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Who Has the Housing Problem: Obama or McCain?

Candidate dwellings got a bunch of attention yesterday. After John McCain could not recall how many houses he owns, Barack Obama aired an ad painting McCain as out of touch with America's economic woes.

McCain took the opportunity to point out Obama's own housing problem. An ad coming only hours after Obama's stars a real estate deal between Obama and would-be convicted felon Tony Rezko. It also alleges that Obama gave Rezko $14 million in taxpayer money through political influence. The complex details of McCain's allegation might not stick with voters, plus independent sources say there is no evidence that Obama did anything improper involving Rezko.

McCain's ad came quick, but do you think it will effectively quell backlash coming from McCain's forgetfulness?

Join The Conversation
LaKeisha LaKeisha 8 years
I guess The Dems are trying to accuse McCain of being old and not remembering how many houses he might have invested in etc. After all he is only 3 years older than speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi and only 6 years older than Obamas VP pick Biden.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Yeah, Jill, I guess I did see that you agreed a while ago! I was just excited, so I wanted to point it out, even if it took me forever. In all seriousness, though, you're right (there we go agreeing again), I think we (you and me as well as all of use on here) do agree more than we realize. We all want the same things for our country; we just have different ideas on how to best achieve them.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
More Fact Check McCain's ad opens by turning Obama's housing problem attack back on Obama. The narrator says Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko, one of Obama's "biggest fundraisers" helped Obama buy his "million-dollar mansion" by purchasing property that Obama couldn't afford. The ad goes on to charge that Obama helped Rezko receive "political favors" including "$14 million from taxpayers," and it points out that Rezko is now a convicted felon. It's untrue that Rezko got "$14 million from taxpayers" for himself, as the ad seems to be saying. The "help" to which it refers is a one-page letter Obama signed in October 1998 urging the city housing commissioner to support an apartment project for low-income senior citizens. A copy went to the state housing development authority. The 97-unit Cottage View Terrace, which opened in 2002, was funded with taxpayer money, and Tony Rezko was involved in developing the project. But the deal did not put $14 million into Rezko's pocket. That figure represents the total development cost for the project. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Rezko and his partner, Allison Davis, netted about $855,000. That's not pocket change, but it's a far cry from $14 million. And the tenants of the building benefited too. Moreover, the ad's claim that Obama wrote the letter as a favor to Rezko is without factual support. Both men deny that Rezko asked Obama to write them, and Obama says his district office frequently sent letters supporting "worthy" community projects, so routinely that "I wasn't even aware that we wrote the letter." Rezko's attorney, Joseph Duffy, told the Sun-Times in 2007 that "Mr. Rezko never spoke with, nor sought a letter from, Senator Obama in connection with that project." And Obama told Sun-Times reporters in a March 2008 interview: Obama (March 15, 2008): [He] did not solicit that from me. ... This was a project that was well-regarded in the community, has done well, and was supported on its own merits, and it was essentially a form letter of the sort that I did all [the] time. Can support for a low-income housing project be a "favor" to the developer if the developer didn't ask for it? You decide.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Fact Check: As for that claim about Rezko helping Obama buy his house, well, we've dealt with that one before. The gist of the story: In 2005, Barack and Michelle Obama found a house that they wanted to purchase. The property had been divided into two parcels, one containing a house and the other undeveloped land. The owner had listed the properties separately. After considerable haggling, the seller accepted the Obamas' third bid of $1.65 million for the parcel containing the house. Tony Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining lot for $625,000. When the Obamas wanted to increase the size of their yard, they approached the Rezkos about purchasing a strip of the adjacent parcel. Obama told the Sun-Times that a 10-foot strip of the 60-foot lot appraised for $40,000. The Obamas nevertheless paid Rita $104,500 (or 1/6 of the total purchase price of her lot) for the strip. In 2007, Rita sold the remaining lot for $575,000 (or roughly a $54,500 profit on the overall property). McCain's ad, however, is worded in a way that could leave a false impression. It says Rezko "helped him buy his million-dollar mansion" by "purchasing part of the property he couldn't afford." That's true, but only because the seller wanted to sell the two parcels as a unit and the Obamas couldn't afford both. Rezko did not make a gift of any property to the Obamas. Furthermore, the fact that his wife sold her lot for more than she paid for it contradicts any suggestion that the Rezkos overpaid for their part of the deal as a way of getting the seller to lower the price to the Obamas for their part.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
This was a funny conversation. All of you agree with each other but don't seem to agree on the wording. It was kind of entertaining. ;)
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I also agreed with this 4 hours ago! "I know that you are trying to make the same point I am, though...that the Rezko allegations and the Keating allegations are both just that-allegations" ...I even put a big Yes and a ;) face next to it! I think we agree on more than we realize.... I look forward to the next opportunity! :an egyptian:
piper23 piper23 8 years
Me too - I'm out! Later, y'all!
piper23 piper23 8 years
Both situations deserve a second look. As a result of that second look, I have reached the conclusion that both candidates were WRONG to be associated with their "buddies".
