A long-planned and well-orchestrated communications plan by the Republican National Committee to draw attention to Wednesday’s fraud and money-laundering conviction of Obama fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko is getting credit for working. Party officials and even some in the media said that the RNC's efforts helped to elevate the news value because the GOP was quick to offer a newsy response and provided deep background to reporters. For many in the industry, the first news of the conviction came from the RNC in a press release followed by several statements that quickly made it into news reports. The RNC followed up those efforts by creating a webpage devoted to its campaign: www.rezkojudgement.com. Party officials said that they were also happy with the timing of the judgment, coming while Sen. Barack Obama was beginning his victory lap for winning the Democratic presidential nomination. "We're very pleased. The timing of the verdict could not have been worse for Obama," said a party official. "A lot of independent and Clinton voters are taking another look at Obama now that he has the nomination, and one of the first things they are learning about is his friendship with a newly convicted felon. There’s no doubt the Chicago verdict rained on Obama’s victory parade."