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Friday, September 11, 2009

Obama File 85 Security Implications? Obama's Man Axelrod Was Mentored by Marxist Radicals

Obama File 84 here

Few would dispute that Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod are two of President Barack Obama's key advisors.

I wrote here that Valerie Jarrett's father-in-law Vernon Jarrett, worked with Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, in at least three communist dominated organizations in late 1940s Chicago.

Davis then went on to eventually mentor the young Barack Obama in Hawaii.

David Axelrod too has connections that that stretch back to post War Chicago communism.

While a New Yorker by birth, David Axelrod studied political science at the University of Chicago in the early 1970s. Later, while a start-out journalist with the Hyde-Park Herald, Axelrod was mentored by two older journalists cum political activists, Don Rose and David S Canter.

According to the Chicago Tribune

In his early years as a political consultant, Axelrod, following in the footsteps of his mentor, the political strategist Don Rose, carved out a reputation for himself as a skillful specialist working for local progressive candidates...says Rose. "I think he's a principled, generally progressive guy... ."

From 1966 until 1975 Don Rose and his partner David S Canter co-owned a small newspaper called the Hyde Park Kenwood Voices. The paper's radical tone suited the neighbourhood. It tended to follow the Communist Party line-campaigning for example to abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

The paper sympathetically covered the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Party convention and the SDS convention that gave birth to the Weather Underground.

It gave a voice to prominent figures of the Hyde Park left. These included several future Obama mentors such Abner Mikva, Leon Despres, Timuel Black and Quentin Young.

Chicago SDS activists Paul Booth and Rennie Davis were "Voices" contributors-Davis wrote a November 1967 article about his visit to communist North Vietnam with future Progressives for Obama founder Tom Hayden.

The paper covered Quentin Young's 1972 trip to North Vietnam and his son Ethan's, 1970 sojourn in Cuba with the Venceremos Brigades.

"Essentially what I see myself working for is socialism in the United States..."said Ethan. "Exactly how it will emerge, I'm still not sure...but that's what I'll be working for".

Don Rose and David Canter took the young David Axelrod under their wing. Axelrod was a regular visitor to the Canter household and the radical duo took it upon themselves to "mentor" and "educate...politically", a the young journalist.

Don Rose later wrote a reference letter for Axelrod that helped win the internship at the Chicago Tribune which launched his career.

At the time Rose was active in a Communist Party front, the Alliance to End Repression.

The Alliance was set up to abolish the Chicago "Red Squad", the police unit charged with monitoring communist and radical organisations.

Rose's personal Red Squad file accused him of being a "member of the anarchists".

The Alliance's executive director was Communist Party member Richard Criley. Other Party members involved in the organization included Abe Feinglass, Jack Spiegel, Jesse Prosten and Norman Roth.

Also active in the Alliance was former Communist Party member Milton Cohen , Quentin Young, Timuel Black and Rabbi Arnold Wolf. All four went on to join Democratic Socialists of America, while Young, Black and Wolf all became close personal friends of Barack Obama.

Don Rose also chaired another Communist Party front, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, succeeding comrade Richard Criley.

Rose had been radical since the 1940s when he joined Henry Wallaces's communist controlled Progressive Party.

In the '50s Rose was involved in the campaign for nuclear disarmament and in the '1960s was active in the civil-rights movement. He was Dr. Martin Luther King’s Chicago press secretary for several years.

In 1968 Rose was asked to serve as press secretary to the Chicago Mobilization Committee-the Students for a Democratic Society/Communist Party influenced alliance that wreaked havoc at the Chicago Democratic Party Convention. It was during these violent times that Rose coined the famous phrase-"the whole world is watching"

Through the Mobilization Committee Rose met Marilyn Katz, the SDS security officer for the demonstrations.

Marilyn Katz, Chicago 1968

By the late 1970s Rose was linked to the Chicago coalition of former Trotskyists, Socialist Party members and communists that would in 1982 form Democratic Socialists of America.

In 1982 David S Canter and nine others invited black Democratic Party Congressman Harold Washington to stand for the Chicago mayoralty.

Vernon Jarrett also played a role in persuading Washington to stand, but whether he was part of the 'nine" is unclear.

