A Very Interesting — and Potentially Devastating — Story About Obama and Terrorist Bill Ayers Is Beginning To Percolate
[Posted by WLS]
The subject of Obama’s connection to William Ayers through an educational foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Connection (CAC) has begun to enter the mainstream media.
As has been discussed over the last few days on several web sites, and as is now being covered in some mainstream media outlets, the University of Illinois at Chicago is withholding from Stanley Kurtz, a contributing editor at The National Review, and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the records of an enterprise called the “Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). Kurtz’s published a long article on Monday explaining how he learned about the records, how he sought to review the records at UIC, how he was given permission to come review the records, how he was allowed to review a “finding aid” (akin to a table of contents), and then when he was about to board a plane to Chicago to conduct the review, the University suddenly changed its mind and denied him access.
Why is this important? Because Obama was the Chairman of one arm of the CAC from 1995 to 1999 — its “Board”. Ayers wrote the grant application for $50 million submitted to the Walter Annenberg Foundation which was used to create the CAC. But, more significantly, Ayers headed up a second arm of the CAC – the Chicago School Reform Collaborative.
The role of the “Board” was to handle all fiscal matters, i.e., the parceling out of grant monies to various applicants from the Chicago school system.
The role of the “Collaborative” was to serve as a “clearinghouse for ideas, for resources, for information — the place where strategies are created, successes and failures analyzed, and plans made and shared….”
Keep in mind that when Obama was made Chairman of the Board in 1995, he was three years out of Harvard, was an associate at a small Chicago civil rights law firm, and had no great political contacts to speak of. Nevertheless, he was appointed to the position of Chairman of a non-profit educational foundation with a $50 million grant — which came with the obligation to raise matching funds from gov’t or other charitable sources (the Board eventually raised another $60 million). Other members of the Board were such Chicago luminaries as former University Presidents and Presidents of other charitable foundations. Yet they were led by a 3rd year associate from a small Chicago law firm.
The unreported fact of this episode is that Obama as Board Chairman, and Ayers as Collaborative Co-Chair, worked hand-in-hand in the process of reviewing and approving grant proposals that came to the CAC. One of Ayers’ roles at the Collaborative was to write “Requests for Proposals”, and then to assist potential grantees in fashioning their Application Proposals to match. It is inconceivable that during the period from 1995 to 1999, Obama and Ayers did not have a close working relationship as they went about parceling out tens of millions of dollars to applicants for funds from the CAC.
Yet, in February of this year, the Washington Post blog “Fact Checker” by Michael Dobbs was dutifully reporting the Obama-Ayers connection in the following terms:
The only hard facts that have come out so far are the $200 contribution by Ayers to the Obama re-election fund, and their joint membership of the eight-person Woods Fund Board. Ayers did not respond to e-mails and telephone calls requesting clarification of the relationship. Obama spokesman Bill Burton noted in a statement that Ayers was a professor of education at the University of Illinois and a former aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and continued:
Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.
But the Obama-Ayers link is a tenuous one…. Whatever his past, Ayers is now a respected member of the Chicago intelligentsia, and still a member of the Woods Fund Board. The president of the Woods Fund, Deborah Harrington, said he had been selected for the board because of his solid academic credentials and “passion for social justice.”
“This whole connection is a stretch,” Harrington told me. “Barack was very well known in Chicago, and a highly respected legislator. It would be difficult to find people round here who never volunteered or contributed money to one of his campaigns.”
This might have remained the accepted version had it not been for reporting done over the last few months by Steve Diamond at his blog Global Labor and Politics. He has seen some of the CAC documents that Kurtz is trying to obtain (some of which I quote here), and has them posted at his site.
It would take much more time than I have right now to go through all Diamond’s reporting on this subject, but I think it can be synthesized down to a few bullet points and some conclusions and suppositions about that which is not yet known.
First, Ayers remains a radical left Marxist/Maoist just as he was in his days in the Weather Underground, and before that the Students for Democratic Society.
Second, Ayers now preaches revolution through propaganda and indoctrination which is to be taught in the form of primary and secondary school education. That’s what the CAC was all about, and that’s what the Obama campaign is so desperate to hide.
The mission of the Collaborative was to save a pet project of Ayers in the Chicago school system called the “Local School Councils.” This was the battleground for a fight for control of the Chicago school system in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ayers favored decentralizing control of the school system through the creation of elected “Local School Councils” to oversee the bureaucracy of individual schools or groups of schools. These LSCs would have authority over both the school administration and the teaching staff.
The LSCs were created by a law passed by the Illinois legislature in 1988. Ayers was an advocate of the LSCs in the fight for the legislation. When the Illinois legislature later gave control over the Chicago school system to the office of the Chicago Mayor, that threatened the LSCs by re-centralizing the power over the schools in the local government rather than the LSCs. Ayers created the CAC as a foundation to empower the LSCs — to give the money and to help them pursue educational initiatives pushed at the grass roots level.
While this might seem noble, what Ayers was really after was a mechanism to control curriculum of individual schools. Ayers has praised the re-education programs of communists in places like Nicaragua and Venezuela, which have been imposed through the public education systems in those countries. Ayers went so far as to proclaim in a speech in Venezuela in 2007 that he and Chavez shared a belief that “education is the motor-force of revolution.”
Much of Diamond’s reporting on this topic is about the framework of the CAC, Ayers and Obama’s roles connected thereto, and how the CAC worked. What is missing — and what presumably Kurtz would find in the documents now being withheld from him — is the far left educational subject matter that Ayers proposed to push through the primary and secondary schools if he could gain control of the individual school curriculums through the LSCs — control which he sought to achieve by working with LSC’s through the Collaborative to help them gain such control. The fact that Obama, as Board Chairman, voted to fund grant proposals submitted in response to Requests of Proposals drafted by Ayers in his role as Collaborative co-chair, would be a DIRECT and SOLID link of Obama to the long-standing efforts by the far left to extend the reach of their Marxist/Maoist philosophy from the college level, down into the high schools and primary schools of this country.
This connection through the CAC casts great doubt on the well-rehearsed story that Obama first got to know Ayers only when he was introduced to him and his wife while contemplating his first run for the Illinois State Senate, and has since remained only a casual friend “from the neighborhood.” Frankly, if the records being withheld show what I suspect they show, as outlined above, they’ll represent the spark that caused the immolation of the Obama campaign.
I’m going to try and post much more on this topic as I find new information. Several bloggers have a head start, and I’d appreciate any new leads that any commenters here happen to pick up in their own web wanderings.