ACORN caught in social justice double-standard

More ACORN stories: here

Ain't it a shame - the union-backed voter fraud group doesn't practice what it preaches

ACORN has led the fight for social justice in communities across America. Unfortunately, a few cynical executives at the top of ACORN have denied the same social justice to ACORN's hardworking organizers.

Truth To Power is a national campaign to reform and strengthen our movement of social-justice organizers from the bottom up. With our allies, supporters, and members we are going to earn respect on the job and reform and strengthen our organizations at the same time. Our first campaign is focused on earning social justice for ACORN organizers.

Social Justice Agenda for Social Justice Organizers:

• ACORN management runs the organization's agenda and members are told what to do -- We demand that ACORN become a true member-run organization!

• ACORN activists fight for Living Wages but management refuses to pay a Living Wage and forces organizers to work 54-80 hours a week -- We demand a 40-hour work week and a Living Wage!

• ACORN organizers are fighting for 7 days of mandatory paid sick leave for the rest of workers -- but ACORN management only gives us 5 days!

• ACORN's membership is a beautiful rainbow of diversity, but ACORN management discriminates against minority Organizers - We demand management treat Hispanic and African-American organizers with respect!

• ACORN management pays organizers less than a Living Wage while it hid $1 million embezzlement -- We demand that ACORN management stops getting rich while we starve!

• ACORN management says it supports unions but busts union drives by ACORN organizers -- We demand the right to organize!


Worker-choice scheme in Colorado exposed

Related: "The 28 labor-states"
Worker-choice stories: here • Big Bedfellows: here

Colorado's Amendment 47: Prohibition on mandatory labor union membership and dues

What the question asks: "Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning participation in a labor organization as a condition of employment, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting an employer from requiring that a person be a member and pay any moneys to a labor organization or to any other third party in lieu of payment to a labor organization and creating a misdemeanor criminal penalty for a person who violates the provisions of the section?"

What it means: If Amendment 47 passes, employers would no longer be allowed to require workers to be a part of a labor union or pay union dues. Employers who violated the new law could be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense.

What supporters say: Supporters of Amendment 47, including the group A Better Colorado, say the initiative protects workers' rights to choose whether to join a union and pay union dues, which often pay for political causes rather than negotiating better salaries and working conditions. They also argue the amendment will strengthen the economy.

What opponents say: Opponents, including the group Protect Colorado's Future, say the amendment is divisive and would pit workers and employers against one another.


Elections official: ACORN cheats deliberately

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group knows exactly what it's doing

This morning, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed was on the Kirby Wilbur show, discussing ACORN's registration campaigns. Reed has come to the same conclusions that I have:
By now, there have so many of these incidents, in so many places, in so many elections, that we must conclude that ACORN operates so as to encourage fraudulent registrations — intentionally.

That's a harsh charge, but I think the evidence supports it. They hire practically anyone, including people with criminal records. When they can, they pay their workers by the number of registrations they turn in. Not valid registrations, just registrations. Inevitably some of these workers cheat. And I am absolutely convinced that the people who run ACORN (and similar groups) know that some of their workers will cheat.
Kudos to Reed for saying what needs to be said, especially during this campaign.

(I have had my differences with Reed over the years, particularly on mail ballots, but I think that he deserves considerable credit for improving election administration in this state. And, of course, he has been far better than his Democratic opponents. So I won't hesitate when I vote for Reed this November.)


Barack, ACORN and Ayers

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Obama Partnerships with Voter Fraud Unit and Domestic Terrorist Run Wide and Deep

As of this writing, Obama’s group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is currently being actively investigated for voter fraud in at least ten states—these include the swing states in which new ACORN Democrat registrations have been going through the proverbial roof. ACORN has also recently and arrogantly admitted that they know there is voter fraud and that nothing can be done about it. Democrat presidential candidate Barack H. Obama has been aware of ACORN, almost from the group’s inception. Let’s take a look.

• In a number of crucial cases, Obama was the Attorney for the Chicago ACORN chapter and he used them to assist him in his run for the Illinois State Senate in 1996

• In 1992, prior to his working as ACORN’s attorney, Obama was Executive Director of ACORN subsidiary Project Vote

• Obama trained ACORN workers

• While sitting on the board of the Woods Foundation, Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers—who is also a major Obama fundraiser—arranged for grants for ACORN

• While both on the board of Chicago’s Annenberg Challenge—Ayers and Obama with Obama as Chairman—funds were funneled to ACORN

• In his November 2007 speech to ACORN, Obama stated: “I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”

• In his run for the Democrat presidential nomination, Obama paid ACORN subsidiary “Citizen’s Services, Inc.” over $830,000 to engage in ACORN ‘get out the vote’ activities

• ACORN is falsely registered as “non-partisan,” as its leader Maude Hurd has endorsed Obama for President

Tax dollars collected from US citizens are paying for this Obama and Democrat Party fraud voter fraud group. Did you know that?

