Unanswered Questions in Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago has promised to open the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge on Tuesday. But questions remain:

1) Were any of the materials tampered with or changed in any way after the University was contacted by Dr. Stanley Kurtz, a writer for the National Review, who was the individual whose request to review the CAC documents triggered the UIC shutdown?

2) Who “called into question” the right of the University to “grant public access” to the records?

3) The possible involvement of Bill Ayers remains unclear.

4) The role of the Chicago Public Education Fund led by Susan Crown and Penny Pritzker, among others, should be explained.

Steve Diamond observes:

And a donor would never be allowed to know who or when someone is asking to review a validly granted gift of documents. That violates the confidentiality of library users. It reminds me of the concerns that civil libertarians have properly raised about the Patriot Act.
That leaves only one possible conclusion: Someone inside the UIC Library clearly was concerned that a critic of Barack Obama might be attempting to examine these public records. That led to an unprecedented and, in my view, highly inappropriate notice to the donor of the CAC documents that a potential political critic of Obama was interested in the documents.
Meanwhile, Clarise Feldman argues that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and cover-up are going to cost Obama severely.

The truth is that the two men [Obama and Ayers] worked closely together for years, beginning several months before that 1995 fundraiser. The fund Obama chaired and which was supposed to improve public education in Chicago never met its stated purpose of improving public school pupils’ performance and, in fact, probably hindered it, despite having blown through $110 million in the process. And as chairman of this group Obama funneled this money to politically useful types including Fidelistas and Maoists who like Ayers (now vice-president elect of the American Education Research Association) are working to make our public schools indoctrination centers for the left….

Will voters who consider education an important issue — and surely that includes many important voter groups for Obama — take kindly to a man who took $110 million of charitable funds which were earmarked for improving public education and squandered it on salaries for men like Weatherman Ayers and Michael Klonsky, the Maoist leader of the Revolutionary Youth Movement which worked with the Weather Underground and who at the time of CAC’s lavish grants to him worked as a cab driver?

Will the voters regard it as relevant that while Ayers and Obama were furthering their career interests in the disposition of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge millions, they did absolutely nothing — per a formal review of the program — to improve the academic performance of the pupils in their program and, indeed, may have hindered their academic progress by trying to turn every school they worked with into laboratories of revolutionary action in line with Ayres’ authoritarian agenda and belief that the public school system is “nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony”?…

This story is going to kill Obama at the polls.

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