Category Archives: Real estate

2011 Worst year for new home sales on record, November home sales indicator of growth?, Existing home sales revised downward, Accurate reporting?

2011 worst year for new home sales on record, November home sales indicator of growth?, Existing home sales revised downward, Accurate reporting?

I was listening to the “news” on Friday and heard that the financial markets had reacted to a report that new home sales were up in November.

From Business Week December 23, 2011.

“U.S. Stocks Rise as Durable Goods, Home Sales Signal Expansion”

“U.S. stocks rose, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a 0.6 percent yearly rally, as expansion in U.S. industrial purchases and stronger new-home sales offset weaker-than-forecast consumer spending.”

http://news.businessweek.com/article.asp?documentKey=1376-LWNIPD6K50XU01-77BNR0NIDMIOSLU0177OO73CP4

New home sales reality check.

From MSN Business news December 26, 2011.

“Worst year for new home sales in US”

“Americans probably bought more homes in November, but 2011 likely will end up as the worst year for new-home sales since the government began keeping records in 1963.

Sales last month are expected to rise to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 312,000, according to a survey of economists by FactSet. That’s less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

The Commerce Department will release the report on Friday morning.

In October, new-home sales rose 1.3 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000. But the median price fell to its lowest level of the year: $US212,300 ($A210,200).

The year’s sales pace is trailing last year’s total of 323,000 new homes sold, the fewest on record.

Economists say housing is a long way from fully recovering. Builders have stopped working on many projects because it’s been hard for them to get financing or to compete with cheaper resale homes. For many Americans, buying a home remains too big a risk more than four years after the housing bubble burst.

Even so, home construction has begun a gradual comeback and should add to economic growth in 2011. The main reason is that the rate of apartment construction is nearly twice as fast as it was two years ago.

And rising interest from would-be buyers left US homebuilders less pessimistic about the housing market in December, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index. It rose two points this month, reaching its highest level since May 2010.

Though new-home sales represent less than 10 per cent of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $US90,000 in tax revenue, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Home prices have tumbled, the job market remains weak and unemployment is still high at 8.6 per cent. Some people who want to buy can’t qualify for a loan or make the higher downpayments that banks are demanding.”

http://news.businessweek.com/article.asp?documentKey=1376-LWNIPD6K50XU01-77BNR0NIDMIOSLU0177OO73CP4

Existing homes sales were recently revised downward.

From Citizen Wells December 14, 2011.

“Five years of home sales to be revised lower in ‘meaningful’ way”

“If you thought the U.S. housing market couldn’t get much worse, think again.

Far fewer homes have been sold over the past five years than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

NAR said it plans to downwardly revise sales of previously-owned homes going back to 2007 during the release of its next existing home sales report on Dec. 21.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/five-years-of-home-sales-revised-lower-national-association-of-realtors-far-fewer-homes-sold-over-last-5-years-mls-data/

 

Five years of home sales revised lower, National Association of Realtors, Far fewer homes sold over last 5 years, MLS data

Five years of home sales revised lower, National Association of Realtors, Far fewer homes sold over last 5 years, MLS data

From the Chicago Tribune December 14, 2011.

“Five years of home sales to be revised lower in ‘meaningful’ way”

“If you thought the U.S. housing market couldn’t get much worse, think again.

Far fewer homes have been sold over the past five years than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

NAR said it plans to downwardly revise sales of previously-owned homes going back to 2007 during the release of its next existing home sales report on Dec. 21.

NAR’s existing home sales numbers, released monthly, are a closely followed gauge of the health of the housing market.

While NAR hasn’t revealed exactly how big the revision to home sales will be, the agency’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said the decrease will be “meaningful.“

“For the real estate business, this means the housing market’s downturn was deeper than what was initially thought,“ Yun said.

Yun said the database NAR uses to track existing home sales, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), has led the real estate agency to over-count existing home sales for several reasons.

