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Thread: Scholar takes on U. of Illinois in fight over papers linked to Barack Obama

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    Default Scholar takes on U. of Illinois in fight over papers linked to Barack Obama

    August 19, 2008

    Conservative Scholar Takes On U. of Illinois in Fight Over Papers Linked to Obama

    Stanley Kurtz suspects that the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is playing down his ties to the radical left. The conservative scholar just can’t prove it.

    That’s because the University of Illinois at Chicago, which houses the papers of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge — a defunct education foundation with ties to both Mr. Obama and the former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers — won’t let him see the papers.

    Mr. Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, says the university initially said he could review the records, but then revoked the permission just before he left for Chicago, explaining that portions of the files were restricted. When Mr. Kurtz suggested that the restricted documents be removed from the files, he was told that the donor had informed the university that it did “not have a signed deed of gift,” and therefore had no legal right to release the documents, he recounts in an article in the National Review.

    Ultimately he was allowed to peruse only a single folder from the records. In the article, Mr. Kurtz speculates that Mr. Ayers, a longtime professor of education at the college, may have been the interfering donor. He asks readers to write to the president of the University of Illilnois system demanding that he release the donor’s identity and make the records public.

    “Not only would these files illuminate the working relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, they would also provide significant insight into a web of ties linking Obama to various radical organizations,” he writes.

    Campaign U.: Conservative Scholar Takes On U. of Illinois in Fight Over Papers Linked to Obama - Chronicle.com

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    conservative and "scholar" don't go together. How can you be a scholar and yet have your mind closed to new ideas because they might disrupt the status quo?

    I want to see this guy's credentials.

    AHAHAHAHA THOUGHT SO!


    The Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), founded in 1976, was a leading player in the early effort to discredit the secular humanist tradition in the United States. The center is one of several institutes and programs established by neoconservatives to promote an increased role of religion in public policy. These include the Institute on Religion and Democracy and the Institute on Religion and Public Life, as well as the religious freedom program at the American Enterprise Institute.

    The EPPC says its mission is "to clarify and reinforce the bond between the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and the public debate over domestic and foreign policy issues." The center sponsors conferences, publishes books and reports, and provides the media with policy analysis relating to its research programs. It operates a dozen programs that mix politics with religion: America's Enemies; Bioethics and American Democracy; Catholic Studies; The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture; Economics and Ethics; Evangelicals in Civic Life; Foreign Policy; Islam and American Democracy; Jewish Studies; Religion and the Media; Science, Technology, and Society; and South Asian Studies and Religious Nationalism.



    A fraud organization for idiots. He's no more a 'scholar' than I am.
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    Barack Obama records sealed at Illinois

    Posted August 20, 2008 9:30 AM
    University of Illinois education professor and school reform activist Bill Ayers during a panel discussion at a conference on racisim at the Field Museum Saturday, September 16, 2000. (Photo for the Tribune by Peter Thompson)

    by Mark Silva

    The University of Illinois has refused to release records related to Sen. Barack Obama's service for a nonprofit educational project that put him in contact with activist William Ayers, a 1960s-era radical and now education professor.

    The university's Chicago campus maintains that the donor of the records that document the work of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge has not handed over ownership rights. The university says it is "aggressively pursuing" an agreement with the donor, and as soon as an agreement is reached, the collection will be made accessible to the public. The university has not identified the donor.

    The Obama campaign says the senator does not have control over these records or the ability to release them, adding that it has made many documents related to Obama's life available to the public and that "we are pleased the university is pursuing an agreement that would make these records publicly available."

    The National Review this week posted an article online saying that the institution had initially deemed the records open to inspection, but that the university subsequently reversed its position. Tuesday, the university said that there had been a misunderstanding.

    Ayers is an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In his youth, he co-founded the Weatherman organization, later known as the Weather Underground Organization, which espoused violence in the pursuit of political change.

    In the 1990s, Ayers was instrumental in starting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was awarded nearly $50 million by a foundation to help reform Chicago schools. Obama was the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and Republicans have been attempting to underscore his ties to Ayers.

    "The donor's only concerns regarding the collection are due to personnel information that could include names, confidential salary information and even Social Security numbers," a spokesman for the university said. Spokesman Bill Burton, no relation to an Obama spokesman of the same name, said he could not identify the owner.

    Obama served as board chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge for three years starting in 1995 and remained on the board until the project closed in 2001. The $49.2 million was the largest private gift ever made to Chicago schools. The money went to 250 schools.

