Commentary Magazine


Bad Habits

This report tells the story of Barack Obama carrying water for the Chicago Housing Authority seeking a $20M grant for a project that just happened to involve his longtime political ally and supporter Allison S. Davis. And the Chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority, Martin Nesbitt, is an Obama “bundler,” to boot.

But here is where the media might have done well to do its research on Obama’s past. This pattern of doling out favors to this particular supporter regardless of apparent conflicts of interest is nothing new. One only need to look at the history of the Woods Fund. Obama has been doing this for years:

According to a November 29, 2007 report from the Chicago Sun-Times, “Sen. Barack Obama was on the board of a Chicago charity when his former boss, Allison S. Davis, came looking for money. At the time, Davis was a developer represented by the law firm where Obama worked, as well as a small contributor to Obama’s political campaign funds. He wanted the charity to help fund his plans to build housing for low-income Chicagoans.”

When Davis approached the Woods Fund, he was building another apartment building with now convicted felon and Obama friend/fundraiser Tony Rezko. The Chicago Sun-Times recounts: “Obama agreed. He voted with other directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago to invest $1 million with Neighborhood Rejuvenation Partners L.P., a $17-million partnership that Davis still operates.” To date the Obama campaign has refused to comment on whether Obama disclosed his ties to Davis when he voted on the project. Another Woods Board Fund member with ties to Davis did abstain on the vote.

If the MSM had done a modicum of research on Obama’s Chicago past they would not only have learned how he operated then, but they would now be able to spot the patterns he continued as a U.S. Senator and explain them to the voters. Having ignored his past, they are in a poor position now to tell the voters that if they are looking for someone who is immune to special pleading and does not use public friends to feather his pals’ nests, The One might not be the one, after all.