Skip to comments.Obama Attempt to Bring Olympics to Chicago ["ethics waiver" to funnel Olympic racket $$ to cronies]
Posted on 01/17/2012 3:35:11 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
An organization that investigates and fights government corruption announced this week that it obtained records detailing costs associated with a trip made by President and Mrs. Obama and key members of the administration to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the expressed purpose of securing the 2016 Olympics for the city of Chicago.
Expenses for the two-week trip appear to have far exceeded $467,175, in light of the fact that costs associated with the aircrafts ? two Boeing 747s and several Air Force cargo planes have not been made available.
According to the records obtained from the Obama Department of Defense (DOD), President and Mrs. Obama; Secretary Ray LaHood; Secretary Arne Duncan; Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Valarie Jarrett; and representatives of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport visited Copenhagen from September 21 through October 3 in an effort to convince members of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to select Chicago as the location for the 2016 Olympics.
The Obama administration ferried dozens of other participants, including supporting staff members, to Copenhagen. However , the DOD has redacted many of their names.
Among the itemized costs associated with the Olympics trip (totaling $467,175):
* $235,659 Hotel rental for seven offices plus transportation and communications.
* $33,044 Cost of extra day in hotel (October 3, 2009).
* $129,276 Travel vouchers for hotel, mileage, reimbursed expenses, and
* $69,196 Flight costs for press.
President Obama tapped Valarie Jarrett to serve as his Olympics Czar and lead the effort to secure the Olympics for Chicago despite her personal and business ties to Chicago, which included a stint working for Mayor Daley. Jarretts work on the Olympics bid would have violated Obamas own Executive Order against engaging in lobbying activities prior to his administration.
However, then-Ethics Czar Norm Eisen granted Jarrett an ethics waver from the presidents highly-touted ethics pledge so Jarrett could run the push for the Chicago Olympics bid. The waiver exempted Jarrett from the restrictions of President Obamas own ethics pledge, even though she had personally led the bid before entering the White House.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to the DOD on October 5, 2009. FOIA law required the DOD to respond within 20 days. However, the DOD took 26 months to release the records. In September 2009, Judicial Watch submitted an open records request with Chicago Mayor Richard Daleys to obtain records related to the Olympics bid, and the mayors office has failed to respond. Therefore, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the mayors office on November 10, 2009, seeking those records.
Barack and Michelle Obama wasted taxpayer dollars on a junket that seemed designed for one purpose to take care of their Chicago cronies who stood to gain financially from the Olympics racket, says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. The fact that Valerie Jarrett needed an ethics waiver to lead this failed bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago tells you almost all you need to know about the scandalous nature of this trip.
Special thanks to Jill Sutherland Farrell, director of public affairs at Judicial Watch, for her continued help and material.
All party politics has an inherent risk of conducting its business not for higher principles but for the banal benefit of the party’s people. But Democrats carry this to a high art form that few Republicans could ever hope to match.
The proposed Olympic site,as I understand,was to be built on land where a bunch of tenement slums now stands.Who owns those slums?Why,Valerie Jarrett,of course.She stood to cash in big time.
The desolation and profanation of the Supreme Law of the Land, summed up in two words.
Obama must go!
Like this is some sort of surprise? What else is new under the sun?
I LIKE it!!
Excellent observation. “It’s okay if I do it.”
They do what ever they want....who’s gonna stop them?
Exactly. They're turning up the burner to see how much heat we'll accept and not act. As far as I can see from "our" side, we'll be boiling, and no one will care.
Judicial Watch. Ho, hum. More donation letters expected.
An over-looked piece of the puzzle???
Who Advises Valerie Jarrett?
Jarrett has surrounded herself with some rather unsavory characters who appear to be more like ‘enforcers’ than ‘advisers.’
Meet Mike Strautmanis, Jarrett’s Chief of Staff.
Strautmanis is one of Barack and Michelle Obama’s closest friends, going all the way back to the beginning in Chicago. He has worked not only for the Obamas but for disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
But here is an interesting tidbit concerning Strautmanis, in Jarrett’s own words:
Obama describes him as a utility man, and campaign advisor and Obama family friend Valerie Jarrett says hes the person you call when you need help with a delicate situation. He understands the importance of the personal touch and that e-mails and phone calls are not always appropriate, she said, talking about a specific example that she wouldnt describe in detail
In classic Chicago style, he moved up in law and politics partly through the relationships he forged.
He was befriended by the Obamas before he even went to law school. At the University of Illinois Law School, he spent late-night study sessions at the International House of Pancakes with now-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who describes Strautmanis as “in a permanent state of Zen, very even-handed, very mild-mannered.”
When as a young lawyer he developed an interest in politics, he seized an opportunity at an office Christmas party to introduce himself to South Side political boss Tom Hynes and wound up assisting Hynes’ son Dan with the statewide Democratic coordinated campaign for Bill Clinton and Al Gore the next year.
