Editor’s note: This is the third of a six-part series by the author of “The Audacity of Deceit.” Read Part 1, “The Obama-Ayers incestuous money trail” and Part 2, “Obama’s sweetheart-deal home loan”


During the Democratic debate on April 16 in Philadelphia, Barack Obama explained to the voters that his former boss, mentor and committed communist, Bill Ayers, was “a guy who lives in my neighborhood. … He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.” But the truth is, “exchanging ideas” is most of what they did during their at least 15 years of collaboration together.

Below is an in-depth look at three organizations Obama omits from his official campaign and U.S. Senate biographies: The Woods Fund, The Joyce Foundation and The Gamaliel Foundation – as well as a look at how Obama’s long-time church, Trinity United Church of Christ, is inexorably linked to the Obama-Ayers “incestuous money trail.”

The Woods Fund

An outgrowth of the Woods Charitable Fund, The Woods Fund of Chicago focuses its attention on welfare reform, affordable housing, public schools, race and class disparities in the juvenile justice system, and tax policy as a tool in reducing poverty. According to DiscoverTheNetworks.org, “The Fund supported the concept of an expanding welfare state allocating ever-increasing amounts of money to the public school system, and the redistribution of wealth via taxes.”

Obama served on the Woods Fund Board from 1993 to 2002. During that time, he worked alongside two people who form part of the Obama network: Bill Ayers and Howard J. Stanback. Communist Bill Ayers joined the board in 1999 and served with Obama for three years. Considering the board met at least a dozen times, Ayers and Obama had plenty of opportunities to discuss the wealth redistribution goals of the foundation. Obama also served alongside Woods Fund Board Chairman Howard J. Stanback. In 2001, Stanback headed New Kenwood LLC, a limited liability company founded by Obama’s close friend and convicted felon, Tony Rezko, and Obama’s former law firm boss, Allison Davis.

While Obama served on the Woods Fund board, the Fund utilized Northern Trust’s investment services and participated in a Northern Trust private equity fund. Years later, Obama would be the beneficiary of a below market rate home loan from Northern Trust, which benefited from Obama’s actions as a member of the Woods Fund Board.

The Obama-Woods Fund story is not just the interpersonal relationships of its board, but also a revealing look at who benefited from Woods Fund grants.

As far back as 1987, Obama’s Developing Communities Project was the beneficiary of a $36,000 grant from the Woods Fund for school reform work. As board members years later, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers would send money to a number of projects near and dear to both of them, including:

  • a combined total of over $1 million to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (Obama was its chief executive officer and Ayers the author of the $50 million grant that gave life to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge)
  • a $6,000 grant to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in 2001
  • a $20,000 grant in 1995 and a $35,000 grant in 2001 for communists Bill Ayers and Michael Klonsky’s Small School Workshops or his Chicago Forum for Small School Change at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Ayers was on the Woods Fund Board at the time)
  • a $75,000 grant to Chicago ACORN in 2001
  • a $45,000 grant to Chicago ACORN in 2000
  • a $40,000 grant to Chicago ACORN in 1999
  • a $55,000 grant in 1998, a $40,000 grant in 2001, a $20,000 grant in 2000 and grants totaling $98,500 grants in 1999 to the Community Renewal Society (another pet project of Bill Ayers’ father, Tom Ayers)
  • a $40,000 grant in 2000 and a $25,000 grant in 2001 to the Chicago Urban League (another Tom Ayers organization)
  • a $5,000 grant in 2000 to the Chicago Partnership for Economic Development (the fiscal agent is the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, which is yet another organization with which Bill Ayers’ father, Tom Ayers, was involved)
  • a $25,000 grant in 2001 to Obama’s former employer, The Developing Communities Project
  • $40,000 grants each in 1998 and 1999 to Project Match run by the Erickson Institute on whose board sat Tom Ayers
  • a combined total of $75,000 between 2001 and 2002 to the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), an anti-Israel outfit run by Mona Khalidi (Mona is the wife of Rashid Khalidi, founder of the Arab American Action Network, and both are friends of Obama’s from his days at the University of Chicago).

Between 1998 and 2001, the Obama and Ayers-led Woods Fund also gave nearly $300,000 to Northwestern University, where Bill Ayers and his wife, Castro-trained Bernardine Dohrn Ayers, had secured teaching jobs. Bill Ayers’ father, Tom Ayers, also sat on the Board of Trustees for Northwestern, as did Howard Trienens, who was a partner at the law firm (Sidley Austin) that hired Obama for an internship when he was only a first-year law student. Here are the grants in detail:

  • a $30,000 grant in 1998 to Northwestern University
  • a $65,000 grant in 2000 to the Northwestern University School of Law
  • a $96,218 grant to Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research in 2001
  • a $100,000 grant to Northwestern University in 1999

Trinity United Church of Christ

Trinity United Church of Christ’s central tenet is to advocate social justice through the redistribution of wealth in America. Barack Obama sat and listened to 20 years worth of sermons, many by his former friend Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that preached the only way to end the “victimization” of poor people is enact laws that would punish the well-to-do and redistribute their wealth evenly across the masses.

