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Chicago Annenberg Challenge 

In 1995 Barack Obama 
was appointed as the first Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), a “school reform organization” founded by his longtime friend and political ally Bill Ayers, who today is a professor of education at theUniversity of Illinois. A leader of the homegrown terrorist group Weatherman during the Vietnam War era, Ayers has written, in his book Teaching Toward Freedom, that his educational objective is to “teach against oppression” as embodied in “America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.”

When National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz in 2008 asked the Obama presidential campaign about the nature of Obama’s connection to Ayers and CAC, the campaign issued a statement claiming that Ayers had not been involved in the “recruitment” of Obama to the CAC board in 1995. But when Kurtz 
reviewed the CAC archives at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he found that Ayers in fact had been one of five members of a working group that assembled the initial CAC board which hired Obama.

“Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit,” Kurtz 
wrote in September 2008. “No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.” According to Kurtz, the CAC archives show that Obama and Ayers worked as a team to advance the foundation's agenda -- with Obama responsible for fiscal matters while Ayers focused on shaping educational policy. The archived documents further reveal that Ayers served as an ex-officio member of the board that Obama chaired through CAC's first year; that Ayers served with Obama on the CAC governance committee; and that Ayers worked with Obama to write CAC’s bylaws.

A September 2008 WorldNetDaily report 
offers still more details: “Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Obama. Ayers also spoke for the Chicago School Reform Collaborative before Obama's board, while Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the collaborative … According to the documents, the CAC granted money to far-leftist causes, such as the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which …has done work on behalf of Obama’s presidential campaign.”

WorldNetDaily reports further that “while Obama chaired the board of the CAC, more than $600,000 was granted to an organization founded by Ayers and run by Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist. Klonsky was leader of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, which was effectively recognized by China as the all-but-official U.S. Maoist party.”


Key Resources:

Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools
By Stanley Kurtz
September 23, 2008

Profile of the Massive Waste of Money Known as the Annenberg Challenge
By Patrick J. Reilly
March 1998


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