Major Paper Defends ‘Communist’ Lawmakers

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Senator, Congress member highlighted in new book

NEW YORK – After WND published a review of a new book naming two Ohio Democrats as having communist ties, a a Washington reporter for a major daily came to the lawmakers’ defense.

Sabrina Eaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer defended Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who are named in Trevor Loudon’s new book, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.”

Eaton writes in a blog post on the paper’s site:

Kaptur spokesman Steve Fought called any allegation that his boss is a radical, leftist, communist “absurd.”

“She is a Polish-American Roman Catholic,” said Fought. “That pretty much proves them wrong, now doesn’t it?”

When we asked whether Sen. Brown thinks Corsi & Co. have been drinking something a bit stronger than tea, his press secretary, Meghan Dubyak, replied:

“Would Mr. Corsi consider Sen. Brown’s bipartisan bill that cracks down on the Chinese communist party for cheating trade laws a communist effort? How about his work to overhaul the corporate tax rate to encourage domestic investment and job creation in the U.S.? Unfortunately we’ll never know because Mr. Corsi eschews substance and resorts to mindless name calling that’s not worthy of discussion on cleveland.com.”

However, Eaton makes no mention of Loudon’s extensive documentation tying the two lawmakers to communists.

Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democrat

On March 3, 1990, Yemi Toure, writing in the Los Angeles Times, reported Brown’s office gave a certificate of recognition to Rick Nagin, chairman of the Ohio Communist Party.

The newspaper reported Nagin collected his award in Columbus for registering more than 2,000 voters during his losing campaign for Cleveland City Council the previous fall.

In 2006, Nagin served as staff of the AFL-CIO Labor 2006 campaign for Brown and then for Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland.

Nagin, speaking in New York to the Communist Party USA’s Political Action Committee on June 25, 2007, noted the labor movement “and other progressive forces” are using a ballot referendum to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to reach out to voters in rural and southern Ohio, “a bastion of the Republican Party,”

“The referendum could prove decisive in Rep. Sherrod Brown’s drive to oust Republican Sen. Michael DeWine,” Nagin said.

Brown wrote a commentary for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Dec. 11, 2003, which was reprinted by permission of the author in the Communist Party USA’s People’s World publication of Dec. 19, 2003.

In the commentary, Brown attacked then-Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert and then-Majority Leader Tom Delay supposedly for coercing enough Republicans in the House of Representatives to change their votes in late-night or early-morning voting to pass a series of bills Brown opposed. The bills included Medicare privatization and prescription drugs – tactics Brown characterized as a “subversion of democracy.”

Figure 1 shows the beginning of the Sherrod Brown article published in People’s World, with the newspaper masthead:

Figure 2 shows the end of the Brown article published in the newspaper, with the paragraph clearly stating the article was reprinted in the Communist Party USA’s People’s World with the permission of the author:

The Ohio Democratic Socialists of America campaigned for Brown in his 2006 Senate Race, as documented by an Ohio DSA brochure now removed from the Internet that read:

Former Representative, now Senator Sherrod Brown is the most visible symbol of change … A longtime critic of “free trade” agreements, frequently characterized as far left and out of the mainstream, Brown handily defeated the relatively moderate but free-trade proponent Mike De Wine.

Trade was also an issue in the narrow loss of Mary Jo Kilroy to Deborah Pryce. Local DSAers worked in both the Brown and Kilroy campaigns.

In 2010, WND reported the ties of then-Ohio Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy to the DSA, citing research Loudon published in his blog in 2012. Loudon documented that Kilroy, a member of the DSA in the 1990s who enjoyed its support in her 2006 and 2008 congressional campaigns, had long tried to hide her ties to the group, representing herself openly in Ohio only as a member of the Democratic Party.

In an essay on the DSA, Loudon emphasizes the impact on U.S. radicals of the late Italian Communist Party theoretician Antonio Gramsci, whose writings from prison declared that the “working class revolution” is a dead end, arguing instead that communism can best be achieved “by infiltrating civil society – political parties, churches, labor unions, universities, the media, community groups, etc., to turn them into revolutionary vehicles.”

Photographs posted on Flickr.com document that on April 21, 2009, Brown spoke alongside DSA affiliates Heidi Hartman and An-Jen Poo, as well as DSA member Barbara Ehrenreich, at a Labor Day for members of the Workers Rights Board of the DSA-infiltrated Jobs with Justice, lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act.

The 21st Century Democrats, a group initiated and led by the Democrat Socialists of America supported Brown in 1992 as one of the group’s first endorsees, when Brown was running for the House of Representatives, and again in 2006, when Brown was running for U.S. Senate.

Brown also has extensive ties with the Institute of Policy Studies, or IPS, in Washington, D.C., a group whose goal to advance radical socialist or communist views under the guise of supporting “progressive liberals” was exposed in S. Steven Powell’s 1988 book “Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute for Policy Studies.” The book documents the importance of the Communist Party USA and the KGB to the founding and subsequent direction of the IPS.

In 2006 and 2007, Brown spoke at the “Take Back America” conference organized by the IPS and the DSA, as well as at the re-named 2009 “America’s Future Now” conference.

