Sketchy Donor Could Sully Obama's Image

Chicago businessman Rezko, headed for trial, bundled $200K to Dem
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 4:17 PM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s relationship with a longtime contributor facing federal fraud charges could mar the candidate’s image as a politician unfettered by special interests. On Monday, Hillary Clinton slammed Obama with the allegation that he represented Antoin Rezko, a “slum landlord.” While that was an exaggeration, Rezko’s connection to Obama’s political career is stronger than he has acknowledged, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Times calculated that Rezko bundled $200,000 since 1995 toward Obama’s Illinois and US Senate campaigns. While Obama has stressed that he did nothing for Rezko’s support, he has recently returned $85,000 in related contributions and had voiced support in the past for some of Rezko’s low-income housing projects. Could this be Obama’s Norman Hsu?