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Alinsky trainer developed 1st Obama volunteers
Posted By Aaron Klein On 03/25/2010 @ 12:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
The executive director of an activist organization modeled after Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky and described as teaching tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation was part of the team that developed and delivered a group of volunteers for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, WND has learned.
Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.
Camp Obama was a two-to-four day intensive course run in conjunction with Obama’s campaign aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.
WND reported last week a Chicago nonprofit on which Obama served as paid director provided startup capital and later funding to Midwest Academy.
Also, in 1998, Obama participated on a panel discussion alongside Midwest Academy founder Heather Booth, an extremist organizer and dedicated disciple of Alinsky.
Camp Obama served as an integral part of the president’s campaign volunteer staff.
Hans Riemer, who served as national youth vote director for the Obama campaign, said of the camp: “We are training them, teaching them how to be effective, showing them what their role is in our strategy to win the election. … We’re taking people from raw enthusiasm to capable organizers.”
Camp Obama director Jocelyn Woodards told reporters her job was to ensure volunteers had “real concrete ways to be involved and organize in their local communities. We go through everything from canvassing, phone banking, volunteer recruitment, our campaign message, how to develop an organization locally.”
Another radical who taught at Camp Obama was Robert Creamer, a Chicago political consultant who pleaded guilty to bank fraud and withholding taxes while heading Citizen Action of Illinois. Citizen Action is a spin off of Midwest Academy.
Creamer, husband of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., one of Capitol Hill’s most visible cheerleaders for Obama’s health-care plan, wrote a book on how “progressives” can promote their agenda. The book was endorsed by Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod as providing “a blueprint for future victories” on reform.
Creamer wrote that success in passing health-care reform could ensure a “wave of progressive change.”
“If we succeed in winning health insurance reform, we will have breached the gates of the status quo,” he wrote. “We will demonstrate that fundamental change is possible. Into that breach will flow a wave of progressive change.”
‘Redistribution of wealth and power’
Midwest founder Booth, meanwhile, has stated building a ”progressive majority” would help for ”a fair distribution of wealth and power and opportunity.”
Booth founded Midwest in the 1970s with her husband, Paul Booth, a founder and the former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical 1960s anti-war movement from which William Ayers’ domestic Weather Underground terrorist organization splintered.
The Woods Fund, a nonprofit on which Obama served as paid director from 1999 to December 2002, provided capital to the Midwest Academy. WND was first to report Obama sat on the Woods Fund board alongside Ayers.
In 1999, Booth’s Midwest Academy received $75,000 from the Woods Fund. In 2002, with Obama still serving on the Woods Fund, Midwest received another $23,500 for its Young Organizers Development Program.
Midwest describes itself as “one of the nation’s oldest and best-known schools for community organizations, citizen organizations and individuals committed to progressive social change.”
It later morphed into a national organizing institute for an emerging network of organizations known as Citizen Action.
Discover the Networks describes Midwest as “teach[ing] tactics of direct action, confrontation, and intimidation.”
In August 1998, Obama participated in a panel discussion following the opening performance in Chicago of the play “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky,” a work described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “bringing to life one of America’s greatest community organizers.”
Obama participated in the discussion alongside other Alinskyites, including Booth, political analyst Aaron Freeman, Don Turner of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Northwestern University history professor Charles Paine.
“Alinsky had so much fire burning within,” stated local actor Gary Houston, who portrayed Alinsky in the play. “There was a lot of complexity to him. Yet he was a really cool character.”
Booth herself is a notorious radical community activist and self-described dedicated disciple of Alinsky, of whom she says: “Alinsky is to community-organizing as Freud is to psychoanalysis.”
Booth’s vision of uniting various left-leaning organizations and factions has also been the subject of her two books, “Toward a Radical Movement and Citizen Action” and “The New American Populism.”
Former 1960s radical and FrontPageMagazine Editor David Horowitz describes Alinsky as the “communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the dual political tactics of confrontation and infiltration that characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States.”
“The strategy of working within the system until you can accumulate enough power to destroy it was what sixties radicals called ‘boring from within.’ … Like termites, they set about to eat away at the foundations of the building in expectation that one day they could cause it to collapse.”
As WND reported, Obama approached Northwestern University professor John L. McKnight – a loyal student of Alinsky’s radical tactics – to pen a letter of recommendation for him when he applied to Harvard Law School. Under the tutelage of McKnight and other hardcore students of Alinsky, Obama said he got the “best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.”
In a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, Alinsky’s son praised Obama for stirring up the masses at the 2008 Democratic National Convention “Saul Alinsky style,” saying, “Obama learned his lesson well.”
The letter, signed L. David Alinsky, closed with, “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott
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