Jim Simpson
Obama and Notre Dame update
By Jim Simpson
May 21, 2009

The more you dig, the more you discover. Now it appears Notre Dame's Board of Trustees is a virtual who's who of wealthy leftists; Obama supporters all. An article from PewSitter.com (described as the voice of the Catholic Lay Faithful) provides stunning documentation:

    Richard and Peggy Notebaert are leading members of the ND community, and Notebaert is chair of the Notre Dame trustees. While Obama served in the senate, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, received federal funding earmarked by Obama. Key Obama campaign fundraiser, Frank Clark served on the board of the Notebaert Museum at the time. The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, where ND trustee Arthur Velasquez is on the board, also received millions in earmarks. Velasquez contributed to Obama's campaigns in 04 and 08.

    Chicago power at Notre Dame extends to political posts as well. Justice Ann Claire Williams was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1999 to the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th District. In 2004 she ruled that the Department of Justice could not subpoena hospital abortion records to enforce the ban on partial birth abortions. Left-leaning Chicago politics has a place on the Notre Dame governing board. Currently Ann Claire Williams is receiving serious attention among the top three possible Obama replacements for retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

According to this article, even Communist China has influence on the Board:

    ND Trustee Douglas Tong Hsu is chairman of Far Eastern Group, a 32-billion dollar Chinese conglomerate. Hsu's strong political connections in Taiwan lean toward unification with mainland China. He recently stated that democratic governance is a hindrance to investment, and praised communist China's system for being more favorable to business with its staunch system of rule. (Emphasis mine.)

Wonderful! But it gets even better:

    In 2006 Hsu was indicted for breach of trust and forgery in connection with a major department store takeover. These charges also involved the Taiwanese first lady, Wu Shu-chen. With Douglas Tong Hsu, the political and business interests of the PRC have influence at Notre Dame. In 2006, ND President Jenkins led a small delegation to East Asia, where they met with Hsu, and traveled to communist Beijing to develop partner programs for the university.

So it seems Father Jenkins has no problem working with communists — nothing new for Jesuits, but the head of Notre Dame?

Other Board members are or have been involved directly with organizations and movements in line with Obama administration policies, for example Obama's Brown Shirt civilian defense force:

    Raymond G. Chambers, co-founder of anti-poverty organization Millennium Promise, serves on the ServiceNation leadership council. ServiceNation is a political group that supports the enormous multiplication of federal national service programs in the Obama agenda, including the just-passed Kennedy Serve America Act.

The story goes on to name an extensive list of top executives from the banking and investment industries whose companies are directly dependent upon government bailout monies to stay afloat.

Father Jenkins' proposal to invite Obama becomes much easier to understand in light of this information. There is little doubt that he is of one mind with Board members on this issue, and it seems like Jenkins' brand of "Catholicism" is the kind they would approve of. But this information makes it appear very likely that Obama's invite was a quid-pro-quo arrangement between interested Notre Dame Board members and Obama, or at least a widespread sentiment to invite him for reasons unrelated to any "spiritual message" he could deliver.

© Jim Simpson


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Jim Simpson

Jim Simpson is an economist and former university instructor, who from 1987 to 1993 worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) analyzing and reporting on various economic and budgetary issues for high-level policy makers, including the President... (more)


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