Two years ago today, I reached out to Deborah Harrington, president of the Chicago-based Woods Fund, to ask whether Barack Obama, acting in his capacity as a director/board member of the organization, had cast any votes in favor of providing grants for Arab American Action Network. To date, I’ve received no response, and the silence speaks volumes.
My initial curiosity about the actions Obama allegedly took as a Woods Fund official stem from a Feb. 25, 2008, news release, that included the following claim:
The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe” and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens, according to Aaron Klein, Middle East correspondent for WND.com.
Klein’s report prompted me to publish a post, Obama Worked with Terrorist, Expert Says, the same day. It included the remainder of Klein’s news release, published verbatim:
The co-founder of the Arab group in question, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, also has held a fundraiser for Obama. Khalidi is a harsh critic of Israel, has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror and reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.
In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, for which Khalidi’s wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.
Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund’s website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2001.
Obama served on the Wood’s Fund board alongside William C. Ayers, a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of the U.S. government and took responsibility for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971.
Ayers, who still serves on the Woods Fund board, contributed $200 to Obama’s senatorial campaign fund and has served on panels with Obama at numerous public speaking engagements. Ayers admitted to involvement in the bombings of U.S. governmental buildings in the 1970s. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The AAAN in 2005 called a billboard opposing a North Carolina-New Mexico joint initiative to deny driver’s licenses to illegal aliens a “bigoted attack on Arabs and Muslims.”
Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line.
The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit, titled, “The Subject of Palestine,” that featured works related to what some Palestinians call the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948.
In a post two days later, I shared news of the inquiry — and an offer — I had made to Harrington:
More than 40 hours have passed, and I have yet to receive any reply from Harrington in which she either confirms or denies whether or not Obama cast any votes in favor of providing grants for AAAN during his tenure on the Woods Fund board of directors.
If Ms. Harrington is willing to provide proof otherwise, I will gladly publish it. Until then, I’m forced to conclude that Obama did, in fact, vote in favor of funding the controversial Arab group…
Barely four months later, more details surfaced about Obama’s involvement with the Woods Fund in a piece by Richard Henry Lee published at American Thinker. Below is a sample of what Lee’s article offered:
Barack Obama served on the board of directors of Woods Fund of Chicago from 1993 to 2001. During that time, the tax exempt foundation made some interesting grants, including one to Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ, headed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright at the time. Grants were also made to ACORN, a left wing voter registration group and to a partnership for constructing low income housing. The fund also used Northern Trust for financial services, which is the same company that provided Obama his 2005 mortgage.
In 2001 the board of directors included Obama, William Ayers, the former Weather Underground radical terrorist, and serving as chairman was Howard J. Stanback who headed New Kenwood LLC, a limited liability company founded by now-convicted felon Tony Rezko and Allison Davis, Obama’s former boss at the law firm of Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland.
Two full years have passed since news of Obama’s anti-Israel voting as a Woods Fund board member surfaced. Two full years without a denial from the president of the Woods Fund. One can only assume the report was accurate: Obama supported terrorists.