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Panetta Report 3: Leon Panetta and the Santa Cruz Socialists

Submitted by on June 18, 2011 – 3:37 am EST12 Comments

Panetta Report 2 here.


It is now fairly well known that President Barack Obama enjoyed a close relationship with the socialists, Trotskyites and “former” communists, who made up the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America.

It is less well known that while a California Congressman, Obama’s Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta also worked closely with Santa Cruz based members of the US’s largest Marxist organization.

Hugh DeLacy

A key point of contact was Hugh DeLacy, Panetta’s friend and correspondent from at least 1976, until his death in 1986. DeLacy was a long time Communist Party USA member who worked closely with members of the California Communist Party splinter group, who then went on to form the pro-Chinese New American Movement, which in turn joined with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee in 1982 to form Democratic Socialists of America.

Santa Cruz New American Movement, and later Democratic Socialists of America, effectively took over the Santa Cruz City Council after NAMers Mike Rotkin and Bruce Van Allen joined with DSOCers Mardi Wormhoudt and John Laird to form a majority on the Council in 1981.

Another local DSAer, former Trotskyite Gordon Haskell, served on the Santa Cruz Democratic Party Central Committee for many years, while several other comrades held senior posts in the local party.

On September 6, 1986, Leon Panetta addressed a memorial service for Hugh DeLacy at the Louden Nelson Center in Santa Cruz.

Some of the names on the list above indicate the circles that both DeLacy and Panetta were moving in at the time.

Mardi Wormhoudt

  • Presenter Mardi Wormhoudt was a member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, who became a Santa Cruz City Councilmember in 1981 and went on to serve three terms as town Mayor. Wormhoudt, a supporter of Nicaragua’s Marxist-Leninist Sandinista regime, was a delegate on the Let Nicaragua Live Tour for the Coalition for Nicaragua in 1986. She was also a member of a 1987 Sister City Delegation to Alushta in the Soviet Union.
  • Jack Berman was a life long leftist activist, a veteran of the Communist Party led Independent Progressive Party and an affiliate of the New American Movement. In the 1960s, Berman worked with Hugh DeLacy in support of United Farmworkers founder Cesar Chavez – a disciple, like Barack Obama, of the Chicago based father of “community organizing’ Saul Alinsky.
  • John McTernan

  • John McTernan was a Los Angeles lawyer and a several decades veteran of the Communist Party USA. McTernan  later joined the New American Movement and eventually the Democratic Socialists of America. In 1974, Hugh DeLacy applied to the Chinese government for a free trip for a delegation that would have included McTernan and several other communists, but the Chinese government ended up only paying for DeLacy and his wife. As a member of D.S.A.,  McTernan was on a list of wealthy leftists marked as possible funders of D.S.A. programs in Southern California. Others on the list included DSAers Ed Asner and Stanley Sheinbaum (later a supporter of Progressives for Obama), and entertainment figures Casey Kasem, Martin SheenJackson Browne and Danny Goldberg (also Progressives for Obama).
  • Mike Rotkin

  • Mike Rotkin had been a member of Students for a Democratic Society. He later went on to become a leader of the New American Movement. Using community-organizing techniques developed by Saul Alinsky, Cesar Chavez, ACORN and Chicago’s Midwest Academy, Rotkin built up a power base on Santa Cruz’s West Side through agitation for a community health center in the area. In 1979, the Westside NAMers sought and obtained the endorsement of then Congressman Leon Panetta for their project. That support was re-affirmed in 1981. Rotkin used this power base to take over the Santa Cruz City Council, where he and his comrades used their power to pass such essential Council initiatives as calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. military and Economic aid to El Salvador and declaring Santa Cruz a nuclear free zone.

Leon Panetta was no stranger to the other speakers at DeLacy’s memorial - he had worked with them for years. When Panetta first entered Congress in 1976, his campaign included staffer Don Lane, a future DSAer and Santa Cruz Mayor.

John Laird

A member of Panetta’s campaign committee that year was John Laird, a Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee member and yet another future Santa Cruz Mayor.

Leon Panetta would later work closely with John Laird in a successful campaign to stop oil drilling off the California Coast. Laird was recently appointed California Secretary of Natural Resources by incoming leftist Governor Jerry Brown.

In the late 1970s, Hugh DeLacy was effectively the California agent for the Chicago based socialist journal In These Times, a project of the New American Movement and the far left “think tank,” the  Institute for Policy Studies. Congressman Leon Panetta incidentally served on the Institute for policy Studies’  20th Anniversary Celebrations Committee in 1983. In 1999, Barack Obama was himself summoned from Chicago to New York to help establish an I.P.S “partner” organization, the leftist non-profit Demos.

James Weinstein

In These Times was run by DeLacy’s friend, a former Communist and New American Movement founder named James Weinstein. In 2002, James Weinstein and his friends Carl Davidson and former NAMer Marilyn Katz, organized an anti-Iraq War rally in Chicago’s Federal Plaza. They invited a then obscure little known Illinois state Senator to speak. Barack Obama used the opportunity to rail against the War, making his first mark on the national stage. The rest is history.

