ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT FEATURES:
PROFILE OF BARACK OBAMA, FROM BIRTH THROUGH ELECTION DAY 2008:
Democrat Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. was elected President of the United States on November 4, 2008. Prior to that, he had served four years as a U.S. senator from Illinois (2005-2008) and eight years as an Illinois state senator (1996-2004).
Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961, to a white mother from Kansas (Anna Dunham) and a black Muslim father from Kenya (Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.). The couple had met when they were students at the University of Hawaii. When they married, Anna was unaware that her new husband was still legally married to a woman in Kenya, whom he had wed in 1954, and with whom he had fathered four children.
In his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama, Jr. describes his mother as “a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for New Deal, Peace Corps, position-paper liberalism.” His father was a communist who had left his rural Luo-speaking village and his own Muslim father to become an “agnostic” and study economics abroad.
When Barack Obama, Jr. was two years old, his father left the family and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he pursued graduate studies at Harvard University. In January 1964 Anna Dunham filed for divorce.
In an early 1964 memo, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) official M.F. McKeon indicated that Harvard administrators were "planning on telling [Barack Obama, Sr.] that they will not give him any money, and that he had better return to Kenya and prepare his thesis at home.” Then, in May of that year, the director of Harvard’s international office told Obama precisely that. In a memo the following month, McKeon wrote that Harvard officials -- who were "having difficulty with [Obama's] financial arrangements and couldn’t seem to figure out how many wives he had" -- had asked the INS to delay a request by Obama to extend his stay in the U.S., “until they decided what action they could take in order to get rid of him.” When the INS complied with Harvard's wishes and denied Obama's request, Obama returned to his native Kenya in July 1964 and never completed his Ph.D. He became a globe-traveling economist for the Kenyan government and would see his son only one more time, during a month-long visit in 1971.
When Barack Obama, Jr. was six, his mother married an Indonesian oil manager, a “non-practicing Muslim” named Lolo Soetoro, and the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where the boy's half-sister Maya was born. The family would reside there for four years. Obama attended school in Indonesia under the name Barry Soetoro; at that time, only Indonesian citizens were permitted to attend school in that country.
Muslim Upbringing as a Child:
Vis à vis Barack Obama’s religious upbringing, Islam scholar Daniel Pipes reports the following:
“In Islam, religion passes from the father to the child. Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. [his Kenyan birth father] was a Muslim who named his boy Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. Only Muslim children are named ‘Hussein’.… [Barack Obama’s] stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was also a Muslim. In fact, as Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng explained to Jodi Kantor of the New York Times: ‘My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.’ An Indonesian publication, the Banjarmasin Post reports a former classmate, Rony Amir, recalling that ‘All the relatives of Barry's [Barack’s] father were very devout Muslims.’”
Obama’s good friend, the attorney and novelist Scott Turow, writes that Obama as a child spent “two years in a Muslim school, then two more in a Catholic school.” School records show that when Obama attended Catholic school, he was enrolled as a Muslim.
Journalist Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times learned from Obama’s childhood friends that “Obama sometimes went to Friday prayers at the local mosque.”
Kim Barker of the Chicago Tribune found that “Obama occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers.”
An Indonesian friend of Obama, Zulfin Adi, states that “[Obama] was Muslim. He went to the mosque. I remember him wearing a sarong [a garment associated with Muslims].”
Obama's former classmate in Indonesia, the aforementioned Rony Amir, recalls Obama as having been “previously quite religious in Islam.”
In December 2007 Obama would say, “I've always been a Christian. The only connection I've had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father's side came from that country [Kenya]. But I've never practiced Islam.”
In February 2008 he elaborated, “I have never been a Muslim.… [O]ther than my name and the fact that I lived in a populous Muslim country for four years when I was a child [Indonesia, 1967-71], I have very little connection to the Islamic religion.”
The 1970s and CPUSA Member Frank Marshall Davis:
In 1971, Obama was sent back to Hawaii to be raised largely by his white, middle-class, maternal grandparents, and to attend the prestigious Punahou Academy. For only one month of his life, also when he was ten, Obama was visited by his biological father.
During his years in Hawaii, Obama attended Sunday school at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, which, according to a 2009 statement by its pastor, "has always been, and to this day still is, involved in political activism." In the 1970s, First Unitarian served as a sanctuary for draft dodgers and had close ties to the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), where Weatherman leader (and future Obama political alliy) Bill Ayers was a prominent figure.
Also in the Seventies, the Obama family became friendly with Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987), a black writer and fellow Hawaiian resident. Davis wrote for the Honolulu Record (a Communist newspaper) and was a known member of the Soviet-controlled Communist Party USA (CPUSA). He soon became the young Barack Obama’s mentor and advisor.
In Dreams From My Father, Obama writes about Davis but does not reveal the latter’s full name, identifying him only as “a poet named Frank” -- a man with much “hard-earned knowledge” who had known “some modest notoriety once” but was now “pushing eighty.” (Obama later confirmed to biographer David Maraniss that "Frank" was indeed Frank Marshall Davis.)
Obama in his book recounts how, just prior to heading off to Occidental College (in California) in 1979, he spent some time with “Frank and his old Black Power dashiki self.” Obama writes that “Frank” not only had told him that college was merely
“an advanced degree in compromise,” but also had cautioned him not to
“start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the
American way and all that sh--.”
As of December 1980, Obama was a doctrinaire Marxist who had been active in the anti-apartheid movement and had attended meetings of the Democratic Socialists of America. He believed that a Communist revolution in the U.S. was imminent, and that the recent election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency was nothing more than a minor set-back to that revolution.
Seeking out Radicals at Occidental College:
In his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father, Obama recalls the following about his days at Occidental:
"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism, [the socialist, anti-colonialist revolutionary] Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated."
John C. Drew's Recollections of Obama as a Student at Occidental College:
A 1979 graduate of Occidental College named John C. Drew describes himself as having been "part of that same
progressive/international network of friends and activists" that Barack Obama belonged to during his days at Occidental. Drew cites an article in which Occidental College political theory professor Roger
Boesche, who taught at least two of Obama's political science courses, was quoted as saying that Obama, as a student, “…hung out with the young men
and women who were most serious about issues of social justice.” Adds Drew:
missing from this story is that the 'social justice' young
men and women were, in fact, simply left-wing socialists. They
found a hero in Professor Boesche because he made complex texts
easier to understand and because he encouraged them to fight even
though they would be inevitably ground up in the gears of history.
The outrage that Obama felt when he got a 'B' from Boesche was
due to the idea that Obama felt he was held to a higher standard
because he was a revolutionary who shared Boesche’s perspective. Obama felt he was held to a higher standard because he was one of the
student[s] in greatest ideological agreement with what Professor Boesche
was teaching at that time.
one instance, Obama politely confronted his professor over lunch at a
local sandwich shop called The Cooler. 'He’d gotten a grade he
was disappointed in,' Boesche recalls. 'I told him he was really
smart, but he wasn’t working hard enough.' Other students might
have backed off at that point. But not Obama. He politely told
Boesche he should have gotten a better grade. Even today, Obama
recalls the demeaning mark. He told journalist David Mendell, author
of a recent book called Obama, From Promise to Power, that he 'was pissed' about it because he thought he was being graded 'on
a different curve.' Boesche still insists he gave him the grade he
I taught with Boesche while he was a visiting professor in the
political science department at Williams College. Boesche was
still a socialist by 1989 and was still an ardent advocate of John
Theory of Justice. Boesche was proud, in a paper he wrote, that he had gotten a message
from Rawls basically confirming Rawls’ socialist perspective. All of this, of course, should just do more to confirm the
reliability of my impression that the young Barack Obama was already
an ardent socialist Marxist revolutionary when I met him in the fall
we should gain a fresh and realistic perspective on the true nature
(and depth) of Barack Obama’s ideology when we combine [Glenn] Beck’s
understanding of social justice, with Boesche’s comments on Obama’s
social justice friendships, and my comments that Obama was
undoubtedly a Marxist revolutionary between 1980-1981."
In February 2010, John C. Drew shared the following recollections he had of Obama:
"I met Barack Obama face-to-face later that same year in late December 1980. By then, I was in my second year of graduate school at Cornell. I was doing my first, official teaching. The young Ann Coulter was a student in Theodore J. Lowi’s Introduction to American Government course in 1980 and I was the teaching assistant responsible for guiding her small group discussion section. Back on the West Coast for Christmas break, I was visiting a girlfriend who was still attending Occidental College who introduced me to 'Barry' Obama and his housemate Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, a wealthy Pakistani student.
"My most vivid memory of my time visiting with Obama was the way he strongly argued a rather simple-minded version of Marxist theory. I remember he was passionate about his point of view. As I remember, he was articulating the same Marxist theory taught by various professors at Occidental College. Based on my more detailed studies at Cornell, I remember I made a strong argument that his Marxist ideas were not in line with contemporary reality – particularly the practical experience of Western Europe.
"I went on to become an assistant professor of political science at Williams College in MA, and won the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for my doctoral dissertation....
"I think my experience with the young Barack Obama is useful evidence of why he was able to win the trust and support of Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Alice Palmer. In 1995, Alice Palmer represented the state of Illinois’ 13th District. After she decided to run for Congress she named Obama as her hand-picked successor. Palmer’s extremist ideology is evident in an article she wrote for the Communist Party USA’s newspaper, the People’s Daily World, now the People’s Weekly World, in June 1986. Amazingly, it detailed her experience at the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union....
"My gut feeling is that Obama won the trust of folks like Alice Palmer because he never surrendered that uncompromising, Marxist socialist ideology I saw in him as a sophomore at Occidental College back in 1980.
"My graduation photo helps me remember my days as a young revolutionary and the moments when – like Barack Obama – I sincerely believed a Marxist socialist revolution was coming to turn everything around and to create a new, fairer and more just world. Today, however, it pains me to write that I’m deeply ashamed of my radical views. With more maturity, I understand the true meaning of that red arm band. It is especially painful for me to look at it knowing that my time at Occidental College aligned with the brutal Khmer Rouge period (1975-1979) which covered the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge over Cambodia.
"Nevertheless, I’m happy to revisit this unhappy chapter of my life if it helps others better understand the sincere commitment to Marxist revolutionary thought which animated me and the young President Obama."
From Occidental, Obama transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science. In 1982, Obama's biological father -- Barack Obama, Sr. -- died in a car crash.
Socialist Scholars Conferences:
In Dreams From My Father, Obama reveals that during his student years at Columbia he “went to socialist conferences at Cooper Union and African cultural fairs in Brooklyn.” Specifically, these were Socialist Scholars Conferences (SSC), which featured the elite of socialist academia as well as union activists, political revolutionaries, reformers, and opponents of “corporate greed.” According to the libertarian writer Trevor Loudon, guest speakers at these conferences included “members of the Communist Party USA and its offshoot, the Committees of Correspondence, as well as Maoists, Trotskyists, black radicals, gay activists and radical feminists.”
Matthew Vadum and Jeremy Lott provide an excellent explanation of what a community organizer does. They write:
“What does a “community organizer” do? Good question. Ever since former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani mocked Senator Barack Obama at the Republican convention in September 2008, for the senator’s community organizing past, and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said that her previous experience as mayor was “sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities,” [Obama’s] supporters have been furiously spinning this one. They’ve suggested a fanciful interpretation of “community organizer” that includes organizing church picnics and bake sales. Some have even had the cheek to suggest that Jesus Christ was a community organizer.
“In that spirit, we suggest a better historical precedent: Lenin. Community organizing is leftist, anti-capitalist agitation. It’s about making people angry so they push for change, and the kind of change they seek is rarely good. Community organizers are essentially professional political activists who believe that something is terribly wrong with America and that they are the ones we’ve been waiting for to fix it.”
Dr. Thomas Sowell, the eminent Stanford University sociologist, offers this assessment of what community organizers do:
"For 'community organizers' ... racial resentments are a stock in trade.... What does a community organizer do? What he does not do is organize a community. What he organizes are the resentments and paranoia within a community, directing those feelings against other communities, from whom either benefits or revenge are to be gotten, using whatever rhetoric or tactics will accomplish that purpose."
Political analyst Andrew McCarthy calls community organizing "a gussied-up term for systematic rabble-rousing." He adds:
"The quest for raw power is the gospel according to the seminal organizer, Saul Alinsky.... In Obama terminology, 'hope' is the possibility that power may be wrested from society’s 'haves' by infiltrating their political system. Just as Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is, organizers must target the very system they reject to acquire power—making themselves attractive to the great mass of society despite having 'contemptuously rejected the values and the way of life of the middle class,' as Alinsky put it. This is the formula for transformational 'change': the exploitation of power, once acquired, to redistribute wealth and elevate the left’s professionally aggrieved vanguard.
"Though this quest for 'social justice' must tread through regular politics, it cannot be achieved by regular politics. That’s where the pitchforks come in. 'Direct action'—as Mr. Obama’s longtime confederates at ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) euphemistically put it—is the organizer’s signal tactic. Action, Alinsky taught, is the very point of organizing. 'Direct action' is barely disguised code for the occasional use, and the omnipresent threat, of mob mischief, unleashed against the law-abiding bourgeoisie. The organizer prospers by defining down our ethical boundaries—or, looked at the other way, by legitimizing extortion....
"In the short run, the goal of direct action is sheer extortion—i.e., to coerce capitulation in the controversy of the moment, be it a private business’s right to compensate employees or build production plants as it sees fit; a state’s sovereign power to defend itself by enforcing immigration laws; or Leviathan’s grab of one-sixth of the U.S. economy under the banner of 'healthcare reform.' Over the long haul, the goal is to demoralize civil society, to convince opponents that the 'change' in regular processes—particularly, reliance on the law—will be unavailing."
