Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Obama’s ACORN

The funding of the Housing Trust Fund, the slush fund that feeds ACORN and La Raza, is out. You can thank House Republicans for enough obstructionism to get that result. Other changes made to the final version of the bailout, according to a source on the Hill, were the removal of several provisions:Provision to provide unions and other activist groups with proxy access for corporate boards
Provision to mandate shareholder votes on compensation issues (union priority)
Diversion of funds into a housing fund to support left-wing activist groups like ACORN
A provision to allow trial judges to arbitrarily adjust mortgages, creating bonanza for trial lawyers
A provision to require the government to sell to state and local governments at a discount homes the government acquires as a result of foreclosure
It also suspends mark-to-market rules and requires a study on their effects on the collapse.

Time to crack Obama’s ACORN (Repost) (Updated)
September 26, 2008
Presumptive presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)’s “most questionable tie is to a leftist organization called ACORN,” NancyA reported July 5, 2008, at No Quarter.His connection to this group begins with a woman named Madeleine Talbot. She embraced Obama and taught him the ropes. He remained a part of this group’s training cadre. Obama taught leadership conferences for the group while working for Miner, Barnhill & Galland. His connections don’t end there. Obama actively sought and received the endorsement by ACORN for his local campaigns. He has now done the same in his bid for the USA presidency.Between 1993 and 2001, while Obama served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, ACORN, a “left wing voter registration group and to a partnership for constructing low income housing,” was the recipient of Woods Fund grant money.Should Sen. Obama be elected to the presidency, John Fund wrote July 12, 2008, in the Wall Street Journal, “he would become not just the head of the Democratic Party but also the inspiration for a large number of liberal groups” like ACORN.“Some of them would no doubt lobby him to hand out taxpayer grants and contracts for their nonpolitical ‘community’ efforts,” Fund wrote.Indeed, Mr. Obama has extensive connections with the granddaddy of activist groups, Acorn (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which has gotten millions in government grants for its low-income housing programs. In 1992, Acorn hired Mr. Obama to run a voter registration effort. He later became a trainer for the group, as well as its lawyer in election law cases.
Acorn’s political arm has endorsed Mr. Obama while its “voter education” arm has pledged to spend $35 million to register people this fall — despite a history of vote fraud scandals that have led to guilty pleas by many Acorn employees.The housing bill now before Congress would set up a slush fund for community organizations such as Acorn. But Acorn has gone quiet in its lobbying for the bill this week with the news that one of its employees — [Dale Rathke,] the brother of Acorn founder Wade Rathke — had stolen nearly $1 million from the group. Mr. Rathke decided not to alert law enforcement or the organization’s board, and kept his brother employed at Acorn until last month. “Is this the kind of group we want getting taxpayer money?” asks Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.)In the April 29, 2008, Wall Street Journal, Fund wrote that Barack Obama came to Chicago “as a community organizer in the 1980s and quickly developed a name for himself as a litigator in voting cases.”In 1995, then GOP Gov. Jim Edgar refused to implement the federal “Motor Voter” law. Allowing voters to register using only a postcard and blocking the state from culling voter rolls, he argued, could invite fraud. Mr. Obama sued on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and won. Acorn later invited Mr. Obama to help train its staff; [...]Acorn’s efforts to register voters have been scandal-prone. St. Louis, Mo., officials found that in 2006 over 1,000 addresses listed on its registrations didn’t exist. “We met twice with Acorn before their drive, but our requests completely fell by the wayside,” said Democrat Matt Potter, the city’s deputy elections director. Later, federal authorities indicted eight of the group’s local workers. One of the eight pleaded guilty last month.In Seattle, local officials invalidated 1,762 Acorn registrations. Felony charges were filed against seven of its workers, some of whom have criminal records. Prosecutors say Acorn’s oversight of its workers was virtually nonexistent. To avoid prosecution, Acorn agreed to pay $25,000 in restitution.Despite this record – and polls that show clear majorities of blacks and Hispanics back voter ID laws – Mr. Obama continues to back Acorn. They both joined briefs urging the Supreme Court to overturn Indiana’s law.In his July 12, 2008, article Fund commented that, due to the “leading role” ACORN, and “other liberal groups”, may play in electing Obama, these groups “deserve a closer look now, before their influence and possibly their clout grow dramatically after the November election.”An Untrustworthy Housing Fund — Housing bill has likely ACORN slush FundPosted by John Berlau
It’s almost a Washington truism that anytime Congress creates a “trust fund” for a certain policy issue, the money flowing into this “trust fund” will be diverted to something else. Government “trust funds” are set up with special taxes and fees so that they will be less subject to normal budget constraints — but this makes them all the more desirable for future Congresses to divert their proceeds to spend on pork.
Payroll tax money in the Social Security Trust Fund, for instance, has for decades been emptied out to fund general government programs. Similarly, the Highway Trust Fund set up to build and improve roads from the federal gasoline tax has also seen raids on its purse for other priorities.
But the granddaddy of all phony government trust funds may be soon enacted in housing bailout legislation before Congress. The so-called Affordable Housing Trust Fund — part of the legislation that passed the Senate Banking Committee in May and is poised to come to the Senate floor as early as this week — is almost set up from the beginning to be diverted to purposes other than affordable housing. The holes in this “trust fund” would allow the money to be easily siphoned off to liberal activist groups such as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for lobbying and even political campaigning.
Long a priority of groups on the Left, the “trust fund” — also called the “affordable housing fund” — would get its revenues from a legislatively fixed share of the surpluses of the government’s Federal Housing Administration or the profits from the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The latest version — in the housing and GSE oversight bill that cleared the Senate Banking Committee in May — would establish the fund by taking 1.2 basis points of interest from Fannie and Freddie’s loan portfolio — about $500 million a year.
Enacting an off-budget funding entity for housing has long been a goal of Rep. Barney Frank, and since he became chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Comittee when the Democrats took Congress back a year and a half ago, he has inserted several versions of the “trust fund” into many housing bills. “Given our severely constrained fiscal realities,” Frank has argued, there needs to be “a low income housing trust fund that will be paid for in ways that do not draw from federal tax revenues.”
Yet given how important low-income housing supposedly is to Frank and other advocates, there are relatively few safeguards to ensure that most of the Trust Fund proceeds are actually spent on affordable housing. There are prohibitions on using the funds for lobbying and political activity, but the bills — including the Banking Committee package — contain virtually no teeth in enforcing these bans. There are no explicit requirements for recipients of the grants to fill out timesheets for housing activity, or restrictions on groups using grant money to pay employees who also happen to do other things — such as lobbying and political campaigning. And there are really no penalties other than being forced to give the money back and being disqualified for a new grant.
These safeguards are important, because some of the biggest “housing advocates” also have politics in their portfolios. These groups would include the ACORN and the National Council of La Raza, both of which provide housing counseling as well as lobby for liberal causes and politicians.
ACORN has an especially dubious histrory concerning both election fraud and misuse of federal funds. Several ACORN workers have been indicted and/or convicted of voter registration fraud with phony signatures. In Washington state, seven ACORN employess were indicted in what the Democratic Secretary of State called the worst case of voter fraud in the state’s history. As Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund reported, “The list of ‘voters’ registered in Washington state included former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, … actress Katie Holmes and nonexistent people with nonsensical names such as Stormi Bays and Fruto Boy.”
And ACORN has also been sanctioned specifically for misuse of federal housing funds. In 1994, the ACORN Housing Corporation (AHC) received a grant from the newly created Americorps to assist low-income families at finding housing. In applying for the grant, the AHC claimed its activities were completley separate from ACORN.
But one year later, the Americorps Inspector General would testify that “AHC used Americorps grant funds to benefit ACORN either directly or indirectly.” She found several instances of cost-shifting from ACORN’s lobbying group to the housing entity, and also found several instances of steering recipients of housing counseling into ACORN memberships. (This report by the Employment Policies Institute contains the Inspector General’s testimony in full.)
Given this history of the fungibility of housing grant money, Republicans had so far blocked the creation of the new housing trust fund. No bill containing the fund had been passed by the Senate, and White House issued a statement containing veto threat last fall, citing — among other things — concern that the fund would “be susceptible to political influences that could compromise the goals of assisting as many low income families in need as possible.”
But just after Senate Banking’s ranking Republican Richard Shelby announced he had reached a “compromise” with committee chairman Chris Dodd on the housing fund and other issues, most committee Republicans followed suit. The bill passed the committee 19-2 just before the Memorial Day recess.
Part of the “compromise” that Dodd and Shelby announced was that money from the “trust fund” would be used to fund the bill’s main action of bailing out troubled homeowners through FHA guarantees of modified loans. This way, there would be somewhat less direct costs to taxpayers than in Frank’s House bill, which relies solely on general tax revenues for the bailout. But as they were rushing out for recess, perhaps the GOP members didn’t notice the many devils in the details of the Senate Banking package.
In addition to unrelated items such as a bizarre requirement for a fingerprint registry for much of the mortgage industry, the bill hardly gave any ground on the trust fund. Only part of the revenue would go toward the bailout, the rest would continue to go to grants that could find their way to groups like ACORN. And after two years, all of the money would go to the fungible housing grant.
As described by a press release from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a group that has long pushed for the trust fund, “The bill as passed … diverts half of the money intended for the housing trust fund in its first year and 25% in its second year. After that 100% of the funds go into the housing trust fund.”
Although Frank has been described as angry about the compromise, the fact is the committee has already given him about four-fifths of what he has always proposed. The NLIHC press release calls the Senate Banking bill a “milestone” and boasts that “the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign has moved one step closer to accomplishing its core goal: establishing a housing trust fund at the federal level with a dedicated source of revenue.”
But what we’re really a step closer to an unaccountable slush fund that could be used for dubious purposes. Advocates have never really explained a policy rationale for having an off-budget entitity for housing. At the very least, the “trust fund” proceeds would go to what states and the federal government are already doing. Frank has cited assistance to renters as a justification. But as the White House noted in its statement last fall, the federal Home Investment Partnerships Program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development already serves this goal, making a trust fund for this purpose “largely redundant.”
Forcing Fannie and Freddie to divert money also threatens the very solvency reforms contained in the same Senate banking package. As Heritage Foundation economist David John notes, “It is very worrying for Congress to treat the GSEs as a piggy bank that can fund specific projects without going through the normal appropriations process.” The White House statement argued that this would create “an undue and counterproductive reliance” on Fannie and Freddie.

(The Politico) Earlier today, when House Republican leadership framed its opposition to the bailout bill as it currently stands, a principal objection focused on the group ACORN, which the e-mail alert called "the scandal-tarnished 'community organizing group'" -- with scare quotes in the original.

They're referring to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a group generally allied with Democrats and derided by the GOP as corrupt, inefficient and a front-group for Democratic efforts on the ground.

In issuing the statement, House leaders are reflecting -- and also feeding -- a reaction to the provision that has exploded in the last day or more. Our colleague Ben Smith says he's gotten more than a dozen anti-ACORN e-mails in just the last few hours. The viral uprising is both organic and institutionally driven. Prominent bloggers have fed the flames and so has the Wall Street Journal editorial page; several of the e-mails sent to Smith reference a House leadership alert on the "ACORN Slush Fund" and others refer to the Journal opinion. On Thursday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Crypt that his friend Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) opposes the provision.