When he wanted to move to Washington, Strautmanis thrust his resume into the hands of then-U.S. Assistant Atty. Gen. Deval Patrick, now governor of Massachusetts, as Patrick left a speech in Chicago. A Clinton administration political appointment followed.
Chance encounter: Met Michelle Robinson as a summer intern at Sidley Austin and befriended her boyfriend, Barack Obama.
Working in the White House a ‘pinch yourself thing’ every day - Highlights — Michael Strautmanis works in public engagement, intergovernmental affairs office — Strautmanis has known the Obamas since his days working as a paralegal — “I get to see a man that I’ve known ... really step into this role,” he says
CNN Wire - Thursday, July 23, 2009
Author: Xuan Thai CNN White House Producer
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Michael Strautmanis knew the Obamas before they were the Obamas.
While working as a paralegal for a large law firm in Chicago, Illinois, he met the then-Michelle Robinson and her fiancn, Barack Obama.
Strautmanis , 40, looked to the Obamas as both friends and role models. He and his wife got married the same year as the Obamas and followed their path into law.
Since then, Strautmanis has volunteered for Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign, worked as a staffer in his Senate office and now serves as White House chief of staff for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.
2 more with Chicago ties join White House staff
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Saturday, December 6, 2008
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times
President-elect Barack Obama added two more high-level staffers with Chicago ties to his White House staff on Friday: attorney Tina Tchen and his former Senate counsel, Michael Strautmanis .
Both will work for Valerie Jarrett, the confidant to Obama and wife Michelle who will be a senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernment relations and public liaison. Jarrett, in preparing for her new post, was in New York Friday holding separate meetings with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. David Paterson.
Tchen was appointed White House director of public liaison and Strautmanis will serve as Jarrett’s chief of staff and assistant to the president.
Tchen is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and a longtime Democratic activist who advised the Obama presidential campaign on women’s issues. Tchen was also a major fund-raiser for the campaign, a member of Obama’s National Finance Council.
The public liaison office is the White House link to constituency groups, though it may have added tasks in the Obama administration. Tchen is “extraordinarily gifted in listening and reaching out,” Jarrett said.
Tchen has known Jarrett for years; both are part of a close-knit, well-connected network of powerful Chicago women. Mayor Daley appointed Tchen to the Chicago Public Library Board in 2003.
Strautmanis first entered the Obama orbit when he was a paralegal for Michelle Obama at the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin who encouraged him to attend law school. He was chief counsel and deputy chief of staff in Obama’s Senate office, moving over to the presidential campaign where he was a senior counsel.
Jarrett met Strautmanis after he joined Obama’s Senate staff and they worked closely together in the campaign. “Steady as a rock,” Jarrett said.
Earlier, Strautmanis , a Chicago native, was legislative director and counsel for then-Rep. Rod Blagojevich who went on to work for his first gubernatorial campaign.
Whitehouse.gov omits Blagojevich link from Michael Strautmanis biography
I wonder why no numbers for Air Force One, backup airplane, plane for limos etc. I don’t think this is the total cost and if they were going to release figures, then let’s see all of them. On second thought, we probably couldn’t stand it.
“”Valerie Jarrett says hes the person you call when you need help with a delicate situation.””
Like the delicate situations in The Godfather?
Is there one single member of the WH staff who has military experience? I know it wouldn’t be necessary for a job there but I’m curious if there is ANYONE with any kind of business/military/nonlegal/experience advising these jerks. The place stinks of incest!
I think so (and I thought so at the time I posted that thread---one of my first attempts at html & posting a thread, lol)); he keeps a low and squeaky-clean profile, doesn't he.
4 points that have interested me straightaway:
1) Obama describes him as a utility man, and campaign advisor and Obama family friend Valerie Jarrett says hes the person you call when you need help with a delicate situation. He understands the importance of the personal touch and that e-mails and phone calls are not always appropriate, she said, talking about a specific example that she wouldnt describe in detail
2) He was befriended by the Obamas before he even went to law school. At the University of Illinois Law School, he spent late-night study sessions at the International House of Pancakes with now-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.,
3)Chance encounter: Met Michelle Robinson as a summer intern at Sidley Austin and befriended her boyfriend, Barack Obama. [who was also at Sidley---in the same time frame]
4)Earlier, Strautmanis , a Chicago native, was legislative director and counsel for then-Rep. Rod Blagojevich who went on to work for his first gubernatorial campaign.
Possible inaccurate details as reported:
When Michelle was at Sidley, she wanted (was anxious and insistent) Jarrett meet her boyfriend Obama, BUT Jarrett says she never met Strautmanis until "Jarrett met Strautmanis after he joined Obamas Senate staff and they worked closely together in the campaign. Steady as a rock, Jarrett said.""