In 2012, Brown was one of only five U.S. senators the IPS congressional scorecard rated “A+” in a list including Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Al Franken, D-Minn., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

Lenny Raskin, a Washington, D.C., realtor, and her husband Marcus Raskin, the co-founder of the IPS, contributed to several progressive candidates in tight congressional races in the 2012 election, including Brown.

Enemies within

Loudon’s “The Enemies Within” documents Kaptur’s extensive involvement with the IPS and the DSA opposing U.S. “free trade” agreements, going back to 1993.

In November 1993, the DSA-infiltrated Jobs with Justice and the Cleveland Women Against NAFTA organized an anti-NAFTA rally in the Sheet Metal Workers Local 13 Hall in Cleveland. At the event, Kaptur gave a “ringing indictment” of NAFTA and called for intense last-minute lobbying to defeat the measure, as reported by the People’s Weekly World on page 7 of its Nov. 13, 1993, edition.

In 1995, Kaptur joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus in co-sponsoring a bill to force the U.S. to withdraw from NAFTA, as reported by the People’s Weekly World on page 4 of its Jan. 21, 1995, edition. Then at a DSA-dominated Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, conference, “NAFTA at Seven,” held May 23, 2001 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., Kaptur was one of seven panelists, including Lisa Fuentes, a board member working on Latin America in the IPS Washington office, calling for an end to NAFTA.

On March 5, 2008, Kaptur spoke at an IPS-sponsored “free trade” conference titled “A Critical Look at NAFTA Past, Present and Future: Linking Agriculture, Development, and Migration.”

A 2012 politically charged and divisive IPS scorecard that emphasized socialist concepts of “social justice” excoriated Republican members of Congress for supposedly serving the interests of the America’s richest “1-percent,” ‎gave Kaptur a grade of “A” for serving the interests of “the 99 percent” in the IPS “Inequality Report Card.”

Kaptur is on the list of members of Congress who have participated in hearings and briefings since 1998 with the leftist Institute for Food and Development Policy, founded by Frances Moore Lappe, with ties to the DSA and the IPS, and Joseph Collins, with ties to the IPS, authors of the 1981 mass market paperback book “Food First.”

After KeyWiki.org publicized that Kaptur was listed on the Food First website, the “staff” listing was scrubbed of her name. Kaptur is currently listed on the Fast Food website as a “Campaign Partner,” defined as individuals and organizations who have supported the Fast Food economic and social human rights program since 1997 and congressional representatives who have participated in Fast Food hearings/briefings since 1997. Also on the same list is the Institute for Policy Studies.

Food First argues for a policy of “food sovereignty” in which food would be declared a “human right.” The organization believes “a world free of hunger is possible if farmers and communities take back control of the food systems presently dominated by transnational agri-foods industries.”

The organization also states a commitment “to dismantling racism in the food system” and a belief “in people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food purchased through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems – at home and abroad.”

Rarely mentioned in Kaptur’s official biography is the strong influence in her career – dating back to her time serving as a member of the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission in Ohio from 1969-1974, and then as director of planning for the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs form 1975-1977 –of radical urban planning activist and Catholic priest Msgr. Geno Baroni, the founder of the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs.

In a story published on the front page of the Toledo Blade on Feb. 7, 1988, Kaptur was identified as “an idealist” who was then the Ohio co-chairman of the presidential campaign of Democratic Party Sen. Paul Simon.

Chase Clements, a Toledo Blade staff writer authoring the article, continued to comment: “The clergyman (Baroni), since deceased, was an ardent advocate of organizing on the political power of neighborhoods and was Ms. Kaptur’s most influential confident, both spiritual and political.”

When serving as assistant director for urban affairs in President Jimmy Carter’s White House, Kaptur worked with Baroni and his National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs to write the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The measure demanded banks finance high-risk, low-income housing even if the prospective homeowners failed to meet bank-established credit standards for mortgage lending.

The Community Redevelopment Act of 1977 is a key piece of legislation often cited as contributing to the mortgage bubble that burst in 2008, sending the U.S. into a prolonged economic downturn.

An article published by academic researcher Lawrence J. Engel in the academic journal Theological Studies in 1998 identified Baroni as a key activist in the Catholic Church’s $225 million Campaign for Human Development, initiated by the national conference of Catholic bishops.

The article identified the Campaign for Human Development as “the most significant and longest-running experiment of 20th century U.S. Catholic social action.”

Under the auspices of the Campaign for Human Development, Catholic bishops approved “funds for the poor to organize for power, much of which went to the community-organizing projects associated with Saul Alinsky.”

While he personally avoided confrontational politics, Baroni had studied Alinsky’s 1971 book “Rules for Radicals” and was fully supportive of Alinsky’s influence on the Catholic clergy involved as urban activists in the Catholic Committee on Urban Ministry organized in the late 1960s.

WND has frequently reported on the influence of Alinsky, a radical socialist with a labor union background, on the development of Barack Obama, who moved to Chicago in 1985 to accept a job heading the Developing Communities Project, a Alinsky-styled organization.

Since the 1990s, Kaptur has been accused of being a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a charge she has always vigorously denied.