"The draft bill includes a left-wing giveaway that would force taxpayers to bankroll a slush fund for a discredited ally of the Democratic Party," reads one leadership alert. "At issue is ACORN, an organization fraught with controversy for, among other scandals, its fraudulent voter registration activities on behalf of Democratic candidates. Rather than returning any profits made in the long-term from the economic rescue package, Democrats want to first reward their radical allies at ACORN for their (often illegal) help in getting Democrats elected to office."

In the end, how much of the bailout's potential profits are earmarked for ACORN? "None. Absolutely none. All funds would go to state and local governments," said Steven Adamske, spokesman for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Financial Services Committee and a lead negotiator.

The opposition has grown so intense that critics refer to the measure in arcane legislative lingo. Erick Erickson titled a Friday morning blog post at RedState: "Section 105(d) of the Bailout Must Go."

Here's the relevant language:


DEPOSITS. Not less than 20 percent of any profit realized on the sale of each troubled asset purchased under this Act shall be deposited as provided in paragraph (2).

USE OF DEPOSITS. Of the amount referred to in paragraph (1) 65 percent shall be deposited into the Housing Trust Fund established under section 1338 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Regulatory Reform Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4568); and 35 percent shall be deposited into the Capital Magnet Fund established under section 1339 of that Act (12 U.S.C. 4569).

REMAINDER DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY. All amounts remaining after payments under paragraph (1) shall be paid into the General Fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.

And here's Frank's one-page summary of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and to find the relevant bill go here and search for H.R. 2895.

State and local governments can then dole out the funds and could send money to ACORN if they so choose and if the organization's efforts meet the standards set out in the law. For their stand against the provision, Adamske tweaked House Republicans, who have long called for more state control of federal funds.

"Are they worried that the Governor of Alaska and the Mayor of Wasilla will give money to Acorn?" he asked. 

Regardless, House Republicans are saying that unless the possibility of ACORN seeing any money from this bailout is eliminated, there's no deal. "Doling out favors to ACORN and other liberal special interest groups are a non-starter for House Republicans," said Behner spokesman Kevin Smith. "If Rep. Frank wants to keep ACORN in the bill he can secure the necessary Democratic votes for passage because he'll need every one of them."

The housing bill signed Wednesday by President George W. Bush will provide a stream of billions of dollars for distressed homeowners and communities and the nonprofit groups that serve them. Brody Mullins/The Wall Street Journal
Acorn volunteers registered people to vote in late July.
One of the biggest likely beneficiaries, despite Republican objections: Acorn, a housing advocacy group that also helps lead ambitious voter-registration efforts benefiting Democrats.
Acorn -- made up of several legally distinct groups under that name -- has become an important player in the Democrats' effort to win the White House. Its voter mobilization arm is co-managing a $15.9 million campaign with the group Project Vote to register 1.2 million low-income Hispanics and African-Americans, who are among those most likely to vote Democratic. Technically nonpartisan, the effort is one of the largest such voter-registration drives on record.
The organization's main advocacy group lobbied hard for passage of the housing bill, which provides nearly $5 billion for affordable housing, financial counseling and mortgage restructuring for people and neighborhoods affected by the housing meltdown. A third Acorn arm, its housing corporation, does a large share of that work on the ground.
Acorn's multiple roles show how two fronts of activism -- housing for the poor and voter mobilization -- have converged closely in this election year. The fortunes of both parties will hinge in part on their plans for addressing the fall of the nation's housing market and the painful economic slowdown. Some of the places buffeted worst by mounting foreclosures are states whose voters could swing the election. Five battleground states where Acorn has registration drives were among the top 10 states for foreclosure rates as of June: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Michigan and Ohio.
Partly because of the role of Acorn and other housing advocacy groups, the White House and its allies in Congress resisted Democrats' plans to include money for a new affordable-housing trust fund and $4 billion in grants to restore housing in devastated neighborhoods. In the end, the money stayed in the bill; the White House saw little choice.
What most riles Republicans about the bill is the symbiotic relationship between the Democratic Party and the housing advocacy groups, of which Acorn is among the biggest. Groups such as the National Council of La Raza and the National Urban League also lobby to secure government-funded services for their members and seek to move them to the voting booth. Acorn has been singled out for criticism because of its reach, its endorsements of Democrats, and past flaws in its bookkeeping and voter-registration efforts that its detractors in Congress have seized upon.
Getty Images
Democratic Sen. Robert Casey Jr. joins members of Acorn in a rally at the Capitol in March. Acorn's voter-registration push has made it an important player in the Democrats' effort to win the White House.
Republicans critical of Acorn's roles say any money that it gets for housing makes it easier for the group to put money into voter drives. "These are taxpayer funds, in an indirect method, being used to subsidize political activism," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican and chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. "I'm sure they're not going out and registering any Republicans."
Democrats say Republicans are simply opposed to housing aid and voter registration for the poor. Acorn also has a political arm that has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. But other groups spanning the political spectrum, ranging from the environmentalist League of Conservation Voters to Republican-friendly faith-based groups and the National Rifle Association, also do voter registration. They often target like-minded voters while endorsing candidates through separate entities. The faith-based groups, like the housing groups, also have gotten public money.
"We're trying to empower people in our communities to improve their lives," says Acorn spokesman Charles Jackson. "That is through voter registration and helping them to save their homes." He dismisses the idea that housing aid helps voter efforts: "The funds don't intermingle," he says. "There are clear walls with Acorn."
Last week, while lawmakers were brokering the final deals ahead of Saturday's 72-13 Senate vote in favor of the housing bill, Acorn workers were in the midst of the organization's most ambitious voter drive.
Acorn worker Stephanie Willis was scouting for new voters in a seedy neighborhood of Aurora, Colo., a Denver suburb. Spotting a woman seated on a park bench, Mrs. Willis hustled over and thrust a clipboard and pen at her. Within minutes, Brenda Hernandez was a new registered voter. Mrs. Willis then handed Mrs. Hernandez a flier listing Acorn's housing and other services, and signed her up to be an Acorn member.
"Obama!" Mrs. Hernandez yelled, attempting to fist-bump Mrs. Willis, who already was scanning for other people to register.
Acorn's Mr. Jackson says that when the group registers voters, it also "aims to educate them on issues facing their communities" and tells them about its services. Other groups also recruit voters and members at the same time; laws for tax-exempt groups only prohibit them from promoting specific political parties.

Sen. Obama is especially reliant on registration drives, such as Acorn's with Project Vote, to help him win the White House. The Illinois Democrat draws his strongest support from blacks, Hispanics and young people, groups that are among the least likely to be registered. After law school, Sen. Obama was the director of Project Vote in Chicago. The Obama campaign, noting that interest groups routinely register voters and endorse candidates through separate efforts, emphasizes that it accepts no donations from the groups' political action committees.
Steering Money to Groups
Democrats on Capitol Hill have helped to steer millions of dollars in housing and other grants from the federal government toward Acorn and groups like it. The groups must qualify and compete for the money, which is typically doled out from the federal government to states and municipalities. The housing package includes a new, permanent source of affordable-housing money that congressional Democrats and grass-roots groups have sought for years. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund will be funded by a tax on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage titans.

That tax eventually will channel upwards of $600 million annually in grants for developing and restoring housing, mostly as low-income rentals, available to Acorn and other groups. Democrats on Capitol Hill and housing groups say the housing-assistance money is vital to helping Americans hit hardest by what some call the largest drop in home values since the Great Depression. But they acknowledge the perception of political conflict in giving federal funds to an organization that does political work.
"We are guarding against it," said Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank in an interview. He secured the Affordable Housing Trust from his seat as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. "We have a lot of restrictions in the bill" banning using the housing money for lobbying or political purposes, he said.
He added that housing-advocacy groups aren't unique in having an affinity for government officials who can steer money their way. "People who build affordable housing tend to support the Democrats...who support affordable housing," he said. "I am a lot less worried about this relationship than I am about the Pentagon and Lockheed."
Powerful Lobbying Tool
Acorn describes itself as the nation's largest grass-roots community organization, with more than 400,000 families organized into 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities. Over four decades, Acorn has turned its broad membership into a powerful lobbying tool. Its representatives are well-known in the marble halls of the Capitol, and press local, state and federal governments for "social justice" programs, such as raising the minimum wage and advocating for hospitals to provide more free care to those lacking insurance.

Few housing organizations have as wide a reach or as many housing counselors and programs that can win grants as Acorn Housing Corporation, the group's housing-aid effort.
It's difficult to track Acorn's finances because of its group of legally separate offshoots, nearly all of which use an address in New Orleans in their tax filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Project Vote, with which Acorn has a "joint-effort agreement" to do voter registration, also uses the New Orleans address on its IRS forms. Acorn is providing one-quarter of the effort's budget for this election, and the canvassers are members of Acorn's staff.
Acorn Housing Corporation, the group's housing-aid arm, has released a copy of its 2007 tax form, but the main group, National Acorn, won't release financial statements and isn't required to. Unlike several Acorn subsidiaries, it doesn't seek tax-exempt status. "We're a private organization; it's our members' business, basically," Mr. Jackson said.
Overall, the main national Acorn entities for which tax information is available -- including its Housing Corporation -- spent $14.7 million in 2006. That information is gathered from IRS filings submitted by a half-dozen separate entities. The filings show that Acorn Housing raised $6.9 million for its activities in 2006, of which $1.7 million, or nearly 25%, came from government grants.
Last year, as the housing crisis worsened, Acorn Housing raised $7.7 million, of which $2.8 million, or 36%, was from the government, according to a return supplied by the housing group. Acorn Housing's income pays for work including housing construction and renovation, and staff who counsel homeowners on avoiding foreclosures and who work with lenders on behalf of borrowers to restructure loans.
Project Vote says it spent $9.1 million on voter-registration activities in 2006, and $15 million in the presidential election year of 2004.
When Republicans controlled Congress, they doled out money from President Bush's faith-based initiatives to churches and religious groups that helped rally Republican voters. Now that Democrats are in charge of Congress, they control the spoils. But the GOP's Rep. Hensarling says he doesn't think organizations with political arms -- on either side -- should be allowed to receive government funds. "I wonder what Democrats would think if we were in the majority and we took taxpayer funds to subsidize the National Rifle Association's low-income housing fund," he says.
Missteps at Acorn
Acorn has had a number of missteps. This month its founder, Wade Rathke, resigned after news emerged that his brother Dale had embezzled nearly $1 million from Acorn and affiliated groups eight years ago -- information the group kept from law-enforcement authorities and most members. Dale Rathke left the organization only last month.
Late last year, a handful of Acorn canvassers in Washington state admitted that they had falsified voter registrations by illegally filling out hundreds of forms with names such as Dennis Hastert, Leon Spinks and Fruito Boy Crispila. In April, eight Acorn workers pleaded guilty to similar charges in Missouri for falsifying forms.
To reduce any incentive to commit fraud, Acorn currently pays canvassers a flat hourly rate of $8. Some other organizations pay canvassers by the number of registration forms they turn in.
Acorn's registration campaigns are part of a growing emphasis on voter mobilization in American politics. More than 20 million people filled out applications at voter-registration drives during the 2004 and 2006 elections -- three times as many during the previous two election cycles, according to an analysis of census data by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan organization that tracks voter registration figures. This election is expected to exceed the 2004 record, with groups across the political spectrum forecasting they will surpass their previous efforts.
In the 2004 and 2006 elections, Acorn helped to register a total of 1.6 million new voters combined; this election, it aims to register 1.2 million more with Project Vote. Acorn also is helping to back an effort to register one million recent immigrants who are new citizens, and who tend to lean mostly toward Democrats.
Tina Sepulveda, a 23-year-old single mom canvassing in Aurora for the Project Vote effort, says she checks her forms to see how people will vote. "In a week, I get maybe six to nine Republicans. And I'm getting 20 people a day."
Last year, Acorn calculated that Denver and its suburbs held 150,000 eligible but unregistered Hispanics and African-Americans. To run the program, Acorn and Project Vote turned to Ben Hanna, a shy, tattooed 27-year-old, who wants to register at least half of that group.
Mr. Hanna hired 25 canvassers, seven quality-control people and a handful of managers to trawl parks, public-assistance agencies and liquor stores. The team registers about 2,000 people a week and overall has helped 52,000 people join the voting rolls.
One of his stars is the gregarious Mrs. Willis, the youngest of 12 siblings, who says she has signed up 2,000 people this year. With a daily goal of 25 new registered voters, Mrs. Willis needs to sign up four or five people an hour.
At her first stop, an agency that hands out food stamps, she cajoles a Hispanic woman into filling out a form. At a public pool, she kicks off her white Air Jordans and registers a Hispanic sunbather. She wades through the kiddie pool fishing for voters.
More than half of the unregistered people that Mrs. Willis approaches say they aren't allowed to vote. She tells convicted felons that state law allows them to vote once they are off parole.
After two hours, Mrs. Willis signs up her sixth voter, 77-year-old Andrew Hinojos. "I wasn't going to vote, but that lady right there, she can make anybody vote," says Mr. Hinojos, pointing toward Mrs. Willis. He promises to show up on Election Day.
Thanks to the House GOP’s intervention, the Paulson plan is also better than it would have been. Republicans helped to eliminate the Barney Frank-Chris Dodd slush fund for liberal housing lobbies; a plank to let judges shield deadbeat homeowners from bankruptcy laws; and a ploy to stack bank boards with union members.”