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Anyway, I'm busting out of work a half hour early! :woohoo: Have a good weekend all!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Yay for Jill and I agreeing on something! :woohoo: :dance: :anegyptian:
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Jill my comment wasn't directed at you. I was speaking more broadly about how people respond to stuff like this. I'm including myself in that category.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"And you just clarified that you are not saying that Obama was without wrongdoing, as well, but that was kind of unclear up until now.) 2 hours, 6 minutes ago: "but they both were suspicious situations that yielded nothing"
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Pop, I see your point, but I (and Lilkimbo) have said repeatedly that BOTH situations were suspicious. I am not just defending Obama, I have been defending McCain as well. They were both suspicious sitiations that yielded nothing upon further investigation.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I think the difference is that Piper is not saying that McCain was without wrongdoing. (And you just clarified that you are not saying that Obama was without wrongdoing, as well, but that was kind of unclear up until now.)
Jillness Jillness 8 years
He probably should have realized sooner that Rezko was a shady man, but that doesn't mean that he is guilty of doing something illegal. And you can take that sentence I just typed and take out Rezko and insert Keating. Works for both of us, Piper!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Oops Michelin. lol. Hard to tell sometimes who is responding to what! I do see your point in a broader context. If Obama does something "wrong" or "bad" instead of saying "yeah, that was wrong", it can become a game of "well McCain did it too". Of course that doesn't make it any better. This Obama commercial, for example. I'm not a fan, especially if the words were taken out of context. But I find myself saying "holy shit, well compared to what McCain is putting out there it's nothing etc etc." I guess it's normal to respond that way if you feel like you're on the defensive. And I think both sides often feel like they're on the defensive. We're willing to say "well our guy is wrong, but so is yours" and not as much willing to say "our guy is wrong." Human nature I guess.
piper23 piper23 8 years
Is a "mistake" not about the same thing as "wrong"? Because Obama admitted to a "mistake". But I guess he wasn't "wrong"...
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"I think there are just so many opportunists out there like Rezko and Keating who see a politician as a meal ticket. They befriend the politician and before the politician knows he/she could be associating them selves with a wrong doing by proxy." I agree. That is why I think it is so important to pinpoint a wrong doing, and not just assume one is there. Political circles are so small, and just because you work with a person doesn't mean you know all of their dealings. Being a politician is a risky business! You need to make friends to get things done and fund raise, but those friends can turn poisonous!
Jillness Jillness 8 years
To me, I think the situation is "suspicious", meaning it deserves a 2nd look. However, I dont think that just because one person has done OTHER things that are out of line, that automatically condemns all of their actions with other parties. I have worked with people in a very honest way, and then found out later that they were doing not so honest things in a completely serperate circumstance (just yesterday actually!). I would understand if my connection warranted scrutiny, but scrutiny doesn't always find an action that was illegal or immoral. A person can act one way in dealings with one person, and a completely different way in dealings with another. Just because some of Rezkos dealings were bad, doesn't mean that all of them were. Obama doing business with him at all deserves a "whadda ya thinkin?!?!?", but I guess I would have to see that Obama tried to do something illegal to say he did something "wrong". IMO.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Rezko was one of Obama's campaign donors and friends as well. Both candidates cut ties with their "buddies" when they learned of any allegations of wrongdoing.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Reprimanded and criticized are the same thing. And Keating cost taxpayers the money, not McCain. It was conclusively found that McCain did not in any way "help him" with his "Federal Home Loan Bank Board problem."
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I'm sorry, I didn't mean that to be insulting. It just seems as if you have a hard time admitting Obama has done anything wrong, and I'd like to see a little more objectivity. I personally don't need a credible source to tell me it's an unusual way to buy property, and if deal was done with a man with a reputation like Rezko... it just screams 'shady'. If you really don't feel that way, that's fine, but that makes it look to me as if you're blind to Obama's flaws.
stephley stephley 8 years
McCain was reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for poor judgment, not just criticized. Keating cost taxpayers about 3-billion dollars, a high price for the rest of us to pay for McCain helping a campaign donor, family investment partner, travel buddy and friend with his Federal Home Loan Bank Board problem.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"Why do you defend Obama as if he was your child?" Stooping to a level that doesn't become you, Michelin. I stated my opinion with out being personal at all. If you disagree, fine. But insulting me? Come on now. I just think that putting so much crediblity in hunches and suspicions without any proof or any credible source confirming it probably isn't the best idea. When a credible source says that a line was crossed, then I might change my thoughts on whether it was shady. Just my little opinion. Organic, perhaps you didn't fully read my post: "they both were suspicious situations that yielded nothing" ;)
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Pop, I was actually addressing Jillness, so I should have specified. But thanks for saying I was right ;)
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