CHICAGO, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The McCain campaign Thursday tried to dredge up a real estate deal that enabled Democrat Barack Obama to buy his Chicago mansion.
Former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill., joined forces with McCain campaign adviser Ed O'Callahan to urge reporters to investigate the 2005 transaction in which Obama bought his house and the wife of convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko bought an adjoining yard. Obama has said he could not afford to buy both the house and the yard, and he later acquired a 10-foot strip from the adjoining lot to augment his property. He has called the acquisition "boneheaded."
Fitzgerald, an investment banker who served two years in the state Senate alongside Obama, said he supports an American Conservative Union complaint urging a Senate ethics investigation of the Obama real estate transaction. The effort came the same day long-time Illinois Republican fundraiser Bill Cellini was indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from the investigation into Rezko.
"Senate ethics rules are such that you may not solicit favors from anybody or accept them if they have a monetary value over $50. And you saw an ethics complaint was filed against Senator Chris Dodd because -- alleging he may have gotten $2,500 off of points on his mortgage at Countrywide," Fitzgerald said during a conference call.
"Well, here we're talking, if there was a gift, if there was solicitation of a favor and acceptance of one, we're talking a potential monetary value that could be in the tens of thousands of dollars."