The MLS database only includes home sales listed by realtors, and excludes homes listed by owners, providing a very narrow view of the market. And because more people are using realtors to list their homes instead of selling them independently, realtor-listed sales numbers have become artificially inflated, said Yun.

In addition, some of the assumptions NAR used in calculating its data have become outdated, since they were based on 2000 Census data.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-existing-home-sales-to-be-revised-lower-in-meaningful-way-20111214,0,2475335.story

Obama Olympic bid, Denmark, IOC, Olympic committee decision, Chicago, IL, Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama, Chicago pay to play politics, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity

“Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”  The Olympic Charter

 

What do Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama have in common?

Long term, strong ties to corruption in Chicago and Illinois.

They have traveled to Denmark to persuade the IOC, International Olympic Committee, to select Chicago as the host city for the 2016 Olympics. As reported by the Citizen Wells blog yesterday:
“What is this really about?
Obama’s pay to play contribution to cronies, diversions away from troubling issues that cloud his presidency and trying to prop up his failing legacy.”

“I was in the process of reporting more on Valerie Jarrett and her past ties to corruption in Chicago and I will do so. For now, Michelle Malkin does an excellent job in this video of exposing the truth about Obama and Jarrett and their motives for getting the Olympics for Chicago.”….Michelle Malkin and Fox News reveal truth

I sent this unplanned email last night after I chanced upon the press email link to the IOC. 
“As a youth, I had aspirations of participating in the Olympics.
I can state factually, and in all humility, that at one time I could compete with
anyone in the world up to 50 meters.
My life did not play out that way.
However, I had a successful business career and in the past several years I have been
researching and writing, covering the 2008 elections.
I have researched and written extensively about Barack Obama, his past and especially
about his ties to crime and corruption in Chicago and Illinois. Valerie Jarrett has many of
the corruption ties that Obama has.
 
I urge you to not consider Chicago, if for no other reason than the citizens of Chicago
do not want this and cannot afford more “pay to play politics” at their expense.
I will be writing more articles about this and I assure you that the American public will
not support this financially. This I can promise you.
 
Barack Obama is attempting to add a feather in his cap at the expense of American
citizens, something he has excelled in.
 
One of my favorite movies is “Chariots of Fire.” I beg of you to make your decision in the
spirit of true sportsmanship and higher ideals lived by the life of Eric Liddell.
 
Sincerely,
Mr. Wells”

Do I expect anyone to read this and factor it into their decision? No. However, if enough people stand up and say no to this, perhaps we can stop this travesty, even if Chicago is selected. It may be too late for Chicago, but we can still salvage the rest of the country.

From an article at NoQuarterUSA.com by Larry Johnson about the possibility of the Olympics being held in crime infested Chicago.
“16-year-old boy beaten to death in Chicago. This makes my heart ring low down to my knees. It keeps happening there. Something is wrong.

Baghdad, Belfast and Beirut sound like scary places. The inner city in America is even more troublesome to me than these places because one never knows the enemy is the enemy. I lived for a while in the Chicago area. Gangs were recruiting younger and younger members and, without “proper gang-military training” (yes – I read that phrase in a Chicago paper?!), some of their shots went into unintended windows.”
“Chicago continues to break all world records for youth on youth death by violence, excluding war zones. I dream of a day that we can find a way to understand why this happens and how we can stop it, without being an incarceration nation.”
“After drafting this post a friend made a private comment that I think should kick off the discussion.

You wrote in your post it isn’t Obama’s fault – but I think this is partly the fault of Obama and all his cronies. All those decrepit buildings and areas… not doing more to control the crime…. AIG

Yes. We seem to forget that Obama represented the South Side of Chicago after he cheated his way into the state senate. His number one fund-raiser, the convicted felon Tony Rezko, got favors through Obama to help Rezko become the most insensitive slumlord in modern history. In turn Obama got a sweet deal on his first mansion with Rezko’s help. I guess a state senator who thought about his poor constituents between his long bouts of self-adulation would have worked on Tony to educate him on the benefits of providing a better environment to raise families. But I never saw evidence of Barry telling Tony to straighten up or I am going to quit taking your money. Nope. I probably missed that press conference and subsequent speech on why it is America’s problem that we don’t understand that ghetto people are like hillbillies. We don’t really need them to follow Bill Ayers’ plan for america. Let them eat yellow cake.”

