Campaign Confidential

RNC Criticizes Obama Grant to Rabbi/Relative

By Brett Lieberman

The latest Republican attack line on Barack Obama involves a rabbi.

The Republican National Committee is circulating a news release this morning calling the Democratic presidential nominee to task for awarding $75,000 in grants to a social service agency lead by his wife’s cousin, Rabbi Capers Funnye.

The grants - $50,000 for adult literacy and counseling services and $25,000 for youth services – went to a group called Blue Gargoyle in 1999 and 2000, when Obama was an Illinois state senator, the Associated Press reports.

Funnye, Michelle Obama’s first cousin once removed, denied Obama or the group acted improperly in securing the grants.

“State Sen. Obama joined other legislators in securing funding for a well-established social services agency in his district that provided job training, employment counseling, and alternative education programs to approximately 1,200 Chicago residents each year,” campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told AP.

But under the headline, “Obama’s Friends & Family Plan,” the RNC asked, “Why Does Barack Obama Decry The Politics Of Special Interest, But Show No Shame In Doing Favors For Friends & Family?”



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