'Instant unionization' emerges as big issue

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"
More worker-choice stories: hereMore EFCA stories: here

Worker-choice scheme opposed by Obama, Dems

Republican Senate candidate Jim Gilmore stopped at the party’s Lynchburg headquarters Wednesday to say momentum is swinging his way in the race with Democrat Mark Warner.

“People decide this race, not the polls,” Gilmore said, without appearing to be intimidated by several polls that show Warner favored by about 60 percent of the voters. “As long as people know where I stand on the issues and where Mark Warner stands, I’m going to get their votes,” Gilmore said.

He said right to work is emerging as an issue in the race, with Warner on record as being supported by labor unions that want federal law changed to allow unions to organize workplaces when more than half of the employees sign union cards.

“He’s going to vote on behalf of unions to eliminate the secret ballot election for unions,” Gilmore said.

Warner has said he might support some changes to the organizing process, but not one that would eliminate secret-ballot elections if workers choose to have them.

Gilmore added to his repertoire of issues Wednesday by saying that as attorney general of Virginia in 1994 he helped organize other state attorneys to take a hard line against church burnings in the South.

“Those burnings stopped,” Gilmore said.

But about the same time, he said, Warner was making a speech in the Washington area that criticized “people in the Christian Coalition, people who are right-to-lifers, people who are members of the NRA, people who are home-schoolers — he was saying they were threatening what it means to be American,” Gilmore said.

After a tape of that speech emerged during this year’s campaign, Warner said the comments were “over the top” and “I think I’ve learned a lot” in the 14 years since.

Gilmore said, “That’s the difference between us. My history of toleration and that kind of radical statement he was making. I think it means I’m going to get the votes here in Lynchburg.”

Gilmore said he has boosted his chances in Tuesday’s election because he has shared the platform at several Republican presidential campaign appearances in Virginia and hoped to join John McCain and Sarah Palin at appearances this weekend in Newport News, Springfield and Richmond.

“Virginia is probably going to end up voting for McCain,” Gilmore said. “They’re doubling back now to Virginia to make sure it stays where it belongs and I’m very excited.”

Most polls since mid-October have shown Democrat Barack Obama with either an edge or a lead of up to 10 points in Virginia. Another poll from the Mason-Dixon Research organization is due out this weekend.


Labor-union fascists show who is anti-worker

More worker-choice stories: here

Union flyer circulates in worker-choice workplaces

[Note: Click on image of flyer to enlarge] As we mentioned in one of our last posts to you, union campaigns often turn at the last moment and, while the 2008 election is the largest and most expensive union campaign in history, it is not too late for you to have an impact on defeating Big Labor's agenda but you need to act quickly.

A Silver Lining?...

The Polls are tightening up. According to Rasmussen this morning, Barack Obama has a mere three point lead nationally; the Gallup (traditional) also says it's a three point lead. Despite the fact Obama and his nutty-ACORN/Union friends may very well be stealng the election and despite the fact that John McCain and his advisor Rick Davis have run the worst campaign since Bob Dole's 1996 White House bid, the numbers are well within striking distance. But you shouldn't expect McCain or his campaign to drive home the points that could swing this election…This means WE have to do it.

They Don't Get It.

Folks, until recently, those with the capital to spend on this election haven't seemed to get the nexus of how the union power grab (through EFCA) relates to job security and the economic health of the nation. The reason we have been so focused on pointing out how EFCA will kill jobs for the past two years is, because of our union backgrounds, we know unions and we know campaigns better than do most, we deal with workers and companies on a daily basis, and we know what motivates people on certain topics. The problem is, even with the heightened attention today to our national economic malaise, there is too little focus being given on how unions will further destroy jobs with their agenda.

As a result, too few Americans know what is about to hit them by Valentine's Day under a Obama-Reid-Pelosi trifecta….and how many more companies will close and jobs will be lost as a result.

However, is not too late to for you to make a difference.

Here s the deal: Obama can still be defeated by focusing on the Union Issue, which we're calling Washington's Big Union Bailout. Unfortunately, too many people are focusing their attention on the (albeit important) issue of card-check. While that will swing some votes, it is too esoteric for too many people to focus on in these final days before the election.

A more important issue to swing votes in certain swing states (in particular Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia) will be the Democrats' plan to end Right-to-Work states. The bill has already been introduced and Barack Obama is on record stating he does not like right-to-work laws…Therefore, workers in those states should expect to be forced to pay union dues or be fired, should they become unionized.

Note: For background, as well as a copy of HR 6477 (the bill to end Right to Work states), you can go here, or download the bill directly here.

Now, talking about the elimination of Right-to-Work with workers may lead to the comment: But my company's not unionized. That's when you should educate the worker about EFCA.

Three Things YOU Can Do to Make This Happen

1. Use the flyers (on left) as paycheck stuffers (particularly in the aforementioned RTW states)

2. Send the flyers to others (employers and non-employers alike) that you know in RTW states

Call in to talk radio shows, mention the elimination of RTW, then move onto EFCA (as background and tie-in to job losses, please see the articles referenced

[As a side note: If you're like us, (and most voters are) you're probably as sick of this election season as we are. However, to us, this has never been about the candidates themselves, but about American jobs and the union agenda. As stated above, EFCA will kill jobs because it will make companies less competitive. Unlike most, this for us has been a more than two year campaign to educate employers and the public-at-large about the dangers of the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act, which we have labeled the "Kill American Jobs Act" since EmployerReport.com's
inception in 2006.]

We've Done All We Can…

As stated above, we've been focused on this issue for more than two years. Without the millions of dollars that some have been able to devote to this cause, we have put forth as much effort and resources as we could to educate people. To that end, yesterday we issued our last press release to the national media before the election entitled: Workers and the Economy Will Be Biggest Losers Under Democrat's Rule in DC, while at the same time posting a few op-eds that are must-reads regarding EFCA and its negative impact on jobs and the economy, which include:

* Former NLRB member Peter Kirsanow's op-ed about EFCA & Joe the (Unemployed) Plumber
* The National Right to Work Foundation's Wall Street Journal op-ed about how FDR's pro-union legislation helped prolong the Great Depression (a hint at things to come)
* To view the others, please go to EmployerReport.com

Now, it's in your hands…
With Best Wishes.
"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." -- Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


Can Obama escape ACORN?