Read more:

http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/10/01/the-olympic-ring/

Consider Obama’s exploitation of the poor due to his long term close ties to ACORN

Report to the Catholic Bishops from 1997
“The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which is also patterned on Alinsky’s organizational recommendations, recruits individual members.”
“To be eligible to receive CHD funds, a program must be run by the poor, benefit the poor, and change social structures that harm the poor.” However, in light of the politically oriented thrust of ACORN’s activities, it is fair to ask whether the CHD subsidies to ACORN are advisable and commensurate with the purposes of CHD.”

 
“However, when the CHD funds Alinsky-style, church-based community organizations as in the best interest of the poor and supports organizations which advance other agendas, it divests the poor of their right to an authentic voice. This process tends to treat the poor as exploited units of human capital, rather than as human beings created in the dignity of God’s image.”

Read more:

http://www.wandererforum.org/publications/focus025.html

 

Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and MIchelle Malkin have done a superb job of exposing the real agenda of Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama. The day after Glenn Beck began exposing Valerie Jarrett and her hidden agenda, the White House blog began their Orwellian lie and smear campaign against Beck.
White House blog
“WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2009 AT 1:15 PM
Reality Check: Trying to Turn a Point of Pride into a Moment of Shame
Posted by Jesse Lee
 
Last night Fox News continued its disregard for the facts in an attempt to smear the Administration’s efforts to win the Olympics for the United States. In the past, hosting the Olympics has been a source of pride and unity for the country, but once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings.
 
RHETORIC:          BECK SAID VANCOUVER LOST $1 BILLION WHEN IT “HAD THE OLYMPICS.”   Glenn Beck said, “Vancouver lost, how much was it? they lost a billion dollars when they had the Olympics.”  [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]
 
REALITY:              VANCOUVER’S OLYMPICS WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL 2010.   Vancouver will host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games from February 12 – 28, 2010 and March 12-21, 2010, respectively. [Vancouver2010.com, accessed 9/29/09]”

Citizen Wells response

had – past tense of ownership. A better word, perhaps could have been chosen, such as has. However, had is accurate since they have been working on this for some time and are already losing a large sum of money.

From CBC News Canada, January 9, 2009:

“Vancouver taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as $875 million to complete the Olympic Athletes Village unless city council can reopen a loan given to the developer or find new financing.”

“The Olympic village is a billion-dollar project, and the city taxpayers are on the hook for all of it.”
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

Let’ see, January 9, 2009. That appears to be past tense. Citizen Wells
White House blog
RHETORIC: VALERIE JARRETT WILL BENEFIT FINANCIALLY. Beck asked, “Is it possible that she is going to benefit if the Olympics come to Chicago?” Caddell responded, “Well, that’s the word. She has certainly had a lot of dealings going on in real estate.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]
 
REALITY: UPON ENTERING GOVERNMENT, VALERIE JARRETT DIVESTED ALL HER REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT HOLDINGS EXCEPT FOR A SINGLE INVESTMENT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OLYMPIC BID. Valerie Jarrett divested all her investment real estate holdings upon entering government except for a single real estate holding that she was unable to sell. This single real estate investment has been determined by White House Counsel and the independent Office of Government Ethics to present no conflict of interest in performing her duties as a White House advisor.  It has nothing to do with the Olympic bid.
Citizen Wells response

Valerie Jarrett, as Obama, is entrenched in Chicago pay to play politics. She worked for Mayor daley years ago, worked with Michelle Obama at several jobs and gave Michelle an almost triple pay raise after Obama was elected to the US Senate. Her involvement in shady real estate transactions and slum housing is well documented. She has not been divested of political connections that will benefit her and them.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether or not the IOC selects Chicago, we the American people should not get stuck with the bill before during or after the event and we should not pay for Obama’s falling legacy boost or involvement in pay to play politics.

