The Glory of "Transformational" Politics

Posted: Apr 27, 2008 3:44 PM
The LA Times is reporting that an associate of Barack Obama's -- a Chicago entrepreneur who paid him an $8,000 per month retainer for legal "consulting," thereby substantially supplementing his $58,000 per year state Senate salary -- did well, very well, in obtaining state grants, thanks to Barack and his staff.


A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin. 

Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.

Also interesting:

Obama's staff said the senator advocated only for the first year's grant -- which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama's U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.

Of course, the linked piece notes,  "Obama's presidential campaign rejects any suggestion that there was a connection between the legal work, the campaign contribution and the help with the grant."

Ah, the glory of the new, transformational politics.