Ayers Exploration

23Sep08

Bill O’Reilly did a segment with Stanley Kurtz last night, tracing the relationship between Barack and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. With the evidence that Kurtz provides, we now have to assume the obvious – that Barack’s relationship with the Ayers family was a critical part of his strategy to develop a political base by tapping into the radical community in Chicago – just like with Pastor Wright and Reverend Pfleger.

Kurtz talks about Obama being hired as Board Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a well-funded, now defunct educational non-profit. Later that same year, Ayers and his terrorist wife, Bernadine Dohrn, held a fundraiser to help Barack launch his political career. Remember how Barack tried to downplay his relationship with Ayers by saying he’s “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.

Was the linkage between Barack and Ayers “flimsy?” Here are further details of their relationship from Pajamas Media.

This is what we know. Bill Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, a violent radical student group of the 1960s. His father, Thomas Ayers, was a prominent Chicago business and philanthropic leader who served as an adviser to Mayor Richard J. Daley, father of the current Chicago mayor. Although he is not apologetic about his terrorist past (and had the bad luck to be quoted as saying, in an interview that ran on Sept 11 2001, that “I don’t regret setting bombs. … I feel we didn’t do enough.”), Bill Ayers has been accepted back into the Chicago political community and has been an informal adviser to the current Mayor Daley on education reform.

But regardless of his cachet in the liberal circles of Chicago politics, presidential candidate Barack Obama has not been eager to explain his own relationship with Bill Ayers. Published reports from February 2008 gave a glimmer of their ties. In 1995 Ayers hosted a fund-raiser for Obama prior to Obama’s run for Alice Palmer’s seat in the state Senate; they both served on the board of the charitable Woods Fund of Chicago from 1999 to 2002; and Ayers donated $200 to Obama’s state Senate campaign….

It was left to Hillary Clinton to remind Obama of his service with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago. The next day the Obama campaign posted at their website a “Fact Check” purporting to explain the relationship. Other reporters had been told that “Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school.” They were left with the impression that Ayers and Obama had first met at the 1995 fundraiser.

It turns out that, just as Barack’s relationship with Jeremiah Wright was much deeper than years spent hearing him rant in church, the Ayers relationship was a vital one in Barack’s career, one that includes Ayers’ father. Wouldn’t being the head of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge be a vital credential in Barack’s run for state senate the next year? Is it not likely that Barack was being pushed in his political career by the Ayers clan, and that’s why Ayers ran a fundraiser for him, not because they happened to live in the same neighborhood?

Blogger Steve Diamond pointed out a very close tie between Obama and Ayers through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. At a White House event with Bill Clinton, philanthropist Walter Annenberg announced that he was making a $500 million grant to cities across the nation to put towards public school reform. Bill Ayers led the group that brought $49.2 million to Chicago and formed the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The kick-off in January 1995 was attended by the governor of Illinois and the mayor of Chicago, as well as many other luminaries. The first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was Barack Obama, a post he held until 1999 when he stepped down and remained on the board. Bill Ayers worked closely with the Challenge as a leader of the newly-formed Chicago School Reform Collaborative.

That is a relationship that goes well beyond “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” And there is a possibility the relationship began long before 1995. In 1987 there was a push for school reform in Chicago. Thomas Ayers was a leader of the ABCs Coalition which was coordinated by his son, Bill Ayers. One member of the coalition was the Developing Communities Project, headed up by Barack Obama before he left for Harvard.

While the Obama campaign tries to fluff off the inherent linkage between Ayers and Obama over Annenberg, Kurtz clarifies today in National Review that they’re being deceiptful.

Let’s first review CAC’s initial setup. In the first year, 1995, Obama headed the board, which made fiscal decisions, and Ayers co-chaired the Collaborative, which set education policy. During that first year, Obama’s formal responsibilities mandated close cooperation and coordination with the Collaborative. As board chair and president of the CAC corporation, Obama was authorized to “delegate to the Collaborative the development of collaborative projects and programs…to obtain assistance of the Collaborative in the development of requests for proposals…and to seek advice from the Collaborative regarding the programmatic aspects of grant proposals.” All this clearly involves significant consultation between the board, headed by Obama, and the Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers.

During this initial year of 1995, Ayers also sat as an ex officio member of the board. The Obama campaign is trying to minimize his cooperation with Ayers by counting the number of board meetings where both sat together. That will not do. For one thing, as long as we’re counting occasions on which Obama and Ayers were together, the Obama campaign omits Obama’s appearances before the Collaborative, when it was co-chaired by Ayers.

In 1995, Obama and Ayers also sat together on the board’s Governance Committee, with at least one independently scheduled meeting, and who knows how many others. Ayers and Obama were also part of a group of four instructed to draft the bylaws that would govern CAC. Surely that endeavor would have involved significant interaction between them. Then there’s the question of unrecorded meetings of both the board and the Collaborative. For example, the archives contain an intriguing note indicating that, although a CAC board meeting took place on July 25, 1995, “No minutes were recorded.” Were Ayers and Obama both present at that meeting? More important, what took place there?

As an historical note, it’s curious that Hillary seemed not to know the facts about Ayers and didn’t hit him harder. A big opportunity was missed, wasn’t it?

Our curiosity over Barack’s relationship with Bill Ayers continues to be fueled by Barack’s need to downplay it. The more the campaign pretends that Ayers was nothing more than a neighbor, the more deeply we can assume they’re tied. Thus far, the evidence is bearing that out.

Public knowledge of close personal relationship between Obama and Ayers could be perceived by Obama as his potential downfall when combined with his close relationships with the rest of the Obamafia.



One Response to “Ayers Exploration”

  1. 1 Anonymous

    Why isn’t Ayers in prison? Does Obama know the difference between fact and fiction? Does he know how to give a direct response to any question asked of him? It would be wonderful to have a leader of the free world who can’t make decisions, wouldn’t it?


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