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ayers-Obama twenty year pattern of connections

The Obama-Ayers Top Ten: Highlights of the 20 year Obama-Ayers Connection
By Steve DiamondcloseAuthor: Steve Diamond Name: Steve DiamondEmail: susanunpc@gmail.comSite: http://globallabor.blogspot.com/About: See Authors Posts (15) on August 12, 2008 at 8:00 AM in Annenberg Chicago Challenge, Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Bolshevikization, Chicago politics, William Ayers, Woods Fund

If you take the Obama campaign at its word, the contention that there is a relationship between Bill Ayers and Barack Obama is “phony,” “tenuous,” a “stretch.” In Obama’s own words, Ayers was “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” certainly not a long time close political ally.
But a review of just the publicly known highlights of the Ayers-Obama relationship suggests a twenty year pattern of connections between the two.
At the heart of this “Top Ten” list is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Ayers founded and Obama and Ayers co-chaired for five years, raising and spending at least $110 million in an effort to bolster a “radical” (Ayers’ word) reform program in the Chicago Public Schools from 1994 to 2001.
1) Out of the Woods:
The Woods Fund financed the hiring of Obama in 1985 by the Developing Communities Project.
According to The Nation: “The Woods Fund, in many ways, is responsible for helping start Obama as an organizer and shaping his political identity. In 1985 the foundation gave a $25,000 grant to the Developing Communities Project (aka the “DCP”), which hired Obama, at 24, as an organizer on Chicago’s economically depressed South Side.”
The Woods Fund was founded by the Woods family which owned the Illinois-based Sahara Coal Company, a major supplier of coal from its mines to major Illinois power companies. Commonwealth Edison, the giant Chicago-based electric power company was headed by Thomas Ayers, father of Bill Ayers.
Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund from 1993 until 2002. Bill Ayers joined the board of the Fund in 1999 and continues to serve on the board today. He chaired the board for two years during that time.
2) Know your ABCs:
Obama’s DCP supported radical school reform project together with Bill Ayers.
In 1987 in the wake of a controversial strike by the Chicago Teachers’ Union, the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools, or ABCs, was formed to lobby for a new Illinois law that would mandate the establishment of a new power center in Chicago public schools. Local school councils would be established to watchdog union teachers and their principals and they would have the power to fire principals at will.
Bill Ayers helped organize the ABCs group, was its contact person and later its chair. Barack Obama worked on school reform efforts for the DCP at that time and the DCP was a member of the ABCs. Chicago United, a business group established by Tom Ayers, Bill’s father, was also a member of the ABCs.
The Woods Fund also provided additional financial support to the DCP in 1988 to support its school reform efforts. A program officer of the Woods Fund at the time was Ken Rolling who would later be hired by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama as Executive Director of the $110 million Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
3) Putting on the White Shoe:
Obama and Dohrn worked for elite law firm Sidley and Austin
After surfacing from the Weather Underground in 1980 Bernardine Dohrn, wife of Bill Ayers, pled guilty to criminal charges related to the violent Days of Rage in Chicago in 1969 and received three years probation. She later refused to testify in front of a grand jury convened to investigate a bank robbery carried out by former comrades of Dohrn’s from the Weather Underground. Currently a clinical faculty member at Northwestern University School of Law, she told the New York Times that she thought grand juries were “illegal” and “coercive.” She served seven months in jail.
Because of the criminal convictions Dohrn, who received a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1967, was refused admission to the New York bar. Nonetheless, she was hired as a legal clerk by Sidley and Austin, a major Chicago law firm, in their New York office in 1984. Howard Trienens, then managing partner of the firm, recently told the Chicago Tribune that he arranged the hiring of Dohrn as a favor to his fellow Northwestern University trustee and classmate, Tom Ayers. Tom Ayers’ firm, Commonwealth Edison, has used Sidley as outside counsel for many years. She later worked in their Chicago office when she and Bill Ayers moved back to Chicago in 1987. She left Sidley in 1988.
Barack Obama left Chicago in the fall of 1988 to attend Harvard Law School. In the summer after his first year at Harvard he became an associate in the Chicago office of Sidley and Austin.
4) A hard rock miner:
Chicago lefty lawyer and Dohrn classmate Judson Miner hires Barack Obama out of Harvard.
Barack Obama returned to Harvard after his summer at Sidley and Austin in the fall of 1989. That fall he was elected the president of the Harvard Law Review, the first black person to hold the position. Although Obama could have returned to Sidley or perhaps clerked for the United States Supreme Court, a natural step for Law Review officers, he chose instead to work for Judson Miner, a partner in a small civil rights law firm in Chicago. Miner had been counsel to Chicago’s late black mayor, Harold Washington. Miner was also classmates with Bernardine Dohrn at the University of Chicago law school in 1967 where they were both were involved in anti-war activity.
5) Rising to the Challenge:
Ayers is named Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge founded by Bill Ayers
In late 1993, Bill Ayers, now an associate professor of education at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, organized a team to put together a grant proposal to secure nearly $50 million from the Annenberg Challenge. The money was to be used by Ayers and co. to bolster the radical Local School Councils reform project that Ayers and Obama had championed back in 1988 through the ABCs.
The grant application was successful and in early 1995 Barack Obama was named chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers was named co-chair of the Challenge’s operative and strategic body, the Chicago School Reform Collaborative. Ayers and Obama work together for the next five years on raising an additional $60 million in matching money from local foundations and corporations and using the money to intervene in the governance of the Chicago public schools.
The Challenge through a multi-million dollar Leadership Development Initiative intervened in the School Council elections in the middle of what was known as the Chicago School Wars. At the same time Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was pushing, successfully, to gut the power of the Councils.
6) In the Palmer of his hand:
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn host Obama’s state senate kick-off in their Hyde Park home
In the fall of 1995 Barack Obama began his first electoral campaign to replace State Senator Alice Palmer who was attempting to run for Congress. Palmer accompanied Obama to the Hyde Park home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn for an introduction of Obama to the Hyde Park left. Unnamed Obama campaign aides told the New York Times that this was the first time that Obama met Ayers and Dohrn, part of the campaign’s effort to minimize the relationship between their candidate and the two authoritarian leftists. Of course that was wrong, as clearly Obama and Ayers had already met well before this “meet and greet.”
7) The “lost years”: Ayers and Obama to the rescue of troubled youth
In 1997 Bill Ayers published a book that criticized the treatment of juvenile defendants in the criminal justice system including the practice in some states of trying these individuals as adults. Barack Obama praised the book as a “searing and timely account” in the Chicago Tribune.
In late 1997 and 1998 a bill to impose “blended” sentencing on certain juvenile offenders was proposed in the Illinois legislature where Obama was now a state senator, representing the south side Chicago district that included Ayers and Dohrn’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The bill would have allowed parallel juvenile and adult sentences with the adult sentence held as a threat to be imposed if serious offenders violated terms of their juvenile conviction.
Obama, Dohrn and Ayers opposed the bill. Michelle Obama, now working at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park, organized a panel discussion there in late 1997 as the new bill was gaining momentum, to discuss Ayers’ book. Barack Obama and Ayers were on the panel and Obama was described in the event’s press release as ”working to block proposed legislation that would throw more juvenile offenders into the adult system.”
The “R” word:
Obama advisor promotes a reparations approach to education reform; Ayers endorses it
In 2006 Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings of the University of Wisconsin, the then president of the American Education Research Association (AERA), the nation’s leading School of Education professional association, proposed a new policy to tackle the problems of America’s public schools: the repayment of centuries of “education debt” that allegedly is owed to people of color as a result of slavery and discrimination. She rooted the concept in the literature supporting reparations for slavery.
In 2007 Linda Darling-Hammond, a prominent and respected professor at the Stanford University School of Education, endorsed the same idea in an article in The Nation. In late 2007 Darling-Hammond was named an education advisor to the Obama campaign. In February 2008 Darling-Hammond issued a blueprint for education reform by the next President that set as its #1 priority the repayment of the “education debt,” as proposed originally by Ladson-Billings.
Bill Ayers has endorsed the idea of repayment of the “education debt.” Ayers is now a Vice President-elect (Division B: Curriculum Studies) of the AERA.
A chapter called “Education for Democracy” by Darling-Hammond appeared in a volume co-edited by Ayers called A Light in Dark Times. A chapter co-authored by Ladson-Billings on “racing justice” appeared in a book co-edited by Ayers called Teaching for Social Justice: A Democracy and Education Reader. Ladson-Billings wrote the foreword to Ayers’ book, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher. Ayers and Ladson-Billings are co-editors of City Kids, City Schools: More Reports from the Front Row just published. Ladson-Billings contributed a chapter in a book edited by Bill Ayers, Rick Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Jesse L. Jackson called Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment published in 2001.
More fundamentally, Bill Ayers introduced the concept of “white supremacy” as America’s original sin within the new left group SDS as part of his effort, together with his future wife Bernardine Dohrn, to hijack the student-led antiwar movement for his still-to-come terrorist actions as a leader of the Weather Underground.
Ayers argues that the fundamental issue in American life is “white skin privilege” - that white Americans benefit from being white at the expense of blacks.
Ayers himself wrote on his website in a January 19, 2008 essay on school reform:
“The dominant narrative in contemporary school reform is once again focused on exclusion and disadvantage, race and class, black and white. ‘Across the US,’ the National Governor’s Association declared in 2005, ‘a gap in academic achievement persists between minority and disadvantaged students and their white counterparts.’ This is the commonly referenced and popularly understood ‘racial achievement gap,’ and it drives education policy at every level. Interestingly, whether heartfelt or self-satisfied, the narrative never mentions the monster in the room: white supremacy….Gloria Ladson-Billings upends all of this with an elegant reversal: there is no achievement gap, she argues, but actually a glancing reflection of something deeper and more profound—America has a profound education debt. The educational inequities that began with the annihilation of native peoples and the enslavement of Africans, the conquest of the continent and the importation of both free labor and serfs, transformed into apartheid education, something anemic, inferior, inadequate, and oppressive. Over decades and centuries the debt has accumulated and is passed from generation to generation, and it continues to grow and pile up.”
Obama has several times during the campaign suggested that the kind of reparations he is for is increased spending on education.
9) A toast to the maoist:
Bill Ayers long time comrade Mike Klonsky blogs for Obama
One of Bill Ayers’ and Bernardine Dohrn’s comrades in the late 60s Students for a Democratic Society was Mike Klonsky. When Dohrn and Ayers moved in one direction toward the violent tactics of the Weather Underground, Klonsky, in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, dropped the pro-Russian communist politics of his parents and became a committed Maoist. As leader of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) in 1977 he travelled to Beijing and was toasted by the senior Beijing leadership.
When the crazy left of the 70s died in the 80s, Klonsky went to graduate school in education in Florida and then moved to Chicago. While driving a cab there he was recruited by his old friend Bill Ayers to head up a new project called the Small Schools Workshop in 1991. It’s offices were in the Department of Education building at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus where Ayers taught. In 1995 the newly formed Chicago Annenberg Challenge headed by Ayers and Obama gave the Workshop a grant of $175,000. The Annenberg Challenge also had its office space in the same building as Ayers Department and the Workshop, rent free courtesy of the University.
In 2008 Klonsky ran a blog on the official Obama campaign website on education policy and “social justice” teaching. When discussion of the Klonsky blog emerged in the blogosphere, it was promptly shut down by the campaign and all of the posts made by Klonsky were removed from the site.
10) The Great Debate: George v. Barack
There is little publicly available information on the precise relationship between Obama and Ayers today. I have been told by Linda Darling-Hammond that Ayers does not have any role in the campaign, although I do wonder how Ayers’ buddy Mike Klonsky could blog on the Obama website unless Ayers had a hand in it. Obama himself did not exactly eliminate any doubts on this score when asked about his relationship with Ayers during a debate with Hilary Clinton by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.
Obama said that Ayers was a professor of English (not Education) and was just a guy who lives in his neighborhood. Well, clearly not “just,” as we now know. But then Obama said that he does not exchange ideas with Ayers “on a regular basis.” Whatever that is supposed to mean (they debate the future of the world on an “irregular basis”?) it certainly fails to put the issue to rest.

