Obama bans secret ballot union elections

Daily Secret-Ballot News: here
Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act" • More EFCA: here

To fascistic U.S. labor unionists, local preferences do not matter

In tight-knit communities such as Hickory and Conover, employers and employees work and live side by side. We share churches and schools, dine at the same restaurants and enjoy the recreational opportunities offered by Lake Hickory. We work together, too, proud of our businesses and their friendly, supportive environments.

Public policies at all levels of government should strive to foster, not undermine this sense of community in the workplace and beyond. However, big labor organizations in Washington, D.C., are pushing Congress for passage of the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA). This misguided legislation would not provide employees with any kind of "free choice." Instead, EFCA — also known as "card check" legislation — would take away workers' rights and bring turmoil to many workplaces.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

At the most basic level, EFCA rewrites traditional labor law and takes away a worker's right to vote by secret ballot in union elections. Today, workers have the right to unionize — and they should be free to choose this path if they feel that the benefits of unionization outweigh the costs.

However, if EFCA becomes law, employees will not be able to make their decisions freely and privately. Instead, unions will be able to have employees vote publicly by "card check" — filling out a union card. An individual's vote will be known to fellow workers, union organizers, management and other members of the community.

The situation will expose a worker to potential backlash from one side or the other.

Unions and management both have the right of free speech. They can present their arguments to workers in writing and in person. But neither side should have the right to coerce workers by exposing their votes and taking action — or threatening action — in response.

Ending the secret ballot is just one part of the EFCA. In addition, this legislation would limit the right of employees to vote on the contract under which they will work. Traditionally, rank-and-file employees have the final say in a contract negotiated by a union and an employer. Under EFCA, stalled negotiations that drag on for longer than 90 days will result in the intervention of federal arbitrators who will write a contract that must be followed without the opportunity for workers to vote on it.

With unemployment rising and increasing global competition, working Americans are justified in hoping that public policy might strengthen employment protection. But U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized local businesses, are operating in the same economic environment as larger companies. Energy, raw material and health-care costs have risen dramatically. International competition and pricing pressures force many businesses to operate on razor-thin margins — or try to survive in the red.

Big labor does a disservice to the people it purports to represent by attempting to use this period of economic uncertainty to strengthen its hand. Today, workers can ask for union representation, but unions should not be able to force any worker into joining a union — and paying dues — against his or her will.

On principle, EFCA makes no sense, but it is an especially bad policy for our region. With a few exceptions, most businesses in the Hickory area are modest in size and truly part of our community. And every business that I know takes a genuine interest in the well-being of its employees. Local business leaders recognize that our companies are only as strong as the people we employ, and our success depends on meeting the needs of our workforce as best we can.

In other words, despite our differences, business owners, management and employees together form a community that faces common challenges. And we should confront these challenges together. Officials in Washington — and in Raleigh — should look for opportunities to support businesses and workers together, not enact policies that fragment our communities.

- Leroy Lail, Chairman, Hickory Furniture Mart


Unions prosecute ugly war against worker choice

More worker-choice stories: here

North Dakota Teacher Of The Year Booted From Reception Because She’s Not Union

Fargo Public Schools’ teacher of the year Beth Ekre was barred from attending a reception for award winning teachers at the state teacher’s convention because she isn’t union.

You know when the teacher unions talk about having better education as their primary objective? Don’t believe ‘em.
BISMARCK — North Dakota’s new Teacher of the Year was barred from a reception held to honor top teachers because she declined to join the North Dakota Education Association, education officials said. One denounced the move as “hurtful and vindictive.”

Beth Ekre, a sixth-grade teacher at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School in Fargo, showed up for the Oct. 23 “celebration of excellence” social at a Fargo hotel, hours after her selection as North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year was announced at an NDEA instructional conference.

The event was intended to honor award-winning teachers, including the new teacher of the year and the North Dakota winner of the Milken Educator Award, officials said.
Just think: If North Dakota wasn’t a right to work state, Beth Ekre wouldn’t even have been able to choose not to be in the union. And in non-right to work states, if the national unions get their way and pass the horribly misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act” and remove secret balloting from the labor organization process (and they almost certainly will get it passed if Democrats get a bigger majority in Congress and the White House), people like Beth Ekre who don’t want to be in the union would be left vulnerable to threats and intimidation from union thugs like this clown.


