Bill would fire ex-Weatherman Ayers

Feb. 5, 2009 at 12:32 PM
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- An Illinois lawmaker says he wants to fire university professor William Ayers because of Ayers' 1960s and '70s involvement in the radical group the Weathermen.

State Sen. Larry Bomke, a Republican in the Democratic-controlled Illinois state Senate, proposed that anyone who committed an act of violence against the governments of the United States or Illinois cannot work at a public university, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Ayers, a distinguished professor of education and senior scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was a member of the far-leftist Weather Underground, blamed for bombing public buildings to protest the Vietnam War.

Ayers became a flash point in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin accused Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

Before Obama was a state senator, he worked on school reform issues with Ayers, while serving on education boards in Chicago.

Obama last year called Ayers "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8."

Ayers could not be reached for comment on Bomke's proposal.

But his wife and former Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn told the Tribune she thought the bill was "obviously, patently insane."

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