Voters in Colorado -- Time to do your research before you cast your vote

A Friend of Obama William Ayers walks on an American Flag “The Stealth Candidate”

Do not let Obama spread your hard earned money around to those who are looking for a hand-out and not a hand-up

Featuring Cliff Kincaid and Herbert Romerstein
Cliff Kincaid: Thanks for coming. My name is Cliff Kincaid. I’m President of America’s Survival, usasurvival.org. Of Senator Barack Obama’s contacts and associations with anti-American political figures, none is more controversial than Frank Marshall Davis.

He was a writer and a poet identified as a member of the Communist Party USA by
several sources, including sources sympathetic to him. Obama and Frank Marshall
Davis met in Hawaii at a time when the young Obama was in need of a black role model
and a mentor. Obama’s relationship with Davis, including his subsequent associations
with radicals, socialists, and communist figures in Chicago, should be investigated for the benefit of promoting the public’s right to know and that is why we have called this news briefing today.

We believe that any public figure with links to foreign and hostile interests should be asked to explain those associations. In the case of Obama, a relatively new figure on the national scene, we submit the facts suggest that he would have serious difficulty getting a security clearance in the United States Government. An FBI background check was once used to examine one’s character, loyalty to the United States, and associations.

Frank Marshall Davis is a far more controversial figure than even Jeremiah Wright
because Frank Marshall Davis was a key member of a Soviet controlled network that
was sponsored by Moscow and operating in Hawaii. He was in Hawaii at the
acknowledged suggestion of two other secret Communist Party USA members, actor
Paul Robeson and labor leader Larry Bridges. Davis in Hawaii had been a writer for a
Communist Party controlled newspaper, The Honolulu Record. All of the evidence that
has been summarized and explored in the report we provide you by veteran investigator
and researcher Herbert Romerstein suggests that Davis was a key member of a
communist international network in Hawaii.

First, a few words about Herb Romerstein. He retired from the United States
Government after 25 years of service, including as an investigator for the House
Committee on Un-American Activities, Minority Chief Investigator for the House
Committee on Internal Security, Professional Staff Member for the House Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence, and Head of the Office to Counter Soviet
Disinformation for the U.S. Information Agency. Romerstein examines Davis’ time in
Hawaii in his report. Davis had come to Hawaii from Chicago where Barack Obama
would eventually end up. It was in Chicago that Davis had been in contact with
Robeson and Bridges and had edited another far left newspaper, The Chicago Star.
In other words, and this is one of our main conclusions, communist networks were in
existence in both locations, Hawaii and Chicago, providing the backdrop for Obama’s
upbringing and political career.

Significantly, the basic facts of the Obama/Davis relationship were originally disclosed by Professor Gerald Horne, a contributing editor of the Communist Party journal Political Affairs, who talked about Obama coming under the influence of Davis during a speech 3
at the reception of the Communist Party USA archives at the Tamiment Library at New
York University. His remarks were posted online under the headline, Rethinking the
History and Future of the Communist Party.

At this point, I want to acknowledge and bring up for a few words, Trevor Loudon, who’s come all the way from New Zealand to be with us today. Trevor has been described as the premier anti-communist researcher in New Zealand. He runs something called the New Zeal Blog, a libertarian conservative blog, and he was the first one to notice Gerald Horne’s speech, which was posted online, at the Tamiment Library, in which he recognized and acknowledged the relationship between Frank Marshall Davis and Barack Obama. Trevor, would you come up? I want to acknowledge him because of the work he’s done. Of people all around the world, you would think we would have
investigative reporters here in Washington who might be able to dig up some of this, but we had to rely on somebody in New Zealand. Trevor, do you want to say a few words
about this?

Trevor Loudon: Yes, thanks very much, and I’m enjoying being in Washington. People
have asked me why a New Zealander would care about a presidential candidate in the
United States. Well, I live in a country that’s kept safe by two things. One, its isolation, and secondly, by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. The U.S. Navy has saved us once before and we’re very conscious that in a world of growing threats, where China is becoming increasingly powerful and Russia is becoming increasingly belligerent, it’s better that the President of the United States is firmly loyal to their country and has got a firm resolve on defending the Western World. So if somebody from New Zealand can help
bring more awareness of Barack Obama to the public of the United States, I’m happy to
help. But thanks very much for welcoming me to your country. Thanks.

Cliff Kincaid: Before we go any further, and I’m going to give you a description of our agenda today and how we’re going to proceed, I want to acknowledge Max Friedman,
another researcher who’s been involved in analyzing internal security problems for
many, many, many years. I credit him; acknowledge him in my report, for digging up
some of this information about some of the characters we’re going to be talking about
today. Max, I guess it was many years ago I went to his house. I don’t know if you ever took me down into your basement, but I understand that his basement is full of a lot of old congressional reports, archival documents. He spends so much time down there digging up this information - a lot of it we used in this report. I guess it’s pretty musty down there and he got a cold, but he worked hard. Max, would you come up? Because I want to acknowledge your hard work on this and ask you to say a few words too.

Max Friedman: Thank you, Cliff. I started out as a kid doing graduate studies on the
new left, got involved in communist front operations on Vietnam, and stayed with it ever since. I was a reporter for several newspapers and still write a column. I’ve known Cliff since he was a kid. I’ve known Herb Romerstein when I was a kid and I thank him for teaching me a tremendous amount about history, especially communism in international affairs. What I’ve done here just very briefly is that I began to get interested in some of the people’s names that kept popping up in news articles around the Obama campaign.

I’m not a political person per se. I don’t support this party or that party. I like to look at the individual. What I saw and I found in my musty old basement was that Obama was raised and educated in a very Marxist rich environment, which often would limit his
worldview of things that were going on, his understanding of things going on, and this bothers me because we’re in a world today -- my son’s an Iraqi veteran. I understand what’s going on at war. I was in Vietnam as a correspondent for Human Events. You have to be a realist. You can have all the dreams you want, the other side is not playing with dreams. They’re playing with reality and they’re playing with your destruction. So, anything that I can do to help make people aware of what is out there, what some of the problems are we’re facing, and how some people are refusing to actually deal with reality, I will be glad to do my job. Thanks, Cliff.
Cliff Kincaid: I want to reiterate that we’re here not on behalf of any political campaign.

I have no connections to any campaign, neither does Herb Romerstein. We’re here to
provide information. This is informational. We are trying to put out information that the media seem reluctant to dig into and luckily we have people like Trevor Loudon, Max Friedman, and, of course, as you’re going to hear from Herb Romerstein, who have the information, who have been looking into these kinds of subjects for many, many years.

Now, clearly, I’m not a kid anymore, but I do want to mention I first came into
Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1978, through something called The National
Journalism Center. And I want to acknowledge the man who ran that. I guess I’d call
you my mentor [M. Stanton Evans]. I had Reed Irvine as a mentor as well. Stan, would
you stand, please? Stan’s a tremendous journalist and author. His recent book, of
course, is generating quite a bit of controversy in some circles, on Senator McCarthy.

So, to proceed, ladies and gentlemen, let me summarize before Herb gets up here the
basic facts about Frank Marshall Davis and the significance of this relationship. As
Herb will discuss, and he’ll go into the background of this communist network in Hawaii,
even after the Communist Party was in the midst of collapsing, Frank Marshall Davis
was still in Hawaii promoting communist propaganda and trying to influence people,
including a young Barack Obama, and that’s why it’s so important to get to the bottom of the nature of this relationship.

We’re putting out information. We think any major public figure or candidate that has
connections to foreign or hostile interests should be examined. The reason we’re
bringing this forward at this time is we’ve seen no attempt, no effort by the major media to do this, in regard to Obama. And it goes without saying that the major media bias in favor of him has gotten almost beyond belief to the point where it’s now in the papers today that Linda Douglass, a veteran reporter, just with The National Journal and had worked for the networks before, she’s now joined the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign.

Now, it would have been one thing if Obama had come forward and said, “Yeah, I came
in contact with this guy, Frank Marshall Davis, and man alive, was he a crazy
communist, and he had no influence on me. I moved on and that’s it.” The problem
comes into focus because in Obama’s 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, he tries to
obscure the identity of this Frank. In fact, he calls him only Frank. He doesn’t refer to him as Frank Marshall Davis. He conceals his middle and last names. Still, in his book, he acknowledges that he came to respect Frank and other black men he knew for the struggles they went through recognizing them “as my own.” He wrote about this “poet named Frank,” who visited him in Hawaii, read poetry, and was full of hard earned knowledge and advice. He wrote about Frank having some modest notoriety once, being a contemporary of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes during his years in 7
Chicago and that Frank was pushing 80 years of age and giving them advice before he
went off to Occidental College in 1979.

So Obama displays some awareness of who this Frank was. There are these hints in
the book, but was Obama aware of the fact that although Davis was a contemporary of
Richard Wright and Langston Hughes, that Richard Wright had broken with the
Communist Party and that Davis had not? Was he aware of the fact that Langston
Hughes eventually broke with the Communist Party? In short, what knowledge does
Barack Obama have about communist efforts to influence and manipulate black
Americans? The continuing influence of Davis over Barack Obama could help explain
why, when he went off to college, by his own admission in his book, he admits selecting Marxist professors among his friends and attending socialist conferences. It could also help explain why, when he arrived in Chicago to pursue a political career, he came into contact with people who had socialist and communist connections.

