Blogger offers $10,000 bounty for Obama college transcripts

Jason Howerton | Contributor

The Daily Caller has identified the owner of a website that promised on Tuesday to pay $10,000 to anyone who can provide an authentic copy of President Barack Obama’s course transcripts from his days at Occidental College, Harvard University or Columbia University.

Although its one-page website is presented anonymously, conservative blogger Brooks Bayne confirmed to The Daily Caller that he is responsible for it.

Bayne told TheDC that a group of eight people  — including some he called “recognizable” figures — are coordinating the effort to make Obama’s college transcripts public, Bayne told The Daily Caller. He declined to name any of them.

“We are doing this because we are tired of the media not doing their job,” he said. “We are tired of the PR propaganda coming out of places like Media Matters, and we are tired of this administration stonewalling over things like Fast and Furious.”

“We are tired of a lot of things.”

The $10,000 reward, he explained, is “absolutely” real and will be paid to anyone who can provide any verifiable college transcripts belonging to Obama. Bayne said his organization’s members plan to pool their money to raise the cash prize, and added that the amount could grow if others step forward to contribute.

Obama himself is not eligible to claim the reward, Bayne said. The president may, however, release his academic records voluntarily, he added.

And given media reports about financial pressures professional educators face, he said, the $10,000 offer could be attractive.

“Maybe they have a copy of the transcripts laying around,” Bayne told TheDC. “They can make some cash. I mean, we are just trying to spread the wealth around.”

Bayne confirmed that neither Gov. Mitt Romney nor his presidential campaign is involved with his group’s effort, or with the $10,000 reward for Obama’s college transcripts. The question itself prompted a laughing fit that lasted for roughly 20 seconds. He also insisted that there are no right-wing pressure groups — what he called “shadow groups” and “beltway douche-bag groups” — pulling the strings.

But like right-leaning groups in Washington, D.C., Bayne believes media outlets have given President Obama a free pass on his personal history. And because academic records are an indication of a candidate’s intellect and seriousness, he said, Obama’s college transcripts are fair game,

But for some reason, he mused, no one has been able to find Obama’s. “But they sure found George Bush’s college transcripts, didn’t they?”

The website advertising Bayne’s $10,000 bounty reads like a direct challenge to the press.

“You’ve failed, media,” it says.

“You’ve had over three years to vet President Barack Obama. Yet in three years in office and over a year of campaigning beforehand, you have either been oddly uninterested or purposefully ignorant of Barack Obama’s educational history.”

Finding the president’s transcripts, the website adds, “would represent more intellectual curiosity about the leader of the free world than the media has demonstrated since Obama won the Democrat primary.”

The statement provides a link to the college transcripts of former President George W. Bush, which The New Yorker published in November 1999, a full year before his election to the presidency.

“Media, your stranglehold on the truth ends NOW. Let the vetting begin,” the website proclaims.

The statement is signed “Bellum Letale,” a Latin expression meaning “deadly war.”

The website’s domain name — thetrenches.us — was registered using 9220 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles as its contact address. That commercial office building on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood houses Ford Models, Abrams Artists, Atlas Entertainment and Media Talent Group, Mosaic Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Auction House, Comerica and Pat Boone Enterprises.

Bayne refused to identify the building tenant that registered his website, but he did confirm that Boone, an outspoken conservative who has made headlines in the past questioning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, is not connected to the effort.

Asked what he expects to find in Obama’s college transcripts, should they turn up, Bayne said that could challenge conventional wisdom about the types of classes he took and the grades he received.

“All we have heard from the media is how much smarter Barack is than all the other candidates,” he explained.

He also suspects Obama’s coursework could highlight his “hardcore leftist-slash-progressive-slash-neo-marxist point of view.”

“I don’t think it is a conspiracy to say someone can have that viewpoint,” he told TheDC. “There are other people in America who have that view point.”

But by keeping his college history out of public view, Bayne suggested, Obama may be hiding something he should be honest about.

“If you are going to have a viewpoint, take a stand,” he said. “Don’t be a pussy about it, seriously.”

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