Rezko Arrest A Blot On Obama's Big Day

Since his landslide win in Saturday's South Carolina primary, Barack Obama has been riding a wave of good press coverage that will continue today when he receives the endorsement of Sen. Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts liberal icon.

But the news is not all good for Obama. Antonin "Tony" Rezko, the former Obama fund-raiser Hillary Clinton described as a "slumlord" in a debate last Monday, was arrested this morning on an alleged bond violation, according to the Chicago Tribune. The paper says investigators had become concerned about the movement of some of Rezko's finances.

Rezko is set to stand trial in less than a month on corruption charges, and is accused of using various state agencies to extort kickbacks. What has drawn headlines are his connections to Obama, who was associated with Rezko throughout his rise in Illinois state politics. While Obama has never been accused of wrongdoing, he has still sought to distance himself from Rezko. More than $80,000 in campaign contributions linked to Rezko has since been donated to charity.

The news out of Chicago may not steal all of Obama's thunder today, but it could give Hillary Clinton a valuable talking point -- though the fact that a picture of Clinton and Rezko has emerged could blunt its impact somewhat. (Clinton says that, unlike Obama, she has no relationship with Rezko, and says the photo is just one of "hundreds of thousands of pictures" she has taken.)
  • David Miller

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