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

MSM abets cover-up of union-backed fraud group's ties to Obama, Dems

Pennsylvania Acorns: A former staffer for Project Vote, a sister organization of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, testified at a hearing in Pennsylvania on Wednesday that the Obama campaign provided the group with a campaign donor list in late 2007 for their fundraising efforts. The former D.C. staffer, Anita Moncrief, said she still has a copy of what she called the “development plan” she used to help her identify the maxed-out Obama donors for solicitation. The hearing was part of a lawsuit brought by the GOP seeking information and an injunction against certain ACORN activities in Pennsylvania.

McCain-Palin campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement, “We now know that Barack Obama's campaign was working hand-in-glove with an organization reportedly under investigation by the F.B.I. and in more than a dozen states. In addition to funneling $832,000 to ACORN for get-out-the-vote efforts, the Obama campaign and ACORN have been sharing donor lists, encouraging maxed-out Obama donors to contribute to this unethical organization.”

Indiana Acorns: Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has issued a letter asking the FBI, the Indiana Attorney General and the Lake County prosecutor to conduct criminal investigations into acts involving 1,438 fraudulent voter registration applications in Lake County, Indiana. These applications were submitted by ACORN. The majority of these applications are from five zip codes located in and around Gary, Indiana.

According to the letter, the preliminary investigation by the secretary of state’s office found credible evidence that ACORN as an organization solicited and submitted fraudulent or forged documents, submitted multiple applications for the same individuals, and violated Indiana’s state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, laws. The letter goes on to state that the organization’s officers, agents and employees violated Indiana and federal laws with respect to obstruction of elections and interference with elections officials as well as laws protecting individual rights to register and vote in elections.

The response from ACORN contained their standard accusations of racism calling the allegations a “partisan attack intended to challenge minority voter registration activity.” They also claim that they would be in violation of Indiana law if they did not submit all of the voter registration forms.

I reached Jim Gavin, spokesperson for Attorney General Rokita, and asked about ACORN’s claim and the status of the requests for investigations. Gavin told me that at this point they had nothing further to add to the letter wherein they gave a detailed explanation of the issue raised by ACORN:

“Indiana Code 3-14-2-5(b) provides that a person who ‘fails to file or deliver to the proper officer a… form of registration after the… form has been executed commits a Class A misdemeanor.’ The law exists to prevent ‘lost’ applications of those thought to be supporters of an opposing party candidate, for example. IC 3-14-3-1.1 makes it a Class D felony for a person to knowingly procure or submit ‘voter registration applications known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent’ and IC 3-14-2-1 makes it a Class D felony for a person to conspire with another in such behavior.”

“Every person has the duty under the law not to aid or assist others in breaking the law. Clearly, ACORN representatives continued to submit applications they knew to be fraudulent to voter registration officials rather than submit evidence and contact information for possible suspects to local law enforcement officials (who have offices in the same building). Simply put, complying with the law to submit legitimate applications does not allow ACORN officials to evade the law against knowingly submitting fraudulent applications.”

One of the many problems posed by ACORN nationwide is the sheer volume of applications, including those that are false or fraudulent, the organization dumps on elections boards at the last minute, overwhelming the already inundated workers. It is within this atmosphere of a flooded elections work force that all sorts of nefarious activities hide.

Calls for an update to the Indiana Attorney General’s office were not returned as of deadline.

VIRGINIA UPDATE: All Military Ballots Will Be Counted

In a phone conversation Wednesday, Fairfax County registrar Rokey Suleman confirmed that his office would be “happily counting all FWAB [Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots] since the attorney general made his ruling.”

These include the military and other overseas ballots that did not include an address to accompany the witness signature.

- Connie Hair is a freelance writer, a former speechwriter for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and a former media and coalitions advisor to the Senate Republican Conference.


ACORN was co-founded by SEIU's Rathke

More ACORN: hereVoter-fraud: here Rathke: here Alinsky: here

ACORN: A social justice field operation of nation's most militant jumbo labor union

The hard-left activist group ACORN has been getting its day in the sun during the last few weeks, but probably not in a way it would have preferred. ACORN, which is an acronym for "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now," normally works quietly on a community level to organize workers into unions, register voters, build community-based organizations, and agitate for socialist issues like public housing and government healthcare. However, it has now been implicated in voter-registration fraud investigations in a dozen states, in allegations of financial embezzlement by insiders, along with a coverup, in non-payment of millions of dollars in taxes, in labor and wage violations, and in campaign fundraising scandals.

Founded by a Massachusetts community organizer named Wade Rathke in 1970, he started in the state of Arkansas, because Boston did not have enough welfare dependants, and Arkansas did. ACORN is now based in New Orleans, and works through hundreds of front organizations to do its work and collect tens of millions of dollars from dues and government stipends yearly. Rathke started as a community organizer applying the techniques of avowed radical Saul Alinsky in a group called National Welfare Rights Organization, and built ACORN to large size, until he was forced out this year due to financial scandals.

The John Birch Society began to expose this group as early as 1979, in its publication The Review of the News. In a cynically titled article, "Sam Brown, Carter Clown," author John Rees explained how ACORN was able to shake loose millions of dollars from Carter-administration agency boss Samuel Brown, who ran a government boondoggle called ACTION, which doled out hundreds of millions of taxpayer money to VISTA, (Volunteers in Service to America), the Peace Corps, and groups like ACORN. Brown displayed his Marxist leanings by wearing a button, "Robin Hood Was Right!"

ACORN had figured out early on how the Washington money game was played. It got ACTION to pay one of its subsidiaries called the Midwest Academy to train VISTA volunteers, who then worked for ACORN projects on the taxpayers' tab. It also got direct grants to pay for salaries of its own staff. Author Rees calls the leftist Saul Alinsky's organization "positively rightwing by comparison," which is saying quite a bit. In an article by David Walls, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Sonoma State University, he stated,

Around 1970 several national networks began to coalesce and develop systematic and distinctive approaches to community organizing. These include [Alinsky's] Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), ACORN, Citizen Action, National People's Action, PICO, DART, and the Gamaliel Foundation. Each was indebted, in greater or lesser degree, to Alinsky and his early organizing programs in Chicago through IAF.

Over the years, ACORN grew into an organization with fairly well-defined goals. It runs a large voter-registration effort, which claims to have registered 1.3 million new voters during this election cycle. It agitates for so-called "living wages" and union organizing, with Wal-Mart as a frequent target. It pushes for banks to lend to low-income borrowers on a large scale, which almost certainly was instrumental in the recent financial crisis. It also does a smorgasbord of other big-government advocacy, such as pushing for government intervention in healthcare, housing, utility regulation, and the like.