Though political expediency may have recently forced Obama to distance himself from Trinity and Wright, Obama’s long-standing relationship with the church speaks volumes.

Much ink has already been spilled on the extremist anti-American beliefs of former Trinity United Church of Christ pastor Rev. Wright. As Stanley Kurtz detailed in The National Review, Wright’s close associates were two such extremists, Jacob Carruthers and the late Asa Hilliard. Both were invited to speak at Rev. Wright and Obama’s church. According to Kurtz, Carruthers wrote in his wildly anti-American book, “Intellectual Warfare,” that no black person can be American in any authentic sense. Carruthers wrote that “submission to Western civilization and its most outstanding offspring, American civilization, is, in reality, surrender to white supremacy.”

Asa Hilliard was a pioneer of African-centered curricula and addressed a teacher training session funded by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. She also helped formulate the curriculum for the South Shore African Village Collaborative funded by the Joyce Foundation and the Annenberg Challenge.

The Community Renewal Society was another pet project of Bill Ayers’ father, former Commonwealth Edison CEO Tom Ayers, who created the organization to push Chicago-area black churches to advance a radical concept of “social justice” through wealth redistribution. Funding figures for the Society are scant given the organization’s “church” status, which exempts them from having to file an IRS tax return, but the connections are clear.

The 2003 annual report for the Society shows that Trinity United Church of Christ gave between $5,000 and $10,000 to the Society while the Woods Fund gave between $100,000 and $200,000.

On full display is yet another way in which the Ayers family helped Obama further his career. Obama sat on the Board of the Joyce Foundation that gave grant money to the Community Renewal Society. Rev. Wright and Obama were close friends, and Wright’s church supports the Community Renewal Society, which is a Tom Ayers project.

In addition, on Feb. 12, 2000, the Community Renewal Society hosted a 10th Anniversary Prom in honor of one of its projects, CATALYST (also funded by the Joyce Foundation). Among the names on the Anniversary Planning Committee are none other than Bill Ayers’ brother, John Ayers, Michelle Obama and Susan Klonksy, former radical leftist and Students for a Democratic Society member, and wife of communist and Obama and Ayers buddy Michael Klonsky. Susan Klonsky is also active with “Progressives for Obama.”

The Joyce Foundation

Obama joined the Board of Directors of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation in 1994 and served on its board until 2002. The Joyce Foundation targets its grants toward organizations with agendas of social justice, prison reform, increased government spending for social services and radical environmentalism, with many of those recipient groups hostile to the capitalist model.

Notable Joyce Foundation grants include:

  • an $80,000 grant to Bill Ayers’ Chicago School Reform Collaborative (part of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge)
  • a $429,112 grant in 1998 (a 28 month project) to the Bank Street College of Education to evaluate whether small schools operating within the Chicago Public Schools led to improved student performance (Bill Ayers received his masters from Bank Street College of Education and administered the Small Schools project.)
  • a $70,000 grant to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in 1996, 1997 and 1998 for a total of $210,000
  • a total of $300,000 to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge beginning in 1999 (after Obama joined the Foundation’s board)
  • $755,261 in grants to Bill Ayers’ Small School Workshop and Chicago Forum for School Change (according to Bill Ayers’ curriculum vitae); totals dispensed include $74,500 from 1992-1993; $79,761 from 1993-1994; $264,000 from 1995-1997 and $337,000 from 1998-1999 (the later two grants being made while Obama served on the boards of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Joyce Foundation (the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, in turn, provided $175,000 to the Small Schools Workshop)
  • a contribution valued at between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Chicago Public Education Fund (on whose board sat Obama, Tom and John Ayers)
  • a $151,930 grant in 1998 to Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to monitor federal, state and local compliance with Federal Title 1 requirements for assessing the educational progress of Chicago’s low-income public school students and providing assistance to improve performance (Obama was chairman of the Board for this organization beginning in 1994)
  • an $88,195 grant in 1996 (over two years) to the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law to help Chicago schools make better use of their federal Title I funds
  • A $313,000 grant in 1998 to the Community Renewal Society to expand its Catalyst: Voices of Chicago School Reform publication (Tom Ayers was active with the Community Renewal Society)
  • Grants total $392,850 in 1999 to the Community Renewal Society
  • A $78,000 grant in 1998 to Northwestern University’s Department of African American Studies to identify, describe and publicize the factors affecting student performance at 20 Chicago elementary schools
  • a $70,000 grant in 1999 to the Center for Improved Education in South Shore that was one of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge’s “external partners,” part of the network of Chicago Schools known as the “South Shore African Village Collaborative” that was thoroughly Afro centric in orientation – the Collaborative worldview was the same as that of Rev. Jeremiah Wright – see Stanley Kurtz’s brilliant article, “Wright 101” (Oct. 14, 2008) at National Review Online for additional background
  • a $150,000 grant in 1996 (2 year grant) to the Center for Improved Education in South Shore
  • a $400,000 grant to the Erikson Institute for research into welfare (Tom Ayers and Bill Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn, served on the Erikson Board)

