The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Barack Obama and the New Party; or: two simple questions
While researching the trends on Intrade Adam identified (basically, someone shorting large quantities of Obama's contract), I came across information linking Obama to something called the New Party, now known as the Working Families Party. Or maybe they are two different parties.
This source says the New Party changed its name in 1998. This source suggests they're the same organization, one closely affiliated with ACORN, a community organizing group currently under suspicion for facilitating voter fraud. While Obama has denied any ties to ACORN, Stanely Kurtz at National Review Online has produced evidence that says otherwise here (and earlier, here.)
It is clear that Obama was once linked to the New Party. This blogger did the hard investigative work. The New Party has apparently been scrubbing pages from its website, but they can still be found through the non-profit Internet archive. So check this out.
The link goes to a page on the New Party's website that existed in 1996 but no longer exists now. On that page, the New Party claims one Barack Obama as a member, facing off against a Republican challenger for a seat in the Illinois state senate.
As for how Obama could be a Democrat and a member of the New Party at the same time, the explanation is a "fusion" electoral strategy, best explained by Erick Erickson at Human Events here:
Fusion is a pretty simple concept. A candidate could run as both a Democrat and a New Party member to signal the candidate was, in fact, a left-leaning candidate, or at least not a center-left DLC type candidate. If the candidate -- let’s call him Barack Obama -- received only 500 votes in the Democratic Party against another candidate who received 1000 votes, Obama would clearly not be the nominee. But, if Obama also received 600 votes from the New Party, Obama’s New Party votes and Democratic votes would be fused.
Pretty neat, huh?
I'm still digging up information on the New Party. Right-wing sources tend to identify them as a radical socialist group, perhaps an offshoot of the Democratic Socialists of America. Other sources call the New Party (or the Working Families Party) "mainstream."
What I'd like to know is this: according to a 1995 left-wing source, to gain the support of the Chicago New Party, prospective candidates had to sign a contract with the NP.
Candidates must be approved via a NP political committee. Once approved, candidates must sign a contract with the NP. The contract mandates that they must have a visible and active relationship with the NP.
What I'd like to know is exactly what the content of this contract was. This source simply assumes that to gain the NP's support, Obama would have had to pledge that he was a socialist. If such a contract exists, and it could be found, that would be devastating. But the left-wing source says the contract would simply pledge the candidate to maintain "a visible and active relationship" with the NP.
But I'd like to see the contract. Forget about -- for the moment -- whether the New Party was/is an arm of the international socialist movement. Instead, I want two simple questions answered: A) Did Obama sign a contract with the New Party in 1996? B) If so, what did the contract say?
Obviously, this information is unlikely to come from the Obama campaign. Perhaps the blogosphere will bring more to light in the days ahead.
P.J. Gladnick has posted something interesting about the Wikipedia article on the New Party. It seems there's recently been a dispute over whether Barack Obama should be mentioned in the entry. As of now, his name has been scrubbed from the article. Maybe someone should go and put it back.
I thought I might also link to this earlier Shotgun post on Obama's community organizer days as a disciple of Saul Alinsky. The "fusion" electoral strategy described above seems consonant with Alinsky's "stealth communism."
I'm not entirely sure this new information about Obama's past affiliations can account for the weirdness going on with his numbers on Intrade. Most of the information was already known (see the Human Events piece linked above.)
As far as I can tell, the only new info is the web archive stuff that refers to Obama as an official member of the New Party.
In my opinion, even if more compelling evidence arose linking Obama to far-left organizations, it would not quite be enough to stop him from beating McCain. It could be that some investors on Intrade disagree.
Posted by Terrence Watson on October 9, 2008 | Permalink
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This is the sort of stuff that goes on in banana republics. 4,000 dead people registered to vote in one Texas county.
Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-10 8:19:15 AM
Get ready for the "Messiah" or so Louis Farrakhan believes. Really quite sad that people like this may soon be running the US. Too bad the US hadn't listened to Charles Fenton Mercer.
Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-10 9:37:38 AM
The "New Party" was founded by the executive director of the "Working Families Party" -- Dan Cantor.
The party is known for its first class GOTV operations and its growing influence in New York state politics. Although still a minor party -- drawing even fewer votes on its line than the Conservative party in the presidential year 2004 -- the party is seen as an increasingly critical ally for both Democrats and Republicans alike in New York.
That said, it's highly unlikely that the contract Obama signed with the New Party was anything outside of the standard "tit for tat" agreements that the Working Families Party regularly negotiates with its current endorsements. Obama likely signed on to display the party's imagery at his events and also to agree to support the party through financial and other means should he get elected.
The Working Families Party is simply a labor backed left of the Democrats party -- on social and economic issues. It's not a Communist party anymore than the Conservative party is fascist. It exists because the two party system has left citizens wanting more choices.
Posted by: MattNYC | 2008-10-11 10:02:17 PM
Here is a copy of the contract. http://economic-bullshit.blogspot.com/2008/10/new-party-of-illinois-contract-with.html
The New Party of Illinois Candidate Contract required the candidate to have At least one New Party member on the candidate's campaign committee, and Join the New Party as a dues-paying member.
The New Party of Illinois required that the candidate contract before they were endorsed by the New Party, unless they were already a New Party member. To be endorsed by the Illinois New Party, you had to be in the New Party, or join as a dues paying member.
Posted by: metoo | 2008-10-14 9:39:33 AM
The New Democratic Party?
It's no wonder Layton is trying to portray himself as Canada's equivalent of Barrack Obama.
Posted by: set you free | 2008-10-14 11:11:28 AM
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