Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Obama connection to Sidley Austin still strong
Muckety ^ | 5-20-12 | Laurie Bennett

Posted on 06/12/2012 7:48:56 PM PDT by STARWISE

To those outside legal circles, Sidley Austin is probably best known as the Chicago law firm where Barack Obama and Michelle Obama met.

The future president was an intern in 1989. The future first lady was an associate. Barack Obama turned down a job offer at the end of his internship, Michelle Obama left the firm, and the two married in 1992. wo decades later, Sidley Austin is faring well under the Obama administration.

(Muckety map shown at link))

Current and former attorneys at the firm receiving presidential appointments include:

Virginia A. Seitz - Seitz was a partner at Sidley Austin before being named assistant attorney general in 2011.

Gary Scott Feinerman - A former solicitor general of Illinois and clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Feinerman is now a federal judge with the District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.

David B. Barlow - A partner at the firm from 2006 to 2010, Barlow is now U.S. attorney for the Utah district.

John G. Levi - A current partner and a bundler for the Obama 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Levi chairs the Legal Services Corporation, a governmental corporation that funds legal aid for the poor.

Christopher P. Lu - After working as a litigation associate at Sidley Austin, Lu moved to government. He was legislative director to then-Sen. Barack Obama and is now the president’s cabinet secretary.

Kathryn B. Thomson - Thomson, who is married to Lu, worked for 19 years at Sidley Austin. She became counselor to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in 2009, and was appointed chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration in 2012.

Michael Strautmanis - Like Lu, Strautmanis worked with Obama before 2009. He was chief counsel and deputy chief of staff during Obama’s stint in the Senate. He previously practiced complex litigation and employment law at Sidley Austin. (((Strautmatis: VJarrett's deputy+)))

Newton Minow, senior counsel at the law firm and chairman of the Federal Communications Commission during the Kennedy administration, has multiple connections to the White House. Minow met Barack Obama through his daughter Martha, who was Obama’s professor. She urged her father to hire the young law student.

As president, Obama appointed Martha Minow, now dean of Harvard Law School, to the Legal Services Corporation. He named another Minow daughter, Mary, to the National Museum Library Services Board.

Sidley Austin has been embraced by Washington in more ways than federal appointments.

The firm has landed federal contracts totalling nearly $12 million since 2009.

In the prior four years, during the George W. Bush administration, the firm’s federal contracts totaled $1.4 million, according to data on

Sidley Austin also lobbies for clients with big stakes in Washington, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Bayer HealthCare and Grifols, a global healthcare company. In 2011, the firm had 21 registered lobbyists in the capital and pulled in nearly $3 million in lobby fees.

Not surprisingly, political contributions from people at Sidley Austin lean toward the Obama camp.

Elections data analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics show that Sidley Austin employees had given $243,486 to Obama’s re-election bid through late April. Employees gave less than $23,000 to Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Levi isn’t the only Obama bundler at the firm. Partner Thomas Cole raised money for the 2008 campaign.

Nevertheless, Sidley Austin is not an all-Obama, all-the-time law firm. Partner Charles Douglas raised funds for John McCain in 2008. This time around, he has contributed to both Romney and Tim Pawlenty.

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: chicagoway; obama; sidleyaustin; themachine
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-23 next last
Another connection in the web:

John McKnight - co founder of the Asset Based Community Development movement once had a student - Barack Obama

John McKnight - Barack Obama, My Student


"A Northwestern University professor emeritus, John McKnight, stated that he mentored Obama in community organizing in Chicago in 1982, 1983, and 1984. However, Obama claims he was attending Columbia University in New York City at that time..

Who is this guy and what is the truth? Will we ever know?"


McKnight, affiliated with Public Allies, on whose board Michelle and BO sat, as described here.

1 posted on 06/12/2012 7:49:07 PM PDT by STARWISE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: penelopesire; maggief; hoosiermama; SE Mom; Liz; rodguy911; Fred Nerks; Red Steel; seekthetruth; ...


Michelle Obama and Public Allies CEO Paul Schmitz were also original faculty members of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, led by John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann.

