Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why Has There Been a Cover Up About Obama's Community Organizing Days?

Cartoon Borrowed from Blogs for McCain

Much attention is rightly being paid to Governor Palin’s speech from Wednesday night. But there were compelling points made by other speakers at the Republican Convention. For example, Rudy Guiliani, former mayor of New York City, said the following regarding Obama’s resume:

On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. What? He worked — I said — I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.

He worked as a community organizer. He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.

Notice how Rudy seamlessly links Obama’s work as a community organizer with the corrupt Chicago political machine. Now Rudy turns the knife on Obama’s celebrity status:

A few years later — a few years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate. He spent most of his time as a celebrity senator: no leadership, no legislation to really speak of.

His rise is remarkable in its own right. It’s the kind of thing that can happen only in America.

Obama’s rise has been remarkable, but it was not a miracle. His rise was facilitated by Chicago’s power brokers, people such as unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. And here is where Rudy omits an important bullet point on Obama’s incomplete resume:

But he’s never — he’s never run a city. He’s never run a state. He’s never run a business. He’s never run a military unit. He’s never had to lead people in crisis.

He is the least experienced candidate for president of the United States in at least the last 100 years.

Not a personal attack, a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything, nothing, nada.

Nada, nothing.

Actually, Obama has led something: the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). If the Republicans do their job, CAC will be a household name. Obama did lead this organization, but his actions during his tenure remain murky, to say the least. But there was a time, back in Chicago, when Obama was not concealing his work with CAC. Stanley Kurtz writes:

When Obama made his first run for political office, articles in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald featured among his qualifications his position as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation where Ayers was a founder and guiding force. Obama assumed the Annenberg board chairmanship only months before his first run for office, and almost certainly received the job at the behest of Bill Ayers.

This was a heady position for the obscure Obama. Steve Diamond reports:

The first chairman of the CAC Board was Barack Obama, at that point, 33 years old and a third year associate at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a small Chicago law firm.

Not only did Ayers likely place Obama at the top of CAC, but they worked together to fund Ayers’ special projects:

During Obama’s time as Annenberg board chairman, Ayers’s own education projects received substantial funding. Indeed, during its first year, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge struggled with significant concerns about possible conflicts of interest. With a writ to aid Chicago’s public schools, the Annenberg challenge played a deeply political role in Chicago’s education wars, and as Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayers’s radical views on education issues.

Rudy got it partly right. Obama’s rise has been remarkable, but his leadership of CAC and the millions of dollars dispersed (perhaps $160 million) — with the help and guidance of Bill Ayers — is only now being reviewed. Kurtz writes:

This much we know from the public record, but a large cache of documents housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is likely to flesh out the story.

Rudy Guiliani, the mayor who presided over the worst terrorist attack in American history, might be interested in knowing that Obama’s rise was facilitated by a man, Bill Ayers, who said of his own terrorist activities:

“I don’t regret setting bombs” and “I feel we didn’t do enough”, and, when asked if he would “do it all again” as saying “I don’t want to discount the possibility.”

There are burning questions regarding Obama, Ayers, and CAC: Where did all that money go? Who benefited? How much influence did Ayers exert on Obama in allocating funds? And why has there been a cover-up?


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