Obama the Community Organizer: New York PIRG:
Obama entered the work of community organizing in the spring of 1985,
when he took a job with the New York branch of the U.S. Public
Interest Research Group (USPIRG), the brainchild of Ralph Nader. According to his PIRG supervisor, Eileen Hershenov, Obama
had already developed a solid grasp of the radical strategies
that underlay community organizing – specifically, how the
Left used the “community” umbrella to advance its radical
agendas. Thus he was comfortable discussing everything from the
tactics of Saul Alinsky, the godfather of community organizing, to
the organizing strategies of socialist groups like the (defunct) Students for a
Democratic Society. As Hershenov
would recall, in her discussions with Obama they “were thinking
about how you engage the world: what works coming out of the sixties,
what structures and models worked and what didn’t.”
The structures and models of the Left that worked,
according to those
in the organizational universe where Obama now found himself, were
strategies of moderation in pursuit of radical goals, of working
within the “system” in order to undermine it. These were tactics
devised by European Marxists such as Andre Gorz, who advocated
proposing “non-reformist reforms.” Such reforms were designed to
change the very nature of the market system and to take the
anti-capitalist struggle to a new level. As Gorz himself put it,
these reforms, which he also called “anti-capitalist reforms,”
can be “sudden, just as they can be gradual,” but they all share
one common aim: they must be “strong enough to establish, maintain,
and expand those tendencies within the [capitalist] system which
serve to weaken capitalism and to shake its joints.” Whatever form
the reforms took, in other words, the ultimate goal was to bring
capitalism to its knees and to transform the system from
Obama the Community Organizer: The Developing Communities Project:
Next, a small group of 20-odd churches in Chicago offered Obama a job helping residents of poor, predominantly black, Far South Side neighborhoods. Accepting that opportunity, Obama moved to Chicago and in June 1985 took a job with the Developing Communities Project (DCP), which was funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and a number of Catholic
churches in Chicago's South Side. One of those churches was St. Sabina
Church, headed by Father Michael Pfleger (who would become a devoted supporter of Obama's political career).
The executive director of DCP was Jerry Kellman -- a veteran Sixties protester and a Saul
Alinksy-trained community organizer who aimed to use the “social justice” teachings of the radical
Catholic left to spread left-wing politics into the churches. Together, Obama and Kellman targeted black churches in particular.
Obama worked with DCP for the next three years on initiatives that ranged from job training to school reform to hazardous-waste cleanup. Obama would later describe, in his book Dreams from My Father, what his duties were with DCP:
"The day after the rally, Marty [Jerry Kellman in Dreams] decided it was
time for me to do some real work, and he handed me a long list of
people to interview. Find out their self-interest, he said. That’s why
people become involved in organizing—because they think they’ll get
something out of it. Once I found an issue enough people cared about, I
could take them into action. With enough actions, I could start to
build power. Issues, action, power, self-interest. I liked these
concepts. They bespoke a certain hardheadedness, a worldly lack of
sentiment; politics, not religion."
Obama's expenses at DCP were signed and approved by the
late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a far-leftist who founded the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD); who famously
credited Mikhail Gorbachev, not Reagan or John Paul II, with having brought about the collapse of the
Soviet Union; and who called for a
“consistent ethic of life,” in an effort to persuade anti-abortion Catholics to likewise embrace pacifism and wealth redistribution.
David Freddoso, author of the 2008 book The Case Against Barack Obama, summarizes Obama's community-organizing efforts as follows:
"He pursued manifestly worthy goals; protecting people from asbestos in government housing projects is obviously a good thing and a responsibility of the government that built them. But [in every case except one] the proposed solution to every problem on the South Side was a distribution of government funds ..."
Nor was Obama reluctant to use intimidation as a tactic. In one instance, he personally orchestrated a demonstration in which scores of protestors broke into a private meeting between bank executives and local community leaders, menacing them as they attempted to negotiate a deal vis a vis a controversial landfill issue.
Trained in the Saul Alinsky Method:
Three of Obama's mentors in Chicago were trained at the Saul Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in the Windy City. (The Developing Communities Project itself was an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, whose modus operandi for the creation of “a more just and democratic society” is rooted firmly in the Alinsky method.) Alinsky was known for having helped to establish the aggressive political tactics that characterized the 1960s, and which have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States.
In the Alinsky model, “organizing” is a euphemism for “revolution” -- a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America's social and economic structure. The goal is to foment enough public discontent, moral confusion, and outright chaos to spark the social upheaval that Marx, Engels, and Lenin predicted -- a revolution whose foot soldiers view the status quo as fatally flawed and wholly unworthy of salvation. Thus, the theory goes, the people will settle for nothing less than that status quo’s complete collapse -- to be followed by the erection of an entirely new system upon its ruins. Toward that end, they will be apt to follow the lead of charismatic radical organizers who project an aura of confidence and vision, and who profess to clearly understand what types of societal “change” is needed.
But Alinsky's brand of revolution was not characterized by dramatic, sweeping, overnight transformations of social institutions. As Richard Poe puts it, “Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.” Alinsky advised organizers and their disciples to quietly, subtly gain influence within the decision-making ranks of these institutions, and to introduce changes from that platform.
One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method, Mike Kruglik, would later say the following about Obama:
"He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."
For several years, Obama himself taught workshops on the Alinsky method.
In 1990, eighteen years after Alinsky's death, an essay penned by Obama was reprinted as a chapter in a book titled After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois. Wrote Obama:
“Grass-roots community organizing builds on indigenous leadership and direct action.... The debate as to how black and other dispossessed people can forward their lot in America is not new. From W. E. B. DuBois to Booker T. Washington to Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, this internal debate has raged between integration and nationalism, between accommodation and militancy, between sit-down strikes and boardroom negotiations. The lines between these strategies have never been simply drawn, and the most successful black leadership has recognized the need to bridge these seemingly divergent approaches."
Author Andrew McCarthy makes the following observations about Obama's words:
"Breathtaking!... Lawfulness and lawlessness, thuggishness and regular politics—we’re not to divine any moral or ethical differences. They are just different 'approaches' to empowerment. They only 'seem' to be 'divergent.' It may be important to maintain the veneer of respect for legal processes, but it is just as legitimate to stretch or break the rules whenever necessary to achieve the desired outcome—social justice being a higher form of legitimacy than society’s rule of law. Separatism, menacing, and civil disobedience: none of these is beyond the pale; they are simply choices on the hard power menu Obama 'bridges' with soft power (i.e., the system’s mundane legal and political processes)."
Obama and the Midwest Academy:
a young community organizer, Obama had close connections to the
a radical training ground for activists of his political ilk.
Probably the most
community-organizing-related entity in America at that time, the
Midwest Academy worked closely with the DSA and synthesized
Saul Alinsky’s organizing techniques with the practical
considerations of electoral politics. Emphasizing “class
consciousness” and “movement history,” the Academy’s training
exposed students to the efforts and achievements of veteran activists
from earlier decades. Recurring “socialism
taught by Heather Booth, encompassed everything from Marx and Engels
through Michael Harrington’s democratic socialism and the factional
struggles of the Students
for a Democratic Society,
a radical organization that aspired to remake America’s
government in a Marxist image. Knowing that many Americans would be
unreceptive to straightforward, hard-left advocacy, the Midwest
Academy in its formative years was careful not to explicitly
articulate its socialist ideals in its organizing and training
activities. The group’s inner circle was wholly committed to
building a socialist mass movement, but stealthily rather than
overtly. As Midwest Academy trainer Steve Max and the prominent
agreed in a private correspondence:
“Every social proposal that we make must be [deceptively] couched
in terms of how it will strengthen capitalism.” This strategy of
hiding its own socialist agendas below the proverbial radar, earned
the Academy the designation “crypto-socialist
from Stanley Kurtz.
every thread of Obama’s career runs directly or indirectly through
the Midwest Academy,” says Kurtz, and, as such, it represents “the
hidden key to Barack Obama’s political career.” The author
organizing mentors had ties to [the Midwest Academy]; Obama’s early
funding was indirectly controlled by it; evidence strongly suggests
that Obama himself received training there; both Barack and Michelle
Obama ran a project called ‘Public Allies’ that was effectively
an extension of the Midwest Academy; Obama’s first run for public
office was sponsored by Academy veteran Alice Palmer; and Obama
worked closely at two foundations for years with yet another veteran
organizer from the Midwest Academy, Ken Rolling. Perhaps more
important, Barack Obama’s approach to politics is clearly inspired
by that of the Midwest Academy.”
Obama and the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools:
In 1988 (or perhaps earlier) Obama and Thomas Ayers (father of former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers) worked together on education issues in Chicago. In response to a Chicago summit exposing the poor quality of public education in the city, Chicago United -- an organization founded by Thomas Ayers -- formed a community advocacy coalition called the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools, or ABCs. Thomas Ayers included Obama, who at the time was director and lead organizer of the Developing Communities Project, in this coalition.
Harvard Law School and Khalid al-Mansour:
In 1988 Obama applied for admission to Harvard Law School. At the time, a Muslim attorney and black nationalist named Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour asked civil rights activist Percy Sutton to send a letter of recommendation to his (Sutton's) friends at Harvard on Obama's behalf.
Al-Mansour formerly had been a close personal adviser to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, having helped them establish the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. He thereafter became an advisor to a number of Saudi billionaires known for funding the spread of Wahhabi extremism in America. Al-Mansour also showed himself to be a passionate hater of the United States, Israel, and white people generally.
With al-Mansour's help, Obama in 1988 was accepted by Harvard Law School, where he became president of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991.
From April to November of 1992, Obama served as the Director of “Illinois Project Vote,” which registered approximately 150,000 mostly poor, mostly Democratic voters in Chicago’s Cook County before that year’s presidential election.
Also in 1992, Obama married Michelle Robinson (now Michelle Obama).
Obama Characterizes America As "Mean-Spirited" and Pledges "To Be Part of a Transformation of This Country":
In an interview published by the Daily Herald on March 3, 1990, Barck Obama said: "I feel good when I'm engaged in what I think are the core issues of the society, and those core issues to me are what's happening to poor folks in this society.... There's certainly racism here [at Harvard Law School]. There are certain burdens that are placed [on blacks], more emotionally at this point than concretely.... Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we're going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous. I mean, I really hope to be part of a transformation of this country."
Obama Supports Derrick Bell at Harvard Law School:
in 1991, a 30-year-old Barack Obama, who at the time was president of the Harvard Law Review and a well-known figure on the Harvard campus, spoke at a rally in support of Professor Derrick Bell. The godfather of Critical Race Theory, Bell was infamous for his anti-white views and his contention that America was an irredeemably racist country. At the rally in question, Obama encouraged his fellow students to "Open up your hearts and minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell," whom he openly embraced during the proceedings. He also described Bell as someone who spoke "the truth." For a video of a portion of Obama's speech, click here.
1991: Obama's Literary Agent Says Obama Was Born in Kenya:
In May 2012, Breitbart News reported that it had obtained a 36-page promotional booklet produced in 1991 by
Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which stated that
Obama was "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." The booklet, which was distributed to people in the
publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama and 89 other authors represented by Acton &
Dystel. Obama’s biography in the booklet reads as follows:
"Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the
Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and
Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance
minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial
journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He
served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest
Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing
Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social
and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White."
The booklet also included biographies of such notable authors as former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, sports
legends Joe Montana and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and a number of
Jay Acton (of Acton & Dystel) told Breitbart News that the booklet had cost the agency tens of
thousands of dollars to produce. He said that while "almost nobody" wrote his or her own
biography, the non-athletes in the booklet were "probably" approached to approve the text
Obama teaches about America's "Institutional Racism":
Twelve times between 1992 and 2004, Obama taught “Current Issues in Racism and the Law” at the University of Chicago Law School. The course summary, likely authored by Obama himself, told students they would examine “current problems in American race relations and the role the law has played in structuring the race debate”; how the legal system was affected by “the continued prevalence of racism in society”; "how the legal system has dealt with particular incidents of racism"; and "the comparative merits of litigation, legislation, and market solutions
to the problems of institutional racism in American society."
Introduction to ACORN and Project Vote:
In the early to mid-1990s, Obama worked with ACORN, a grassroots political organization that grew out of George Wiley's National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). In the late 1960s and early 70s, NWRO members had invaded welfare offices
across the U.S. -- often violently -- bullying social workers and
loudly demanding every penny to which the law “entitled” them.
Obama also worked for Project Vote,
ACORN's voter-mobilization arm. Project Vote’s professed purpose was,
and remains, to carry out “non-partisan” voter-registration drives; to
counsel voters on their rights; and to litigate on behalf of the voting
rights of the poor and the “disenfranchised.” Obama was the attorney for ACORN's lead election-law cases,
and he worked (unpaid) as a trainer at ACORN's annual conferences, where he
taught members of the organization the art of radical community
Litigator for Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C.:
In 1993 Barack Obama took a job as a litigator of voting rights and employment cases with the law firm Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. (a.k.a. Davis Miner). That same year, he also became a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
In 1994 Obama worked for Davis Miner on a case titled Barnett v. Daley, where he was part of a legal team that challenged the racial makeup of Chicago’s voting districts. The Obama team sought to raise the number of black super-majority districts from 19 to 24. According to the judge in the case, Richard Posner, Obama and his fellow litigators held that “no black aldermanic candidate in Chicago has ever beaten a white in a ward that had a black majority of less than 62.6 percent, and it is emphatic that the ward in which the population is 55 percent black is not a black ward -- is indeed a white ward, even though only 42 percent of its population is white.”