With respect to Obama’s long and strong affiliation with terrorist William Ayers, as many others are also reporting about their close partnership, here are just a few of the salient facts:

• Obama and Ayers sat together on the boards of both the Woods Foundation and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge

• Terrorists William Ayers and his wife Bernadette Dorn have hosted a number of fundraising parties for Obama, beginning with his run for Illinois State Senator.

• Note: Barack Obama’s wife Michelle was a colleague of Bernadette Dorn, when both worked at the same Chicago law firm

As it stands now, ACORN’s admitted voter fraud may just hand Obama the election. There has been massive ACORN-created voter fraud reported—and being investigated—in virtually all of the US’ swing states. If so, the days of the US Republic will—officially—be over. By no stretch of the imagination is this an exaggeration. And Obama claims he wasn’t aware of either ACORN’s voter fraud or Ayers terrorism? If so, we may soon have the most uninformed—if not patently stupid—presidents in our nation’s history. But, it is not the case and Obama knew and knows exactly what he’s doing. One can only surmise that William Ayers may end up being Obama’s Secretary of Defense.





- Sher Zieve


ACORN: Obama's Slim Shady

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Barack Obama plays 'good cop' to ACORN 'bad cop'

Elections in America have never been pure, clean affairs. Middle school civics textbooks aside, there has always been an element of deception and fraud.

From the very first days of the Republic where election days were rowdy drinking parties, to the vices of Tammany Hall, and the outright corruption of big city machine politics, the ideal of a free and clean election has been the goal, not the reality.

It is important to acknowledge this fact of life in order to put into perspective the sheer magnitude of the audacious grab for power taking place this year. The players are all too familiar. We all know that Sen. Barack Obama was a “community organizer.” But what is less widely known is for whom he “organized.”

It was for an affiliate of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Established in 1970 by a member of the radical Students for Democratic Action organization, ACORN has mushroomed into a nationwide organization funded with tens of millions of dollars from the most extreme elements of the radical Left. And, I might add, it is also funded by U.S. taxpayers.

In fact, had Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CN, Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, and Obama had their way, the recent bailout of financial firms would have contained a provision that would have directed not just millions, but billions of dollars to ACORN and other allied leftist groups. Luckily this immoral use of tax money for political advocacy was blocked, but it was close.

Already in 2008, ACORN has been cited in more than a dozen states for engaging in voter registration fraud. This, unfortunately, is a pattern.

Over the past three election cycles, reports of fraudulent voter registrations have grown each year. Repeatedly, members of the ACORN staff have been found guilty and jailed.

The organization even had to enter into a Consent Decree in Washington state pledging not to break the law. Still, their efforts have expanded with the help of those in positions of power (yes, like Dodd, Frank, and Obama, who wanted to reward these miscreants with billions of tax dollars).

The tactics employed have been as varied and imaginative as they have been perverse and sinister. Stolen Social Security numbers have been found on voter registration forms.

Duplicate registrations at the same address are common. Duplicate registrations of the same name but at different addresses is another ploy.

Using the 1993 Fraudulent Voter Act, a.k.a. the “Motor Voter Act,” ACORN has relentlessly built a network of offices and staff that reach into virtually every corner of America.

When called to task or exposed, ACORN and their apologists always have the same retort, “Make every vote count.” And each and every vote should count.

But by diluting the voting pool with fraudulent voters, allowing some to vote multiple times, or enabling non-citizens to vote, ACORN and those who support it are facilitating the theft of the vote of every honest citizen.

Elections and democracy only work if there is agreement on all sides that the outcome was fair. Without acceptance of this basic rule, no election will ever be seen as legitimate.

So when ACORN is allowed to undercut the electoral system through fraud, abuse and intimidation, it is attacking the very foundations of our government.

It would be one thing if ACORN was operating on its own, advancing its ideology and views. But the facts reveal that ACORN is not just another group advocating its views, but rather a mere cog in the Obama machine.

FEC reports show that the Obama campaign has paid a subsidiary of ACORN nearly $1 million so far for “outreach services.” Obama has represented ACORN in litigation in Michigan to break down protections against voter fraud.

With tens of millions of tax dollars and the very legitimacy of our government at stake, an intense federal investigation of ACORN and its affiliates would seem like the obvious step. But whether an Obama administration would act to uphold the integrity of the electoral system given its close ties to the alleged perpetrator is in serious question.

Unfortunately, it is a question to which we may soon have a chilling answer.

- Bill Wilson is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.


