Skip to comments.Obama pal part of fed probe (Dr. Eric Whitaker)
Posted on 05/08/2010 5:02:14 AM PDT by maggief
E-mails and other records of Dr. Eric Whitaker -- one of President Obama's best friends -- have been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
The investigation involves "faith-based initiatives" and health-awareness campaigns funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health when Whitaker ran the agency for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, according to copies of subpoenas obtained under the state's Freedom of Information Act.
Obama has said he recommended Whitaker for that job, which Whitaker landed in April 2003. The president's friend resigned in October 2007 to join Obama's wife, Michelle, as an executive at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
(Excerpt) Read more at suntimes.com ...
W.H. waives ethics rules for counsel (Robt Bauer)
Politico ^ | 5-7-10
White House Deputy Counsel Resigns
new york times ^ | May 7, 2010 | CHARLIE SAVAGE
Gosh, it would be such a shame if this investigation uncovered a trail of state money flowing to Whitaker that culminated in sizable donations to Obama’s presidential campaign (which curiously began in January 2007, the very starting date of documents being subpoenaed).
Or some similar tidy arrangement that “enriched” Michelle Obama through her overpaid hospital job. Such a rich network of corruption, so little time...
Bob Bauer, husband of Mao admirer Anita Dunn, mentor of Baghad Bob Gibbs
a pot of stinking ooze has filled our govt
more chicagocides on the horizon...
IIRC, Mrs. Wookie’s salary suddenly tripled when her husband became a senator. Probably just a coincidence. Happens all the time. Or, at least whenever Chicago politicians can get with arm’s reach of public funds.
*IL Politics Ping*
The FBI needs a full time crew like the Untouchables investigating their politicians until the place is clean. Now - there is a jobs program I could support.
“Mrs. Wookies salary suddenly tripled when her husband became a senator.”
I’ve never seen a shred of evidence that the hospital thought that it didn’t get a very handsome return on its “investment” in a Chicago senator’s wife. Money is the mother’s milk of politics and Chicago apparently is the land of milk and honey.
Whitaker chief of staff also subpoened...Quin Golden...
quin golden is niece of danny davis...
That explains a lot.
: o /
In 2003, Obama -- then an Illinois state senator, gave a "glowing" reference for Whitaker to Tony Rezko -- the now-convicted political fixer who helped Blagojevich find people to run state agencies.
Corrupt Chicago group
The list, ping
The Leftist media was not interested in exposing the Democrat cesspool of corruption in Chicago before the ‘08 election. They certainly will not cover it now, when BO’s polls are tanking and the Dems nationwide are in deep do-do. It will be up to the conservative media to pound this home before Nov.
2008 FR thread:
Obama’s pal Eric Whitaker, his Tony Rezko tie
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/10/obamas_pal_eric_whitaker_his_t.html ^ | October 28, 2008 | Lynn Sweet
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:14:14 PM by Shermy
One of Obamas closest friends, Dr. Eric Whitaker, under investigation
Posted by Jeff J Latest News May 9, 2010
E-mails and other records of Dr. Eric Whitaker one of President Obamas best friends have been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
The investigation involves faith-based initiatives and health-awareness campaigns funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health when Whitaker ran the agency for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, according to copies of subpoenas obtained under the states Freedom of Information Act.
Obama has said he recommended Whitaker for that job, which Whitaker landed in April 2003. The presidents friend resigned in October 2007 to join Obamas wife, Michelle, as an executive at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Bump for later. I need a scorecard. Sigh.
April 27, 2010
President Obama hit the links over the weekend in Asheville, N.C., and one of his foursome was Dr. Eric Whitaker of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Whitaker and Obama have been friends since they were students at Harvard.
Dr. Eric Whitaker, an urban health care pioneer and self-described country doc who goes back more than 15 years with Obama, and whose personal and professional life is closely interwoven with the 44th presidents.
Since Obamas victory, Whitaker has hit the links, the gym, the basketball court, the beach and the zoo with the president-elect.
Hes also been grazed by some of the scandals that touched Obama with fleeting references to Whitaker during the Tony Rezko corruption trial and Obamas review of contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Whitaker has, at times, bristled under the spotlight reflected from his good friend but has grudgingly become a kind of gatekeeper and spokesman for Obamas inner circle.
Whitakers ideas likely will be reflected in Obamas health care plans, which makes sense given that Obama once recommended Whitaker as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
After leaving the department for the University of Chicago hospital in 2007, Whitaker expanded an effort first pushed by Michelle Obama to steer uninsured patients with non-life-threatening conditions from the hospitals emergency room to local clinics. Expanding health clinics in poor neighborhoods is almost certain to be part of Obamas plan.
Obama had vouched for Whitakers candidacy for state health director with Rezko, who prosecutors alleged engineered a pay-to-play scheme with Blagojevich.
The trial focused partly on Rezkos use of a state board his associates controlled to try to extract kickbacks for state contracts to build new hospitals. Whitakers department provided the boards staff and budget.
Obama in March told the Sun-Times that Whitaker had expressed an interest in that job. He did contact me, or Tony contacted me, and I gave him a glowing recommendation because I thought he was outstanding.”
Then, in August, Whitaker was mentioned in a Washington Post story highlighting criticism of the University of Chicago hospitals emergency-room-to-clinic initiative, as well as the role that a public relations firm co-owned by Obama political guru David Axelrod played in promoting it.
What’s “an urban health care pioneer”? Is that a medicaid doc who fraudulently bills using fake SS#’s so he can up his income? Maybe it is some sort of variation on “community organizer”? Golf & basketball seems to be the thing of these “types”.