    The Associated Press provided this report.

    Barack Obama records sealed at Illinois: The Swamp

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    University won't open Obama-related records now

    By PETE YOST – 22 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The University of Illinois on Tuesday refused to release records relating to Barack Obama's service to a nonprofit group linked to former 1960s radical activist William Ayers.

    The university's Chicago campus said the donor of the records that document the work of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge has not yet turned over ownership rights to the material.

    The university is "aggressively pursuing" an agreement with the donor, and as soon as an agreement is finalized, the collection will be made accessible to the public, the university said in a one-paragraph statement.

    There was no indication when an agreement will be worked out. The university did not identify the donor who it said was concerned that the release not invade personal privacy.

    The Obama campaign said the senator does not have control over these records or the ability to release them, adding that it has made many documents related to Obama's life available to the public and that "we are pleased the university is pursuing an agreement that would make these records publicly available."

    On Monday, the National Review magazine posted an online article saying that the institution had initially declared that the records were open to inspection, but that the university subsequently reversed its position.

    On Tuesday, the university said that there had been a misunderstanding about the status of the collection.
    Ayers is an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who in his youth co-founded the Weatherman organization, later known as the Weather Underground Organization, which espoused violence as a necessity for political change.

    In the 1990s, Ayers was instrumental in starting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was awarded nearly $50 million by a foundation to help reform Chicago schools.

    Obama was the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Republicans have been highlighting his ties to Ayers through the group.

    The Republican National Committee posted the National Review article on the RNC's Web site.

    In an interview, university spokesman Bill Burton said that the institution only recently was made aware that it did not have ownership, a requirement for making the collection public.
    The owner notified the university about the absence of a signed ownership agreement last week.

    "The donor's only concerns regarding the collection are due to personnel information that could include names, confidential salary information and even Social Security numbers," said the university spokesman.

    Burton, who has no connection to the Obama campaign spokesman with the same name, said he was not authorized to identify the owner.

    Obama was board chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge for three years starting in 1995 and he remained on the board until the project closed in 2001.

    The $49.2 million was the largest private gift ever made to Chicago schools. The money went to 250 schools in one of the nation's largest school districts.

    During a primary debate in Philadelphia last October, Obama criticized rival Hillary Rodham Clinton over the release of presidential papers from the National Archives. Clinton said at the time that neither she nor husband Bill Clinton could do anything to speed the process of review at the Archives before papers from the Clinton era could become public.

    Obama compared her record of public disclosure of records to that of the Bush administration, saying the country had "just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history."

    In March, edited versions of the former first lady's appointment calendars were publicly released.

    The Associated Press: University won't open Obama-related records now
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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    "a nonprofit educational project" That's pretty radical.

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    More 'Weather' Challenges for Obama

    Stanley Kurtz is an unhappy camper. And he's unhappy because he's been denied access to files that may fill in the blanks surrounding the relationship between Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama in his association with a known terrorist, William Ayers.

    According to Obama and Ayers, there is simply no story. They both sat on a foundation together, they've had passing acquaintance through the years, but there is no "relationship." If that's the case, then why are there files relating to the Obama and Ayers connection that are not viewable at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois, Chicago? That's what Kurtz wants to know in his article in National Review, detailing his pursuit of a story that supposedly "isn't there," but very much seems to be, in that there is such large evidence of a cover-up going on surrounding the relationship between Obama and Ayers.

    Unfortunately, I don’t yet have access to the documents. The Special Collections section of the Richard J. Daley Library agreed to let me read them, but just before I boarded my flight to Chicago, the top library officials mysteriously intervened to bar access. Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial. Ayers has long taught at UIC, where the Chicago Annenberg Challenge offices were housed, rent-free. Ayers likely arranged for the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to be housed in the UIC library, and may well have been consulted during my unsuccessful struggle to gain access to the documents. Let me, then, explain in greater detail what the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) records are, and how I have been blocked from seeing them.
    Is there something that the Obama campaign is afraid of the American people seeing? Is there something there that Ayers doesn't want uncovered? What, exactly, is in these files that is such a secret that access to them is being treated with the same scrutiny as official classified governmental documents? It should be noted that these files are being housed at a library, a place that is, by definition, a repository of information that is made available to the public. The government is not in possession of these files.

    So why the secrecy, unless there is something in there that someone doesn't want to be made public?

