The president belonged to a social-democratic third party
By Stanley Kurtz – The National Review – June 25, 2012
In 1996, during his first run for public office, Barack Obama formally joined a leftist third party called the New Party. Its Chicago chapter served as the de facto political arm of the now-defunct group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Ideologically, the New Party sharply differentiated itself from what it took to be the business-dominated Democratic party of Bill Clinton, identifying instead with the social-democratic movements of Europe.
The claim that Obama had been a member of the New Party gained attention from conservatives during the final two weeks of the 2008 campaign, but—even though it rested on considerable evidence—it was never widely reported or discussed in the mainstream press. When I asserted on National Review Online in late October 2008 that Obama had indeed been a member of the New Party, the Obama campaign called my charge a “crackpot smear.” Through its Fight the Smears website, it insisted that its candidate had never been a member, and had “never solicited” the New Party’s endorsement.
Documentary evidence—obtained from ACORN files recently donated to the Wisconsin historical Society—now contradicts this claim, and establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that Barack Obama did solicit the endorsement, and become a member, of the New Party. Like other candidates who received its endorsement, Obama signed a “contract” in which he promised not only to join the group but also to publicly support and associate himself with it while in office.
The minutes of the public meeting of Chicago’s New Party on January 11, 1996, read as follows: “Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party ‘Candidate Contract’ and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.” Consistent with these minutes, a roster of the Chicago chapter jpf the New Party from early 1997 lists Obama as a member, giving January 11,1996, as the date he joined. All evidence now points to an attempt by Obama in 2008 to deceive the American public about this important political affiliation in his past.
Obama’s New Party problem must be seen as part and parcel of his attempts to distance himself from ACORN. During his third debate with John McCain, Obama claimed that the “only” involvement he’d had with ACORN was to represent the group in a lawsuit compelling Illinois to implement the motor-voter law. The ACORN archives clearly contradict him, and provide evidence that he had dealings with ACORN well beyond representing it in a single lawsuit.
Obama told Kelleher that he was “more than happy to be involved” in New Party and Progressive Chicago affairs, while also saying that he would be cautious about anything that might offend regular Democrats. Since the New Party intended to make frequent use of the tactic of “fusion” (endorsement of select progressive candidates running on the Democratic-party line), it was perfectly content to allow its members to be Democrats as well. Yet many Democrats looked on the New Party with suspicion, and it took real courage—and commitment to hard leftism—to have dealings with the group. Continue reading