William Ayers: Funded by Republicans
The more the McCain campaign tries to tie Barack to William Ayers, the more ridiculous they look. But hey-- at least the economy is doing well!
After his stupid, youthful days with the Weather Underground organization, William Ayers became a normal, productive member of society. After receiving his PhD in the 1980's, he became a professor of education at the University of Illinois, wrote 15 books, and served as an advisor to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. As Daley told the New York Times recently, "He's done a lot of good things in this city and nationally... This is 2008. People make mistakes. You judge a person by his whole life."
In 1995, Bill Ayers was part of a team that helped create the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an education reform project that worked with half of Chicago's public schools. Barack Obama, then working as an attorney and law school professor, was elected chairman of the eight-member board of the CAC. The board included individuals of diverse political backgrounds, including Ray Romero, the President of Ameritech; Stanley Ikenberry, the former President of the University of Illinois; and Republican Arnold Weber, who had served in the Nixon White House.
Arnold Weber-- Republican. Donated to John McCain. Worked with William Ayers
In their best efforts to portray Barack as out of the mainstream, some on the right have tried characterizing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as a dangerous fringe organization. What they do not discuss is the fact that the CAC was funded by a foundation belonging to Walter Annenberg, the billionaire Republican philanthropist who served as Richard M. Nixon's ambassador to the U.K. Annenberg and his wife, Leonore, gave the CAC $50 million in the 90's.
The Annenbergs-- Republicans. Bankrolled William Ayers with $50 million
But Walter and Leonore weren't just giving money to educational foundations started by William Ayers. They were also giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee and various other Republican groups, as well as to a whole host of Republican candidates, including the following:
- George W. Bush $4000
- Mitt Romney $5000
- Strom Thurmond $1000
- Fred Thompson $500
- Rick Santorum $3000
Rick Santorum-- former Republican Senator. Received $3000 from Ayers' backers.
Why would billionaire Republican philanthropists give millions of dollars to a program that was working with William Ayers? Why would George W., Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and all those other Republicans accept money from the people who were funding this William Ayers-associated group? Why won't McCain discuss these connections between the Republican Party and Ayers?
Here's the icing on the cake: just yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release bragging about the fact that Leonore Annenberg has endorsed him for president. Yes, you heard it-- a McCain backer bankrolled William Ayers with millions of dollars.
More icing: You know that Republican Arnold Weber I mentioned earlier? The one that served on the board of the CAC with Barack? Not only did he work with William Ayers in the 90's, he has also donated at least $1000 to the McCain campaign. That's right-- McCain is accepting money from associates of William Ayers, and so far has not given the money back.
I'm feeling a little cheated. Months ago I was promised an October surprise. It's already October 9th, and all I've heard is that Barack knows a guy who's been working with McCain supporters and Republicans since the mid 90's.