Here come the union goon squads

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Unchecked Dem power signals a return to fascistic Progressive Era

If the Democratic Party wins a filibuster-proof Senate majority on Election Day, it likely will pass the Employee Free Choice Act. The EFCA is reminiscent of trade union legislation passed in Great Britain during Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister—except that it would work exactly in reverse. And its effects, too, would be exactly the reverse of the stunning economic growth over which Thatcher presided.

When Thatcher was elected in 1979, Britain had just endured a winter of discontent—a season of strikes and trade union agitation so severe that the nation stood effectively paralyzed. Food supplies were interrupted, whole industries choked, and exports fell. “We don’t want to increase our trade with you,” said the Soviet trade minister to his British counterpart. “You’re always on strike.” Rubbish piled up on the streets that winter; at one point, so did human corpses. This was what had become of a nation that was once the world’s greatest trading power.

For obvious reasons, Thatcher put reform of the trade union law at the top of her agenda. Among the key provisions of Britain’s 1980 Employment Act was a change in the way government would recognize unions. At the time, workers voted to join unions—or not—in public, by voice vote. Dissenters suffered harassment and physical intimidation. Henceforth, Thatcher decided, new union membership agreements would require approval by means of a secret ballot in order to protect rank-and-file workers from bullying by union organizers. If allowed to vote secretly, she believed, ordinary workers would not vote for policies against their long-term interests—such as pay raises so incommensurate with production as to render British businesses uncompetitive, or strikes so prolonged as to make even the Soviets unwilling to buy British goods.

Thatcher was right. As soon as the secret ballots were introduced, many workers began defying the trade union leadership and rejecting the unions’ ruinous policies. When she had taken power, Britain was the second-poorest nation in Europe. Her reforms led to the longest sustained period of British economic expansion of the postwar era. In the past decade, as a direct consequence of her augmentation of labor-market flexibility—in layman’s terms, her smashing of the trade unions—the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has ranked Britain at the top in both output and inflation stabilization.

Today, the U.S.’s misleadingly named Employee Free Choice Act would increase the power of America’s labor unions by eliminating the secret ballot. Under current law, a union can be certified by the National Labor Relations Board as the exclusive representative of employees in one of three ways: through a secret ballot, a signature drive, or what’s known as a “card check.” Card-check certification means that the majority of an organization’s employees have signed union authorization cards. Critically, however, an employer who suspects that union organizers are coercing his employees has the right to demand government-supervised secret-ballot elections. The EFCA would remove this right. If enough employees sign cards, the union will be certified—no vote required. Obviously, it’s much easier to coerce, harass, and intimidate workers in the absence of secret ballots. Why else would unions be so keen to do away with them?

As if eradicating secret ballots weren’t bad enough, the EFCA contains a still more ominous provision: it vastly increases the role of government in settling labor disputes. The act stipulates that, if an employer and a union cannot agree on an initial contract within 90 days, either party may ask the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to intercede in the negotiations. If no deal is reached after 30 days of federal mediation, the feds will assign an arbitrator to work out an agreement. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding for two years. Workers will not get the chance to ratify the agreement, by secret ballot or otherwise.

In effect, the federal government will gain the power to dictate the terms of a contract and to set wages, benefits, hours, and work rules. Because negotiations for new contracts almost always take more than 120 days, this provision will ensure a significant expansion of government into the private sector. It’s absurd to imagine that even the most well-meaning government arbitrator would be sufficiently familiar with the day-to-day operations of a company, or the industry in which it operates, to make contract decisions as wisely as the company’s owners and employees would.

The long-term consequences of EFCA passage are perfectly predictable: some companies will go out of business or relocate overseas. Some of the workers whom the legislation is designed to protect will lose their jobs. Nor will it be easy to undo the law once it’s passed, since no one who acquires power gives it up easily. In Britain, during the 1984 miners’ strike, wresting power from the unions nearly led to civil war. Thatcher ultimately crushed the National Union of Mineworkers, but the human and economic costs of the strike were staggering, and the violence of the conflict stunned the British public.

Back in the early 1970s, Britain (like the rest of the industrialized world) was suffering from the effects of the 1973 oil price shock, with inflation reaching 27 percent in 1975. Britain’s labor leaders, noting that real wages were diminishing, concluded that the cause was insufficient union power and that the remedy lay in industrial action. They were wrong in both analysis and prescription, and perpetual strikes crippled an already faltering economy. Today, as it exhorts legislators to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, the AFL-CIO applies similar reasoning. “It’s no accident,” its website declares, “that the 25-year decline in workers’ wages in our country has paralleled a 25-year slide in the size of the America’s unions.” Actually, it’s exactly that: an accident. Many explanations exist for the decline of real wages in certain sectors of the U.S. economy, but a decline in trade union membership isn’t among them. The global economy and competition from rising industrial superpowers such as China and India would be a far more logical place to look.

Margaret Thatcher fought these battles not so long ago; you might think today’s legislators would have learned from them. But as Thatcher herself once remarked, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

- Claire Berlinski is the author of There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.


ACORN: The tip of the collectivist iceberg

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

ACORN fraud cuts through the Left's party line

Until this month, the party line from the Left was that voter fraud amounted to just another figment of the imagination of the vast right wing conspiracy. Indeed, when the Democratic Party, the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups brought their constitutional challenge to Indiana's voter identification law to the Supreme Court, they argued the statute was unnecessary by simply repeating the rejoinder -- seemingly borrowed from a famous Wendy's commercial -- "Where's the fraud?"

Even after the Court upheld the requirement of presenting a government ID to vote, liberals both on and off the Supreme Court continued to claim there was no fraud problem to solve.

Justice David Souter insisted in dissent that there was "no evidence" of voter "fraud" in Indiana, just as there was "a dearth of evidence ... in any other part of the country."

The editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post both repeated the same talking point. The Times stated outright that voter fraud was a "nonexistent problem," while the Post commented less aggressively that "voter fraud is not a significant problem."

Six months later, however, it is clear the liberals were either blissfully ignorant or intentionally deceptive about the reality of voter fraud. With approximately a dozen states now investigating thousands and thousands of questionable -- to put it charitably -- voter registrations collected by the Leftist canvassing group ACORN, mainstream media reports from across the country have documented that voter fraud is real.

Indeed, as reported by ABC News -- not to mention countless other news outlets -- ACORN itself "admitted [Wednesday] that it had fired some of its workers for falsifying voter registrations." What's more, this was no small isolated problem caused by a few bad apples, as ACORN would like the public to believe. Instead, based on stories emerging from Florida to Ohio to Indiana to Nevada, fraud not only ran rampant nationwide in ACORN's voter registration drive, but also was so blatant and unbelievable to be ready-made fodder for late-night comics.

For instance, MSNBC reported that ACORN hired a canvasser named Jason Anderson among a group of "59 state prison inmates" to solicit voter registrations in Nevada. If that wasn't enough of an indictment, ACORN later promoted the convict to be a "supervisory ‘team leader,'" before Anderson turned and blew the whistle about the voter fraud that prevailed in ACORN's Nevada operation.

Anderson not only "told state investigators that some of his co-workers ‘hired by ACORN were lazy crack-heads who ... just wanted the money,'" according to MSNBC, but also that those same "inmate colleagues had registered the Dallas Cowboys to vote in Nevada, along with ‘large numbers' of other fictitious applications."

On the other side of the United States, there was the attempt to register "Mickey Mouse" to vote in Florida, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times. The application "was stamped with the logo of the nonprofit group ACORN," the Times noted, though "Orange County elections officials rejected his application."

In the center of the country, ABC News reported that a voter registration application was submitted in Indiana by ACORN on behalf of a "Jimmy Johns of 10839 Broadway" in Lake County. "The application is signed and dated, but calls to the phone number listed on the application reveal that it is for a Jimmy Johns restaurant," ABC News explained. "A waiter at the restaurant said there was no Jimmy Johns at that address, adding, ‘It's a huge chain of restaurants.'"

As comical as these stories may be, they are extraordinary examples of a far larger and more serious problem of voter fraud, which is intertwined with and connected to ACORN.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that ACORN voter "registration cards have become the focus of fraud investigations in Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri and at least five other states." MSNBC expanded that list to include the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana.

The allegations being investigated are not limited to just a few examples of famous names being registered in unusual places. Rather, as the Los Angeles Times reported: "Mike Slater, head of Project Vote, which helped ACORN run its current registration drive, said the group has identified about 5,000 ‘bogus or potentially fraudulent' applications so far."

You read that last sentence right -- a senior official in charge of ACORN's voter registration project came clean and admitted to thousands of "bogus or potentially fraudulent" voter registrations.

What's more, Slater's own figure doesn't appear to count thousands upon thousands more suspicious voter registrations that were caught not by ACORN but by various state and local election officials. Indeed, perhaps the most damning part of Slater's admission was not the sheer number of "bogus or potentially fraudulent" voter registrations he concedes ACORN collected, but the fact that, as the Los Angeles Times paraphrased him saying, ACORN "canvassers copied names from phone books."

