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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama File 94 Concert or Coincidence? Obama and the Committees of Correspondence Connections

Obama File 93 here

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism is one of the US's most significant Marxist-Leninist parties.

The organization was born in 1992 out of a major split in the Communist Party USA, incorporating Trotskyites, former Maoists, socialists and anarchists to form an entirely new party.

The party has strong ties to Cuba , Vietnam, Venezuela and the communist parties of France and the former East Germany.

Committees of Correspondence, was and is strong in Chicago. I have written here how two leading CoC members have worked closely with Barack Obama.

Committees of Correspondence leader Manning Marable wrote in British Trotskyist journal Socialist Review in December 2008;

What makes Obama different is that he has also been a community organiser. He has read left literature, including my works, and he understands what socialism is. A lot of the people working with him are, indeed, socialists with backgrounds in the Communist Party or as independent Marxists. There are a lot of people like that in Chicago who have worked with him for years...

He was almost certainly referring to his Chicago CoC comrades.

I have in my possession a Chicago Committees of Correspondence "Membership, Subscription and mailing list" dated October 14, 1994.

Of the nearly 400 names on the list, many have been identified as CoC members from other sources.

The list does not prove CoC membership per se, but it does indicate some degree of contact with the organization.

What struck me as significant were the names of several people who have promoted, or impacted on the political career of Barack Obama.

They include;

Carl Davidson Now one of four Co-leaders of the Committees of Correspondence. Davidson worked with Obama in the radical New Party in the 1990s. He later helped organize the famous 2002 peace rally in Chicago's Federal Plaza where Obama first became famous as an opponent of the Iraq War.

Danny Davis An Illinois Democratic Congressman and a member of Democratic Socialists of America with proven ties to the Communist Party and CoC.

Davis has been a long time Obama friend and political ally who campaigned with Obama in the New Party in 1995/96.

Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers Former leaders of the terrorist Weather Undeground. The couple hosted Obma's first known political gathering in their home in 1995.

Bill Ayers' ties to Obama run deep;

The two men were involved in efforts to reform the city’s education system. They appeared together on academic panels, including one organized by Michelle Obama to discuss the juvenile justice system, an area of mutual concern. Mr. Ayers’s book on the subject won a rave review in The Chicago Tribune by Mr. Obama, who called it “a searing and timely account.”

Mr. Obama further expanded his list of allies by joining the boards of two well-known charities: the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation.

These memberships have allowed him to help direct tens of millions of dollars in grants over the years to groups that championed the environment, campaign finance reform, gun control and other causes supported by the liberal network he was cultivating. Mr. Brazier’s group, the Woodlawn Organization, received money, for instance, as did antipoverty groups with ties to organized labor like Chicago Acorn, whose endorsement Mr. Obama sought and won in his State Senate race.

Earl Durham A former member of the Communist Party national committee. Professor Durham later went into education reform in the 1970s and in the 1990s founded the organization Community Organizing and Family Issues.

Barack Obama served on the organization's sponsoring committee in 1994/95

Marilyn Katz Now a prominent Chicago public reations professional and Democratic Party activist, Katz has a background in Students for a Democratic Society and the socialist New American Movement.

Katz, with Carl Davidson helped organize Obama's appearance at the 2002 Chicago anti Iraq War rally.

Marilyn Katz has worked closely with Barack Obama since meeting him through his position at Miner, Barnhill & Galland in the 1990s.

It was through the law firm that Mr. Obama met Marilyn Katz, who gave him entry into another activist network: the foot soldiers of the white student and black power movements that helped define Chicago in the 1960s.

“For better or worse, this is Chicago,” said Ms. Katz, who has held fund-raisers for Mr. Obama at her home. “Everyone is connected to everyone.”''

Katz was a major fundraiser and a delegate at the Democratic Party convention for Obama. She was also an endorser of the Progressives for Obama website.

Fred Klonsky A former Students for a Democratic Society activist, brother of Mike Klonsky and endorser of the Progressives for Obama website.

Mike Klonsky Is a former leader of Students for a Democratic Society and the pro China Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist).

Mike Klonsky is a long time friends with Bill Ayers and was involved with some of the educational project which Ayers and Obama worked together on.

Until June 2008 Mike Klonsky ran a Blog on Barack Obama's campaign website.

