Rezko Played Bigger Role, Obama Says

By Justin Rood

Mar 14, 2008 6:53pm

An indicted Chicago businessman and political operator played a much
bigger fundraising role in Barack Obama’s political career than the
White House hopeful had previously disclosed, the candidate tells the
Chicago Tribune for an exclusive story late Friday afternoon.

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, on trial for corruption, raised roughly
$250,000 for Obama — more than $100,000 more than had been previously
discovered by enterprising reporters.

Obama also admitted that he made repeated lapses in judgement by involving Rezko in a complex house purchase, the paper reports.

The candidate insisted that despite Rezko’s efforts to help him,
the politically savvy businessman expected no favors from him, the
paper says.  "No, precisely because I’d known him for [many] years and
he hadn’t asked me for favors," it quotes Obama as saying.

Obama and his campaign have repeatedly insisted they have answered
all queries regarding his relationship with Rezko, but "his campaign’s
piecemeal written statements have left lingering
uncertainties about whether the up-and-coming senator exchanged favors
with the target of a federal probe," the Tribune notes.

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