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New Obama czar moonlighting for whom?
Posted By Aaron Klein On 09/22/2011 @ 9:10 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
The newly appointed chief of President Obama’s Social Innovation and Civic Participation Council doubles as the director of a social justice group funded by George Soros.
The organization, the Aspen Institute, works closely with Soros and even was reportedly used by the billionaire in a failed attempt to engineer the defeat of President Bush in the 2004 elections.
Jonathan Greenblatt was appointed the new head of Obama’s Social Innovation Unit earlier this month.
Greenblatt is the founder of a civic service company that works in partnership with Google and the Huffington Post. He has several ties to Google.
Greenblatt also serves as director of the Impact Economy Initiative at the Aspen Institute.
Aspen’s mission statement says the nonprofit seeks “to foster values-based leadership, encourag[e] individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and … provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.”
The group leads a number of social justice global initiatives and espouses an ideology that government intervention is necessary to fix what it claims are various social and racial injustices that permeate U.S. society.
Aspen’s website says the group is dedicated to repairing what it terms “structural racism.”
The group contends that “public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity in every key opportunity area, from health, to education, to employment, to income and wealth.”
A member of Aspen’s board is Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor who sparked a national race controversy in July 2009 when Obama criticized local Cambridge police who had arrested Gates after a burglary had been reported on his property.
Aspen runs a program that provides training and seminars for federal judges.
‘Clandestine’ Soros summit
Soros has provided significant funding to the Aspen Institute. His Open Society Institute has provided more than $400,000 to the group since 2004.
The New Yorker magazine reported on a 2004 “clandestine summit meeting” that took place at the Aspen Institute.
“The participants, all Democrats, were sworn to secrecy,” said the magazine, including Soros and four other billionaires who “shared a common goal: to use their fortunes to engineer the defeat of President George W. Bush in the 2004 election.”
Soros himself spoke at numerous Aspen events, including a 2004 seminar entitled “America’s Role in the Fight Against Global Poverty” that also featured Al Gore as a speaker.
Aspen hosted Soros in 2006 for a talk about his new book, “The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror.”
Discover the Networks notes that Jim Spiegelman, Aspen’s director of communications, formerly worked as a “special assistant” to Soros.
Also, Arjun Gupta, who serves on Aspen’s board of overseers, is a vice president at the Chatterjee Group, which advises the Soros Fund Management Group.
Meanwhile, Greenblatt is the founder and president of All for Good, an open source, Web-based initiative that says it seeks to engage more Americans in service. It is the largest database of volunteer listings ever compiled and provides content to a wide range of government, nonprofit and personal websites.
Greenblatt has stated he was inspired to found All for Good in December 2008 by Obama’s call for more participatory civic service.
Greenblatt formerly served on the Technology and Innovation working group of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition team.
All for Good was built by a group of volunteers from Google, the Craigslist Foundation and other organizations, reportedly with input from Arianna Huffington. The group currently maintains strategic partnerships with Google and the Huffington Post.
With additional research by Chris Elliott.
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