Monday, October 06, 2008

Obama: Incrimination by Association?

With around 30 days left in the 2008 Presidential race, John McCain is seeing the possibility of a solid defeat unless something changes and changes quickly. For months McCain has focused entirely on the issues with very little mention of personalities and organizations that could raise red flags in the minds of many. That is starting to change for arguably good reasons.

Over the years I have been invited to serve in leadership positions of organizations and one of the first questions I asked is "who else is on it?" From there I would do background checks of my own. The Washington Post notes that "both Obama and (Bill) Ayers were members of the board of an anti-poverty group, the Woods Fund of Chicago, between 1999 and 2002. In addition, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama's re-election fund to the Illinois State Senate in April 2001, as reported here. They lived within a few blocks of each other in the trendy Hyde Park section of Chicago, and moved in the same liberal-progressive circles."

Who is Bill Ayers? The Chicago Sun Times reports that "Ayers, 63, spent 10 years as a fugitive in the 1970s when he was part of the "Weather Underground," an anti-Vietnam War group that protested U.S. policies by bombing the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and a string of other government buildings." He has since stated (back in 2000) that he wish he had done both more bombings and had created more damage. So much for remorse.

It doesn't end with Ayers. Barack Obama proudly discusses his years as a "community organizer" and during much of that time the organizations he worked with received funding from the radical organization, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). ACORN is noted for questionable voter registration techniques (including the policy in Ohio where people can register and vote on the same day), but was also a major player in the sub prime debacle that is devastating the economy today.

Many of the liberal Members of Congress who are acting like heroes today for passing the massive Wall Street bailout bill had pressured lending institutions (particularly Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) into reducing the requirements for getting loans earlier this decade. On the front lines, ACORN and one of its Chicago affiliates, The Woods Fund (on which Obama was on the Board) practiced intimidation and other techniques to make banks provide the bad loans that led to the crash of our financial institutions today.

Stanley Kurtz wrote in the New York Post that "The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN's Madeline Talbott in her pioneering efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. He trained her personal staff and other aspiring ACORN leaders, he consulted with her extensively, and he arranged a major boost in foundation funding for her efforts." Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain warned fellow Members of the Senate of potential financial ruin if the sub prime loans were to continue.

Another friend that could come back to haunt Obama is the good old Rev. Wright. You will likely hear much more about him in the final days of this campaign. There is no question that the McCain is in trouble, but Obama's associations makes the Illinois Senator's own future very doubtful and he could very well be his own worst enemy by the friends he has made.

Kevin Price articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media.

Kevin Price is Host of the
Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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