Washington had a long history with Chicago's communists and socialists. When he accepted, the Communist Party and Democratic Socialists of America formed a multi-racial alliance behind Washington.

Washington, right at a 1981 Democratic Socialist dinner in Chicago

The alliance targetted black voters in a huge voter registration drive on the city's south side.

Rose, Katz and Canter all worked on the successful campaign and all later secured jobs in Washington's administration.

In 1987 Washington successfully re-stood, aided by a young political adviser-David Axelrod.

Though Washington died in office shortly after, the communist/socialist alliance lived on.

In 1992 the alliance elected the Communist/DSA friendly Carol Moseley Braun to the US Senate.

In 2004 it helped put Barack Obama into the same Senate seat.

According to Salon January 2008

When Barack Obama was 22 years old, just out of Columbia University, he took a $10,000-a-year job as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It was a shrewd move for a young black man with an interest in politics...

The politician who truly set the stage for Obama's rise was also a South Side congressman: Harold Washington, who was elected mayor of Chicago in 1983...In New York, Obama read about Washington's victory and wrote to City Hall, asking for a job. He never heard back, but he made it to Chicago just months after Washington took office...

Washington dropped dead of a heart attack in his second term. But the confidence he instilled in black leaders became a permanent factor in Chicago politics. His success inspired Jesse Jackson to run for president in 1984, which in turn inspired Obama...Washington also strengthened the community organizations in which Obama was cutting his teeth...Obama's Project Vote, which put him on the local political map, was a successor to the South Side voter registration drive that made Washington's election possible.

Chicago has two unique advantages, says political consultant Don Rose. First, it's in Cook County, which contains nearly half of Illinois' voters. Second, the local Democratic Party is a county wide organization. After Chicago's Carol Moseley Braun beat two white men to win the 1992 Democratic Senate primary, precinct captains in white Chicago neighborhoods and the suburbs whipped up votes for her in the general election.

"They had to go out and sell the black person to demonstrate that the party was still open," says Rose, who sees "direct links" from Washington to Moseley Braun to Obama.

Rose, Canter and Axelrod all worked on Moseley Braun's 1992 campaign. Marilyn Katz worked with Obama on Project Vote, the huge voter registration drive that ensured Moseley Braun's victory.

By the early 2000s Rose, Katz and another Obama associate and former SDS member Carl Davidson had formed Chicagoans Aainst the War in Iraq.

It was this group that organised the 2002 Chicago anti war rally where Obama famously came out strongly against the Iraq War.

The speech was a major turning point in Obama's career. Obama carefully consulted David Axelrod before staking out his position.

Katz incidentally was an Obama fundraiser in 2008 and is an endorser of the Progressives for Obama website. Carl Davidson helped found the organisation and moderates its website.

In August 2008 Don Rose and Marilyn Katz gave an interview to the DSA linked journal In These Times, just before Obama's "coronation" at the Democratic Party Convention in Denver.

Here are some excerpts

ITT 40 years ago this week, Chicago police battled protesters at the DNC. Two ’60s radicals remember the madness, and look to Denver for change...

The ‘68 Democratic National Convention debacle remains a symbol of everything that went wrong with American politics, society and culture in that tumultuous and iconic year. It was five days of mayhem in the Windy City, five days that left the Democratic Party in shambles...

In August 1968, those explosive battles put Chicago at the epicenter of one of the most searing political and social upheavals of the 20th century. In August 2008, a U.S. senator from Chicago will be anointed the first black major-party nominee for the presidency of the United States.

Don Rose...the political wise man has helped elect mayors and senators since then, from Harold Washington to Paul Simon. Now 77, Rose - a mentor to David Axelrod, Obama’s top campaign strategist...

The 1983 election of Harold Washington as Chicago’s first black mayor came courtesy of a progressive coalition of blacks, Latinos and so-called “Lakefront liberals.” Katz and Rose were there, once again, as advisors and operatives.

Katz My straight line goes from ‘66/’68 to the folks who began to work together and formed the core group of the Harold Washington campaign. (Almost) everyone I worked with in 1982 I had met as a kid in ‘68. I believe that Barack Obama could only have emerged in Chicago. Why? Because since ‘68 there was a web of relationships between black civil rights groups, anti-war groups, women’s activities, immigrant rights activities, that has sustained and grown...