I’m going to talkabout that. That’s the basis of my report.
But I want to emphasize that Gerald Horne, in that speech at Tamiment Library, is not
the only one who has confirmed that Frank was indeed Frank Marshall Davis. Dr.
Kathyrn Takara of the University of Hawaii, who knew and interviewed Davis and
actually wrote a dissertation on his life and career, confirmed to me in a lengthy
interview that the Frank in Obama’s book was indeed Frank Marshall Davis. And she
confirmed that Frank Marshall Davis was a significant influence over Barack Obama
during the three or four years that Obama attended the Punahou Prep School in Hawaii.
These would have been the years 1975-1979. She said, based on her research and
information, that Obama had been introduced to Frank Marshall Davis by his
grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who considered Davis a strong black male figure and
thought he exerted a positive influence over a young Barack Obama in his high school

So, before I go to Herb, I want to say a few additional things about what we’re going to do here. Herb is going to speak and you have a copy of his report. I will come back afterward to talk more about the Chicago connections that are the basis of my report. And I want to emphasize some of the methods, some of the research, and fact finding we undertook to put this whole thing together. In my case, I went to Chicago, actually attended a Democratic Socialists of America dinner, went to their offices, interviewed the office manager, one of their top people, interviewed Dr. Quentin Young, one of Barack Obama’s long time backers who helped launch his political career. I even visited the university office of Bill Ayers, the communist terrorist friend of Barack Obama’s. Ayers wasn’t there. I left messages. I left my business card. I asked him to call me because I had a number of questions. I’m going to talk about some of those later. But some of the photos of his office door and wall are here for you to take a look at [photos available at www.usasurvival.org] and you can tell by these photos what’s on his wall and office door that his ideology hasn’t changed one bit.

I also made a trip up to the Tamiment Library in New York City to examine some of the
CPUSA archives, including files having to do with Paul Robeson. In addition, I have a
lot of original material here. There’s some of the covers of some of these reports that are out here for you to see [see exhibits in “Communism in Chicago and the Obama
Connection” report] from the old Students for a Democratic Society, which I had written about at the time. I have a lot of their old literature and I have all of this for you to take a 9
look at because of the misperception that this was just some kind of radical student
group. The fact is that you can see for yourself, through their pamphlets and literature, that they were an openly communist organization. They supported the communist enemy in Vietnam. They supported the communist enemy in Cuba. These were
dedicated enemies of the United States, not just a “radical student group.”

And another thing before I ask Herb to come up and speak - I gave you some of the
bare essentials of his amazing career. It’s not an understatement to say that Herb
Romerstein is really a walking encyclopedia. Now, he tells me that he forgets things,
but he’s got an amazing wealth of knowledge, but it’s not just knowledge of words and
definitions of terms. It’s knowledge that we need to impart more than ever to the next generation, to our young people, about the communist danger, the communist menace.

It was real and it is real today. That’s why we’re here today. And, there’s there’s really nobody who has more knowledge. I asked him to focus on Hawaii, but he’s covered it all. He’s covered the SDS. He can tell you more about the Weather Underground. I’ll return to some of the Chicago connections later. But, suffice it to say, Herb Romerstein is really a national treasure - a source of information that is very difficult to get anywhere else. And that’s why we’re desperately hoping -- the whole purpose of this news conference, this briefing, is to provide information so the American people can make their own decision about Barack Obama. We’re not telling anybody what to think or who to vote for. We’re here to provide information.

Herbert Romerstein: Thank you, Cliff, and thank you people for being here today. I
want before I speak about this subject to, to take a point of personal privilege in the notice that you received on this meeting today. It said I was an investigative journalist.
I’m not a journalist. I write, indeed, I’ve written some books and I write articles, but I’m not a journalist. And, secondly, it said I was an investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities, House Committee on Internal Security, and the House Intelligence Committee. Well, the House Intelligence Committee doesn’t have
investigators. It has professional staff members and its job is to do the oversight on our intelligence community. And, when I went to work for that committee, Congressman John Ashbrook, who had recommended me, said, “Our job is to keep these people from doing any more harm to our intelligence agencies.” And we attempted to prevent them and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we didn’t. But one thing we did succeed in doing because of John Ashbrook, who passed away a number of years ago, and Bill Young, who is still in Congress. They insisted that to understand the work of the CIA and the FBI, which was a job of the committee, they had to understand the job of the KGB and the role of the KGB. So, we had hearings on KGB operations as well. And some of the most significant information about KGB was published by the U.S. Congress in the 1980’s. But why are we interested in Barack Obama?
Well, he comes out of nowhere, overnight, as if he were dropped off the turnip truck. I mean, who is this person? We know nothing about him. And, in order to understand him, I think we need to understand the things that influenced him and some of them he reveals in his book, Dreams From My Father, but many other things he does not reveal.

So we decided to start going back and see what things influenced him even before he
was born. We know that up until 1937, there was no Communist Party in Hawaii. But
by going through the archives of the Communist International, and my wife and I had
the opportunity in 1993 to spend a month in those archives, we found the instructions
that were given to the American Communist Party by the Soviet Communist Party
through the Comintern, ordering them to establish a Communist Party in Hawaii. Now,
one of the important things that they wanted them to do was to get the removal of the
American bases from Hawaii. Of course, we’d have had a hard job fighting World War II
if we didn’t have a base at Pearl Harbor and other bases in the Hawaiian Islands. And
that’s what they were thinking because the Soviets had plans to move into Asia, move
into the Pacific, and the American presence there was an impediment to them.
In the report, which you have copies of, we reproduced a couple of pages from the
Comintern archives, and for the sake of our guests here from [the TV show] Russia
Today, the sections of the archives that we have reproduced here are no longer
available to the Russian people. Those sections of the archives were closed in 1994
and they have not been opened since. So maybe you can get your viewers in Russia to
demand that the Russian Government reopen the entire Comintern archive, not just the
sections that they think they want us to see…
Once the Communist Party was established in Hawaii, a communist trade union [called]
the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen’s Union became an important
political element on the islands and the head of that union, Harry Bridges, was a secret
member of the Communist Party. In the Comintern archives, we have the report on him
by the Comintern establishing him to be a member of the central committee of the
American Communist Party and with a great future in the American Communist Party.
Bridges, of course, always denied party membership and attempts were made to deport
him because he was a communist. He was born in Australia, but he was able to fight
back because he had very, very sharp shyster lawyers and a lot of friends in the U.S.
Government that helped him and they prevented his deportation. But he had been a
major force promoting communism.
When the CIO in 1949 threw out Bridges’ Union because they said that there was
communist control, they pointed to Harry Bridges particularly as attending the meetings where the Communist Party functionaries instructed the union what to do and what positions to take. One particular thing, it’s sort of a pet interest to me, was the Soviet Nazi Alliance, and, as the CIO pointed out during the alliance from 1939 to 1941, the Union worked against America’s support for Britain, which, of course, was fighting alone against Nazi Germany. But, as soon as, of course, the Soviet Union was attacked, then the American communists all became patriots and demanded that we get into the war on the side of the Soviet Union. And, again, Harry Bridges gets involved in that.

But, over a period of time, communists from the mainland were fed into Hawaii to
organize the party there. As late as 1948, they were still sending cadre from the
mainland and one of them was Frank Marshall Davis. Davis in his own book says that
he consulted with Paul Robeson, who is a secret party member, we know, but he
doesn’t say that, and Harry Bridges, another secret party member, we know that, but he doesn’t say that. Before he went to Hawaii and they set him up in Hawaii and the
newspaper that he wrote for was actually paid for by the International Longshoremen
and Warehousemen’s Union, and all that’s in our report.

This kind of activity is really on the periphery of any society, but by the fact that the communists were able to network, they were able to establish a certain amount of influence in the political situation in Hawaii. And by the time Barack Obama came
along, there was hardly any Communist Party left, but there were the remnants of the
party still doing the work. The Communist Party today, by the way, is a tiny shadow of what it used to be. They have less than a thousand members. Most of them are older
than I am and they are not very useful as a tool of foreign intelligence services, but in the years of their activity, 1919 to 1950’s and ‘60’s, they were controlled by the Soviet Communist Party, and, as late as the 1980’s, they were receiving funding from the Soviet Communist Party handled through KGB channels.

So they are significant in history. They are not significant today. What is significant today are the neo-communists - many of them are what we call red diaper babies and they came out of communist families. But they were disappointed in the Soviet Union back in the 1960’s and 1970’s and they were disappointed that the American Communist Party was so weak. So, they said they were communists and they were better communists than the American Communist Party. I think a better term for people like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are neo-communists. They were not party
members, but they were fighting on behalf of the countries that the Soviet Union
controlled or created. A group of the weathermen went down to Cuba in the so-called
Venceremos Brigade, and some of them received training in terrorist activities. One of their instructors was named Julian Torres-Rizo. We don’t have this discussion of him in this report, but I will be happy to answer any questions about him. Rizo was an officer of the Cuban DGI, the intelligence service. He was assigned to work with the young Americans who were coming down ostensibly to cut sugar cane. They were really coming down for training. And we have one of Rizo’s speeches in which he says, “You come from a society that must be destroyed. It’s your job to destroy your society.”
Well, Bernardine Dohrn and her cronies published Rizo’s speech and I have the copy
that they published so we know what he did and what they said. And Rizo later became
the Cuban Ambassador to Grenada at the time of Maurice Bishop and he was still the
Cuban Ambassador when Bishop was murdered by his own comrades and finally had to
leave and go back to Cuba where he became a member of the central committee of the
Cuban Communist Party.

He’s a very significant communist apparatchik and he was a tremendous influence on
the Weather Underground. By the way, when he was in the United States before he
was given the job in Grenada, he was at the U.N. mission in New York and he handles
the contacts with the American communists and radical groups and neo-communist
groups and provided some funding for them. So he’s a significant figure in our own
history because he helped the terrorists that were fighting against us at that time.
As Cliff pointed out, Obama talks in his book about Frank. We must understand these
people who influenced him. They help us understand Obama because there’s no other
record and his votes are minimal in the Senate and even in the legislature in Illinois. He was not a major figure. He didn’t make the speeches. He didn’t make the legislation.

Where he signed onto legislation in the Senate, it’s somebody else’s bill and he’s a cosigner. He did not play a major role so we can’t analyze what he did and what he didn’t do in the Senate during the Illinois legislature. All we know about him is who he gets his information from and who he gets his inspiration from. And, as a very young man, he is Frank Marshall Davis. Probably you remember Obama’s speech when he finally got around to answering the questions about his minister, Jeremiah Wright, and he said, “I
can’t repudiate Jeremiah Wright any more than I can repudiate my white grandmother,”
who he implied was a racist.