Worse yet, the fraud didn't stop at getting fake names onto the voter registration rolls. Instead, as shown by the investigation in Ohio, ACORN's fraudulent registrations have led to attempts at casting fraudulent votes.

The New York Post broke a story this week that contained the revelation that "[i]nvestigators probing ACORN have learned that an Ohio man registered to vote several times and cast a bogus [early] ballot with a fake address."

The story went on to explain that the early "vote of Darnell Nash, one of four people subpoenaed in a Cuyahoga County probe of ACORN's voter-registration activities, was canceled and his case was turned over to local prosecutors and law enforcement." In other words, but for the attention of Ohio election officials, Nash -- and ACORN -- would have succeeded in casting an illegal ballot.

The infuriating examples just go on and on. You read one news story and think it couldn't possibly get worse, but then an even bigger shoe drops as you continue reading. If you thought it was truly horrible that an ACORN canvasser in Nevada "was caught completing forms using names and addresses copied from the telephone book," as MSNBC reported, then what about the fact that ACORN registered a singular Cleveland man 73 different times, paying "him a few bucks and g[iving] him a few cigarettes in exchange for the multiple signatures."

All of this is the long way of saying that liberals can never again credibly argue "Where's the fraud?" We know -- indeed, the common sense on Main Street has long known -- not only that there is voter fraud, but also where it is. It's where we thought all along -- deeply embedded in ACORN's voter registration drives.


Wade Rathke ties ACORN, SEIU, and Tides

More ACORN stories: hereWade Rathke stories: here

Co-founder of ACORN also founded SEIU, serves on Tides Foundation board

ACORN, the national activist group dogged by a high-profile voter registration fraud scandal, has another bruising item on its agenda when its board of directors meets here this weekend.

Leaders of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are locked in a legal dispute stemming from allegations that the brother of the group's founder misappropriated nearly $1 million of the nonprofit's money several years ago.

The embezzlement case, a recent revelation to some board members, has spawned a lawsuit and set off a power struggle inside ACORN at a time when the liberal group's voter registration practices are the subject of fraud investigations and fodder for presidential campaign attacks.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN's interim chief organizer, called the lawsuit "a distraction from us marshaling our forces to deal with the Republican right-wing attacks" over ACORN's voter registration.

The lawsuit filed in August by two board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.

Instead of reporting the allegations to law enforcement authorities, a small group of ACORN executives allowed the Rathke family to repay the misappropriated money, according to the lawsuit brought by board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid.

Inman and Reid said the agreement, which called for the stolen money to be carried on the books of an ACORN affiliate as a loan to an officer, was kept a secret from the full 51-member board until earlier this year.

"We need to find out what happened, when it happened and make sure that ACORN is viable," Inman said during a press briefing about the dispute Thursday in New Orleans. Inman also says she wants an independent audit of ACORN's books.

Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, defended the decision to keep his brother's actions an "internal matter" and resolve it with "private restitution." Reporting the case to law enforcement could have left the group at risk of financial ruin, Rathke said.

"One choice would have been to go that way, but then we wouldn't have been able to collect that money," he said.

No working phone number for Dale Rathke could be found and a request by The Associated Press to contact him through his brother wasn't immediately answered.

Lewis said the group's board recently hired attorneys to explore whether Dale Rathke's actions warrant a criminal investigation or could be the subject of a civil case.

"Remember, we just found this out in June," she said.

Rathke said he took responsibility for his brother's "mistakes" by resigning, while Inman says he was fired. Rathke blames a "small group of dissidents" for the turmoil that has followed his departure.

"I wish they would have kept the internal affairs of the organization internally," he said.

Inman and Reid filed suit for access to ACORN financial records that staff members allegedly refused to give them.

During their meeting this weekend, board members are expected to discuss the lawsuit and explore ways to resolve it. A state judge presiding over the case has asked for a transcript of the board's discussion.

Lewis said Inman and Reid don't speak for the entire board and didn't have authority to file suit on the board's behalf.

"As you can well imagine, any organization that just fired its founder after 38 years would have internal issues," she said.

Wade Rathke says he stepped down as ACORN's chief organizer in June, but remains chief organizer for ACORN International. A spokesman for ACORN said the two organizations are separate entities, although they have shared office space in New Orleans.