Explaining Barack: Meet Saul Alinsky

Related series: "What did Barack Obama teach ACORN?"
Saul Alinsky stories: here collectivism: here ACORN: here

Getting to know Barack Obama and ACORN

With all the discussion about Barak Obama, Chicago community organizer, it would be helpful to understand more about what he was doing.

First, here’s his work history: for two years, fresh out of college, Obama directed the Developing Communities Project, which operated under the Gamaliel Foundation network. His mentor was the ex-Jesuit, Greg Galuzzo, lead organizer for Gamaliel, who received his training under a fellow named Saul Alinsky. Remember that name – Alinsky.

Another of Obama’s mentors was organizer Jerry Kellman, whose Calumet Community Religious Conference founded the Developing Communities Project. Alinsky, who built the original Alinskyian network of community organizations – the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) – also trained Kellman. Not too surprisingly, the Chicago IAF affiliate worked with Obama on legislative issues and supported him in his bid for Senator. Are you following all this?

After Obama went to Harvard Law School, he returned to Chicago and taught Alinskyian organizing to yet another network - ACORN. Although ACORN has a unique structure among the Alinskyian networks, its tactical philosophy and worldview fit the profile, and for a good reason. ACORN’s founder, Wade Rathke, trained under George Wiley, who trained under Alinsky – a sort of second generation Alinskyite, if you will. Obama ran ACORN’s 1992 voter-registration drive, Project Vote, and in turn received ACORN’s endorsement for Illinois senator.

Here are three community-organizing networks, each marked with the philosophy of Saul Alinsky. Who the hell was this guy?

The Premier “Community Organizer”, Saul Alinsky

No, I’m not just being profane. Alinsky begins one of his books on organizing, Rules for Radicals, with a sort of dedication:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical; from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins - or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer. Saul Alinsky, dedication of Rules for Radicals

Tongue in check though this may have been, there’s an ironic truth to what Alinsky was saying. Organizing, as he conceived it, is a rebellious, self-serving business. If you wanted a little crash-course in the most egregious ideas Alinsky teaches, they would be:

- Class warfare: The world, as Alinsky sees it, is looked in a perpetual struggle between the “Haves” and “Have-nots.” Alinsky sees his work as giving tools to the “Have-nots” so they can take from the “Haves.”

- The ends justify the means: This is a war, baby.

- “An organizer working for change...does not have a fixed truth - truth to him is relative and changing.” Rules for Radicals (pg. 10-11): Morality isn’t a set of fixed principles but changes as popular consensus changes. (If you’re worried that this gives someone like Hitler moral credibility, you’d be right…that is, if Hitler wins the war. But since he didn’t, he’s the devil.)

- The organizer (unencumbered by “truth) must gain the trust of people by looking and sounding just like them. “All effective actions,” Alinsky writes in his Rules, “require the passport of morality.” If the “people” are church-goers, the organizer had better go to church, too.

- Popular education: The people – that is, the poor – need to be awakened to their own self-interest and trained to take political action, under the direction of their organizers.

There’s a good deal more, but the above five, foundational concepts of Alinsky’s work are enough to give the reader pause. These are ideas straight from hell.

What Alinsky Founded

Many activists hear the term “community organizing” and understand it to mean grassroots people, working together, exercising their civic rights to improve neighborhoods and schools. It can work that way and when it does, it can be a good thing.

The Alinskyian organizers, however, use this optimistic energy to their own advantage. While “leading” with the people’s immediate concerns, they have pursued their own agenda. In other words, while organizing around neighborhood concerns, the action taken to address local concerns belongs to the Alinskyites:

[The organizer's] issue gets dealt with last. If you want your issue to be dealt with first, you'll never build anything. So you lead with other people’s issues, and you teach them how to act on their issues. Then you model what is to be reciprocal, you model what it is to have a long-term vision. [Ernesto Cortes, Southwestern Regional Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, “Organizing the Community: The Industrial Areas Foundation Organizer speaks to farmers and farm activists,” The Texas Observer, 7/11/86.]

OK, so what’s the agenda?

The People’s Platform

Alinsky founded something called the Industrial Areas Foundation, which, over the years, has become a network of affiliate groups around the country. Each affiliate operates under a different name but pays dues to the national Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), is run by IAF organizers, and sends its hand-picked leadership to national IAF centers for training.

Several IAF-trained organizers went on to found their own Alinskyian networks, all having similar worldviews, similar structures, and similar agendas.
Most of the time, one has to follow a network for a decade or so to ferret out the agenda because it isn’t something they talk about – not when they’re trying to walk and talk like the typical Americans.

