"First, let's examine how Obama took his first significant step on to the political scene when be became a state senator for Illinois in January 1996. It was a rather remarkable contest, in that Obama was elected unopposed. And the reason for that was that he had found a way to have all the other candidates removed from the ballot, including the incumbent. Obama under the glare of the spotlight: He has at times played a dirty game to get into politics. If you want to run for a U.S. state senate seat, you need the backing - ie, the signatures - of a minimum of 757 ordinary electors within your district. Obama employed a special consultant, Ronald Davis, to look at each of the 1,600 signatures that the sitting senator, Alice Palmer, a member of his own party, had gathered. And Mr Davis found problems with so many that Palmer was dropped from the ballot, and for good measure he managed to have the other three candidates ditched as well. According to a local newspaper, problems included 'printing registered voters name [sic] instead of writing, a female voter got married after she registered to vote and signed her maiden name'. It was a legal electoral tactic, but a little odd from the man who had run 'Project Vote' - a campaign to persuade the disenfranchised to vote for the first time. Yet here was Obama disenfranchising those same voters in another way, using the toughest of political tactics to deny them a choice at the election. Asked about it later, he said: 'If you can win, you should win, and get to work doing the people's business.' The next telling aspect to the case against Obama is his attitude towards the corrupt politics of Cook County, the five-million-strong council area that includes Chicago. Until recently, Cook County was run by John Stroger, the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. And he ran an extraordinary political machine, in which a full 50 per cent of all the campaign contributions he received came from either employees on the county payroll, or contractors doing work for the county. A federal investigation found that jobs were handed out not on merit, but thanks to personal connections with the Stroger machine. If you were a 'soldier for Stroger', you would get a job. And then, allegedly, you would in return contribute campaign funds to re- elect your political patron. 'He was in a prime position to speak out against this appalling corruption. Instead, he did nothing' 'He was in a prime position to speak out against this appalling corruption. Instead, he did nothing' What's that got to do with Obama? Well, as a local state senator and then as a U.S. senator for Illinois, he was in a prime position to speak out against this appalling corruption. Instead, he did nothing. In fact, when a well-qualified liberal challenger, Forrest Claypool, stood against Stroger with support from both Democrats and Republicans, again Obama did nothing. And when Stroger had a stroke, and his unqualified son, Todd Stroger, was nominated by the machine to replace him, again Obama did nothing. Worse, he issued a statement saying that: 'Todd Stroger is a good progressive Democrat who will bring those values and sensibilities to the job.' Young Stroger won that election, and since his victory he has continued with his father's patronage politics. For example, he gave his cousin, the county's chief financial officer, a 12 per cent pay increase to $160,000 (Â£92,500), hired his best friend's wife on $126,000 (Â£73,000), and appointed a childhood pal as his official spokesman. Hardly the 'good progressive Democrat' whom Obama supported. But that was by no means Obama's only connection with tainted political empires. Obama has also enthusiastically endorsed Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago. Daley managed to cling to office despite a federal investigation into a widespread system of political patronage over which he presided. Two of his aides were convicted in 2006 for running this system, and rewarding the mayor's allies with jobs and promotions. One job applicant was actually in Iraq on the day that his supposed 'interview' took place, but still managed to score a perfect five out of five to secure a coveted position. Yet in 2007, Obama endorsed Daley's campaign for re-election as Chicago's mayor, saying 'the city overall has moved in a positive direction'. This should come as no surprise, since Obama has inherited his chief spokesman and political adviser directly from Mayor Daley. David Axelrod worked for Daley for 15 years and has consistently defended him, arguing at the time that Daley's men were about to go to jail: 'The so-called machine doesn't exist any more.' Obama said earlier this year: 'I think I have done a good job in rising politically in this environment without becoming entangled in some of the traditional problems of Chicago politics.' The evidence, unfortunately, suggests otherwise. Obama then moves on to the U.S. Senate. Obama hasn't been there long, but one of his much-trumpeted-achievements was the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, 2006. This helped expose, and therefore limit, the system of 'earmarking', where legislators direct national funds to parochial local projects, often as part of dodgy deals to get their support for national legislation. So it is doubly disappointing that in 2007, Senator Obama 'earmarked' $1 million for the University of Chicago medical centre. The vice-president of the centre is his own wife, Michelle Obama. Indeed, she had received a pay rise of $200,000 (Â£115,500) at the very same time that Obama first became a senator - and thus able to organise earmarks. Coincidence? Or something more sinister? Obama insists the former, but it certainly doesn't look good. Change in the system: But Obama realised he could raise more than the limit and changed his policy. Then the book moves on to Obama's single most disappointing decision. In the wake of Nixon's Watergate scandal, state funding for Presidential elections was introduced as an option. Under the terms of the deal, candidates can choose to receive a fixed sum of $84 million from U.S. taxpayers to pay their election expenses, but then can't spend any more of their own money. Alternatively, they can opt to raise all their funds independently with no fixed ceiling. Progressives have long argued for mandatory state funding, since it's intended to make newly elected presidents less indebted to the donors who paid their way to the White House. So it was no surprise when, in 2006, Obama said he 'strongly supported' state funding. In 2007, he promised to ' aggressively pursue' a deal with McCain, under which both candidates would opt for central funding rather than private donations. But then he realised how much money he could raise on his own - perhaps as much as half a billion dollars. So he promptly dumped his commitment to state funding. He said the decision 'wasn't an easy one' but that the system was 'broken'. This is rubbish. It's just that he has a better chance of beating McCain - who has accepted the $84 million state funding deal - if he can massively outspend him. Like the time he had all his fellow candidates eliminated from the ballot in 1996, he wanted to win, more than he wanted to hang on to his principles. Next, the book has a look at Obama's long-term relationship with the Church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who believes that the American government has been deliberately infecting black people with the HIV virus. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: But Obama has switched his position when it benefited him. The Church's 'vision statement' says it is founded on the writings of Dr James Cone. Dr Cone argues, among other things, that ' Christianity and Whiteness' are opposites. Obama left Wright's Church only earlier this year - when the Reverend accused him of 'political posturing'. This is well-worn territory, of course. Obama's critics never tire of criticising his links to Wright. But they are no less disturbing for that. Finally, lets look at Obama's relationships with a series of property developers, including Tony Rezko, who recently went to jail for fraud. When Obama bought his house in 2005 for $300,000 (Â£173,000) less than the market value, Rezko bought the plot next door. When challenged about their connections, Obama claimed: 'I've never done any favours for him.' Not quite true, apparently. The two were friends and Obama wrote a series of letters supporting Rezko's successful attempts to get state subsidy to build affordable housing in Chicago. Chicago real estate developer and fast-food magnate Antoin 'Tony' Rezko spent years pouring thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into Barack Obama's campaign. Unfortunately, Rezko's 30 buildings have subsequently run into financial difficulties, which is a bit tough for their tenants as living conditions have deteriorated. Rezko even turned off the heating in the middle of winter to save money. Not a nice man, then. But a generous supporter of Obama, collecting and donating $250,000 (Â£144,000) to his political patron over the years. So there, in essence, is the case against Obama." ----From an article in the Dailymail in Brittain.