IOC, if you select Chicago as the site for the 2016 Olympics, you will regret it. Chicagoans and the American public does not support it.

What can you do?

Regardless of which city the IOC selects, contact your congressmen and let them know you are fed up with pay to play politics and paying for shady political maneuvers. Valerie Jarrett is already trying to craft a suspicious HUD deal. We are beginning to see more than the tip of the iceberg of ACORN corruption in Chicago and nationwide and Obama’s long time ties. We cannot aford more of the same.

Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Chicago, Olympics, Corrruption, Narcissism, Obama legacy, Taxpayers will pay, Michelle Malkin, Chicago pay to play politics, Jarrett real estate connections, Michelle Obama hospital job

The Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama trip to Denmark to secure the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.

What is this really about?
Obama’s pay to play contribution to cronies, diversions away from troubling issues that cloud his presidency and trying to prop up his failing legacy.

  • We do not support the 2016 Chicago Olympics bid and it’s burden for the taxpayers.
  • We will not support the narcissistic agenda of Obama who is already trying to save his legacy.
  • We will not support ongoing pay to play Chicago politics.
  • We will not support the agenda of Velerie Jarrett.
  • We got rid of Van Jones, who was endorsed by Jarrett.
  • It is time to get rid of Jarrett and then Obama.

I was in the process of reporting more on Valerie Jarrett and her past ties to corruption in Chicago and I will do so. For now, Michelle Malkin does an excellent job in this video of exposing the truth about Obama and Jarrett and their motives for getting the Olympics for Chicago.

I suppose if Chicagoans really want to host the olympics it is their business, although it does not appear to be the case.
Chicago Tribune poll

47% for
45% against

However, we do not want any federal money going to corrupt Chicago for continued pay to play.

Contact your congressmen and let them know.
Everything that Obama has been involved with in the past in Chicago has hurt the taxpayers and the poor and ended in indictments for widespread corruption and crime in Chicago and Illinois.

God bless Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Fox News for reporting on this huge scandal.

 

Thanks to commenter LM.

Obama indictment, Obama must be arrested, Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich arrest, Raghuveer P. Nayak seeks immunity, December 22, 2008, Obama Rezko Levine Weinstein Blagojevich,Nayak, Pay to play, Chicago corruption, US Dept of Justice, IL corruption, Will Nayak talk?

Why Barack Obama should be indicted

Part 12

One or more of the following events should happen:

  • Obama steps down.
  • Obama is forced to prove eligibility.
  • Obama is indicted and/or arrested.

If one of the above does not occur within a few months,
perhaps we should look to the Declaration of Independence
or Thomas Jefferson, for our next strategy.

Raghuveer P. Nayak, the unnamed “Individual D” referred
to in the Rod Blagojevich criminal complaint, is seeking
immunity. This is making news because of the Blagojecvich
arrest and potential ties the Obama appointees. However,
like so many names mentioned in the context of Chicago and
IL corrupton, Nayak has ties to Barack Obama and Rod
Blagojevich that go back for years.

Nayak’s recent involvement

“A mysterious “Individual D” in the ongoing Illinois political
scandal to auction off President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant
U.S. Senate seat has now been identified as Raghuveer Nayak,
a millionaire Chicago area Indian businessman whose voice
turned up on FBI wiretaps and bugs of Democratic Gov. Rod
Blagojevich.

Nayak is “Individual D” in the criminal complaint outlining
the case against the governor, according to an exclusive
story in Monday’s Chicago Tribune. Nayak is heard on the
tapes being squeezed by Blagojevich to raise campaign money
in return for naming Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to Obama’s vacant
seat.

Nayak, one of a savvy band of local moneymen who help fund
the state’s Democratic political machine year-in-and-out,
is now reportedly negotiating with federal prosecutors for
immunity in return for his testimony.”

