Scott Marks 3:29 p.m., May 24
Tom Hayden vs. La Jolla's Institute of the Americas
Former Democratic state senator and 1960s radical Tom Hayden is still on the warpath against the evils of capitalism. Lately he’s been attacking Jeffrey Davidow, president of the La Jolla-based Institute of the Americas, who got time off to work as chief advance man for president Barack Obama’s Summit of the Americas, held last week in Trinidad and Tobago. In the process, Hayden, the ex-husband of Jane Fonda, is also taking on the corporate money behind the institute, a mainstay of the San Diego establishment, with board members including Malin Burnham, UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox, and Sempra LNG president Darcel Hulse.
“The Institute's board is heavy with energy firms, real estate investors, and San Diego-based research entities, including Chevron, Sempra LNG, Skanska [pipelines], the Barrick Gold Corporation [Canada], J.P. Morgan, Petrobras Energy [Argentina], and the Oil Industry Association of Ecuador,” writes Hayden in his Huffington Post blog.
"Who is Jeffrey Davidow? It might be fair to ask, who really knows? He was a political officer at the US embassy in Chile from 1971-74, during the carrying out of the coup and repression against the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende. In a March 3, 1974 memo, later declassified, Davidow wrote to Chilean officials of a 'conspiracy on the part of the enemies of Chile to paint the junta in the worst possible terms.' [Boston Phoenix, Dec. 16-23, 1999]
“Why Obama named Davidow to head the US presence at Trinidad remains to be explored. But it suggests a trademark Obama approach, to reassure the old guard and seek their approval of and participation in his proposed new directions.”
Ironically, after the summit was over, Obama seemed to be taking more hits from the right than the left for his purported chumminess with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.