Their recent aggressive voter-registration practices have crossed the line of legality, and landed them in hot water in over a dozen states, for registering voters such as Mickey Mouse, or entire professional sports teams who don't exist. Barack Obama has utilized ACORN and its affiliates to register 150,000 new voters in Chicago for his 1994 state senate election, which likely provided the margin of victory. During this election, his campaign paid an ACORN subsidiary $800,000 for get-out-the-vote services.

There is some controversy about Barack Obama's connection to ACORN. In 1992, Barack Obama worked for "Project Vote" for about seven months, another radical organizing group often linked to ACORN. According to Lynn Sweet, a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, Project Vote and ACORN have wrapped up a voter-registration drive targeting battleground states, registering sufficient voters to propel Obama into the White House.

ACORN is an organization that claims to fight for the "little guy," but its policies often harm the very people they claim to want to help. While fighting for so-called "living wages" and voter rights, they have often not paid their own workers a living wage, and steadfastly refused to allow their own employees to organize a union. Their own organization would likely suffer the attacks they dole out to others, if it was not able to use government to dampen any repercussions. ACORN is always on the side of bigger government, without seeing the damage it routinely does to the poor, with its harsh taxation and its policies that enrich the connected at the expense of the common man.

ACORN's own leadership has profited handsomely from the poverty racket. An August 2008 lawsuit filed 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 the organization. Now, researchers have uncovered millions of dollars in unpaid federal income and local property taxes, with 230 tax liens filed against many of its affiliates around the country. Almost none of the recent exposure of ACORN has come through the establishment media but through alternative news sources.

A research study by Capital Research Center concludes that ACORN "aims to give America change that socialist can believe in by any means necessary." Given its importance to the current political scene, this article is the first installment in a series that will look more closely at ACORN, its programs, its funding, its connections, and its impact on the impending elections.


AFL-CIO shock troops tied to election crimes

Related: "ACORN's Wade Rathke exposed"
• "ACORN's Wade Rathke: Disgraced organizer"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud: hereWade Rathke: here

Who is Wade Rathke?

ACORN's "shock troops" have been linked to or convicted of perjury, forgery, identity theft and election fraud in recent years, and now are facing investigation for alleged violations of federal election law in 12 states, according to a new report from Matthew Vadum, a senior editor for the Capital Research Center.

Vadum, whose work with the Research Center includes studies of non-profit organizations, has released a report titled, "ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground's Little Brother?" documenting the troubled past and current problems facing the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

The organization for which Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama at one point trained activists and to which he directed grants while aboard the management of the Woods Fund has established a reputation for doing pretty much as it pleases, the report said.

"In 1995, ACORN sued the state of California seeking an exemption from the law that requires that it pay its own employees a minimum wage. ACORN, which argued that keeping its employees in poverty helps to boost their zeal to help the poor, lost," according to the report.

The group, described by one critic as a "hydra" for its many interconnected boards, foundations, groups and organizations, essentially has created its own economy, with the tens of millions of dollars that are donated by foundations or paid by the government being directed to whatever cause or course of action ACORN officials deem worthy, the report said.

The "30-year-old radical left-wing activist group" has taken in a minimum of $126.4 million in donations and tax dollars since 1993, the report said.

That has been used for its manifesto, which states: "Enough is enough. We will wait no longer for the crumbs at America's door. We will not be meek, but mighty. We will not starve on past promises, but feast on future dreams," Vadum wrote.

While the election 2008 controversies over electoral fraud efforts "have been indelibly imprinted in the public consciousness," Vadum said, that work is only a "smidgen of what ACORN actually does."

This year, it boasted of registering 1.3 million new voters but had to backtrack and admit only a few hundred thousand registrations actually were valid.

Some of the other "activities" cited by Vadum:

* Having 500 activists storm the Washington Hilton and forcing then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to cancel a speech.

* Pressuring Congress and financial institutions for a social basis for mortgages, rather than determine loans by a borrower's ability to repay. Critics say this is a large part of the reason for the Wall Street meltdown in the past few months.

* Disrupting a congressional panel considering changes in the Community Reinvestment Act.

* Harassing motorists waiting for traffic at intersections with donation campaigns.

* Staging protests outside the home of the chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric that were so disruptive a judge issued a temporary restraining order to keep them away.

* Dumping garbage in front of Baltimore's city hall and demonstrating outside the mayor's home, terrifying his wife and children.

* Suing the state of California seeking an exemption from a requirement to pay its employees minimum wage.

* And turning in hundreds of thousands of voter registrations that have been tossed by election officials.

The report also cited ACORN's refusal to follow basic civil rights laws or pay required taxes.

"Even though it supports the continued imposition of equal employment opportunity laws on the rest of America, it argued it shouldn't have to comply with those same laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had to sue ACORN to force it [to] comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," the report said.

"Ironically, ACORN and its affiliates, all reliable cheerleaders for higher taxes, are longtime tax deadbeats. A search of public records found more than 200 federal, state, and local tax liens adding up to more than $3.7 million that are associated with groups that share ACORN's address on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans," the report continued.

According to the report, John Fund, a vote fraud expert, attributes ACORN's rising level of aggressiveness to its "desperation."

"He argues that ACORN had to join with unions and other left-wing groups in an all-out push for an Obama victory in the hope that the scandals would all get swept under the rug," the report said.

There also have been racketeering allegations about ACORN, officials said.

"ACORN officials 'bill themselves as nonpartisan community organizers merely interested in giving a voice to minorities and the poor,' notes the Wall Street Journal, but that façade is fading fast," Vadum said.

"In reality, the organization is 'a union-backed, multimillion-dollar outfit that uses intimidation and other tactics' to advance a 'highly partisan agenda.' Its community organizers 'are best understood as shock troops of the AFL-CIO and even the Democratic Party,'" he said.

ACORN has become an issue in the 2008 presidential race because of Obama's ties to the group as well as its own admission that more than 400,000 of the 1.3 million voter registrations it claims to have collected were not valid.

Obama has been trying to disassociate himself from the group.

"The only involvement I've had with ACORN was I represented them alongside the U.S. Justice Department in making Illinois implement a motor voter law that helped people get registered at DMVs," Obama declared in one of the presidential debates.

"Now, with respect to ACORN, ACORN is a community organization. Apparently what they've done is they were paying people to go out and register folks, and apparently some of the people who were out there didn't really register people, they just filled out a bunch of names," Obama said.

But Obama's 1995 suit on behalf of ACORN, in which the state of Illinois was compelled to implement the federal "motor-voter" bill, was just a sampling of Obama's association.

Among other involvements, Obama trained ACORN activists and while working on the board of the Woods Fund, channeled millions of dollars to ACORN.

