Follow the money – graft is everywhere

It’s not just Democrats. It’s not just Republicans. It’s politicians from all over the country – elected to serve small towns, big cities and the United States – who have bought into the FDR New Deal philosophy of government hook, line and sinker. That era defines the beginning of government involvement in almost every aspect of our lives. It is the root cause of the financial situation we are in now.

When government gets into everything, power players get to play games with graft, political corruption, quid pro quo. You get to hand out cash for favors. Unfortunately the cash comes directly from government budgets. Since even small town budgets are so huge these days, you can easily hide $85 grand or so.

Graft is totally out of control. Nobody even blinks twice when they read reports like this one from the Chicago Sun Times.

[Ed note: I’m a conservative, so I’m going to reference a story involving Democrats – including a presidential candidate – so deal with it. Yes, Republicans can be accused of the same thing. The entire system and philosophy must change.]

A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

What the heck? Ed Morrissey from Hot Air has more.

Let’s look at that closely. Obama assisted Smith in getting city funds for 50 units of affordable housing in or near Englewood. Despite getting the funding, Smith built less than a quarter of the units he promised. Based on that track record, Obama earmarked another $100,000 in taxpayer funds for Smith, who once again failed to deliver on a project.

Even if Obama didn’t deliberately participate in an attempt to pay off a volunteer with taxpayer money, what kind of judgment is that? And what does it say about Obama that after promising to “work tirelessly” on this project, Obama didn’t even bother to notice that only about $3,000 worth of work got accomplished from a $100,000 grant?

Too bad the national media has sent dozens of reporters to Wasilla to investigate Sarah Palin and so far have come up with the hugely scandalous tanning bed that Palin bought for herself, using her own money. Perhaps they could have spared one or two to investigate the Democratic nominee at the top of their ticket and found more than just a little sunshine to blow up the electorate’s rear end.

Someone asked McCain why he has not dropped 30 investigators into Chicago to look through every transaction, meeting and event Obama has been involved with since he got there.

I’m wondering the same thing.

Posted in

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. LLynn on September 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Until we find a way to stop settling for "sound bite posturing"  and "spin", we will continue this smoke and mirrors game and hard earned dollars will be tossed onto the vanities of our elected officials. 

    Graft continues where self interest becomes the compass by which we are guided, and our highest sense of what is right.

The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.