ACORN, on the other hand, has always been a little different. It began in Little Rock, Arkansas, rising from the financial and managerial ashes of George Wiley’s National Welfare Rights Organization. That was 1970. By 1978, ACORN had local chapters around the US and wrote a People’s Platform, which was ratified the following year at its national convention. The document was revised and re-approved in 1990 and remains in effect. In its own way, the People’s Platform is rather refreshing, because it forthrightly demands what the other networks merely labor to achieve, without naming. Among other things, it demands that the United States:

• “create a national health-care system” in which “all medical costs are covered” and in which doctors are provided a medical “education subsidized by the federal government.” [section on Health Care, # I & II]
• “create more housing” by setting a “goal of a million new units of federally subsidized housing per year.” [section on Housing, #I]
• “charge government and big business with the final responsibility for full employment.” [section on Work and Workers’ Rights, #II]
• “guarantee a minimum annual family income…” [section on Work and Workers’ Rights, #III]
• develop schools that are “available for community needs, like adult education” and “job training that is linked to specific employment,” and which “can provide all support and services that a child cannot receive at home.” [section on Education, #II & IV]

Plans that expansively place a country’s housing, healthcare, employment, income, childcare, job training, business, and education under the control of government are essentially socialist.

In fact, ACORN’s socialist political activities went so far as to create a political party, called the New Party, with several of the other Alinskyian networks and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) during the 90s. The New Party is defunct, but it and corrupt “Get Out the Vote” drives, riddled with indictments, lawsuits and complaints around the country (for details, check rottenacorn.com), paint a clear picture of what ACORN seeks.

Community Reinvestment Act

“Social restructuring” – it sounds so…benign. A tweak here, a bit of regulation there and we’ll sculpt Utopia.

For instance, there’s been a tremendous amount of discussion about the country’s financial crisis recently, with some people tracing its roots as far back as to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977, which required banks to provide sub-prime loans – that is, loans to people who lacked the economic resources to adequately support them – to anyone living three to five miles from a branch office.

CRA was passed, in no small part, thanks to the efforts of one of the most powerful Alinskyian locals, the Chicago-based Northwest Community Organization. Its lead organizer went on to cofound yet another network – National People’s Action (NPA) – which made banking “reform” its core cause, both in supporting passage of the CRA and afterwards, as its watchdog. Insufficient federal enforcement of the Act “forced” community groups, the NPA believed, to be its enforcers and regulators…and ACORN came along to assist.

So long as the CRA applied only to lending and was adequately supported by the federal government, the arrangement “worked.” Poor people were able to buy homes, banks lost very little, and the government “invested” in low-income neighborhoods, on the premise that home ownership would make them more livable. ACORN got in the housing business through its ACORN Housing Corporation, charging fees to hook lenders up with low-income borrowers. The goose might be a little thin, but she was laying gold.

The 1990s brought new CRA regulations that expanded both the number and poor quality of sub-prime loans. Financial analysts will argue, for some time to come, how this has contributed to the collapse of several major banking institutions, but the central position of Alinskyian organizations in the fiasco is disturbing. It’s not by accident that the first bailout package proposed (and rejected) to remedy the present crisis contained millions of dollars “reserved to the Housing Trust Fund” – ostensibly to help defaulting homeowners. The reality, however, was that its housing grants could, and no doubt would, be targeted by ACORN and other liberal housing activists.

Educating for the Future

Much has been made of Obama’s association with the notorious radical of the 60s, William (Bill) Ayers. Ayers is today a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, specializing in education theory.

In 1995, philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg pledged the largest private donation to Chicago public schools in their history - nearly $50 million dollars. The money was a challenge grant, designed to match equal funding from public and private sources.. Other cities received similar grants.

The Annenberg Foundation’s intention was to affect substantive “change” in education, as defined by William Ayers, who had begun the work for the Annenberg grant proposal together with other local educators, foundation officials and community activists two years earlier. In fact, Ayers helped found the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Fund and Obama was its first Chairman of the Board.

What were Annenberg and Ayers, dubbed the “architect” of the progressive Chicago school “reform”, creating?

One can find an excellent example in the NY-ACORN alternative “New Visions Schools” – part of the public school system and also supported by Annenberg money. New Visions Schools hire “progressively-minded” teachers and principals and each have an on-site, full-time, paid ACORN organizer. Standardized testing is eliminated. Rather, “…students analyze public health issues, the organization of community groups, the development of public policy and the international labor movement. Students are involved in hands-on activities in order to relate classroom learning to community service. These activities range from participation in labor and community organization movements to service as interns at local health care facilities.”

This isn’t education – it’s ideological propaganda.

In Conclusion

It’s impossible to know with certainty how deeply Obama’s Alinskyian training runs in his soul. There are organizers who never look beneath the surface of their activity to understand that the Platform’s goals have consequences – that the best thing you can say for government controlled housing and education (never mind health care and job training and anything else you can regulate to death) is that it’s inferior.

