Posts Tagged ‘Tony Rezko’

While Family is Away, Obama Is In Chicago For Love and Basketball

August 5, 2010

President Barack Obama, who left Chicago promising hope and change, appeared in his adopted hometown  to meet with Union Leaders for donations and marching orders  and  raise money for a U.S. Senate candidate amid reminders of the difficulty of getting away from the tarnish of a place renowned for its political corruption.

Obama’s speech at a downtown hotel for Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrat seeking the seat he once held, will be two blocks from the federal courthouse where jurors are weighing the fate of Rod Blagojevich. The former Illinois governor stands accused of trying to sell the Senate post to the highest bidder.

Giannoulias and his Republican opponent in the Senate race, Mark Kirk, have spent much of the campaign debating who is the more scandalized. Giannoulias has dealt with fallout from the failure in April of a bank his family ran, while Kirk was forced to apologize for repeatedly exaggerating his biography.

Obama’s visit on behalf of Giannoulias is part of a White House effort to fight a tide in November’s congressional elections that threatens Democratic control of the Senate and House. The party’s loss of the Illinois seat would boost the chances of Republicans gaining the 10 they need to win a Senate majority.

Giannoulias, 34, is the Illinois state treasurer and an occasional Obama basketball buddy.

This is Obama’s fifth trip to Chicago since his inauguration in January 2009 comes as Broadway Bank, the now-defunct institution Giannoulias’s family operated, was in the headlines again this week because of a newly reported 2006 loan to convicted Illinois influence peddler Antoin “Tony” Rezko who helped finance property for Obama.

Obama is in the Windy City to pick up more Union leader love and to play hoops with his basketball cronies..