Rathke shrugged off the board members' lawsuit, calling it a "minor matter," and expressed confidence that the voting registration controversy won't consume the group.

"ACORN is a big organization now, and they're big enough to weather this," he said.

ACORN, which says it has more than 1,200 chapters in 110 cities, has become a household name in this year's presidential election. During his debate Wednesday with Democrat Barack Obama, Republican John McCain said ACORN could be on the verge of "destroying the fabric of democracy."

ACORN is accused of submitting false voter registration forms for some of the 1.3 million young people, minorities, and poor and working-class voters it has registered. The FBI has joined nearly a dozen states in investigating.

On Friday, Pennsylvania's Republican Party sued ACORN and the state's top election official, accusing the group of fostering voter registration fraud and asserting that the election system lacks adequate safeguards to stop it.

The lawsuit asks the state Commonwealth Court to order ACORN and its affiliates to provide lists identifying all the voters it registered and to finance public-service announcements to remind first-time voters that they must present identification at the polls.

ACORN screens registration forms and is careful to flag questionable ones so that county election officials can scrutinize them, Pennsylvania ACORN leader Ali Kronley said at a news conference.

In New Orleans, some of ACORN's rank-and-file members fear the double dose of bad publicity could have a chilling effect on fundraising and jeopardize the group's work on the city's fragile recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Vanessa Gueringer, who chairs ACORN's chapter in the city's Lower 9th Ward neighborhood, said the embezzlement case isn't stopping volunteers from gutting homes, registering voters and campaigning for better access to health care in storm-battered New Orleans.

"We look at this as a ripple in the pond _ something that happened eight years ago and has been resolved," she said. "Our hope is that people won't focus on the negative and focus on the positive."


Obama spoke the truth to ACORN

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

UAW backed down by Tribal Nation

More Tribal Casino War stories: here

Union agrees that tribal law takes precedence over NLRA

The Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Authority and the United Auto Workers have agreed to talk about negotiating a union contract under tribal law rather than federal labor law. The breakthrough announcement came in a brief statement issued jointly by the two parties Oct. 10.

“The UAW and the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise agreed to enter into discussions for 30 days to determine if an agreement can be reached to bargain under tribal law without either party waiving any of their rights or legal positions under the National Labor Relations Act,” the statement said.

The parties further agreed that they will not discuss the status of negotiations during the 30-day period.

The jurisdictional dispute over whether tribal laws or the federal National Labor Relations Act of 1935 apply to employees on sovereign tribal land has been waged since last November, when poker dealers at the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Foxwoods Resort Casino voted 1,289 – 852 to join the United Auto Workers union. The federal law is administered by the National Labor Relations Board.

The tribal nation has supported employees’ right to unionize, but says they must do so under tribal labor laws.

“It’s an issue of sovereignty and the rights of Indian tribes, and the federal government’s promises to them of self-government and sovereignty over economic affairs on their sovereign tribal land,” Richard Hankins, an attorney for the nation, told Indian Country Today in a recent interview.

The NLRB certified the union vote in June, but the nation has declined to negotiate a contract, insisting that federal labor laws and the NLRB had no jurisdiction on tribal land.

The union has filed a number of complaints against Foxwoods since the vote was certified, and in August the NLRB issued a complaint alleging that the tribal nation broke the law by refusing to negotiate a contract with the union.

On Oct. 2, the NLRB ordered the nation to bargain with the union. The nation filed an appeal the same day in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York.

The labor conflict at Foxwoods has been watched closely by tribal nations and unions across the country because it will set a precedent for labor relations between tribes and the federal government.

Federal labor laws did not apply on sovereign tribal land for almost 75 years after the federal labor law was passed, but in January 2007 a circuit court’s 2 – 1 panel decision upheld the NLRB’s own earlier ruling that the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California was subject to federal labor laws.

However, the case involved a narrowly applied definition of the casino as a commercial operation and did not deal with the wider issue of tribal sovereignty or Indian casinos as governmental operations that provide revenue for tribal services – issues that may still be resolved in court if the parties fail to reach agreement in the current talks.

MPTN Chairman Michael Thomas has vowed to fight the jurisdictional issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued a statement following the announcement of talks, stating that he is prepared to fight for federal jurisdiction over labor issues on sovereign land.

“This process has enormous promise in resolving profoundly significant and strongly and wrongly contested rights of workers at Foxwoods. We will continue to fight for union member rights, and welcome these discussions as a means of achieving such rights as quickly and fairly as possible.

