Sunday, August 03, 2008

Troubling donations to Barack Obama, starting with Valerie Jarrett

According to Newsweek Magazine, one of Barack Obama's most trusted advisers is Valerie Jarrett. She is, says the Chicago Tribune, one of Barack and Michelle Obama's closest friends.

Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Company, which managed the controversial Grove Parc Plaza housing complex and co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006.

A recent Boston Globe report called many of Grove Parc's units "uninhabitable."

About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.

When the Globe interviewed Jarrett, conditions at Grove Parc were so grim that she refused to answer any questions about taxpayer-subsidized housing.

Presumably Ms. Jarrett knows her own name, although from the federal contribution database that's not entirely clear. Consider these two donations to Obama's primary campaign in 2007.

"Jannett","Valeri","Jannett, Valeri","Habitat/CEO","2100","OBAMA, BARACK","P","01/26/2007","CHICAGO","IL","60615-0000"
"Jarrett","Valerie","Jarrett, Valerie Ms","Habitat Co/Executive VP","2300","OBAMA, BARACK","P","09/30/2007","CHICAGO","IL","60615-0000"

If Ms. Jannett (Habitat's CEO) is the same as Ms. Jarrett (Habitat's Executive VP), these donations would appear to be over the legal limit of $2300 per individual.

And I'm guessing they are.

Those aren't the only troubling donations. A little bit of analysis yields the following donations that appear to be over the legal limit; most occurred during the primary season.

22014 EDWAN, MONIR -0000 P
9200 DIES, MARTIN 78701-0000 P
8550 O'DONNELL, MERRY T MS 33408-0000 P
6900 CLEMENTS, BOB 06902-0000 P
6900 ELLIOTT, ROBERT R 82410-0000 P
6900 FRIEDMAN, TIMOTHY 60614-0000 G
6900 MELTON, WILLIAM N. MR. 22181-0000 P
6900 ROHR, REBECCA 10004-0000 P
6900 SIEVERS, JAMES 59716-0000 P
6900 TURNER, CAL III 37205-0000 P
6900 WINTROUB, CAREY J 94121-0000 P
6827 ROWE, JOHN 92067-0000 P
6242 WELTNER, ANNE 30305-0000 P
6000 RHODES, SILAS H 10536-0000 P
5900 LAWRENCE, VINCENT 33712-0000 P
4700 VINOLY, RAFAEL 10013-0000 P
4600 ARNO, ANDY 10023-0000 P *
4600 ARNO, JANIS 10023-0000 P *

*Andy and Janis Arno are married to each other and thus can't both donate the couple's maximum of $4600.

The odd case of Gaza resident Monir Edwan has been discussed previously.

Some questions come to mind:

What would happen if someone serious (like the mainstream media) investigated Obama's donations?

Especially since Obama's website appears to happily accept illegal campaign contributions from foreign nationals?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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