His white grandmother is a person that raised him, that fed him, that put a roof over his head, and paid for the expense of schools that he went to. But she came home one day, according to Obama, both in the book and in his speech, and she said that a panhandler had harassed her on her way home from work and demanded money, and
when she gave him a dollar, he demanded more money. She was very upset and
frightened. Obama was told by his grandfather that the panhandler was black. Now,
think about this young man at that time, his grandmother who loves him and who took
care of him, he’s not concerned that she was frightened. He identifies with the person that frightened her because of the color of his skin. And, so, he goes for advice to his good friend, Frank, and Frank tells him, “Your grandmother should have been afraid because black people have a right to hate white people.” Well, that’s not what we believe in America. We don’t believe that you have a right to hate people. We don’t believe that you have a right to harass people, that you have the right to intimidate people, whether you’re black or white or green. You don’t have that right in a free society. And you would have hoped that Obama would have drawn the lesson from that that he should have been defending his grandmother not the person that tried to intimidate her, but that’s not the advice he got from his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis.

Cliff will speak a lot more about this, but he arrives in Chicago again with all the wrong contacts, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who are involved in bombings and who were leaders of the Weather Underground, which was a major terrorist organization of the
‘60’s and ‘70’s. And when this question was raised of his connections with Bill Ayers, Hillary Clinton in one of the television debates raised the question of Bill Ayers, and Obama’s answer said that he knew a lot more about the subject than he would like us to know he knows. He said, “Why are you coming after me for being a friend of Bill Ayers?

Your husband freed two of the terrorists from the Weather Underground, Linda Sue
Evans and Susan Rosenberg.” Rosenberg was involved in the Brinks robbery where a
couple of people were murdered and Linda Sue Evans planted the bomb in the Capitol
building. So obviously Obama knows something about the Weather Underground.
Maybe his friends, Bernardine and Bill, told him about it or maybe he read about them.

But even though he wasn’t around at that time, as he says he was only 8 years old, he
was not a participant in any of that and he’s not responsible for what they did, but he is responsible for learning from them and he should be learning from people other than Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and Quentin Young and people like that.
Now, Quentin Young put up the money in Chicago to pay for the office that organized a
riot in Chicago against the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and one question
before the House Committee and on Un-American activities was about his role in that.
He of course refused to answer. He can’t tell the truth to Congress, but he did say that he got the money back. But there’s an FBI report that the money that was used to open that office had come through the Communist Party USA. And during that period of time, the Communist Party U.S.A. was getting the bulk of its money from the Soviet
Communist Party through the KGB.

So, again, it raises interesting questions. The Committee asked Quentin Young not,
“Are you a member of the Communist Party?” They said, “Are you a member of The
Bethune Chapter, which consists of doctors of the Communist Party U.S.A.?” And,
that’s what he refused to answer. Yet the Committee knew at that time what branch of
the party he was in and I’m happy to say I was a staff member of the Committee at the
time. And I think that it raises some very interesting questions about these kinds of

The Hawaii story continues to go on. During World War II, the Communist Party
penetrated the OSS, the predecessor of the CIA. Now actually the OSS had gone to
the Communist Party to ask them to provide veterans of the Spanish Civil War who
could be used behind German lines. And they consulted with Moscow. And, again, we
found in the Moscow archives all the information about this where the American
communists were instructed - do not get involved in them getting into our networks.
You can send your people and you should send your people in to the OSS, but as
individuals not as an organized group which will be in control of the OSS and that’s what they did. One of the Communist Party members that penetrated the OSS was named
Koji Ariyoshi, who was a Hawaiian communist. Ariyoshi was assigned by OSS to the
Chinese communists in Vietnam and he worked, of course, ostensibly for the U.S.
Government, but in fact, for the Soviet Government and promoted the Chinese
communists against support for the Chinese Nationalists who were doing the bulk of the fighting. The communists were attacking the nationalists from the rear, but the
nationalists were fighting against the Japanese.
When Koji came back to the United States, Harry Bridges sent Frank Marshall Davis to
Koji Ariyoshi when he was coming to Hawaii. He said “he will be able to guide you.”
Well, Koji Ariyoshi was then arrested for Smith Act violations and convicted of
conspiring to overthrow the government by force and violence. The conviction was
eventually withdrawn by the government because of some Supreme Court decision,
which misinterpreted the law. But be that as it may, Ariyoshi did not do a day in jail. But one of Ariyoshi’s close friends was John Stewart Service, one of the penetrations of the State Department, and the man who who stole vast amounts of classified material from the State Department and gave them to a communist magazine called Amerasia.

Amerasia had two Soviet Intelligence Agents working on its staff and so they, of course, had access to the material that Service provided. But let me first tell you there’s a book about Koji Ariyoshi that was written after his death and it’s in honor of him and the introduction is written by John Stewart Service, who says that when Nixon went to China, Service felt that it was time for him to go back and
he did. But on his way he stopped in Hawaii to meet his friend, Aryioshi, and urge him to visit China, which he did, as, as John Stewart Service says he visited his friends in China.

The book was published in a very small edition in San Francisco as a paperback, but it was then published in Communist China as a hardback book in English with all of the material about Koji Aryioshi and what he had done and his work in the OSS and, of
course, the introduction by John Stewart Service. So this continues and it ends up with the Hawaii legislature passing a resolution in honor of Koji Ariyoshi. We honor Soviet spies.

So this was the atmosphere that young Barack Obama grew up in. Even though there’s
presently a Republican Governor in Hawaii, there’s still a substantial amount of ultra
leftist influence. And, of course, when Obama was growing up, one of the elements of
that influence was Frank Marshall Davis, who is still around trying to influence people against the United States and for the enemies of the United States. And, as Cliff will point out when Obama got to Chicago, he found people who were kindred souls of his mentor, Davis. He found the Weather Underground terrorists. He found the old communists like Quentin Young and they were instrumental in getting him into politics in the first place.

So we don’t know really what Obama thinks because he speaks in slogans. He doesn’t
talk in serious discussions of the issues. But he announces things like change and
things like that - bumper sticker slogans. But to understand what went into his thinking, we have to look at Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeremiah Wright. These are the people who influenced his thinking and he has a responsibility to come forward and either repudiate these people or admit that he still thinks the kind of things that they taught him. Thank you.

Cliff Kincaid: Thank you, Herb. I’m going to say a few more things about the Chicago
aspect, and then we’ll open it up. I take your point, Herb, about the difference between being an investigator and professional staff member, if you want to nitpick. But you are a journalist. I mean, maybe you don’t want to admit it. No, no, no, you are a journalist. Why didn’t he want to admit he’s a journalist? He writes articles for Human Events. He writes books. I mean, by my definition, that’s a journalist. Guilty as charged. Guilty by association at least because I’m a journalist.
Romerstein: Some of my best friends are journalists.
Kincaid: Yes.
Romerstein: So, it’s not a rhetorical term.
Cliff Kincaid: Have you ever been a [journalist] ? I just want to say a few words about the Chicago aspect, which is the subject of my report. There’s a very good local paper, political paper, called The Politico, but it publishes a lot of interesting stories and, of course, one that’s made a lot of news is the February 22nd piece by Ben Smith where he talked about how Obama launched his political career back in 1995 at the home of communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. And it was well attended by such people as then-State Senator Alice Palmer and Dr. Quentin Young. These are very interesting people. We’ve heard a lot about Ayers and Dohrn. We haven’t heard so much about Young. I have a lot in my report about him. I interviewed him in Chicago.

Not a lot about Alice Palmer, who it turns out, we have the documentary evidence in my report, was involved in a Communist Party front group. So we’ve got some connections like that that we have documented.

I want to at least take a little time now to set the record straight, though, about Ayers and Dohrn. This is something that I’ve been pursuing especially through Accuracy in Media and I want to make a point of it here today because Ayers has been saying and it’s claimed on the jacket of his book that except for the three members of the Weather Underground who blew themselves up, when a bomb in their bomb factory exploded in New York, that they didn’t kill anybody.

Here’s what the Chicago Tribune reported in an April 24th piece by Liam Ford and Mark
Jacob. And it’s a series of Q and A’s about the Weather Underground and Ayers and
Dohrn in particular - “Question – Was anyone killed or hurt in those bombings? Answer
– The only people known to be killed or hurt by Weather Underground bombs were
bombers themselves. A 1970 blast in New York killed three members of the group,
including Ayers’ girlfriend, Dianna Oughton, and from Dwight, Illinois. Later, after Ayers and Dorn came out of hiding, other members were involved in a Brinks robbery in which two Police Officers and a Guard were shot to death.” Well, the fact is that the Tribune is just wrong. They’re just wrong.

We have confirmed through going back over old committee hearings, as well as the
book written by the informer in the Weather Underground, Larry Grathwohl, that the
Weather Underground was involved in a 1970 bombing of a police station in San
Francisco that killed one officer and injured nine others and we’ve [exhibited]
something from a San Francisco police journal about a memorial that was held last year in honor of this young police officer, this Sergeant, who was killed. I just want to quote what Grathwohl said -- and this is from his official testimony, in 1970 before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, he’s talking about when he was in the Weather Underground with Ayers and the rest of them: “when he [Bill Ayers] returned, we had another meeting at which time and this is the only time that any Weathermen told me about something that someone else had done, and Bill started off telling us about the need to raise the level of struggle and for stronger leadership inside the Weathermen cells and inside the Weathermen organization as a whole. And, he cited as one of the real problems was that someone like Bernardine Dorn had to plan, develop, and carry out the bombing of the Police Station in San Francisco and he specifically named her as the person that committed that act.”
He added that Ayers “said the bomb was placed on the window ledge of the police
station and he described the kind of bomb that was used to the extent of saying what
kind of shrapnel was used in it.” He was asked, “Did he say who placed the bomb on
the window ledge?” He replied, “Bernardine Dohrn.” Asked if Ayers said he had
personally witnessed Dohrn placing the bomb, Grathwohl responded, “Well, if he wasn’t
there to see it, somebody who was there told him about it because he stated it very
emphatically.” Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell, the subject of that article there, died two days later because of the shrapnel wounds at San Francisco General Hospital. He was a young man whose whole life ahead of him, but to Ayers and Dohrn and the SDS
people, he was a pig because they regularly referred the police as pigs.

According to this account of the blast, Sergeant McDonnell caught the full force of the flying shrapnel, which consisted of heavy metal staples and lead bullets. As other officers tried rendering aide to the fallen Sergeant, they could see that he sustained a severed neck artery wound and severe wounds to his eyes and neck. Officers Ron Martin and Al Arnold who were standing several feet from the window ledge were knocked to the ground and sustained injuries from the flying glass. The blast caused them hearing impairment and shock. One officer was knocked to the ground
unconscious suffering multiple severe wounds on his face, cheek, and legs from the
flying fragments of the glass.

We have taken all of this information about this murder to the attention of the Chicago Tribune and asked them to correct the record. That seems fair enough. To this day, I just checked with the reporter, Liam Ford, last night, they [have] refused to do so. They simply will not correct the record. There’s a lot more information I could go into at a
later time about how the Tribune over the years has been running puff pieces about
Ayers and Dorhn, promoting them as education experts and running their columns. And
it turns out that Bill Ayers’ father once sat on the board of the Tribune Company.
Now, I want to say a few things before we open it up about the SDS and the Weather
Underground because again we hear these descriptions in the media that “well, they
were just ‘60’s radicals against the Vietnam War, that their bombs didn’t hurt anybody,” and so on and so forth. As Herb alluded to, there was a Weather Underground assault in 1981 on a Brinks armored car. It was a robbery that left two Nyack police officers and a security guard dead. Weather Underground members Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert went to prison for that. Ayers and Dohrn would raise their son, someday named Chesa Boudin. Gilbert is still in prison and calls himself an anti-imperialist political prisoner. He wrote a book called No Surrender which includes an endorsement on the back cover from Ward Churchill, the disgraced college professor who compared 911 victims to Nazis. Chesa Boudin has written a book promoting the openly radical socialist government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The cover of Boudin’s book is featured outside Bill Ayers’ Office.