Union-backed group steals election

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Obama's law-breaking campaign business-as-usual for organized labor thugs

Whether or not Barack Obama wins election tomorrow, his campaign has exposed some gaping weaknesses in the electoral process - and some even more serious problems with today's mass media. The question is whether the political establishment will be willing to do anything about them.

On the electoral side, we've seen allegations of massive voter fraud, often backed up by actual arrests and investigations. The FBI has opened an investigation into the Obama-friendly group ACORN, which has been associated with fraudulent registrations and other misconduct in many jurisdictions.

In Indiana, CNN noted, of 5,000 registrations turned in, the first 2,000 turned out to be fraudulent. In Kansas City, officials found hundreds of bogus registrations. CNN also reported on the case of Clifton Mitchell, an ex-ACORN worker who served time in prison for voter fraud.

In Pennsylvania, ACORN worker Jemar Barksdale was arrested for voter fraud involving fake registrations. Meanwhile, the state of Ohio turned up 200,000 questionable voter registrations, but Ohio officials went to court to avoid having to respond. In Michigan, an ACORN worker has been charged with forgery. ACORN activists even tried to register Mickey Mouse to vote in Florida.

Indianapolis, meanwhile - along with some counties in Alabama and Mississippi - turned out to have more registrants than actual live voters. And in Connecticut, a group of journalism students discovered 8,500 dead people still on the rolls, people whose identities could be used to cast fraudulent ballots.

As The Post reported, ACORN also managed to register a 7-year-old girl to vote in Bridgeport, while in Nevada ACORN filed registrations in the names of Dallas Cowboys and had its offices raided by Nevada authorities. In Florida, more than 30,000 ineligible felons were registered to vote.

But it's not just voters who are questionable. While the vote-fraud stories were running, the Obama campaign - after Obama broke a promise to stick with public financing - was setting fund-raising records and bragging about its grass-roots donations. It turned out to have a system for credit-card processing that could hardly have been better suited to enabling financial fraud.

Unlike other campaigns, Oba ma's staff disabled the "Ad dress Verification System" that checks credit-card numbers against addresses to ensure their validity. The result was that people could make multiple donations under different names using the same card, in violation of reporting requirements and donation limits.

And there was nothing to stop foreign nationals from donating directly to the Obama campaign. As Scott Johnson noted in this newspaper, "No presidential campaign has ever before received such a gargantuan sum of money from unidentified contributors."

An investigation by National Journal reporter Neil Munro found that the McCain campaign Web site didn't allow anonymous donations, while the Obama Web site did.

Although there has been some coverage here and there, the response of the national press corps to these rather shocking developments has been a collective yawn. Even some Democrats are noticing. On Obama's broken promise on public financing, former Sen. Bob Kerrey observed, "There's a liberal bias. There's a preference for Obama and it's getting underreported as a result."

Likewise, the voter-fraud sto ries are being downplayed or even spun as unimportant: A recent article in Slate was headlined "Stolen Elections: As American as Apple Pie." (I don't recall them taking that attitude in 2000.) And if it were the NRA, instead of ACORN, registering Mickey Mouse to vote, I suspect the reaction would be different. This election has really served to demonstrate the importance of a free, independent and honest press and how unfortunate it is that we don't have one.

Of course, if the press weren't in the tank for Obama, it might still face intimidation. The Obama campaign threatened the licenses of TV stations that ran an NRA ad that truthfully stated Obama's record of supporting gun control. Obama-supporting prosecutors and sheriffs in Missouri formed a "truth squad" and - until challenged - threatened punishment against those telling "lies" about Obama. Reporters from newspapers endorsing McCain - including this one - were even booted from Obama's campaign plane.

And Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber," experienced a different form of thuggishness, as his rise to prominence led to illegal background checks on state computer systems in Ohio. Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, authorized checks into his background that may have violated state law. (According to OpenSecrets.org and press reports, Jones-Kelley is an Obama donor.)

