MIAMI – An organization tied to the Obama administration and to philanthropist George Soros has strongly backed the planned Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, slamming opponents as “intolerant” and acting against the U.S. Constitution.
The organization also claimed the Cordoba Initiative’s 13-story, $100-million mosque project will “deal a blow to the propaganda of al-Qaida and Islamist extremists.”
Recent polls show an overwhelming majority of the U.S. public opposes the mosque plans.
“There are two very important reasons we are choosing to speak out,” began a letter to the mosque organizers issued by VoteVets, a pro-Democrat group of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Continued the letter: “First and foremost, when we signed up for service, we swore to uphold the Constitution. For all the talk these days from some quarters about the importance of protecting the Constitution and allowing the free market to work unfettered, those same people are fighting against your community’s right to buy property and worship freely.
“Secondly, allowing the Community Center to move forward will deal a blow to the propaganda of al-Qaida and Islamist extremists, who recruit on the talking point that the United States is in a war against Islam. Of course, we’re not. But, if those forces of intolerance win, it will certainly appear that we are in a war against one religion – Islam.”
VoteVets bills itself as a “nexus for information and opinion on war news, war politics, deployments, optempo, veterans’ issues, troops’ families’ issues and more.”
The organization does not outright define its political leanings but some of its leaders are tied to the Obama administration and to Soros-backed groups, including the philanthropist’s Open Society Institute.
In the last four years, VoteVets gave $228,700 to Democratic Party candidates and $15,100 to Republican candidates.
The New Zeal blog noted several the ties of VoteVet activists to the Obama administration.
Kayla Williams, one of VoteVets’ online newsletter writers and senior advisers, works for Obama appointee Eric Shinesky, the U.S. secretary of veterans affairs.
VoteVets senior adviser Jim Mowrer served as the State Veterans director for Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. He is currently an assistant organizer of the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus.
Meanwhile, VoteVet activists are also tied Soros-funded institutions.
VoteVet online writer Matthew Alexander is a fellow at Soros’ Open Society Institute.
Elaine Kamarck, an adviser to VoteVet, serves on the advisory board of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress left-leaning think tank.
VoteVet adviser Bob Kerrey is a trustee of the Center for American Progress, while VoteVet adviser Lawrence Korb is a fellow at the Soros-funded institute.