There’s a growing interest in President Barack Obama’s obscured youth, his college education and his Chicago career — and now the financial incentive for people to provide interesting documentation has doubled to $20,000.
The reward has doubled since May’s initial reward of $10,000 was announced by a project launched by a former high-tech executive.
So far, “we’ve had a few people send in fakes, which were pretty hilarious,” said Brooks Bayne, the public face of the activist team, whose website is at thetrenches.us.
Bayne is based in L.A., but he’s from Tennessee, and has had a long history of local activism against big government. He was a top manager at a California tech-firm that was bought by Amazon, and is now working to document the gaps in Obamas education and early career.
“100 percent of my time [is devoted] to fighting against the professional left,” he said, adding that he has never been a member of the Republican Party.
The group’s initial goal to is to get copies of Obama’s college-related documents, such as application papers and lists of the courses he took.
“The New Yorker was quite adept at getting their hands on George Bush’s transcripts” from Yale University a year before he was elected, said Bayne. “That was just one university, but in this case, Obama went to three different universities and [we’ve learned] bupkis” from the establishment media, he said.
Obama attended Occidental College, then Columbia University and then Harvard University’s law school. Obama has not released any of the documents, despite his claim to be running “the most transparent” administration in history.
The group is not asking people to steal documents, but merely to share copies of documents already in their hands, Bayne said.
What the document might show about Obama is unknown. However, they may show that Obama described himself falsely to a university’s acceptance officials, Bayne said, before adding that he does not believe Obama was born overseas.
According to Bayne, the recent discovery by Breitbart.com that Obama’s literary agent had advertised him in 1991 as Kenyan-born suggests that Obama was willing to play up his unusual childhood “to get his foot in the door for entitlements,” or preferences.
That possibility was highlighted May 22 by Donald Trump, who tweeted out a message saying, “I wonder if @BarackObama ever applied to Occidental, Columbia or Harvard as a foreign student. When can we see his applications? What do they say about his place of birth.” (RELATED: DNC spokesman recognizes question of Obama resume fraud)
Other politicians have practiced such deception, Bayne said.
For example, Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for the Senate election in Massachusetts, has claimed she is 1/32 Cherokee, but offers no documents to back up that assertion. The controversial claim may have helped her win a tenured job at Harvard, but it may also wreck her campaign for a Senate seat.
“This is a serious business,” said Bayne. “We’re all in.”