Read more here

March 18, 2008 article on Nayak, Blagojevich, Rezko, Weisner

“Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Move Over Rezko; Weisner-Blagojevich Crony Raghuveer Nayak
Continues to Spend Thousands on Elected Officials…in Iowa?

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, boytoy Gerry Galloway and
crony Raghuveer Nayak are viewing a property in downtown
Aurora in the path of a major development back in 2005.
Nayak is spreading his money around. All the way to Iowa.”

“Raghuveer Nayak, the campaign crony who has dumped tens of
thousands of dollars into the campaign pockets of Aurora
Mayor Tom Weisner and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, seems
to in a race to compete with another star campaign donor
from Illinois, Tony Rezko, to see how many people he can
contribute to and apparently “influence.”

While Rezko’s list includes some power names in Illinois,
including our local political rockstar, U.S. Senator and
Presidential candidate Barack Obama, Nayak seems to be
broadening his geographical reach (and Nayak is a Hillary
 Clinton buddy).”

Read more here

Obama money woes in 2000

“After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois
state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure:
numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had
neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a
significant new legal client — a longtime political
supporter.

Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an
$8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing
technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It
allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state
Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from
Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000.”

Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
April 27, 2008

Obama and Shomon help Blackwell get state grants

The Case Against Barack Obama reveals Shomon connection

Shomon connections to Weisner and Aurora, IL

“Dan Shomon, who’s background is in media, has a lobbying
contract for the City of Aurora (scroll down or click for
our post on how Dan Shomon is fleecing the taxpayers of
Aurora). He got that contract after helping to secure a
political endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for then-candidate
for Mayor of Aurora, Tom Weisner. That’s after
Obama said he wan’t going to be a “kingmaker” in Aurora.

We think it’s HIGHLY unethical of Dan Shomon or Tom Weisner
to exploit the taxpayers of Aurora for political purpose.
Barack Obama’s credibility is also risked in the process of
Shomon and Weisner’s games at the expense of taxpayers.”

“Like the ill-advised connection to Obama in Aurora, thanks
to Dan Shomon, Obama is mentioned in the same discusion with
all these problems with Giannoulias. Not good for a
political rockstar who otherwise could be on his way to
becoming President of the United States.”

Read more here

“Aurora Mayor Thomas J. Weisner gave Shomon the lobbying
gig in exchange for political work, including getting the
endorsement of Barack Obama back in 2005 when Obama first
said he would remain “neutral” in the heated mayoral race.

Shomon’s main activities are political campaigns and helping
Obama and his friends like Alexi Giannoulias who is now the
Treasurer for the State of Illinois.”

“Plus, when all hell breaks loose on Weisner’s various problems
with cronyism and allegations of corruption (and it WILL),
it’s probably in Obama’s interest that Dan Shomon has nothing
to do with Weisner any longer.”

Read more here

Shoman, Obama’s main political adviser in 2002

“He consulted with Shoman, still his main political adviser
at the time, and Shomon told him…if Saltzman was urging him
to speak, he could not refuse. Moreover, Obama was trying to
draw Axelrod onto his Senate campaign team. It would not be
wise to disappoint Saltzman if he wanted her to continue
lobbying Axelrod on his behalf. So Obama agreed to speak…Obama
made the decision to protest the impending war in part as a
political calculation that he hoped would benefit him among
Democrats…”

2007 book, “OBAMA: From Promise to Power”
Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell

Obama, Shomon, Blackwell, Blagojevich

“Robert Blackwell Jr., CEO and founder of Electronic Knowledge
Interchange Inc., has been named to the transition team of
Governor-elect Rod Blagojevich.”

Electronic Knowledge Interchange Inc. news release

“In one case, a firm that has given $20,000 to the governor
and is owned by a member of one of his transition-team committees
did no state work until after Blagojevich took office, records
show. During the last two years, Electronic Knowledge Interchange
has won $6 million in technology consulting and software
development contracts.
Dan Shomon, a spokesman for EKI, said the company never was
pressured to give to the governor.”

