A convicted felon and political consultant with close ties to the Obama administration is now spearheading a project partnered with unions and the Occupy Wall Street movement to get corporate influence out of this year’s presidential campaign.
Robert Creamer is the consultant to a union-backed outfit calling itself Americans United for Change. The group is offering a $25,000 reward to the first employee who comes forward with “documentary evidence” that his or her company is secretly funding a nonprofit organization active in the 2012 campaign.
Creamer’s group is partnered with the Service Employees International Union, MoveOn.org, Occupy Wall Street and other progressive causes.
In an article about the effort, the Los Angeles Times quoted Creamer as the group’s consultant, stating, “Any corporate CEO who thinks he can keep a donation secret in the digital age I think is just dead wrong.”
“Bottom line is, some of these corporations have such massive amount of profit, if they were to get engaged politically, they could swamp ordinary Americans,” he added.
The Times and Tribune both neglected to mention that Creamer is a convicted felon sentenced to federal prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to bank fraud and withholding taxes while heading Citizen Action of Illinois.
Creamer is the husband of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
Creamer promoted Obamacare
While in prison, Creamer wrote a book titled “How Progressives Can Win.”
Obama’s chief adviser, David Axelrod, touted Creamer’s book as providing “a blueprint for future victories,” including on health care.
Creamer’s book was endorsed by other leading Democrats and by Andy Stern, a close ally of the president and then-head of the SEIU. Stern visited the White House more than any other individual in 2009.
During Creamer’s trial, more than 200 people provided letters of support to the court on Creamer’s behalf, including Axelrod and Carol Browner, who served as Obama’s energy czar until last year.
Creamer was a political consultant to Chicago politicians, including the city’s long-serving former mayor, Richard Daley, and its fallen governor, Rod Blagojevich.
A section of Creamer’s book, titled “Progressive Agenda for Structural Change,” laid out the blueprint for a national health-care plan and recommended the president create a “national consensus that the health-care system is in crisis.”
Other Creamer recommendations include:
- “We must create a national consensus that health care is a right, not a commodity; and that government must guarantee that right.”
- “Our messaging program over the next two years should focus heavily on reducing the credibility of the health-insurance industry and focusing on the failure of private health insurance.”
- “We need not agree in advance on the components of a plan, but we must foster a process that can ultimately yield consensus.”
- “We must focus especially on the mobilization of the labor movement and the faith community.”
Creamer’s plan, written in 2006, explicitly proposed that it be carried out in 2009, once a “progressive Democrat is elected president” and once Democrats could count on 60 votes in the Senate.
Creamer wrote: “If we succeed in winning health-insurance reform we will have breached the gates of the status quo. We will demonstrate that fundamental change is possible. Into that breach will flow a wave of progressive change.”
In a July 10, 2009, Huffington Post article, Creamer wrote that “progressives” needed to remember seven things to succeed. Foremost among them, that “the critical battles being fought in 2009 are not about ‘policies’ – they are about the distribution of wealth and power.”
Creamer wrote that the money to pay for “exploding health-care costs for families” should come from the pockets of insurance and pharmaceutical companies and that the companies will fight to maintain the status quo.