Information on Wurzelbacher was also accessed from the office of the Ohio attorney general and the Toledo Police Department.

Perhaps it's unfair to attribute all the misconduct of Obama supporters to the Obama campaign, and it's probably over the top to compare Obama to Hugo Chavez and warn of a "Caracas on the Potomac," as the Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott did last week. But this sort of behavior does raise questions about Obama's character and is sure to leave a bad taste.

The tragedy is that Obama would probably have done just as well - and perhaps better - if his campaign had lived up to his early claims of nice-guy nonpartisanship, instead of looking more like a dirty Chicago Machine effort. Now, if Obama wins, he'll have to deal with a lot more resentment and suspicion. And the rest of us will have to try to push for reforms to make such abuses more difficult.

Weaknesses in the financial system that weren't ad dressed because they benefited insiders led to the current economic crisis. It's now clear that our political system suffers from similar weaknesses. Just as no-doc loans and dubious financial controls led to the subprime crisis - but weren't addressed because they were making participants rich - so, too, may no-doc voting and dubious financial controls lead to a political crisis that, quite possibly, will make the financial crisis look mild. But will the political players have the backbone to address the problems before a crisis appears? So far, it looks doubtful.

- Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee and hosts "Washington Watch" on PJTV.com.


American Dream becoming a Nightmare

More collectivism stories: here

U.S. politics and policies engender culture of dependency

When the presidential campaign began, we all knew Hillary would be the Democratic nominee and most likely the next President. So how did we end up with Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president? Who is he and where did he come from anyway?

He's a young man - only 47 years old - and recently hails from the south side of Chicago. After college, he spent three years as a community organizer and worked as a civil rights attorney. He has trained employees of the left-wing group ACORN, again under investigation for voter fraud. Obama launched his political career at the home of unapologetic domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and has spent several years in close association with the man. For 20 years, Obama was a member of a black liberation theology church in Chicago. His pastor and spiritual mentor has claimed the U.S. government created HIV to exterminate blacks and has made other bizarre rants.

Obama was a state senator in Chicago until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, and so he is currently the junior senator from Illinois. Although he is the chair of the subcommittee on Europe, he has inexplicably never called it into session. He has made one trip to Europe and has given a speech to 200,000 screaming Germans. While there, he planned a visit to see injured troops but couldn't find the time, replacing the event with a shopping trip. Obama has no military experience. It's a very thin resume to be sure, maybe good enough for some social service job, but for president! It's got to be a joke.

Maybe it's just me, but these credentials are not exactly what one would expect from someone seeking election to the highest public office. The company he kept is worrisome, given that we are known by the company we keep. I find myself wondering what terrorist Bill Ayers saw in Obama. What did Obama see in Ayers? Most of us would turn away and not embrace such a person. And now Obama is the Democratic nominee for president. I could understand it if he was the candidate of some far left-wing political party, but that's actually the answer. He does represent a far left-wing political party, today's Democratic Party.

The party of many of our forefathers, of my grandparents, no longer exists because it's been infiltrated by extremists. They have become the party of handouts instead of a hand up. Their philosophy has engendered a culture of dependency rather than hard work and self-reliance. The moderates from the Clinton years and the earlier JFK period have been largely eliminated and pushed aside. If this is our country's future, heaven help us.

- George J. Beck, Chillicothe


Five reasons to vote against Obama

More ACORN stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

Union-backed Dem's attack on American Dream knows no bounds

Five reasons to vote against Obama? Only five? I could give you 50, no problem.

1. He wants to tax working Americans back to the Stone Age. He lies when he says he will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. You know it’s nonsense because they can’t keep their numbers straight from hour to hour. Obama claims everyone making under $250,000 is safe, or is it $200,000 (the infomercial) or $150,000 (Joe Biden)? On Friday, Gov. Bill Richardson cut it to $120,000.

Oh what a tangled web we weave. The fact is, the wealth-spreaders have vowed to do away with the Bush tax cuts. So everybody who pays any income taxes is going to take a hit. Plus, the friends of ACORN also plan to get rid of the cap on Social Security withholding taxes. That means everyone who makes over $102,700 will be slaughtered. I don’t have room to talk about capital gains.