Blagojevich, Blackwell pay for play

We will learn more about Raghuveer P. Nayak in the coming days
and we can expect that he will be added to the list of informants
that will provide more information about the ties of Rod Blagojevich
and Barack Obama to corruption in Chicago and IL. It is already
apparent that Nayak was involved in the web of corruption that
ensnared Obama.

We urge to to read as much as possible about Obama’s ties to many
corruption figures in Chicago and IL, share this information with
as many people as possible and let the US Dept. of Justice know
how concerned you are.

Citizen Wells articles on Obama indictment

Secret Tapes Helped Build Graft Cases In Illinois, Washington Post, December 22, 2008, Pamela Meyer Davis, IL Health Planning Facilities Board, Stuart Levine, Blagojevich, Rezko, Barack Obama IL senate, Board rigged, 9 members, Obama corruption

The Washington Post has an article today, Monday, December 22,
2008, that reveals how tapes provided by Pamela Meyer Davis,
helped Patrick Fitzgerald and federal prosecutors begin their
shakedown of corruption in Chicago and IL that has led to the
arrest of Rod Blagojevich.

“Secret Tapes Helped Build Graft Cases In Illinois
Hospital CEO Reported Shakedown, Wore Wire”

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, December 22, 2008″

“CHICAGO — The wide-ranging public corruption probe that led to the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich got its first big break when a grandmother of six walked into a breakfast meeting with shakedown artists wearing an FBI wire.
Pamela Meyer Davis had been trying to win approval from a state health planning board for an expansion of Edward Hospital, the facility she runs in a Chicago suburb, but she realized that the only way to prevail was to retain a politically connected construction company and a specific investment house. Instead of succumbing to those demands, she went to the FBI and U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald in late 2003 and agreed to secretly record conversations about the project.

Her tapes led investigators down a twisted path of corruption that over five years has ensnared a collection of behind-the-scenes figures in Illinois government, including Joseph Cari Jr., a former Democratic National Committee member, and disgraced businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

On Dec. 9, that path wound up at the governor’s doorstep. Another set of wiretaps suggested that Blagojevich was seeking to capitalize on the chance to fill the Senate seat just vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Many of the developments in Operation Board Games never attracted national headlines. They involved expert tactics in which prosecutors used threats of prosecution or prison time to flip bit players in a tangle of elaborate schemes that Fitzgerald has called pay-to-play “on steroids.”

But now, Fitzgerald’s patient strategy has led to uncomfortable questions not only for Blagojevich but also for the powerful players who privately negotiated with him, unaware that their conversations were being monitored. Democratic  Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. faces queries about his interest in the Senate seat, and key players in the Obama presidential transition team — White House Chief of Staff-designate  Rahm Emanuel and adviser Valerie Jarrett — are being asked about their contacts with the governor on the important appointment.”

“Meyer Davis’s hospital wasn’t the only one with problems winning approvals from the state board that reviewed new projects for health-care facilities. The Chicago Medical School wanted a student housing project and found itself steered to the same construction and investment firms. Mercy Hospital faced similar obstacles. The board held up requests for open-heart surgical units and community clinics, and it seemed that a high price tag was attached to moving the board toward action.

At the center of the scheme was board member Stuart Levine, a prominent GOP fundraiser and businessman. Levine also courted Blagojevich, flying him to fundraisers in Texas and New York at which the governor collected more than $120,000 in campaign contributions. Levine held seats on the health facilities board and the teachers pension board, which controlled more than $41 billion in assets.”

“Levine also had many connections. A telephone wiretap captured his discussions with Rezko, a fundraiser for Blagojevich and Obama, and several others who would become federal targets, according to lawyers who closely followed the trial testimony.”

“”Before they had Levine in the fold, they had his phone,” said former public corruption prosecutor Patrick Collins. “They happened to get up on Levine’s phone at a time when he was very active in his corrupt schemes.”

