Rich Lowry reprints this press release from the McCain campaign:
Please see comment from me on Barack Obama’s new ad supposedly running in Georgia:
“Barack Obama’s ad is ridiculous. Because of John McCain, corruption was exposed and people like Jack Abramoff went to jail.
“However, if Barack Obama wants to have a discussion about truly questionable associations, let’s start with his relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, at whose home Obama’s political career was reportedly launched. Mr. Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, a terrorist group responsible for countless bombings against targets including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and numerous police stations, courthouses and banks. In recent years, Mr. Ayers has stated, ‘I don’t regret setting bombs … I feel we didn’t do enough.’
“The question now is, will Barack Obama immediately call on the University of Illinois to release all of the records they are currently withholding to shed further light on Senator Obama’s relationship with this unrepentant terrorist?”
—McCain spokesman Brian Rogers
That will make it harder for the media to ignore this. Pete Yost of the AP reported on this (sort of) yesterday; today the Chicago Tribune local politics blog reported that Mayor Daley would rather not be involved:
Mayor Richard Daley declined to answer directly Wednesday when asked whether a University of Illinois-Chicago organization named after his father should release documents related to Sen. Barack Obama's service for a nonprofit education project started by 1960s radical William Ayers.
The university's Richard J. Daley Center has refused to release records of the project, which put Obama, the soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee, in contact with activist Ayers, who now is an education professor in Chicago.
Rogers the raised the fact that, as the Chicago Tribune reports here, the University of Illinois this week refused to release records related to Obama's work with Ayers on the education project the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, at the request of an unnamed donor of the materials.
“The question now is, will Barack Obama immediately call on the University of Illinois to release all of the records they are currently withholding to shed further light on Senator Obama’s relationship with this unrepentant terrorist?" Rogers asked.
The link to the Chi Trib reports is a reprise of the Yost/AP report.
Stanley Kurtz, who kick-started this scuffle, is worried that the library may simply hand the Chicago Annenberg Challenge archives back to the mysterious donor (Bill Ayers?). He also tells us that the AP may be simply going through the motions (surprise!) - they never contacted him for a comment.
And Steve Diamond, the main man on this story, has also gone though some of these missing documents and posts his thoughts. Some highlights:
While the University sits on the complete Annenberg Challenge records, several months ago I was able to obtain certain key records of the Challenge - including board minutes, annual and semi-annual reports and financial records - from Brown University's Annenberg Institute. Brown housed the national Annenberg Challenge program that was set up in 1993 by a gift of $500 million from Walter Annenberg.While the material I was provided is helpful it is no substitute for the complete documentary record that is apparently housed at the University of Illinois (some 70 linear feet of documents according to the library's public records) and thus that public University should immediately make available to the public those records.Below is an analysis of what I found in the documents I was able to obtain.
6) One of the first grants awarded in 1995 was a $175,000 Implementation Grant to the Small Schools Workshop. The Workshop had been founded by Bill Ayers in 1992 and was headed up by his former SDS comrade and hardcore Maoist, Mike Klonsky. Klonsky actually visited China and met with its stalinist leaders in the early 1970s. Klonsky still heads up the Small Schools Workshop and, until it was summarily removed, hosted a blog on "social justice" and education issues on the official Barack Obama Presidential campaign website. Hundreds of thousands of dollars more would be forthcoming from the CAC for the Klonsky group.