"Anyone familiar with Freddoso's work knows that he is a by-the-book reporter, and... not much of a bomb-thrower." says Powerline blogger, John Hinderaker.... "Perhaps the campaign is so bothered by him because his careful recitation of facts and caution against overstating the evidence makes his book more persuasive to fence-sitting votes."
However, this is not the first time the Obama campaign has tried to stifle free speech. The Obama campaign recently sent out a similar e-mail to Sen. Obama's constituents when WGN invited the National Review's Stanley Kurtz to appear on its "Extension 720" radio show to discuss Barack Obama's ties to former terrorist Bill Ayers and his collaborative work with Ayers on the Annenberg Challenge.
The Obama campaign recently warned several television networks, including Fox and CNN, not to air a television ad produced by the American Issues Project that scrutinized Obama's ties to Bill Ayers. At the time, I noted that a London law firm, working on behalf of Nadhmi Auchi - the British billionaire who allegedly supplied loans to Barack Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko - had been flooding American and British newspapers and websites with letters demanding removal of material they deemed “defamatory” to their client. And I noted that both Barack Obama and Nahdmi Auchi, in typical communist/socialist style suppression, were trying to stifle free speech and silence their opponents.
But apparently,WGN refused to be intimidated by the "Obama Thought Police", and conducted the interview with Mr. Freddoso as planned.
In the interview [which can be heard by clicking here] on Tuesday, which included not only Mr. Freddoso, but also a Liberal activist by the name of Dan Johnson-Weinberger, Freddoso said that the entire central premise of Barack Obama's campaign that Obama represents hope and change is a great lie. For example, he noted that at the recent Saddleback forum, Senator Obama was asked to name a specific instance when he had worked against his party's interest for the country's common good. Obama cited the time he worked together with John McCain on ethics reform.
"Obama's reply was fictional", Freddoso said. In fact, McCain and Obama actually had a highly publicized fall-out on ethics reform. They never did work together on ethics reform, Freddoso said.
Here's what the Hotline blog had to say about Obama and McCain's "bipartisan" work on ethics reform. This was written in February of 2006, well before Obama announced his candidacy for the Presidency:
Later on in the interview, Mr. Johnson-Weinberger attempted to refute one of Freddoso's claims, namely, that Obama had engendered very little change as an Illinois Senator. Among Obama's accomplishments as Illinois Senator, Johnson-Weinberger said, was his success in bringing ethics reform to Illinois.
An outraged Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today called Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) insincere and partisan, suggesting the Illinois freshman as much as lied in private discussions the two had about ethics reform last week.
"I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform were sincere," McCain wrote to Obama.
Obama attended a meeting with McCain and senators committed to a bipartisan task force on ethics reform. McCain left the meeting convinced that Obama was open to working closely together, according to an aide.
But the next day, Obama wrote McCain that he preferred his own party's legislation to a task force and suggested McCain take another look at the Democratic caucus's Honest Leadership Act, which does not have a Republican cosponsor.
McCain wrote: "When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership's preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable."
"Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter. ... I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in political... to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won't make the same mistake again."
"I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party's effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator."
Freddeso, however, pointed out that Barack Obama was not the original co-sponsor of the Illinois Ethics reform bill. Obama was only added on as the Chief co-sponsor of the Illinois ethics bill on the day the bill was passed. Freddeso also claimed that as a result of what was written in the Illinois ethics reform bill, Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones, who is about to retire from office, will get to take $600,000 in campaign contributions and roll it into his personal bank account - although, as Freddeso recently pointed in an article in the National Review, that is is not really Obama's fault.
"Obama cannot be blamed for any of this because he did not write this 1998 ethics law. In fact, he had very little to do with it until the day it passed. He was not the one to propose the ethics bill in the Illinois senate. He was not even a cosponsor until the day it passed.Freddeso also points out in the article that the ethics bill did very little to clean up Illinois politics.
Five months after the ethics bill was introduced, and more than one month after it reached the senate, Obama was invited by Emil Jones to become its chief Democratic cosponsor. As David Mendell writes in Obama: From Promise to Power..., Sen. Dick Klemm (D.) was removed as chief cosponsor and replaced by Obama on May 22, 1998 — the very day the bill passed."
This ethics bill — which passed in a not-so-close 52-4 vote in the Illinois senate — did not clean up Illinois politics. It did at least bar political fundraising on state property. It blocked lobbyists and contractors from giving personal gifts to legislators. But it did not stop them from giving contributions in the so-called “pay-to-play” game. It did not prevent major political donors like Tony Rezko from influencing the makeup of the powerful boards that control the state’s pension funds, filling them with crooked allies who would help him steal. It did not prevent incumbent legislators from rolling campaign funds into their personal bank accounts.Perhaps some of Obama's lackeys will still insist that Obama is the ultimate reformer, but don't count the Chicago Tribune's Dennis Byrne among those lackeys.
Byrne writes as follows:
For those of you who still cling to the fantasy that Barack Obama is "about change," you should note how he, or his minions, want nothing to do with reforming politics in Illinois, perhaps the most corrupt state in the Union.Well, Obama may not be an agent of change, but he is undeniably an incredibly smooth operator. In fact, Barack Obama is probably the most deceptive and smoothest operator ever to run for public office in the US. Obama possesses an uncanny ability to twist his previously stated positions without even batting an eyelash and to then wage a counter attack against his critics and accuse them of distorting his views.
When the Democratic presidential candidate... was asked by a reformer if he would help get his political mentor back home to get off the dime and move the most minimal of state ethics legislation toward passage, the Obama campaign sent word back that amounted to a "no."
State Sen. Emil Jones (D-Chicago) is the Chicago machine politician who might have been most instrumental in jump-starting Obama's political career. Now, as Illinois Senate president, Jones is the one sitting on the reform legislation, refusing to call it for an expected favorable vote before it officially dies of neglect...
So, along comes Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, thinking that now might be a good time for Obama to parlay his friendship with Jones to do a good deed: Won't you intervene with Jones and try to get him to call the Senate back into session to get this law passed?
In response, Obama's campaign issued an oozy statement reaffirming Obama's alleged commitment to reform, while getting no more specific than urging everyone to get together and love one another right now. What Canary was asking Obama for wasn't all that much. Maybe a 30-second phone call to back up his usual pap of, "Look, ah, I've, ah, always been for, ah, reform."
Agent of change, my foot.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media seems only happy to cover for him every step of the way. And they'll continue to cover for this charlatan, because like Obama, they are nothing more than a bunch of charlatans themselves.
Update Sept 19:
Apparently, Obama finally called Emil Jones yesterday and asked him to call the Illinois ethics reform bill up for a vote:
A recalcitrant Jones got a call from Obama - who doesn't need his home state's reputation for political corruption dogging him as he tries to ascend to the presidency - and a day later changed his mind and summoned the state Senate back to the Capitol next week to quickly decide the fate of ethics reform...
For Obama, Jones' reversal means he gets an opening to sidestep what threatened to become a major political issue along the national campaign trail... The reluctance of his political mentor to quickly address ethics in Illinois loomed as a liability for Obama.