“We are prepared to continue the battle in the National Labor Relations Board and the federal courts, where ultimately we should prevail.”


Not just Obama: Hillary is an Alinskyite, too

Saul Alinsky stories: here collectivism: here

Saul Alinsky's organizing tactics define Dems

Most of you, I bet, may be curious about the increased number of references lately from McCain campaign and surrogates about one Saul Alinsky as they try to make Barack Obama a risky presidential pick because of his associations.

I just heard Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) tell Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show that "Obama started out with Saul Alinsky." Not true, if Bond was being literal. Alinsky, born in Chicago on Jan. 30, 1909 died on June 12, 1972 in Carmel, Calif. Obama was born in 1961.

Obama followed in the footsteps of Alinsky, the legendary Chicago community organizer whose techniques and teachings influenced generations of community and labor organizers, including the group hiring a young Obama to work on Chicago's South Side.

Alinsky's techniques were more tactical than radical. Alinsky--whose "Reville for Radicals" was the training manual for generations of organizers, also influenced a young Hillary Rodham Clinton who was growing up in Park Ridge at the time Alinsky was the director of the Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago. While at Wellesley, Clinton wrote her senior thesis on the "Alinsky Model" of organizing.


ACORN funded by Brokaw-Soros charity

More ACORN stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

Investigators consider dusting for Wade Rathke's fingerprints

"Meet the Press" interim moderator Tom Brokaw sits on the board of a liberal foundation that has given radical left-wing group ACORN $821,000 and that in turn is funded by liberal uber-donor George Soros, research reveals.

Conservatives have long considered Brokaw's political views to be somewhere on the left, but these revelations raise new questions about the former NBC News anchor's objectivity.

Here are the facts.

Brokaw sits on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charity that, according to its website, targets poverty in New York City by applying "sound investment principles to philanthropy." The foundation awarded ACORN a $456,000 grant in 2003 and a $365,000 grant in 2004. Brokaw does not appear to have played a role in the grants because he didn't become a member of the board until 2005 according to the guidestar.org database, but these are nevertheless the left-wing circles in which he travels.

The Soros Fund Charitable Foundation, as in George Soros, a major bankroller of the left, gave the Robin Hood Foundation a $9,859,453 community development grant in 2000.

The Robin Hood board includes Marian Wright Edelman, president of one of Hillary Clinton's favorite activist groups, the Children's Defense Fund. Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actress Gwyneth Paltrow are also members of the board.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, the Robin Hood Foundation had assets of $288,520,098 and income of $159,688,394 (source: guidestar.org). Brokaw has given at least $75,000 to the foundation. (source: "The Emperors of Benevolence," New York Magazine, November 5, 2007)

(This post is based on a Capital Research Center blog post.)

- Matthew Vadum is Editor of Organization Trends and Foundation Watch at the Capital Research Center.


ACORN distracts Rathke embezzlement story

More ACORN stories: hereWade Rathke stories: here

'Get those computers out of there before the FBI arrives'

An ACORN community organizer received a death threat and the liberal-leaning voter registration group's Boston and Seattle offices were vandalized Thursday, reflecting mounting tensions over its role in registering 1.3 million mostly poor and minority Americans to vote next month.

Attorneys for the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now were notifying the FBI and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division of the incidents, said Brian Kettenring, a Florida-based spokesman for the group.

Republicans, including presidential candidate John McCain, have verbally attacked the group repeatedly in recent days, alleging a widespread vote-fraud scheme, although they've provided little proof. It was disclosed Thursday that the FBI is examining whether thousands of fraudulent voter-registration applications submitted by some ACORN workers were part of a systematic effort or isolated incidents.

Kettenring said that a senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland got an e-mail that said she "is going to have her life ended."

A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of "We know you get off work at 9," then uttered racial epithets, he said.

Separately, vandals broke into the group's Boston and Seattle offices and stole computers, Kettenring said.

The incidents came the day after McCain charged in the final presidential debate that ACORN's voter-registration drive "may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and may be "destroying the fabric of democracy."

McCain's comments provoked a response from ACORN.

"I would not say that Senator McCain is inciting violence," Kettenring said, "but I would say that his statements about the role of this manufactured scandal were totally outlandish."

McCain's campaign didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

It's unclear whether the alleged threats violated federal law, but Jonah Goldman, the director of the National Campaign for Fair Elections at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law argued that the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voter intimidation, should apply.


NEW ORLEANS - ACORN has another bruising item on its agenda when its board of directors meets here this weekend.