Vadum told WND ACORN had a major role in the meltdown of the stock market by lobbying for programs to loan massive amounts of money for questionable mortgages to people who probably never had the resources to repay the loans.

"It is also implicated in vote fraud schemes from coast to coast," his report added.

"With an FBI probe under way, millions of dollars in back taxes owing, and a racketeering lawsuit pending, it may finally have to answer for its many misdeeds," he wrote.

Barack Obama during a 2004 meeting of an ACORN affiliate

Of course, with a friend in the White House, answering for misdeeds could be easier. According to the report, during the primary season, the Obama campaign paid $832,598 to an ACORN affiliate for get-out-the-vote activities, and Obama has said, "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 drives in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it."

A WND call to ACORN offices in Louisiana was referred to a "spokesman" at another office, who did not return a WND message left there.

Obama also has promised to consult with ACORN even before taking office to establish priorities.

In an address only a year ago, he told an ACORN forum that, "Before I even get inaugurated, during the transition, we're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We're going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America."

Vadum said the activities also represent the organization's foundations.

He cites the socialist New Party, "which served as ACORN's electoral arm, endorsed Obama, who was one of its members, when he ran for the Illinois state senate in the mid-1990s."

But he said ACORN's foundations can be traced to the 1962 Port Huron Statement, "a manifesto of radical students disillusioned with America."

The statement was written largely by famed anti-war activist Tom Hayden, who claimed America was "hopelessly racist, militaristic, and soulless,"

The result was the formation of the Students for a Democratic Society, perhaps the pre-eminent group in the New Left movement in the 1960s, a group that later broke apart.

One faction became the Weathermen Underground, for which Obama's friend Bill Ayers was a leader. Another leader was Ayers' wife, Bernardine Dohrn. They were described by Vadum as "would-be mass murderers … who would later become members of the faculties of, respectively, the University of Illinois, Chicago and the Northwestern University School of Law."

In recent interviews, Ayers has shown no regret for his active radical days when he participated in several bombings, saying he only wished he could have done more.

Another faction, which rejected terrorist violence, was led by Wade Rathke, who had worked as a draft resistance organizer for SDS. He believed, according to Vadum, in "welfare rights" and in 1970 founded ACORN to carry out his agenda of attacking society through ever-increasing burdens on its social systems.

Not only did Ayers host a fundraiser in 1995 to launch Obama's political career, Hayden also has endorsed Obama, as have other former SDS members, including Michael and Susan Klonsky, Fred Klonsky, Carl Davidson and Marilyn Katz.

Vadum told WND that the organization simply does what it wants, even to the point of ignoring ordinary laws that are binding on the rest of America.

Wade Rathke, the report explained, "failed to notify policed when he discovered in 2000 that his brother Dale, ACORN's chief financial officer, had embezzled $948,000 from the group. Instead, Wade Rathke engineered a cover-up for his brother and allowed him to leave the payroll of Citizens Consulting Inc., the ACORN affiliate that handles its financial affairs, and go to work as his $38,000 a year 'assistant' at ACORN headquarters. The missing money was disguised as a loan to an officer of the ledgers of Citizens Consulting."


Charity expert slams ACORN's record

ACORN: hereRathke: here Alinsky: here

Leading Alinskyite, SEIU's Wade Rathke, also co-founded union-backed fraud group

With wanton disregard for the economic well being of America, a decade ago the social justice entrepreneurs of the ultra-leftist Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) let Americans know their strategy for bringing equality of result to the housing market -- at all costs.

In a circa 1999 document, "To Each Their Home: Success Stories from the ACORN Housing Corporation," the ACORN affiliate called the American Dream a sham and bragged about undermining banks' underwriting standards.

The brochure acknowledged there may be scattered "stories of hope and success" in ACORN-targeted communities, but "they also belie the supposition that if you simply work hard, sacrifice and save, you can easily buy a home of your own." (The document is available here.)

ACORN Housing took credit for developing "several innovative strategies" to get around pesky traditional lending guidelines, which were unfair because they "were geared to middle class borrowers."

Instead of using passé measures of creditworthiness such as, say, credit history and having an adequate income, ACORN convinced lenders to adopt "more flexible underwriting criteria that take into account the realities of lower income communities." Henceforth, some banks serving inner cities would accept "less traditional income sources such as food stamps." (See Foundation Watch, November 2008.)

It's unclear why ACORN stopped there. Perhaps the rent-a-mob group, renowned for occupying banks, disrupting legislative hearings and emergency medical facilities, surrounding the homes of politicians and CEOs, and annoying trapped motorists into paying tribute as part of its "toll roads" program, could have convinced narrow-minded bankers to accept another financial innovation. How about accepting "Monopoly" money for down payments?

Financial tomfoolery like including food stamps on loan applications was encouraged by the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which opened banking to ACORN-style agitation that over time weakened underwriting criteria and helped to alter the culture of financial institutions in the U.S. This 1977 law, whose enactment ACORN lobbied for, punishes lenders for limiting loans to wealthier, more creditworthy markets, a practice called "redlining." It gives banking regulators discretionary authority to make trouble for banks that fail to lend enough money to "underserved" minority communities.

After the CRA went into effect, Saul Alinsky-inspired groups such as ACORN and the Greenlining Institute used the law to get into the shakedown business. Rev. Jesse Jackson egged them on at an ACORN "banking summit" in 1992, asking rhetorically, "Why did Jesse James rob banks? Because that's where the money was."

The shaking down of lenders intensified when then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin presided over the Clinton administration's effort to put the CRA on steroids. Banks began to make risky subprime loans and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aggregated them for sale in the secondary market as mortgage-backed securities. These practices made it easier for banks to give in to ACORN's demands to originate more and more doomed mortgages because they knew they could offload their high-risk debt on quasi-governmental suckers Fannie and Freddie, which were under intense political pressure to service the subprime market.

Economists like Stanley Liebowitz of the University of Texas blame the CRA for helping to cause Wall Street's current problems. He writes that the current mortgage market debacle is "a direct result of an intentional loosening of underwriting standards – done in the name of ending discrimination, despite warnings that it could lead to wide-scale defaults." Liebowitz is hardly alone is pointing out that U.S. financial markets are now being strangled by a terrible credit crunch that might have been avoided if lenders had refrained from doling out loans they ought to have known were doomed to default.

Of course, even now as the economic fallout from the collapse of the housing market spreads, getting class-warriors to admit they're wrong about anything is an exercise in futility. Liberals, who reflexively defend ACORN, have twisted themselves into rhetorical pretzels in recent weeks while defending the catastrophic economic egalitarianism of the CRA.

