Back in the 2008 presidential campaign, the media and Republicans hounded Barack Obama for his connections to Tony Rezko, a disgraced figure in Chicago who donated money to Obama, raised money for now-imprisoned Mayor Rod Blagojevich and who went to jail for corruption. Republican conspiracy theorists eagerly used Rezko as evidence that Obama was just another corrupt Chicago politician with questionable ties to criminals. When it was revealed that Obama also got money from Aiham Alsammarae, a college pal of Rezko’s who posted his bail, the conspiracy theorists went into overdrive, forcing Obama to donate Alsammarae’s $2,500 to charity.
Well, now it’s come out that Republican challenger Mitt Romney also got money from Alsammarae.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Romney received five contributions, totaling $2,300, from Alsammarae in 2011 and another $2,500 two months ago. In addition, according to Federal Election Commission records, he gave Romney $250 in 2008.
Alsammarae is a dual citizen in both the U.S. and Iraq who was once convicted of corruption in Iraq. In 2006 he allegedly broke out of a Baghdad jail, came back to Chicago and now claims the charges against him in Iraq have been vacated.
The Romney campaign has not said whether it will give the money back.