The mission of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Health Program is to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented racial/ethnic minority
Recently, partnering community health centers have received nearly $1 million from the Urban Health Initiative
The Urban Health Initiative is a long-term commitment to strategically improving health and access to quality care on the South Side of Chicago
Through the Urban Health Initiative, the University of Chicago Medical Center funds a program called Repayment for Education to Alumni in Community Health, or REACH
through REACH, alumni can receive $40,000 a year for four years toward education loan repayment, a maximum benefit of $160,000
Urban Health Initiative = the hospital patient dumping and ignoring poor patients for wealthier ones.
Urban Health Initiative was crafted in part by former UCMC executive Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama — currently on unpaid leave from her $317,000-a-year job as a vice president of the prestigious hospital — helped create the program, which aims to find neighborhood doctors for low-income people who were flooding the emergency room for basic treatment. Hospital officials say such patients hinder their ability to focus on more critically ill patients in need of specialized care, such as cancer treatment and organ transplants.
Obama’s top political strategist, David Axelrod, co-owns the firm, ASK Public Strategies, that was hired by the hospital last year to sell the program — called the Urban Health Initiative — to the community as a better alternative for poor patients. Obama’s wife and Valerie Jarrett, an Obama friend and adviser who chairs the medical center’s board, backed the Axelrod firm’s hiring, hospital officials said.
Another Obama adviser and close friend, Dr. Eric Whitaker, took over the Urban Health Initiative when he was hired at U. of C. in October 2007. Whitaker previously had been director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Obama has said he recommended Whitaker for the state job, giving his name to Tony Rezko, who helped Gov. Blagojevich assemble his Cabinet. Rezko, a former fund-raiser for Obama and Blagojevich, was convicted in June on federal corruption charges tied to state deals.
Whitaker, who has traveled with Obama on the presidential campaign trail, chalked up the criticism to people opposed to change.
the Urban Health Initiative is improving the university’s finances. Fewer poor patients are showing up at the U. of C. emergency room for basic medical treatment and are no longer admitted to the hospital.
Axelrod’s firm also suggested the program’s name be changed. “Some participants view the word ‘urban’ as code for ‘black,’ “ according to a poll the firm commissioned.
The Obama Administration announced $508.5 million awarded in Facility Investment Program grants to community health centers nationwide to address the pressing needs of health center facilities and expanded their capacities to serve an additional 500,000 patients. The funds were made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). The Facility Investment Program (FIP) grants support major construction and renovation at our nations health centers. These funds will help health centers build new facilities, modernize current sites and create employment opportunities in underserved communities.
Table of contents
1. 1. Why He Matters
2. 2. At a Glance
3. 3. Path to Power
1. 3.1. Illinois Public Health Department Director
2. 3.2. University of Chicago Medical Center
4. 4. The Issues
1. 4.1. Project Brotherhood
2. 4.2. Urban Health Initiative
3. 4.3. Stem Cell Research
5. 5. The Network
6. 6. Campaign Contributions
Current Position: Associate Dean and Executive Vice President, University of Chicago Medical Center (since 2007)
Why He Matters
A member of Barack Obama12s tight-knit circle of friends from Hyde Park in Chicago, Whitaker was a fixture on the 2008 presidential campaign trail, often sitting with Obama13 on the campaign plane, serving as a sounding board for the candidate and helping to keep him grounded with frequent basketball games.
Whitaker, who has been friends with Obama14 since both were in graduate school, works at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Michelle Obama15 also worked.
Whitaker is a medical doctor and served as Illinois Department of Public Health director from 2003 to 2007 and now serves as executive vice president of the University of Chicagos Medical Center. Obama has said he put in a good word for his friend to political fundraiser Tony Rezko, a conversation which Obama was asked about after Rezko was convicted of bribery and fraud.Sweet, Lynn, Obamas pal Eric Whitaker, his Tony Rezko tie, The Chicago Sun-Times, October 28, 2008(1)Sweet, Lynn, Obamas pal Eric Whitaker, his Tony Rezko tie, The Chicago Sun-Times, October 28, 2008
People scarcely know I went to medical school, Dr. Whitaker told the New York Times. Now Im some creation of Barack Obama16.Kantor, Jodi, Obamas Friends Form Strategy to Stay Close, The New York Times, Dec. 14, 2008(2)Kantor, Jodi, Obamas Friends Form Strategy to Stay Close, The New York Times, Dec. 14, 2008
In the Times profile of Obama17s First Friends, Whitaker figured prominently, along with new White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett18; campaign treasurer Martin Nesbitt19; John W. Rogers20, president of Ariel Capital Management; Rogers ex-wife, the new White House social secretary Desiree Rogers21; and Craig Robinson22, Michelle Obama’s23 brother. The group has vacationed together, enjoys football games at each others homes and plays Scrabble. The group is making plans to frequently visit their close friend in the White House, but Dr. Whitaker, for one, says he doesnt plan to stay in Washington.
From the article
"Somebody who I do remember talking directly to Tony about was Dr. Eric Whitaker," Obama told the Sun-Times in March 2008. "He and I played basketball together when he was getting his master's in public health at Harvard, while I was in law school there.He had expressed an interest in that job. I did contact Tony, or Tony contacted me, and I gave him a glowing recommendation because I thought he was outstanding."
She [Valerie Jarrett] is closely tied into Obamas Chicago network. Her father mentored Eric Whitaker and Anita Blanchard at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Both are good friends with the Obamas, and Blanchard is married to Martin Nesbitt, another close Obama friend, who served as the 2008 campaign treasurer.