Obama Awarded Illinois Grants To Relatives Group

Obama Awarded Illinois Grants To Relatives Group

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Records show that as a state senator, Barack Obama awarded $75,000 in government grants to a Chicago social service organization led by a rabbi who is also his wife's cousin.

In 1999, Obama arranged for $50,000 for adult literacy and counseling services offered on Chicago's South Side by a group called Blue Gargoyle. A $25,000 grant for the group's youth services followed the next year.

The group's executive director when the grants were awarded was Capers Funnye (fun-NAY'), Michelle Obama's first cousin once removed.

Funnye said today there was nothing improper about the way Blue Gargoyle got the grants. He says Obama didn't encourage him to apply for them.

Obama's presidential campaign says the grants supported valuable services.

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