Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Options

By Brent Budowsky
February 20, 2008

In my view she should withdraw today, though she won’t. Her second option is to campaign through March 4 at least but suspend all negative attacks and whatever happens, do it with class and grace as a unifier.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

It is time to begin a serious discussion of her upcoming withdrawal, and hope as Democrats and Americans that in the closing days of her campaign she acts as a healer and unifier who does credit to herself and a service to our party and our country.

It is my belief that Hillary Clinton has NOT done any damage to the Democratic Party. According to most estimates, she is still getting the larger share of Democrats' votes. Obama is gaining ground on the votes from Independents and cross-over Republicans (admittedly, he is getting Dem votes, too).

It is Obama and his wife who are doing damage to the Democratic Party -- she refuses to say whether she'd support Clinton if she were to get the nomination, and Barack insinuating that Hillary's supporters would come to him, but his would not go to her.

To me, that's very divisive.

It is Obama's campaign -- and his supporters -- that have divided Democrats. I've had enough of politicians who claim to be uniters, not dividers. Actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

An indicted businessman who poured thousands of dollars into the campaigns of Barack Obama and other politicians was jailed Monday after prosecutors disclosed he received $3.5 million from an Iraqi billionaire while claiming to be broke.

Real estate developer and fast-food entrepreneur Antoin "Tony" Rezko was arrested Monday at his home in Wilmette and held after his attorneys failed to dissuade Judge Amy J. St. Eve from revoking his $2 million bond.

"This defendant has played a shell game and I think misled the court about what his assets are," federal prosecutor Reid J. Schar said.

Rezko is charged with scheming to pressure companies seeking state business for kickbacks and campaign contributions.

His name has surfaced in the Democratic presidential race because of his ties to Obama, who ended up donating to charity thousands of dollars in campaign contributions connected to Rezko. During a South Carolina debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Obama of representing Rezko "in his slum landlord business" when Obama was a young Chicago lawyer.

Obama actually represented partners of Rezko's company in government-subsidized apartment rehabilitation projects, not Rezko himself. Obama says he did no more than five or six hours of work for the partners.

Rezko has contributed thousands of dollars to the campaigns of both Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich _ neither of whom is accused of any wrongdoing.

Rezko is due to start trial Feb. 25 on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and attempted extortion. He is charged separately with swindling the General Electric Capital Corp. out of $10 million in the sale of a pizza restaurant business.

Obama's name has not come up in connection with any of the corruption charges swirling around Rezko. Prosecutors indicate the source of Rezko's clout was somewhere within Blagojevich's administration.

Federal prosecutors say Rezko was deceptive in leading St. Eve to allow various relatives and friends to post their property to secure his bond while claiming he was broke and living off relatives' generosity.

An FBI affidavit said Rezko actually received $3.5 million from a Lebanon-based bank account of General Mediterranean Holdings, a Luxembourg company owned by London-based Iraqi billionaire Adhmi Auchi. Rezko's attorney said Rezko has had business dealings with Auchi.

Forbes magazine listed Auchi in 2007 as the world's 279th richest man. He also has been convicted of fraud in France, the government said in a court filing seeking the warrant to arrest Rezko.

Prosecutors said in their filing that $3.5 million was wired into a fund maintained at a Chicago bank by attorneys handling Rezko's tangled finances. They said the money was later transferred into other accounts and disbursed within a week.

Some of the money was transferred directly to Rezko, some to a company he owned, some to his wife, Rita, and some to friends and relatives who had posted their homes to secure his bond, according to the filings. Rezko's legal bills also were paid with a portion of the money, they said.

A 62-acre parcel south of downtown Chicago has been described as Rezko's major asset. The judge did not require him to post it as part of his bond after he described it as not a liquid asset and of speculative value only. But the government said Rezko has since "transferred, restructured or sold" much of his interest in the property.

In one of several filings Monday, prosecutors said they have a cooperating informant who claims to have seen documents describing Rezko's transfer of "a significant portion of his 62-acre property" to General Mediterranean. The informant understood the transfer to be in exchange for General Mediterranean forgiving $20 million in debt, according to prosecutors.

St. Eve reminded Rezko that when she granted him bond, she had ordered him to keep her advised of any changes in the tract's ownership.

Defense attorney Joseph Duffy tried to take some of the blame himself, saying he may not have adequately explained to Rezko his obligations. St. Eve brushed that aside, saying Duffy was not in any way at fault.

Monday's hearing was confused at some points. Duffy told St. Eve that the $3.5 million payment from General Mediterranean had been a loan secured by Rezko's interest in the 62-acre parcel. A minute later, he interrupted the proceedings to say he had just been told that it was not.

"I am not convinced by what I am hearing today," St. Eve said.

She scheduled a hearing Tuesday for Rezko's lawyers to present any information that might persuade her to reinstate the bond.

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Anonymous said...

Obama is either making a sexist remark or he is unable to speak without rambling excessively. Either way....not a shining moment

Maybe he should drop out gracefuly and act as a healer and a unifer and take a stab at the presidency when he's better prepared.

Anonymous said..., but worth mentioning about an article here earlier:

Yes, Lisa Pease...not everything @ Wiki is totally, historically accurate, but a lot of it is....therefore, for thinking people, here's a start on researching Jason Leopold's bona fides

Anonymous said...

You see Brent, Hillary isn't going to QUIT because she's a winner and even if winners don't always win, they always give it their best shot. I know that's hard for us Democrats to remember because we are sooooo used to fuckin losing! Obama is a string of pearly words and if that's enough for you then piss away your vote on him. No more pig-poking for me, I'm demanding competence this time. I'm not impressed with all that churchy-talk in the slightest.

HOPE:the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Yeah a warm and fuzzy feeling, that's how to pick a president.

Ted said...

I agree that it is all but impossible that Hillary can win a majority of pledged delegates at this point. She'd have to win something like 60+% of the remaining delegates.

I don't think she's sullied her reputation or anything, or that there's anything wrong with marching forward to at least March 4.

However, unless she scores an overwhelmingly large victory March 4, she has 2 options (these are the real options, I didn't really care for the way Brent laid this out):

Step down gracefully, or

Try to win via the superdelegate and/or FlA/MICH angle. This option does in fact represent a blood bath, earth shaking, party-fracturing choice that I hope she does not take.

Anonymous said...

One of my buddy's recently got into some trouble at a bar and the short story is he was arrested on assault charges which are ridiculous we were there and watched as a random guy came up to him punched him in the face and began repeatedly beating him. He stood up to defend himself and in the crossfire the wasted dude fell and banged his head on the kerb. The cops show up and don't want to hear us and arrest him.
It all got cleared up in the end but had that have gone to court and my friend had to have paid court bonds could he have claimed them back or even sued the police force for wrongful arrest? Also where would be the best place for getting bonded?