The trouble is, whatever else he may be, Barak Obama isn’t a stupid man.

- Stephanie Block is editor of Los Pequenos Pepper, a newspaper based in New Mexico.


Summary of Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals"

• "How Obama seduced 'Middle Class' America"
• "Obama organized America, Alinsky-style"
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals" explained
Union organizers are often highly trained. In many unions this training includes indoctrination in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals."

Saul Alinsky was a ruthless radical organizer. He would stop at nothing to win. Before he passed away in 1972 he published a book called "Rules for Radicals" in which he outlined his power tactics and questionable ethics.

Anyone interested in staying, or becoming, Union Free, whether in an organizing campaign or in a decertification or deauthorization election, ought to become familiar with these rules.

This can be very valuable information. As one expert observer points out "Rules for Radicals are reversible and can be used against the Left."

Here's a brief summary of the rules. We are indebted to the Public Service Research Foundation for this information.

Rules for Power Tactics:

1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.

2. Never go outside the experience of your people.

3. Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.

4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.

6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Because Alinsky was sensitive to criticism that he wasn't ethical, he also included a set of rules for the ethics of power tactics. You can see from these why his ethics were so frequently questioned.

Rules to test whether power tactics are ethical:

1. One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue.

2. The judgement of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.

3. In war the end justifies almost any means.

4. Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.

5. Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.

6. The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.

7. Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.

8. The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.

9. Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical.

10. You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments.

11. Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."

These are just the highlights. There's obviously a lot more to it. Alinsky's book is still available in most college bookstores and on Amazon and is worth reading.
(from unionfreeamerica.com)

Bonus video:
JoeDanMedia's 'No Rules for Radicals'

What is ACORN?

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud: hereWade Rathke: here

Founder of union-backed fraud group, Wade Rathke, also founded SEIU

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, is under investigation by state and federal authorities for its voter registration drives. Allegations are that ACORN's get-out-the-vote efforts have produced thousands of fraudulent registrations. The probes are encouraging; America wouldn't be in position to criticize other nations of ballot-stuffing if it permits the same at home. What's most encouraging, though, is that House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio is calling for ACORN to be defunded. "The latest allegations of voter registration fraud by ACORN are further evidence that this group cannot be trusted with another dollar of the taxpayers' money," he said.

ACORN helped make the term "affordable housing" a Washington staple. So as the roots of the financial crisis are laid bare, take a hard look at ACORN.

ACORN has its roots in the community-organization teachings of Saul Alinsky, who mobilized Chicago's stockyard workers in the 1930s. The organization was founded as the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now by Wade Rathke, a protege of George Wiley, the civil-rights activist who later engineered the Poor People's Campaign with his founding of the National Welfare Reform Organization. After fighting for "motor-voter" registration in the 1990s, which allowed people to register to vote at departments of motor vehicles, ACORN began expanding its voter registration activities. Since 2004 it has come under scrutiny for producing thousands of fraudulent registrations, and 15 employees intent on exploiting their pay-per-registration policy to make money have been indicted or convicted of voter registration fraud. But it didn't start out that way.

If the political left is an abstract concept for social justice and socialist sentiments, then ACORN is its avatar. ACORN's work has been primarily focused on affordable housing for low-income families first through community activism to force improvements to public housing. The group initially wanted to also increase welfare, which it succeeded in doing in cities across the country during the 1970s and 1980s, but the effort ultimately proved to be a failure. The concentrated pockets of poverty that resulted led to overwhelming crime that knew no borders; the residents themselves became easy prey for the criminal drug culture.

In 1984, ACORN expanded widely, establishing chapters in a dozen cities and winning over poor and working-class members who took up the mantle for living wages and single-payer health care. ACORN also protested against insurance redlining issues. It also founded a political action committee and started radio stations and produced television programming. In 1991, ACORN began using its community organizing and protest activities to encourage homeownership, lobbying for banks to offer low-interest loans to people of limited financial means with little to no collateral. ACORN's work to defeat the weakening of the Community Reinvestment Act in 1991 found members protesting in the halls of Congress. Those efforts spurred anew their activity in voter registration and grass-roots political work.

Politicians have always had an uneasy relationship with ACORN regardless of political affiliation. Mayor Adrian Fenty, a Democrat, found that out when ACORN opposed his proposal to reform D.C. Public Schools. ACORN wanted the "takeover" plan to be presented via referenda despite the mayor's support for ACORN's work on renter's rights.

The group has had its share of scandals from filing suit in California to exempt itself from the minimum-wage law, arguing that paying its employees more would diminish their activist zeal for the poor, to firing two of its workers who wanted to organize a union within its ranks. ACORN lost both battles, but ultimately partnered with the Service Employees International Union, which donates $2 million to ACORN each year. Mr. Rathke's brother, Dale, embezzled nearly $1 million from the group, which his brother attempted to hide from the organization's board.

