Obama’s Bonehead Endorsements

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It’s time for President Obama to end his silence on the millions of civil rights violations that have occurred while Mayor Richard M. Daley has held public office. If President Obama’s endorsement sealed Daley’s victory in 2007, then President Obama’s criticism of Daley can secure Daley’s defeat in 2011. ”

— Jay Stone

In Spite of these 5 Civil Rights Scandals, Obama Endorsed Mayor Daley

1. A Chicago police unit led by Jon Burge continued to torture 200 suspects while Daley ignored information on the rogue cops. Thirteen of the tortured suspects who ended up on death row have been exonerated.

2. The federal court awarded compensation to 1,400 job applicants and city employees who were civil rights victims as a result of the Daley administration’s job-rigging scheme. From 2005 to present a federal court monitor has been assigned to city hall to protect the civil rights of city employees and voters.

3. Candidates, such as Jay Stone in 2003, and millions of voters were civil rights victims because the Daley administration unlawfully used city workers for 16 years to campaign for Daley and Daley-favored candidates.

4. The Chicago Police Department’s Special Operations Section’s (SOS) civil rights abuse of suspects and defendants was headline news at the time Obama endorsed Daley. Police officers admitted they lied to get convictions. Because of the mounting criticism, SOS was disbanded shortly after Obama endorsed Daley.

5. The Chicago Police Department used soft torture on up to 500,000 people to extract confessions and punish those in police lockups during and after Obama was giving Daley his blessings in 2007.

Watch Jay speak about Obama’s Bonehead endorsements in this Interview

Is Obama and the White House Staff Hiding their Past

President Obama’s wife MIchelle, three members of the Obama White House staff, and one member of his cabinet all had influential Daley administration positions while the Daley administration violated the civil rights of city employees and millions of voters. First Lady Michelle Obama previously held two City of Chicago jobs. Mrs. Obama was an Assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley and Assistant Planning and Development Commissioner during the time the Daley administration was carrying out its 16-year hiring and election-rigging scheme.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was a senior political advisor to Daley and Daley’s chief fund-raiser during the time high-ranking members of the Daley administration committed numerous crimes and civil rights violations. When Daley sent out Donald Tomczak’s patronage group to unlawfully electioneer for Emanuel when Emanuel ran for Congress, it was political payback for the work Emanuel did as an advisor and fund-raiser for Daley.

Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod was President Obama’s campaign manager. Prior to the Obama presidential campaign, Axelrod was a campaign manager multiple times for Daley and Emanuel in elections in which voters had their civil rights violated. Axelrod wrote a Chicago Tribune op-ed article in Aug., 2005, calling for the repeal of the Shakman civil rights decree and an end to “radical” judicial “reform.” Is protecting voters’ civil rights radical reform, as Axelrod states? The Shakman decree was never given a chance to protect the civil rights of employees and voters because Mayor Daley, whom Axelrod advised repeatedly, secretly violated the decree for 16 years.

Axelrod’s op-ed piece was part of Daley’s publicity ploy to convince the public and Judge Wayne A. Andersen that Chicago no longer needed the federal court to supervise the civil rights of City of Chicago employees and residents. Axelrod failed to disclose in his article that the patronage workers involved in the scandal worked on his candidates’ elections. Axelrod’s own words show how little respect he has for voters, civil rights, and democratic elections.

It’s a good thing Axelrod is not a federal court judge in charge of protecting your civil rights. Since Axelrod and Daley failed to persuade Judge Andersen to void the Shakman civil rights decree, the judge has had to assign additional monitors because more civil rights violations were uncovered in Cook County government, Cook County Sheriff’s office, Cook County Department of Corrections, and Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett was Mayor Daley’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Planning and Development Commissioner while Daley administration members conspired to violate voters’ civil rights. To remove all doubts and suspicions that President Obama, First Lady Michelle, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, or Valerie Jarret had knowledge or involvement in the abuse of millions of voters’ civil rights, President Obama should take it upon himself to call for a congressional investigation to review Chicago and Cook County’s voting and civil rights abuses.

Obama’s Bonehead Endorsements and Predictions

Four highly publicized civil rights scandals involving Daley occurred before then Senator Obama endorsed Daley for mayor in 2007. Chicago police officers under the command of Jon Burge beat, suffocated, and shocked as many as 200 suspects until the suspects admitted to crimes. The Illinois General Assembly accused Daley, who was the Cook County State’s Attorney at the the time of the Burge police torture, of failing to act on information he possessed about the conduct of Burge and others. Barrack Obama was a member of the Illinois General Assembly that concluded Daley did not fulfill his duty to investigate the police torture.

About 15 years after Commander Burge and his men tortured suspects, another high-profile police unit was caught repeatedly violating the civil rights of men and women. Police officers in the Special Operations Section (SOS) abused suspects and innocent civilians. Because of mounting criticism from the Afro-American community, Daley was forced to disband the SOS unit and bring in former FBI agent Jody Weis to run the Chicago police department. The SOS police scandal was frequently in the news during the time Obama was stumping for Daley in 2007.

