Obama's Education Groups Funded Controversial Organizations in the '90s, Tax Returns Show

The Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Fund of Chicago funded numerous controversial groups while Barack Obama served on their boards between 1995 and 2002, an analysis of their tax returns shows.

In 2001, when Obama was a part-time director of The Woods Fund of Chicago, it gave $75,000 to ACORN, the voter registration group now under investigation for voter fraud in 12 states.

The Woods Fund also gave $6,000 to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, which Obama attended. The reason for the donation to the church is unclear -- it is simply listed as "for special purposes" in the group's IRS tax form.

It gave a further $60,000 to the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, which was founded and run by Bernardine Dohrn, the wife of domestic terrorist William Ayers and, with her husband, a former member of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground.

Other controversial donations that year included $50,000 to the Small Schools Network -- which was 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 -- and $40,000 to the Arab American Action Network, which critics have accused of being anti-Semitic.

The Woods Fund did not respond to questions about the funding.

When Obama co-chaired the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which calls itself "a public-private partnership improving education for 1.5 million urban and rural public school students," it gave to some of the same groups -- partnering with ACORN to manage funding for schools and giving over $1 million to the Small Schools Network.

It also gave nearly $1 million to a group called the South Shore African Village Collaborative, whose goals, according to Annenberg's archived Web site, are "to develop more collegial relationships between teachers and principals. Professional development topics include school leadership, team building, parent and community involvement, developing thematic units, instructional strategies, strategic planning, and distance learning and teleconferencing."

But the group mentions other goals in its grant application to the Annenberg Challenge:

"Our children need to understand the historical context of our struggles for liberation from those forces that seek to destroy us," one page of the application reads.

This is an excerpt, read the rest here.


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