As Global Labor readers are well aware the University of Illinois at Chicago denied Stanley Kurtz of National Review access to the official records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, the six year long $160 million education reform project led by, among others, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers.
The denial of access to the archives of the CAC was unusual and possibly illegal. It was done after the University, again without any legal justification that I am aware of, contacted someone they said was the “donor” of the records. That “donor” wanted to examine the records prior to their release to the public.
This is highly unusual in light of the fact that the records had been deposited with UIC in 2002 and had been processed by UIC librarians and made ready for access by researchers. Only when Mr. Kurtz, a conservative, requested that he be allowed to see them was the “donor” contacted.
Thanks to the diligent efforts of a 3d year law student in Chicago who filed a Freedom of Information Act request with UIC, Global Labor can reveal tonight that the alleged “donor” who was contacted by UIC and who tried to block Dr. Kurtz’ acces to the CAC records was Ken Rolling, former Executive Director of the CAC and a former staff member of the Woods Fund in the 1980s when the Woods Fund provided financial support to the Developing Communities Project which was then headed up by Barack Obama.
Thus, someone with a 20 year history with Senator Obama was tipped off in advance and in secret by a public University about the interest of a political opponent of the Senator in these public records. The CAC was a non profit corporation organized under the laws of the state of Illinois to serve the interests of the people of Illinois. Of course, Ken Rolling now has no legally cognizable interest that I am aware of in the long defunct CAC. Legally, the successor organization to the CAC is the Chicago Public Education Fund, on whose board sits Obama Campaign Finance Chair Penny Pritzker and Obama supporter Susan Crown.
I am reviewing now the documents that were produced as a result of this FOIA request. As soon as I complete my review and assessment I will post the documents here as well as my conclusions.