John McKnight worked with Barack Obama as an organizer and wrote his Harvard Law School recommendation (see Audacity of Hope, page 360). The Institute has a strategic alliance with Public Allies’ consulting group, The Leadership Practice, through which we provide training and consulting services on how to better identify and mobilize local community assets and participation to strengthen communities.

2 posted on 06/12/2012 7:50:54 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Wow - pay to play, I’m shocked I tell ya!

3 posted on 06/12/2012 8:12:55 PM PDT by jcsjcm (This country was built on exceptionalism and individualism. In God we Trust - Laus Deo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]


Something told me I would find him in Trevor Loudon’s reseacrh on KEYWIKI:

Catalyst for “change”
John McKnight arranged the dinner meeting when Monsignor Jack Egan met Gordon Sherman of Midas Mufflers.

Jack was “so bushed”—his phrase—he didn’t know whom he was supposed to be meeting. “I was tired. I just wanted to get out of there and get home.” Then John McKnight, beckoned him across the nearly empty dining room. “Well, what is it you want of me?” Father Egan abruptly and uncharacteristically challenged the president of Midas Muffler when he was introduced. Gordon Sherman told Jack Egan he was the fourteenth person he’d talked to about putting a quarter of a million where it would do the most good for the people of the city. “Jack’s mind immediately cleared. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars! He had an immediate graphic vision of the Lawndale community organized, his people taught to take charge of their own lives, the very vision that had taken him that day to rouse the young Jesuit seminarians”. He told Sherman how much he’d like to see Lawndale organized the way Woodlawn was, the work directed by Saul Alinsky. Now Sherman came to attention. “Do you know Saul Alinsky?” Sherman asked eagerly. “He’s a dear friend of mine,” Jack said.

Jack Egan intended that Alinsky should flesh out Jack Egan’s aspirations for the people of Lawndale. He never dreamed that Alinsky would flesh out his own dreams, persuading Gordon Sherman that putting his quarter million in a training institute for community organizers was more desirable than funding a community organization in Lawndale. Egan’s sop was the promise—never fulfilled—that he would get the first four black organizers. Initially furious, Jack “felt betrayed, I felt double-crossed.” Egan soon forgave Alinsky because he loved the man. He even brought himself to suggest later that, “I knew Saul was right . . . because Alinsky had no black organizers to put in Lawndale. And that was 1969—months after King’s death.”[2]

4 posted on 06/12/2012 8:46:06 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Fred Nerks

There ya go! The repulsive snake pit of ‘organizers.’

As a Catholic, I’m so beyond infuriated that the Church was and has gotten sucked in and bamboozled by this stinking ‘social justice’ meme I could vomit. It is NOT for the seedy and despicable vote buying networks like ACORN or the unions or fergodssake the govt to dictate or legislate or “organize” charity and outreach to the under privileged and struggling class for their evil goals. Righteous charity springs forth from good souls and individual hearts whose agenda is exclusively the giving for giving’s sake.

5 posted on 06/12/2012 9:14:02 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Fred Nerks

Gordon Sherman. Now there’s a name out of the past. A sugar daddy to the Left in the 1960’s, early 70’s, along with Stewart Mott (GM heir), one of the Stern’s, old communist sympathizer Cyrus Eaton, CPUSA sympathizer Ed Lamb, the Field Foundation of the old Soviet spy Frederick Field, and the D.J. Bernstein Foundation.

Sherman was so left that he was ousted as the head of Midas Mufflers in an internal coup, and faded into obscurity.

However, he gave the Left a lot of money and did a lot of damage to the U.S.

I suspect he funded, in part, the old Socialist Scholars Conferences of the 60’s or similar affairs. Google his name and see what pops up.

6 posted on 06/12/2012 9:37:18 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper; Fred Nerks; All

Power to the People: Thirty-five Years of Community Organizing


Methodical training of community organizers can be dated from 1969, when Midas Muffler founder Gordon Sherman gave Alinsky a sizable grant. As IAF executive director, Edward Chambers continued the program following Alinsky’s death in 1972, setting training at the heart of IAF’s expanded organizing activity, centered on broad-based organizations, built around religious congregations and parishes and often including civic associations and labor unions.