You’ll also see on the photos we’ve taken of Ayers’ office door and wall that he has a big poster there of how he, Bill Ayers, had gone down to Venezuela to preside over
some kind of educational conference. He gave a speech down there basically saying
“long live the Venezuelan revolution.” As he said, education is the motor of revolution.

This is the educational expert who was an advisor to the Chicago Public Schools and
gave advice and was a consultant along with one of his former SDS colleagues,
Klonsky, to Chicago Mayor Daley. These are facts that we’ve dug out that we think
have to be emphasized and provided to the American people. Herb alluded to some of the evidence about the Weather Underground’s ties to foreign governments, hostile governments [and] their trips to Cuba, as well as Hanoi. Again, during the war, this was a group that openly supported the communist enemy that was killing American soldiers. The FBI reports on the Weather Underground refer to this communist terrorist group taking instructions, advice, and influence from the Cuban Government.

Now, to conclude, I want to mention something about this SDS chart that we passed out
to you. The reason we did that is because it’s so interesting, in my view, to look at
where some of these people have ended up. I can’t cover all of the material in our
reports, but I did want to note if you look at these reports, we certainly know about
Bernardine Dorn and Bill Ayers and their involvement with Obama. But, you’ve got
people like Michael Klonsky, who I mentioned collaborates with Ayers on school reform
issues. He was at the time the National Secretary of SDS, but we’ve got a whole list of these SDS members - Tom Hayden, Carl Davidson, Todd Gitlin, Fred Klonsky, Mark
Rudd - who have shown up and we have this list at the end of my report. They have
shown up on the list of a group called Progressives for Obama. It’s interesting how
many of these SDS members have ended up in this informal grouping called
Progressives for Obama. I just want to mention in conclusion because we are getting
long here and I know people have questions. There are so many pieces of this puzzle.
A lot of it is covered in the report.
I want to mention in conclusion what I found out when I went to Chicago and looking at this group [called] Democratic Socialists of America. This is another group that backed Barack Obama. We have the evidence in the report. They supported him when he ran for the State Senate. They’ve been involved in supporting him ever since. This is a group that includes as members -- it’s a prominent group -- such people as John
Sweeney of the AFL-CIO, Washington Post Columnist, Harold Meyerson, Barbara
Ehrenreich, and many others. It is a prominent group, but it is an openly socialist
organization. And, in fact, one of their top officials at one time, a man named Kurt
Stand, was actually prosecuted and convicted of being an espionage agent for
communist East Germany.

Now, when I was in Chicago looking into these matters and much more, I went to what’s
called the Eugene Debbs Dinner. This was on April 25th and it was quite interesting and I’ll close with this. There were numerous references from the podium and in the official dinner brochure in honor of a long time Democratic Socialists of America member, an official by the name of Carl Shier. He died recently, and it turns out that Carl Shier was actually referred to and commonly called Carl Marx Shier. The people at the dinner told me quite candidly that he was named after Karl Marx in honor of the Soviet revolution.

So, these are the kinds of people that Barack Obama has been associating with, who
have backed him, and continue to support him to this day. Thank you for your attention and we’ll open it up to any questions anybody may have. We’ll start in the front.

Question: In the California legislature now there is a bill making its way through there, to wipe off a lot of the anti-communist legislation of the Cold War off the books of the
State, and the argument being that since the Cold War is over, the Communist Party is
just like any other organization and why not just let bygones be bygones, etc. and so
forth. Now given that attitude and the fact that we don’t have investigating committees of the type that Mr. Romerstein was associated with during the Cold War, I’m not talking about the Intelligence Committee, but the other committees, and given the fact that there’s been some literature written by David Horowitz and others about the link between the American left and Islamo fascists, what can be done or what should be done to do something to alert the American people to what is going on?

Romerstein: The idea of getting rid of legislation and getting rid of the archives is a general idea of the left. They don’t want us to know the history. They don’t want us to be able to go back and check on what happened. You know, the old saying by
Santayana, if you don’t learn from history, you could probably repeat it. And the
corollary to that is even if you do learn from history, you can both repeat it with them.

Now, we don’t want to have to repeat it with them. So we have to fight against any kind of legislation that wipes out the past and tries to get us to forget the past. Now, I mentioned before that that part of the Comintern archives have been closed since 1994.

They were only open for two years. And, they were closed by Boris Yeltsin at the
request of the KGB. At that point, it was already the SVR. We have a right to know
what Americans were working for the Soviets, either the Soviet Intelligence as spies or for Soviet Intelligence as agents of influence and those archives will sometimes give us some information. Luckily my wife and I were able to go there in 1993 and we took thousands of pages of material from the archives, which they made copies of for us.

They made microfilms of the material for us. But you can’t do that now because the
significant sections are closed. In Poland, where a great deal of work is being done by young people to identify the spies of the secret police that spied on their fellow Poles during the Soviet occupation of Poland, there’s a drive on now to get those archives closed. My wife and I were there last year. It’s wonderful. The archives are user friendly. People help you, but there’s a drive on by the left in Poland to get those archives closed so they can protect the reputations of those people who worked for the Soviet secret police or their Polish counterpart against the interests of the people of Poland. And this is happening all throughout Eastern Europe. There are attempts to suppress the existing archives. And the California idea of wiping out the past is that same concept. If they don’t know, if we don’t know about it, we won’t be able to protest about it. And, so I suggest that people in California make sure that they don’t get away with doing that.

Question: Thank you, I’m with Russian television. You mentioned State Senator Alice
Palmer, former State Senator in Illinois. Could you go a little bit into that in more detail? You said in your introduction that the communist menace was real and it’s still real today. Could you expand on this idea? Thank you.

Kincaid: As Herb indicated, the old Communist Party so to speak has basically petered
out, but out of that party, as we point out in our report, several groups emerged,
including something called the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and
Socialism, that includes some of the old Communist Party members. It includes some
of the old SDS people as well who were very instrumental in helping launch and
promote Barack Obama. So they may call themselves something else, but they’re still
representative in my view of the old communist ideology. State Senator Palmer, we
discovered, was involved with a Communist Party front organization called the U.S.
Peace Council. She attended a meeting of the Soviet Front World Peace Council and
actually was quoted in a Communist Party publication as saying nice things about the
old Soviet Union after a visit there to cover the official Soviet Communist Party
Congress. Very, very strange, but it helped put the pieces of this puzzle together about why she was there at the meeting. Of course, according to the published reports, she personally picked Obama as her chosen successor.

Before I go to another question, I did want to make a point that we have in our report that I think is critical to understanding the Frank Marshall Davis connection and then I’ll go to more questions.

Why didn’t Obama mention his full name? Why didn’t he refer to Frank as Frank
Marshall Davis? Why did he make it so difficult for people to discover who this was until Trevor Loudon found that amazing speech by Gerald Horne at the reception of the
Communist Party archives at Tamiment library saying that it was Frank Marshall Davis
and he had become, in effect, a mentor to Barack Obama? I put that question to Dr.
Kathyrn Takara from the University of Hawaii, who also confirms that Frank is Frank
Marshall Davis and she said to me -- the quote is in the report -- something to the effect that maybe Obama didn’t want people delving into that. Well, now, why? And I said to her - why wouldn’t he want people delving into that? Her explanation was that Frank Marshall Davis’s home would have been considered by some to be a rather unsavory place because there was drinking going on. They played cards and this kind of thing. I thought - is that really the reason why Obama would not mention Frank by his full name? I mean, here’s a guy, Barack Obama, who’s been open about certain things in
his past, including his past drug use. So you mean he wouldn’t want to mention Frank
Marshall Davis because the guy drank or because there was drinking at his home? I
don’t think so. But this is a question that he has to answer.
Question: I would like to know Cliff what have you got on Obama presently since he’s
been a Senator? Who are his associates and who is his mentor now, in the modern
times, in our current times? And, then, secondly, what about his wife? She’s a very
ambitious person. What are the influences on her?

Kincaid: That really isn’t the subject of this news conference… The reason that we did this event was to go into the historical record, to bring out information through
Congressional reports about his associates, lay it out on the table and raise some
questions. Because Herb, as I pointed out, is one of the few that has the knowledge,
who has the background, who has the access to these documents. Some of these
documents are very hard to find, and that’s why in our report, you’ll see we’ve made
copies of a lot of the Congressional testimony involving Frank Marshall Davis, the
identification of him as a communist. In Herb’s report, a lot of the background on the communist assault on Hawaii. These are hard-to-find documents. This is really what we were trying to focus in on today. So I’d be a little hesitant to go beyond that because that’s really the purpose today.

Romerstein: The answer is we don’t know. Obama is a stealth candidate. We know
nothing about him other than the few bits and pieces that he’s given us. And when
questions are raised about his current connections, he’s very thin-skinned. Now, for
example, one of his staff members who was actually employed by George Soros had
been in regular contact with Hamas, and, as a result of that contact, Hamas made a
public statement endorsing Obama and Obama became very upset when this was
raised. And he fired the staff member who still works for Soros. I mean, his real job he still has, but the staff member has a father who was a leader of the Communist Party in Egypt. So, all these things become, you know, rather interesting, but there are bits and pieces. You asked, “Who is Obama’s mentor?” Well, we just don’t know because this guy does not tell us who these people are, who he works with, who he’s proud of, who he gets his information and his inspiration from.

Kincaid: By the way, in our report, we go back in history to the support that people like the SDS and the Weather Underground would also give to Arab terrorist groups. This is very interesting to understand as well. They weren’t just sympathetic to the communists in Cuba and Hanoi. They were sympathetic to Arab terrorist groups. You’ll see on the montage of the pictures I took outside Ayers’ Office that he’s got one up there about Palestinians said to be running from a missile coming down in the sky and there’s a little post-it note up there that says, “American made missile.” This is a kind of anti-Americanism, but also anti-Israeli feeling, that has been part of this movement backing Obama from the start and it, as Herb pointed out, got him into trouble.

Question: Are you going to share [this information] with McCain and television?
Kincaid: We’re publishing our own reports. We have no political agenda. We’re trying
to get information out about any candidate, any major public figure who has links to
potentially hostile foreign elements. It’s just in the case of Obama, because he’s so new
on the political scene, in my view, that the media have not done an adequate job in
investigating this information.

Question: My name is Gene Methvin. I’m a free-lancer. I was for years a Senior Editor
of the Reader’s Digest, Washington, in the Washington Editorial Office. Like Herb, I’m an old grey head at this business. And, in 1961, I was reading the Weekly Worker
regularly for a story and I noticed a peculiar semantic gimmick. They referred
repeatedly week after week to “the movement for change.” The movement for change
was a euphemism obviously for revolutionary activity in the United States. Later I talked to Dave Gilbert briefly. He was the only person I ever talked to in 1965 or in my entire 40 years in Washington who refused to talk to me because of my affiliation with the Reader’s Digest. I wonder if you see this slogan of Obama’s promising change -- he repeatedly emphasizes change and he’s mobilizing a lot of young people behind his idea for change -- I’m wondering about the curious coincidence here between the Communist Party’s 1961-era use of the movement for change and the re-articulation since the dissolution of the Communist Party, the diminishment of it, since the fall of the evil empire, into a hydra headed group of people who are just interested in change.

