 21, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. PG

    What a beautiful home! And he has only one. Wow!

    August 21, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. OBSERVERING

    T H E-C A L I F O R N I A--D E P A R T M E N T--O F-–R E A L--–

    E S T A T E--A N D --T H E-–C A L I F O R N I A--B A R-W O U L D–

    H A V E-P R O S E C U T E D-O B A M A-A N D-W O U L D -H A V E-

    O B A M A--D E B A R R E D ! ! ! !

    $ 3 0 0,0 0 0. 00–U N D E R-M A R K E T--S W E E T H E A R T---

    N O N – A R M S-L E N G T H--A D D I T I O N A L-L A N D--D E A L S

    August 21, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. Getty

    He is a fraud and a crook!

    Hillary! Hillary!

    August 21, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. BlameBarack-Colorado

    So don't most people who have kids want bigger yards for the kids to play in? The courts proved the deal had nothing to do with Obama so this is irrevelant. 7 words: K-E-A-T-I-N-G

    August 21, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. Spencer in LA

    Wow the right cant find anything new so they dig up a dead horse and beat it some more. Losers!!

    Unlike McCain, Obama has taken responsibility for the mistake of dealing in real estate with Rezko and cut all ties long ago. McSame is still raising money with Abremoff cronies.

    The McSame OLD politics!!

    The Attacks are working, as the Right Wing is in full defense mode, just where we want them.

    ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK!!! Its Working, the polls already went back to 2 points today.

    'Its hard to politic your way out of the truth huh Right Wingers? AHA!

    August 21, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. CB2

    Who cares?!?! John McSame has how many homes???? And they were all purchased how...

    According to Jerome What's-His-Name the guy writing the book about Obama. The beer fortune are a bunch of gang bangers. Thugs!!! We really don't wanna go there.

    August 21, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Old f@rt McLame

    So....HOW MANY TIMES are you going to post this CNN? Until it sticks? There is NOTHING wrong here.

    Got News?

    August 21, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. NC Resident

    Time to bring up Keating 5. Let's go Obama. They want to play dirty go get'm.
    Also Rezko said they tried to get him to connect Obama to illegal activity and he said no because it wasn't true. They even offered him a deal and he didn't take it. If they are ready to play let's get them.
    KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5!

    August 21, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. Alison, FL

    CNN, really, Obama has one house and 1 condo...McRich has 7!! BIG DIFFERENCE....DUH!

    August 21, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. joe

    What about the Keating 5 scandal?

    August 21, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Get a CLUE CNN

    "Rezko’s federal conviction was unrelated to the deal with Obama"

    BIG Headline....NO NEWS

    Cut it out CNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Maritza

    Attacking McCain in how many homes he owns was petty, this shady transaction however was more relevant to the shady charecter of Obama, proof. He will do anything for the sake of convenience, he's not worthy of the White House. It appears he was hanging with the wrong croud, this is not the only shady pal of his , the other guy likes bombing US buildings..

    Maritza

    August 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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