Leaders of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are locked in a legal dispute stemming from allegations that the brother of the group's founder misappropriated nearly $1 million of the nonprofit group's money several years ago.

The embezzlement case, a recent revelation to some board members, has spawned a lawsuit and set off a power struggle inside ACORN.

The lawsuit filed in August by two board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled about $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.

Instead of reporting the allegations to law enforcement authorities, a small group of ACORN executives allowed the Rathke family to repay the misappropriated money, according to the lawsuit brought by board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid.


Circling the wagons around Obama's ACORN

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

That's not the ACORN I once new

A blog post for the San Francisco Chronicle reports that ACORN representatives had a conference call with reporters the morning after the most recent presidential debate. The purpose of the call was to express their opinion that McCain is attempting to “hoodwink the American public” about ACORN in an effort to distract voters from what they call his “desperate” campaign.

Bear in mind that ACORN is being investigated in several states for voter fraud, and is already facing charges in some states.

But the big (but under-reported) news out of the conference call with reporters is this. According to the San Francisco Chronicle blog: “ACORN organizers this morning said that Sen. Barack Obama, as a local elected official in Chicago, participated in two training sessions for 50 volunteer leaders.”

Didn’t Obama just say in Wednesday’s debate that his only involvement with ACORN was that he represented them, along with other plaintiffs, regarding motor voter issues??

Will any reporter ask him about this omission and why he failed to include this information when discussing his involvement with ACORN??


What did Obama know - when did he know it?

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Obama very tight with ACORN

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

USSC gives ACORN a free pass in Ohio

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Foreign scholars promote Ohio voter fraud

Voter-fraud stories: here

Barack Obama and ACORN Voter Fraud

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed ACORN compromises Obama

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Honest elections in U.S. under attack from the angry Left

American voters have become accustomed to allegations of fraud surrounding elections. But what is happening now surpasses anything that may have happened in past elections, and it could determine the future of the nation.

By now, most everyone has probably heard of the liberal activist group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. ACORN, which gets about forty percent of its funding from the government, is closely aligned with organized labor and just about every left-wing group in the country. They are an anti-capitalism group that has a history of promoting policies that undermine the free market system and promote the welfare state. They are also known for using high pressure tactics to push their agenda.

In a 2003 article written for City Journal, Sol Stern wrote that ACORN is an offshoot of a radical 1960s group, the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), that staged sit-ins and demonstrations at welfare offices demanding that the federal government remove eligibility requirements for welfare. The goal was to have so many people signing up for welfare that it would cause the system to collapse. Their theory, according to Stern, was that the collapse of the welfare system would force “… a radical reconstruction of America’s unjust capitalist economy.”

Forty years later, ACORN may have played a significant role in the collapse of the financial system that has brought the United States to the verge of the nationalization of our banking system. As Stanley Kurtz reported, ACORN was a major player in the subprime mortgage scandal that has almost wrecked the financial markets. ACORN activists pressured banks into making subprime mortgages “… to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers ….” The resulting collapse of the financial markets has resulted in a stock market meltdown that has cost investors and retirees trillions of dollars.

Apparently, elimination of the free market is not enough for them. ACORN has also been involved in questionable activities that threaten free and honest elections and they have been widely criticized for their voter registration and voter turnout activities.

After the 2000 election, ACORN launched Project Vote, a major voter registration and turn-out-the-vote effort. By 2004, they claimed to have registered over 1.1 million new voters and to have contacted over 2.3 million voters during their “get out the vote” drive.

These efforts resulted in widespread accusations of voter registration fraud and voter fraud in hotly contested states such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Federal investigators found that one ACORN worker in Ohio was given crack cocaine in exchange for submitting fraudulent voter registrations that included underage voters, dead people and such “famous” Ohio citizens as Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey.

After the 2006 election, ACORN was under investigation again for fraudulent activities in Missouri and Ohio and about a dozen other states. In the state of Washington, seven ACORN workers have been convicted for their role in what Washington election officials called the biggest election fraud scheme in the history of the state. ACORN’s voter registration efforts there put Frekkie Magoal, Fruto Boy Crispila and Veronica Mars on the Washington voter roles.

The 2008 election could be even worse.

On October 7th, Nevada election officials raided ACORN’s Las Vegas office as part of a major investigation of election fraud involving their voter registration efforts. The list of voters that they registered included members of the Dallas Cowboys.

