During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Obama’s camp categorically denied he was ever a member of the New Party, which sought to elect members to public office with the aim of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a new political party with a socialist agenda.
WND previously reported on newspaper evidence showing Obama was listed as a member of the New Party in the group’s own literature. WND also conducted an exclusive interview with Marxist activist Carl Davidson, a founder of the New Party, who recounted Obama’s participation. In 2010, John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, recalled speaking with Obama at New Party events in the 1990s.
“When we spoke together at New Party events in those days, he was blunt about his desire to move the Democratic Party off the cautious center where Bill Clinton had wedged it.” Stanley Kurtz, writing at National Review Online today, reports on documentation from the updated records of Illinois ACORN at the Wisconsin Historical Society that “definitively establishes” that Obama was a member of the New Party.
Kurtz reported Obama also signed a “contract” promising to publicly support and associate himself with the New Party while in office. Fight the Smears conceded the New Party did support Obama in 1996 but denied that Obama had ever joined. According to documents from the Democratic Socialists of America, the New Party worked with ACORN to promote its candidates.
Becoming a New Party member requires some effort on behalf of the politician. Candidates must be approved by the party’s political committee and, once approved, must sign a contract mandating they will have a “visible and active relationship” with the party. Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan of “Forward” has been criticized for its use of a historic socialist slogan.
The socialist-oriented goals of the New Party were enumerated on its old website. Among the New Party’s stated objectives were “full employment, a shorter work week and a guaranteed minimum income for all adults; a universal ‘social wage’ to include such basic benefits as health care, child care, vacation time and lifelong access to education and training; a systematic phase-in of comparable worth; and like programs to ensure gender equity.” The New Party stated it also sought “the democratization of our banking and financial system – including popular election of those charged with public stewardship of our banking system, worker-owner control over their pension assets [and] community-controlled alternative financial institutions.” Many of the New Party’s founding members were Democratic Socialists of America leaders and members of Committees of Correspondence, a breakaway of the Communist Party USA. Last month, WND reported on a 1996 print advertisement in a local Chicago newspaper that shows Obama was the speaker at an event sponsored and presented by the Democratic Socialists of America, the DSA.
While Obama’s campaign in 2008 denied the then–presidential candidate was ever an actual member of the New Party, print copies of the New Party News, the party’s official newspaper, show Obama posing with New Party leaders, listing him as a New Party member and printing quotes from him as a member. The party’s spring 1996 newspaper boasted: “New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary).” The paper quoted Obama saying, “These victories prove that small ‘d’ democracy can work.” The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.
New Ground, the newsletter of Chicago’s Democratic Socialists of America, reported in its July/August 1996 edition that Obama attended a New Party membership meeting April 11, 1996, in which he expressed his gratitude for the group’s support and “encouraged NPers (New Party members) to join in his task forces on voter education and voter registration.” The New Party, established in 1992, took advantage of what was known as electoral “fusion,” which enabled candidates to run on two tickets simultaneously, attracting voters from both parties. But the New Party disbanded in 1998, one year after fusion was halted by the Supreme Court.