An ardent proponent of the CRA, ACORN benefactor, organizer, and trainer Barack H. Obama, Esq., contributed to the increasingly hostile environment for banks when he represented the plaintiffs in the 1995 class action lawsuit Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank. The suit demanded that the bank grant mortgages to an equal percentage of minority and non-minority mortgage applicants. The bank settled the case three years later and reportedly agreed to beef up its lending to unqualified applicants.

ACORN refuses to acknowledge the role that it and the CRA played in the current crisis on Wall Street, and as recently as Jan. 21 Obama said in a candidates' debate that the CRA should be more strictly enforced.

Michael Ettlinger of John Podesta's Center for American Progress feverishly derides CRA critics as "antigovernment ideologues," while Business Week's Aaron Pressman calls them "know-nothings." Not to be outdone, ACORN ally House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says criticism of the law is tantamount to attacking poor people and minorities. Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution concurs, arguing that pointing out the flaws of the CRA constitutes "playing the race card."

ACORN's overall strategy has a name. It's called the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" of manufactured crisis (named after two anti-capitalist sociologists) and it calls for packing the welfare rolls to encourage dependency on the government and to overload it with financial demands in order to hasten the collapse of American capitalism.

ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who created ACORN in 1970, was previously an organizer for the now-defunct National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) that was founded in 1967 by the two sociologists. Not surprisingly, ACORN's "People's Platform," inveighs against the perceived injustices inherent in the American system:

"Enough is enough. We will wait no longer for the crumbs at America's door. We will not be meek, but mighty. We will not starve on past promises, but feast on future dreams."

The CRA and ACORN aren't wholly to blame for the meltdown on Wall Street, but they played a starring role.

- Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy.


Fat cat union smear campaign

Related story: "Fat cat union bigs in smear campaign"

Will do or say anything for union dues

More union-dues stories: here

Law officials dispute union disinformation

Three Front Range sheriffs urged support for Amendment 49, saying ads against it are misleading and "insulting."

Amendment 49, if approved by voters, would prohibit deductions of anything except taxes, liens, garnishes and charitable contributions from public payrolls. It has drawn strong opposition from public worker unions, including those representing teachers, police, nurses and firefighters.

"I am 100 percent in favor of Amendment 49," said Weld County Sheriff John Cooke. "We've had it in Weld County for several years. It does not affect our ability to provide law enforcement."

Cooke, Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver and Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink, all Republicans, spoke at a news conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. They said they were appalled by anti-49 ads that suggest police and firefighters would be less effective and less able to protect the public if their union dues were no longer deducted from their paychecks.

"It's ludicrous that some of these ads say we can't do as good a job if Amendment 49 passes," Cooke said.

Several counties in Colorado already prohibit deduction of dues from public payrolls, including Weld and Douglas. Cooke and Weaver said their departments function effectively despite the prohibition.

Amendment 49, authored by Independence Institute President Jon Caldara, is one of three measures, including Amendments 47 and 54, opposed by union groups.

Pro-union interests say the measures would make it more difficult for unions to function and lobby effectively.

"Our argument has always been that these amendments make it more difficult for our teachers, our policemen, our firefighters to make their voices heard in the public policy arena," said Jess Knox, campaign director for Protect Colorado's Future. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with our ads."


What Obama doesn't want you to know

More ACORN: hereVoter-fraud: herecollectivism: here

Union-backed group drives social justice revolution against the U.S. Constitution

Americans, voting citizens, don't you care? Aren't you listening, reading, or asking questions?

I am terrified for our nation and families, should silver-tongued orator Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., become president. Obama reminds me of a wolf in sheep's clothing, like the wolf in the fable called "Little Red Riding Hood." He says words smoothly with a smile but plans for a conquest of unsuspecting victims; the electorate and trusting, hurting folks with false promises.

Isn't anyone asking about his pals like felon Tony Rezko, infamous WIlliam Ayers, U.S.-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the tainted Chicago political machine he surrounded himself with? Remember: "Birds of a feather flock together." Brilliant black professor Thomas Sowell writes that Obama could have had other associations, not those that hate America.

"Spread the wealth"? I ask, whose wealth? It will be from families who themselves are struggling for a better life and a good education for their children. Obama wants the fruit of our personal sacrifices and hard labor given to others without our consent. America is a nation of great generosity, but please, let us give our money to whom we choose. We are not Russia yet, nor Socialists. Obama offers all kinds of give-away spending. I ask, where is this money to come from? More taxes, of course.

A book about Obama, "The Case against Barack Obama, "written by David Freddoso has the complete exposure of Obama's activities, voting records, liberal and radical associations. I have learned that Obama works his campaign like a chameleon. He changes his agenda and words of eloquence as it works to his ends and cover.

Have you asked about the plans he will seldom discuss? He would give illegal aliens a valid driver's license and undo the present law that protects full-term babies from having their brains sucked out as their toes and fingers move (late-term abortion).

Obama has insulated himself with an adoring media that will not help enlighten citizens on both sides of the voting issues. Only Fox News presents both sides equally. The Democratic Party is using many tactics desperately (some appearing unsavory); it is fact that in 2007, Obama assured ACORN, presently under government investigation for voter fraud, they would be a part of forming his agenda as president. He knew of their disturbances but did nothing. Scary.

Ask now or be sorry later when the election is over, unless fraud is found. Ask more questions — the "plumber" did — and get the facts on Obama before voting. He hopes you won't.

- Irene Sredzinski, Howell


Social justice becomes #1 U.S. goal

More ACORN stories: here collectivism: hereWade Rathke: here

Coming soon: A Constitution for the United States of ACORN

With the tape that has come to light of Obama’s 2001 interview on constitutional matters (and the patently inadequate gloss provided by Camp Obama), we can at last hear in his own words how genuinely radical he is. All his radical associations, dismissed as ‘guilt by association’ by those swept up in this madness, are here finally explained and justified by this piece of the jigsaw. In this interview, Obama laments the fact that the Supreme Court has never waded into areas of ‘economic justice’ and the ‘redistribution of wealth’. But the really important bit is this:
To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that...
Obama dismisses negative liberties and wants ‘positive rights’ instead. This would mean, quite simply, the replacement of individual autonomy by state power. It would mean the end of individual freedom and the end of America’s founding value system.

This is because negative liberty is liberty. It means that everything is permitted unless it is actively prohibited. ‘Positive liberty’, by contrast, means that individual rights consist instead of what the state hands down to the individual. Presented as a means of expanding ‘rights’, what it actually expands is state control and what it shrinks is individual freedom. It thus also opens up the way to the exercise of group rights, delivered by the state, which trump the rights of the individual in a society dominated by the belief that minorities are systematically oppressed by the majority and that therefore minority or group demands must always trump majority or civilisational values. It descends directly from the dictum of Rousseau that people must be 'forced to be free' -- a doctrine which ran from the French Revolution all the way to Hitler and Stalin.

