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. Biffington, Biff

    If this were anything real... it would have brought him down a long time ago. didn't happen with his Senate campaign... didn't happen in the primaries (and believe me... Hillary tried)... and it WON'T change the minds of anyone who is already for him or already against him..

    and any independants.... will take a CLOSE look at this situation SEE that it is TRYING to make something out of nothing... and move on.

    August 21, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. donna4hillary

    what it all boils down to is that obama does not know how to pick his friends. he shows very poor judgement whne it comes to hooking up with people. he doesnt care if you are a crook or not as long as he can get what he wants out of life. his lack of judgement tells me that he will always be follwed by sandals. still waiting to see the docu,mnets from the chicago annenburg challenge. this will tell us MORE about his "friends" and those pakistanies/ other middle easterners that were, no doubt, receiveing money from the federal govt through obama and his office.
    hope this gets posted.

    August 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Peter (CA)

    This has been investigated and investigated. There is no story here. It does not equate with McCain having 7 homes. That is a sign of elitism.

    If you want to go tit-for-tat on possible corruption, Rezko does not stack up to the Keating scandal. Get a grip right wingers.

    Griff....enough with the BS about where he was born. Check out FactCheck.org, they have the full story on the real birth certificate and even have a picture of the birth announcement in the Honolulu newspaper from 1961.

    August 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Frank

    Someone remind Nobama that this is not a socialist and nor a communist country, but we thrive on capitalism and individual growth! Tell him to take his socialistic views and go rule Indonesia or some other country that is more in tune with him! Since when is being rich and successful a bad thing, come on people, wake up! Or are we saying that we want to be a socialist country!!!!?

    August 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. LIL LO

    attention all since, comment was closed on the One Ad McCain put out here it is. I have question maybe I missed something can someone tell if McCain ever answered that Viagra question regarding birth control. If, not we are still waiting last I heard he was going to get back to us. FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh I forgot he had to ask his campaign oh, the one that McCain don't speak for.

    August 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Biffington, Biff

    HEY... JOE-KILROY, OR OBSERVER, OR WHOEVER YOU ARE "TODAY"...

    WHAT YOU SAID IS A "LIE"..... AT BEST... WISHFUL THINKING..

    besides....

    THE HOUSE IS IN ILLINOIS, "NOT" CALIFORNIA..
    SO REALLY..... What are you even "TALKING" ABOUT?????

    it's like saying... if pigs could fly, they would be birds.... HUH?

    August 21, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Sweet deal Mr. Obama. How come us commoners can't share the corruption?

    BW, I fully support John McCain even if Obama, "the risky on," selects Hillary for a running mate. I hope he doesn't. I would be torn but still vote for McCain. He is a safe choice and will protect our values and our country. Obama will tax us and create a new welfare queen society.

    BTW I can't stand Harry Reid from Nevada," I flatly told my hometown paper, the Journal in comments Thursday.

    I cannot now nor will never stand this back biting senator, Mr. Reid. The only one worse is Obama. Obama is risky and Reid doesn't understand heartland of the Mid West issues. He is stuck in a state of "legal prostitution, gambling and abortions." Yes that is what Harry Reid is all about in his state of Nevada or should we say sinstate.

    Remember Reid is a do nothing senator, and 'bama is a risky choice;. Both should be defeated because they gamble with our values and our country's security.

    August 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    HOW ABOUT $3.6 BILLION DOLLARS JOHN MCCAIN AKA KEATING 5 STOLE FROM INVESTORS OF LINCOLN SAVINGS AND LOAN AND YOUR TAX PAYING DOLLARS HELP BAIL OUT SOME INVESTORS. AND WHAT'S GOING ON WITH SILVER BANK, IT'S IN TROUBLE, WHAT'S UP WITH THAT.

    August 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Michael

    Smelly but probably not illegal. Certainly bad judgement at best. Sure makes you wonder how he bought the house for $300,000 under asking as CNN reported last night. If this is how Obama operates I wouldn't vote for him even for local city council. Honest politicians don't get people like the Rezko's who are fundraising for them and certainly looking for political payback 'help' them on personal land deals. Our local politician, who's a friend of mine, won't even buy a used car privately for fear of being accused of getting a cozy deal.

    August 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. NVH

    isn't karl rove a crook ? isn't he helping mccain raise money?
    should'n't rove be in jail? isn't he a friend of mccain? isn't bush a convicted felon and isn't he friends with mccain?

    August 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. Scott L

    Man I cannot wait for this election to be over and my MAN JOHN MCCAIN to be President of the Free World. That's right...

    August 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Sylvia

    Didn't we just go through this a while back with McHillary?

    August 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Independent in New Mexico

    If that is the best that they can come up with AND it's OLD news... After 26 years in Washington, I'm pretty sure that Senator McCain has much more and much worse under his rug...

    August 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. Griff

    Graceland is for Sale.... Obama say's so!!!

    August 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Brian, Quad Cities

    They've got nothing left. All they can hope for is to get as much of the 28%ers to the polls as they can.

    Folks, right now there are a whole lot of rich people writing huge checks for a candidate they have no confidence in, whio's running on a proven failure platform, to finance an election they're not going to win.

    August 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Howie

    $300,000 under market price,mmmmmmmmmmmmm. I smell a rat

    August 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. True

    How many houses John? UH-DUh UH DUH ask my staff. Will this be Exxon Johns answer to all of America's problems? Please, NO MORE DUMBA$$ presidents.

    August 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Bibek

    Obama has one house. McCain has 8!!!!

    Stop attacking old guy... it's lame!

    August 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Griff

    Ask LIsa-Marie! Is Grace-land for Sale!!!!!!!! OBama say's it is....

    August 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. Jan Il.

    Details Please!

    August 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. vic nashville,Tn

    HILLARY 08 OR MC CAIN 08

    August 21, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Cecil

    Double Down CNN

    August 21, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Denise

    Keating 5

    August 21, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. vic nashville,Tn

    Don’t ever point the finger to some one
    Because three fingers pointing you
    HILLARY 08 OR MC CAIN 08

    August 21, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Obama the idiot

    I bet McCain knows how many states there are. Obama is probably still counting on his fingers!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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