When Obama endorsed Daley in 2007, it was also public knowledge that the Daley administration had carried out a sophisticated hiring and election-rigging scheme for 16 years in violation of millions of voters’ civil rights. In fact, federal court Judge Wayne A. Andersen had already assigned Noelle Brennan to monitor the City of Chicago’s personnel decisions in 2005, two years before Obama endorsed Daley for mayor in 2007.

Since Obama endorsed Daley, the Daley administration has repeatedly violated the court order, and five years later, Brennan is still monitoring the city’s personnel decisions for civil rights abuses. Obama’s endorsement of Daley may have convinced voters that Daley was an honest politician and good chief executive, but Obama’s support of Daley did not convince the federal court judge that Daley will respect the civil rights of employees and voters.

Obama himself acknowledged the Daley administration’s hiring scandal in his endorsement of Daley, but Obama’s endorsement failed to mention either the victims or the millions of voters whose civil rights were impinged.

Stone voted for Obama twice. But because the Daley administration violated the civil rights of Stone and many others, after Obama endorsed Daley, Stone realized that Obama’s clean-cut, All-American public image was not real. Stone’s criticism of Obama’s support of Daley is based on more than his own personal civil rights case. By running for mayor of Chicago, Stone is reminding voters of the millions of civil rights victims who have suffered at the hands of Daley and his political machine.

President Obama has vast knowledge of civil rights. He taught civil rights courses at the University of Chicago law school. What possessed Obama to endorse Daley in 2007 after Daley violated the civil rights of so many people? Aren’t Nobel Peace Prizes awarded to people who condemn the perpetrators of human rights violations, not condone them?

Fifth Civil Rights Scandal

Three years prior to Obama endorsing Daley in 2007, a lawsuit involving a fifth Chicago civil rights scandal was already filed. In 2004 a civil complaint alleged the Chicago Police Department used an “institutionalized system of police torture.” You would think that since Daley was involved in four civil rights scandals prior to Obama endorsing him, Obama would have seen the fifth civil rights scandal coming. This latest civil rights scandal went on for another three years after Obama gave Daley his blessings.

In May, 2010, Chicago settled the fifth civil rights law suit in which up to 500,000 people became eligible to apply for compensation as part of a class action lawsuit. These civil rights victims experienced “soft torture” at the hands of the Chicago police. The soft torture consisted of denying suspects food, water, beds, and bathrooms as a means to extract confessions.

Yet, in Jan., 2007, Obama said, “I think you want to look at the whole record of this [Daley] administration of the last several years, and I think the city overall, has moved in a positive direction.” Obama also said that under Daley’s leadership Chicago has been “well-managed.” I ask you, is violating the civil rights of up to 500,000 people good management and moving in the right direction?

Obama was naive or foolish to put so much stock or faith in Daley. Or was Obama ignoring the corruption that has plagued Daley throughout his career as part of his master plan to reach the Oval Office? No one would call taking close to $200 million from Chicago taxpayers to compensate hundreds of thousands of civil rights victims moving in a positive direction.

Obama also predicted we would see a “cleaner” Chicago with Daley in office for another term. Since Obama made his bold prediction, the FBI and U.S. Attorney have uncovered more corruption, not less. Three years after Obama’s cleaner Chicago prediction, Judge Wayne A. Andersen has re-retained the federal court monitor to watch over City of Chicago personnel decisions because the Daley administration continues to violate the court’s orders.

Obama said partnering with Tony Rezko just prior to Rezko’s influence-peddling indictment and conviction was the biggest “bonehead” thing he had ever done. Many Chicagoans argue that Obama’s endorsement of Daley with a claim that Chicago has been “well managed” and predicting a “cleaner” Chicago with Daley as mayor was an even bigger bonehead mistake than buying real estate with Rezko who became a convicted felon a short time later.

In  Obama’s June, 2007, letter of endorsement for Cook County Board President, Obama wrote, “You can choose Todd Stroger, and let him lead us into a new era of Cook County government.” In endorsing Stroger, whose tenure in office was fraught with corruption, Obama wrote, “ Across our country on November 7th Americans will have the chance to raise their voices and be heard. It is a right people have marched for, gone to jail for, died for. We hold it as sacred.” If President Obama holds the right to vote as “sacred,” why has he supported candidates like Daley and Stroger who used civil rights violations to defile the sanctity of our elections and their offices?

President Obama immediately denounced Arizona’s 2010 immigrants’ law because of the potential for civil rights violations. At the time Obama criticized Arizona’s law, it had not yet become effective and there was not one single civil rights victim of it. On the other hand, Obama threw his support behind Daley after the Daley administration had perpetrated millions of civil rights violations.

Obama’s double civil rights standard for Chicago and Arizona should make you highly suspicious of his beliefs and his motives. President Obama has never once criticized civil rights violations in Chicago. Instead of denouncing the political leaders who were in charge when the civil rights violations occurred, Obama has endorsed them for elective office.

Why has President Obama failed to publicly oppose Mayor Daley’s violations of our civil rights? By calling for voting and civil rights investigations and reform in Chicago, President Obama can show his strong opposition against both Democrats and Republicans who violate our civil rights.