The right to vote is as sacred an American right as the right to free speech. When either of those rights is impeded by intimidation and harassment, we all suffer. Here's where fraud rears its head: ACORN pays its canvassers to register voters. Apparently, the more registrations, the more money the canvasser is paid. No wonder that the roster of "America's team" landed on the registration rolls in Nevada. Every state that has an NFL team knows that "America's team" is in Dallas not Nevada.

Mr. Boehner explained yesterday why the influence that ACORN has on politics and policy during these gloomy economic times is not prudent. "Sources of federal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development or any other agency must be stopped," he said. "Contracting for services between candidates for federal office and ACORN, as Senator [Barack] Obama has done, must end. Now that the taxpayers own Fannie Mae, any funding from Fannie Mae's nonprofit foundation to ACORN must stop."

More to the point, Mr. Boehner said: "ACORN spent decades promoting the housing policies that brought America's economy to the brink, and similarly over the years has committed fraud on our system of elections, making American voters question the fairness and accuracy of the exercise of their most fundamental right under the Constitution. Now it is time to cut off ACORN before it grows even more destructive."

The White House and Congress should move expeditiously. However, the investigation of fraud allegations should move as methodically as necessary to ensure successful prosecution.


Jailed SEIU big faces more charges

Related: "Prominent SEIU big behind bars"
More SEIU stories: hereJaime Feliciano stories: here

No comment from Andy Stern

A Sacramento workers union president is facing additional child sex charges. Jaime Feliciano, a Service Employees International Union chapter president, was booked Thursday on eight counts of eight lewd and lascivious acts on a minor, says Sgt. Tim Curran.

Feliciano, 49, has been in custody since he was arrested September 9 and charged with possession of child pornography.

Curran said investigators found images of an unidentified girl being molested on Feliciano's home computer. Detectives uncovered the now 9-year-old girl's identity and interviewed her and mother. From that information, Feliciano was booked on suspicion of molestation said Curran.

Bail for Feliciano, who has been in custody since his arrest last month, was set at $800,000. His arraignment on the new charges is scheduled for Friday, October 10.


Shreveport previews Barackonomics

More strike stories: here

Musicians on strike, work stops

Despite an ongoing musicians' strike, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra board is hopeful that there will be an opening show for its 61st season. Neither side has spoken to each other since the strike began last week, but the back-and-forth between both sides continues.

"The orchestra is ready to move forward with the musicians and service patrons by performing on Oct. 18. and thereafter," said Bobby Gilliam, symphony board attorney and spokesman said they are still working toward an Oct. 18 show, but he said they want to emphasize that if the show doesn't happen it will be rescheduled, not canceled.

"However, to accomplish that we need cooperation from the musicians such that they will honor the labor agreement and the individual written commitments they made in July of this year to play for this season. We're open to discussions on proceeding with that performance."

However, musicians' spokesman and principal trumpet player Rick Rowell said don't look for the musicians to be there.

"We will not be performing, unless there is some progress between the two sides," Rowell said.

In the latest developments, Thomas F. Lee, president of the American Federation of Musicians officially notified Local 116, the musicians' union, that effective Thursday, the symphony has been placed on the International Unfair List.

As long as that designation is in place, AFM members are not to work for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra will not be allowed to list vacancies in the union's publication, The International Musician, regarded as one of the standard sources for information on orchestral openings.

Gilliam said the announcement doesn't change the board's position. "We've been negotiating for nine months in good faith, meeting our commitment and obligations and we ask that the musicians do the same," he said.

In regards to the strike, Gilliam maintains that the musicians did not follow proper procedure as outlined in the contract to begin a strike. "After they made a written commitment, there's been no complaints, no grievance, no written notice of any type from the union. Right now our position is that they're in an improper, illegal strike."

Musicians notified symphony executive director Scott Green of the strike by phone Oct. 2.

Christopher Durham, the musicians' lead negotiator on behalf of the American Federation of Musicians, has said that the signed individual contracts Gilliam referred to only maintains the musicians' employment with the organization, but does not bind them to the contract, also called a collective bargaining agreement.

"We don't have what we call an 'agreement' because we haven't agreed to anything. Both sides declared an impasse and the board implemented the final offer," Durham said. "Had we had a true agreement which both the union and the employer mutually agreed to and signed, then, yes, we would have had to file a grievance if a dispute arose, but that's not the case here."

Durham said the musicians would end the strike if certain terms are met.

"What the musicians have maintained is that they would continue the contract under the terms from the 2006-07 season," Durham said. "Last year, we proposed a one-year extension and ultimately that's where it ended, but at this point, the best thing that would need to happen is that it remains status quo and the institution sit down with an expert in the field of symphonic industry and learn how to run the business properly.