In a 1995 class action lawsuit known as Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank, Obama and his fellow Davis Miner attorneys represented the plaintiffs in charging that Citibank was making too few loans to black applicants. The suit demanded that the bank grant mortgages to an equal percentage of minority and non-minority mortgage applicants. Under pressure, Citibank settled the case three years later after agreeing to increase its lending to unqualified applicants. (These so-called "subprime" loans set the stage for the cataclysmic housing, banking, and economic crisis of 2008 -- a crisis which the American public blamed largely on Republicans, and which therefore essentially sealed Obama's presidential victory that year.)
Obama Depicts Opponents of Affirmative Action As Racists:
In an October 28, 1994 NPR interview, Obama discussed American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray’s controversial new book, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. He accused Murray of racism, and of caring too little about early childhood education prevention programs like Head Start. He claimed that: “[Murray is] interested in pushing a very particular policy agenda, specifically the elimination of affirmative action and welfare programs aimed at the poor. With one finger out to the political wind, Mr. Murray has apparently decided that white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism so long as it’s artfully packaged and can admit for exceptions like Colin Powell. It’s easy to see the basis for Mr. Murray’s calculations.”
Further, Obama attributed Americans’ overall opposition to affirmative action to a declining economy: "After watching their incomes stagnate or decline over the past decade, the majority of Americans are in an ugly mood and deeply resent any advantages, real or perceived, that minorities may enjoy."
Obama also said it would be "just plain stupid" -- and would indicate "a moral deficit" -- to oppose making a taxpayer-funded "investment" in an expansion of government programs for children and low-income workers: “Real opportunity would mean quality prenatal care for all women and well-funded and innovative public schools for all children … a job at a living wage for everyone who was willing to work ..."
More ACORN Connections:
In 1995, Obama sued, on behalf of ACORN, for the implementation of the Motor Voter law in Illinois. Jim Edgar, the state's Republican governor, opposed the law because he believed that allowing voters to register using only a postcard would breed widespread fraud.
ACORN would later invite Obama to help train its staff. Moreover, Obama eventually would sit on the Board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which gave a number of sizable grants to ACORN -- including $45,000 in 2000, $75,000 in 2001, and $70,000 in 2002.
Million Man March (1995):
Obama -- along with such notables as Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright -- helped organize the October 1995 Million Man March in Washington, DC, which featured Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Said Obama in the immediate aftermath of the March:
“What I saw was a powerful demonstration of an impulse and need for African-American men to come together to recognize each other and affirm our rightful place in the society…. Historically, African-Americans have turned inward and towards black nationalism whenever they have a sense, as we do now, that the mainstream has rebuffed us, and that white Americans couldn’t care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing.”
Obama Smears "White Executives" in "the Suburbs":
In a 1995 interview, Obama made reference to a hypothetical "white executive living out in the suburbs, who doesn't want to pay taxes to inner city children for them to go to school."
Obama Endorses "Collective Salvation":
In the same 1995 interview, Obama said:
"I worked as a community organizer in Chicago. I was very active in low-income neighborhoods, working on issues of crime and education and employment, and seeing that in some ways, certain portions of the African American community are doing as bad if not worse, and recognizing that my fate remained tied up with their fates, that my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country. Unfortunately I think that recognition requires that we make sacrifices, and this country has not always been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to bring about a new day and a new age.
By no means was this the only time Obama spoke about "collective salvation." In a 1998 radio interview he said: "... my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country. Um, unfortunately I think that recognition requires that we make sacrifices and this country has not always been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to bring about a new day and a new age."
In 2004, while promoting his book Dreams from My Father, Obama said: "My individual salvation depends on our collective salvation."
In a Northwestern University commencement speech in June 2006, Obama said: "[W]hat I've found in my life is that my individual salvation depends on our collective salvation. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you'll realize your true potential, that you'll become full grown."
Obama Identifies White "Suppression" of Blacks As a Problem in the United States, As Elsewhere:
In the same 1995 interview, Obama said:
"... [T]he truth of the matter is that many of the problems that Africa faces, whether it's poverty or political suppression or ethnic conflict is just as prominent there and can't all be blamed on the effects of colonialism. What it can be blamed on is some of the common factors that affect Bosnia or Los Angeles or all kinds of places on this earth, and that is the tendency for one group to try to suppress another group in the interest of power or greed or resources or what have you.
Obama Scapegoats the "Top 5 Percent":
In a December 28, 1995 interview published in the Hyde Park Citizen newspaper, Obama explained his views on income inequality in the United States:
"In an environment of scarcity, where the cost of living is rising, folks begin to get angry and bitter and look for scapegoats. Historically, instead of looking at the top 5% of this country that controls all the wealth, we turn towards each other, and the Republicans have added to the fire."
In that same interview, Obama said that his perspective on the “top 5%” had been shaped by his experiences abroad:
"It's about power. My travels made me sensitive to the plight of those without power and the issues of class and inequalities as it relates to wealth and power. Anytime you have been overseas in these so-called third world countries, one thing you see is the vast disparity of wealth of those who are part of power structure and those outside of it."
Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Obama's Entry into Politics:
In the mid-1990s, Obama developed a friendship with fellow Chicagoans Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, university professors who hosted a fundraiser at their home to introduce Obama to their neighbors during his first run for the Illinois state senate in 1996. (This fundraiser was likely organized by the socialist New Party.) Ayers (who contributed money to Obama’s 1996 campaign) and Dohrn had been leaders of the 1960s domestic terrorist group Weatherman, a Communist-driven splinter faction of Students for a Democratic Society. The pair had participated personally in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. To this day, both have remained unrepentant about their former terrorist activities and their hatred of the United States.
There is compelling evidence suggesting that Ayers contributed heavily, if not entirely, to the writing of Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father.
When questioned about his relationship with Ayers during an April 2008 Democratic primary debate, Obama responded:
“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who is a professor of English in Chicago, who I know, and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He is not somebody who I exchange ideas from [with] on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow, as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts forty years ago when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense … [T]his kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, [that] somehow their ideas could be attributed to me, I think the American people are smarter than that. They’re not gonna suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn’t.”
Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Bill Ayers:
But in reality, Obama's ties to Ayers were deep and longstanding. In 1995, for instance, Obama was appointed as the first Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), a “school reform organization” founded by Ayers, who would later write, in his book Teaching Toward Freedom, that his educational objective was to “teach against oppression” as embodied in “America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.”
When National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz in 2008 asked the Obama presidential campaign about the nature of its candidate's connection to Ayers and the CAC, the campaign issued a statement claiming that Ayers had not been involved in the “recruitment” of Obama to the CAC board in 1995. But when Kurtz reviewed the CAC archives at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois, he found that Ayers in fact had been one of five members of a working group that assembled the initial CAC board which hired Obama.
“Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit,” Kurtz wrote in September 2008. “No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.” According to Kurtz, the CAC archives show that Obama and Ayers worked as a team to advance the foundation's agenda -- with Obama responsible for fiscal matters while Ayers focused on shaping educational policy. The archived documents further reveal that Ayers served as an ex-officio member of the board that Obama chaired through CAC's first year; that Ayers served with Obama on the CAC governance committee; and that Ayers worked with Obama to write CAC’s bylaws.
A September 2008 WorldNetDaily report offers still more details:
“Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Obama. Ayers also spoke for the Chicago School Reform Collaborative before Obama's board, while Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the collaborative … According to the documents, the CAC granted money to far-leftist causes, such as the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which …has done work on behalf of Obama's presidential campaign.”
WorldNetDaily reported further that “while Obama chaired the board of the CAC, more than $600,000 was granted to an organization founded by Ayers and run by Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist. Klonsky was leader of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, which was effectively recognized by China as the all-but-official U.S. Maoist party.” Said Stanley Kurtz:
“Instead of funding schools directly, [the CAC] required schools to affiliate with ‘external partners,’ which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as ACORN.”
Kurtz has provided the following synopsis of the CAC/Ayers agendas:
"The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
"In works like 'City Kids, City Teachers' and 'Teaching the Personal and the Political,' Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? 'I'm a radical, Leftist, small-c-communist,' Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, 'Sixties Radicals,' at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC."
Between 1995 and 1999, Obama and CAC distributed $110 million to a variety of leftist education enterprises for "experiments" in Chicago's public schools.
Obama Speaks at an Event Sponsored by DSA:
On February 25, 1996, Obama (who was then a candidate for the 13th Illinois Senate District) was a guest panelist at a "townhall meeting on economic insecurity," sponsored and presented by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). His fellow panelists included William Julius Wilson (a longtime DSA activist from the Center for the Study of Urban Inequality); University of Chicago professor Michael Dawson; and DSA National Political Committee member Joseph Schwartz. In his remarks, Obama discussed how government could play a “constructive” role in improving society.
Obama Rejects Gun Rights:
his time teaching at the University of Chicago, Obama told
then-colleague John Lott directly: “I don’t believe people
should be able to own guns.”
a candidate for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Obama promised
to support a ban on “the manufacture, sale & possession of
In 1998 Obama supported a ban on the sale of all semi-automatic guns.
Years later, while
running for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama spoke
in favor of federal legislation to block citizens nationwide from
receiving concealed-carry permits. “National legislation will
prevent other states’ flawed concealed-weapons laws from
threatening the safety of Illinois residents,” he said.
That same year (2004), Obama spoke in favor of banning gun sales within five miles of a school or park, which would have effectively shut down almost all gun stores.
During his U.S. Senate tenure, Obama supported
Washington, DC's comprehensive gun ban, which prevented district
residents from possessing handguns even in their own homes; required
that long guns be kept locked and disassembled; and lacked a
provision allowing the guns to be reassembled in the event of an
Obama Endorses Ayers' Book:
In December 1997 Obama wrote a blurb praising Ayers' recently published book, A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court, calling it "a searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair."
The Pro-Soviet Alice Palmer Paves Obama's Path to Elected Office:
A notable attendee at the aforementioned political gatherings which Ayers and Dohrn hosted on behalf of Obama (in the mid-1990s) was Democratic state senator Alice J. Palmer (of Illinois’ 13th District), who quickly developed a friendly relationship with Obama. Prior to her stint in politics, Palmer had worked for the Black Press Institute and was editor of the Black Press Review. During the Cold War, she supported the Soviet Union and spoke out against the United States. In the 1980s she served as an executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council, which the FBI identified as a Communist front group (and which was an affiliate of the World Peace Council, an international Soviet front). Palmer participated in the World Peace Council’s Prague assembly in 1983 -- just as the USSR was launching its “nuclear freeze” movement, a scheme that would have frozen Soviet nuclear and military superiority in place.
State senator Palmer was instrumental in Obama's entry into politics. In 1995 Palmer decided to pursue an opportunity to run for a higher office when Mel Reynolds, the congressman from Illinois’ 2nd District, resigned from the House of Representatives amid a sexual scandal involving him and an underage campaign volunteer. As Palmer prepared to leave the state senate, she hand-picked Obama as the person she most wanted to fill her newly vacated senate seat. Toward that end, she introduced Obama to party elders and donors as her preferred successor, and helped him gather the signatures required for getting his name placed on the ballot.
Obama Betrays Palmer:
But in November 1995, Jesse Jackson, Jr. defeated Palmer in a special election for Reynolds’ empty congressional seat. At that point, Palmer filed to retain the Democratic nomination for the state senate seat she had encouraged Obama to pursue; that seat would be up for grabs in the November 1996 elections. She asked Obama to politely withdraw from the race and offered to help him find an alternative position elsewhere.
But Obama refused to withdraw, so Palmer resolved to run against him (and two other opponents who also had declared their candidacy) in the 1996 Democratic primary. To get her name placed on the ballot, Palmer hastily gathered more than the minimum number of signatures required. Obama promptly challenged the legitimacy of those signatures and charged Palmer with fraud. A subsequent investigation found that a number of the names on Palmer’s petition were invalid, thus she was knocked off the ballot. (Names could be eliminated from a candidate's petition for a variety of reasons. For example, if a name was printed rather than written in cursive script, it was considered invalid. Or if the person collecting the signatures was not registered to perform that task, any signatures that he or she had collected likewise were nullified.)
Obama also successfully challenged the signatures gathered by his other two opponents, and both of them were disqualified as well. Consequently, Obama ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and won by default.
“I liked Alice Palmer a lot,” Obama would later reflect. “I thought she was a good public servant. It [the process by which Obama had gotten Palmer's name removed from the ballot] was very awkward. That part of it I wish had played out entirely differently.”
Endorsement by the New Party:
In 1995 Barack Obama sought the endorsement of the so-called New Party for his 1996 state senate run. He was successful in obtaining that endorsement, and he used a number of New Party volunteers as campaign workers.
Co-founded in 1992 by Daniel Cantor (a former staffer for Jesse Jackson's
1988 presidential campaign) and Joel Rogers (a sociology and law
professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), the New Party was a
socialist political coalition whose objective was to endorse and elect leftist public officials -- most often Democrats. The New Party’s short-term objective was to move the Democratic Party leftward, thereby setting the stage for the eventual rise of new socialist third party.
Most New Party members hailed from the Democratic Socialists of America and ACORN.
The party’s Chicago chapter also included a large contingent from the
Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of former Maoists, Trotskyists, and Communist Party USA members.
On April 7, 2010, Trevor Loudon of NewZealblogsopt reported:
Obama was involved as early as 1993, with a New Party "sister" organization - Progressive Chicago.
This organization was formed by members of the New Party as a support
group for "progressive" candidates. It's main instigators included New
Party members Madeline Talbott of Chicago ACORN and Dan Swinney,
a Chicago labor unionist....Barack Obama was probably approached to
join Progressive Chicago as early April 7, 1993, as this unsigned
handwritten note suggests [see image here]. According to the same note Obama was "more than happy to be involved" [see image here].
By September 1993 Obama was one of 17 people listed as a signatory on
all Progressive Chicago letters - as shown by the second page of this
September 22 Progressive Chicago letter to Joe Gardner [see image here]....
It appears beyond doubt that Barack Obama was involved, more than two
years before his Illinois State Senate run, with a New Party founded,
"sister organization" - Progressive Chicago."
In a 2010 interview,
Carl Davidson, a Marxist activist who helped establish the New Party,
recalled Obama's involvement with the New Party: "A subcommittee met with [Obama] to interview him to see if
on the living wage and similar reforms was the same as ours. We
determined that our views on these overlapped, and we could endorse his
campaign in the Democratic Party."
Not only did Obama seek the New Party's endorsement in the mid-Nineties. By 1996, Obama himself had become a member of the New Party. When author Stanley Kurtz revealed this in late October 2008, the Obama campaign vehemently denied Kurtz's claim, calling it a
smear.” But in June 2012, Kurtz proved conclusively that Obama had indeed been a member of the New Party. Wrote Kurtz:
Obama Calls for "Collective Action"; Says the "Christian Right" is Characterized by "Intolerance" and "Narrow-mindedness"; Blames "Society" for "Failing to Educate" Teens Who Get in Trouble:
"Recently obtained evidence from the updated records of Illinois ACORN at
the Wisconsin Historical Society now definitively establishes that
Obama was a member of the New Party. He also signed a 'contract'
promising to publicly support and associate himself with the New Party
while in office.
"Minutes of the meeting on January 11, 1996, of the New Party’s Chicago chapter read as follows:
"Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative
District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He
signed the New Party 'Candidate Contract' and requested an endorsement
from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.
"Consistent with this, a roster of the Chicago chapter of the New
Party from early 1997 lists Obama as a member, with January 11, 1996,
indicated as the date he joined."
In a 1995 story in the Chicago Reader, Obama was quoted saying: "In America, we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing. But individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations."
"The right wing talks about this but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. Instead of investing in our neighborhoods, that's what has always happened. Our goal must be to help people get a sense of building something larger.... People are hungry for community; they miss it. They are hungry for change....
"The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building ... organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it's always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.
"Now we have to take this same language—these same values that are encouraged within our families—of looking out for one another, of sharing, of sacrificing for each other—and apply them to a larger society. Let's talk about creating a society, not just individual families, based on these values. Right now we have a society that talks about the irresponsibility of teens getting pregnant, not the irresponsibility of a society that fails to educate them to aspire for more."
The Marxist Carl Davidson and Obama's 1996 State Senate Run:
Another key supporter of Obama’s 1996 state senate campaign was Carl Davidson, a Marxist who in the 1960s had been a national secretary of Students of a Democratic Society and a national leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement. In 1969 Davidson (along with Tom Hayden) helped launch the “Venceremos Brigades,” which covertly transported hundreds of young Americans to Cuba to help harvest sugar cane and interact with Havana’s communist revolutionary leadership. (The Brigades were organized by Fidel Castro's Cuban intelligence agency, which trained "brigadistas" in guerrilla warfare techniques, including the use of arms and explosives.)
In 1988 Davidson founded Networking for Democracy (NFD), a program encouraging high-school students to engage in “mass action” aimed at “tearing down the old structures of race and class privilege” in the United States “and around the world.” In 1992 he became a leader of the newly formed Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of former Maoists, Trotskyists, and members of the Communist Party USA. In the mid-1990s Davidson was a major player in the Chicago branch of the aforementioned New Party.
Democratic Socialists of America Endorse Obama:
Obama’s 1996 senate campaign also secured the endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. Obama’s affiliation with DSA was longstanding, as evidenced by his reference, in Dreams From My Father, to the fact that during his student years at Columbia University he “went to socialist conferences at Cooper Union,” a privately funded college for the advancement of science and art. From the early 1980s until 2004, Cooper Union had served as the usual venue of the annual Socialist Scholars Conference. According to Trevor Loudon, guest speakers at these conferences included “members of the Communist Party USA and its offshoot, the Committees of Correspondence, as well as Maoists, Trotsyists, black radicals, gay activists and radical feminists.” London observes that “Obama speaks of ‘conferences’ plural, indicating [that] his attendance was not the result of accident or youthful curiosity.”
Obama won his 1996 race for the Illinois state senate in the 13th District, which mostly represented poor South Side blacks but also a few wealthy neighborhoods.
A Notable Obama Tie To Alinsky:
In 1998, Obama attended a performance of "The Love Song of Saul Alinsky," a play which was being staged at the Terrapin Theater in Chicago. Following the performance, Obama took the stage and participated in a panel discussion about the show. Writer Andrew Breitbart described the play as follows:
"So, what’s in the play? It truly is a love song to Alinsky. In the first
few minutes of the play, Alinsky plays Moses – yes, the Biblical Moses –
talking to God. The play glorifies Alinsky stealing food from
restaurants and organizing others to do the same, explaining, 'I saw it
as a practical use of social ecology: you had members of the
intellectual community, the hope of the future, eating regularly for six
months, staying alive till they could make their contributions to
"In an introspective moment, Alinsky rips America: My country … ‘tis of whatthehell / And justice up a tree … How much can you sell / What’s in it for me.
He grins about manipulating the Christian community to back his
programs. He talks in glowing terms about engaging in Chicago politics
with former Mayor Kelly. He rips the McCarthy committee, mocking, 'Everyone was there, when you think back – Cotton Mather, Hester Prynn,
Anne Hutchinson, Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson … Brandeis, Holmes … Gene Debs
and the socialists … Huey Long … Imperial Wizards of all stripes …
Father Coughlin and his money machine … Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd … and a
kicking chorus of sterilized reactionaries singing O Come, All Ye
"And Alinsky talks about being the first occupier – shutting down the
O’Hare Airport by occupying all the toilet stalls, using chewing gum to 'tie up the city, stop all traffic, and the shopping, in the Loop, and
let everyone at City Hall know attention must be paid, and maybe we
should talk about it.' As Alinsky says, 'Students of the world, unite!
You have nothing to lose but your juicy fruit.'
"The play finishes with Alinsky announcing he’d rather go to Hell than
Heaven. Why? 'More comfortable there. You see, all my life I’ve been
with the Have-Nots: here you’re a Have-Not if you’re short of money,
there you’re a Have-Not if you’re short of virtue. I’d be asking more
questions, organizing them. They’re my kind of people – Hell would be
Heaven for me.'
"That’s The Love Song of Saul Alinsky. It’s radical leftist stuff, and it revels in its radical leftism."
Joining Obama on the discussion panel were the following individuals:
Quentin Young: Young is a longtime supporter of communist causes, and a friend of William
Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. He is also a strong supporter of a single-payer, government-run healthcare system.
Heather Booth: This longtime radical activist co-founded the Midwest Academy.
Leon Despres: Despres knew Saul Alinsky for nearly half a century, and together they established the modern concept of “community
organizing.” In 1937 Despres worked with secret Communist and Soviet spy Lee
Pressman to support strikers at Republic Steel in Chicago. He also worked with another
Communist Party front, the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee.
Also in 1937, Despres and his wife met with, and delivered a suitcase of “clothing” to,
Leon Trotsky, who was then in Mexico City, hiding from Stalin’s assassins.
Timuel Black: U.S. military intelligence believed that Black, who worked
closely with the Socialist Party in the 1950s, was also a member of the Communist Party. In the early 1960s Black was a leader of the Hyde Park Community Peace
Center, where he worked alongside former radical Trotskyist Sydney Lens
and the Communist Quentin Young. Black served as a
contributing editor to the Hyde Park/Kenwood Voices, a newspaper run by
a Communist Party member. By 1970, Black was on the advisory council of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, a group controlled by the Communist Party. Black says he has been friends with William
Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, “going back to 1968, since long before I
Studs Terkel: Terkel was a sponsor of the Scientific and Cultural
Conference for World Peace in 1949, which was arranged by a Communist
Party USA front organization.
Robert Lynch: Lynch was a leading member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a leader of the New American Movement.
To view a list of additional individuals who participated in the panel discussion following the Alinsky play, click here.
The Joyce Foundation:
In 1994 Obama joined the 12-member board of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which targets its philanthropy in large measure toward organizations dedicated to the agendas of radical environmentalism, “social justice,” prison reform, and increased government funding for social services, particularly for minorities. Obama would remain a board member for eight years, during which time the Joyce Foundation made grants to such groups as the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Children's Defense Fund of Ohio, the Jane Addams Resource Corporation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the World Wildlife Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Izaak Walton League of America, the Union of Concerned Scientists, SUSTAIN, the Tides Center, the Environmental Working Group, the World Resources Institute, the League of Women Voters Education Fund, the Democracy 21 Education Fund, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Brookings Institution, Alliance For Justice, the Council on Foundations, the Center for Community Change, the National Network of Grantmakers, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, the Nine to Five Working Women Education Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, Environmental Defense and the Urban Institute.
"I Actually Believe in Redistribution":
At an October 19, 1998 conference at Loyola University, Barack Obama said:
"There has been a systematic ... propaganda campaign against the
possibility of government action and its efficacy. And I think some of
it has been deserved.... The trick is, how do we structure government
systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution,
because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain
level, to make sure that everybody's got a shot."
At other points during his address, Obama stated that the “working poor” on welfare constituted a political
voting bloc that could be harnessed to the advantage of Democrats. Specifically, he said that:
- “to the extent that we are doing research figuring out what
kinds of government action would successfully make their [the working
poor's] lives better, we are then putting together a potential majority
coalition to move those agendas forward”;
- the "one good thing that comes out of [the welfare-reform bill
of 1996] is that it essentially desegregates the welfare population,”
merging urban blacks with “the working poor, which are the other
- such a coalition becomes "one batch of folks ... that is
increasingly a majority population” whose
policy needs would grow to encompass health care, job training,
education, and a system where government would “provide effective child
The Woods Fund of Chicago and Bill Ayers:
Obama also had been a board member of the Woods Fund of Chicago since 1993. In 1999 he was joined on this board by Bill Ayers, who would serve alongside Obama until the latter left the Fund in December 2002. (In 2002 -- while Obama was still on the board -- the Woods Fund made a grant to Northwestern University Law School's Children and Family Justice Center, where Ayers' wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was employed.)
Failed Congressional Campaign (2000):
In 2000, Obama ran against former Black Panther and incumbent congressman Bobby Rush in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives. Rush denounced Obama as an “elitist” who “wasn’t black enough,” and crushed him by nearly a two-to-one vote margin. Obama returned to the Illinois state senate for another four-year term.
Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, and the the Arab American Action Network:
As noted earlier, during his state senate years Obama was a lecturer at the University of Chicago law school, where he became friendly with Rashid Khalidi, a professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Obama and his wife were regular dinner guests at Khalidi’s Hyde Park home. Khalidi and his wife Mona had founded in 1995 the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), noted for its contention that Arab Americans face widespread discrimination in the United States, and for its view that Israel’s creation in 1948 was a "catastrophe" for Arab people. In 2001 and again in 2002, the Woods Fund of Chicago, while Obama served on its board, made grants totaling $75,000 to AAAN.
In 2003 Obama would attend a farewell party in Khalidi’s honor when the latter was leaving Chicago to embark on a new position at Columbia University. At this event (which was also attended by William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn), Obama paid public tribute to Khalidi as someone whose insights had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases … It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table,” but around “this entire world.” Khalidi then returned the favor, telling the largely pro-Palestinian attendees that Obama deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat, stating, “You will not have a better senator under any circumstances.”
According to journalist John Batchelor, "AAAN vice-president Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada [a website that, like AAAN, refers to Israel’s creation as a "catastrophe"] has remembered Mr. Obama's speaking in 1999 against ‘Israeli occupation’ at a charity event for a West Bank refugee camp; and Mr. Abunimah … has also recalled Mr. and Mrs. Obama at a fundraiser held for the then-Congressional candidate Obama in 2000 at Rashid and Mona Khalidi's home, where Mr. Obama made convincing statements in support of the Palestinian cause.”
Obama Likens Aspects of America to Nazi Germany:
In a January 18, 2001 radio interview, Obama said: "There’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court that judges have to essentially take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got the doctrines of Nazism that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what's going on, back here at home."
Robert Blackwell and the Quid Pro Quo:
Shortly after Obama’s unsuccessful run for Congress in 2000, he was deeply in debt, with little cash at his disposal (his annual part-time salary as a state senator was $58,000) and a stagnant law practice that he had largely neglected during a year of political campaigning.
In early 2001 a longtime political supporter, Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell, Jr., hired Obama to provide legal advice for his (Blackwell’s) growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange (EKI). In exchange for his services, Blackwell paid Obama an $8,000 retainer each month for roughly a 14-month period -- a total of $118,000.
In return for these payments, Obama pressured the Illinois state tourism board to send a $50,000 grant to EKI. He also issued a formal written request for Illinois officials to furnish a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin, which sells equipment and apparel related to the sport of table tennis. The day after Obama wrote this letter, his U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.
