The Real Barack Obama consistently does such great research and analysis on the complex web of Obama's "Chicago Way" associations that it's easy to take the blog for granted. But this morning they've batted one out of the park by digging into Linda Lenz's background in order to provide key background for Steve Diamond's post, below:
What Diamond did not mention is that not only is Lenz seemingly commencing damage control for the Obama campaign, but there are also a number of ties connecting Lenz with the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama, and Ayers. Lenz is a former Chicago media insider.[...]Go to RBO to get the background before starting on Diamond's post.
On Saturday a headline in the Chicago Sun Times proclaimed: Annenberg Challenge a radical enclave? Gimme a break! There is nothing to condemn about Ayers’ leadership over the past 20 years.
Ah, but Steve Diamond spots the sleight of hand! He notes at his Global Labor blog: Obama Campaign Uses Sun Times to Begin Retreat on Ayers Issue:
Perhaps realizing that there is no hope on the Ayers issue, the Obama campaign began its strategic retreat [Saturday]. They trotted out a local ally in the Chicago school wars, Linda Lenz, to begin the effort. Her job: admit finally that, in fact, there was some kind of relationship between Ayers and Obama after all but "it ain't no big thang."
We'll see if this helps or only fans the flames.
I posted a reply on the Sun Times website:
"Perhaps the editors of the Sun Times should feel "a little silly" about inviting Ms. Lenz to pen an editorial defending a former terrorist without identifying her fully.
Ms. Lenz is associated with the Alliance for Excellent Education on whose board sits Obama education advisor Linda Darling-Hammond. And on Ms. Lenz' board of directors at the Community Renewal Society is Warren Chapman, one of the founders of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and a former staff member of the Joyce Foundation on whose board served Barack Obama.
While Ms. Lenz brushes over the self-proclaimed "radical" nature of school reform in Chicago she also ignores the fact that a central goal of the Annenberg Challenge led by Ayers and Obama was to bolster flagging Local School Councils, a new power center in the schools set up in the wake of a teachers strike to watchdog teachers and principals.
And although in a recent talk she gave she lauds the research conducted by the Consortium on Chicago School Research of the University of Chicago, she ignores their studied conclusion that the Annenberg Challenge was a failure. $160,000,000 down the drain and no improvement in student outcomes.
No wonder the Mayor pushed against Ayers and Obama to re-centralize power over the schools, although that was no comfort to the teachers union.
Oh, at least Ms. Lenz gets one thing right: Ayers was indeed not "just some guy in the neighborhood" as Senator Obama attempted to mislead the American people into thinking. Given the failure of the Annenberg Challenge and the authoritarian outlook that a former terrorist brought to the reform effort, no wonder he made the attempt."