In the ongoing discussion of Barack Obama’s involvement with Chicago’s extremist “New Party,” online literature from the Party likely reveals that the young state senator not only was a member but had to commit financially to membership.

This past week, National Review author Stanley Kurtz revived the question of whether or not Obama was ever a member of the Party. Arguing for the affirmative, Kurtz demonstrates fairly conclusively that it did. On the other hand, Joel Rogers, founder of the New Party, tells Ben Smith that it did not. And documents available online suggest that Kurtz is correct and that Rogers is not being completely truthful.

First, there’s a bit more background which is relevant here. Kurtz originally raised the question of Obama’s involvement with the New Party back in 2008. At the time, the campaign denied Obama was ever involved and referred to the allegation as a “crackpot smear.” Ben Smith, then at Politico, wrote a piece in which he quoted New Party founder Joel Rogers to the effect that Obama had never been a member of the New Party because the New Party didn’t have members.

Continue reading on