Obama's big scandal -- UPDATED
The Moonies are taking time off from trashing crosses and are now trashing Obama
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon's propaganda organ, also known as the Washington Times, has uncovered a doozy of a scandal that involves Barack Obama.
It seems that Obama, along with fellow Illinois senator Dick Durban and Mayor Richard Daily of Chicago, asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide a $20 million grant to build 439 low income housing units in Chicago. The housing is part of a project called Stateway Gardens, which is being built by the Chicago Housing Authority. HUD awarded the grant, calling the project a "shining example" of urban revitalization.
One of the developers of Stateway Gardens is a firm headed by Allison Davis, who has contributed tens of thousands to Obama's campaigns over the years, but neither Davis nor his firm will receive any of the HUD money.
That's it. That's the whole scandal. As part of a grant application, a public housing authority included letters of support from several prominent politicians. A political supporter of Obama's heads a firm that is helping to build the project, but is not benefiting from the grant. The grant is funding hundreds of low income housing units at a cost of less than $50,000 per unit. You just can't trust those big city politicians, can you?
The article relies heavily on a group called Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), which apparently believes that any low income housing at any price is wasteful. It's not much of a scandal, but it seems that organizations like CAGW and the Moonie Times are willing to grasp at any straw in order to attack Obama.
By the way, the Obama campaign has kicked off a new website devoted to McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal. In that scandal, John McCain took contributions and gifts from Charles Keating, then tried to bully bank regulators into dropping an investigation into a savings and loan operated by Keating. It turns out that Keating had been stealing millions, which caused his thrift to fail. Keating went to jail, taxpayers lost billions, and John McCain was formally reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee.
But don't look for anything from the Washington Times or Citizens Against Government Waste about THAT scandal.
Here's a video that explains McCain's role in the Keating Five scandal in detail:
UPDATE: The McCain campaign now asserts that McCain did nothing improper on Keating's behalf. But there's two problems with that denial:
1) The plain fact is, McCain intervened on behalf of a contributor who was breaking the law, and McCain's intervention wound up costing taxpayers more than $3 billion when his contributor's bank folded two years later.
2) The way McCain has always told the story, his involvement with Charles Keating is what convinced him to stop trading favors for campaign contributions, and to try to change the law to limit such contributions. As Ben Smith writes, if McCain thinks he did nothing wrong, "what's this giant mistake that transformed McCain into a reformer?"
(cross posted at appletree)