Polls show most African-American voters will be casting their ballots for Barack Obama on November 4. The first opportunity to elect a black person as president is tempting. But black Americans will be paying a price, and Obama’s record gives a clear indication of what that price will be. Obama and his cronies have a long record of profiting from funds intended to aid black people. The intended beneficiaries have nothing to show for it other than Obama’s political ascent.
The Boston Globe on June 27 exposed the thousands of so-called affordable housing units built cheaply in Chicago by developers backed by Illinois and federal tax subsidies championed by Barack Obama. Sewage flows through many units; others are burned out with roofs caving in. Due to neglect by owners tied to the Obama campaign, many have been slated for demolition.
Dual U.S.-Syrian citizen Tony Rezko — an early-money fundraiser who bundled as much as $200,000 for Obama’s campaigns — rehabbed hundreds of “affordable” housing units in and around Obama’s State Senate district and then refused to manage them. Rezko is now facing sentencing on several federal felony counts of soliciting bribes, fraud, and money laundering. His units now face demolition.
Valerie Jarrett is a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is also CEO of Habitat Co. — managers of two large Chicago affordable housing developments, including 504 units at Grove Parc in Obama’s district. Both properties have been seized by the federal government and are so run-down that they may face demolition. The Globe identifies four other developers tied to the Obama campaign who profited from state and federal subsidies and then allowed the rehabbed buildings to rapidly decay leaving residents to fend off mice and wade through sewage.
According to the Globe:
Some of the residents of Grove Parc say they are angry that Obama did not notice their plight. . . . Many of the tenants have been his constituents for more than a decade. “No one should have to live like this, and no one did anything about it,” said Cynthia Ashley, who has lived at Grove Parc since 1994. . . .
As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a U.S. senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.
The six developers personally contributed over $175,000 to Obama’s various campaigns and bundled much more.
Rezko also stole affirmative action benefits. Arab American Media Services reports:
In 1997, Panda Express won the right to open a lucrative concession at O’Hare International Airport under the city’s minority set-aside program which directs large contracts to companies owned by women, African-Americans, or Hispanics. The city awarded a 10-year contract for O’Hare Airport to Crucial Inc. in 1999, which the city believed was owned by an African-American, Jabir Herbert Muhammad, the son of the late Elijah Mohammad.
Elijah Mohammad led the Nation of Islam until his death in 1975. Jabir Herbert Muhammad was sued in 1999 by boxer Muhammad Ali for unauthorized use of his name in connection with the Muhammad Ali Foundation. Rezko served as executive director of the foundation.
Michele Obama is also in on the game. Her $317,000-per-year public relations job involves making the University of Chicago Hospital look good in the media. But Michelle didn’t stop there. She spearheaded an effort to steer poor black patients away from her fancy hospital and into local clinics.
According to the Washington Post on August 21:
Primary-care doctors opposed [Michelle Obama's plan] as a break with the center’s commitment to the community. Opinion research showed that a small but passionate group of people already considered the hospital to be elitist, arrogant, and lacking in “cultural empathy” for the surrounding economically depressed South Side neighborhood, according to a draft report obtained by the Washington Post. Some doctors in focus groups dismissed local health clinics as “wholly inadequate.” . . .
Quentin Young, the South Side physician, described the medical center’s level of charity spending [on indigent care] as “ludicrous.” Young, known in Chicago for having been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal physician, is chairman of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a Chicago-based nonprofit that advocates health care reform. Young considered himself an ally of Barack Obama while he was a state legislator.
“That’s shameful,” Young said of the percentages. “They are arguably, if not defrauding, then at least taking advantage of a public subsidy. We would like to see them give more than the minimum. The need is there.”
Also advising the hospital on how to keep out poor black people — David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist. The medical center’s chairwoman? Slum property manager Valerie Jarrett.
Barack Obama’s one and only example of executive experience is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Bill Ayers co-wrote the grant request which netted $150 million from the Annenberg Foundation. Barack Obama was selected as chairman of the board. Together they doled out $150 million for education-related projects from 1995 to 1999. The money went to dozens of activists who are very skilled at pointing to the conditions of life in black communities and using those conditions as a justification to receive grant money. Mike Klonsky, formerly general secretary of the pro-Beijing Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), got several large grants for his Small Schools Workshop, an Ayers project.
Investigative journalist Stanley Kurtz explains on September 23:
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the “small schools” movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to “confront issues of inequity, war, and violence.” He believes teacher education programs should serve as “sites of resistance” to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC-funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his Teaching Toward Freedom, is to “teach against oppression,” against America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
Assessments by the Annenberg Foundation and an outside agency concluded that the Challenge was largely a failure at improving student achievement. But it was a huge success at disbursing funds to Ayers’ and Klonsky’s radical cronies.
Ayers’ is not the only radical leftist getting rich at the expense of the public. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass on October 11 describes how Obama mentor Richard Daley is supporting 60s radicals “the Chicago way.” Marilyn Katz, the SDS’s “chief of security” (i.e. operations) during the 1968 DNC riots, is now a PR maven for Obama’s campaign. Katz, already fat and happy with lots of city business, just landed $5 million in new PR contracts with the city of Chicago — even as Mayor Daley lays off 1,000 city workers, many of them black.
Many point to Obama’s roots as a Saul Alinsky organizer. But less recognized are the Alinsky organizing methods which form the basis for the Daley Machine. The Daley-Alinsky connection was described by Hillary Clinton in her 1969 senior thesis (p. 22).
Activists screaming “racism” actually played a key role in victimizing black would-be homeowners in the subprime mortgage scam. The left once protested against so-called “predatory lenders” exploiting financially unsophisticated inner-city homeowners. But when ACORN — at Obama’s behest — intervened at regulatory reviews of banks, they switched sides and began using their leverage to pressure the bankers to lend money to borrowers who had no ability to repay.
The push at the bottom was matched at the top. The Congressional Black Caucus and key Obama advisers — including former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines and Fannie Mae Chairman Jim Johnson — all used carrots and sticks to force banks to steer more and more subprime loans to borrowers unable to repay. The LA Times reports on September 9 that Obama is the top recipient of political donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives.
The result: housing prices were artificially inflated and many black people who were conned into borrowing to pay the inflated prices are now losing their homes. Others conned into taking out unnecessary mortgages could lose homes they once owned free and clear. Now many black neighborhoods are full of abandoned repos. The foreclosed former homeowners will have credit ratings even worse than before and their jobs may be at risk as the effects of the housing crisis shake Wall Street and Main Street alike.
Hard-hit by abandoned repo houses, the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in July filed suit (pdf) against many of the key players in the subprime crisis. According to PBS’s Bill Moyers, “The city contends that Cleveland’s high foreclosure rate was ‘the only possible result of flooding the local market with subprime mortgages.’”
Most rising political stars like to point to their achievements while making the case for higher office. Obama is silent on the treatment of residents of his home district but his record speaks volumes. Obama’s system is designed to reward activists directly at the expense of those they pretend to represent. While the residents of Obama’s former State Senate District 13 wade through sewage and chase away rats, Obama’s tony Hyde Park neighborhood is a comfy nest for Ayers and many other beneficiaries of Obama’s system. The current financial crisis hints at the price which will be paid by African-Americans and all Americans if Obama’s system is adopted on a national scale.