MARCH 07, 2007
Illinois Senator Barack Obama claims his broker purchased stocks in obscure companies that donated generously to his campaign and that he later helped by pushing favorable legislation without his knowledge.
The Democratic presidential candidate says his broker did not consult him before buying more than $50,000 worth of stocks in the companies, one of them a biotech firm in the process of developing a drug to treat avian flu. Two weeks after “unknowingly” purchasing $5,000 of stock in the company, Obama led an aggressive effort in the Senate to push legislation that would increase federal spending to battle the disease.
The senator’s other questionable investment involves the purchase of more than $50,000 in stock in a satellite communications company owned by friends and donors who had raised in excess of $150,000 for his political campaign. The company’s principal investor, Jared Abbruzzese, contributed $10,000 to Obama’s campaign and is the target of a federal public corruption investigation involving New York’s State Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno.
Although Obama has made ethics a key issue in his presidential campaign, he evidently has no problem taking money from shady businessmen under federal investigation. Last December he defended the hefty campaign contributions of a shady political fundraiser indicted for taking hefty kickbacks on government deals. Obama was also involved in a questionable real estate deal with the Chicago businessman he considers a good friend, Antoin Rezko.
Perhaps this is why one blog calls Obama a no good crook, just like the rest of them. Another writes that this further undermines Obama’s self-created reputation that he’s above the routine sleaze of big time politics.
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