2. The federal courts. In that famous 2001 Chicago radio interview, Obama wistfully talked about the need for the Supreme Court to break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. You know, those pesky constraints that make us a nation of laws, not governed by the whims of the Friends of Obama, or Jeremiah Wright. You think Breyer and Ginsburg are beyond the pale? Obama’s crowd thinks they’re too conservative.

3. Teach the Obama-worshipping bumkisser media a lesson. Have they ever been more in the tank for anyone? They’re all worried about the Patriot Act and terrorists’ rights at Gitmo, but they had no problems printing flat-out lies about Sarah Palin. More recently, they took handouts from Obama thugs in Ohio on Joe the Plumber’s tax liens, divorce problems, child-support payments etc. - worse violations of privacy rights than anything that’s happened under the Patriot Act. But who cares - Joe the Plumber is just a typical white person.

3. The character of Barack Obama. You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much. He lectures you that your kids will have to learn Spanish - your kids, not his. He’s always railing about economic justice, but his illegal-alien aunt lives in poverty in Southie. Hey Barack, I thought charity began at home. Like John Kerry and Joe Biden, he doesn’t believe in donating to charity. Obama is a classic liberal hypocrite: He’ll give anybody the shirt off your back, not his.

4. Michelle Obama. Another pampered semi-literate Ivy Leaguer who still considers herself a victim, even with her $360,000-a-year job as diversity coordinator at a Chicago hospital. Can you stand four years of this harridan lecturing you on your greed?

5. All the other stuff I don’t have much room for. Where the heck was Barack Obama really born? Don’t forget his pal Bill Ayers dedication of his 1974 book “Prairie Fire” to, among others, Sirhan Sirhan. (Are you listening, Teddy and Caroline?) If Obama loses, Gwen Ifill’s book tanks. The return of the Fairness Doctrine to censor free speech. Joe Biden, a heartbeat away. And the No. 1 reason of all to vote against Barack Obama: If he loses it will drive the moonbats absolutely bonkers.

- Howie Carr


IAM-Boeing striker: 'Two months out for what?'

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

Workers will never recover losses from militants' strike

Although the vote by the Machinists union that ended an eight-week strike against The Boeing Co. was by a 3-to-1 margin, there were some unhappy workers in the vote's aftermath.

"Two months out for what?" Dorothy Hertel told The News Tribune. "I am very disappointed," added Hertel, who works in quality assurance on the 787 program. Like Hertel, Drew Kemp, a flight-test mechanic, said he voted Saturday to continue the strike.

"This was all about keeping jobs in the Puget Sound region," Kemp told the Tacoma newspaper. "We were doing it for our kids and your kids. It was not about money."

The vote by members of the union, which represents about 27,000 workers at plants in Washington state, Oregon and Kansas, was announced Saturday night. Workers were expected to return to Boeing's commercial airplane factories beginning Sunday night.

The strike began Sept. 6.

The strike was costing the company an estimated $100 million per day in deferred revenue and postponing delivery of its long-awaited 787 jetliner, which has already been delayed three times, and other commercial planes.

The strike came amid surging demand for Boeing's commercial jetliners, which include 737s, 747s, 767s and 777s. Boeing has said its order backlog has swollen to a record $349 billion in value.

In an analysis of the strike, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said the strike further strained relations between Boeing and its biggest union.

The newspaper said some industry analysts believe the strike may have been the one to push Boeing down an eventual path that will see it gradually move its jet-making operations to a right-to-work state in the South.

"When the Boeing machinists return to work, they should start saving for the future," Richard Aboulafia, senior analyst for the Teal Group, an industry consulting business, told the P-I.

"If they want their children to have the same standard of living they enjoy, they will need a university education," Aboulafia said. "Even if the next generation follows Boeing Commercial Airplanes to Texas, or wherever, they won't have what the Machinists have now."

The Herald noted the average Machinist lost about $10,000 in salary and overtime during the past eight weeks, but a relatively new Machinists, making $12.72 per hour, lost about $5,000, which is the minimum bonus each Machinist will receive under the contract by Nov. 7.