It was pulled at very short notice after adverse publicity began surfacing on the blogosphere.

Alice Palmer A long time Communist Party sympathiser, Alice Palmer has travelled extensively in the old Soviet Bloc and was a leader of the soviet front International Organization of Journalists.

Obama was Alice Palmer's chief of staff when she ran for congress in the mid 1990s. She was the main sponsor of Obama's early political career until he took her old Illinois State Senate seat in 1996.

It was Alice Palmer who introduced Barack Obama to the meeting in the home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

Lou Pardo Also a member of Democratic Socialists of America. Pardo worked with Obama on voter registration in 1992. In the mid 1990s Pardo was active, with Obama in the Chicago New Party.

Dan Swinney A Chicago labor unionist and endorser of the Progressives for Obama website.

Kevin Tyson A former member of the Communist Party. Kevin Tyson has been a long time activist and co-parishioner with Obama in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ.

Mildred Williamson A Chicago health professional, former Communist Party member and Committees of Correspondence leader.

An endorser of the Progressives for Obama website.

Is it significant that all these people, several of them previously unconnected, all supported Barack Obama's career?

Were they working, at least some of the time, in concert, to promote their mutual friend? Or are the Committees of Correspondence connections merely coincidental?

What do you think?

Obama file 95 here


Blogger Carl Davidson said...

Goodness, Trevour, after all that hard work and research, lo and behold, you've 'discovered':

1. People on the left in Chicago know each other, for the most part, because we're rather small.

2. We're against the war in Iraq, along with 800,000 other Chicagoans, who vote 'Out Now' in a 2006 ballot.

3. We voted for Obama as a liberal reformer over McCain.

Any journalist, politician or politically active student could have told you this off the top of his or her head. It's rather Ho Hum.

But these days we're in opposition to Obama on the wars, the bank bailouts and any number of other points--all of which puts our 'influence' in its proper perspective.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

That was quick Carl-nice to hear from you, after so long.

while you're there can you confirm Bill and Bernardine and the Klonsky's membership or otherwise in CoC?


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Tim Martin said...

One thing Carl forgot to mention, and tell me if I'm wrong. All leftist are against the war in Iraq that's a given, but I have a hunch you all for the war against American exceptionalism and "fundementally transforming" the United States into a Socialist nation.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Carl Davidson said...

Every country is 'exceptional,' including ours, and any socialism won here will be very much in the American grain, ie, it will include markets and have a libertarian streak in its politics. For my take on a socialism of the 21st century, viewed from US conditions, go to:

8:23 AM  
Blogger Lisa G in NZ said...

Oh for crying out loud, Carl...

"Socialism" has been tried MANY many time - starting with the first pilgrims who arrived in America.

It never works.

I'll give you all a copy of a spot on letter from Feb09:

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists, Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile, slate it up to irreconcilable differences, and go on our own ways.

Here is a model dissolution agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement.

After that it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes. We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore, and Rosie O'Donnell. We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies, and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's, and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.

You can make nice with Iran, Palestine and France and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protestors. When our allies or way of life are under assault, we'll provide them job security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian Values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, and Shirley McClain. You can have the U.N. But we will no longer be paying the bill. We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare, if you can find any practicing doctors who will follow to your turf. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.

We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and The National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty its best shot.

Since it often so offends you we'll keep our History, our Name and our Flag.

Would you agree to this? If so please pass it along to other likeminded patriots and if you do not agree just hit delete and hang on.

In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you on who will need whose help in 15 years.


an American law student

P.S. Please take Barbra Streisand too.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous William Kevin Stoos said...

Wonderful piece, based on exhaustive research that most writers--including your critics, are too lazy or too uninterested to undertake. You are doing amazing work and the heavy lifting that many in the center or on the right don't do. Thanks for this insight and for the time you take to publicize the shady connections behind The Great Leader. It is wrong to suggest that this material may be found on a cursory search of the internet. Those of use who know you, know better. You spend a lot of time investigating the Left and are doing a great service for freedom loving people everywhere--whether they know it or not. Finally, you are a better patriot that 90% of my fellow Americans, for which we are deeply in your debt. Best regards and thanks,

William Kevin Stoos

6:25 AM  
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