Obama file 47 The Paid Soviet Agent Behind Axelrod and Obama
Barack Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod, once worked for a man who was an identified member of the Communist Party USA, a registered agent of the Soviet Union and a paid disseminator of Soviet black propaganda.
This man went on to become a key Chicago political fixer who helped elect communist linked politicians including the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington and former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun.
This man knew Barack Obama and was a key member of an organisation which endorsed Barack Obama in his 2004 US Senate race. Barack and Michelle Obama were active members of this organisation, which was once investigated by the FBI over claims of communist infiltration.
Who was this man? What was his background?
The individual in question was late Chicago lawyer David Simon Canter(1923/2004).
Born in Boston, David Canter was the son of Harry J Canter, an activist with the Industrial Workers of the World who later became secretary of the Boston Communist Party.
While the Communist Party candidate for Massachusetts secretary of state, Canter was arrested for carrying a placard "FULLER—MURDERER OF SACCO AND VANZETTI" " attacking Governor Fuller for the execution of anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. Harry Canter was tried, convicted and jailed for a year for criminal libel in May 1929.
After his release Canter senior moved his family, including son David to the Soviet Union. The boy must have stayed in the "workers paradise" for some time because according to his obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times of August 30, 2004;
“After his release, Mr. Canter’s father moved the family from Boston to Russia, where the young man developed a love for Russian literature, (Sydney) Bild said.”
By 1946 the family had turned up in Chicago, where Harry Canter worked for many years as Secretary of Chicago Local 16 of the International Typographical Union.
Harry Canter later moved to San Fransisco, where he remained active in leftist causes. David Canter however remained in Chicago.
David Canter was the left's choice for editor of the University of Chicago student newspaper "Maroon" in 1948.
In 1958 David Canter graduated from the John Marshall Law School. He also edited the Packinghouse Workers Union newspaper "Champion" newspaper.
According to communist historian Max Friedman
The Packinghouse Workers Union was a long time CPUSA-influenced, if not controlled union that later merged with the Meatcutters to form the CPUSA-run Amalgamated Meatcutters & Butcherworkmens’ Union, lead by identified CPUSA labor leader Abe Feinglass, who was also a VP of the Soviet-KGB front, the World Peace Council..Some hearings on the Packinghouse Workers were held by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and one revealed that the future Rep. Charles Hayes (D-Ill, Chicago) was a high-ranking member of the CPUSA in the Meatcutters Union along with Feinglass.
By 1960 David Canter had teamed up with well known Chicago Communist Party member and later founder of Veterans for Peace, Leroy Wolins.
The pair owned a company Translation World Publishers, which specialised in publications from and about the Soviet Union. The company soon attracted the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which suspected Canter and Wolins of being conduits for Soviet propaganda.
The committee questioned Canter and Wolins on payments recieved from the Soviet Union
The committee also questioned Canter about his membership of the Communist Party.
The committee went on to find that;
Translation World Publishers was an outlet for the distribution of Soviet
propaganda...this publishing house was subsidized by Soviet funds and was created by known Communists to serve the propaganda interests of the U.S.S.R.
In 1963/64 the Soviet Union actively tried to undermine Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, in favour of Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Goldwater lost the election paving the the way for Johnson's "Great Society".
In their 1989 book "THE KGB AGAINST THE MAIN ENEMY-How the Soviet Intelligence Service Operates against the United States" the US's premier communist researcher Herbert Romerstein and former KGB officer Stanislav Levchenko examined Soviet attempts to blacken Goldwater's name and other Soviet campaigns of the time;
The false charge that Goldwater was a racist was only one of the smear campaigns used against his candidacy by the Soviets and their surrogates. The American Communists covertly covertly assisted in this "active measures" campaign.
A 1963 booklet claimed that Goldwater was conspiring with the John Birch Society to organize a "putsch," or violent insurrection, to take over the United States in 1964. The booklet, Birch Putsch Plans for 1964, contained no address for the publisher, Domino Publications. The author used the not-veryimaginative pseudonym, "John Smith, as told to Stanhope T. McReady." There was nothing to tie this publication to the communists until an ad for the book in the pro-communist National Guardian for April 25, 1963, listed the publisher as "Domino Publications, Suite 900, 22 West Madison Street, Chicago, Ilinois."
