A photo of President Obama was suddenly pulled from the website of the group Building One America, whose goals were documented extensively in Stanley Kurtz’s book Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities. The book, which was released ten days ago, reveals what Kurtz refers to as Obama’s plan to undercut the political and economic independence of America's suburbs. Kurtz connects current Obama administration policy with his personal history, and with groups like Building One America in particular.
This website shows a cached view of how the BuildingOneAmerica.org site looked on July 19th, 2012 -- with a photo of President Obama talking to Building One America’s President Mike Kruglik, which was taken during a 2011 meeting held at the White House. Kruglik’s official biography on the Building One America site describes him thusly:
He has been developing grass-roots citizens’ power organizations since 1973 with the Industrial Areas Foundation, the Gamaliel Foundation and Building One America.
And also says:
From 1984 to 1998, he was co-director of the Calumet Community Religious Conference, the community organization that recruited and hired Barack Obama as a community organizer. Mr. Kruglik’s role as Barack Obama’s mentor has been chronicled in a number of works of history and periodicals.
The photo of Obama and his mentor appears to be completely gone from the BuildingOneAmerica website. The site has gone from having a photo of President Obama -- one of the best known, most instantly recognizable people in the world -- talking with a leader of Building One America to its current state, with dozens of photos of unidentified people either talking or listening. The photo of Pres. Obama and Mr. Kruglik gave the site and organization an instant, visceral credibility as a politically well-connected group. Removing that instant recognition seems like a bizarre choice for the organization to suddenly make.
According to a note in Kurtz’s book, the photo with Obama and Kruglik was documented as being on the site January 3, 2012. It was likely posted the year before or earlier. Breitbart News obtained the screen grab above only a few days ago.
Further, the photo itself appears to have been completely scrubbed by Building One America -- a Google Image search finds no record of it from anywhere but Breitbart.com and other conservative websites that featured the image. This suggests that the photo was actually removed from the BuildingOneAmerica.org server entirely or made invisible to search engines.
The text of the story about the July, 2011 meeting does not appear to have changed; only the photo of President Obama and Mike Kruglik is now missing. In the story, the meeting is described:
And if that wasn’t enough, after the forum, Building ONE America’s founding Executive Director Mike Kruglik was summoned (in the midst of intense debt ceiling talks) to the West Wing to meet with President Obama in the Oval Office. The two community organizers discussed the Building ONE America event and Mike listed for the President all the states and metropolitan areas that were represented.
This is the first time a conversation like this has occurred at the White House. It's a powerful beginning and a very important conversation about issues vital not only for our communities but for the future of our country, our economy and our environment.
Stanley Kurtz released the following statement to Breitbart News:
I’m grateful to Breitbart News for letting me know that the Building One America website has apparently scrubbed the picture of Mike Kruglik meeting with his longtime friend, colleague, and former community organizing apprentice, Barack Obama, in the Oval Office. I expected something like this in the wake of the publication of Spreading the Wealth. Too late. The substance of Obama’s audacious and transformative second-term plans, forged in close cooperation with Kruglik and Building One America, is now public. If anything, this move simply strengthens the case I make in the book that, at the Oval Office meeting in question, Obama and Kruglik were working to hide the federal money trail soon to be opened to Building One America. The most important presidential policy you’ve never heard of is hidden in that picture.
Why would BuildingOneAmerica.org suddenly remove a photo of the President from their site, just days after the release of Kurtz’s Spreading The Wealth? Breitbart News will contact both Building One America and the White House on Monday to ask them.