On October 10th, CNN reported that officials in Lake County, Indiana stopped processing about 5,000 voter registration forms turned in by ACORN workers just before the registration deadline on October 6th when the first 2,100 forms turned out to be phony. According to the CNN report, Sally LaSorta, a Democrat on the Board of Registrars, “called the forms fraudulent and said whoever filed them broke the law.”

The most significant fraud watch is in Ohio, where a 6th Federal District Court has now upheld a federal circuit court judge’s order requiring the Ohio Secretary of State to set up a system to verify the eligibility of newly registered voters. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, had fought against having to verify eligibility. In addition to the federal court order, a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) lawsuit has been filed against ACORN on behalf of two Ohio voters by The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based public policy organization. The suit alleges that ACORN’s submission of fraudulent voter registrations dilutes the votes of legally registered voters and deprives them of the right to participate in an honest and effective election process.

With all the investigations of ACORN operations in key battleground states, it seems evident that there is substance to the charges of election fraud. It should come as no surprise that ACORN continues to oppose voter ID laws or any attempt to remove suspicious names from voter registration rolls. In fact, any attempt to verify voter rolls or the eligibility of voters on Election Day is met with a barrage of racism charges.

In other words, ACORN uses the same tactics of intimidation against election officials that they used to intimidate banks into making the billions of dollars in bad loans that are helping to sink our economy and socialize our financial markets. Unless election officials take a stand for honest voter registration and protect the integrity of the election process in the states where ACORN is at work, we could be sending more left-wing politicians to Washington to finish the job.

- Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.


NYT: Bush DOJ goes AWOL in fraud probes

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Lame duck Republican eases Obama power transition

Are some higher-ups at the FBI, or somewhere else within DOJ, pushing back against the rapidly growing perception that the department has launched a politically-driven nationwide investigation into voter fraud on the eve of an election?
The New York Times reports:

Law enforcement officials sought on Thursday to ratchet down speculation that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had begun a broader investigation into the group's activities. Some officials said privately that they were wary of being pulled into a highly partisan controversy so close to Election Day.

The officials said their investigation of Acorn's activities would, for now, focus on reports of voter registration fraud that have surfaced in several states.
Doesn't sound like the FBI has much evidence of that "coordinated national scam" that the AP reported they're looking for.


ACORN hauled into swing-state courtroom

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed group makes 2008 the most fraudulent presidential election in U.S. history

Pennsylvania's Republican Party sued the state's top election official and the community activist group ACORN, accusing the group of fostering voter registration fraud and asserting that the election system lacks adequate safeguards to stop it.

The lawsuit filed Friday asks the state Commonwealth Court to order ACORN and its affiliates to provide lists identifying all the voters it registered and to finance public-service announcements to remind first-time voters that they must present identification at the polls.

"The stakes in this action are enormously high: Unless this court acts quickly and decisively, the right to Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes may be determined by illegal ballots," the lawsuit said.

The GOP lawsuit also asks the court to order Secretary of State Pedro Cortes to ensure that local polling places have extra provisional ballots for prospective voters whose registrations are not processed by the Nov. 4 election. And it suggests — but does not ask the court to order — that Cortes halt processing of registration applications collected by ACORN and require those people to cast provisional ballots.

Provisional ballots are paper ballots that are cast by voters whose eligibility cannot immediately be verified. They are set aside, reviewed after the election and, if the voters' credential are confirmed, added to the Election Day totals.

GOP officials handed out copies of the lawsuit at a Harrisburg news conference, but it was not filed in state Commonwealth Court until more than three hours later — a fact that a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell said showed that it is politically motivated.

"It certainly tells me that this is far more of an effort to influence public opinion than it is to protect the integrity of the electoral process, which they know to be secure," Ardo said.

ACORN is required by law to turn in any voter registration application that it receives, but the group screens the forms and is careful to flag questionable ones so that county election officials can scrutinize them, Pennsylvania ACORN leader Ali Kronley told a Capitol news conference.

The group, whose full name is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has helped 140,000 Pennsylvanians register to vote, Kronley said.

In Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County district attorney's office is investigating possible voter-registration fraud involving fewer than 100 applications collected by ACORN. The group's work is also being scrutinized by authorities in several other states and nationally by the FBI.

ACORN, whose mission is to help low-income citizens organize politically, claims to have registered about 1.3 million voters nationally this year.


Obama's ACORN voter scam

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

The Obama-ACORN Mantra: Let Every Fraudulent Vote Count

ACORN, the radical community organization closely tied to Senator Barack Obama, is being raided by the FBI in state after state, eleven states thus far, for voter registration fraud. Obama served as the lawyer for ACORN in Chicago and as a community organizer trainer for ACORN. Obama also funneled millions of dollars to ACORN from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge while Obama was responsible for distributing funds from the Annenberg Challenge.