This is also precisely the route down which the UK has so catastrophically been directed by a Labour government committed to upending the nation’s constitutional settlement and by an enthusiastically compliant activist judiciary. Through ‘Human Rights’ legislation the English common law -- the originator of that true liberty which lies at the heart of the American Constitution – has been fettered by the codification of 'rights’, which in turn have made freedom contingent on the say-so of the judiciary. Now Obama wants to ‘break free from the essential constraints’ of the US constitution – but those constraints are on state power. He can’t rely on the Supreme Court to do this, he says – not surprising, since it is bound by the Constitution – and so ‘community organising’ will be used to bring about that transfer of power instead.

Now we can see how foolish are all those who persist in thinking that as a ‘community organiser’ Obama was just a kind of souped-up charity worker. As has been pointed out on this blog and in numerous investigations published on the net, ‘community organising’ is straight out of the Alinsky/ Gramsci Marxist playbook – a means of radicalising the proletariat so that it takes power and overturns the values of the society. Instead of the founding Fathers and the Supreme Court, America is about to get a new constitution written by the thugs of ACORN.

Now we can see the change that we all have to believe in. It is America itself which is to be changed -- and the liberty that it defends crushed by state control.

As history tells us, sometimes democratic elections bring to power a leader who threatens freedom. This is just such a moment.

- Melanie Phillips


Fat cat union bigs in smear campaign

More union-dues stories: here

Organized labor: Voters be damned

There's no obligation for political campaigns to be fair, let alone balanced, but there are times when messages go beyond the pale. Case in point: the advertising, largely bankrolled by labor unions, to defeat Amendment 49, the "ethical standards" initiative.

Related video:

It's one of three ballot issues labor has targeted, along with Amendments 47 ("right to work") and 54 ("clean government"). We oppose 54 as well, and are staying neutral on 47 in deference to a business-labor deal we supported that removed four amendments from the ballot that would have damaged the economy. But we endorsed Amendment 49 last month and are amazed at how it has been portrayed on TV.

Amendment 49 would prevent any state or local government agency from automatically deducting dues from paychecks on behalf of public- employee unions or any other membership organization. The current system amounts to a free collection service - and some of those dues fund politics, from lobbying for higher benefits to making campaign contributions to favored candidates. Amendment 49 would end this gift to special interests.

The foes of 49 haven't taken a clean shot at it yet. They've run no ads attacking the measure on its own. Instead, they've lumped the three ballot issues together. Since each is different, the campaign against 49 has been especially misleading.

Ads opposing 49 claim it would muzzle government workers and endanger public safety. One ad from the labor-backed group Protect Colorado's Future says 49 (and the other measures) would "silence the voices of firefighters, police officers, teachers and nurses" and "end up making what [they] do harder."

In what way? The amendment doesn't say unions can't collect dues. It just says government can't collect dues for them.

Another ad from that same group claims that passing 49 would "threaten our paychecks," implying that, with 49 in the constitution, employees (including, presumably, nonunion workers) might lose pay, benefits or even their jobs.

This is nonsense. If Amendment 49 is enacted, organized labor will have to work harder to collect dues, of course, but no harder than other private organizations.

A third ad makes the bizarre claim that the three measures would "silence small business," when 49 has nothing to do with small business. The same ad states, correctly, that Amendment 49 would not apply to "multinational corporations," including drug companies and defense contractors. Of course it wouldn't, since the amendment would end free union dues collection by governments.

The implication of that ad is that 49 would give businesses an unfair advantage in lobbying the government; public-employee unions would face a new burden that would not apply to corporations. In fact, ending the practice of free dues collection would simply level the playing field among unions, business organizations and any other group that tries to influence public policy.

Finally, this ad says "multinational corporations are pushing Amendments 47, 49 and 54." What a joke: 49's budget, provided largely by the Independence Institute, is roughly $100,000.

The secretary of state's office reports, though, that Protect Colorado's Future has raised and spent millions against the three measures - and that was even before some business leaders joined with unions against these measures.

The only fat cats in this battle are those wearing the union label.


Worker-choice scheme suggested for labor-state

Related story: "The 28 labor-states" • More worker-choice stories: here

Forced-labor unionism holds back Michigan

It's hard to see how the recent news for Michigan's economy could be any bleaker. The domestic auto industry appears to be withering and dying before our eyes. According to Daimler, the German auto company that used to own all of Chrysler, and still has a 19 percent stake in it, Chrysler today has "no value."

General Motors is burning through cash at a $1 billion-plus per month rate, trying to avoid bankruptcy, and is toying with a merger deal, mainly to get hold of what remaining cash Chrysler may have.

Ford has seen its Chief Financial Officer and two influential board members bail out recently, while aged billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian is selling millions of shares of Ford stock for something like one-fourth the amount he paid for them.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her economic team are trying to figure out how to cope with the loss of 30,000 jobs.

That's approximately what the absorption of Chrysler into General Motors would mean for our state. Any other scenario, such as a Nissan-Renault merger, would cost nearly as many.

If they are not already doing it, the governor and our other leaders might start thinking about what Michigan would look like if there is only one domestic automaker left after the recession's carnage is over. Sound farfetched? A couple very senior auto experts I talked with last week didn't rule that possibility out — at all.

Whatever happens, it is perfectly clear that we'll need to jump-start our economy. So here's a list of bright ideas to do just that, culled from an evening recently spent with some of Michigan's brightest and best connected folks. They are not my ideas; I just took notes at the discussion. And I don't vouch for any of them.

But taken together they offer a fascinating range of suggestions from some very highly intelligent and well-informed people:

• Diversify our economy and make it far more entrepreneurial. It's too bad, but the domestic auto industry is going to shed lots of jobs, while other auto companies and manufacturers generally are scared to come to Michigan because of the unions.

So, focus instead on entrepreneurs and the services they need — venture capital, skilled management, high tech research, educated workers. What about eliminating all state and local taxes for all newly formed companies in their first couple years?

• Elect Dave Bing mayor of Detroit. The city needs a complete housecleaning and business-friendly orientation. Who could do it better than a successful businessman with unquestioned Detroit roots? While they're at it, what about eliminating all business taxes on firms located in the city? Sure, that would reduce city tax revenue, but Michigan's most troubled urban area needs a way to shrink city government to fit its present population.

