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October 12, 2008
Don't tell me - ANOTHER radical in Obama's background?
Recognize a name here among the beneficiaries of taxpayer dollars?
As Chicago (and Illinois, for that matter) reels from a fiscal crisis resulting in a cutback of services and layoffs of thousands, Mayor Daley spends many millions on public relations and image building.
One of the beneficiaries is Marilyn Katz. Where have I heard that name before? She is a bundler for Barack Obama, a person with a radical past (head of security for the Students for a Democratic Society-SDS-fromm which Bill Ayers' militant Weathermen group splintered).
She was also the prinicpal organizer of the now famous 2002 antiwar rally in which Barack Obama spoke against the Iraq War. And she serves on his finance committee as well as hosting fundraisers for him and donating thousands of dollars to the cause.
She traveled to the Democratic convention, serving as a member of the credentials committee. She has links to Bill Ayers . She makes herself readily available to provide spin to downplay the Ayers-Obama relationship (see today's superb Chicago Tribune article by the intrepid columnist John Kass):
One friend of Obama and Ayers is former '60s radical Marilyn Katz, now an Obama fundraiser, strategist and public relations maven. She's often a go-to quote for reporters to knock down the Ayers-Obama story.
"What Bill Ayers and [former Black Panther, now U.S. Rep.] Bobby Rush . . . did 40 years ago has nothing to do with [the presidential campaign]," Katz was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun-Times in April. "[Ayers] has a national reputation. He lectures at Harvard [University] and Vassar [College]."
What that story and many other pro-Obama articles gloss over is that during the violent protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention here, Katz was the security chief for the radical Students for a Democratic Society. She once advocated throwing studded nails in front of police cars, back in the SDS days when the group was alleged to have thrown cellophane bags full of human excrement at cops and cans of urine and golf balls impaled with nails.
How things change.
Under this Daley, her firm, MK Communications, has many city deals, and one involves public relations for the Chicago Police Department's community policing program. From nails to contracts, the Chicago Way. Apparently, irony was not a '60s thing.
Now, as Daley prepares to lay off more than 1,000 city workers, he's given Katz and other public relations firms five-year contracts that could pay them as much as $5 million each for consulting, advertising and promotion.
Getting in good with Daley hasn't been bad for business. She also lists as her clients Daley's Chicago Housing Authority, Daley's City Colleges, Daley's city Law Department, and Daley's Departments of Aviation, Environment, Housing, Human Services, Planning and Development, Public Health, Public Works, Streets and Sanitation, Intergovernmental Affairs, Special Events—the list goes on.
Fired workers-the little people? Services being shut down? Infrastructure crumbling? School kids ripped off?
Ahh..who cares..as long as the public realtions machine and image building can flourish in the hands of people who make it their job to create illusions and delusions?