    Kurtz plans to continue his endeavors for access to these documents. I wish him well, and hope that he can gain access to them. I won't discount, however, the possibility that by the time he is allowed access that there will be things that have been removed, after all of the hooplah surrounding his initial probe into this story.

    More 'Weather' Challenges for Obama - DigitalJournal.com: The Power of Citizen Journalism

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I wouldn't release anything to that idiot Kurtz either. His "organization" is ideologically driven and a total fraud. Digital journal, use some common sense.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    When Daley says shhh, library is quiet on Obama

    Conservative writer Stanley Kurtz—researching an article for the National Review about connections between Barack Obama and former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers—made a big mistake.

    The poor man took a wrong turn on the Chicago Way. Now he's lost.

    Kurtz's research was to be done in a special library run by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The library has 132 boxes full of documents pertaining to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation vested heavily in school reform.

    Kurtz believes the documents may show Obama and Ayers were close—far closer than Obama has acknowledged—over oodles of foundation gifts on education projects the two worked on together.

    First the librarians told Kurtz yes, come look. But by the time Kurtz landed in Chicago, the librarians changed their minds. The donor of the documents hadn't cleared his research. Perhaps they'll let him look at the documents on Nov. 5.

    The relationship between the ambitious Obama and the unrepentant Ayers is a subject that excites Republicans, who haven't really thwacked that pinata as hard as they might. It really irritates Obama and his political champion, Chicago's sovereign lord, Mayor Richard M. Daley.

    "This is a public entity," Kurtz told us Wednesday. "I don't understand how confidentiality of the donor would be an issue."

    You don't understand, Mr. Kurtz? Allow me to explain. The secret is hidden in the name of the library:

    The Richard J. Daley Library.

    Eureka!

    The Richard J. Daley Library doesn't want nobody nobody sent. And Richard J.'s son, Shortshanks, is now the mayor.

    Obama, wearing the reformer's mantle, has generously offered to extend that reform to Washington, even to Kenya, but not Chicago, because he knows Shortshanks would be miffed.

    Ayers, a former left-wing radical accused of inciting riots during the anti-war protests in the 1960s, is now also under Shortshanks' protection. After Ayers finally resurfaced in 1980, he got a job the Chicago Way, as a professor at UIC.

    The Tribune's City Hall reporter, Dan Mihalopoulos, asked Daley on Wednesday if the Richard J. Daley Library should release the documents. Shortshanks didn't like that one. He kept insisting he would be "very frank," a phrase that makes the needles on a polygraph start jumping.

    "Bill Ayers—I've said this—his father was a great friend of my father," the mayor said. "I'll be very frank. Vietnam divided families, divided people. It was a terrible time of our country. People didn't know one another. Since then, I'll be very frank, [Ayers] has been in the forefront of a lot of education issues and helping us in public schools and things like that."

    The mayor expressed his frustrations with outside agitators like Kurtz.

    "People keep trying to align himself with Barack Obama," Daley said. "It's really unfortunate. They're friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he's been making a strong contribution to our community."

    Mr. Kurtz finally got his answer. It should grace the cover of the National Review, with a cartoon of Shortshanks, dressed like a jolly Tudor monarch, holding a tiny Obama in his right paw, a tiny Ayers in his left:

    They're friends. So what?

    Welcome to Chicago, Mr. Kurtz.

    The Republican National Committee lost no time in demanding that Obama personally defy Shortshanks and call for the documents to be released from their dungeon.

    "The American people have a right to know more about Barack Obama's relationship with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers," said RNC spokesman Danny Diaz in a statement. "Will Barack Obama step forward and call on the university to immediately release all the records?"

    No chance, Danny.

    "It leads me to have tremendous fear for the documents," Kurtz said. "What if they are going through them right now and deciding which names to take out? I'm completely alarmed. I think public scrutiny is the only way to save the documents."

    He should be worried. Though national pundits get thrills running up their legs when Obama speaks, it's when Daley says "I'll be very frank" that you've got to worry.

    Kurtz fears "they'll manage to take this all the way past the election."

    You think?

    Even before Shortshanks, when Chicago had a true reform mayor, his freedom of information officer was Clarence McClain, a former pimp with a bad wig who ended up in federal prison for taking bribes. Now that the Daleys run things, forget about it.