The musicians announced the strike last week in protest of the board's implementation of the collective bargaining agreement which switches core or full-time musicians to a per-service pay structure.

The new structure results in a 75 percent pay cut, from $12,693 to $3,123 for the 2008-2009 season and the elimination of 24 full-time core positions as of Sept. 1.

Management has insisted such change is necessary to alleviate financial instability which has plagued the organization for nearly a decade, including an accumulated loss of more than $700,000 in 2001.

Neither side has spoken to each other since the strike. A federal mediator, Commissioner Glen Reed, of Baton Rouge, who's participated in earlier talks and negotiations from previous seasons, has been brought back to help facilitate discussion between the parties.

However, his role is only to monitor and assist negotiations when called upon.

"We're not a regulatory agency. We don't tell parties what to do. We only offer assistance where the party is needed," he said.

Reed said because of his role he would not offer any details on the status of the negotiations.

Meanwhile, the symphony's 61st season hangs in limbo. "If the musicians choose not honor the agreement and appear, it appears we will have to cancel that performance and make other arrangements for the rest of the season. Those plans have not yet been determined," Gilliam said.


Obama: Public service or fraud?

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

With ACORN, Obama for President campaign hits a speed bump

Investigations are underway in seven states — California is not one of them — of possible voter registration fraud by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a nationwide network of organically separate organizations.

Earlier this week, the FBI raided ACORN offices in Las Vegas. Elections offices in several Ohio counties have reported receiving large numbers of registration cards turned in by ACORN with duplicate names and addresses (in one case 12).

ACORN came into existence after Congress passed the Community Redevelopment Act in 1977. The CRA’s objective was to encourage banks to make home loans to higher-risk borrowers. ACORN became what it claims is the nation’s largest “grassroots” organization. Its specialty in many cities was to pressure banks into dramatically loosening their lending criteria.

Its tactics included occupying bankers’ offices, picketing their homes and filling lobbies with platoons of chanters. Madeline Talbott, the longtime leader of ACORN’s Chicago operations and an early political supporter of Barack Obama, honed disruption tactics to a sharp point.

ACORN’s other activity in recent years has been voter registration. Charges of fraud are nothing new to them. In Missouri and Washington state in 2006, their registrars were accused of the same sort of problems now being investigated. Then, as now, ACORN officials claimed they were “victims” of out-of-control registration workers. In Washington, several workers went to jail for such tactics as filling out registration cards by copying names from the telephone book.

ACORN’s activities are nothing new to Obama, although there has been no suggestion that he or his campaign have been involved in the practices being investigated. In the early ‘90s, when he returned to Chicago from Harvard Law School, ACORN asked him to conduct leadership training sessions for its community organizers — the battalions that Talbott would use in her campaign against the banks.

Later, when he was on the board of the Woods Fund, his efforts succeeded in that nonprofit expanding financial support for ACORN.

In the recent Congressional debate over the $700 billion rescue package of the financial sector, Democrats sought to insert a provision for funds to go to ACORN. It was dropped from the final version. Considering that fraud investigations are underway in seven states, that was a close call.


Hoffa excuses Dems

More Teamsters stories: here

Union racism infects labor-state politics

More union racism stories: here
Related story: "
The 28 labor-states"

Activists Blast Police Union for Polical Flyer

A rainbow coalition of Richmond activists on Monday demanded that the city’s powerful police union rescind an electoral mailer they described as a racist hit piece.

Members of Richmond Community United for Peace gathered outside the Richmond Police Department on Regatta Boulevard to attack the mailer, which arrived in mailboxes just as voters are preparing to cast absentee ballots. The flyer listed the Richmond Police Officers Association as its return address.

Coalition spokesperson Andres Soto said the flyer “is blatantly racist against the Latino community,” and “designed to distract people from the issues” in the upcoming election.

Phillip Mehas, a member of the board of the regional ACLU chapter, said that in his 10 years in the area he had seen derogatory mailings before, “but nothing as racist as this.”

“Public safety held hostage,” declared the flyer. “Stop crime before it happens” and “Arrogant disrespect for public safety.”

The stark headlines were placed over photos of activist Juan Reardon, who served as campaign manager to Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, holding up a sign in Spanish warning of a police driver’s license checkpoint ahead.

Inside, headlines declared “Mexican drug dealers,” “Honduran drug dealers,” “El Salvadoran drug dealers” and “Drugs come to Richmond from across the Mexican border,” with “Richmond” and “Mexican border” underlined, and the accompanying text referring to “Mexican drug wars,” “headless bodies” and “ongoing orgies of violence!”

Latinos were the only drug dealers mentioned in the flyer.

