Monday, October 20, 2008

New Zeal Files

The Internet is a wonderful reflection of the real world, covering all and what not, from cookie recipes to historical background information about Chicago Machine politics, the birthplace of the Obama candidacy. The winning maroon formula may have been inspired by the culinary efforts of someone's great-grandmother from Wasila; the historical nugget on Chicago politics may just as likely stem from Kiwi, New Zealand.

You'll love the insider details, along the lines of 'this instrument is not a spanner, it is a wrench'. Likewise, we aren't Communist, we're Marxist ... well, never mind ... we'll be quoting extensively from three of New Zeal's research files, 36, 37 and 38:

"Obama File 36 How Socialist Was Obama's "New Party"?"

There has been a big buzz on the blogospere since US mega-blog Powerline picked up on evidence proving that Barack Obama was, in the mid '90s, a member of a short-lived socialist organisation, the Chicago New Party. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which also endorsed Obama that year and to which the Senator has longstanding and ongoing ties, has also been dragged into the fray.The Obama camp has countered in two ways.

Firstly-claiming that while Obama was endorsed by the New Party he was never a member. That lie is easily disposed of. Here is a photo of Obama and other New Party members, including Danny K. Davis (centre) from the front page of New Party News, Spring 1996. Page 2 includes this paragraph (...)

"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)..."these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work' said Obama".

Secondly-supporters claim that the New Party was not actually socialist. Long time Obama associate and former Chicago New Party activist Carl Davidson has posted this statement on several blogs.

The New Party in Chicago was never a socialist party. DSA in Chicago had little to do with it in any practical way. It was a pragmatic party of ’small d democracy’ mainly promoting economic reforms like the living wage and testing the fusion tactic, common in many countries but only operational in New York in the US. The main trend within it was ACORN, an Alinskyist outfit, which is hardly Marxist. Most socialist left groups either ignored it or opposed it, even if a few of their members took part in it. That’s the truth of the matter.

This is so far from the truth. The New Party was the creation of DSA and the radical community organisation ACORN-which was in itself something of a DSA front. In some areas the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was involved, but in Chicago the CPUSA splinter group Committees of Correspondence (CoC) was more prominent. Carl Davidson is well aware that Marxists set up the Chicago New Party because he was one of them.

From Chicago DSA's New Ground of March/April 1995 (...) Carl Davidson wanted to focus on "voting patterns." ...To win elections, Davidson emphasized that there are two necessary coinciding factors. First, a passive majority... Secondly, a militant minority...

Davidson emphasized that in this historical period the Left's strategy must be electoral politics not revolution. Consequently the Left must galvanize the "majority" - the working class and poor... Moreover the democratic left needs get active in the New Party which has won 20 of 30 local elections. Thus a short-term strategy of working with the Democratic Party and in the long-term work with the New Party. (...)
If that's not clear enough I quote from Chicago DSA's New Ground of September/October 1995

The political entourage included Alderman Michael Chandler, William Delgado, chief of staff for State Rep Miguel del Valle, and spokespersons for State Sen. Alice Palmer, Sonya Sanchez, chief of staff for State Sen. Jesse Garcia, who is running for State Rep in Garcia's District; and Barack Obama, chief of staff for State Sen. Alice Palmer. Obama is running for Palmer's vacant seat...Although ACORN and SEIU Local 880 were the harbingers of the NP there was a strong presence of CoC and DSA (15% DSA)... Four political candidates were "there" seeking NP support."

Obama's 1996 New Party running mate, Danny K Davis was elected to the US Congress as a Democrat-the highest office won by a New Party candidate. (...) Carl Davidson is right in that the Chicago New Party was not OPENLY socialist. It was designed a vehicle for socialists to infiltrate leftist candidates into positions of power through the Democratic Party.

So Chicago New Party was socialist dominated, but what about nationally?

I have in my possession an undated New Party document from 1995 or 1996 entitled "Who's Building the New Party?"

It lists approximately one hundred

"community leaders, organizers, unionists, retirees, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP."

