The Alice Palmer story is one that Barack Obama would love you to forget- and so most news sources have done so.
But not us. As you read this, keep voter registration laws in the back of your mind.
Alice Palmer was considered to be one of Barack Obama’s mentors. She would later come to regret that.
On June 6, 1991, Palmer, a Democrat, replaced state senator Richard Newhouse as the representative for Illinois’ 13th Legislative District, a post she would hold until January 1997.
In the mid-1990s, state senator Palmer attended a number of political meetings at the Chicago-area home of her friends and ideological allies, former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn. At those gatherings, Palmer developed a friendly relationship with another attendee, a young aspiring politician named Barack Obama.
As late as 1994, Palmer was known to be working closely with members of the Committees of Correspondence, a Communist Party USA splinter group.
In 1995, Palmer decided to pursue an opportunity to run for a higher political office when Mel Reynolds, the congressman from Illinois’ 2nd District, resigned from the House of Representatives amid scandal.
As Palmer prepared to leave the state senate, she hand-picked Barack Obama as the person she most wanted to fill her newly vacated senate seat. Toward that end, she introduced Obama to party elders and donors as her preferred successor, and helped him gather the signatures required for getting his name placed on the ballot.
She lost that race:
But in November 1995, Jesse Jackson, Jr. defeated Palmer in a special election for Reynolds’ empty congressional seat. At that point, Palmer filed to retain the Democratic nomination for the state senate seat she had encouraged Obama to pursue; that seat would be up for grabs in the November 1996 elections. She asked Obama to politely withdraw from the race and offered to help him find an alternative position elsewhere.
But Obama refused to withdraw, so Palmer resolved to run against him (and against two other opponents who also had declared their candidacy) in the 1996 Democratic primary.
And that’s when the fun began.
In his first race for office, seeking a state Senate seat on Chicago’s gritty South Side in 1996, Obama effectively used election rules to eliminate his Democratic competition. As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.
There were a number of potential primary rivals for Obama, so he chose to destroy each of them.
Names could be eliminated from a candidate’s petition for a variety of reasons. For example, if a name was printed rather than written in cursive script, it was considered invalid. Or if the person collecting the signatures was not registered to perform that task, any signatures that he or she had collected likewise were nullified.
It was all legal, at least in Chicago, back when Obama believed that disenfranchising black voters was acceptable because it served his needs.
And the comments- like this
“He came from Chicago politics,” Stewart said. “Politics ain’t beanbag, as they say in Chicago. You play with your elbows up, and you’re pretty tough and ruthless when you have to be. Sen. Obama felt that’s what was necessary at the time, that’s what he did. Does it fit in with the rhetoric now? Perhaps not.”
The Obama campaign called this report “a hit job.” It insisted that CNN talk to a state representative who supports Obama, because, according to an Obama spokesman, she would be objective. But when we called her, she said she can’t recall details of petition challenges, who engineered them for the Obama campaign or why all the candidates were challenged.
But Will Burns does. Now running himself for a seat in the Illinois legislature, Burns was a young Obama volunteer during the presidential candidate’s first race.
Burns was one of the contingents of volunteers and lawyers who had the tedious task of going over each and every petition submitted by the other candidates, including those of Alice Palmer.
“The rules are there for a reason,” Burns said.
“There are rules for a reason.” Yes, there are rules for a reason- rules like immigration laws, dates for mandates to begin and voter registration laws.
And Obama, of course, was unhappy that he had to disenfranchise black voters, but he did it anyway. Another primary opponent knocked off by Obama said of the acts:
“It wasn’t honorable,” he said. “I wouldn’t have done it.”
Chicago Tribune journalist John Kass:
“That was Chicago politics. Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice.”
“There are those who think that registering people to vote and getting them involved in politics and then using this tactic in terms of denying Alice Palmer the right to compete, that these things are inconsistent. And guess what? They are. They are inconsistent. But that’s the politics he plays.”
Indeed it is. Rules are important to Obama for a reason, but principle is not one of them and those rules may be trampled when it they are inconvenient.
Disenfranchising black voters and demanding that rules be followed- these are the things that cause liberals to scream in umbrage, but not when Barack Obama is the perp.
And that is but one more reason liberals are so insufferable.