Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Obama's Illinois State Senate Career and Robert Putnam-CIA Connection

“…Obama's willingness to hear out insurers and their lobbyists is revealing given the posture he strikes today on the presidential campaign trail - that lobbyists, insurance companies, and other big-industry special interests have an outsized and polluting influence on policy-making in Washington…And yet while serving in Illinois, Obama was willing to accept campaign contributions from lobbyists. Obama's state Senate campaign committee accepted contributions from insurance companies and their lobbyists - including $1,000 from the Professional Independent Insurance Agents PAC in June 2003, and $1,000 from the Illinois Insurance PAC in December 2003 - while the Health Care Justice Act was wending its way through the Illinois General Assembly. Obama also collected money from the insurance industry and its lobbyists for his successful US Senate campaign in 2004….”

--from a September 23, 2007 Boston Globe article

“Graduating from Swarthmore…in 1963, Robert Putnam went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford…He then went to Yale to do graduate work….Following graduation, he joined the University of Michigan faculty, becoming a full professor of political science in 1975. In 1979, Robert Putnam moved to Harvard as a professor of government and subsequently served as department chair from 1984 to 1988. In 1989, he was appointed dean of the Kennedy School of Government and Don K. Price Professor of Politics. He is now the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University…Robert Putnam has served on a variety of bodies including the staff of the National Security Council. He…is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission…Robert Putnam is currently President of the American Political Science Association (2001 – 2002). He is an occasional consultant to the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency and The World Bank….”
--from the website

Obama’s Illinois State Senate Career and Robert Putnam-CIA Connection

Unlike the lobbyists of U.S. health insurance corporations and U.S. drug companies, most U.S. anti-war activists want to see a Single-Payer and Universal Medicare for All—similar to Canada’s health care system-- or a free health care system established in the United States. And most U.S. anti-war activists want to see the Central Intelligence Agency abolished.

Yet between 2009 and 2012, the Democratic Obama Administration failed to establish a Single-Payer and Universal Medicare for All—similar to Canada’s health care system--or a free health care system in the United States. Nor did the Democratic Obama Administration abolish the Central Intelligence Agency between 2009 and 2012.

One reason might be because 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Obama both accepted campaign contributions from insurance companies and their lobbyists and participated in an elite forum, the Saguaro Seminar, that was run by a Central Intelligence Agency Consultant named Robert Putnam when Obama was a member of the Illinois State Senate.

In his 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter described Obama’s pre-White House career as an Illinois state senator in the following way:

“…As early as 1991, before the publication of his book, he [Obama] confided to his future brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, that he might want to run for president someday…To get elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 he [Obama] challenged the petitions of the incumbent, Alice Palmer, and…forced her and the other candidates off the ballot, allowing him to run unopposed. In Springfield [Illinois]…even the Republicans warmed to him over time, partly through poker and golf. His reception in Chicago’s Black community was harsher. The thrashing he received in a 2000 primary campaign against incumbent congressman Bobby Rush made him humbler.

“Only in the last 2 of his 8 years as a state senator…did he win passage of meaningful legislation…He won a reputation as a…legislation who would compromise, and compromise again…In 1997…Harvard’s Robert Putnam…invited Obama to participate in the Saguaro Seminar, an elite forum…He [Obama] bought a mansion in Chicago with the proceeds of book sales…When reporters went looking for his papers from his years in the Illinois State Senate they found that his schedules had been lost, destroyed, or…never kept in the first place…”


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