This was in fact the address of Translation World Publishers, which was registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent of the Soviet Union. The co-owners, LeRoy Wolins and David S. Canter, were identifed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as members of the Communist Party USA.
In 1965 Domino Publications of Chicago published a pamphlet attacking the NATO multilateral nuclear force (MLF). The pamphlet, by David S. Canter, was titled MLF-Force or Farce? It presented the Soviet arguments against the NATO nuclear defense.
By the late 1960s David Canter was publishing a small politically oriented Chicago neighbourhood newspaper Hyde Park Kenwood Voices. Canter's partner and the paper's editor was Don Rose, a journalist active in at least two Communist Party fronts.
In one of them the Alliance to End Repression, Rose worked with Quentin Young, Timuel Black and Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf-all now personal friends and supporters of Barack Obama.
The Alliance to End Repression was set up to abolish the Chicago Red Squad, the police unit charged with monitoring communist and radical organisations.
Unsurprisingly the paper also campaigned against the House Un-American Activities Committee.
According to Max Friedman
The one issue that I have from early 1969 featured several major stories about attempts in Chicago and elsewhere to abolish the above-mentioned internal-security groups as well as the history of the Chicago “Red Squad” from the leftist Columbia Journalism Review of late 1968.
David Canter's late wife Miriam Canter was of similar mind. She was an active fundraiser for a defense committee for prominent medical researcher and secret Communist Party member, Dr Jeremiah Stamler who was also under investigation by HCUA.
The Hyde Park Kenwood Voices folded in 1975. David Canter and Don Rose then began to "mentor" and "educate...politically", a young University of Chicago political science student and Hyde Park Herald reporter named David Axelrod.
The young journalist spent time "hanging around" the Canter household. Don Rose wrote a reference letter for Axelrod that helped him win the internship at the Chicago Tribune which would launch his stellar career.
By the early 1980s David Canter was actively trying to change the Chicago political scene. The Daley era was finally ending and Canter saw an opportunity to move City Hall to the left.
With nine others, Canter approached Democratic Party congressman Harold Washington about standing for the Chicago mayoralty. Canter had known Washington for many years, not surprising as the congressman had ties to Chicago's communists and socialists dating back until the 1940s.
Washington accepted the proposal. His vacant congessional seat was taken up by Charles Hayes, the secret Communist Party member from Canter's old Packinghouse Workers Union.
In October 2004 David Canter's son, Chicago IT consultant Marc Canter, blogged about his father's relationship with Harold Washington;
One day I stumbled downstairs into our kitchen to meet Harold Washington talking to my father. Harold was the Congressman from our district and my father was explaining to him how he could split the white vote and become the first black mayor of the city of Chicago.
My father had been mentoring, encouraging and working with Harold for 15 years by then and it worked. They won the election and Harold became history...
My father encouraged black politicians to get their piece of the pie...
My father never charged for helping anyone out - and it was only until he was 65 did he ever accept a job from anyone he helped. He was one of those idealistic reds.
Indeed David Canter would not initially take a job under Washington, but after his 1987 re-election Canter relented and became deputy commissioner of streets and sanitation.
Marc Canter has also written;
My brother worked for Harold in D.C. when he was still a Congressman and got a job as a lawyer prosecuting crooked cops - when Harold came to power. My father remained in the inner circle and helped out on all sorts of political and community activities.
Don Rose and David Axelrod also worked for Harold Washington. Rose served as an adviser to the mayor, while Axelrod served as a campaign consultant;
From The Nation February 6th 2007
Axelrod and Forest Claypool...opened their own consulting shop, handling mostly long-shot candidates until 1987, when Chicago Mayor Harold Washington hired the firm to help with his re-election. Four years earlier, Washington had won a historic victory...As the Tribune's city hall bureau chief, Axelrod had ringside seats. "Nineteen eighty-three, that was a phenomenal election. Harold Washington--extraordinary guy. I mean, he was the most kinetic campaigner and politician that I've ever met. It was inspiring the way the African-American community came alive around the prospect of electing Harold...