Those listed include (ed. lists a number of the Leftist intelligentsia, amongst whom Postmodernism's essential protagonist Noam Chomsky) Is there a pattern here?

While the New Party helped launch Obama's political career, the connections did not end there. (...) In August 2006 several former Weather Underground terrorists, including Ayers and Dohrn, joined leaders of DSA, CPUSA and CoC to form a new organisation-Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS). Several former New Party leaders joined the MDS board including Noam Chomsky, Carl Davidson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher and since January 2007, chairman Manning Marable. (...) Early this year MDS board members Davidson, Ehrenreich and Fletcher joined with former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) leader Tom Hayden and DSA linked actor/activist Danny Glover to form a satellite organisation, Progressives for Obama (PFO) (...) Progressives for Obama stated it can help the Illinois senator's ascent to highest office by contributing funds, using the Internet to reach "millions of swing voters;" defending Obama against negative attacks and making its agenda known at the Democratic National Convention.

"Progressives can make a difference in close primary races like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon and Puerto Rico, and in the November general election," the founders state.


The PFO website carries a long list of endorsers, many of whom are from DSA, CoC, SDS or the Weathermen (...) Is this all just coincidence?

Or are the same socialists who supported Obama in his 1996 State Senate race now trying to put their man into the White House? (...) >>>


"Obama File 37 Obama's Mentor, Frank Marshall Davis- Was He Still a Communist?"

Since New Zeal first publicised the connection, the late communist poet Frank Marshall Davis's relationship to Barack Obama has been the subject of thousands of articles, blog posts and talk back calls.


Obama's apologists first attempted to minimise the Obama/Davis relationship. As evidence mounted however, it became apparent that Davis was indeed a mentor to Obama. The relationship lasted from 1970 when Obama was ten until he left Hawaii for college on the mainland at age 18.

Next the Obamaphiles tried to minimise Davis's communism, portraying him as a benevolent civil rights activist and therefore, if anything, a positive influence on the young Obama.

Some have acknowledged that Davis did indeed briefly join the Communist Party in Chicago in the 1940s, but all that was well behind him by the time he met the young Obama.

As is common with Obama, the truth is distinct from the appearance.

Information from Davis's 601 page FBI file reveals that Davis (born 1905) became interested in the Communist Party as far back as 1931.

Certainly from the mid/late '30s to the early '40s Davis was involved in several Communist Party fronts including the the National Negro Congress, the League of American Writers, the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties and the Civil Rights Congress

The FBI first began tracking Davis in 1944 when they identified him as member of the Communist Party's Dorie Miller Club in Chicago-card number 47544.

Davis taught courses at the party controlled Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago and attended meetings of the party's Cultural Club until he left for Hawaii in 1948.

In Hawaii Davis became a columnist for a union financed, communist controlled newspaper, the Honolulu Record.

Despite going underground in 1950, the Hawaiian CP was one of the most dynamic in the US at the time. The mainland put huge resources into the Hawaiian party because the Soviets wanted the US military presence on the islands shut down. The Hawaiian CP was charged with agitating against the US military bases at every opportunity. Several times the FBI observed Davis photographing obscure Hawaiian beaches-possibly for espionage purposes. (...) The FBI monitored Davis for at least 19 years. They marked him down for immediate arrest should war break out between the US and the Soviet Union-an honour reserved only for the most dangerous subversives. (...) When Obama decided to go to Chicago in 1983 to become a "community organiser" he was inspired by that year's election of Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington.

A long time friend of the Chicago Communist Party, Washington would have almost certainly known Frank Marshall Davis from his post-War student days.

It would be interesting to know if Frank Marshall Davis ever told the young Obama about Harold Washington and his leftist connections.

