Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wrong question, wrong answer



Why Did Obama Pay Rezko an Extra $64,000 For That Strip of Land?

But will he return the land that he bought from Rezko?

I can hear it now. "But Jim, this isn't a donation from Rezko to Obama," because the senator bought the land for a lot more than it was worth — "an appraiser valued the slice of land Rezko sold at $40,500, Obama decided it would be fair to pay Rezko substantially more: one sixth of his original purchase price, or $104,000."

Precisely. Rezko "widely known to be under federal investigation at the time." Paying substantially more than the land was appraised creates the appearance of a $64,000 payment to a person who, if found guilty, could discuss his longtime association and business dealings with a U.S. senator with federal law enforcement.
The above query was posted today at The Campaign Spot. I look at it the other way.

Why did Rezko overpay $382,000 for a sixth-acre lot he did not intend to build on or hold as an investment? And why did Rezko agree to sell off 1250 square feet of the lot to Obama, which essentially made the lot worthless. The resulting seventh-acre corner lot is dimensioned such that no home can be built on it.

Who is paying the mortgage on the Rezko property? Why hasn't it fallen into foreclosure now that Mr. Rezko is not working?

We've got the quid, does Mr. Fitzgerald have the pro quo?

UPDATE: Go to Google Maps and check out the street view for 5046 S. Greenwood Ave., Kenwood , Illinois. Geezoman!

5 comments:

steveegg said...

The question I believe you're asking is, "Who did Rezko buy that land from?", with a possible follow-up of whether the same entity sold Obama his property. The Cook County Assessor's Office records, unlike those for Milwaukee and most of the 'burbs, neither shows who owned the property in a given year nor goes back to 2005, and the CBS2 story didn't mention it.

Headless Blogger said...

Steve - I heard Belling say a year ago when breaking the story in Milwaukee that the parcels were sold by the same seller and they had to be sold concurrently.

A check of MLS records will most likely show that only one property was originally listed. I'm guessing that it was only subdivided upon request of the two buyers. I'd like to see phone records of Rezko and Obama around the time of the transaction.

Headless Blogger said...

From Sun Times:

7. A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood -- a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million -- $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko's wife paid full price -- $625,000 -- for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko's wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard. At the time, it had been widely reported that Tony Rezko was under federal investigation. Questioned later about the timing of the Rezko deal, Obama called it "boneheaded" because people might think the Rezkos had done him a favor."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/757340,CST-NWS-watchdog24.article

steveegg said...

That clears it up some. I was thinking it might have been another Chicago pol that got Mrs. Rezko to "overpay".

As for the properties, this addresses most of what I sent you via e-mail. The City of Chicago and the Cook County Assessor's office show that it is actually 3 parcels; the main one at 5046 S. Greenwood with the mansion (now one of the larger parcels in the neighborhood at over 12,000 square feet), an outlot behind the mansion, also listed as 5046 S. Greenwood, with a "guest house" on it, and the vacant parcel at 5050 S. Greenwood (now listed at 8,002 sqare feet).

Now we're back to your original question (and answer). Why did the Rezkos go in with Obama on the purchase of the properties?

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