Obama Bought Home Without Rezko Discount

Yet another Clinton attack line on Obama has been debunked now that all the facts are out. The couple who sold Obama his Chicago home have finally given the whole story, which should put an end to Clinton’s attacks regarding Rezko. Bloomberg reports:

The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator’s $1.65 million bid “was the best offer” and they didn’t cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land, according to e-mails between Obama’s presidential campaign and the seller.

The Illinois senator has said he made a “boneheaded” move in involving contributor Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Chicago businessman, in the purchase of the property on June 15, 2005.

Rezko’s wife, Rita, also an Obama donor, bought the adjoining plot in Hyde Park from the couple, Fredric Wondisford and Sally Radovick, for the $625,000 asking price, the same day that Obama bought the house for $300,000 less than the asking price. Antoin Rezko was under federal investigation at the time.

Rezko was indicted on unrelated fraud charges 16 months later, in October 2006. Obama has since returned about $85,000 in campaign contributions made or raised by Rezko. Obama’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, has questioned Obama’s ties with Rezko.

“We still don’t have answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr. Rezko,” Clinton, 60, a New York senator, said in a Feb. 11 interview with the Politico newspaper.

The sellers hadn’t previously made their side of the story public out of concern for their privacy, according to Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign. They approached Obama’s Senate office 15 months ago and agreed to break their silence now through the campaign out of concern that the story was being distorted in the media, Burton said…

Burton said Obama, 46, toured the property with Rezko for 15 to 30 minutes at some point before the purchase. Burton said Obama wanted Rezko’s opinion of the property because Rezko was a real-estate developer in the area. Burton said he didn’t know when the pre-sale tour occurred.

Burton said a campaign adviser discussed the sale with Wondisford by phone and followed up with an e-mail to Wondisford repeating his points. Wondisford responded: “I confirm that the three points below are accurate,” according to the e-mail, provided to Bloomberg News and authenticated through records shown by the adviser.

The e-mail says that the sellers “did not offer or give the Obamas a `discount’ on the house price on the basis of or in relation to the price offered and accepted on the lot.” It also says that “in the course of the negotiation over the sales price,” Obama and his wife, Michelle, “made several offers until the one accepted at $1.65 million, and that this was the best offer you received on the house.”

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