If the funding and the relationships sound all too cozy, that’s because they are. Joyce Foundation President Deborah Leff and Barack Obama served together on the Foundation’s Board as late as 1999, and they also served together on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Close Obama friend and presidential campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett would later join the Joyce Foundation board in 2003.

Gamaliel Foundation

According to Discover the Networks, “the stated mission of the Gamaliel Foundation is ‘to be a powerful network of grass-roots, interfaith, interracial, multi-issue organizations working together to create a more just and more democratic society.'” Predicated on the belief that America is a land rife with injustice, Gamaliel agitates for social change by supporting the efforts of a network of organizations whose goal is to allow individuals to “effectively participate” in the political, environmental, social and economic arenas. Gamaliel utilizes Saul Alinsky’s socialist methods to achieve their goal.

The Gamaliel Foundation receives its funding from a number of large foundations, including George Soro’s Open Society Institute. Barack Obama worked for the Developing Communities Project during the mid-to-late 1980s and is part of the Gamaliel network. The Foundation’s story is less about the money trail and more about the people with whom Obama worked. Gamaliel founder Greg Galluzo mentored Obama in Alinsky tactics, as did another Gamaliel employee, Mike Kruglik, who later helped school Obama campaign workers in Alinsky tactics. Obama later served as a consultant and Alinsky trainer of community organizers for Gamaliel. Northwestern University professor John L. McKnight sat on the Gamaliel Board. McKnight, a student of Alinsky tactics, was another of Obama’s mentors who later wrote a letter of recommendation for Obama to Harvard Law School.

The Obama secret

Obama’s official U.S. Senate and campaign biographies omit any detailed discussion of his work for the Woods Fund, Joyce Foundation or the Gamaliel Foundation – and the Developing Communities Project – and with good reason. Their inclusion would have invited a close look at his involvement with these groups that would, in turn, reveal the leftist goals of these organizations and pull back the curtain on Obama’s ultimate agenda for America.

The incestuous and long money trail to organizations on whose board Obama sat to other organizations on whose board Obama also served clearly demonstrate that Obama is committed to a socialist agenda. His stealth political strategy is to talk a soft game but have a hard-left social agenda. Just this past week, Obama was seen on network television promising that, “[B]efore I even get inaugurated, during the transition, we’re going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We’re going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America.”

What will be discussed at these “meetings”? Perhaps Obama’s proposal for “tax reform,” which would accomplish the goals of his former foundations, church and mentor Bill Ayers, by enacting a socialist wealth redistribution scheme. And not just on a national scale – but a global scale. I cover this in detail in “The Audacity of Deceit.” Not only would Obama send nearly $1 trillion of taxpayer dollars to the United Nations to redistribute wealth worldwide, but only 5 percent of the jobs created by this massive program would be manned by U.S. citizens. The other 95 percent would be filled by citizens from countries that are communist, socialist, Hindu, Muslim and atheist – in other words, countries that harbor an extreme dislike, or even hatred, for America.

As Obama told a concerned, tax-burdened plumber just days ago: “It’s not that I want to punish your success. … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Everybody, of course, except those being punished.

In “The Audacity of Deceit,” I also write about how Obama’s tax plan would increase the percentage of non-taxpayers in America from 30 percent to 44 percent. These figures were recently confirmed by pieces in the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily.

Under an Obama presidency, leftist, Alinsky-inspired organizations will have a seat at the table helping to shape the agenda of America. Socialism and wealth redistribution is not the change most Americans want.

The last part of “the incestuous money trail” will focus on those people Obama met through Ayers family connections, as well as Obama’s continued commitment to foundations and organizations that want to bring about social justice through wealth redistribution.

Read Part 1, “The Obama-Ayers incestuous money trail.”

Read Part 2, “Obama’s sweetheart-deal home loan”

Order O’Leary’s book exposing Barack Obama, “The Audacity of Deceit.”

Brad O’Leary is the author of “The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama’s War on American Values.” To learn more, go to www.BarackObamaTest.com.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.