Is Macleans sending Mark Steyn back to his comfy Chicago courthouse confines to blog this trial? If not, why doesn’t Vanity Fair send the columnist to the world. Steyn’s coverage of the Conrad Black trial was a huge traffic boon for Macleans, and this trial will actually interest Americans.
Meanwhile, The Times of London has just published this handy summary of the Obama-Rezko ties, which includes this summary of the very unusual land deal:
The Obamas bought a mock Georgian mansion in Chicago in June 2005, after he was elected to the US Senate. Mr Rezko’s wife, Rita, bought the adjacent garden on the same day from the same seller. The sellers say that Mr Obama and Mr Rezko toured the property together before the transaction. At the time, it was already known that Mr Rezko was under criminal investigation. Mrs Rezko paid the full asking price of $625,000 (315,000) for the garden. The Obamas paid $1.65 million for the house – $300,000 below asking price. The garden could be accessed only through the Obamas’ property, and Mr Obama’s gardener mowed the lawn. In January 2006, Mrs Rezko sold a 10ft strip of her garden to the Obamas for $104,500 and a fence was erected between the two lots. Mrs Rezko has since sold the remainder of the garden to a lawyer for her husband’s business.
I would like the record to show that Team Clinton did not send me the link, or suggest the Rezko theme music: The Guess Who’s “Share The Land.”
UPDATE: E-mail: “Sounds like he should get treated like Duke Cunningham!”
UPDATE: From The Australian:
The timing of the trial could not be worse for Senator Obama, who hopes to wrap up the Democratic nomination later today when voters go to the polls in Texas and Ohio.
Rival Hillary Clinton has jumped on the opportunity to criticise Senator Obama’s long involvement with Mr Rezko and demand he come clean about their dealings.
Her chief strategist Mark Penn said Senator Clinton would be treated very differently if she had been in the same situation.
“If someone with a 17-year relationship with Senator Clinton was going on trial for getting kickbacks and bribing public officials, and that person had also participated in some way in a house transaction (with her) … there would be an enormous number of questions and answers demanded upon immediately,” Mr Penn said.
“That’s exactly what’s going on with Senator Obama today.”