Axelrod sees Obama, who was working in Chicago as a community organizer during the Washington years, as a marker of progress, writing the second act of a story that Washington started. "In 1983, after Harold won the primary, he went to the northwest side of Chicago with Walter Mondale. They went to a place called St. Pascal's Catholic Church. And what ensued there was so ugly--the protests--that it became a national story.
Twenty-one years later, when Barack ran for the US Senate in the primary against six very strong candidates, he carried every ward on the northwest side except one, and carried the ward that St. Pascal's is in...That's what he was thinking about on primary night. I was thinking, and I told Barack, that Harold Washington is smiling down on us."
While Harold Washington died shortly after starting his second term, the coalition that elected him endured. The Chicago Communist Party was a key component of this alliance as was the Democratic Socialists of America. By the late 70s Don Rose had become close to the Chicago socialists as had Charles Hayes and Harold Washington himself.
From the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America website
The 1983 Norman Thomas - Eugene V. Debs Dinner was held at the McCormick Inn on Saturday, May 7...Newly elected Mayor Harold Washington was unable to attend at the last minute. Carl Shier, who was to have introduced him, read a message from him instead, and spoke of DSA's considerable role in Washington's election campaign. Congressman Ron Dellums provided the Thomas - Debs address.
The photos below were taken by Syd Harris... A majority of the "grip & grin" shots, interestingly enough, included Charles Hayes, who (regardless of whether he had actually announced at the time of the Dinner) was already running for the Congressional seat left vacant when Harold Washington won the Chicago mayoral election.
David Orr and Charles Hayes at Chicago DSA's 1983 Thomas-Debs Dinner
When longtime Communist Party/DSA associate Carol Moseley Braun ran for US Senate in 1992 the coalition swang into action. While the communists and socialists worked on the ground, Canter, Rose and Axelrod played senior roles in the successful campaign.
Barack Obama ran the the highly successful voter registration drive that secured Moseley Braun's victory.
Marc Canter has told me that David Canter "knew Barack".
While they probably met through the Moseley campaign, the two were also both active in Independent Voters of Illinois.
David Canter had become active in the organisation in the 1940s and remained involved up to his death in 2004.
IVI was set up to campaign for endorsed candidates-especially "progressive" candidates.
The government took an interest in IVI as far back as 1944,
In 1944 the FBI prepared a more extensive intelligence report on an active political group, the Independent Voters of Illinois, apparently because it was the target of Communist "infiltration." The Independent Voters group was reported to have been formed:
"...for the purpose of developing neighborhood political units to help in the re-election of President Roosevelt and the election of progressive congressmen. Apparently, IVI endorsed or aided democrats for the most part, although it was stated to be "independent."
Other prominent IVI activists included Communist Party member Milton Cohen and alleged member Timuel Black (who both later joined Don Rose's Alliance to End Repression) and Trotskyist turned Socialist Party member Saul Mendelson.
Cohen and Mendelson both went on to join Democratic Socialists of America.
When Mendelson died in 1998, Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama both spoke at his memorial service.
Both Barack and Michelle Obama were members of IVI and the organisation endorsed Obama during his 2004 US Senate race.
In July 2004 IVI celebrated its 60th anniversary. Members of the event committee included
Timuel Black and Socialist Party veteran Leon Despres, DSA and Progressives for Obama member Wetty Wilhoitte, a whole host of DSA connected activists and politicians, Dick Simpson, Bernice Bild, Barbara Flynn Currie, Bob Mann, Joe Moore, David Orr, Toni Preckwinkle, Sue Purrington, Carol Moseley Braun and of course David Canter and Barack Obama.
That may have been the last time Canter and Obama met-he died the following month.
On the 30th of September 2008 Marc Canter wrote in his blog
My father was an old-time politico in Chicago and one of his old buddies - Don Rose writes a column for a Chicago web site called the ‘Chicago Daily Observer’.
In today’s column he writes that Obama has taken a 50-42 lead in the polls.
I’m saying this in honor of my father who fought for civil rights, against the Vietnam War and would be tickled pink to see what Barack is up to.
I know he’s looking down from wherever he is - and laughing right now.
I'll bet he is.
Obama file 48 here