Just more of John McCain's pathetic attempts to distract from the real issues of the election:
"(Bill) Ayers and Obama ran a radical education foundation together."
John McCain on Thursday, October 9th, 2008 in a Web ad
Ayers was a founding member of the militant Vietnam-era anti-war group the Weathermen. He was investigated for his role in a series of domestic bombings, but the charges were dropped in 1974 due to prosecutorial misconduct. He is now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and actively engaged in the city's civic life.
The McCain campaign said the "radical education foundation" to which they were referring is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a charity endowed by publishing magnate Walter Annenberg that funded public-school programs in Chicago from 1995 to 2001.
We'll look at whether the foundation was radical. But first we have to grapple with whether Obama and Ayers ran it.
Obama served on the foundation's volunteer board from its inception in 1995 through its dissolution in 2001, and was chair for the first four years. So an argument can be made that he ran it, though an executive director handled day-to-day operations.
Ayers, who received his doctorate in education from Columbia University in 1987 and is now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was active in getting the foundation up and running. He and two other activists led the effort to secure the grant from Annenberg, and he worked without pay in the early months of 1995, prior to the board's hiring of an executive director, to help the foundation get incorporated and formulate its bylaws, said Ken Rolling, who was the foundation's only executive director. Ayers went on to become a member of the "collaborative," an advisory group that advised the board of directors and the staff.
However, Ayers "was never on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge," and he "never made a decision programmatically or had a vote," Rolling said.
"He (Ayers) was at board meetings -- which, by the way, were open -- as a guest," Rolling said. "That is not anything near Bill Ayers and Barack Obama running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge."
As to McCain's claim that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was a "radical education foundation?"
It's just more John McCain - Sarah Palin Bullshit:
The McCain campaign cited several pieces of evidence for that allegation, including a 1995 invitation from the foundation for applications from schools "that want to make radical changes in the way teachers teach and students learn." The campaign appears to have confused two different definitions of the word "radical." Clearly the invitation referred to "a considerable departure from the usual or traditional," rather than "advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs."
The campaign also cited two projects the foundation funded, one having to do with a United Nations-themed Peace School and another that focused on African-American studies.
"That is radical in the eye of this campaign and we imagine in the eyes of most Americans," said Michael Goldfarb, a spokesman for McCain. "It is a subjective thing, and there are going to be people in Berkeley and Chicago who think that is totally legitimate."
Teaching about the United Nations and African-American studies may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's hardly "radical" in the same way Ayers' Vietnam-era activities were. Moreover, most of the projects the foundation funded (more on that below) were not remotely controversial.
The McCain campaign also cited an opinion piece by conservative commentator Stanley Kurtz in the Sept. 23, 2008, Wall Street Journal as evidence of the foundation's radicalism. Kurtz wrote that Ayers was the "guiding spirit" of the foundation, and it "translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice."
But Ayers' views on education, though certainly reform-oriented and left-of-center, are not considered anywhere near as radical as his Vietnam-era views on war. And even if they were, there was a long list of individuals involved with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge whose positions provided them far more authority over its direction than Ayers' advisory role gave him.
Let's look at a few, starting with the funder. Annenberg was a lifelong Republican and former ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Richard Nixon. His widow, Leonore, has endorsed McCain. Kurtz might just as plausibly have accused Obama and the foundation of "translating Annenberg's conservatism into practice."
Among the other board members who served with Obama were: Stanley Ikenberry, former president of the University of Illinois; Arnold Weber, former president of Northwestern University and assistant secretary of labor in the Nixon administration; Scott Smith, then publisher of the Chicago Tribune; venture capitalist Edward Bottum; John McCarter, president of the Field Museum; Patricia Albjerg Graham, former dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Journalism, and a host of other mainstream folks.
"The whole idea of it being radical when it was this tie of blue-chip, white-collar, CEOs and civic leaders is just ridiculous," said the foundation's former development director, Marianne Philbin.
We've had eight long years of Republican lies from the White House, and John McCain and Sarah Palin are trying to lie their way into the White House to give us four more years of the same dishonesty.
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