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Illinois Senator Barack Obama (above, at podium) chose to do a fundraiser with some of the wealthiest people in Chicago at the Regency Hyatt Hotel while refusing to speak directly to the more than 3,000 delegates to the American Federation of Teachers convention taking place at the same time. On the night of July 11, 2008, Obama was posing for photographs with Chicago's wealthy at a cost of $1,000 per picture at the same hotel where thousands of the delegates to the AFT convention were staying. Obama didn't always demand a thousand dollars for a photograph. On the eve of the November 2006 election, the Senator appeared at a

On July 11, 2008, Illinois Senator Barack Obama chose to do a fundraiser with some of the wealthiest people in Chicago at the Regency Hyatt Hotel. At the same time, Obama was refusing to appear before the convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and speak directly to the more than 3,000 delegates to the AFT convention (he spoke on Sunday, July 13, via satellite). The teachers' convention was taking place at the same time at the same hotel where Obama did his fundraiser, but teachers were not invited. On the night of July 11, 2008, Obama was posing for photographs at Chicago's Regency Hyatt Hotel with Chicago's wealthy supporters at a cost of $1,000 per picture (and $2,000 donation for admission) at the same hotel where thousands of the delegates to the AFT convention were staying.

Obama didn't always demand two thousand dollars for a handshake or a thousand dollars for a photograph. Nor did he always snub labor unions as "special interests" as he began doing by July 2008. The photograph here was taken less than two years ago in Chicago. On the eve of the November 2006 election, U.S. Senator Barack Obama appeared at a "Labor for Stroger" rally at Chicago's Plumbers Union hall (1340 W. Washington). At the rally, Obama urged Chicago and Cook County voters to elect Todd Stroger (standing in the photograph above behind U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to Obama's left) as President of the Cook County Board. Also on stage with Obama during the "Labor for Stroger" event (above) were Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (obscured behind Senator Durbin), Daley's brother John (a commissioner of Cook County and ward committeeman of the powerful 11th Ward in Chicago), and dozens of other powerful Democratic Party politicians and union leaders. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

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