• Attack the bad labor climate. The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce policy conference urged a statewide vote on right-to-work, a concept that would outlaw the "closed shop" where all workers automatically have to be members of a union.

Teamsters Legislative and Community Affairs Director William Black warned against this; he called any attempt to try it the equivalent of starting World War III in Michigan. So how about a compromise: How about experimenting with locally approved right-to-work districts, especially in economically troubled areas?

Proponents claim a better labor climate would attract business, big-time. It's an opportunity to put that to the test.

• Concentrate on the workers of tomorrow. Assuming there is still a domestic auto industry, the companies that are left will need to hire thousands of new workers to fill holes left by a flood of retirements and layoffs. They'll need at least an associate's degree — probably one reason community college enrollments are way up.

Instead of letting new graduates leave the state, develop lots of internships, mentorships — anything to get recent college grads hooked up with Michigan-based employers.

• Recognize that our demography defines our future. Focus like a laser on the kinds of people we want to live here: educated, skilled, entrepreneurial. For out-of-state college grads, offer to rebate the high out-of-state tuition if they stay and work here for, say, seven years. For in state grads, set up a massive, state-wide job fair.

Try to import college-educated immigrants, taking a cue from Vancouver, British Columbia, which offered citizenship and a green card to any immigrant from Hong Kong with a degree and lots of liquid assets. They have helped Vancouver thrive.

What about "Welcome To Michigan" booths at our state's industry attraction offices abroad?

• Invest in human capital. Michigan has been leading the nation in slashing state support for universities, while Michigan's families are struggling to pay the tuition increases imposed to make up the difference. This is a foolish, strange and tragic disconnect between what we need — more and better college grads — and what we don't want — bigger and more expensive prisons.

Right now, by not investing in our schools, we are making it very likely that we will end up with even more prisoners.

• Fix the immigration law mess. High tech employers (not to mention one of Michigan's top tourist attractions, Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel) are struggling because they can't get visas for skilled, experienced foreign-born workers. While wholesale immigration law reform languishes in the trenches of Washington, why not offer "distressed" communities exemption from these restrictive rules?

I don't argue for a moment all these ideas are good. In fact, I don't agree with some of them. But all of them are worth considering, especially in this time of large, and growing economic troubles.

- Phil Power is a former newspaper publisher and University of Michigan Regent, longtime observer of Michigan politics and economics, and a former chairman of the Michigan chapter of the Nature Conservancy.


60% of members defy SEIU picket line

More strike stories: hereMore SEIU stories: here
Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Solidarity embarrassment for militant jumbo labor-state union

Saying they want more of a voice at the bargaining table, 6,000 unionized hospital employees who work in labs, serve food, aid nurses and clean rooms went on a one-day strike Wednesday, mostly in the Bay Area.

Members of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West stopped work at 6 a.m. at four of the five Daughters of Charity Health System hospitals including O'Connor Hospital in San Jose; Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy. The fourth hospital is in Southern California.

The union workers, whose contract expired this fall, also staged a 24-hour strike at five Sutter Health facilities in Berkeley, Oakland, Antioch and Vallejo.

"We're out here on an unfair labor practice,'' said Tracey Garces, 48, who is an obstetrical technician in the labor and delivery room at O'Connor. "We want to have a voice in staffing for patient care.''

Elizabeth Nikels, a spokeswoman for O'Connor Hospital, said the strike is both a "distraction" and "misleading."

First, striking simply prevents the two sides from negotiating with each other, she said. And second, she said it makes it seem like the strike is about nurses.

"The people striking are not nurses,'' she said.

At O'Connor, many of the union employees work in housekeeping, registration and food service, while others are nursing aides, patient transporters and lab techs. There are 400 involved union employees at O'Connor, where Nikels said she's heard about 60 percent have crossed the picket line to work.

Julie Hatcher, vice president of human resources at O'Connor, said that joint union-management committees already in place can talk about staffing levels.

"And we don't see a need to make a further expansion in that area," she said.

She said she's also surprised that staffing levels is the talking point that the unions are bringing up.

"We haven't rejected their ideas and we haven't discussed that for about six weeks," Hatcher said. "The last discussions have been around wages and providing health care.''


Bargain displeases IAM-Boeing strikers

IAM-Boeing stories: here strike stories: here
"Trickle down strike-onomics"

Union's militant stance not helpful to membersThe Groves family doesn't know how they'll vote -- not on the presidential election, but on the Boeing Co.'s latest offer to the striking Machinists.

But family members said Tuesday they're inclined to say no. "It pretty much looks like the same offer as the last one but spread over four years," said Rebecca Groves, a Boeing materials handler, while standing picket duty in Everett on Tuesday.

The Groves, like the other 27,000 striking Machinists, will head to the union polls Saturday to decide whether to accept Boeing's contract. Company and union negotiators agreed on a new four-year contract late Monday after five days of mediated talks and 52 days into a work stoppage. Union leaders have urged members to accept Boeing's offer.

The new contract would last for four years, rather than the normal three-year term. Machinists will vote while picking up their weekly $150 strike checks at the Evergreen Fairgrounds in Monroe. The contract needs the support of 50 percent plus one to pass.

"Our union has delivered what few Americans have -- economic certainty and quality benefits over the next four years," wrote Tom Wroblewski, district union president, in a statement Monday.

But Tuesday afternoon, after reading the union's summary of the contract, many Machinists were inclined to reject the offer. That includes Rebecca Groves, her sister-in-law Jodi and her mother Pam, all materials handlers at Boeing. While the offer protects their jobs for the next four years, Pam Groves was worried about the future.

"I'd love to be back to work next week, but I just don't know yet," she said.

Her daughter-in-law Jodi Groves thought the strike would have been for nothing since she believes Boeing's offer wasn't significantly better than its last. But the Groves were worried about having jobs to return to if they don't approve this contract.

Boeing Machinists could report back as soon as Monday if the contract offer is approved. Boeing and the union will meet Wednesday to determine the final details of a settlement, including how quickly the Machinists will need to report back to work at Boeing.

"We made some concessions on outsourcing, but we still have the flexibility to run the business," said Tim Healy, Boeing's spokesman, on Tuesday.

Over on Seaway Boulevard in Everett, the dozen Machinists striking there had made up their minds to reject the contract.

Michael Lajudice, a union steward who started at Boeing in 1996, echoed many of the Groves family's concerns.

"I still honestly think it's a subpar contract spread over four years," Lajudice said.

Although Lajudice plans to reject the contract, he thinks it will pass simply because a lot of the newer Machinists need a paycheck. But Lajudice isn't shy about breaking from the union leaders' recommendation.

