Activist recalls president’s time with radical Chicago political group
Posted: August 23, 2009
4:27 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Excerpt from New Party publication (Courtesy New Zeal blog)
JERUSALEM – President Obama participated in a controversial 1990s political party with a socialist agenda, recalls a major member of the organization known as the New Party.
WND previously reported on newspaper evidence showing Obama was a member of the New Party, which sought to elect members to public office with the aim of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a new political party with a socialist agenda.
Now a former top member of the New Party recounted in a WND e-mail interview Obama’s participation with his organization.
“A subcommittee met with (Obama) to interview him to see if his stand on the living wage and similar reforms was the same as ours,” recalled Marxist activist Carl Davidson.
“We determined that our views on these overlapped, and we could endorse his campaign in the Democratic Party,” Davidson said.
Davidson was a Chicago member and activist within the New Party. He told WND he handled some of the New Party member databases and attending most of the party’s meetings.
Davidson is also a notorious far-left activist and former radical national leader in the anti-Vietnam movement. He served as national secretary for the infamous Students of a Democratic Society antiwar group, from which the Weatherman domestic terrorist organization later splintered.
Davidson remembers Obama attending one New Party meeting to thank attendees for voting for him.
Davidson said that to his knowledge Obama was not a member of the New Party “in any practical way” – using qualifying language.
Becoming a New Party member requires some effort on behalf of the politician. Candidates must be approved by the party’s political committee and, once approved, must sign a contract mandating they will have a “visible and active relationship” with the party.
Asked whether Obama signed the New Party contract, Davidson replied there was “no need for him to do so.”
“At the end of our session with him, we simply affirmed there was no need to do so, because on all the key points, the stand of his campaign and the New Party reform planks were practically the same,” Davidson told WND.
Davidson denied the New Party was specifically a socialist party, claiming, “The vast majority of active members were low- and middle-income blacks in the inner city fighting for their immediate demands.”
But 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 like 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] -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.
Obama attended several DSA events and meetings, including a DSA-sponsored town hall meeting Feb. 25, 1996, entitled “Employment and Survival in Urban America.” He sought and received an endorsement from the DSA.
Asked by WND whether he thinks Obama has socialist leanings, Davidson stated, “The truth is that Obama was and is a liberal Democrat and an Alinskyist community organizer – which if you know much about Alinsky, is just militant liberalism.”
“Obama was never a man of the left, either in his views or in being a member of an actual socialist organization,” added Davidson.
While running for the Illinois state Senate in 1996 as a Democrat, Obama actively sought and received the endorsement of the New Party, according to confirmed reports during last year’s presidential campaign.
The New Party worked alongside the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. The New Party’s aim was to help elect politicians who espoused its policies.
Among New Party members was linguist and radical activist Noam Chomsky.
Obama’s campaign last year denied the then-presidential candidate was ever an actual member of the New Party.
But the New Zeal blog dug up print copies of the New Party News, the party’s official newspaper, which show Obama posing with New Party leaders, listing him as a New Party member and printing quotes from him as a member.
Barack Obama pictured in New Party publication (Courtesy New Zeal blog)
The party’s spring 1996 newspaper boasted: “New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary).
The paper quoted Obama saying, “These victories prove that small ‘d’ democracy can work.”
The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.
New Ground, the newsletter of Chicago’s Democratic Socialists of America, reported in its July/August 1996 edition that Obama attended a New Party membership meeting April 11, 1996, in which he expressed his gratitude for the group’s support and “encouraged NPers (New Party members) to join in his task forces on voter education and voter registration.”
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 went defunct in 1998, one year after fusion was halted by the Supreme Court.
According to DSA documents, the New Party worked with ACORN to promote its candidates. ACORN, convicted in massive, nationwide voter fraud cases, has been a point of controversy for Obama over the presidential candidate’s ties to the group.
In 1995, the DSA’s New Ground newsletter stated, “In Chicago, the New Party’s biggest asset and biggest liability is ACORN.
“Like most organizations, ACORN is a mixed bag,” the newsletter said. “On one hand, in Chicago, ACORN is a group that attempts to organize some of the most depressed communities in the city. Chicago organizers for ACORN and organizers for SEIU Local 880 have been given modest monthly recruitment quotas for new New Party members. On the other hand, like most groups that depend on canvassing for fundraising, it’s easy enough to find burned out and disgruntled former employees. And ACORN has not had the reputation for being interested in coalition politics – until recently and, happily, not just within the New Party.”
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