Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Obama Earmarks Benefited Donors and Relatives, Group Says
(CNSNews.com) – As an Illinois state legislator, Sen. Barack Obama secured at least $300,000 to fund projects that benefited friends, relatives and contributors, according to a conservative government watchdog group.
Those projects included a botanical garden that was never built, a church with a controversial pastor and an organization headed by Michelle Obama’s cousin.
Judicial Watch, using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, says it obtained information on earmarks doled out by Obama when he represented his Chicago district in the state Senate.
Obama obtained a $100,000 grant for a garden project in Englewood, Ill., which was initiated by campaign volunteer Kenny Smith, according to Judicial Watch. The “Englewood Botanical Garden” project was never built, however. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Today the garden site is a mess of weeds, chunks of concrete and garbage.”
State records show that $65,000 of the grant money obtained by Obama went directly to Smith’s wife Karen, Judicial Watch said.
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