During the Machinists' work stoppage in 1995, union leadership recommended members ratify a Boeing offer 45 days into that strike. But members rejected their leaders' recommendation and Boeing's offer, striking for 69 days. More recently, in 2002, members accepted a contract that union leaders urged them to reject.

Lajudice noted that union leaders continue to collect a paycheck during the strike while members receive the only weekly $150 strike pay. And he thinks leadership may have been pressured to accept the contract during the recent talks with a federal mediator in Washington, D.C.

"I think it falls short," he said.

Sean Dempsey, a 777 worker, and Tim Staton, a 787 Machinist, both have about 18 months of experience at Boeing. Both think they'll vote to reject Boeing's offer, which includes a 15 percent wage increase over four years. The new offer also froze health care costs for members at the current contract levels.

"I don't think the bonus reflects the fact that we've been on strike for over 50 days," Dempsey said.

Newer Machinists, making $12.82 hourly, will have lost approximately $5,000 in wages and overtime by Saturday. The average Machinist, however, making $65,000 annually in wages and overtime, will have lost $10,000.

Boeing's new offer includes a $5,000 bonus in the first year or 10 percent of a Machinist's salary, whichever is greater. Machinists also receive $1,500 in years two and three but no lump sum payment in the final year -- a concern for several Machinists on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Boeing supplier Spirit Aerosystems, which builds 737 fuselages and parts of other Boeing aircraft, is waiting for striking Machinists to vote before making decisions about its own schedule.

Spirit spokeswoman Debbie Gann said Tuesday that even if the Boeing contract is ratified, the Wichita-based company won't immediately resume full production. She says Spirit will have to sync its production schedule with Boeing's ramp-up.

Most of Spirit's 10,500 employees have been working a three-day workweek since the strike began. The company also warned employees earlier this month that it might look at a shutdown and temporary layoffs if the Boeing strike went on much longer.

Boeing is Spirit's biggest customer.

Dallas-based Vought Aircraft Industries, which makes aft fuselage sections for Boeing's 787, laid off 50 of its 535 workers on Friday. Rockwell Collins, which provides the flight deck display and other systems, reduced its Iowa staff through cuts in overtime, attrition and voluntary layoffs that were accepted by 80 workers.

Separately, Boeing's contract talks with its union engineers will move into high gear later Wednesday. The company hopes to avoid a second strike, this one by its white-collar union, which represents 21,000 scientists, engineers, manual writers, technicians and other hourly workers.


Denver Post cheerleads for voter-fraud

Related story: "The 28 labor-states" • More Denver Post stories: here

Reliable pro-union news organ runs interference for fascistic forced-labor union bosses

Ballots cast by voters who have been canceled from the state's voter rolls since mid-May will get extra oversight to make sure their votes are counted, under an agreement reached late Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Common Cause of Colorado, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and the Service Employees International Union sued Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, alleging that his office had violated the National Voter Registration Act by illegally purging about 31,000 eligible voters from the rolls 90 days before the election.

The state insists the actual number is smaller.

The plaintiffs had asked Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane Jr. for a preliminary injunction that by Tuesday would reinstate voters who had been removed from the rolls. They also asked Kane to order the state to stop removing people until after the election.

Just before Kane was set to rule on the matter, the plaintiffs and the sec retary of state's office reached an agreement.

The morning after the election, the state will generate a list of voters who were removed from the rolls since May 14 and send it to county clerks and the groups' attorneys for review.

The state then will order that the voters on the list who voted by provisional ballot will be verified before other provisional ballots that have been cast.

"Voters on the list shall be presumed to be eligible and their ballots will be counted," the agreement says. "Only upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that a voter is not eligible shall a provisional ballot be rejected by the county."

The secretary of state also must conduct an independent review of each ballot rejected at the county level and order the clerk to count the ballot of any voter whose ballot was incorrectly rejected no later than two weeks before the certification of the statewide election results.

During a hearing Wednesday, election officials testified that reinstating voters removed from the database would be a logistical nightmare, could crash the computer system and might jeopardize the election. About 1 million people have already voted.

Before the two sides reached an agreement, Kane indicated that he was weighing the impact of making a decision.

"I think there are places where the state went out of bounds on removal of these names," he said, "but at the same time, what I am concerned with primarily is trying to balance the equities so that I am not creating more harm."

Some voters in the dark

Attorneys for the groups said that some voters had no idea that they had been purged and therefore would not know that their ballots would not count or that they might have to fill out a provisional ballot — which takes longer to do and is subject to verification.

During the hearing, Colorado Springs resident Linda Townsend Johnson and her husband, James Edward Johnson, testified that they registered to vote at a mall in May after moving to Colorado Springs from Mississippi.

They learned that they were no longer registered when they were contacted by an attorney for the plaintiffs to find out if they knew why they were removed from the rolls.

Despite receiving voter registration cards and mail-in ballots, they were purged from the rolls because two people with their names signed voter registration forms in September with a different address.

The Johnsons testified that the signatures on the September registrations did not belong to them and they had not moved.

Procedure, error

But the county clerk's office, by procedure, removed their names from the voting rolls after mail sent to the address that did not belong to them was returned as undeliverable. The clerks then erroneously told the Johnsons that their ballots would not count when the couple went to inquire about their status.

The state plans to launch a voter-fraud investigation into how the Johnsons' names got registered in September. Attorneys for the advocacy groups say the incident is more likely related to systematic computer error.

Johnson said that although her voting records have since been fixed, she is concerned for others who may not have their votes counted.

"I am African-American and a woman, and I do not take for granted that people suffered and did things for me to have that right," she said about voting.

"What would have happened if I did not get a call?"


Obama fingered by ex-ACORN staffer

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group exposed in court

A former staffer for an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now testified today that the organization was provided a "donor list" from the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in late 2007 for fundraising efforts.

Anita Moncrief, a former Washington, D.C. staffer for Project Vote, which she described as a sister organization of ACORN, said her supervisor told her the list of campaign contributors came from the Obama campaign. Moncrief said she has a copy of a "development plan" that outlines how Obama contributors who had "maxed out" under federal contribution limits would be targeted to give to Project Vote, and that it was her job to identify such contributors.

Project Vote national spokesman Michael McDunnah denied that the list came from Obama's campaign, according to The Associated Press. Donor lists for candidates are public information and can be downloaded from the Federal Election Commission's Web site. The lists include how much individuals have given. ACORN officials have said Moncrief was fired from Project Vote and that she is not a credible witness. Moncrief testified that ACORN and Project Vote were virtually identical.

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