Killerspin would not receive the full $50,000 it was seeking that year, but only $20,000. With Obama’s help, however, the company eventually secured $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize the table tennis tournaments it sponsored. As blogger Ed Morrissey observes: “This looks like a rather obvious quid pro quo…. In exchange for $118,000 in salary, Blackwell received $320,000 in state taxpayer money and influence at the highest level of state politics.”
Obama’s presidential campaign website reported that Blackwell in 2008 committed to raise between $100,000 and $200,000 for Obama’s White House run that year.
Obama's Response to 9/11:
Eight days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Barack Obama issued the following statement, in which he: (a) asserted that the attacks had grown out of "a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair"; (b) exhorted Americans to be "unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent"; and (c) urged the U.S. "to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe."
“Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must reexamine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks. And we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction.
“We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.
“We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe-children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.”
Depicting America as a Racially and Economically Unjust Society:
January 21, 2002—Martin Luther King Day—then-Illinois state
senator Obama delivered a racially charged speech
at a Chicago church, stating that “Enron executives did to their
employees” was akin to “what Bull Connor did to
black folks.” (Enron was an energy company that went bankrupt after
its massive engagement in accounting fraud came to light in 2001, and
left 20,000 employees suddenly jobless. Bull Connor was Birmingham,
Alabama's Commissioner of Public Safety in the 1960s, and became
famous for directing fire hoses and police attack dogs against
anti-segregation demonstrators in his city.)
the large number of African American males “caught up in the
criminal-justice system,” Obama said:
“It’s hard to imagine that the powerful in our society would
tolerate the burgeoning prison industrial complex if they imagined
that the black men and Latino men that are being imprisoned were
something like their sons.”
Obama also charged
that having the public “education system … funded by [local]
property taxes” is “fundamentally unjust.” “So you have folks
up in Winnetka [Illinois], pupils who are getting five times as much
money per student as students in the South Side of Chicago,” he
Obama's MLK Day speech
was also drenched in the rhetoric of class warfare. He said:
“The philosophy of nonviolence only makes sense if the powerful can
be made to recognize themselves in the powerless. It only makes sense
if the powerless can be made to recognize themselves in the
powerful.... I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but rich people are
all for nonviolence. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve got what they
want. They want to make sure folks don’t take their stuff.”
Obama was an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War ever since it was first discussed as a possible means of unseating Saddam Hussein from power. On October 2, 2002, Obama gave an antiwar speech alongside Jesse Jackson on the very day that President Bush and Congress agreed on a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. It was with this speech that Obama first caught the attention of the American public.
Suggesting that the prospect of war was largely a Republican ploy to distract voters from domestic issues that were impacting minorities negatively, Obama said:
"Now, let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him....
"After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again. I don't oppose all wars.... What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne....
"But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military is a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."
Also in his 2002 speech, Obama said that instead of using force to depose Saddam, America should “fight” for democratic reforms in the Middle East, for stronger international nuclear safeguards, and for energy independence:
“Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join – the battles against ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.”
The Chicago rally was staged by a group called Chicagoans Against the War. Some of the key organizers were Carl Davidson (the aforementioned Marxist antiwar activist and Obama supporter), BettyLu Saltzman (an officer of the New Israel Fund), and Marilyn Katz (a former Students for a Democratic Society radical in the Sixties).
In July 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. He used the speech to introduce himself to a national audience while impugning the Bush administration and the War in Iraq.
U.S. Senate Campaign (2004):
In 2004 Obama ran for one of Illinois’ two seats in the U.S. Senate. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama’s campaign. More importantly, the Tribune persuaded a Democrat-appointed judge in California to open the sealed divorce records of Obama’s Republican opponent to the media. The resulting sex scandal, based on allegations in the divorce records by a Hollywood actress eager to prevent her ex-husband from getting custody of their children, prompted the Republican to resign from the race.
With a $10 million campaign war chest from contributors, and with no Republican opponent who could garner much support, Obama had an open road to become the next U.S. Senator from Illinois. His friend and political supporter, the longtime Chicago alderwoman Dorothy Tillman, helped him win the voting in Chicago’s predominantly black wards. He also received valuable backing from the Jesse Jacksons, Junior and Senior, and Rev. Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition.
Alliance with MoveOn.org:
In March 2005 Obama joined forces with the Web-based, grassroots political network MoveOn -- which seeks to use its fundraising clout to push the Democratic Party ever further to the political left -- in an effort to raise campaign money for West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd’s 2006 reelection bid. In a letter to MoveOn members, Obama wrote: “You and millions of others, working through MoveOn, have helped change the way politics works in this country.”
Obama Defines Conservatism:
In a 2005 commencement address, Obama described the conservative philosophy of government as one that promises “to give everyone one big refund on their government, divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on.” “In Washington,” said Obama, “they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it, Social Darwinism, every man or woman for him or herself. It's a tempting idea, because it doesn't require much thought or ingenuity.”
Obama's July 4th Barbecue with William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn:
On July 4, 2005, Obama attended a barbecue at the home of William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. As Joel Pollack of Breitbart.com points out:
"The fact that Obama socialized with Ayers and Dohrn contradicts the statement that Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt gave the New York Times in 2008: 'Mr. LaBolt said the men ... have not spoken by phone or exchanged e-mail messages since Mr. Obama began serving in the United States Senate in January 2005 and last met more than a year ago when they bumped into each other on the street in Hyde Park.'
"That statement now appears to be 'Clintonian' in its dance around the truth. Obama and Ayers may not have emailed or spoken by phone, but they had, we now know, spoken face to face--at least on July 4, 2005, and perhaps at other times as well."
Obama Accuses the Bush Administration of Racism:
In September 2005, Obama spoke at a town hall meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus. Nominally devoted to the subject of “eradicating poverty,” the meeting was replete with condemnations of President George W. Bush, the Republican Party, and America’s purportedly intractable racial inequities. Obama stopped short of suggesting that the allegedly slow federal response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina (which had devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast earlier that month) -- especially black victims -- was motivated by racism. But he nonetheless claimed that racism was the cause of what he perceived to be the Bush administration’s lack of sensitivity to the struggles of African Americans generally:
“The incompetence was colorblind. What wasn’t colorblind was the indifference. Human efforts will always pale in comparison to nature’s forces. But [the Bush administration] is a set of folks who simply don’t recognize what’s happening in large parts of the country.”
Blacks in hurricane-hit areas were poor, Obama further charged, because of the Bush administration’s “decision to give tax breaks to Paris Hilton instead of providing child care and education …”
Obama Advocates Welfare
State; Says Much Success Is Due to “Blind Luck”:
then-U.S. Senator Obama delivered
a speech wherein he not only emphasized government's duty to
expand the welfare state, but also ascribed the success of many
people to “blind luck.” Said Obama: “The fact is that there is
a major ideological battle taking place right now in this country.
And I think that we can win it if we can articulate it. Essentially,
the other side has an easier job, because their argument is
essentially, what is labeled 'The Ownership Society' …. says
'We're all in it by ourselves.' So if you've got a healthcare
problem, we're gonna set up a healthcare account, we'll put $5,000
in it, and from that point on, you're on your own. You worry about
healthcare inflation. Retirement? Retirement account. Figure out how
much you can save. It doesn't matter that your wages haven't gone up
in 4 or 5 years. It doesn't matter that you're being squeezed by all
sorts of costs, from $3 a gallon gasoline to the cost of higher
education for your child. You figure out how to save. There's a
certain attractiveness in its simplicity [to] that idea. And it's
particularly attractive, I think, for those of us who are
successful, because it allows us to be self-congratulatory and say,
in fact, the cream rises to the top. … denying the role of blind
luck that played in getting everybody here, or the sacrifices of a
generation of women doing somebody else's laundry and looking after
somebody else's children, to get you here.”
Obama Accuses Bush Administration of “Passive
Indifference” in Responding to Hurricane Katrina's Effects on
Mostly-Black New Orleans:
In that same
2005 speech, Obama derided the “passive
indifference” that allegedly had caused the Bush
administration to respond slowly to the poor, black victims of
Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. He also mocked the
administration's supposedly elitist attitude and inability to
empathize with people who were not white and affluent. Said Obama:
“You know, after the hurricane and its aftermath, there was a lot
of discussion about the fact that those who were impacted by the
achingly slow response on the part of the federal government were
disproportionately black … [W]hat was revealed was a passive
indifference that is common in our culture, common in our society,
that of course, a sense that of course once the evacuation order is
issued, that you will hop in your SUV and fill it up with $100 worth
of gasoline and load up your trunk with some sparkling water and
take your credit card and check in to the nearest hotel until the
storm passes. And the notion that folks couldn't do that simply did
not register in the minds of those in charge. And it's not
surprising that it didn't register, because it hasn't registered for
the last 6, 7, 8, 20, 50, 75, 100 years.”
Obama Endorses Dorothy Tillman, Proponent of Reparations and Admirer of Louis Farrakhan:
In 2006 Obama endorsed the aforementioned Dorothy Tillman in the Third Ward race for the Chicago City Council. A passionate admirer of Louis Farrakhan, Tillman was a leading proponent of reparations for slavery. Claiming that America remains “one of the cruelest nations in the world when it comes to black folks,” Tillman continues to declare that the U.S. “owes blacks a debt.”
Support from George Soros:
In December of 2006, Obama, who by then was contemplating a run for the presidency, met in New York with billionaire financier George Soros, who previously had hosted a fundraiser for Obama during the latter’s 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate.
One of the most powerful men on earth, Soros is a hedge fund manager who has amassed a personal fortune estimated at about $7.2 billion. His management company controls billions more in investor assets. Since 1979, Soros’ foundation network -- whose flagship is the Open Society Institute (OSI) -- has dispensed more than $5 billion to a multitude of organizations whose objectives can be summarized as follows:
- promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
- promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
- opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
- depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
- promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
- promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
- promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
- defending suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
- financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
- advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending
- opposing the death penalty in all circumstances
- promoting socialized medicine in the United States
- promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather ... the demolition of technological/industrial civilization”
- bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
- promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike
- promoting taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand
- advocating stricter gun-control measures
- advocating the legalization of marijuana
Obama's Activities in Support of a Socialist Bidding to Be Elected President of Kenya:
According to Andrew C. McCarthy, the former U.S. attorney who investigated the 1998 American embassy bombing in Kenya, charges that Obama interfered in Kenya's internal politics possibly in violation of the Logan Act. That law bars Americans who are "without authority of the United States" from conducting relations "with any foreign government ... in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States."
"McCarthy says Obama undermined U.S. relations with a strong antiterrorism ally in an African region where al-Qaida operates. In 2006 ... Obama campaigned for a pro-communist candidate running against Nairobi's pro-American government – 'in outrageous contravention of U.S. policy and, probably, federal law.'
"Obama spent six days barnstorming the Kenyan countryside in support of Raila Odinga, the socialist Luo who was seeking the presidency. Appearing with Odinga at campaign stops, Obama gave speeches accusing the sitting Kenyan president of being corrupt and oppressive, leaving the masses in poverty. Obama's interference 'was more than reckless,' McCarthy writes. 'It was borderline criminal (and that's being generous).'
Earlier, Odinga had visited Obama in the U.S. – in 2004, 2005 and 2006 – and Obama had sent an adviser, Mark Lippert, to Kenya in early 2006 to plan a trip by the senator timed to coincide with Odinga's campaign.
Running for President:
On January 16, 2007, Obama announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee. Within hours after the announcement, Soros sent the senator a contribution of $2,100, the maximum amount allowable under campaign finance laws. Later that week, the New York Daily News reported that Soros would back Obama over Senator Hillary Clinton, whom he had supported in the past.
At the time Obama announced the formation of his exploratory committee, he had logged a mere 143 days of experience in the U.S. Senate (i.e., the number of days the Senate had been in session since his swearing in on January 4, 2005).
On February 10, 2007, Obama officially announced his candidacy for President. Possessing no experience in an executive office, Obama said: “I recognize that there is a certain presumptuousness in this, a certain audacity to this announcement. I know that I have not spent a long time learning the ways of Washington, but I have been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington have to change.”
Michelle Obama Takes an Active Role in the Campaign:
Obama’s wife Michelle quickly emerged as one of the new candidate’s most vocal campaigners. In a February 2007 appearance with her husband on the television program 60 Minutes, Mrs. Obama implied that America’s allegedly rampant white racism posed a great physical threat to her husband. Said Mrs. Obama: “As a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station.”
In a January 2008 speech, Mrs. Obama depicted the U.S. as a nation whose people are inclined to “hold on to [their] own stereotypes and misconceptions,” and to thereby “feel justified in [their] own ignorance.”
During a February 18, 2008 speech in Milwaukee on behalf of her husband’s campaign, she declared, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
In March 2008 a New Yorker profile quoted Mrs. Obama saying, in a stump speech she had made in South Carolina, that the United States is “just downright mean” as a nation.
Obama Appears at Campaign Event with Members of the New Black Panther Party:
At a March 2007 campaign event in Selma, Alabama, Obama appeared and marched with members of the New Black Panther Party, including Panther leader Malik Zulu Shabazz. The Panthers had come to Selma explicitly to support Obama. At one point, Shabazz and the other Panthers were photographed marching behind Obama with their fists raised in “Black Power” salutes.
