Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Obama, FactCheck.org, Ayers, and the Annenburg Foundation

There is a disturbing link between Barack Obama, FactCheck.org, and William Ayers. National Review reports that William Ayers and Barack Obama both served as co-chairs of the Chicago Annenburg Challenge. Obama called for an $3.5 million dollar earmark for the Annenburg Foundation that sponsors FactCheck.org. Several FactCheck articles have been viewed as promoting the Obama campaign line instead of truly acting as a fact checkers. Controlling the ‘facts’ is a hallmark of a totalitarian regime, and this is a truly unsettling connection.

Mission statement from FactCheck.org.
The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.
The APPC accepts NO funding from business corporations, labor unions, political parties, lobbying organizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.

Requested Annenberg Earmark from Barack Obama - Citation from Answers.BarackObama.com
Obama Requested $3.5 Million For The USC Annenberg Research Network. In 2005, Obama requested $3.5 million for the USC Annenberg Research Network on International Communication, in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to support the deployment of pervasive broadband for education and economic development.Funding was for the construction of a large-scale broadband wireless systems in two communities—one in South Los Angeles and the other in small-town Illinois. In each community, broadband network coverage will be provided over a minimum of about a half-square mile area, utilizing leading edge wireless technologies. In Los Angeles, this will include the five schools in USC’s immediate neighborhood, with about 8,000 K-12 students. USC also will provide wireless equipment and access to every family with a student entering the first grade of a new Science Center School, and in Illinois, a similar group of students will be selected to receive wireless equipment and access within the coverage area. The impact of these technologies on the students and their families will be tracked. [Obama Request Letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, 6/7/05]

Obama’s Challenge from the National Review
Let’s first review CAC’s [Chicago Annenburg Challenge] initial setup. In the first year, 1995, Obama headed the board, which made fiscal decisions, and Ayers co-chaired the Collaborative, which set education policy. During that first year, Obama’s formal responsibilities mandated close cooperation and coordination with the Collaborative. As board chair and president of the CAC corporation, Obama was authorized to “delegate to the Collaborative the development of collaborative projects and programs . . . to obtain assistance of the Collaborative in the development of requests for proposals . . . and to seek advice from the Collaborative regarding the programmatic aspects of grant proposals.” All this clearly involves significant consultation between the board, headed by Obama, and the Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers.

Hat Tip to Death by 1000 Papercuts for first reporting this in their article Obama, Bill Ayers, and FactCheck.Org: All Have Ties To Annenberg Foundation

Clarification: The connection between Obama and Ayers is through
the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that received money from the Annenburg
Foundation, but the Chicago Annenburg Challenge Challenge and the
Annenburg Foundation are not directly connected philosophically.  The
earmark Senator Obama requested was for the Annenburg Foundation, which
funded the Chicago Annenburg Challenge and also funds FactCheck.org. 
Obama is tied to both groups one via earmark, the other via direct
participation, however, Ayers is not directly connected to

Obama Controlling the Facts

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