    It's obvious that Mr. Kurtz and the National Review didn't have the special Chicago Democratic machine library card:

    The mayor's smiling face on one side. And your voting record on the other.

    jskass@tribune.com

    When Daley says shhh, library is quiet on Obama -- chicagotribune.com

    Shocker! The Daley machine is the dirtiest political machine since Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall.
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    Obama's Lost Annenberg Years Coming to Light

    By Thomas Lifson


    The cloak of media invisibility is slowly beginning to lift from Barack Obama's most important administrative leadership experience, helming an expensive educational reform effort in Chicago that failed to produce any measurable academic gains, according to the project's own final report.


    Add in the fact that former Weatherman and admitted terrorist William Ayers (whom Obama described in the Philadelphia debate as merely a "neighbor") was head of the operating arm of the CAC, working with Obama on distributing scores of millions of dollars to grantees in the wards of the city, and you have a topic that the Obama campaign wishes to avoid at all costs.

    A compliant media has averted its eyes so far. A timeline of Obama's career from George Washington University omits it. Why the McCain campaign has not raised more questions on the subject is a question beyond my pay grade. But there are signs it is on the case.


    The four plus years (1995-1999) Barack Obama spent as founding chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) represent his track record as reformer, as someone who reached out in a public-private collaboration and had the audacity to believe his effort would make things better. At the time he became leader of this ambitious project to remake the public schools of Chicago, he was 33 years old and a third year associate at a small Chicago law firm, Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland.


    This was a big test for him, his chance to cut his teeth on bringing hope and change to the mostly minority inner city school children trapped in Chicago schools. And he flopped big time, squandering lots of money and the time of many public employees in the process.


    Given Senator Obama's lack of any other posts as leader of an organization, someone unschooled in the ways of the American media might expect that for months reporters have been poring over the records of the project to get an idea of how it managed to fail so badly. Examining the track record of the guy who wants to lead the federal government would seem to be part of the campaign beat for media organizations.


    But as a matter of fact, until recently, only a few bloggers were looking into the most important organized effort ever led by Barack Obama, prior to his successful campaigns for public office.


    The Cover-up


    Now, it appears a cover-up is underway, in order prevent journalists and researchers from getting access to the records of this charitable project housed in a taxpayer supported library. And there is a mystery:


    The UIC Library says it is acting on behalf of the donor, whom it refuses to name.


    It took Stanly Kurtz, of National Review Online to ask permission to see the files held by the publicly-funded University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). After initially agreeing, The Richard J. Daley Library withdrew permission. Kurtz writes:


    "The Special Collections section of the Richard J. Daley Library agreed to let me read them, but just before I boarded my flight to Chicago, the top library officials mysteriously intervened to bar access. Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial. Ayers has long taught at UIC, where the Chicago Annenberg Challenge offices were housed, rent-free. Ayers likely arranged for the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to be housed in the UIC library, and may well have been consulted during my unsuccessful struggle to gain access to the documents."

    It is highly unusual and legally questionable for a publicly-funded archive to deny access to records in its collection, particularly when they have a bearing on matters of intense public interest: the qualifications of a man seeking to be Commander in Chief.


    But even if the university manages to stall release of the records until after the election, it is only drawing attention to the project. Already, the nation's mainstream media have taken notice (however imperfectly) of the University's unusual actions, albeit without exploring the subject in any depth yet.


    In the midst of a heated presidential campaign, it is going to be hard to keep this interest in Obama's Annenberg years contained, now that it has surfaced.

    A blogger, Steve Diamond, has put together enough data from public sources to seriously embarrass Obama over the closeness of his association with Ayers in the project, and to describe the wrong-headed and politicized approach taken by the project. Anyone can go to this page and look at the latter half of the very lengthy post to see the data uncovered by this intrepid researcher. At a minimum, it proves that Obama has seriously misled the public about his association with Ayers. And it documents and analyzes some of the complex left wing politics underlying the effort.


    As the public begins to notice this outlines of the history of the CAC presented by Diamond, more questions are bound to be asked.

    The First Cover-up


    Diamond examined public documents, receiving cooperation from the Brown University Library, where the Annenberg Challenge Program national headuarters had been housed. Until, that is, Diamond's requests for further information fell on deaf ears following publication of a post highlighting a grant to one of Ayers' former revolutionary cohorts in the Weathermen. He writes:


    "...while the representative from the university I originally corresponded with had been quite friendly and accommodating prior to my June 23 post, afterwards my additional requests for further information went unanswered. I did not pursue it at the time because I felt I had told a significant part of the story already. Thanks to the diligent work of Dr. Kurtz, however, we now know there is much more to know."

