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. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    More of the attack-lies-fear-hate-mongers-GOP ads! Its disgusting how they dare to do this when they have SO much to be careful about.

    HOW ABOUT BUSH/CHENEY LIES.........TOLD TO US....... SO THEY COULD ATTACK IRAQ FOR OIL.

    WHILE OUR YOUNG SOLDIERS COME HOME DEAD? MAIMED?!

    HOW ABOUT THE MISSING 225 DAYS OF EMAILS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.......... WHAT ARE THEY HIDING??????

    HOW ABOUT THE TORTURE....... THE WAR CRIMES?

    HOW ABOUT THE KEATING FIVE?

    HOW ABOUT THE CHEATING ON HIS FIRST WIFE, WHO WAITED FOR HIM FOR 7 YEARS......... AND BOTH MCCAIN AND CINDY WERE MARRIED WHEN THEY BEGAN THEIR...........AFFAIR! SICK.

    HOW IS "BOMB...........BOMB...........BOMB IRAN" PRO-LIFE? IS IT FUNNY TO BOMB WOMEN AND CHILDREN?

    HOW ABOUT THE HARD WORKING AMERICANS WHO GO BANKRUPT BECAUSE THEY CAN NOT AFFORD HEALTH CARE!

    BUT......... THE GOP......... DOES NOT WANT TO FOCUS ON REAL ISSUES........ ALL THEY KNOW IS ATTACK AND DESTROY!

    NOT ...........THIS..........TIME!

    August 21, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. ACFX

    The skeletons are getting traction

    August 21, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Jean

    REZKO IS OLD NEWS.

    SMITH'S METHODS ARE STALE. IT IS TIME FOR SOME CIVIL DISCUSSION.

    August 21, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Leslie

    Why is this news? Do we have to analyze everything! Articles like this try to sway the voters away from the important issues effecting our country and try to get us focused on the trivial things. WAKE UP AMERICA!

    OBAMA in 2008!!!

    August 21, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. lisa

    pLEASE

    August 21, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. Sacto Joe

    Means nothing. The dirty laundry in Senator McCain's closet is an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE more than that in Senator Obama's.

    Just remember, Senator McCain: You're the one who started the mudfest. So don't be whining when it starts to rain down on you!

    August 21, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. Kara

    Obama has only one house....McCain can'te even count his...what a fool!

    OBAMA in 08!

    August 21, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. So Sad

    What did Wright say? Oh yeah...the chickens come home to roost.

    August 21, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. McCain's Military Records Haven't Been Thoroughly Vetted

    John McCain committed adultery to get those houses and the money to finance his political career. He left the navy because he wasn't capable enough to advance even with his Three Star Admiral father there to help him out.

    August 21, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. DJ Los Angeles

    ONE house as opposed to so many houses that McCain "can't remember"? Hmmm.

    August 21, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. McCain's Military Records Haven't Been Thoroughly Vetted

    ...and John McCain committed adultery to get his houses...

    August 21, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. McCain=the draft

    Obama was cleared of any wrong doing, so stuff it McCain.
    NOT THIS TIME!

    August 21, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Selina

    Hillaryous!!!

    August 21, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. McCain is such a HATER

    "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….
    "
    ==========================================
    Griff, that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. Let me guess..you also believe that wearing tin foil on your head keeps the aliens from hearing your thoughts? lmao...pathetic

    August 21, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Bulldog

    Rezko is old news that has already been reported over and over.

    McCON's 8 houses is a NEW story people don't know about.

    Let's find out the REAL John McCain and not just the one they have conned the media into portraying.

    August 21, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. jack

    the works of Karl Rove!

    August 21, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Herman in LA

    Bring it on you dumb neocons fools.

    August 21, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Jon

    Where do you think McCain gets his money other then from his wife. McCain has said that he voted 95% the same in March said the county is better off then it was 8 year ago. Said yesterday that he was for reinstating the "DRAFT" ....do you want him to kill you son's as Bush has. He's lied about his voting record , he has lied about the Keatting 5, he said that he was against waterboarding then voted for it a week later, voted against vets progarms 8 times, cheated on his first wife with the now richer and younger Cindy McCain, God help us if he wins because McCain doesn't

    August 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. MikeH

    It's hard to hold a dialog with someone conversationally-challenged and intellectually handicapped such as Observering, so I won't try.

    I can see why an article such as this one, full of outright lies, would appeal to someone like Observering, in fact I think someone like Observering probably wrote this silly, lie-filled, not-worth-the-digital-file-its-written-in, piece of tripe. Which is ok, because intelligent folks see right through it.

    August 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Tanya

    Leave poor McCain alone. He doesn't know because he doesn't own any houses. His wife does.

    August 21, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Gene

    Yep.. how dare Obama buy a 10 foot strip of land so he has a little more room in his back yard! Obama makes me sick with his disgusting need for such indulgent luxuries!

    Ok.. I hope nobody is taking my post seriously. Come on... it's a 10 foot strip of land. McCain acts like Rezko sold him 9 houses.. or was it 8, or was it 10?

    August 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. rustyc

    "Can we agree at least that both are rich..."

    According to McCain, Obama earning $4 million a year is still not rich.

    August 21, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Gene

    OBSERVERING

    You're an idiot. He didn't buy that land for $300,000 under the value of the land. He bought 1/5 portion of the land for $300,000 less than the value of the full parcel.

    I don't know what you're observering, but it's definitely not reality, and it's definitely not a command of the English language.

    August 21, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Joseph

    August 21st, 2008 5:48 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    So we can lie on loan applications and NO ONE post this on their headlines. You guys are slanted! McCain said he would reinstate the military draft, lied on the loan application, can't remember how many houses he has, filp flop on everything from taxes, women's rights, oil drilling. He's been in corrupt scandles like SNL the Keaton 5 and according to him we won the Iraq war back in 2003 but none of you are reporting this. You guys drilled Obama for a month for something a pastor at his church said and for someone he knows commited a felony none of which has anything to do with him. If Obama did any of those things McCain has done it would'nt leave your front page until Nov 1 at 11:59pm to make sure you've brainwashed enough people that he would lose by 50 states. This is sad because everyone knows this but you still do it.

    Yeah CNN I posted this @ 5:48 for a thread you closed at 8. Simply WOW, first I thought it was something with favortism for Hillary Clinton now this, do you guys really have something out for Obama.

    August 21, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Independent in NC

    I gotta say, that is a beautiful home.

    Can we be realistic for a second... if you had McCain's money, wouldn't you have more than one home? Of course you would. Wouldn't you set up your children and your children's children financially if you had the means (referring to Cindy's family)? I would wager another yes.

    Both Obama and McCain have a lot more money than I will ever see in my lifetime, so I don't see either of them as truly being in touch with the plight of the American people financially.

    I cringe when I see the dollar amounts thrown around for these campaigns. All the money that is raised in a single month that goes to negative campaign ads and all this drama.... we could be using it to solve some the issues in our country, rather than tearing each other down.

    August 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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