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Obama/Biden 08

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wait, who's this guy again? some crackpot?

The latest anti-Obama attempt.  This taken from the Chicago Tribune.

--- Quote ---Obama bought speculative stocks favored by donors

By Mike McIntire and Christopher Drew
New York Times News Service
Published March 7, 2007

Less than two months after ascending to the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies whose major investors included some of his biggest political donors.

One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.

The most recent financial disclosure form for Obama (D-Ill.) also shows that he bought more than $50,000 in stock in a satellite communications business whose principal backers include four friends and donors who had raised more than $150,000 for his political committees.

A spokesman for Obama, who is seeking his party's presidential nomination in 2008, said Tuesday that the senator did not know that he had invested in either company until fall 2005, when he learned of it and decided to sell the stocks. He sold them at a net loss of $13,000.

The spokesman, Bill Burton, said Obama's broker bought the stocks without consulting the senator, under the terms of a blind trust that was being set up for the senator at that time but was not finalized until several months after the investments were made.

"He went about this process to avoid an actual or apparent conflict of interest and he had no knowledge of the stocks he owned," Burton said. "And when he realized that he didn't have the level of blindness that he expected, he moved to terminate the trust."

Obama has made ethics a signature issue. There is no evidence that any of his actions ended up benefiting either company during the roughly eight months that he owned the stocks.

Even so, the stock purchases raise questions about how he could unwittingly come to invest in two relatively obscure companies, whose backers happened to include generous contributors to his political committees.

Among those donors was Jared Abbruzzese, a New York businessman now at the center of an FBI inquiry into public corruption in Albany, N.Y. Abbruzzese had also contributed to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that had sought to undermine Sen. John Kerry's Democratic presidential campaign in 2004.

Senate ethics rules do not prohibit lawmakers from owning stocks. The rules say only that lawmakers should not take legislative actions whose primary purpose is to benefit themselves.

Obama's sale of his shares in the two companies ended what appears to have been a brief foray into highly speculative investing that stood out amid an otherwise conservative portfolio of mutual funds and cash accounts, a review of his Senate disclosure statements shows. He earned $2,000 on the biotech company AVI BioPharma and lost $15,000 on the satellite communications concern Skyterra according to Burton of the Obama campaign.

Burton said the trust was different from qualified blind trusts that other senators commonly used because it was intended to allow him greater flexibility to address any allegations of conflicts that might arise from its assets. He said Obama had decided to sell the stocks after receiving a communication that made him concerned about how the trust was set up.

The disclosure forms show that the Obamas put $50,000 to $100,000 into an account at UBS, which his aides say was recommended to him by a wealthy friend, George Haywood. Public security filings show Haywood was also a major investor in both Skyterra and AVI BioPharma.

Haywood and his wife, Cheryl, have contributed close to $50,000 to Obama's campaigns and to his political action committee, the Hopefund. Haywood declined to comment.
--- End quote ---

I'm already sick of hearing about the 2008 election.

I'm sick of pretty much everything.

inspired subtitle change, there. 

i'm going to quote the Clintons here: "Imagine if we had made money on the deal."


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