Thursday, March 13, 2008

Well, isn't this cozy?

Barack Obama has released the list of earmarks he requested in 2005 and 2006. And Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times notes how one helped out a bit close to home.
Obama sought money for the University of Chicago Hospitals. Wife Michelle works for the University of Chicago Hospitals, appointed in spring 2005 as vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She is now on leave from the job to campaign for her husband. Top campaign adviser and friend Valerie Jarrett is the Chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board and also Chair of the Executive Committee of that board. She has also been named Vice-Chair of the University's Board of Trustees. Obama taught at the U. of Chicago law school and the Obama's two daughters attend school there.

from the Obama campaign

Obama Requested $1 Million For Construction Of A New Hospital Pavilion At The University Of Chicago. In 2006, Obama requested that the University of Chicago receive $1 million to support its Construction of New Hospital Pavilion.
Byron York reported a couple of weeks ago how Michelle Obama got a substantial raise after her husband became a U.S. senator. After reporting on a speech by Mrs. Obama complaining on how she and Barack gave up big salaries to work in the community, York notes that her community service wasn't exactly sending the family to live on Ramen Soup.
What she doesn’t mention is that the helping industry has treated her pretty well. In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office.
All very worthy, I'm sure, but try to imagine if a less saintly politician than Barack Obama got a million dollar earmark for his wife's employer just as after his wife got more than a 150% raise. Coincidence? You decide. (h/t Jim Geraghty)