The Blago/Obama/Blackwell pay-to-play circle

The news media reported this in pieces but never put the whole thing together. Essentially, Chicago entrepreneurs Robert Blackwell Jr. and Sr. were good friends to Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich (campaign contributions) and Obama and Blagojevich were good friends to the Blackwells.

A chronology:

2001–Barack Obama gets an $8,000 a month legal consulting contract from a company owned by Robert Blackwell Jr. at a time that Obama is low on money.

2002–Barack Obama writes a letter to the State of Illinois urging a state grant be given to another company owned by Robert Blackwell Jr.

2002-2004–Blackwell Jr.’s company was given $320,000 in grants by the state of Illinois. The grants increased greatly under Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

2005 — Robert Blackwell Sr. gets a $650,000 computer consulting contract from the University of Chicago Medical Center that is hailed in the hospital’s annual report as an example of minority contracting. Part of Michelle Obama’s job description is encouraging minority contracting.

Blackwell Jr.’s paid advisor was Obama’s first political director and was close to Blagojevich’s most important ally in Springfield, the former state Senate President.

Obama’s people continue to insist that Obama has no real ties to Blagojevich but the Blackwells show once again that claim is false.

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