They don’t care whether it’s violent or not. And, in, in the core, if you peel the onion, you find all these people like Dave Gilbert and he’s articulating from Sing Sing Prison now with a life sentence and Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn married and living together in Chicago…

Kincaid: I don’t know what he means by change. But what we point out in my report
especially is that it’s clear that the socialists and the communists are backing him. They
openly say it. I quote them at length. So they identify with his movement for change,
whatever he means by it. Herb, do you have anything to add to that?
Romerstein: Your finding that kind of slogan in the old Communist Party press is not
unusual. They always try to identify themselves with words. Back in the 1930’s they
used as a slogan, “Communism is 20th Century Americanism.” Of course, it was not
20th century or any other Americanism. It was anti-Americanism. But they adopt all
kinds of good words. So, I don’t think that the coincidence of Obama using that term
now and they using it back then is significant unless we find that this one of those old communists gave him the slogan. That would be interesting. But I don’t think we have that information.

Question: I’m doing some research on a book, Cultural Warfare. In 1977… we were
discussing the arrival in the Philippines of an East German who was the Director of the East German State Theater and a Vice President of the International Theater Institute – a Soviet Cultural Front Organization. A young communist, Kerry, told me that he’d been trained by the East German. And the East German told him - you people never use the words “cultural revolution.” The official euphemisms for this are change, changing the structures, changing the institutions, changing the cultures, but you will use these in different situations. You use change when you’re speaking to a broad audience. They don’t understand what the meaning of this is, but communist Kerrys will understand this.

We do this for very specific reasons. And, he said, “You don’t use, from the Soviet point of view, ‘cultural revolution’ outside the Soviet borders. This is not to be done.”
Question: I’m an independent watchdog and I’m currently compiling information on the
Obama/Muslim connection. But I was wondering if you in conducting your research
identified any financial resources that Obama is getting over and above what’s an open secret because we keep hearing about all of these multi-million dollars he collects. And what person that he knows can give him that much money? For example, Oprah, I’m not saying that she does, but I’m saying Oprah and Soros. So is there any way to really delve into who these backers are?

Romerstein: There are people actually doing that research on the question of the
Islamic extremists. And the tip of the iceberg came when Hamas made a public
statement endorsing Obama, which he had to repudiate. But it came as a result of one
of Obama’s own people having meetings with Hamas and promoting him to them. But I
I don’t think we should say more because we haven’t done the research. There are
people doing it and hopefully we’ll see in the near future some more work being done in this area.

Question: Do you have any more information how Alice Palmer picked Obama as her
successor for the Illinois Senate. I see in Exhibit 8 in the Chicago Report Obama did
not have any opposition in the primary. Why was that?

Kincaid: I don’t have all the details about his run for the State Senate. We only know who was there, that she selected him, that his campaign was launched in the home of Ayers and Dohrn. That Quentin Young was there. We’re raising questions about why them? Why were they there? This is why we’re here today. We’re asking these
questions. I don’t have all these answers. One of the things we mentioned in the
Chicago report is that there has been no explanation of why his state Senate race was
launched at the home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. We know that’s a fact
because The Politico uncovered that and confirmed it with Quentin Young. Quentin
Young was there, too, along with Alice Palmer, but why were they there? Why those
four people with their obvious well-documented radical and socialist connections? Why
those people? There’s been no explanation from the Obama Campaign of that. This is
one of the questions we’re raising.

Max Friedman: Let’s say that the research on the influences around Senator Barack
Obama is not finished. As Cliff has said, there are a lot of questions out there that are not being answered. We don’t know who else is looking. ...but it’s by putting these pieces of the puzzle together, I’m beginning to see something much bigger. What you’ve done today is launch it. I think if we have one puzzle, we’re going to have a bigger puzzle filling it out as research goes on.
Romerstein: What we’re here for today is to urge the press to be doing the research
and the investigative reporting to start identifying some of these people that show up... I think it really is a job of the press to do their due diligence to start looking into these people around Obama -- these people who are involved in educating him, these people who are involved in influencing him and then see who they are because we can’t tell it from Obama. As I say, he’s a blank slate. There’s very limited information even among the things that he produced about himself that we know about him.

A question was raised, for example -- how come for 20 years he sat in the pews and
listened to a raving anti-American racist make speeches? And the additional question --
how did he bring his two young children to this church to hear Wright rave on about
these things? The press [should] start asking the questions of how does Obama really
think, not these slogans, not the bumper stickers, but what do you think about these
issues and what do you know about these issues?

There was somebody that got onto the radio the other day and attacked one of the
conservative talk show hosts and said, “You’re saying that Obama has no experience,
but Abraham Lincoln had no experience.” Not exactly true. Abraham Lincoln not only
had been in Congress where he made many speeches about the issues, not slogans,
and he was a major player in the 1850’s and ‘60’s on the issue of slavery -- the major issue at that time. Lincoln was a very public figure arguing against slavery, demanding that slavery be abolished. So to sit back and say, “well, Obama has minimum
experience too,” he has minimum experience, but he also hasn’t been explaining why
he thinks what he thinks and that’s what we’re really asking. We know what he says in
his slogans, but what’s behind the slogans? What’s the thinking that goes into the

Kincaid: I would add the Washington Post has an article today about some of the
lobbyists around McCain and their connection to foreign governments and foreign
interests. This is excellent. This kind of investigative reporting ought to be applied to McCain [and] ought to be applied to Obama. That’s all we’re saying. Let’s be fair. Let’s be honest. Let’s be even handed. Let’s use the investigative resources of the press in a fair and straightforward manner. That’s all we’re saying.
Question: If your purpose is to get this into the media, you mentioned that you went to the Tribune. Have you been to the [Chicago] Sun- Times? If you go to their competitor, you’re more likely to pressure them into reforming to meet competition.

Kincaid: I didn’t do that. We’ve gone to the Tribune specifically on the errors and
Dohrn linked to that murder in San Francisco. I published articles about this at the
www.aim.org site and at www.usasurvival.org We’ve encouraged members to call and
send e-mails to the Tribune’s Editor, Ann Marie Lapinski, and their public editor,
Timothy McNulty. I don’t know what else to do. Maybe going to the Sun-Times would
be a viable option.

Question: My name’s Rick Fisher. I’m a China expert and I would just like to give you a chance to sum up your event today. Based on this body of knowledge that you gathered today, if you had the opportunity to ask the Senator himself three questions on behalf of the American people to him, what should he answer directly? Cliff or Herb, maybe, maybe Max and Trevor would want to chime in as well, but I think that would be a useful exercise for us today. Thank you.

Romerstein: Well, one question that I would ask him is what did he learn from these
people and does he accept what he learned? In the case of Frank Marshall Davis, the
things that he learned from him, does he repudiate that or does he find what he taught him that valuable in his present life? What has he learned from Bill Ayers and
Bernardine Dohrn? And he says he was only 8 years old, so he’s not responsible for
the bombings. He’s absolutely right. He’s not responsible for the bombings. But did he learn from them anything useful for him in his run for the presidency of the United
States? Did he learn to repudiate terrorism? Did he learn that terrorism is a terrible thing and that terrorism was done by those two people on behalf of hostile foreign powers? I think he should be answering those kinds of questions really.

Kincaid: I’ll repeat a couple that we have in my report. One of the questions that I
would have for him is what was the exact nature of his relationship with Ayers? We
discovered that Barack Obama became chairman of something called the Annenberg
Challenge Grant Program. This was dispensing literally millions of dollars supposedly
to reform Chicago schools. But if you read Bill Ayers’ Curriculum Vitae and it’s about
pages long, you’ll find that Ayers himself claims credit for arranging that money, for getting that grant, that was $49 million. Again, Ayers claims credit for that. He says, “I arranged that money.” And, he also claims credit for arranging to get a couple hundred thousand dollars more in grant money from the Joyce Foundation and The McArthur Foundation, both based in Chicago. So, the question that has been raised is, in effect, was Barack Obama working for Bill Ayers? Who hired him? Did Bill Ayers hire him?

Was he working for Bill Ayers? If Ayers got the money, I would assume he would call
the shots.

My second question to him would be why did you cover up the full name of Frank
Marshall Davis? What was the nature of your relationship with him? You obviously
knew who he was. You referred to him as being a contemporary of Richard Wright and
Langston Hughes, both of whom broke with the Communist Party. Why didn’t you let
your readers know who this guy was and whether you took his advice? The third
question would be [about] the computer documents that have been authenticated by
INTERPOL that were confiscated from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
computer by the Colombian Military that have references to Obama. It refers to the
communist terrorists in Columbia meeting with what are called gringos who are telling
them that if Obama wins the presidency, he will cut off military aid to Colombia and will never sign the Colombian Free Trade Agreement. Well, I’d like to know if there are any Obama advisors who have been meeting with the Colombian terrorists. As Herb has mentioned, we have the case of the one Obama advisor who had been meeting with
Hamas and who has a controversial background, and when that came out, suddenly
he’s gone. He’s been fired. Are there any other Obama advisors meeting with other
controversial foreign movements or communist groups like the FARC?

Question: I’m Dana Milbank from the Washington Post. So what’s the upshot? Do you
think that Barack Obama is a communist?

Kincaid: We have no way to judge.

Romerstein: No, let’s answer that one a little differently. We’re telling you that you’re not doing your job. We didn’t say Obama was a communist. We said that you have to do due diligence in tracking down what Obama really is because right now he’s a stealth candidate. So, if you don’t do your job, that’s your problem.

Kincaid: Herb, you just got us a bad story in the Washington Post for crying out loud.

Romerstein: I don’t remember ever seeing a good story in the Washington Post.

Kincaid: Herb was never in the diplomatic corps. We’re just putting out information.
We have no way to make any kind of conclusion except that I would note that during his 2004 race against Alan Keyes, Keyes accused Obama of being a “hard core academic
Marxist.” You can read this. Look it up. It was a colorful line. And Obama basically
laughed it off. He dismissed it. Well, I think we need a serious discussion, as Herb
says, of these issues, and who were his mentors? Who influenced him? What are his
real beliefs? That’s all. Let’s get the press to look into all this, including the Washington Post. Put some of your effort into looking at Obama in the same way that you got that great front page story about McCain’s lobbyist advisors. Fair? There we go. Let the record show he nodded yes.

Question: I was in Illinois and Obama laughed off pretty much everything he said, but
the analogy for me would be, what if there were early fascist connections that McCain
had or a Republican had? Obviously, there would be considerable mainstream so
called secular press interest in fascist connections of a Republican candidate early on. That’s to me why obviously this is relevant information.

Kincaid: You’ll see outside his [Bill Ayers’] office door and wall [that] he has a little thing about how, from Bill Ayers’ perspective, he thinks we’re coming into a fascist period in the United States. He thinks fascism is upon us. That’s their view.
Trevor Loudon: One thing I would like to say is that there is ongoing support for
Obama by the Communist Party USA. You can read that in the publications on a regular
basis. They have campaign members, they have party members, in his campaign office
in Baltimore and in Los Angeles. And the Young Communist League is openly
campaigning in the streets of New York for him. The Democratic Socialists of America
and the unions they control and dominate are endorsing Obama on a regular basis. In
1996, he was endorsed by The Democratic Socialists of America when he stood for
State Senate. He was openly a member of The New Party, which was a front group for
The Democratic Socialists of America and the Committees of Correspondence and the
Communist Party U.S.A. So he was openly a member of that organization at that time,
accepted their support, accepted their money, and they’re supporting him still today.
Why are they doing it? That is a question that Barack Obama should be asked.
Kincaid: And we’ll read the answer in the Washington Post, I’m sure.