Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has come under attack on the Internet from a veteran political operative associated with insurance magnate and GOP backer J. Patrick Rooney.
The Web site ObamaTruth.org, among other things, assails Obama’s wife Michelle as a former member of the board of a company that closed down a pickle processing plant in Colorado, costing 153 workers their jobs.
“In his lust for personal wealth, has Barack Obama sold his moral compass?” says one entry on the site, which refers to Michelle Obama as Pickles and charges her with “helping ruin the lives of 150 people.”
A video on the site is titled “The Audacity of Barack Obama,” a play on the title of Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope.”
The political operative who set up the site, Joe Novak, told the New York Times that it exposes hypocritical stances by Obama on issues like health care and poverty.
Novak maintains a blog that monitors the spending practices of nonprofit hospitals. He said he decided to set up the ObamaTruth.org site after discovering that Michelle Obama was earning more than $300,000 as a vice president of the University of Chicago Hospitals, a frequent target of his blog.
Novak, who has been called “Low Blow Joe” by some – was a consultant for presidential candidate Walter Mondale and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. But he told the Times that lately he had been working almost exclusively for Rooney, who retired 10 years ago as chairman of the Indiana-based Golden Rule Insurance Company.
Since then he has founded the Medical Savings Insurance Company, a pioneer in setting up private health savings accounts – which he first proposed as long ago as 1991.
Novak insists the Obama site is not connected to his work for Rooney and he uses his own money to maintain the site. But he acknowledged that because Rooney is his primary source of income, “one could infer that the two were related,” the Times stated.
Rooney has contributed to several pro-Republican groups. In 2006 he gave $900,000 to America’s PAC, which was behind several controversial ads designed to discourage members of minorities from voting for Democrats.
In one ad, two black men had a conversation in which one of them said he opposed abortion even “if you make a little mistake with one of your hos.”
The other man responded: “Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican.”
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