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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama-Ayers: Failed Chicago Schools Under Ethnic Identity Agenda

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Bill Ayers
Chicago Magazine Photo

Angry Obama supporters were asked to contact WGN's 720 Extension radio talk show en masse to encourage the station to drop an interview with Stanley Kurtz, a National Review Online contributor with new information on Barack Obama. The show went on.

No secret now, why the Obama Campaign is desperately trying to silence National Review Online's Stanley Kurtz.

Milt Rosenberg's two-hour interview on WGN Radio last night with Kurtz revealed some of the agenda behind a late 1990's Chicago public school program, of which Barack Obama was at the helm.

When news of the pending interview broke, the Obama campaign sent out emails, detailing talking points, and asking supporters to flood the radio station with calls and email messages, which they did. (The Obama Wire email appears at the end of this article.)

The Obama campaign was offered to participate in the entire two hour interview. According to Rosenberg's producer, after the offer was made, a high-level Obama staffer asked for the name of the station manager and then hung up on the producer.

I have listened to the entire interview. It is available for your listening pleasure here:

Background and my synopsis of the interview:
The University of Illinois released documents yesterday that propelled this conversation forward. Barack Obama and Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who spent a number of years on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, were the leading powers behind a massive educational reform for the city of Chicago. Then Secretary of Education, William Bennett stated that the Chicago educational system was the worst in the Nation.

William Ayers prepared the proposal that got the seed money for the education reform program that would become the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - some $50M from the Annenberg Foundation, which was then matched by philanthropists and business interests - to total over $100M for Chicago's failing school system.

With the money came the need for a organization - hence the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) was formed. The Chairman of the Board was Barack Obama. William Ayers was an ex-officio board member. The two attended meetings often is not yet known.

Obama and Ayers presided over a very powerful political duo: The CAC headed by Obama and The Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers.

It allegedly worked like this: "Programs" would apply to the CAC for an educational grant. Some programs were chosen, and others were not. Before the CAC was disbanded, almost all, if not all, of the monies were spent.

Kurtz, reading from yesterday's released documents, gave these examples of who or what received the grants:

Chosen to receive a grant:
The South Shore African Village Collaborative for their "Celebrate African-American Holiday of Juneteenth" (celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation). Some African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth instead of the Fourth of July (a report fromTexas). Kurtz commented that in his reporting of Obama's previous church, Trinity United Church of Christ, some members told him that Juneteenth was their Independence Day, not Fourth of July (Kurtz did not say that all members held this view).

Turned down to receive a grant:
*The Chicago Algebra Project: goal to increase student achievement

*The District 5 Math Initiative: goal to aid Hispanic students in the process of learning English, to further learn math and science.

Kurtz characterized the information he viewed as showing grant preferences for ethnic identity projects. The grants were evidently not given to schools, but rather to "external partners," to which schools sought to attach themselves - such as a South Shore African Village Collaborative.

In the meantime, after "external partners" received millions, ethnic identity didn't help math and science scores. It is interesting to note that this Chairman of the Board position was Obama's first "executive" experience.

There's more: Obama's connections to the Gamaliel Foundation, Kurtz says has a "core point" advocating for a form of" liberation theology." He further states that his research shows that Jeremiah Wright's Black Liberation Theology preaching is not an anomaly.

Kurtz refers to a book written by Dennis A. Jacobsen, Doing Justice - Congregations and Community Organizing. This book, according to Kurtz, embodies the views of the Gamaliel Foundation. Further he asserts that Greg Galluzo, "the most important figure" in the Gamaliel Foundation, approves Jacobsen's book, and is also an Obama mentor. Kurtz believes that Obama was a teacher at the Gamaliel Foundation before Jacobsen wrote the book. Kurtz does not know whether Obama has read the book.

The last portion of the interview was given to callers and emails, most of which were angry that Kurtz was allowed radio time. One emailer confused Kurtz with Weekly Standard editor, Bill Kristol, referring to "the vile traitor Bill Kristol." Another asked about FCC oversight of the "unbalanced" station.

It was striking that few callers had anything to say more than the email's talking points. Some pulled out the constant whine that Obama was only eight years old when the Weathermen were bombing our U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, the State Department building, etc. They further pointed out Obama has "denounced" William Ayers. He did not, however, denounce him until he was forced to for the sake of his political campaign, and he wasn't eight years old when he and Ayers began their educational reform.

Obama Wire email as printed in The Politico.
From: Obama Action Wire
Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008
Subject: Chicago: CALL TONIGHT to fight the latest smear

[Name] —

In the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of
the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.

Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a
forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He's
currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00
p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and
University of Illinois professor William Ayers.

Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing
baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of
political discourse.

Call into the "Extension 720" show with Milt Rosenberg at (312) 591-7200

(Show airs from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. tonight)

Then report back on your call at

Kurtz has been using his absurd TV appearances in an awkward and
dishonest attempt to play the terrorism card. His current ploy is to
embellish the relationship between Barack and Ayers.

Just last night on Fox News, Kurtz drastically exaggerated Barack's
connection with Ayers by claiming Ayers had recruited Barack to the
board of the Annenberg Challenge. That is completely false and has
been disproved in numerous press accounts.

It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character
assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our
public airwaves. At the very least, they should offer sane, honest
rebuttal to every one of Kurtz's lies.

Kurtz is scheduled to appear from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the Chicago market.

Calling will only take a minute, and it will make a huge difference if
we nip this smear in the bud. Confront Kurtz tonight before this goes
any further:
Please forward this email to everyone you know who can make a call tonight.
Keep fighting the good fight,
Obama Action Wire
Disclaimer: This is my view and my word-processed interpretation of portions of the interview, although I have diligently attempted to represent the conversation closely, if not exactly, as I heard it.

Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown (Kurtz)
Inside Obama's Acorn (Kurtz)

Obama/Ayers Funnel Funds to Jeremiah Wright and The Arab American Network?

Why the Obama-Ayers Connection Matters