Sunday, November 11, 2007

Barack Obama's Career Sponsor Allison Davis

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on the Barack Obama's ethically challenged sponsor Allison Davis:
As a young lawyer, Allison S. Davis was a City Hall outsider.

He criticized Mayor Richard J. Daley over the 1968 riots. He worked to integrate Chicago neighborhoods. And he fought to elect judges based on legal ability, not political connections.

Today, Davis is a consummate City Hall insider.

He's a loyal ally of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who appointed Davis to Chicago's prestigious Plan Commission. Davis has gotten deal after deal from the mayor, helping to make Davis one of the city's top developers. And Davis has forged strong ties to the Daley family, doing deals with one of the mayor's nephews and giving legal business to Daley & George, mayoral brother Michael Daley's law firm.

Now, Davis finds himself in the glare of an unwanted spotlight.

One of his business partners, William Moorehead, recently began serving a four-year prison sentence for stealing more than $600,000 from at least 13 federally funded housing projects he managed -- including two buildings that he and Davis co-own. During the period Moorehead has admitted he was stealing the money, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, he lent Davis $100,000 -- a loan that has drawn scrutiny from federal investigators, though Davis hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing.

Another of Davis' business partners, former top political fund-raiser Tony Rezko, is set to stand trial in February on charges he demanded kickbacks from companies seeking state teacher pension business under Gov. Blagojevich, a friend of Rezko.

Davis serves on a separate state pension board -- the Illinois State Board of Investment -- that also has been under federal investigation. Davis was appointed by Blagojevich, on Rezko's recommendation.

Davis, 68, declined repeated interview requests for this story. His spokesman asked that questions be submitted in writing. Davis then submitted written responses to some of them.

Over the last decade, Davis and his partners got lots covering several city blocks from City Hall. They paid a total of more than $7 million for some of those lots. But they got many for free.
'He likes to make money'

Davis and his partners -- including his sons Jared and Cullen -- have gotten more than $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to build and rehabilitate more than 1,500 apartments and homes, primarily for the poor. His deals include a massive redevelopment of the Chicago Housing Authority's notorious Stateway Gardens, across the Dan Ryan Expy. from Sox Park.

It's a lucrative business. Davis and his partners have made at least $4 million in development fees over the last decade.

Still in the works: With Daley nephew Robert Vanecko, Davis is redeveloping another CHA project, along Chicago's south lakefront. Their fees have not been disclosed.

As Davis has become one of City Hall's favored developers in the last 10 years, he also has become a major political player. He has donated more than $400,000 to dozens of political campaign funds. His top beneficiaries include Daley, Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama, who worked for several years as an attorney in Davis' law firm.
Here's more on Obama's boss the Tony Rezko partner.Obama is tied in with some rather sleazy people.When Obama talks about a "new politics" you've really got to laugh.