I find this scenario improbable. I think Jarrett knew him before. If I am correct, why would Jarrett lie about it?
A timeline would be helpful. I did more research on this today & crashed Firefox. Will try to reconstruct the info I gathered later.
MEANWHILE...Came upon this by accident:
Is this Strautmanis in the photos posted by ETL:
Photo-op photos of Strautmanis:
ETL: What do you think? Is that Strautmanis in your post? If so, do you know when & where those photos were taken?
89 area black teens named scholarship semifinalists
Chicago Sun-Times - Thursday, September 25, 1986
St. Ignatius - ... Michael A. Strautmanis ...
“I was going to go to Mount Carmel High School,” Strautmanis said in an interview. He said he had “good hands” and had hoped to play tight end.
“My mother made me go to St. Ignatius [College Prep],” a school that at the time had no football team. “My mother wanted me to be in a disciplined environment and not play football. I was not pleased.... Now I’m very grateful.”
From St. Ignatius he went to the University of Illinois where he was a theater major, until he realized it wasn’t for him.
In the back of his head, he had the idea of being a lawyer. While in high school, Strautmanis had attended a street law class at the Loyola University Chicago College of Law, where he got to cross-examine a witness in a fictional criminal case.
He said he “loved that intellectual challenge.”
In 1990, while in college, he got a summer job as a bicycle messenger for Cannonball in Chicago and was assigned by Cannonball to the mail room at the law firm of Hopkins & Sutter.
“I then started to realize there was such a thing as law firms,” Strautmanis said. “I didn’t know any lawyers. I wanted to know what lawyers would be like.”
At Hopkins, “I started asking for a job for the next summer,” he said. “Someone told me another firm had a job, Sidley & Austin,” which was across the street.
He introduced himself to a woman in human resources at Sidley & Austin and then “called that poor woman once a week for a year.”
He was hired by Sidley as a paralegal soon after he graduated from college.
“I had zero paralegal training,” he said, but he did what he was assigned to do.
Strautmanis said he first became friends with Sidley associate Michelle Robinson, who was then engaged to Sidley associate Obama. Strautmanis assumed that Obama “was a geek” because Obama had been head of the Harvard Law Review.
Then, at the Sidley picnic, Obama turned out to be “a guy with a left-handed jump shot who kept getting that ... jump shot off against me,” Strautmanis recalled.
They, too, became friends, but Strautmanis described Obama and Robinson back then as “more mentors than friends.” When Strautmanis applied to the U of I College of Law, Obama gave him a letter of recommendation.
Strautmanis said he worked for a year for Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP in litigation after he got his law degree in 1994. He switched to Michael, Best & Friedrich LLP from 1995 to 1998 in labor and employment litigation.
But politics seemed to be what really called him.
Jesse Jackson Jr., who had been a year ahead of Strautmanis at U of I law, was running for Congress in 1995. Strautmanis said he worked on Jackson’s successful campaign. Strautmanis then worked in Chicago for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1996, and he got to know attorney Daniel W. Hynes, a fellow a St. Ignatius grad, who in 1998 was elected comptroller of Illinois.
In 1998, Strautmanis got his first government appointment and went to work in Washington, D.C., as a special assistant to the general counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
According to The New York Times, Strautmanis, 39, is President-elect Barack Obama’s “de facto younger brother.” By this the Times’ Sunday Magazine author meant an extremely close friend.
One of the clearest-eyed grandees of the Chicago establishment, Newton Minow has long seen something special in Obama. Minow played key roles in the two presidential campaigns of Adlai E. Stevenson, then went on to become John F. Kennedys chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, famously pronouncing television programming a vast wasteland in 1961, a few months before Obama was born. At 81, sitting in his law office at Sidley Austin, in the Loop, above a stretch of street christened Honorary Newton N. Minow Way, Minow is talking about the young man his daughter Martha, a professor at Harvard Law School, recommended for a summer associates job two decades ago. At Minows firm Obama fell in love with a young lawyer, Michelle Robinson, who would become his wife.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
New dean at Harvard Law
Harvard Law School named a new dean Thursday, and she has a Chicago connection. She’s the daughter of Newton Minow, the former chair of the Federal Communications Commission, who serves as senior counsel at Sidley Austin.
Martha Minow will become dean on July 1, replacing Elena Kagan, who became U.S. solicitor general earlier this year.
Sidley had been long time outside counsel to Commonwealth Edison. The senior Sidley partner who was Comm Eds key outside counsel, Howard Trienens, was a member of the board of trustees of Northwestern alongside Tom Ayers (and Sidley partner Newton Minow, too). It turns out, Bernardine Dohrn worked at Sidley also. She was hired there in the late 80s, because of the intervention of her father-in-law Tom Ayers, even though she was (and is) not a member of any state bar.
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