All these connections are of course mere coincidence.

President Obama chose Leon Panetta to head the CIA and serve as Secretary of Defense (despite zero intelligence and only two years military experience), because he was the best man in America for both jobs.

To think anything else would be paranoid… Possibly even racist.

Panetta Report 4 here.

12 Comments »

  • JEWEL says:

    you failed to mention rep. Sam Farr…. another one.

  • beachmom says:

    I always get a kick out of all the marxists/socialists who have taken part fully in the world of capitalism like the actors and such.

    Like I saw someplace recently, without capitalism the socialists wouldn’t have anyone’s money to redistribute.

    • frank says:

      You hit it on the head. Socialism was designed and created by bankers and rich capitalists intended to unjustly enrich bankers and rich capitalists.

      Socialism cannot exist without subsidies from capitalism, the engine of wealth creation.

      The inherent quality of socialism is that it consumes more than it can produce. It cannot even feed its own people.

      The inherent quality of capitalism is that is procduces more than it consumes. What then is to be done with the “surplus” when the market is saturated and no one wants one anymore. If half of the world is in a perpetual state of want, this is the ideal dumping ground for these unsaleable surpluses.

      Even Karl Marx admitted that capitalism is necessary in the first instance to create the means of production that the socialists intend to “steal”.

      Socialism is founded upon the concept of coveting your neighbors’ goods, which leads to the stealing (redistribution of wealth) of your neighbors’ goods.

      • The real height of irony in this is that the communists and socialists are working in line with Soros, who is using them for pushing his own agenda…the ultimate example of those who are socialists being manipulated by an extreme merchant of open markets (not capitalism as we understand it – Soros wants to be the top boss of it all.)

  • Hedgehog says:

    Can anyone doubt that we are in the midst of a Communist coup d’etat?

    • Not yet a coup de’et for in such matters communists resort to the usage of armed force and the swift elimination of any and all opposition, perceived or real, with cold and brutal totality in all ways and means.

      The part with this administration is I see a fair chance that if they and the progressives of all sides see power falling away from their hands, they will move into a full scorched earth war and seek to bring everything down.

      Once on the ground Sun Tzu calls “Fatal Terrain” they will have nothing left to lose and will go all out to win, no matter what the cost.

      It is then, we truly will see the coup all are expecting come into reality at last.

  • Deborah Texas says:

    A dude I talked to this morning said to me, “What are you talking about? Communism? lol” I said, “yes, I am…hard core communism.” He quit laughing. He’s in his 60′s and is fully aware of what communism stands for. I think we need our older group to get their butts woke up. These preachers need to be fired and replaced with NON COLLEGE EDUCATED GODLY preachers that has a lick of sense! Oh, and non FEMA trained!
    God, I hate commies!

    • Deborah, I am a ordained pastor who is disabled; I would love to deal with more of these idiots who stand behind the pulpit and preach their version of corrupted and immoral garbage.

      I still do manage from time to time find myself able to debate them, and here are some common themes they say about the reason they will not tell the truth on matters:

      A. They love the power that comes with the leading of their flocks.

      B. The money.

      C. Job Security, for if they lose the support of their flock to be fleeced, they are out of work.

      D. Any or all of the above.

      I normally will give pastors a small window of benefit of doubt until I hear their words with my own ears or from a solid band of witnesses who are reliable under oath.

      Then I have no mercy for what they are doing and will do my best to call them to task for it.

  • lillibet says:

    Just as no one in the midstream media would report on Barack Obama’s background, no one will report on his SecDef choice Panetta. During Geithner’s confirmation hearings for the NY Fed I posted on a popular message board that the senators should ask Timmy about his time in Jakarta and his extensive knowledge of Barry. The Senate just rolled over and allowed him to avoid mentioning these facts. Whomever is behind the curtain in Oz has complete control of this sideshow. How easy would it be for the Chicoms or the Russians to seize control over our government? Three inducements (money, drugs, sex) will control the vast majority of leaders at the top. Add in photographs and the threat of disclosure (blackmail) and what wouldn’t any of our Congress people do to maintain their offices? Learning Mandarin, immersing one’s self in the Chinese cultural milleu and/or crossing into Russia for undisclosed reasons seems to be de rigeur these days. As I have stated before, Barry came into the United States to Decatur, IL in 1971 (one year after Tim Geithner visited Decatur, IL), and admitted that he wasn’t born here, but wanted to be president of this country someday despite his admission. I sent Drudge a link to your series, but not even Drudge will touch the Panetta story. No, he’d rather run stories about hamburgers and golfing outings.

  • Jim McGovern says:

    We must start calling these people what they really are – communists. Even if it’s just because they hate that. More importantly, we must stop using the “softer” language that gives them legitimate claim to the public forum.

    Communism kills people; communism makes slaves of citizens. Progressives promote socialism, and socialism is the precursor of communism.

  • Federale says:

    LOL, Democrats are communists. No surprises here.

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