A statement in the flyer from Richmond Police Officers Association Vice President Sgt. Andre Hill declares: “Gayle McLaughlin and Juan Reardon plan to exempt Latinos from the rule of law because many are illegal residents and do not have a driver’s license.”

The flyer also declares that Reardon is campaign manager for two McLaughlin allies running for City Council seats, cardiologist Jeff Ritterman and activist Jovanka Beckles, an allegation refuted by Charles Smith, Green Party candidate for the East Bay Municipal Utility District board and a labor activist, who said flatly, “That’s not true.”

Fred Jackson of North Richmond’s Neighborhood House, an African-American community leader, said, “I could not let this kind of dirty politics go on without speaking out,” and urged all Richmond residents to come together to live out the dream of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. rather than succumb to the politics of division.”

The politically powerful police union is backed in its complaint by one member of the city’s police commission, marketing executive and City Council candidate Chris Tallerico, who appears in the flyer, declaring that “our Mayor and Juan Reardon are taking our City on a dangerous, unequal course, replacing ‘rule of law’ with their own political agenda.”

But another commissioner, Roberto Reyes, appeared at Monday’s press conference both to call the community to join in honoring fallen officer Brad Moody, who was expected to die from injuries received in a fatal accident Saturday morning, and to criticize the police union mailer.

“It is unfortunate that the Richmond Police Officers Association has chosen to release their garbage around the time of the election,” Reyes said.

Calls to the police association’s phone number were met with a recording stating that the association’s voice mailbox was full and not accepting messages.


GOP leader: Shut down ACORN right now

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

It's too late to clean up systematic 2008 election fraud by union-backed group

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement following mounting allegations of voter registration fraud perpetrated by the left-wing group ACORN:
“The latest allegations of voter registration fraud by ACORN are further evidence that this group cannot be trusted with another dollar of the taxpayers’ money.

“Election cycle after election cycle, this organization has been at the forefront of breaking the law in order to promote their left-wing agenda. All the while, they have been the recipients of millions of dollars of federal funding through various federal programs and third-party groups. House Republicans took at stand recently to cut off funding to an ACORN slush fund created by their allies in the House Majority, but now more must be done.

“All federal funding to ACORN must be stopped. The ACORN slush fund must be disbanded. Sources of federal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development or any other agency must be stopped. Contracting for services between candidates for federal office and ACORN, as Senator Obama has done, must end. Now that the taxpayers own Fannie Mae, any funding from Fannie Mae’s nonprofit foundation to ACORN must stop.

“ACORN spent decades promoting the housing policies that brought America’s economy to the brink, and similarly over the years has committed fraud on our system of elections, making American voters question the fairness and accuracy of the exercise of their most fundamental right under the Constitution. Now it is time to cut off ACORN before it grows even more destructive.”

Put a stop to ACORN

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Obama-backed fraud group sullies U.S. reputation abroad

Federal authorities are investigating the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, otherwise known as ACORN, in at least ten states including Missouri.

Thousands of fraudulent voter registrations have surfaced after having been submitted by ACORN. In some parts of Ohio, over half of the registrations submitted by ACORN are at least questionable. ACORN even admits that it is unable to insure there is no fraud. In the Kansas City area, one name, Monica Ray, registered 20 times.

It is time to put a stop to ACORN and restore some integrity to the election process.

So now we know what a “community organizer” is. ACORN is a left wing organization that Barack Obama used to work with. They pay people to solicit voter registrations and quotas must be met. This is a formula for fraud. The only thing that matters is how many registrations are submitted, not how authentic they are.

In Indianapolis, it was announced today that they have a total of 677,401 voter registrations. The problem is that Indianapolis only has 644,197 voter population. That means they have a registration of 105%.

In Las Vegas, the Dallas Cowboys names showed up on voter registration cards.

How can we insure that these fraudulent registrations do not result in fraudulent votes? Answer: we cannot!

I know many of you are screaming that we should encourage as many people to vote as possible. That we should do everything possible to make sure as many people as possible actually do vote.

Yes, that sounds good on the surface, but the integrity of the election is at least as important as the turnout. Every fraudulent vote effectively cancels a valid vote. I don’t want ACORN or anyone else disenfranchising my vote.

Groups like ACORN are trying to steal the election. They are threatening to turn the whole process into a joke and action must be taken immediately.

ACORN and other groups like them must be shut down.

Photo ID should be required of all voters. Give them out for free. Come to the homes of those who cannot get out to get one. Make them an ID on the spot. Provide rides for anyone who needs one to get to the polls. But no ID, no vote.

Eliminate early voting. Eliminate mail in voting. Eliminate absentee voting except for the military and special cases. The constitution is specific about when and how the election should be held. Let’s get back to the basics and restore integrity to the election.

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