ITT What we did here in Chicago had international implications: In ‘68 there was a workers’ movement in Paris, there was a worldwide movement of students. We lost that in the intervening 40 years. Now in 2008, with Barack Obama, we have a renewed sense that the whole world is watching again.

Katz I think that millions of young people are flocking to Barack, as we did to the anti-war movement...

ITT The Democratic Party will gather once again later this month. Everybody is expecting a big party in Denver. Will it be an Obama coronation? Is that what we should be looking for?

So how do you resolve Obama’s move to the center? What about holding his feet to the fire? Don’t we need to keep him true to progressive issues?

Katz: We have to get him into office so then we can be the left opposition. I think it is a delicate balance between those of us who are progressive, how much you push, how much you don’t want to put him in very difficult positions that would embarrass him or give John McCain some advantage...

The other half of the David Axelrod mentoring team, David S Canter (1923/2004) had an even more exotic background.

Born in Boston, David Canter was the son of Harry J Canter 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..."

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, where he was active in Communist Party circles and briefly as editor of the student paper Chicago Maroon.

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 colleague from Chicago Maroon days, 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-very imaginative pseudonym, "John Smith..." 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 1966 David Canter was working as an insurance salesman and publishing Hyde Park Kenwood Voices with Don Rose.

As stated above, by the early 1980s David Canter was actively trying to move Chicago to the left through Harold Washington.

After Washington accepted Canter's proposal, his vacant congessional seat was taken up by Charles Hayes, the secret Communist Party member from Canter's old Packinghouse Workers Union.

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...

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.

Future Cook County Clerk David Orr and Charles Hayes at Chicago DSA's 1983 Thomas-Debs Dinner

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.

Barack Obama was later a beneficiary of the work done for Washington.

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...

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...I was thinking, and I told Barack, that Harold Washington is smiling down on us

While David Canter and Barack Obama probably met through the 1992 Moseley Braun 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 familiar faces Milton Cohen, Timuel Black and Trotskyist turned Socialist Party member Saul Mendelson.

Like Cohen and Black, Mendelson also 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 S 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.

Damn' right he is.

Obama file 86 here


Blogger Danielle Nelson said...

How do you do what you do!?...darn you're good!!!

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

I expect that there are no more than 3 people in close contact with Obama's campaigns/presidency that we can't tie in here

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like the readers to asses the ethnic background of (most of) Obama's mentors, throughout his life, and actual "czars" in the administration.

Hint: it is the same as the ethnic background of 85% of the bolsheviks and 100% of mensheviks.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...

Anonymous says "Hint: it is the same as the ethnic background of 85% of the bolsheviks and 100% of mensheviks."

Are you saying Obama has been mentored by Russians? I didn't know there were any black Russians.

Anonymous, just come right out and say what you mean instead of playing games with New Zeal's highly intelligent readers.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

I think anonymous means "religious" backgrounds Reid.

I'll give you a hint-my friends and colleagues Herb Romerstein and Max Friedman come from it.

There are also a lot of them in Israel-a country you and I both support.

Does that help?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Amon-if you want to debate the characteristics of particular religious or ethnic groups, I suggest you do so elsewhere.

The philosophy of this blog is that individuals are paramount, groups secondary.

Individuals are accountable for their actions, groups are not and never can be.

Hope that's clear.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous FrenchNail said...

This is excellent work worth the front page if the MSM were still independant.


2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect your work, your blog and your policy.
But you can not argue with historical facts, and statistical analysis of individuals involved in those events.
Congrats for your work.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...


Jews are blamed by the left for capitalism and by the right for socialism. The only thing Jews are guilty of is excessive achievement. That rubs many people the wrong way especially those that personally lack achievements which I assume is your condition.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, you could not be more wrong.
By insinuating that, you are taking the easy way out, for whatever reasons.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous tiger mountain said...

Has not the end of history been reached, and communism extinguished? yet you guys are running scared, excellent!, there may be some hope after all for the millions of US citizens with no health care.

Trev reckons it is all about the individual, not groups. But when tested he scabs, and still wants armed forces, cops, and jails to enforce property rights.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tweeted, posted, emailed and otherwise pimped :-) Great work. Robin

2:29 PM  

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