What connection did Obama have to Chicago other than his boyhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis? >>>


"Obama File 38 Barack Obama, Frank Marshall Davis, Vernon Jarrett-One Degree of Separation"

Why did Barack Obama move to Chicago? Why did he choose a city famous for its corruption and distrust of outsiders as a launching pad for his political career? Did Obama's boyhood mentor, life long communist Frank Marshall Davis influence that choice? Obama admits he was inspired to first move to Chicago in 1983 by the election of the city's first black mayor Harold washington. Frank Marshall Davis had lived in Chicago for many years until moving to Hawaii in 1948. He had been active in Chicago's post War Communist Party while Harold Washington was a left leaning young law student. Had the two ever met? Possibly not, but there was only one degree of seperation. (...)

Harold Washington defeated the Daley machine to win the mayoralty backed by a coalition led by Chicago's Communist Party and the local branch of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). (...) Washington was close to Chicago DSA, which in turn went on to endorse Barack Obama during his 1995/96 illinois State Senate race. (...) The Chicago Communist Party was right behind Harold Washington, just as they later supported his "proxy protoge" Barack Obama. (...)

I quote from remarks by Illinois Communist Party organiser John Bachtell to a "Special District Meeting on African American Equality and Building the Communist Party and Young Communist League, Chicago", IL September 30, 2007

(...) The African American community, and especially trade unionists have played a crucial role in the struggle to defeat the ultra right. This includes massive voter turnout in election after election, but also the swing state mobilizations in 2004.

This was also reflected in the historic election of Barack Obama. Our Party actively supported Obama during the primary election. Once again Obama’s campaign reflected the electoral voting unity of the African American community, but also the alliances built with several key trade unions, and forces in the Latino and white communities.

It also reflected a breakthrough among white voters. In the primary, Obama won 35% of the white vote and 7 north side wards, in a crowded field. During the general election he won every ward in the city and all the collar counties. This appeal has continued in his presidential run.

Chicago Communist Party member and pro-Obama activist Pepe Lozano quoted black trade unionist Elwood Flowers in this February 23rd 2008 article from the Peoples Daily World.

The movement to elect Barack Obama today is almost identical to Washington’s, but nationwide, said Flowers. “Our members wanted to be involved in the political process, similar to people today for Obama,” said Flowers.

“What Obama can do for the country will help all communities including providing jobs and health care. And the number one issue is stopping the Iraq war, which is draining our economic resources. If those things bear fruit, then they will benefit all working-class communities,” he added. (...)

In 1992 Barack Obama worked for the ACORN offshoot Project Vote to register black voters in aid of the Senate Campaign of Carol Moseley Braun. Unsurprisingly Moseley Braun had strong Communist Party and DSA ties and was Harold Washington's legislative floor leader.

Obama helped Moseley Braun win her Senate seat, then took it over himself in 2004-backed of course by the same set that had elected his political "ancestors" Washington and Moseley Braun.

Commenting on the 1992 race Vernon Jarrett wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times of August 11th 1992 (...) If Project Vote is to reach its goal of registering 150,000 out of an estimated 400,000 unregistered blacks statewide, "it must average 10,000 rather than 7,000 every week," says Barack Obama, the program's executive director... (...)

Valerie Jarrett [daughter-in-law of legendary journalist of the black run newspaper Chicago Defender, who died in 2004] is a close friend of both Barack and Michelle Obama. Jarrett met Barack Obama when she hired Michelle to work with her in Mayor Daley’s City Hall. Valerie Jarrett ran the finances for Obama’s 2004 Senate bid and served as treasurer of Obama's HOPEFUND. According to Take Political Action May 24th 2008;

"She’s always been the other side of Barack’s brain.” That’s how an Obama insider described Valerie Jarrett as an Obama campaign aide announced Thursday night the former CTA chief and current Habitat Co. CEO is taking on a larger role to help her close friend win his White House bid.

The development comes as Jarrett, a charter member of Sen. Barack Obama’s kitchen cabinet, has been formalizing her portfolio and stepping up the pace within the past few weeks as a top advisor within the campaign.

Though she will be part-time, Jarrett will be one of the most visible and powerful African-Americans in the top rungs of the Obama operation...


Valerie Jarrett has been tipped for a top post in an Obama administration.

Did this all start with an almost forgotten communist poet named Frank Marshall Davis? >>>

Read it all on New Zeal >>>

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