Charges Government with Racism in Response to Hurricane Katrina
2007 campaign appearance at Hampton University in Virginia,
then-presidential candidate Obama delivered a racially charged and,
at times, angry
speech to an audience of black ministers, including his longtime
pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
(Wright's long tradition of anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic
rhetoric had recently been exposed by a few media outlets.) In the
speech, Obama explicitly defended Wright, saying: “They [the
media] had stories about Trinity United Church of Christ, because we
talked about black people in church.” Obama then mocked Wright's
critics, accusing them of having said, in essence: “Oh, that might
be a separatist church.”
Daily Caller said
of the video showing Obama's 2007 speech: “For nearly 40 minutes,
using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a
racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by
exploiting black America.... The spine of Obama’s speech is a
parable about a pregnant woman shot in the stomach during the 1992
Los Angeles riots. The baby is born with a bullet in her arm, which
doctors successfully remove. That bullet, Obama explains, is a
metaphor for the problems facing black America, namely racism. And
with that, Obama pivots to his central point: The Los Angeles riots
and Hurricane Katrina have racism in common.”
his Hampton speech, Obama shouted:
“The federal response after Katrina was similar to the response we
saw after the riots in LA. People in Washington, they wake up,
they’re surprised: ‘There’s poverty in our midst! Folks are
frustrated! Black people angry!’ Then there’s gonna be some
panels, and hearings, and there are commissions and there are
reports, and then there’s some aid money, although we don’t
always know where it’s going—it can’t seem to get to the
people who need it—and nothin’ really changes, except the news
coverage quiets down and Anderson Cooper is on to something else.”
that point in the speech, an agitated Obama
told the crowd that he wanted to give “one example because
this really steams me up.” He continued: “Down in New Orleans,
where they still have not rebuilt twenty months later, there’s a
law, federal law—when you get reconstruction money from the
federal government—called the Stafford Act. And basically it says,
when you get federal money, you gotta give a ten percent match. The
local government’s gotta come up with ten percent. Every ten
dollars the federal government comes up with, local government’s
gotta give a dollar. Now here’s the thing, when 9-11 happened in
New York City, they waived the Stafford Act—said, ‘This is too
serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its
own. Forget that dollar you gotta put in. Well, here’s ten
dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane
Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation.
We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s
the money to rebuild. We’re not gonna wait for you to scratch it
together—because you’re part of the American family.’”
angrily, that majority-black New Orleans was treated differently by
the federal government: “What’s happening down in New Orleans?
Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money? Makes no
sense! Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans, they
[government leaders] don’t care about as much!”
reality, by January of 2007—fully six months before Obama’s
Hampton University speech—the federal government had sent at
least $110 billion to areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina, as
compared to just $20 billion that had been pledged to New York City
after 9/11. Moreover, the federal government had, on occasion,
waived the Stafford Act during its reconstruction efforts. For
instance, on May 25, 2007—a few weeks before Obama's Hampton
speech—the Bush administration had sent an additional $6.9 billion
to Katrina-affected areas with no requirements for local outlays. It
is inconceivable that Obama, as a sitting U.S. Senator, could have
been unaware of this.
in the Hampton speech, Obama made repeated appeals to racial
solidarity: “We [blacks] should have had our young people
trained to rebuild the homes down in the Gulf. We don’t need
Halliburton doing it. We can have the people who were displaced
doing that work.... We need additional federal public transportation
dollars flowing to the highest need communities. We don’t need to
build more highways out in the [affluent white] suburbs.” Rather,
said Obama: “We should be investing in minority-owned businesses,
in our neighborhoods, so people don’t have to travel from miles
ended his speech this way: “America will survive. Just like black
folks will survive. We won’t forget where we came from. We won’t
forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300
years ago”—an unambiguous reference to slavery.
Michelle Obama Refers to Her Husband as "a Kenyan:
At a December 2007 fundraiser in Tampa, Florida, Michelle Obama said: "What it reminded me of was our trip to Africa, two years ago, and the level of excitement that we felt in that country – the hope that people saw just in the sheer presence of somebody like Barack Obama – a Kenyan, a black man, a man of great statesmanship who they believe could change the fate of the world."
Many notable individuals and organizations began to identify themselves publicly as Obama supporters. Among these were: George Clooney; Rob Reiner; Ariana Huffington; Jesse Jackson; Michael Eric Dyson; Manning Marable; Cornel West; Barbara Weinstein; Laurence Tribe; Jane Fonda; Tom Hayden; Michael Ratner; Danny Glover; Martin Sheen; Susan Sarandon; Spike Lee; Michael Moore; Bill Maher; Bruce Springsteen; Ted Kennedy; John Kerry; John Conyers; Luis Gutierrez; Barbara Lee; Major Owens; Jan Schakowsky; Bobby Rush; Pearl Jam; and ACORN.
Support from the Communist Party USA:
On October 23, 2007, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) website boasted that it had "actively supported Obama during the [Senate] primary election" of 2004. By election day 2010, the Party had scrubbed that fact from the original Web page -- in an effort to prevent Obama's critics from publicizing and exploiting evidence of that support.
In April 2007, Obama addressed the activist Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, telling an overflow crowd of listeners about his success as an Illinois lawmaker in making health insurance available to children and reducing the cost of prescription drugs for senior citizens. He also expressed his opposition to racial profiling in law enforcement, detailing how he had helped pass legislation against the practice. In addition, he asserted that society must help ex-convicts escape an “economic death sentence” by securing jobs for them when they leave prison.
Shortly after Barack Obama had declared his candidacy for President, his campaign set up “Camp Obama,” an intensive two-to-four-day training program for campaign volunteers. The camp's curriculum and methods were modeled on the teachings of Saul Alinsky. Aaron Klein of WorldNet Daily reports the following:
“Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.... Hans Riemer, who served as national youth vote director for the Obama campaign, said of the camp: 'We are training them, teaching them how to be effective, showing them what their role is in our strategy to win the election … We’re taking people from raw enthusiasm to capable organizers.'
“Camp Obama director Jocelyn Woodards told reporters her job was to ensure volunteers had 'real concrete ways to be involved and organize in their local communities. We go through everything from canvassing, phone banking, volunteer recruitment, our campaign message, how to develop an organization locally.'
Another radical who taught at Camp Obama was Robert Creamer, a Chicago political consultant who plead guilty to bank fraud and withholding taxes while heading Citizen Action of Illinois. Citizen Action is a spin off of Midwest Academy...."
Support from Jodie Evans of Code Pink:
Jodie Evans is a radical activist and Democratic fundraiser best known as the co-founder -- along with Diane Wilson, Global Exchange’s Medea Benjamin, and a Wiccan calling herself Starhawk -- of Code Pink for Peace. Evans also works closely with Leslie Cagan, the former co-chair of United For Peace and Justice. BigGovernment.com has chronicled Evans' extensive ties to Barack Obama:
- In February 2007, Evans co-hosted (along with her now-deceased husband Max Palevsky and the Dreamworks team of Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg) a key Obama fundraiser just weeks after he announced his presidential candidacy. Evans donated the maximum $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.
- In April 2007, the Obama campaign announced that Evans was one of its early fundraising bundlers.
- In June 2008, Evans met with Obama at a high-priced fundraiser.
In late August 2008, Evans attended the Democratic National Convention and, because of her status as a bundler, was invited to two private receptions with Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden.
In September 2008, Evans attended two exclusive Hollywood fundraisers with Obama. Two weeks later, she met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City.
In October 2008, Evans worked with Code Pink’s Los Angeles chapter on a get-out-the-vote campaign in Obama's behalf.
Robert Malley and the Hamas Incident:
In 2007 Obama appointed Robert Malley, the Middle East and North Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group, as a foreign policy advisor to his campaign. ICG receives funding from the Open Society Institute (whose founder, George Soros, serves on the ICG Board and Executive Committee). Prior to joining ICG, Malley had served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs (1998-2001); National Security Advisor Sandy Berger’s Executive Assistant (1996-1998); and the National Security Council’s Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Affairs (1994-1996). Malley’s father, Simon Malley, had been a key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party. Rabidly anti-Israel, Simon Malley was a confidante of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat; an inveterate critic of “Western imperialism”; a supporter of various leftist revolutionary “liberation movements,” particularly the Palestinian cause; a beneficiary of Soviet funding; and a supporter of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Robert Malley alleges that Israeli -- not Palestinian -- inflexibility caused the 2000 Camp David peace talks (brokered by Bill Clinton) to fail. He has penned several controversial articles -- some he co-wrote with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Arafat -- blaming Israel and exonerating Arafat for that failure. (In 2008, the Obama campaign would sever its ties with Malley after the latter told the Times of London that he -- Malley -- had been in regular contact with Hamas as part of his work for ICG.)
On July 17, 2007, Obama spoke before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. His comments included the following:
“Thanks to all of you at Planned Parenthood for all the work that you are doing for women all across the country and for families all across the country—and for men, who have enough sense to realize you are helping them, all across the country….
“What kind of America will our daughters grow up in? Will our daughters grow up with the same opportunities as our sons? Will our daughters have the same rights, the same dreams, the same freedoms to pursue their own version of happiness? I wonder because there’s a lot at stake in this country today. And there’s a lot at stake in this election, especially for our daughters…. With one more vacancy on the [Supreme] Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a woman’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe versus Wade, and that is what is at stake in this election….
“We know that five men don’t know better than women and their doctors what’s best for a woman’s health. We know that it’s about whether or not women have equal rights under the law. We know that a woman’s right to make a decision about how many children she wants to have and when—without government interference—is one of the most fundamental freedoms we have in this country….
“I have worked on these issues for decades now. I put Roe at the center of my lesson plan on reproductive freedom when I taught Constitutional Law. Not simply as a case about privacy but as part of the broader struggle for women’s equality….
“We need more programs in our communities like the National Black Church Initiative which empowers our young people by teaching them about reproductive health, sex education and teen pregnancy within the context of the African-American faith tradition….
“Now the good news is that there has been a decline in the teen birth rate, in part due to the outstanding work of Planned Parenthood [i.e., the quarter-million abortions the organization performs each year]….
“When we have achieved as one voice a strong call for that kind of more fair and more just America, then I am absolutely convinced that we’re not just going to win an election but more importantly we’re going to transform this nation….”
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, with some 850 clinics across the country. It purports to offer “a wide range of medical and counseling services and health care education,” but its primary business is providing abortion services.
In 2004 Planned Parenthood completed 138 abortions for every adoption referral it made to an outside agency. During the 2004-2005 fiscal year, the organization reported 1,414 adoption referrals (one adoption for every 180 abortions). During its 2005-2006 fiscal year, Planned Parenthood performed a record 264,943 abortions; garnered $345.1 million in clinic income; took in $212.2 million in donations; and received record taxpayer funding of $305.3 million. Total income reached a record $902.8 million.
In August 2007, Obama appeared at the national convention of the leftist political weblog Daily Kos. According to a New York Times report: "Mr. Obama, who has built his candidacy upon the mantra of change, received booming applause when he was introduced to the audience of more than 1,500. When the moderator mentioned that the senator turned 46 years old on Saturday, several of those gathered in the ballroom began to serenade him with 'Happy Birthday.'"
In October 2007 Obama stated that, if elected, he would offer a high-level position in his administration to former Vice President Al Gore.
African American Religious Leadership Committee:
On December 4, 2007, Obama’s campaign announced the creation of its African American Religious Leadership Committee. Among the committee's more notable members were Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Otis Moss III, and Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.
Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ:
From March 1972 until February 2008, Jeremiah Wright -- whom Barack Obama described as his “spiritual advisor,” his “mentor,” and “one of the greatest preachers in America” -- was the pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), where Obama had attended services since 1988, and where he (Obama) had been a member since 1992. Said Obama of Wright: “What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political
advice. He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am
speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I’m
not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that’s
involved in national politics.”
Wright embraces the tenets of black liberation theology, which seeks to foment Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial rather than class solidarity. His writings, public statements, and sermons reflect his conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustice. Wright is also a strong supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Controversy erupted in early 2008 when news reports surfaced detailing Wright’s incendiary comments. Obama initially dismissed the audio/video clips as mere “snippets,” claiming that the media were highlighting only Wright’s “most offensive words,” and that his statements had been taken out of context.
In May 2008, Obama finally made a move to distance himself from Wright and to denounce aspects of his preachings. As a result of the controversy, Wright stepped down from his position with the Obama campaign’s African American Religious Leadership Committee.
Long before the controversy over Wright erupted, Rev. Jim Wallis, the founder of the Sojourners evalngelical ministry, told an interviewer: "If you want to understand where Barack [Obama] gets his feeling and rhetoric from, just look at Jeremiah Wright."
During his years as a member of TUCC, Obama had given a great deal of money to the church. In 2005, for example, he gave $5,000. The following year he gave $22,500. According to their 2005-2007 tax returns, Obama and his wife donated a total of $53,770 to TUCC during the three years following Obama's 2004 election to the U.S. Senate. Moreover, during his tenure as a board member of the Woods Fund, Obama helped steer $6,000 to Trinity.
Soon after the Wright controversy became public -- and indeed threatened to derail Obama's campaign -- Wright was interviewed by author Edward Klein. Wright told Klein that "one of Barack’s closest friends" had send him (Wright) an e-mail offering him $150,000 "not to preach at
all until the November presidential election.” Wright elaborated: “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure
place.... So we met in
the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ ... just Barack and me.... And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do
any more public speaking until after the November election.... It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’" Wright replied, "I don’t see it that way. And
anyway, how am I supposed to support my family?" According to Wright, Obama then said:"I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your
problem is? You have
to tell the truth."
Rev. Otis Moss III -- whom Obama has extolled as a “wonderful young pastor” -- served as assistant pastor of TUCC from 2006-2008 and then succeeded Jeremiah Wright as pastor when the latter retired. In one notable sermon, Moss likened the condition of contemporary black Americans to that of the hapless lepers referenced in biblical stories. He further implied that whites -- who, in his estimation, continue to subjugate blacks both socially and economically -- are the “enemy” of African Americans. “Our society creates thugs,” Moss added. “Children are not born thugs. Thugs are made and not born.”
Rev. Joseph Lowery is a prominent figure in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Viewing the United States as a nation that is “not committed to serious efforts to address the issue of racism,” he has warned that “white racism is gaining respectability again,” and that “there’s a resurgence of racism … at almost every level of life.” Lowery has expressed contempt for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, specifically because the black conservative Thomas opposes the use of affirmative action (i.e., race preferences) in business and academia. Says Lowery: “I have told [Thomas] I am ashamed of him, because he is becoming to the black community what Benedict Arnold was to the nation he deserted; and what Judas Iscariot was to Jesus: a traitor; and what Brutus was to Caesar: an assassin.”
Another notable religious supporter of Barack Obama is Rev. Michael Pfleger, a white Roman Catholic priest who has been the pastor of Saint Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago since 1981. A great admirer of Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright, Pfleger views America as a nation plagued by “classism and racism,” and he identifies white racism as “the number one sin in this country.” Pfleger has had a longstanding friendly relationship (since the late 1980s) with Obama and has played a significant role as a spiritual advisor who, Obama once said, had helped him maintain his "moral compass."
Between 1995 and 2001, Pfleger contributed a total of $1,500 to Obama’s various political campaigns -- including a $200 donation in April 2001, approximately three months after Obama (who was then an Illinois state senator) had announced that St. Sabina programs would be receiving $225,000 in state grants. (After Obama's 2004 election to the U.S. Senate, he would earmark an additional $100,000 in federal tax money for Pfleger's work.) Pfleger also has hosted a number of faith forums for Obama during his political campaigns.
In May 2008 Pfleger was a guest preacher at Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), where he condemned America as a racist nation that "has been raping people of color." He also declared that Hillary Clinton felt a sense of "white entitlement" in her quest to become President. When portions of this sermon were aired widely by the media, Obama denounced Pfleger's rhetoric as "divisive" and "backward-looking," and soon thereafter he announced that he was leaving Trinity church.
Yet another religious figure affiliated with Obama is Rev. James Meeks, a Democratic member of the Illinois state senate, where he served alongside Obama from 2002-2004 (prior to Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate). Meeks also has been the pastor of Chicago’s 22,000-member Salem Baptist Church since 1985, and he was once the executive vice president of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH coalition.
In July 2006, Meeks sparked controversy when he delivered a heated sermon excoriating Chicago mayor Richard Daley and others regarding public-school funding issues. “We don’t have slave masters,” Meeks shouted. “We got mayors. But they [are] still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able ... to be educated.” Also among the targets of Meeks’ wrath were African Americans who supported Daley. Said Meeks: “You got some preachers that are house niggers. You got some elected officials that are house niggers. And rather than them trying to break this up, they gonna fight you to protect this white man.”
Meeks is a longtime political ally of Barack Obama, who in 2003 and 2004 frequently campaigned at Salem Baptist Church during his run for the U.S. Senate. Meeks, meanwhile, appeared in television ads supporting Obama’s candidacy. In 2004, Obama personally selected Meeks to endorse him in a radio ad. In a 2004 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama described Meeks as an adviser to whom he looked for “spiritual counsel.” In 2007 Meeks served on Obama’s exploratory committee for the presidency. The Obama campaign website listed Meeks as one of the candidate’s “influential black supporters.” A Meeks endorsement of Obama was featured on that same website in 2008. Also in 2008, Meeks was named as an Illinois superdelegate pledged to Obama for the Democratic convention in Denver, Colorado.
Black Advisory Council (Cornel West and Charles Ogletree):
For his 2008 presidential run, Obama formed a Black Advisory Council whose members included, most notably: (a) Marxist professor Cornel West, a longtime member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a great admirer of Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright; and (b) Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, a reparations-for-slavery proponent who has advised Obama on such matters as criminal-justice reform.
In 2007, Obama had appeared with Cornel West at a Harlem, New York fundraiser attended by some 1,500 people; it was Obama's first campaign visit to Harlem, and it came shortly after the senator had announced his candidacy for President. At the event, West vehemently denounced the "racist criminal-justice system" of the "American empire." He then introduced Obama to the crowd, saying: "He is my brother and my companion and comrade." When obama took the microphone, he expressed his gratitude to West, calling him "not only a genius, a public intellectual, a preacher, an oracle ... he's also a loving person." The senator then asked the audience to give West a round of applause. (Click here for video.)
Obama Clearly Articulates His Desire to "Remake the World" and "Change This Country":
winning the Iowa Caucus in January 2008, Obama delivered a victory
speech in which he urged his supporters to join him in demonstrating “the courage to
the world as it should be,”
and to help him “change this country, brick by brick, block by
Accusing Republicans of Having Failed Minorities:
During a Democratic presidential debate on January 21, 2008, Obama expressed his belief that Republican politicians had failed to provide adequate opportunities for the social and economic advancement of minorities:
“I am absolutely convinced that white, black, Latino, Asian, people want to move beyond our divisions, and they want to join together in order to create a movement for change in this country. The Republicans may have a different attitude.... The policies that they have promoted have not been good at providing ladders for upward mobility and opportunity for all people.”
Tony Rezko, the Federally Indicted Real-Estate Developer:
Also in January 2008, Obama’s relationship with a federally indicted real estate developer came to light when rival candidate Hillary Clinton said, during a South Carolina Democratic Party presidential debate: “I was fighting against … [Republican] ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.” Clinton’s reference was to Tony Rezko, a Syrian-born, Chicago-based restaurateur and real estate developer who had been one of the first major financial contributors to Barack Obama’s political campaigns in the 1990s. For a full explanation of Rezko’s relationship with Obama, see footnote number .
Obama Proudly Announces His Ties to the Progressive Movement:
At a February 12, 2008 campaign stop in Wisconsin, Obama said:
"The politics of hope does not mean hoping things come easy. Because nothing worthwhile in this country has ever happened unless somebody somewhere stood up when it was hard, stood up when they were told, no you can't, and said, yes we can. And where better to affirm our ideals than here in Wisconsin, where a century ago the progressive movement was born. It was rooted in the principle that the voices of the people can speak louder than special interests, that citizens can be connected to their government and to one another, and that all of us share a common destiny, an American Dream."
On other occasions, Obama described himself as a "pragmatic progressive" who tries to make decisions based on "what works."
Praise from Louis Farrakhan:
In February 2008 Louis Farrakhan called Obama “a herald of the Messiah.” “Barack has captured the youth,” said the Nation Of Islam leader, referring to the passionate support Obama had drawn from young people in America. “And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the messiah speaks, the youth will hear. And the messiah is absolutely speaking.”
Support from, and Praise for, Al Sharpton:
In March 2008 the controversial Al Sharpton, a strong supporter of Obama’s presidential candidacy, revealed publicly that he was in the habit of speaking to Obama on a regular basis -- “two or three times a week.” Sharpton also said that he had told Obama four months earlier, “I won’t either endorse you or not endorse you. But I will tell you I can be freer not endorsing you to help you and everybody else.” According to Sharpton, Obama then protested and asked for his public support: “No, no, no. I want you to endorse.”
As he had done the year before, Obama in 2008 again addressed Sharpton's National Action Network to seek its support. Calling Sharpton “a voice for the voiceless and ... dispossessed,” Obama stated: “What National Action Network has done is so important to change America, and it must be changed from the bottom up.”
Strengthening the Alliance with MoveOn.org:
In early 2008, MoveOn executive director Eli Pariser announced that he and his organization were endorsing Obama for U.S. President. “We’ve learned that the key to achieving change in Washington without compromising core values is having a galvanized electorate to back you up,” said Pariser, “and Barack Obama has our members ‘fired up and ready to go’ on that front.”
Said Obama in response: “In just a few years, the members of MoveOn have once again demonstrated that real change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up. From their principled opposition to the Iraq war -- a war I also opposed from the start -- to their strong support for a number of progressive causes, MoveOn shows what Americans can achieve when we come together in a grassroots movement for change…. I thank them for their support and look forward to working with their members in the weeks and months ahead.”
Support from a Hamas Political Advisor:
In April 2008 Ahmed Yousef, a political advisor for the terrorist group Hamas, told interviewer Aaron Klein that his (Yousef’s) organization was hopeful that Obama would win the presidential election and change America’s foreign policy vis a vis the Arab-Israeli conflict. When reporters subsequently asked Obama what he thought of the Hamas leader’s endorsement, Obama said: “My position on Hamas is indistinguishable from the position of Hillary Clinton or [Republican presidential candidate] John McCain. I said they are a terrorist organization, and I've repeatedly condemned them. I’ve repeatedly said, and I mean what I say: Since they are a terrorist organization, we should not be dealing with them until they recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and abide by previous agreements.”
"They Cling to Guns or Religion"
During an April 2008 campaign stop in San Francisco, Obama said:
“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate, and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Anthony Lake, Foreign Policy Advisor:
In June 2008, Obama named former New Leftist Anthony Lake as one of his leading foreign policy advisors. Lake served as a special assistant for national security affairs under President Nixon in 1969-70, but soon thereafter he stepped down from that post to protest the Nixon administration’s bombing raids in Cambodia -- raids that were designed to support the existing government against the power-grabbing efforts of Pol Pot and his bloodthirsty Khmer Rouge.
By 1972 Lake was an activist in Democrat George McGovern’s presidential campaign, whose platform was founded on the axiom that the military conflicts of Southeast Asia were rooted in the “arrogance of American power” rather than in Communist aggression. Lake called for the newly installed Democrat Congress to cut off funding for the governments of South Vietnam and Cambodia in January 1975. When Republicans warned that a Pol Pot victory would inevitably result in a Cambodian “bloodbath,” Lake and his fellow anti-war Democrats accused their critics of trying to stir up “anti-Communist hysteria.”
After Congress followed Lake's course and cut the above-referenced funding, the governments of Cambodia and South Vietnam were quickly overrun by the Communists, who, during the next three years, slaughtered nearly 3 million Indo-Chinese peasants in one of the most horrific genocidal campaigns in the recorded history of mankind.
Lake's 2008 appointment to the Obama campaign was withdrawn after the revelation that in a 1996 television appearance, Lake had stated, erroneously and naively, that the recently deceased Alger Hiss may not actually have been a Soviet spy.
The Race Card:
At a June 2008 campaign stop in Jacksonville, Florida, Obama suggested that his political opponents were trying to exploit the issue of race to undermine his candidacy. “It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy,” he said. “We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”
The following month, Obama told his listeners at another campaign event: “They [Republicans] know that you’re not real happy with them and so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me. What they’re saying is ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name.’”
Speaking of America's Moral Failings:
Speaking at a July 2008 gathering of hundreds of minority journalists in Chicago, Obama said the United States should acknowledge its history of poor treatment of certain ethnic groups:
“There's no doubt that when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans as well as other persons of color in this country, we've got some very sad and difficult things to account for…. I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged…. I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds.”
Joe Biden, Running Mate:
In August 2008, Obama named Senator Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.
Mortgage Lending Crisis:
In the summer of 2008 a mortgage-lending crisis of immense proportions caused many U.S. banks to go out of business and led to the virtual collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America's two largest underwriters of home mortgages. The roots of the crisis were traceable, in large measure, to the Community Reinvestment Act put in place by the Carter administration in 1977 and reinforced by the Clinton administration in the 1990s. As a September 30, 1999 New York Times article explains:
"Fannie Mae ... has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
"In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get [so-called 'subprime'] loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans....
"Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.
"In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's."
The Editors of National Review Online explain the connection between the foregoing policies and Barack Obama:
"One of the reasons so many bad mortgage loans were made in the first place is that Barack Obama’s celebrated community organizers make their careers out of forcing banks to do so. ACORN, for which Obama worked, is one of many left-wing organizations that spent decades pressuring banks and bank regulators to do more to make mortgages available to people without much in the way of income, assets, or credit. These campaigns often were couched in racially inflammatory terms. The result was the Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA empowers the FDIC and other banking regulators to punish those banks which do not lend to the poor and minorities at the level that Obama’s fellow community organizers would like. Among other things, mergers and acquisitions can be blocked if CRA inquisitors are not satisfied that their demands — which are political demands — have been met. There is a name for loans made to people who do not have the credit, assets, income, or down payment to qualify for a normal mortgage: subprime."
As Forbes magazine points out, "Obama has been a staunch supporter of the CRA throughout his public life."
Though ACORN played a large role in creating the climate that brought on the mortgage crisis, Obama in 2007 told a gathering of that organization's members: "I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career."
Also in 2007, Obama stated that “subprime lending started off as a good idea -- helping Americans buy homes who couldn’t previously afford to.” When the crisis arrived in 2008, Obama not only blamed Republicans, but tacitly blamed the very institution of capitalism -- referencing it by the pejorative code name of “trickle-down” economics.
In September 2008 it was learned that Obama, during his first three years in the Senate (2005-2008), had received more political contribution money ($126,349) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than had any other legislator except Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, who had been in Congress continuously for 33 years.
