Chicago Sun-Times Buffs Obama's Mr. Clean Image

Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site carried the story "Obama says he avoided city, state corruption."  The piece begins:

Clout and corruption scandals that have plagued Chicago and Illinois politics in recent years have not laid a glove on Barack Obama, he told reporters here Wednesday.

"You will recall that for my entire political career here, I was not the the endorsed candidate of any political organization here," the Democratic presidential hopeful said at the Westin Hotel downtown.

That isn't accurate and wasn't from the time of his very first political race.  When Obama sought state office in 1996, he completed a questionnaire from the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO).  Asked what endorsements he'd received so far, Obama listed the 4th, 5th, and 6th Democratic Organizations, Aldermen Preckwinkle and Steele, and the New Party.

The Sun-Times article also reports:

Obama friend Tony Rezko was convicted of corrupting state government, but Obama was never implicated and has returned contributions Rezko made to his Senate campaign.

That is also inaccurate.  The Sun-Times itself disclosed on January 30 of this year that Obama didn't return the Rezko-related $157,835 in contributions, but rather donated it to charity.  Gee, I wonder if the Obama campaign takes a tax deduction for such charitable donations.

The swooning of the mainstream media for Barack Obama continues.  Still, it would be a service to voters if basic fact checking were done on Mr. Clean's claims before passing them off to readers as Gospel.

2008 Presidential Chicago Sun-Times Government & Press Tony Rezko