President Obama is not the only major U.S. politician previously involved with the now defunct socialist-leaning New Party in the 1990s.
WND has found that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was listed as a builder and early leading activist of the controversial third party that is now coming under increased scrutiny after new information indicates Obama was a member.
Ritchie was the recipient of national news media attention when he oversaw the recount of the 2008 U.S. Senate race that put onetime comedian Al Franken into office.
WND previously reported how Ritchie’s campaign donor list includes a “who’s who” of the radical left, including New Party founders.
The Fall 1994 edition of the New Party News, the party’s own newsletter, listed over 100 New Party activists working on “building the party.” The members included “some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP.”
Among the activist cited is Ritchie of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
From 1986 until 2006, Ritchie served as the president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which worked to foster so-called long-term sustainability for Minnesota’s rural communities.
WND also found a July 20, 1992, article published in The Nation magazine by New Party founder Joel Rogers laying out the case for the establishment of the party.
In that article, titled “Out with the Old Politics, in with the New Party,” Rogers cites Ritchie as an early activist in the formation of the New Party, which he describes as a “social democratic” party.
The New Party, established in 1992, took advantage of what was known as electoral “fusion,” which enabled candidates to run on two tickets simultaneously, attracting voters from both parties. But the New Party disbanded in 1998, one year after fusion was halted by the Supreme Court.
The socialist-oriented goals of the New Party were enumerated on its old website.
Among the New Party’s stated objectives were “full employment, a shorter work week and a guaranteed minimum income for all adults; a universal ‘social wage’ to include such basic benefits as health care, child care, vacation time and lifelong access to education and training; a systematic phase-in of comparable worth; and similar programs to ensure gender equity.”
The New Party stated it also sought “the democratization of our banking and financial system – including popular election of those charged with public stewardship of our banking system, worker-owner control over their pension assets [and] community-controlled alternative financial institutions.”
Many of the New Party’s founding members were Democratic Socialists of America leaders and members of Committees of Correspondence, a breakaway of the Communist Party USA.
Last month, WND reported on a 1996 print advertisement in a local Chicago newspaper that shows Obama was the speaker at an event sponsored and presented by the Democratic Socialists of America, the DSA.
WND first reported on the event in 2010.
Obama listed as New Party member
In 2009, WND reported on newspaper evidence from the New Party’s own literature listing several new members of the New Party, including Obama.
Last week, researcher and author Stanley Kurtz, writing at National Review Online, reported on documentation from the updated records of Illinois ACORN at the Wisconsin Historical Society that “definitively establishes” that Obama was a member of the New Party.
Kurtz reported Obama also signed a “contract” promising to publicly support and associate himself with the New Party while in office.
In 2008, Obama’s Fight the Smears campaign website quoted Carol Harwell, who managed Obama’s 1996 campaign for the Illinois Senate, as stating: “Barack did not solicit or seek the New Party endorsement for state senator in 1995.”
Fight the Smears conceded the New Party did support Obama in 1996 but denied that Obama had ever joined.
Ritchie backed by who’s who of radical left
A previous review by WND and the New Zeal blog of donors to Ritchie’s 2006 and 2010 campaigns found a shocking list of radicals that reads like a “Who’s Who” of the far-left world.
Ritchie counts among his campaign donors members of the Democratic Socialists of America, founders of the New Party, members of the Communist Party USA and even a former associate of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist group founded by Bill Ayers.
Personalities from several George Soros-funded think tanks and the terrorist-supporting Code Pink also show up on Ritchie’s donor list.
Ritchie won a second term in November 2010.
He was a beneficiary of the Soros-funded Secretary of State project.
“We helped re-elect Mark Ritchie in Minnesota,” declares the project about Ritchie’s 2010 race.
His 2006 donor list, reviewed by both WND and New Zeal, includes:
- Barbara Baran, a member of Democratic Socialists of America.
- Jeff Blum, a former supporter of the Weathermen domestic terrorist group.
- Heather Booth, a founder of the Midwest Academy, which has trained thousands of “community activists” in the tactics of radical organizer Saul Alinsky. WND previously reported the executive director of Booth’s group was part of the team that developed and delivered a group of volunteers for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
- Paul Booth, a member of Democratic Socialists of America.
- Cynthia Brown, a vice president for education policy at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.
- Dan Cantor, a co-founder of the socialist New Party, now leader of New York’s ACORN and the socialist and communist-dominated Working Families Party.
- Dan Carol, a member of the Soros-funded Tides Center board, also a founder of the Apollo Alliance, which is led by a slew of radicals, including former Weather Underground terrorist Jeff Jones and Obama’s former “green jobs” adviser and avowed communist Van Jones.
- Doris Marquit, a veteran leader of the Minnesota Communist Party USA.
- Erwin Marquit, a veteran leader of the Minnesota Communist Party USA, whose wife is Doris Marquit.
- And Max Palevsky, a former trustee of the Marxist-oriented, Soros-funded Institute for Policy Studies.
Radicals who supported Ritchie’s 2010 campaign included:
- Jodie Evans, leader of the radical Code Pink, which has sided with the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and has led marches in support of Hamas in Gaza. She is also a member of board of trustees of the Marxist-oriented, Soros-funded Institute for Policy Studies.
- Margery Tabankin, an Alinsky-trained former member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society from which the Weather Underground terrorist group splintered.
- Patricia Bauman, a member of the Soros-funded, pro-Palestinian J Street Advisory Council.
- Martin Bunzl, a member of the J Street Advisory Council.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott