Diary

Michelle Obama steered contracts to Barack supporters

What a shock! You mean there might be graft and political back washing going on in Chicago?!! Wow, it is not like that has ever happened before. And isn’t it funny, that a woman with little qualification suddenly is offered a job AT A HOSPITAL with a salary of $315,000 a year.

And also funny enough, she happens to be married to a politician who represents the same interests as that hospital? There couldn’t be a connection there- no way!

Contracts Went to a Longtime Donor

By Joe Stephens Washington Post Staff WriterFriday, August 22, 2008; A04

Two years ago, the office of Michelle Obama, the vice president for community relations at the University of Chicago Medical Center, published a glossy report detailing the improvements her office had made in the lives of local residents, in part by increasing ties to minority contractors. Center administrators declined to disclose which businesses benefited; the report lists one — Blackwell Consulting Services.

In 2005, the center expanded its bidding process and invited African American businessman Robert Blackwell Sr. to join a competition to upgrade the center’s intranet, the in-house equivalent of a Web site. His company, Blackwell Consulting, won contracts totaling nearly $650,000.

Blackwell and his family, records show, have been longtime donors to the political campaigns of Michelle Obama’s husband, Barack. Robert Blackwell Jr., a former partner in the firm, is a major fundraiser for Barack Obama. At various times, Blackwell Sr. says, his and his son’s businesses each have retained Barack Obama as an attorney.

“I love Barack. I’m telling you, he’s a wonderful guy,” Blackwell said in an interview.

A spokeswoman for the medical center, Kelly Sullivan, said Michelle Obama “was not involved in the selection process.”

Blackwell Sr. described the genesis of his contract as “really fuzzy.” Sometime in 2004, he said, an employee of the center’s diversity office — he cannot remember who — mentioned an opportunity to bid on contracts there and offered to “talk us up.”

Blackwell Sr., who served with Michelle Obama for years on the board of a local literacy group, said her diversity program is critical because minorities don’t always enjoy the informal social connections available to others.”

Yeah- because we all know minorities in CHICAGO have a real tough time winning contracts from the government!!