Posts Tagged ‘Robert Blackwell’

The Case Against Barack Obama, Dan Shomon, Obama, Corruption, Robert Blackwell, State Grants, Killerspin, Campaign Contributions, Chicago pay for play, David Freddoso

August 15, 2008

One of the charges of corruption against Barack Obama on the Petition to Impeach and/or expel him from the senate is below:

Whereas: Senator Barack Obama has engaged in unscrupulous business
practices, in particular with Mr. Robert Blackwell. Mr. Obama
received an $ 8,000 per month “legal retainer” from Mr. Blackwell
for a total of $112,000 and reported the income through his law firm
in a manner not unlike money laundering. Obama, along with Obama
campaign manager Dan Shomon, procured $ 320,000 in state grants
for Blackwell’s company Killerspin. Blackwell companies contributed
over $ 32,000 to the Obama campaign in 2007.

The LA Times broke this story in April 2008. Obama’s dubious ties to Robert Blackwell and Dan Shomon have barely been touched since except for a few bloggers and now David Freddoso in his book, “The Case Against Barack Obama.”  Here are some exerpts from the book:

“Perhaps the most surprising story about Barack obama and money is one that no one talks about at all.  It involves ping-pong.  it is the story of how state Senator Obama was paid more than $100,000 for legal work, then helped his client’s company get $320,000 in taxpayer grants. 
For some reason, only the Los Angeles Times has examined the story of Robert Blackwell Jr. and the government grants he received after he invested in Barack Obama.

Obama writes in The Audacity of Hope that after his failed congressional run in 2000, he was “more or less broke.”  His family would make $240,000 that year, but they had large debts, and he had just loaned his losing campaign $9,500 and maxed out his credit card.  To keep his family afloat, he writes, he went back after the election to his law firm, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, which he had neglected throughout 2000 (he received no income from the firm that year).  He planned to do some legal work to supplement his modest $58,000 salary as a state senator.

In 2001, while serving as a state senator, Obama would earn $98,158 from his law practice.  Of that money, $80,000 came from a single client – Electronic Knowledge Interchange (EKI)-which had put him on a $8,000 monthly retainer.  This lasted fourteen months and netted Obama $112,000.  The company was owned by one Robert Blackwell Jr., a friend of Obama’s since about 1995.

Months after Obama received his final payment from EKI, he wrote a request on Illinois Senate letterhead and sent it to state officials for a $50,000 tourism grant to a company named Killerspin. This company was also owned by Blackwell.

Killerspin runs ping-pong tournaments and sells ping-pong gear.  After Obama’s original request, Killerspin received a $20,000 grant for a ping-pong tournament.  Over the next three years, Obama’s aide Dan Shoman-who was working for the senator part-time and part-time for Blackwell-would help Killerspin get a $200,000 state grant for its 2003 tournament and a $100,000 state grant for its 2004 tournament, for a total of $320,000.

So Blackwell’s company paid Senator Obama a large sum of money.  Blackwell’s other company received almost three times as much in state grants, with help from Obama and his aide.

The Times reports that Obama, in his required legal financial disclosures, buried his six-figure financial conflict of interest amid a list of hundreds of other clients represented by his law firm.  He did not mention that the majority of his 2001 income came from EKI-nor was he required to do so under Illinois law.  Moreover, the Times piece notes:

The business arrived at an especially fortuitious time because, as the law firm’s senior partner, Judson Miner, put it, “it was a very dry period here,” meaning that the ebb and flow of cases left little work for Obama and cash was tight.”

The Citizens Wells blog has covered Obama and his strong connections to Dan Shomon. The LA Times referred to Dan Shomon as an Obama aide. Shomon was actually Obama’s campaign manager at one time. Citizen Wells was contacted by Robert Blackwell after the followup articles to the LA Times article. Here are some exerpts from the Citizen Wells blog:

“Obama and his supporters have downplayed the legal retainer and grant
request. The MSM is barely touching this story. Even the LA Times,
that broke this story, downplays the significance of Dan Shomon and
refers to him as an Obama aide. Dan Shomon was much more than just
an Obama aide. Consider the following facts about Shomon and his
relation with Obama and other politicians and businessmen.

Here are the facts about Dan Shomon, Robert Blackwell, Alexi Giannoulias and Obama’s ties to Shomon, Blackwell, Alexi Giannoulias and Chicago and Illinois corruption:

Dan Shomon was a long time employee of Robert Blackwell and Barack Obama as well as main political advisor to Obama.

Obama initiated the request for Robert Blackwell company Killerspin to receive a grant from Illinois and made the request on official Illinois Senate stationery.

Shoman, while an employee of both Blackwell and Obama secured grants for Blackwell company Killerspin:
$200,000 grant for its 2003 tournament
$100,000 grant for its 2004 tournament

Robert Blackwell had strong ties to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who has been mentioned many times during the Tony Rezko corruption trial.
The following is from a news release by EKI Consulting:
“BLACKWELL JR. NAMED TO ILLINOIS GOVERNOR’S TRANSITION TEAM”
The top of the press release reads:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Shomon, (312) 578-0450
(* reference 1)

Obama supported the re-election of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is embroiled in corruption probes.

EKI, a Blackwell company, gave $20,000 to Blagojevich.
Electronic Knowledge Interchange won $6 million in technology consulting and software development contracts. EKI did no state
work until after Blagojevich took office.
(* reference 2)

Robert Blackwell Companies gave the following to Obama’s campaign in 2007:

BLACKWELL CONSULTING SERVICES $9,200.00
EKI  $6,925.00
KILLERSPIN  $16,500.00
(* reference 3)

Dan Shoman was referred to as an Obama aide in the LA Times article but he was much more than that:
October 2002
“He (Obama) consulted with Shoman, still his main political adviser”
(* reference 4)

April 13, 2006

“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.”
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
“In the 2006 Democratic primary, for example, Obama endorsed first-time candidate Alexi Giannoulias for state treasurer despite reports about loans Giannoulias’ family-owned Broadway Bank made to crime figures. Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaign, which banked at Broadway.”
(* reference 5)
“Andy Martin says ‘retainer’ by Robert Blackwell, Jr. was classic Illinois ‘pay to play’ and may have been criminal behavior.”
(* reference 6)

From Obama’s website. Reveals connection to Shomon:
“”She is as strong and stubborn as he is,” said Dan Shomon, an aide to Obama during his unsuccessful challenge to U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) eight years ago.”

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/04/22/michelle_obama_baracks_rock.php
“After just a few years, Obama was talking about running for Congress, and thought he saw an opportunity. In 1999, black congressman Bobby Rush had challenged Richard M. Daley for mayor, and lost. Obama conducted a poll, says then-campaign manager Dan Shomon, and it suggested that some voters, particularly white ones, were looking for an alternative to Rush.”

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/12/a_series_of_fortunate_events.php

Read more about Dan Shomon and Obama’s strong ties to crime and corruption here:

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com

View and sign The Petition to Impeach, expel Senator Obama:

http://obamaimpeachment.org

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