Sarah Palin got it wrong. She said that Barack Obama has authored two autobiographies but no legislation. He stood behind one terribly important piece of legislation during his time in the Illinois State Senate, although he may not have penned the exact words.Senate Bill 1332.
Remember that number. Bring it up anytime someone asks why you have the crazy idea that Barack Obama is corrupt.
Senate Bill 1332 was Obama's baby. The legislation -- completely unneeded, from the standpoint of the public -- reduced the state's hospital board from 15 to 9, and insured that the corrupt governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, would control the board
which controlled a huge pile of public funds.
The corrupt members appointed included three doctors who contributed to Obama.
The first order of business concerned a hospital
which experts said was not needed:
Edward Hospital, which has a stormy history with the Health Planning Board, first applied to build a hospital in Plainfield in 2003. Hospital Chief Executive Officer Pam Meyer Davis reported to federal authorities that then-board member Stuart Levine attempted to extort a kickback in exchange for approval.
The subsequent investigation led to the indictment and conviction of Levine and political fundraiser Tony Rezko, who authorities said participated in the scheme.
Rezko had picked out Obama during his days at college. All during Obama's days as a "community organizer," he was really Rezko's creature.
Levine, who has pled guilty, eventually became a star witness at Rezko's trial. The following comes from Evelyn Pringle's
Levine was also appointed to the Planning Board by a Republican Governor. However, he established himself as a bipartisan crook early in the trial. On March 10, 2008, he told the jury that even before he got involved with the Blagojevich administration, he used to funnel campaign contributions to Democratic candidates through straw donors at the request of former Chicago Alderman Edward Vrdolyak, who has also been indicted on federal fraud and bribery charges in a related case.
Levine's term on the Board was set to expire in 2004, but the Schemers made sure he remained on the panel.
One of those schemers -- as evidenced by emails introduced at the Rezko trial -- was Barack Obama, who was chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.
Public corruption takes many forms, but the general pattern is usually the same. Elected officials make sure that cronies get fat government contracts. The cronies take a chunk of that money and contribute to the campaigns of the officials who helped them. In essence, taxpayer dollars are translated into partisan efforts.
Democrats applauded when I wrote about how that process worked in the case of Duke Cunningham and Brent Wilkes. The pay-outs Obama received from Rezko and his ilk may have been smaller, but are no different in kind
So why the double standard?