Obama admits more money from indicted fundraiser

March 16, 2008 6:54:15 AM PDT
The spotlight is on one of Obama's major contributors - indicted businessman Tony Rezko.Barack Obama's still duking it out with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and trying to get on top of two major controversies by condemning the offensive language of his pastor and sitting down with the editorial boards of the big downtown newspapers to finally answer the lingering questions about his relationship with indicated pal and campaign contributor Tony Rezko.

According to a new admission by Obama Friday, Rezko raised $250,000 for Obama's senate campaigns, $100,000 more than Obama previously acknowledged. And Obama's providing new details about his extensive involvement with Rezko in the purchase of a house and land on the South Side at a time when Rezko was known to be under federal investigation.

"In retrospect this was an error and I've said so publicly and repeatedly. It was a mistake on my part. He had been a contributor and I should not have engaged in a business dealing with him," said Obama.

But Obama continues to claim he never did anything for Rezko in return for the campaign cash and real estate assistance.

"He told me yesterday, he said Rezko never asked me to do anything at any point." said Senator Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois.

Obama's also condemning the fiery pastor of his South Side church, Jeremiah Wright, whose inflammatory sermons accusing the U.S. government of racism at home and violence abroad sparked a firestorm of protest even though Obama's telling Fox News Channel that he was never in church for one of the objectionable sermons.

"God**** America for treating its citizens as less than human," Wright,Trinity United Church of Christ, told a crowd.

"There are ones that, from my perspective that are completely unacceptable and inexcusable," Obama said.

All of this is energizing as Republican John McCain, who said he's not conceding Illinois to Obama or Clinton, despite their deep roots in Chicago and Illinois' reputation as a reliable blue state.

Rezko is a Chicago businessman who is now on trial for mail fraud, attempted extortion and other charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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