Obama's personnel decisions as President-Elect are crushing any hopes that his
administration will bring a new spirit of integrity and honesty to Washington.
First there was the selection of Clinton attack dog Rahm Emanuel as his Chief
of Staff. Then there was the selection of another Clinton crony, John Podesta,
to co-chair Obama's transition team. And now Barack Obama has tapped Valerie
Jarrett to partner with Podesta in handling the transition.
Valerie Jarrett? Characterized as "the other side of Barack Obama's
brain" by CBS News, Jarrett first met the Obamas seventeen years ago when
she offered Michelle Obama a job. Since that time Jarrett has served as a very
close advisor to both Obamas. While some have speculated that Jarrett is
interested in taking Obama's place in the U.S. Senate, the New York Times
reported that it is more likely she will become a senior White House adviser.
And that is terrible news.
Watch recently obtained
documents linking Valerie Jarrett to a series of real estate scandals,
including several housing projects operated by convicted felon and former Obama
fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.
to the documents, which we obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State,
Valerie Jarrett served as a board member for several organizations that
provided funding and support for Chicago housing projects operated by real
estate developers and Obama financial backers Antoin "Tony" Rezko and
Allison Davis. (You may recall that Davis is also Obama's former boss.)
was a member of the Board of Directors for the Woodlawn Preservation and
Investment Corporation along with several Davis and Rezko associates, as well
as the Fund for Community Redevelopment and Revitalization, an organization
that worked with Rezko and Davis. Jarrett wrote of her support for Davis/Rezko
projects, and was also one of the strongest supporters in revitalizing two
struggling Chicago banks which later provided loans and mortgages for the
Davis/Rezko housing projects.
sort of housing projects were Davis and Rezko operating? According to press
reports, housing projects operated by Davis and Rezko have been substandard and
beset with code violations. The Chicago
Sun Times reported that one Rezko-managed housing project was
"riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions…lack of
heat, squatters and drug dealers." Davis, meanwhile, was nailed for a code
violation when sewage began to seep through electrical outlets in one of his
low income apartment buildings.
Jarrett would have no issues supporting these kinds of housing projects. As
Chief Executive Officer of the Habitat Company, Jarrett managed a controversial
housing project located in Obama's former state senate district called
Grove Parc Plaza. According to the Boston Globe, the housing complex was
considered "uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and
fire damage…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." It is no stretch to say that she was a slumlord. Jarrett
refused to comment on the conditions of the complex.
is a product of the corrupt Chicago political machine. Washington already has
plenty of corruption; we don't need to import more of it from Chicago.