IAF’s most successful projects have been based in Texas, where Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in San Antonio helped elect Henry Cisneros as the city’s first Hispanic mayor. As IAF state director, Ernesto Cortes, Jr. built a powerful network of six affiliates, collectively known as Texas Interfaith; he is now the IAF southwest regional organizer.

IAF’s East Brooklyn Congregations set up Nehemiah Homes to build 2,100 low-cost houses and became a model for federal housing assistance. Baltimore’s BUILD has tackled education, jobs, and housing. IAF presently has 57 affiliates in 21 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

The IAF model of organizing religious congregations into powerful local and regional networks has been taken up by three other groups — PICO, Gamaliel, and DART — most of whose leaders got their start with IAF.


The Gamaliel Foundation, created in Chicago in 1968 to assist a low-income African-American community, was reoriented to focus on community organizing when Gregory Galluzzo was hired as executive director in 1986. Seeing its basic function as training and leadership development, Gamaliel’s goal is “to assist local community leaders to create, maintain and expand independent, grassroots, and powerful faith-based community organizations.” Gamaliel is also refocusing its efforts on wider metropolitan areas and assessing how to impact national policy on immigration reform. As of 2008 Gamaliel has 60 affiliates in 21 states, Britain, and five provinces of South Africa, and claims to represent over a million people.

DART, the Direct Action and Research Training Center, was founded in 1982, and has 20 affiliated organizations in six states. John Calkins is the executive director. DART is headquartered in Miami, Florida, and practices strictly congregation-based community organization. DART conducts five-day orientation trainings for community leaders and has a four-month training program for organizers.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, began in 1970 as a spin-off from the National Welfare Rights Organization, founded by George Wiley, who enlisted civil rights workers and trained them in an Alinsky-influenced program at Syracuse University.

From a base in Arkansas, Wade Rathke and Gary Delgado developed a replicable model of forming membership organizations and developing leaders in low-income neighborhoods — relying substantially on young middle-class staff working for subsistence wages.

ACORN has established local housing corporations to rehabilitate homes, and has successfully pressured banks to provide mortgages and home improvement loans in low-income communities. ACORN has led “living wage” campaigns in many cities, and has forged alliances with labor unions. The Institute for Social Justice serves as ACORN’s training arm. ACORN claims some 350,000 member families in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities.

More socialism history and currently

7 posted on 06/12/2012 10:03:16 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: STARWISE; daisy mae for the usa; Brown Deer

Reminds me, I keep saying, don’t blame the USSR for everything, the US of A was full of home-grown communists willingly selling out their own country to spread ‘the glorious revolution’ - look at Alice Palmer for example, who travelled behind the ‘iron curtain’ as often as if she was on a rubber band.

Where did the Russians get the idea that someone was being groomed in the US who would be the first black communist POTUS?

When Tom Fife first joined FR and told his story, he was laughed at. That happened in 1992, and the plan was well under way then.

8 posted on 06/12/2012 10:59:19 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]



9 posted on 06/12/2012 11:06:27 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
Stewart R. Mott was a philanthropist whose gifts to progressive and sometimes offbeat causes were often upstaged by his eccentricities.

Mr. Mott, who listed himself as "philanthropist" in the Manhattan phone book, died at age 70 in June 2008.

His giving went toward causes like birth control, abortion rights, sex research, arms control, feminism, civil liberties, governmental reform, gay rights and research on extrasensory perception.


I think you must have had an entire generation of rich dumbshites who never had to work to earn their keep.

10 posted on 06/12/2012 11:20:38 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Fred Nerks

Disgustingly true ...

Check out this guy

Yes .. I remember Fife clearly .. beyond eerie and chilling.

11 posted on 06/12/2012 11:52:53 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Fred Nerks

More on Hammer .. he was notoriously and publicly
red... Soros kinda guy.