    So the appearance of a cover-up actually began in June.


    If Ayers were the sole point of interest in seeking the Annenberg Challenge files promised to Kurtz, all "132 boxes, containing 947 file folders, a total of about 70 linear feet of material", then the Obama camp might claim it was merely guilt-by association and persuade at least some of its own partisans. But the fact that Obama was in charge of a massive expensive project makes it indisputably a matter of proper vetting to examine his track record at delivering on promises of hope and change.


    The Obama camp has already noted that it does not control the archives at UIC. All well and good, though it would be nice for the candidate to plead with the university and the mystery donor to let the sun shine on his track record. After all, he is a new kind of politician.

    But even if he doesn't, the Annenberg Challenge is slowly entering the national consciousness, and that's very bad news for Barack Obama.

    American Thinker: Obama's Lost Annenberg Years Coming to Light

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    sorry, i can't take any of this seriously considering the source and the person involved with his bullshit "center"
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    I find it ironic that Republicans/Conservatives are trying to make an issue of 'radical' connections Obama had considering that Republicans thrive off of fanning the flames of radical nut jobs/hate groups like Timothy McVeigh who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing.

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    interesting

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    University to release Obama records
    By PETE YOST – 12 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The University of Illinois at Chicago said Friday it is releasing records of Barack Obama's service to a nonprofit organization linked to former 1960s radical William Ayers.

    Supporters of John McCain have been trying to exploit the tie between Obama and Ayers, with a McCain fundraiser donating nearly $2.9 million for an independent ad focusing on Ayers. Ayers' Weatherman group took credit for bombings that included nonfatal blasts at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol four decades ago.

    The records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an organization that Obama chaired and that Ayers co-founded, will be made available to the public Tuesday, UIC said in a statement.

    On Monday, National Review magazine posted an online article saying the university had initially declared that the records were open to inspection but that the university subsequently reversed its position.

    On Tuesday, the university said that there had been a misunderstanding about the status of the collection.

    The unidentified donor of the records notified the university about the absence of a signed ownership agreement last week.

    The donor's only concerns regarding the collection are due to personal information that could include names, confidential salary information and even Social Security numbers, a university spokesman said at the time.

    In its latest statement, the institution said that it now has legal authority to allow public access to the material.

    In the 1990s, Ayers was instrumental in starting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was awarded nearly $50 million by a foundation to help reform Chicago schools. Ayers is now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Obama and Ayers have other ties.

    Ayers held a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama when Obama first ran for office in the mid-1990s. Ayers and Obama live in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

    Ayers and Obama served together on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based charity that develops community groups to help the poor. Obama left the board in December 2002.

    The new ad sponsored by American Issues Project says that Obama and Ayers served together "on a left-wing board. Why would Barack Obama be friends with someone who bombed the Capitol and is proud of it? Do you know enough to elect Barack Obama?"

    According to documents filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission, the ad is being financed by Harold Simmons, a billionaire financier from Texas, who is listed as one of 235 fundraisers who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for McCain's presidential campaign.

    Simmons also was one of the top contributors to Swift Boat Veterans and POWS for Truth, the group that aired ads questioning 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's service in Vietnam. Democrats have blamed those ads for helping George W. Bush defeat Kerry.

    Simmons donated $3 million to the Swift Boat group.

    One of the board members at American Issues Project, Ed Failor Jr., was a paid consultant for McCain's campaign in Iowa last year.

    In April, Obama said he "deplored" Ayers' actions in the 1960s and that "by the time I met him, he is a professor of education at the University of Illinois. We served on a board together that had Republicans, bankers, lawyers, focused on education."

    Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    According to documents filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission, the ad is being financed by Harold Simmons, a billionaire financier from Texas, who is listed as one of 235 fundraisers who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for McCain's presidential campaign.

    Simmons also was one of the top contributors to Swift Boat Veterans and POWS for Truth, the group that aired ads questioning 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's service in Vietnam. Democrats have blamed those ads for helping George W. Bush defeat Kerry.
    Says it all right there. No credibility.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Says it all right there. No credibility.
    Riiighht... kinda like George Soros and MoveOn.org and Code Pink? You are incredibly naive, Grimm, if you believe Soros doesn't have his hands and money in everything Democrats do.

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