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University of Illinois reverses decision, unseals Obama-Ayers documents

August 22, 2008 |  8:48 pm

A couple of days ago The Ticket wrote about how the University of Illinois in Chicago had sealed dozens of boxes of documents relating to the joint work that Barack Obama did on a civic project there with William Ayers, the former 1960s radical from the Weathermen.

Just like that, the university has now reversed itself. Shows what The Ticket can do when it exercises its clout -- a Chicago kind of word.

Actually, we had nothing to do with it. On Friday the school said it will release records of Obama's service to a nonprofit organization linked to Ayers, now a Chicago education professor.

Sen. John McCain's allies have been trying to exploit the ties between Obama and Ayers, with a McCain fundraiser donating nearly $2.9 million for an independent TV ad focusing on Ayers, whose Weathermen group took credit for bombings that included nonfatal blasts at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol four decades ago.

The records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Obama chaired and which Ayers co-founded, will be made available to the public on Tuesday, the university said in a statement.

National Review magazine had attempted to obtain the records and was told the donor had not cleared their opening. Today, the university said it now has legal authority to allow public access to the material.

Our prolific blogging colleague Mark Silva, who seems to be in both Washington and Denver at the same time while writing about Chicago events, has the full story over here at the Swamp.

--Andrew Malcolm

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