12 posted on 06/12/2012 11:57:07 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: STARWISE; Fred Nerks; David
and don't let us forget his "associations" with the Seattle law firm, Perkins Coie.

|   |
Lorice Sarruf 1907-1991   Alexander Ishak Sarruf 1913-1993
|   |
Joseph E. Toutonghi 1932-
& Mary Jean Zolin (babysat Barack 0bama?) 1935-
  Nabil Alexandre Sarruf 1947-
    David A. Sarruf 1977-
& Michelle Christie MacArtney (attorney, Perkins Coie) 1973-

13 posted on 06/13/2012 1:16:03 AM PDT by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brown Deer

Contact Information
Name: Michelle Sarruf
Address: 1201 Third Avenue Suite 4800
Seattle, WA 98101


Areas of Practice
•Seattle, WA Trial Lawyers


Harry Chapin


All my life’s a circle
Sunrise and sundown
Moon rolls through the nighttime
Till daybreak comes around
All my life’s a circle
Still I wonder why
Seasons spinning ‘round again
Years keep rolling by...

14 posted on 06/13/2012 4:01:21 AM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Brown Deer

The key question as you know: Who is the Sarruf who is the common parent of Alexander and Lorice.

15 posted on 06/13/2012 7:08:53 AM PDT by David
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...


16 posted on 06/13/2012 3:05:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: David; Brown Deer

...Another of the Lebanese Christian editors in Cairo was Yaqub Sarruf, uncle of Dr Fuad Sarruf who is today one of the Vice-Presidents of the American University of Beirut...

17 posted on 06/13/2012 6:20:32 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: David; Brown Deer


For the first time in more than 30 years, the American University of Beirut will award six honorary doctorates of humane letters on the day of this year's graduation ceremony, June 28. The recipients will be Lakhdar Brahimi, special representative of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for Afghanistan; Carlos Ghosn, currently president and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Company; Amin Maalouf, journalist and novelist, winner of the Prix Goncourt; Hasib Sabbagh, chairman and co-owner of Consolidated Contractors International; Edward Said, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University; and Helen Thomas, doyenne of the White House press corps and syndicated columnist with Hearst Newspapers. The program, first established in 1890, recognizes individuals of outstanding achievement and personal merit. The first honorary degrees were awarded to Faris Nimr (BA 1874), teacher of Arabic and head of the Lee Observatory and Yakub Sarruf, one of the five members of the first AUB graduating class of 1870-teacher, astronomer, translator, and poet.

Honorary degrees were later awarded to AUB founders Daniel Bliss and Stuart Dodge (1916), former AUB president Bayard Dodge (1966), and Lebanese historian Philip Hitti (1969).

Check the article entitled: AUB Seeks Nominations for 2004 Honorary Doctorates

18 posted on 06/13/2012 6:34:50 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: David; Brown Deer

Yacub had a wife, she appears on page 121:

Changing the name, governing authority, and personnel of the school did not clar-ify its mission any further; however, the school did run moresmoothly and efficiently.Mrs. Yacub Sarruf, wife of the editor of al-muqtat and al-muqatam, visited the school in 1890 and was pleasantly surprised by what she encountered. She expected to find a small, wretched building with 20–30 students learning basic literacy and needlework.Instead,she found an immaculate building offering quality instruction to about 100 girls. She saw deaf girls learning craft skills, blind girls reciting the Quran,and other students studying mathematics. She was particularly impressed with the order and cleanliness of the school, as well as the fact that the girls produced their own clothing. Nevertheless, in the conclusion of her article, Mrs. Sarruf expressed her concern that daughters of the wealthy were learning certain domestic skills at the expense of more neededd skills, which properly complete the education of young girls.Parents of the students shared such concerns, and they began to demand another school to address these problems. The government continued to study the problem,but took its time in finding a solution...


19 posted on 06/13/2012 7:53:12 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Fred Nerks
I think you must have had an entire generation of rich dumbshites who never had to work to earn their keep.>

Fred, such idiocy is nothing new in America.

Pyotr Kropotkin was the toast of New York society in the 1890's -- in demand at all the salons of the wealthy.

And what was he doing there? Openly collecting funds for Nikolai Lenin and his Bolsheviks. The Astors and the Morgans, et al, contributed generously.

Stuart Mott and his ilk were merely his generation's spoiled rich kids.

20 posted on 06/13/2012 8:33:09 PM PDT by okie01
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-23 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson