Obama’s main man will do whatever it takes to fell Republicans and conservatives. Where does his ruthlessness and drive come from?
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The committee was interested in a Canter operation called Translation World Publishers, an unusually pro-Soviet publishing house created by David Canter and his co-owner, LeRoy Wolins, a well-known communist. Among other troubling details, the committee had evidence that “the Soviet Government advanced to Translation World Publishers…the sum of $2,400” for a specific set of books to be produced. This was a stunning item: Was David Canter’s publishing house being subsidized by the Kremlin? Both Canter and Wolins refused to answer, again pleading the Fifth.
Nonetheless, the committee concluded that Translation World Publishers was “an outlet for the distribution of Soviet propaganda” and was “subsidized by Soviet funds and was created by known Communists to serve the propaganda interests of the USSR.” Canter and Wolins, according to the committee, had thereby failed to comply with the provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. That was no casual charge.
Congress was also curious about Canter, an attorney, being listed in the 1960 and 1962 editions of the Lawyers Referral Directory, published by the National Lawyers Guild, an infamous communist front classified by Congress as the “legal bulwark of the Communist Party.”
Like his old man, David was finding himself a subject of Congress’s exhaustive compilations of subversive activities. In Congress’s major investigation, “Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications,” an exhaustive analysis (the largest since the 1944 report) compiled between 1955 and 1968, published in September 1970—likewise under a Democratic Congress—David Canter was listed 25 times.
Among the added things that rankled Democrats was David’s possible role in the 1968 Democratic National Convention blow-up, held in Chicago that August. In October, the Democrat-run House Committee on Un-American Activities held hearings. The committee heard testimony that David Canter’s publishing house had been a “great help” to one of the communist publications that had agitated and disrupted the convention: “We wouldn’t be anywhere without him,” stated one source.
In its formal report on the effort to subvert the Democratic National Convention, Congress noted not only David Canter but also his partner, Don Rose, a member of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. This group, of course, was the ultimate Who’s Who of Sixties radicals, and thoroughly penetrated by communist ringleaders. Rose did press work for the Mobilization Committee and for Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
David Canter and Don Rose were busy men throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, associated with all sorts of suspected front groups.
In his new book, Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, Trevor Loudon, one of the few people bo-thering to track this trail, refers to David Canter as a “paid Soviet agent.” (Both of David’s surviving sons vigorously deny the “paid” part.) Loudon refers to Don Rose as “equally as radical, but never a proven Party member.”
David Canter passed away in August 2004. Don Rose is alive and well.
Most significant to the Axelrod connection, it was in the 1960s, at the peak of their radicalism, that David Canter and Don Rose joined forces to start a Hyde Park-Kenwood community newspaper called Hyde Park-Kenwood Voices, serving as founders, co-publishers, and editors. The newspaper was on the far left, echoing CPUSA’s calls to “abolish HUAC” and publishing (to cite just one example) pro-Hanoi screeds by SDS members based in Chicago. It was through this enterprise that they eventually met a young David Axelrod.
On that, one especially good source is David Canter’s son Marc. At his blog, “test-marcblog.wordpress.com,” Marc, a Chicago-based IT consultant, posts an e-mail from Don Rose, who remains a close family friend. Rose was eager to set straight the “historical record” on when he and David Canter met Axelrod. According to Rose, Axelrod “was familiar with our paper [Hyde Park-Kenwood Voices] as a student before he got the [Hyde Park] Herald job.” Rose confirmed to Marc: “Your dad and I ‘mentored’ and helped educate him politically in that capacity, which is perhaps why you may recall seeing him hanging around the house. I later wrote a reference letter for him that helped him win an internship at the Tribune, which was the next step in his journalism career.”
Indeed it was. With the help and mentorship of Rose and Canter, Axelrod got a position at the Chicago Tribune, a major breakthrough that launched him. “I felt I had made the big leagues,” said Axelrod, quite correctly.
Did that recommendation seal the deal for Axelrod in getting the job at the Tribune? That is difficult to say, but it no doubt helped. The recommendation was a significant part of Axelrod’s early rise.
Notably, Don Rose’s influence on David Axelrod has been so strong that even the mainstream media sometimes pauses to interview him in profiles of Axelrod, referring to Rose as a “progressive.” Articles in Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times honestly (or naïvely) pause to acknowledge Rose’s influence on Axelrod (albeit ignoring David Canter like the plague). Some refer to Rose as a “mentor”—the Chicago Tribune does so explicitly—and most note that Rose “recommended” Axelrod for the critical position at the Tribune, directly interviewing and quoting Rose. Predictably, this journalistic honesty is lacking in profiles by the New York Times—which in three major profiles of Axelrod somehow managed to miss Don Rose—and, naturally, in a Washington Post profile by Robert Kaiser, all of which know better than to raise the specter of Rose (or David Canter).
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