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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama file 22 Barack Obama, Danny K Davis and the Marxist New Party

Obama file 21 here

When Barack Obama successfully ran for the Illinois State Senate in 1996 on the Democratic Party ticket, he was endorsed by two interrelated organisations, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Chicago branch of the New Party.

Two groups formed the backbone of the New Party-DSA and the closely related radical grassroots organisation the Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now (ACORN). In some areas, there was also some Communist Party involvement and Chicago, considerable input from the Communist breakaway group Committees of Correspondence. Together the New Party Marxists worked through the Democratic Party in order to move it far leftward.

A 1996 New Party document entitled ”Who’s Building the New Party” lists several prominent CoC and DSA activists among the national New Party leadership.

They included two of CoC’s five co-chairs, Rafael Pizzaro (also a DSA member and a former communist) and Manning Marable, a former DSA official.

Other DSA members listed include linguist and activist Noam Chomsky (who now serves on the CoC advisory board), labour academic Elaine Bernard, Gloria Steinen and five contemporary Obama supporters- black activist and academic Cornel West, sociologist Frances Fox Piven (credited as the theoretician behind ACORN), former Maoist Bill Fletcher, feminist Barbara Ehrenreich and Chicago physician and “single payer” health activist Quentin Young.

The New Party exploited the concept of electoral “fusion,” which enabled candidates to run on two tickets simultaneously. If a candidate ran as a Democrat and for the New Party, he or she would be on the ballot twice and could attract the votes of both centrist Democrats and leftist New Party supporters. Both votes would be totalled giving the candidate a much greater chance of winning the election. Using this tactic, the New Party succeeded in electing hundreds candidates to local office in several states.

“Fusion” was rendered ineffective by a Supreme Court decision on 28 April 1997 written by Justice William H Rehnquist, leading to the collapse of the New Party and similar efforts nationwide.

Barack Obama had worked with ACORN Affiliates For many years in New York and Chicago. He also and had close ties to DSA, so was a natural fit for the New Party.

Obama’s links to the New Party went well beyond accepting their nominal support. Obama actively sought the New Party’s endorsement and urged members to join his campaigns.

The New Party went so far as to claim Obama as an official member of their organisation.

Former Chicago City Councillor Danny K Davis joined the New Party during his successful Congressional 1996 campaign on the Democratic Party ticket.

New Party News article Spring 1996 page 1, celebrated the Davis’ congressional victory and went on to say;

"New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)..."these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work' said Obama".


New Party candidates Patricia Martin left, Danny K Davis centre, Barack Obama right. New Party News Spring 1996 page 2.

Barack Obama clearly saw the potential of the New Party, because he sought their support well before the scheduled election.

From Chicago DSA’s New Ground September/October 1995

About 50 activists attended the Chicago New Party membership meeting in July. The purpose of the meeting was to update members on local activities and to hear appeals for NP support from four potential political candidates…

The political entourage included Alderman Michael Chandler, William Delgado, chief of staff for State Rep Miguel del Valle, and spokespersons for State Sen. Alice Palmer, Sonya Sanchez, chief of staff for State Sen. Jesse Garcia, who is running for State Rep in Garcia's District; and Barack Obama, chief of staff for State Sen. Alice Palmer. Obama is running for Palmer's vacant seat...Although ACORN and SEIU Local 880 were the harbingers of the NP there was a strong presence of CoC and DSA (15% DSA)... Four political candidates were "there" seeking NP support."


The next year, the New Party socialists were celebrating their campaign successes.

From New Ground July/August 1996

“The NP's '96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude.

Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee.

Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis.

Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration..."


In the end, Obama didn’t need the New Party to win the election. Though initially serving under Alice Palmer, Obama stood against her for the State Senate seat-after Palmer lost a bid for the US Congress and decided she wanted her old job back. Obama won by using legal technicalities to get all his opponents, including Alice Palmer, disqualified.

Obama and his New Party associate Danny K Davis, formed a strong relationship that has endured to this day. The pair have worked on several projects in Illinois and congressman Davis has played a significant role in Obama’s Senate and Presidential campaigns. He is now a Democratic Party “super delegate” pledged to Obama.

In this 2004 speech to the Chicago Teamsters Union, Obama describes Davis as "one of our best congressmen" because "he shares our values".



But what are Danny K Davis' values?

Around the time the New Party was alive, Davis was linked to no fewer than three Marxist organisations.

According to a December 29 1998 email from DSA membership officer Solveig Wilder;

"Ron Dellums (who recently retired from Congress) is a Vice Chair of DSA, and Danny Davis, John Conyers, and Major Owens are all DSA Members."

Danny K Davis has Mced several DSA run Debs Dinner functions in Chicago in recent years and was named as a DSA member in the organisation’s newsletter Democratic Left, Summer 2006 edition.

Davis also had ties to CoC. According to Chicago DSA’s New Ground of September 1994;

"Over 500 delegates and observers (including 140 from Chicago) attended the founding convention of the Committees of Correspondence (CoC) held here in Chicago in July.

Speakers…included Charles Nqukula, General Secretary of the South African Communist Party; Dulce Maria Pereira, a senatorial candidate of the Workers Party of Brazil; Angela Davis of CoC; and Andre Brie of the Party of Democratic Socialism of Germany
(a revamp of the old East German Communist Party)Other guests during the Convention included Cook County Commissioner Danny Davis, Alderman Helen Schiller and Rick Munoz, a representative of the Green Left Weekly of Australia, and a representative of the Cuban Interest Section."

Incidentally Rick Munoz, is also now an Illinois Democratic Party delegate for Obama.

Davis was also friendly with the Communist Party USA. In Chicago, the Communist Party has for many years held an annual a fund raising banquet for its paper, the Peoples Weekly World (formerly the Peoples "Daily" World).

According to the PDW of July 28th 1990, Chicago alderman Danny K Davis attended that years banquet on July 15th.

Davis applauded those at the banquet, who, he said, are always in the midst of struggle. PDW readers, he said, are "steadfast in the fight fòr justice."

The affair netted $2,500 for the PDW. fund.


According to the Peoples Weekly World of October 3rd 1998, congressman Danny K Davis interrupted his campaign work for Senate candidate Carol Mosely Braun to present an award at the Chicago annual Peoples Weekly World banquet.

This event raised a more respectable $10,000 towards keeping the Communist Party paper afloat.

Danny Davis' values are clearly socialist. What are Barack Obama's values?

Obama file 23 here

3 Comments:

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