Obama’s Challenge Explained

In mid-September, I wrote about Barack Obama’s leadership of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and why it that experiment was a phenominal waste of taxpayer and foundation resources.

I say taxpayer resources, because the Annenberg funds were tax free, and the matching funds given to the Chicago Better Schools Foundation were tax free.  Tax revenues for $110M were removed from the public treasury for failed ideas about reforming education.  If most of that cash came from top tier earners at a 28% rate, then Obama’s experiement cost you and me  $30M.

The records of what the Chicago Annenberg Challenge funded were hidden until just recently.  It says that during his 7 years running that fund, Obama funded a number of questionable initiatives.

  • In 2001, he had The Woods Fund of Chicago give $75k to ACORN.
  • In 2001, the fund gave $6k to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ “for special purposes”
  • The fund gave $60k to the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, which was founded and run by Bernardine Dohrn, the wife of 70s radical William Ayers.
  • That year they gave $50k to the Small Schools Network, which was also founded by Ayers, and run by Michael Klonsky, a friend of Ayers’ and the former chairman of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), an offshoot of the 1960s radical group Students for a Democratic Society
  • It gave $40,000 to the Arab American Action Network, which critics have accused of being anti-Semitic.

My concern is that Obama has a history of taking public funds to try questionable proposals, often with negligible or even onerous results.  If he makes it to the Presidency, I hope we won’t see the same there, but I don’t believe he can change that pattern.

Is this a “better history”?

Background:  FoxNews


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