Two of Fannie Mae's major players had noteworthy ties to Obama. James Johnson, a longtime aide to former Vice President Walter Mondale, headed Fannie Mae from 1991 to 1998. While dutifully following the Clinton administration directive mandating that Fannie Mae make subprime loans to borrowers who were poor credit risks, and thereby helping to run the mortgage lender into the ground, Johnson himself earned tens of millions of dollars in his Fannie Mae post -- including $21 million in 1998 alone. In the summer of 2008, Obama tapped Johnson to chair his vice presidential selection committee; but soon thereafter, Johnson had to resign in disgrace from that position when it was revealed that he personally had taken at least five real estate loans (totaling more than $7 million) at below-market rates from Countrywide Financial Corporation.
Johnson’s successor as Fannie Mae’s head, Franklin Raines, had previously served as a budget director to Bill Clinton. During his years at Fannie’s helm (1999-2005), Raines, while continuing to oversee the ill-advised policies that ultimately would bankrupt the company, pocketed nearly $100 million in compensation before leaving under a cloud of scandal when it was learned that he had manipulated profit and loss reports so as to enable himself and other senior executives to earn gargantuan bonuses, even as the financial empire he oversaw was imploding. Notwithstanding Raines' poor track record, the Obama campaign consulted him in 2008 for his advice on housing matters.
Obama's Ties to ACORN:
In an October 15, 2008 presidential debate, Republican John McCain raised the issue of Obama’s ties to ACORN. At the time, ACORN was in the news for two major reasons. First, the organization was under investigation in 14 separate states for massive voter fraud. Strongly pro-Democrat, ACORN claimed to have registered 4 million new voters (most of whom were Democrats) during the preceding four years. Many tens of thousands of these registrations already had been found to be fraudulent -- they bore phony names, fake or nonexistent addresses, inaccurate personal information, duplicate signatures, etc. The full extent of the fraud, however, was impossible to determine.
Second, ACORN was facing criticism for the previously mentioned, decades-long role it had played in pressuring banks and bank regulators to make more mortgages available to unqualified, undercapitalized borrowers -- a policy that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008 (which saw the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).
Obama replied to McCain as follows:
“The only involvement I’ve had with ACORN was I represented them alongside the U.S. Justice Department in making Illinois implement a motor voter law that helped people get registered at DMVs…. ACORN is a community organization. Apparently what they’ve done is they were paying people to go out and register folks, and apparently some of the people who were out there didn’t really register people, they just filled out a bunch of names. It had nothing to do with us. We were not involved.”
He said nothing about the years he had spent training ACORN activists; nothing about the laudatory statements he had made about ACORN in the recent past; and nothing about the $800,000+ his campaign had given to the ACORN front group "Citizens' Services Inc." (an ACORN-dominated subsidiary whose headquarters were located at precisely the same address as ACORN's national headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana) to fund his campaign's 2008 voter-registration efforts. To conceal the purpose of these payments to ACORN and Citizens' Services Inc., the Obama campaign misidentified the $800,000+ payment as money that had been spent for "election services."
In an October 14, 2008 interview, Obama likewise minimized his relationship with ACORN, stating that his campaign had not used ACORN's voter-registration services. Said Obama:
"Well, first of all my relationship with ACORN is pretty straightforward. It’s probably 13 years ago when I was still practicing law, I represented ACORN and my partner in that investigation was the US Justice department in having Illinois implement what was called the motor voter law, to make sure people could go to DMV’s and driver license facilities to get registered. It wasn’t being implemented. That was my relationship and is my relationship to ACORN. There is an ACORN organization in Chicago. They’ve been active. As an elected offiical, I’ve had interactions with them. But, they’re not advising my campaign. We’ve got the best voter registration in politics right now and we don’t need ACORN’s help."
Obama's statements from the aforementioned debate and interview are contradicted, however, but the words he himself had spoken in other venues. For example, during his presidential campaign, Obama was a featured speaker at one particularly notable political event in which ACORN played a prominent role -- a December 1, 2007 forum exclusively for thousands of "community organizers" from across the United States. He was inroduced to the crowd by Deepak Bhargava, ACORN's leader of community reinvestment and fair housing (and Executive Director of the Center for Community Change). In his introductory remarks, Bhargava characterized America as "a society that is still deeply structured by racism and sexism." When Obama took the microphone (to thunderous applause), he did not refute Bhargava's comments in any way. He was then asked, "If elected President of the United States, would you agree, in your first one-hundred days, to meet with a delegation of representatives from these various community organizations ...?" Obama replied:
"Yes, but let me even say, before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we're gonna be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We're gonna be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America."
Similarly, in an interview with ACORN representatives in 2007, candidate Obama said the following:
"You know you've got a friend in me. And I definitely welcome ACORN's input. You don't have to ask me about that. I'm going to call you even if you didn't ask me.... When I ran Project Vote, the voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it.... Once I was elected, there wasn't a campaign that ACORN worked on down in Springfield that I wasn't right there with you.... Since I have been in the United States Senate I've been always a partner with ACORN as well.... I've been fighting with ACORN, along side ACORN, on issues you care about my entire career."
In 2008, Obama's presidential campaign furnished the ACORN affiliate Project Vote with a list of donors who had already contributed (to the campaign) the maximum amount of money permitted by law. Anita Moncrief, a former Washington, DC staffer for Project Vote, later revealed that her organization had contacted these big donors and urged them to give money to Project Vote -- money which could then be funneled directly into the Obama campaign coffers, thereby evading election-law limits on campaign contributions.
Foreign Contributions to Presidential Campaign:
Foreign campaign contributions are illegal. In October 2008, Frank Gaffney of The Washington Times reported the following:
"A Federal Election Commission (FEC) employee has reportedly been warning for months about evidence that the Obama campaign has received as much as $200 million, almost half of his total donations, in amounts less than $200. That is below the threshold for donor information [which] Mr. Obama has chose[n] to report to the FEC -- unlike the Clinton and McCain campaigns, which have reported all donor information.
"Of the $200 million, between $30 million and $100 million are from the Mideast, Africa and other places Islamists are active. It is unclear whether -- as seems likely -- these funds come not only from Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood types, and jihadists of other stripes, but from non-U.S. citizens. Such contributions would be not only worrying but illegal."
In August 2008, Pamela Geller wrote, in the American Thinker, that among the myriad foreign donations Obama had received was a $33,000 contribution from "Palestinian" brothers based in the Hamas-controlled Rafah refugee camp in Gaza, who had proudly declared their "love" for Obama. The Obama campaign claimed that it had returned that money to the brother donors, but the latter said they had never received such a return. Moreover, Geller catalogued several dozen of the foreign cities and nations from which illegal contributions to the Obama campaign had originated. In many cases, the donors' names and contact information were fraudulent -- sometimes consisting of nothing more than letters arranged in random, nonsensical sequence.
By the end of the presidential campaign, Obama had collected more than $600 million in donations.
Tribute to Obama from Saul Alinsky's Son:
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Saul Alinsky’s son David wrote the following: “Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we his approach 100th birthday.”
Obama's Pledge to "Fundamentally Transform" America:
On October 30, 2008, Obama told a large crowd of cheering supporters: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
Obama’s Positions and Voting Record as State Senator, U.S. Senator, and Presidential Candidate:
For details on Barack Obama's voting record and policy positions prior to his election as President, click here. (This section examines Obama's votes and positions on such matters as gun control, U.S.-Cuba relations, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, abortion, criminal justice, education, welfare reform, health care, gender discrimination, energy policy, the environment, homeland security, the war on terror, Israel, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military, missile defense systems,the redistribution of wealth, taxes, earmarks, price controls, voting rights, immigration, making English the official language of the United States, the Constitution, the Supreme Court, labor unions, foreign aid, and foreign policy.)
President Barack Obama:
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. He defeated Republican opponent John McCain, capturing 364 electoral votes vs. McCain's 162. Obama received a total of 64,538,980 votes (52.5%), vs. McCain's 56,802,609 (46.2%).
To view text and resources about Barack Obama's life and politics after this election, click here.
 David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin, The New Leviathan (2012), Chapter 2.
 David Remnick, The Bridge: The Life and
Rise of Barack Obama (Random House Inc., 2010), p.121.
 David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin, The New Leviathan (2012), Chapter 2. Quoted
in Arthur MacEwan, Neo-Liberalism
strategy, Markets, and Alternatives for the 21st Century, (Zed
Books, 1999), p.15.)]
 David Freddoso, The Case Against Barack Obama (Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, 2008), p. 146.
 ACORN's mandate today includes all issues touching low-income and working-class people. The organization runs schools where children are trained in class consciousness; it oversees a network of “boot camps” where street activists are trained; and it conducts operations that extort contributions from banks and other businesses under threat of trumped-up civil rights charges.
 In the 2004 and 2006 election cycles, both Project Vote and ACORN ran nationwide voter-mobilization drives marred by allegations of fraudulent voter registration, vote-rigging, voter intimidation, and vote-for-pay scams.
 As one observer noted in May 2008, legal “successes” such as this were probably responsible for the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007. That is, banks were not loaning to blacks whose credit was poor. When the law forced them to lend money anyway, the inevitable happened.
 When Obama ran for the presidency in 2008, and his relationship with Ayers and Dohrn became a matter of public controversy, his campaign produced a “fact sheet” pronouncing the former terrorists now to be "respectable" members of the "mainstream" community.
 Rezko had initially met Obama in 1990, when the former was a low-income housing developer in Chicago and the latter was a Harvard Law School student. In fact, Rezko offered Obama a job with his company, Rezmar Corporation, but Obama turned it down.
Obama eventually found employment in 1993 with the aforementioned Chicago law firm Davis Miner Barnhill, which represented developers who built low-income housing with government funds. In 1995 one of the firm's clients -- the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corporation (WPIC) -- partnered with Rezmar Corporation in a project to convert an abandoned nursing home into low-income apartments. Obama was instrumental in helping Rezmar Corporation and WPIC strike their deal. Rezmar Corporation would also partner with WPIC clients in four later deals.
When Obama announced in 1995 that he was running for an Illinois Senate seat (which would be up for grabs in 1996), two of Tony Rezko’s companies donated a total of $2,000 to Obama’s campaign. Over the course of the entire primary season, Rezko raised between $10,000 and $15,000 of the roughly $100,000 Obama collected overall. Obama won the November 1996 election, and the district he represented included 11 of Rezko's 30 low-income housing projects.
Rezko served on the campaign committee for Obama’s failed congressional run against U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush in 2000, raising between $50,000 and $75,000 of the estimated $600,000 Obama collected for that race.
In 2001 Rezko’s Rezmar Corporation stopped making its mortgage payments on the old nursing home it had converted into apartments, and the state of Illinois foreclosed on the building, which was located in Obama's Senate district.
In 2003 Obama announced that he would run for an Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate which would be open the following year. He again named Rezko to his campaign finance committee. It is estimated that Rezko raised some $160,000 for Obama during the Senate primary season.
In November 2004 Obama was elected U.S. Senator. A few months later, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased adjacent pieces of property in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood. Obama’s portion of the deal involved a mansion for which he paid $1.65 million -- $300,000 below the seller’s asking price. Meanwhile, Rezko's wife (who earned only $37,000 per year and owned few assets) paid the full asking price -- $625,000 -- for a vacant lot adjacent to Obama’s mansion.
At this time, Mr. Rezko was being pursued by creditors seeking more than $10 million which Rezko owed on defaulted loans and failed business ventures. At least 12 lawsuits had been filed against Rezko and his businesses from November 2002 to January 2005, including one by the G.E. Commercial Finance Corporation, which had extended more than $5 million in loans for Rezko’s 17 Papa Johns’ Pizza parlors in Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee. In November 2004, G.E. obtained a court judgment against Mr. Rezko for the $3.5 million that it said was outstanding on its loans.
Obama says he does not know why the Rezkos decided to purchase the vacant lot at that time. But the Rezkos’ involvement was crucial because the owners of the house and the lot had stipulated that neither property could be sold unless a deal for the other also closed on the same day. Both deals indeed closed on the same day in June 2005.
At the time of the purchase, Mr. Rezko was ostensibly destitute; that is why his wife was named officially as the sole purchaser of the vacant lot.
In December 2005 Obama paid Rita Rezko $104,500 for a strip that constituted one-sixth of her newly acquired lot, so that he could increase the width of his yard by ten feet. At the time of this deal, Tony Rezko was under federal investigation on charges that he had solicited kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business under his friend, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, for whom Rezko reportedly had raised as much as $500,000. For more than two years before the property purchases, news articles also had raised questions about Mr. Rezko’s influence over state appointments and contracts. Moreover, reports swirled that the FBI was investigating accusations of a shakedown scheme in which Mr. Rezko had suggested appointments to a state hospital board.
Obama rejects any suggestion that the Rezkos, by paying full price for the vacant lot, had enabled him to save $300,000 on his home’s purchase price and were perhaps seeking political favors in return. “Frankly, I don’t think he [Mr. Rezko] was doing me a favor,” Obama has said.
In October 2006, Mr. Rezko was indicted on extortion charges. According to federal prosecutors, Rezko had funneled $10,000 in kickback fees to Obama's 2004 Senate campaign.
Rezko remained free on bail until January 28, 2008, when a U.S. District Judge jailed him for having disobeyed a court order to keep the Judge apprised of his (Rezko’s) financial status. Most notably, Rezko had failed to tell the judge about a $3.5 million loan he had received (in mid-2005) from London-based Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi -- a loan that Auchi later forgave in exchange for shares in a prime slice of Chicago real estate. According to the Associated Press, Rezko “gave $700,000 of the [$3.5 million] to his wife [for the purchase of the vacant lot adjacent to Obama’s mansion] and used the rest to pay legal bills and funnel cash to various supporters.”
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