ACORN endorsed Obama and, as part of a nation-wide voter scam, Obama recently spent $832,000 of his campaign money to subsidize ACORN activities. ACORN launched a massive electoral fraud scheme, designed to get Obama elected by any means possible-legal or illegal. In typical Chicago-style politics, ACORN trolled the graveyards and registered dead people. ACORN also paid money and cigarettes as bribes to people for signing registration forms, often multiple times. Two witnesses who testified to ACRON's misdeed are Christopher Barkley, a Domino's Pizza worker, and Freddie Johnson who gave testimony during a hearing in Ohio.

Obama's association with ACORN and other radicals and shady characters, such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and convicted felon Tony Rezko, shows that Obama is a radical who lacks the character and judgment to be president.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought to ensure our right to vote - one person, one vote. Every fradulent vote cast undermines the value of our vote and should not be tolerated!

Nuts! How ACORN got me into vote scam by Jean MacIntosh provides a report on two Ohio voters, including Domino's Pizza worker Christopher Barkley, who claimed that they were hounded by ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they'd already signed up.


ACORN misdeeds set web ablaze

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

Wade Rathke's ACORN gets well-deserved attention

From tiny ACORN …

CNN reports that liberal community organizing group ACORN submitted at least 2,100 and maybe 5,000 bad voter applications in Lake County, Ind.

“The mind boggles,” blogs Power Line’s John Hinderaker. “News reports have suggested that Indiana, traditionally a Republican state, may be in play. We’re beginning to understand why.”

… do mighty stories grow

Firedoglake’s Ari: “Republicans are trying to pretend ACORN is part of some grand Democratic conspiracy. What are they actually doing? Registering new voters — the horror, the horror.”

Slip-sliding away

Meanwhile, the Fight the Smears site has changed its position on Barack Obama’s involvement. It now says ACORN “never hired” him, but before it had said he “was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.”

Trying hard not to show it

ACORN fired back at John McCain, asking, “Have You Lost That Loving Feeling?” and noting McCain was the keynote speaker at a 2006 Miami rally co-sponsored by ACORN.

Acme socialist glue traps: Work every time!

Conservative bloggers are fired up over Obama saying: “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Steyn: “This is a rare, clear moment of explicit self-revelation from Obama. If McCain can’t get traction from it, he’s Bob Dole, and that’s that.”


SEIU served a dues it in Santa Barbara

More SEIU stories: hereMore union-dues stories: here

Militant jumbo union to fight against gov't cost cut

Due to budget shortfalls, 30-day layoff notices have been delivered to 16 Santa Barbara County social services employees, and more may be on the way. A union leader, however, said that the layoffs may be avoided through negotiations with the county.

Those employees who face unemployment in a month are those that assist in determining the eligibility of individuals on state and federal benefits such as Medi-Cal or Medicare.

County staff members recently acknowledged to the state and to the Board of Supervisors that the county may have to repay up to $30 million to the state in erroneous billings for Medi-Cal benefits.

The county identified and reported to the state potential issues regarding cost reporting, claiming and accounting methods by the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services Department.

The eligibility employees with the Social Services Department interview the applicants for social services, such as Medi-Cal, and review their cases periodically or when their circumstances change.

A loss in trained eligibility workers would most likely result in increased mistakes, which could be costly to the county in the future, said Favel Jens, a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 721.

The Santa Barbara County Social Services Department already had 14 unfilled positions, and in a letter to eligibility workers dated Oct. 10, department director Kathy Gallagher wrote that “up to approximately 40” workers would be subject to layoff in the near future.

Gallagher also offered employees the opportunity to accept part-time status in accordance with the county's contract with the SEIU.

However, Rey Ybarra, the Local 721 chapter president and a 20-year county employee, has told union members that the layoffs are not set in stone and that the issue will be addressed with the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Tuesday in Santa Barbara.

First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who met with union members Friday, would only say that he hoped negotiations between the union and the county would lead to a “fruitful outcome” and a “win, win” for all parties involved.

Earlier in the year, the majority of county employee unions opted to take a mandatory unpaid furlough and accept delays in salary increases while in exchange the county would not lay off those union members during the current fiscal year.

Local 721 members were not given adequate opportunity to accept the furlough offer before they began receiving layoff notices, Jens said.

Carbajal said union and county negotiations are continuing.

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