Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio
Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio, was listed as a member of a U.S.-based socialist organization, it has emerged.
President Obama himself has been closely tied to the same organization, the Marxist-oriented Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA.
Multiple editions of the socialist group’s official newsletter, the Democratic Left, listed Kilroy as a DSA member in the 1990s and described how other DSA activists helped with her various campaigns. The newsletters were first posted online by Trevor Loudon of the New Zeal blog, a researcher of communism.
Page nine of the socialist group’s official November/December 1992 newsletter listed Kilroy as a member of the DSA.
“In 1991, DSA member Mary Jo Kilroy was elected to the Columbus school board,” reported the DSA publication.
Kilroy served two four-year terms on the Columbus School Board after working in private practice as a lawyer.
Kilroy was also named as a DSA member on page 11 of the DSA’s July/August 1992 newsletter in a report on a DSA national board meeting in Washington, D.C. According to the report, Kilroy participated in the DSA’s high-level board meeting.
“On Sunday morning, participants [in the national board meeting] discussed electoral organizing strategies and tactics with Bob Fitrakis, DSA member and candidate for U.S. Congress; Mary Jo Kilroy, DSA member and Columbus school board member.”
Kilroy later was listed in DSA literature as leading a workshop at the group’s first national conference, “Arguing with the Right.” The event was held Nov. 6-7, 1997, at the Clarion Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with the DSA national convention. Kilroy’s workshop was reportedly titled “Arguing for Public Schools.”
When Kilroy ran for Congress in 2006, her campaign was aided by DSA members, according to DSA literature.
States the winter 2006-2007 DSA newsletter: “Former Representative, now Senator Sherrod Brown is the most visible symbol of this change. … A longtime critic of “free trade” agreements, frequently characterized as far left and out of the mainstream, Brown handily defeated the relatively moderate but free-trade proponent Mike DeWine.
“Trade was also an issue in the narrow loss of Mary Jo Kilroy to Deborah Pryce. Local DSAers worked in both the Brown and Kilroy campaigns.”
Kilroy eventually lost the 2006 election after the counting of absentee ballots and other election recounts.
She had better luck in 2008 in an election in which the DSA says it campaigned from the outside on her behalf.
“In Columbus, Ohio, DSA members campaigned for both Obama and congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy, who, after a suspenseful count of provisional ballots was declared the winner in December, raising the Democrats’ majority in the House to 257,” reports the DSA’s winter 2008 newsletter.
Since her election, Kilroy has not been without controversy.
She has taken heat from pro-Israel groups for signing a petition from J Street, a controversial group that markets itself as pro-Israel but is highly critical of the Jewish state.
Kilroy also signed a letter to Obama urging the scaling back of Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel allows humanitarian aid into Gaza by land but imposes a naval blockade it says is necessary to ensure Hamas does not obtain weapons shipments that come in by sea.
Kilroy was also the subject of some heated blog posts when it emerged that Asma Mobin-Uddin, a pediatrician and president of the Ohio chapter of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, donated $250 to her campaign.
Obama connected to socialist group
Top Democratic Socialists of America members have been closely linked for years to Obama.
Obama himself spoke at a forum organized by the group at the University of Chicago in early 1996 called “Employment and Survival in Urban America.”
Quentin Young, considered the father of the U.S. single-payer health-care movement, is a longtime Democratic Socialists of America activist. Young has had a relationship with Obama, particularly in the 1990s, when he reportedly advised Obama on health care.
Young was reportedly present at a 1995 meeting at the home of former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, who was said to have launched Obama’s political career.
Young has been active in Chicago socialist circles and was previously accused of membership in a communist group. In 1992, Chicago’s branch of the Democratic Socialists of America awarded Young, a member, with their highest honor – the Debs Award.
In a 2008 article in the official Communist Party USA magazine, Young noted Obama previously expressed support for a single-payer universal health-care program, although he later waffled when asked about his position.
As an Illinois state senator representing a mostly black district on the South Side of Chicago, Obama publicly supported universal health care. He also co-sponsored the Bernardin Amendment, which did not pass but would have amended the Illinois State Constitution to add health care to the list of basic rights for residents.
Meanwhile, Obama spoke at the March 29, 1998, memorial service for Chicago Democratic Socialists of America member Saul Mendelson.
Timuel Black, a member activist, mediated political disputes on behalf of Obama in the 1990s and was reportedly involved in Obama’s campaign committee during his successful 2004 Senate race.
Longtime member activist Arnold Wolf was a member of “Rabbis for Obama” and has held fundraisers in his home for Obama, including a function in 1995 that was aimed at introducing Obama to the Hyde Park activist community.
Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, has been honored by Democratic Socialists of America. During the most recent presidential campaign, Medina served on Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council.
WND reported Medina, speaking at a 2009 Washington, D.C., conference, declared granting citizenship to millions of illegal aliens would expand the progressive electorate and help ensure a progressive governing coalition for the long term.
Working within Democratic Party
As WND was first to report, the DSA has been closely linked to the Democratic party, in particular to the party’s Progressive Caucus.
Until 1999, the website of the Progressive Caucus was hosted by the DSA. Following an expose of the link between the two organizations in a WND column by Joseph Farah, the Progressive Caucus established its own website under the auspices of Congress.
The Democratic Socialists of America’s chief organizing goal is to work within the Democratic Party and remove the stigma attached to “socialism” in the eyes of most Americans.
“Stress our Democratic Party strategy and electoral work,” explains an organizing document of the DSA. “The Democratic Party is something the public understands, and association with it takes the edge off. Stressing our Democratic Party work will establish some distance from the radical subculture and help integrate you to the milieu of the young liberals.”
Nevertheless, as WND reported, the goal of the DSA has never been deeply hidden. Prior to the cleanup of its website in 1999, the DSA included a song list featuring “The Internationale,” the worldwide anthem of communism and socialism.
Another song on the site was “Red Revolution,” sung to the tune of “Red Robin.” The lyrics went: “When the Red Revolution brings its solution along, along, there’ll be no more lootin’ when we start shootin’ that Wall Street throng. …”
Another song removed after WND’s expose was “Are You Sleeping, Bourgeoisie?” The lyrics went: “Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie. And when the revolution comes, We’ll kill you all with knives and guns, Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie.”
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott