Tim Kaine is the former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former Governor of Virginia.
Tim Kaine , entered the US Senate with the 2012 elections, as a (Virginia Democrat).
In July 2016 Hillary Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her vice-presidential running mate.
BackgroundBorn in Minnesota and raised near Kansas City, Tim Kaine grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s in economics, Kaine later attended Harvard Law School where he earned his law degree. He took a year off during his law school education to work as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras, where he put his ironworking experience to use as the principal of a technical school.
Kaine practiced law for 17 years representing people who had been denied housing opportunities based on race or disability and has been recognized as a fair housing advocate by organizations around the country. Kaine also began teaching legal ethics at the University of Richmond Law School, which he has continued to do throughout his career.
Kaine’s participation in politics began in 1994 when he was elected to the Richmond City Council. He went on to become mayor of Richmond four years later. During his two terms as mayor, Richmond saw a significant drop in the city’s crime rate and began building the first new schools in a generation.
Following his tenure as mayor, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and, in 2005, Kaine was elected Governor. During his term, the state was given a variety of honors including: Best Managed State in America, Best State for Business and a AAA bond rating for fiscal management. He left office with one of the highest popularity ratings of a large state governor in the country.
Liberation TheologyHe was only 22 years-old, and he was only there for nine months. But U.S. Senator and Democratic vice-presidential hopeful Tim Kaine credits the time he spent with a Jesuit community in Honduras as so formative and influential that it would spark the beginning of his thirty-plus-year political career.
Yet far from an idyllic situtation of youthful self-searching, Kaine encountered a deeply complex and violent political scenario – one that he would later describe as “the turning point” in his life.
Kaine has touted his experience in Honduras as one where he “got a firsthand look at a dictatorship. A dictatorship where a few people at the top had all the power and everybody else got left out.”
Born into a Catholic family, Kaine attended the Jesuit prep school Rockhurst High in Kansas City. There he participated in mission drives to fund the Jesuits’ activities in Honduras, visiting the country briefly in 1974 to present the proceeds.
In 2014 he told Rockhurst’s newspaper, Prep News Online, that “I vowed to return one day and was able to take a year off law school in 1980-81 to go back and volunteer with wonderful Missouri province Jesuits and their Spanish and Honduran counterparts, who worked hard everyday to live and preach the Good News among the poor in Yoro Province.”
“What I learned that year from the Jesuits and the comunidad put me on a public service path that has now stretched to 30+ years as a civil rights lawyer, teacher and elected official,” he continued.
According to the Washington Post, Kaine said in 2005: “I made a decision when I came back from Honduras … that I am not going to focus on making as much money as I can make. I am going to focus on doing things where I can serve people.”
In a 2010 interview with CNN, Kaine described his time in Honduras, when he was 22, as “the turning point in my life. I was at Harvard Law School and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life … The most powerful memory was the great people I met there who convinced me that a life of serving others was the way to be happy.”
And during a November 2014 visit to Honduras, Kaine stated that “I think of El Progreso everyday. The people, aside from my family, are the most important in shaping who I am today.”
El Progreso is the city, located fewer than 20 miles southeast of San Pedo Sula, where Kaine spent nine months volunteering with the Jesuits.
He visited the city again in February 2015, commenting, “El Progreso is extremely special to me. My experience working at Loyola taught me the importance of access to skills-based training – both in Honduras and the U.S. – and inspired me to pursue the issue of expanding career and technical education in the U.S. Senate.”
In a June 7, 2016 interview with C-SPAN, Kaine said that his experience with the Jesuits put him “in a seeker mode where it pushed (him) not to just accept what (he) had been taught” but encouraged him to seek his “own answers.” The Jesuits, he said, were an important part of his transition to adulthood, where he didn’t just accept the answers he was given by what he has described as his devout, Irish Catholic parents.
At the time of Kaine’s 1980-81 volunteer work in Honduras, the country has been ruled by the military for 17 years. He told Prep News Online that “when I lived in Honduras under a military dictatorship that deprived people of even the right to vote, I learned to value what we have and do my little bit to protect and better it.”
In 1980, each of Honduras’ neighbors were gripped in civil wars between right-wing military governments and left-wing revolutionaries: Guatemala’s had started in 1960, and El Salvador‘s in 1979. To the south in Nicaragua, the Sandinista National Liberation Front had ousted the Somoza dictatorship in 1979, but fought counterrevolutionaries throughout the 1980s.
Surrounded by “hot” theaters of the Cold War, Honduras “became the stronghold from which the United States attempted to stabilise the region against the forces of Communism..” .
As early as 1979, Honduras established Battalion 3-16, an army unit “trained and equipped by the CIA to gather intelligence about subversives,” according to the Baltimore Sun. The publication also found in the course of a 14-month investigation that hundreds of Honduran citizens were kidnapped, tortured and killed by Battalion 3-16 in the 1980s.
Honduras’ military government held a general election in 1981, which was won by the Liberal Party, a center-right group which had not held power since a 1963 military coup d’état.
It was in this context that Kaine arrived in Honduras in 1980.
In a recent article at The Nation, Dr. Greg Grandin (a professor of history at New York University), wrote that in 1980, Honduras “was quickly turning into the crossroads of Cold War.”
“It was into this whirlwind that young Tim Kaine flung himself on his voyage of self-discovery,” Grandin wrote, adding that “None of this, however, comes across in anything Kaine says about his time in Honduras.”
Kaine’s volunteer work with the Jesuits in Honduras has been portrayed as teaching carpentry and welding at the Instituto Tecnico Loyola, which gives vocational training to at-risk youth.
Father Mauricio Gaborit, S.J., whom America Magazine has called a long-distance mentor of Kaine and who met Kaine in 1974 while working in El Progreso, said that during Kaine’s 1980-81 visit the young man would visit villages to recruit students for the technical institute, befriend them, and help them to sell the goods they made. Fr. Gaborit said Kaine also taught English and religion classes.
Father Jack Warner, S.J., an American who lived with Kaine in Honduras and who currently lives in El Progreso, told CNA that Kaine’s work was mostly focused on the Instituto Tecnico Loyola, but that he also helped with the design of the carpentry of a small theater the priest founded.
Dr. Andres León Araya, a professor of anthroplogy at the University of Costa Rica, has written that the work of the Jesuits in the Aguan valley of northern Honduras “was oriented mainly around organizing and supporting peasant cooperatives.”
“These were all priests influenced by Liberation Theology,” León wrote in his 2015 dissertation for the City University of New York. “They were particularly active in the area of political training, especially through their radio schools – teaching reading and writing as the basis for organization.”
He described the Jesuits as “in the thick of the struggle for land” between farmers and ranchers, but that they “also were usually the first to denounce injustices taking place within the cooperatives (corruption and violence above all).”
León noted the 1975 Horcones massacre as among the events that “shifted the ways in which the Jesuits approached their political work in the communities.”
In June 1975, the bodies of 14 people heading to a hunger march in the capital city Tegucigalpa were found on the Horcones ranch. Among them were two priests, Father Jerome Cypher and Father Ivan Betancourt. León wrote that “Perpetrated by members of the Honduran army with the support of local cattle ranchers, the massacre was understood as an attempt by the military government … to stop the increasing militancy and radicalism of the peasant movement,” which was pushing for land reform.
According to León, in the aftermath of the massacre the Honduran bishops instructed parishes “to lay low and fire anyone affiliated with the left-oriented parties,” which “basically meant a retreat from any open political activity.”
This instruction was extremely distasteful to Father James Carney, S.J., an American-born priest who embraced liberation theology and revolution in the 1970s, and was exiled from Honduras in 1979 for his increasingly radical activities and promotion of Marxist ideology.
Father Carney wrote in his autobiography that after the Horcones massacre “the Catholic hierarchy, the majority of the priests and also the laymen in Honduras retreated from any social commitment and became nonpolitical and very anticommunist.”
Though he was not present in El Progreso while Kaine was there, Father Carney corresponded with the Jesuits in Honduras, encouraging them in their work. He later re-entered Honduras as a chaplain for a leftist guerrilla unit and was “disappeared”, and likely executed, by the Honduran military, in 1983.
After an interview with Kaine, Jason Horowitz wrote in the New York Times Sept. 2 206, that though Father Carney was exiled from Honduras during Kaine’s stay, Kaine sought him out “during a short stay in Nicaragua.”
“Mr. Kaine hopped off a bus in northern Nicaragua, walked miles to Father Carney’s remote parish and spent a memorable evening listening to the priest describe ‘both getting pushed around by the military and getting pushed around by the church,’” Horowitz said.
He added that Kaine “embraced” liberation theology, saying he told his pastor in Richmond, Va., “that his exposure to liberation theology had ‘changed him, it deepened him.’”
According to León, the Jesuits’ organization of peasant cooperatives was “thanks to the close relation that existed” between Father Carney and the National Association of Honduran Peasants.
Grandin wrote that the Jesuits were “on the front lines of Central America’s political upheaval. By no means were most Jesuits left wing, but many, perhaps the majority, were at least broadly committed to what was called the ‘social gospel.’”
This was echoed by Horowitz, who said that “most of the American Jesuits Mr. Kaine worked with on a daily basis had a more pragmatic streak and rolled their eyes during philosophical debates about liberation theology.”
According to Grandin, when Kaine stayed in Honduras, the Jesuit mission at El Progreso “was focusing its work on labor issues and the welfare of plantations laborers and their families.”
Grandin interviewed Dr. Jefferson Boyer, an emeritus professor of anthropology at Appalacian State University, about the Jesuits in Honduras. Boyer spent six years in Honduras, earning a doctorate with his 1982 dissertation “Agrarian Capitalism and Peasant Praxis in Southern Honduras” after studying economy and peasant movements in the country.
Grandin relates that Boyer remembered a “split” among the “North Coast Jesuits” of Honduras, along the lines of liberation theology and the election of St. John Paul II as Bishop of Rome.
He wrote that Boyer said “the US Jesuits in Honduras tended to be more conservative, while younger Latin American and European Jesuits ‘consistently held democratic socialist positions,’” though Father Carney was the exception to this rule.
Kaine’s mentor in El Progreso was Father Jarrell Wade, S.J., according to Grandin, who describes the priest as having ethics “more pastoral than political.” He says Boyer called Father Wade a “traditional Jesuit”, and that Father Carney said Father Wade “blamed his political work with peasants for provoking the growing repression against priests.”
Kaine and his wife Anne celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in November 2004 by visiting El Progreso, where they spent a couple a couple days with Father Wade, according to the Washington Post.
One of the stories Kaine tells about his time with Father Wade – who remained in Honduras until his death in 2014 – is that they visited an impoverished family around Christmas, and the father gave the priest a bag of food as a Christmas gift.
“Kaine said he was shocked and angry that the priest had accepted food from a man whose own children clearly were not getting enough to eat,” Timothy Dwyer wrote in the Washington Post. “For five minutes or more they walked in silence, until the priest turned to Kaine and said: ‘Tim, you know you really have to be humble to accept a gift of food from a family that poor.’”
Kaine told the Post: “That one sentence that Patricio said to me is the thing that I have come back to most often in the last 25 years as I try to figure out what to do and what I ought to be doing.”
In his 2010 interview with CNN, Kaine mentioned, alongside Father Wade, Jim O’Leary, a Jesuit brother, and Father Ramon Peis as “people who at a young – at an early time in my life really put me on a path I still feel like I’m on to try to, you know, be of service to others.”
Father Gaborit told America that Kaine, in reflecting on the situation of the poor, “went the route of optimism. He saw himself … helping people.”
Grandin writes that “According to his own account,” Kaine “provided politically neutral technical training, helping with a program that taught carpentry and welding.”
But he quotes Boyer as saying that “if Tim Kaine was working as a Jesuit volunteer in 1980, he could not have avoided become immersed in these socio-religious, political currents and cross-currents. He would have been exposed to both conservative and generally more left and activist work of his hosts and mentors.”
This view was echoed by Father Warner, who told CNA that Kaine would certainly have had contact with the troubled situation in the region at the time.
“At that time (the violence), the force, affected everyone, because the reality of the situation at that time one simply could not escape, there was no way to look in another direction,” he said.
Father Warner spoke to the New York Times about liberation theology, saying that “the gospel is an extremely communist document” and that St. John Paul II’s crackdown on liberation theology was “one of the reasons we didn’t make too much noise about it.”
And sympathy for Father Carney’s radicalized vision of liberation theology continues today through the work of Father Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J., director of Radio Progreso, who also worked with Kaine during his time in Honduras.
During a September 2015 commemoration of Father Carney’s disappearance, Father Moreno called on those in attendance “to follow his [Father Carney's] footsteps and memory of struggling to continue to build a more just and equitable society.”
Over the years Father Moreno and Kaine have met both in Washington, D.C. and in El Progreso.
In his most recent visit to Honduras, in 2015, Kaine gave an interview to Radio Progreso, saying, “During my time here I learned many lessons from you, students and their families, Jesuit priests and the Progreso people. The Jesuits inspired me to help people in my life. They are models of values, missionaries who think of others before themselves.”
Islamic connectionsTim Kaine has a long history of Islamic associations, including some with known Muslim Brotherhood front groups.
Arab American Institute’s Virginia Candidates’ NightThe Arab American Institute hosted its 15th candidates’ night in northern Virginia on Sept. 30, 2001. The more-than-capacity audience crowded into the room, first to stand in allegiance with their country as Amir Shallal of Langley High School led them in reciting the pledge to the flag, then to hear what their Virginia candidates had to offer them. ity.
After a brief address by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), calling on Americans to be a model and to empower people, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Warner discussed issues of the budget, education, transportation, and public safety—the latter of particular importance to Arab Americans in an atmosphere of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim backlash following the Sept. 11 attacks. In response to a question, Warner informed the audience that his press secretary was an Arab American, and promised that Arab Americans would be represented in his cabinet if he was elected. Running for lieutenant governor on the same ticket is Richmond Mayor and civil rights attorney Tim Kaine, who made the point that he had already been instrumental in changing the name of the “Mosque Theater” in Richmond to the “Landmark Theater,” and that he would continue to work for civil rights for all.
Arab American Institute, 2011The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) reported that former Virginia governor and Senate candidate Tim Kaine spoke at an event at which U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Barzinji was given a Lifetime Achievement award. According to the report:
Jamal Barzinji is described by Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch as a “founding father of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.”
He first came on to the FBI’s radar in 1987-1988 when an informant inside the Brotherhood identified Barzinji and his associated groups as being part of a network of Brotherhood fronts to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” The source said Barzinji and his colleagues were “organizing political support which involves influencing both public opinion in the United States as well as the United States Government” using “political action front groups with no traceable ties.”
Barzinji had his home searched as part of a terrorism investigation in 2003. U.S. Customs Service Senior Special Agent David Kane said in a sworn affidavit that Barzinji and the network of entities he led were investigated because he “is not only closed associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad]…but also with Hamas.” Counter-terrorism reporter Patrick Poole broke the story that Barzinji was nearly prosecuted but the Obama Justice Department dropped plans for indictment.
Barzinji played a major role in nearly every Brotherhood front in the U.S. and was vice president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, which came under terrorism investigation also. Barzinji’s group was so close to Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami Al-Arian that IIIT’s President considered his group and Al-Arian’s to be essentially one entity.
The indictment of Al-Arian and his colleagues says that they “would and did seek to obtain support from influential individuals, in the United States under the guise of promoting and protecting Arab rights” (emphasis mine).
The quotes about Brotherhood operative Barzinji’s aspirations to use civil rights advocacy as a means to influence politicians are especially relevant when you consider that video from the event honoring Barzinji shows Kaine saying that it was his fourth time at the annual dinner and thanked his “friends” that organized it for helping him in his campaign for Lieutenant-Governor and Governor and asked them to help his Senate campaign.
Islamist Financial SupportBarzinji’s organization, IIIT, donated $10,000 in 2011 to the New Dominion PAC, the organization that held the event honoring Barzinji that Kaine spoke at. The Barzinji-tied New Dominion PAC donated $43,050 to Kaine’s gubernatorial campaign between 2003 and 2005. That figure doesn’t even include other political recipients that assisted Kaine’s campaign.
The PAC has very strong ties to the Democratic Party in Virginia, with the Virginia Public Access Project tallying almost $257,000 in donations. This likely explains why Barzinji’s grandson Zaki Barzinji served in Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration and then became the Obama Administration’s liaison to the Muslim-American community.
The Middle East Forum’s Islamist Money in Politics database shows another $4,300 donated to Kaine’s Senate campaign in 2011-2012 by officials from Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Another $3,500 came from Hisham Al-Talib, a leader from Barzinji’s IIIT organization.
MAS electoral supportHow much political power does the Muslim American Society wield? Depends on whom you ask — and when.
“Ask Jim Webb what kind of impact we have. Ask the governor of Virginia what kind of impact we have,” Mahdi Bray, the Muslim American Society’s executive director told The Washington Times last week.
The Muslim American Society claims credit for helping Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat, defeat incumbent Republican Sen. George Allen in 2006, and Democrat Tim Kaine defeat Republican Jerry W. Kilgore in 2005. MAS said it has registered 65,000 voters in Virginia since the 2005 gubernatorial race, and most of them backed Mr. Webb in a race decided by fewer than 8,000 votes.
“The Democrat’s win hinged on the Muslim vote,” Mr. Bray said during interviews September 2007 about the organization’s political activities planned for upcoming elections in November and the 2008 presidential race.
Omeish/Muslim American Society controversyIn 2007 Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine was accused of being far too close to a Muslim group that allegedly has ties to Islamic terrorism and espouses radical views, according to two local delegates.
Kaine should move to put some distance between his administration and the Falls Church-based Muslim American Society, said Dels. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, and Clifford L. “Clay” Athey, Jr., R-Front Royal.
The controversy started when Kaine appointed Dr. Esam Omeish, the president of the society, to the Virginia Commission on Immigration. Gilbert wrote to Kaine, asking him to reconsider the appointment after seeing online videos of Omeish accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians and exhorting Muslims to “the jihad way.”
Omeish resigned less than a day later under pressure from Kaine.
Federal prosecutors said in a 2008 court filing that MAS was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” A Chicago Tribune investigation in 2004 confirmed it, as well as MAS’ crafty use of deceptive semantics to appear moderate. Convicted terrorist and admitted U.S. Muslim Brotherhood member Abdurrahman Alamoudi testified in 2012, “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
According to Omeish’s website, he was also President of the National Muslim Students Association and served for two years on the national board of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which the Justice Department also labeled as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-financing trial.
His website says he was Vice President of Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a radical mosque known for its history of terror ties including having future Al-Qaeda operative Anwar Al-Awlaki as its imam and being frequented by two of the 9/11 hijackers and the perpetrator of the Fort Hood shooting.
It says he was chairman of the board of Islamic American University, which had Hamas financier and Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Al-Qaradawi as chairman of its board until at least 2006. Omeish was also chairman of the board for the Islamic Center of Passaic County, a New Jersey mosque with heavy terrorist ties and an imam that the Department of Homeland Security wants to deport for having links to Hamas.
Omeish directly expressed extremism before Kaine appointed him. He claimed the Brotherhood is “moderate” and admitted that he and MAS are influenced by the Islamist movement. In 2004, Omeish praised the Hamas spiritual leader as “our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.” Videotape from 2000 also surfaced where Omeish pledged to help Palestinians who understand “the jihad way is the way to liberate your land” (he denied this was an endorsement of violence).
When a state delegate wrote a letter to then-Governor Kaine warning him that the MAS has “questionable origins,” a Kaine spokesperson said the charge was bigotry.
Kaine obviously failed to do any kind of basic background checking in Omeish.
Omeish resigned under heavy pressure and Kaine acknowledged that his statements “concerned” him. 
MAS connectionThe connections between Kaine and Muslim American Society appear to be deeper than just one appointment.
Kaine was the keynote speaker at the society’s Freedom Foundation “Standing for Justice Dinner.” He was photographed with leaders of the group, including Imam Mahdi Bray, the executive director of the foundation.
In an online video of a 2000 rally in Washington, Abdurahman al-Amoudi — who would later plead guilty to charges of funneling money from Libya to Saudi militants — took to the podium and declared his support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
“I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support this Hamas here?” al-Amoudi says in the video, drawing cheers from the crowd and fist pumps from Mahdi Bray.
“I wish the added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. Anybody supports Hezbollah here?” he asks, drawing more cheers and fist pumps.
“The governor shouldn’t have been involved with this organization and its leadership,” Gilbert said.
“If [Kaine] didn’t know this stuff, now that he does know it, he should say he rejects what the leadership of this organization stands for and he’s going to distance himself from it, and encourage other leading Dem-ocrats to do the same.” Athey was less generous.
“It is clear that Governor Kaine and the Democratic Party sought the support of radical individuals who could turn out votes in his election. According to Mahdi Bray, the governor received that support,” said Athey, referring to a story earlier this month in The Washington Times, in which Bray credited the Democrats’ success in 2005 and 2006 to his organization.
“Ask Jim Webb what kind of impact we have,” Bray said. “Ask the governor of Virginia what kind of impact we have. The Democrats’ win hinged on the Muslim vote.”
“I am not going to dignify the latest allegations by Dels. Gilbert and Athey with a comment,” said Kaine spokesman Kevin Hall via e-mail. He also declined to comment on Bray’s election-related statements.
Bray said Monday that he and others at the video weren’t cheering for the terrorist organizations.
“The majority of the people they were kind of raising their hands, and kind of cheering, and so on because this was so uncharacteristic of al-Amoudi,” Bray said. “We didn’t know he had a problem with law enforcement. He was considered the pillar of the American Muslim community.”
Bray said his gestures weren’t in support of Hamas and Hezbollah.
“You saw me pumping my fists. You didn’t see me raising my hands. If they had shown the audience, you would have seen people in the audience raising their hands and falling out laughing,” he said. “For him to come and make these kinds of radical rants, no one took him seriously.”
Bray said he does not support violence, and would have been more judicious in his reaction had the event happened after Sept. 11, 2001.
“There are some throwbacks. And I think that Gilbert and others are throwbacks to the old days” who want to “maintain the status quo. Maybe their district is not as diverse as Northern Virginia.”
“Standing for Justice Dinner”Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia gave the keynote address for the 2007, 5th Annual Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation ‘Standing for Justice Dinner’.