Fitzgerald’s office indicted Levine in 2005 on multiple fraud and extortion charges for his role in the state board schemes, securing along the way cooperation from the favored construction executive who had paid him kickbacks. But Levine’s path to cooperation took 18 more months. Faced with wiretap recordings, Levine realized his legal situation was nearly hopeless, struck a plea bargain and became the star witness against Rezko.

“Levine was the guy who’s given them everybody else,” said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Chicago-based Better Government Association.”
“Another head rolled at the Illinois Finance Authority. Director Ali Ata, a former fundraiser for Blagojevich, signed a sworn statement in April describing how Rezko had shaken him down four times for a total of $125,000 in bribes and large campaign contributions.”

“Fitzgerald’s team has scrambled to interview Jackson, as well as members of the Obama transition team who talked with Blagojevich about the appointment. A spokesman for Jackson said the lawmaker had told authorities about his tangle with Blagojevich, in which the congressman says the governor rejected Jackson’s wife for a lottery post after Jackson failed to raise $25,000 for the Blagojevich campaign.”

Read more here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/21/AR2008122102334.html?wpisrc=newsletter

For anyone following the Rezko trial and paying attention,
nothing in this article is a surprise. What is also obvious
is that the common denominator in all of these connections
is Barack Obama.

Nayak seeks immunity, Blagojevich arrest, Patrick Fitzgerald investigation, December 22, 2008, Raghuveer P. Nayak, Oak Brook businessman, Medical businesses, Political fundraiser, Individual D,Wiretaps, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Obama’s senate seat, Obama ties, Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune has an article today, Monday,
December 22, 2008, that reveals that Raghuveer P. Nayak,
the unnamed “Individual D” referred to in the Rod
Blagojevich criminal complaint, is seeking immunity.

“Fundraiser seeks immunity in Blagojevich probe
Blagojevich allegedly pressured ‘Individual D’ for cash to pick Jackson
By David Kidwell and John Chase | Tribune reporters
December 22, 2008”

 
“A key figure in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s alleged scheme to sell a U.S. Senate seat has sought immunity from federal authorities in return for his cooperation in their ongoing probe, the Tribune has learned.
Raghuveer P. Nayak, an Oak Brook businessman and political fundraiser, is the unnamed “Individual D” who prosecutors say was being squeezed by the governor for campaign cash in return for appointing U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, sources said.
Investigators appeared at Nayak’s Oak Brook home the morning the FBI arrested Blagojevich, the sources said. Nayak was among a number of people connected to the case who were contacted by federal agents that day.
Nayak has not been accused of wrongdoing and declined to comment. It is unclear what information he can provide to authorities, who said they had more work to do after moving quickly to interrupt the governor’s alleged scheme.”
“Nayak’s businesses have faced multiple audits by state and federal authorities since he first opened his Chicago drug stores in the early 1980s, according to interviews and records. In addition, his name came up repeatedly in one of the largest health-care fraud investigations in Illinois history.
Nayak was never charged in that case, or any other.
The multi-year federal probe resulted in the shuttering of two South Side hospitals—Doctors Hospital and Edgewater Medical Center—and the convictions of seven doctors and administrators. Nayak, who then owned a lab testing company called NR Laboratories as well as an outpatient surgery center, was among numerous individuals who came under scrutiny.”

 

“In 1987, Nayak was suspended for 60 days from the state’s public aid program after auditors concluded nearly 22 percent of billings at one of his pharmacies were fraudulent. In 1989, state auditors reported concerns that Nayak was giving free airline tickets to doctors who sent business to NR labs, which he has since sold. And in 2001, Nayak returned $20,000 in a federal Medicaid fraud lawsuit in Indiana.”

Read more here:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-blagojevich-nayakdec22,0,7892226.story
Nayak has longtime ties to Obama and Obama associates.
The Citizen Wells blog will provide “the rest of the “story’
soon in a continuing series on Obama’s ties to crime and
corruption in Chicago and IL.

Another tie to Obama to talk?