"This gives the new guys a little more," Andy Mason told the Everett newspaper. "The people before me fought for us. Now we're fighting for the new hires."

Rob Mosley, 53, was glad to see the strike finally end. He said he was one of the minority of Machinists who voted to accept the contract offered in September.

"I thought it was a poor time to be pushing too much," he told The Seattle Times.

But Dennis Warren, 64, told the newspaper that although he also voted to accept the contract, "It took a lot of soul searching."


Union bigs use union dues for extremist politics

More union-dues stories: here FiCore: here worker-choice: here

What can rank-and-file members can do? Opt out.

I hope people will realize the ramifications of what will happen if Proposition 8 does not pass.

In particular I want to talk about the schools. First of all, it is unconscionable that the California Teachers’ Association donated $1 million on vote no to Prop. 8. Teachers who are for the proposition just saw their union dues donated to a cause they don’t believe in.

Marriage is between one man and one woman. That is what is taught in California schools today. If Prop. 8 doesn’t pass, we will have the same problems Massachusetts has had since same-sex marriage was ruled constitutional on Nov. 18, 2003. Soon after that decision, schools became affected. Brian Camanker, a Massachusetts resident, said in December 2003 that his children’s high school had a school-wide assembly to celebrate same-sex marriage.

Middle schools began teaching same-sex marriages in September 2004. The following year, kindergarteners were given picture books showing same-sex families. At the same school, second graders were read a book entitled “King and King,” about two men who marry, with pictures of them kissing.

Hundreds of high schools and even middle schools hold “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender appreciation days.” Is this what we want for our California schools?

When parents wanted to know when these classes would taught, they were told the school was not obligated to tell them.

Prop. 8 will not change the law, which states that same-sex partners have “the same rights, protections and benefits” as married couples. It just isn’t called a marriage and teachers wouldn’t have to tell children it’s the same as marriage between a man and a woman.

- Joyce Shillingburg lives in Grass Valley.


Union-backed candidate lacks character

More ACORN stories: herefraud: here collectivism: here

Agitator-in-Chief seduced U.S. 'middle class'

Barack Obama likes to talk about his frugal upbringing by his mother and grandmother. But he will not discuss how his education expenses at Columbia and Harvard were paid. I believe they were paid by the likes of terrorist Bill Ayers, a corrupt ACORN group and George Soros. He had a pretty face and a personality, and they were sure he could be molded for their purposes by a college education.

After that, he worked his way up through Chicago's corrupt system by being a community organizer for ACORN, in my words a "rabble rouser." Then his handlers called for payback time and got him elected to the Illinois Senate. His main achievement there was voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Next, in the U.S. Senate, Obama became known as one of the most liberal members and secured more than $90 million for "pork barrel" projects for his district. As the Democratic presidential candidate, he has tried to convince America that the present economic situation was caused by Congressional Republicans, which is not true. In the mid to late 1990s, President Clinton and Congressional Democrats forced Fannie and Freddie to lower loan standards so that people with no income or assets, and unable to pay, could have the American Dream and own a home.

Faced with unfair competition from these government entities, private banks did the same thing and then sold the loans to Fannie and Freddie. During the last two years, it was obvious to many people what was happening; but the Democrat-controlled Congress (with public approval rating of 9 percent, much less than that of the bemoaned President Bush) blocked any tightening and assured everyone that all was and would continue to be in great shape. So make sure you remember it was the Democrats who blocked this legislation, thereby allowing the existing total collapse of our financial system. Next, if Obama becomes president, you will find he has no guts and will be a puppet -- totally controlled by his previously noted handlers who will continue to call for more pay back.

He has said he never won a discussion with his wife Michelle, so you know who "wears the pants" in the family. And it is no wonder that Michelle, having sat under the preaching of Rev. Wright for 20 years, blurted out, "This is the first time in my life I have been proud of my country," which she previously called "downright mean." The liberal press pooh-poohed this as a mistake; but remember, the Bible states, "For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."

This man, Obama, is nothing but a stuffed-shirt front man for all his handlers, and is committed to converting America to a socialist nation just like, and worse, than many European nations.He is being treated like one of the gods of Hollywood because he exhibits counterfeit, God-like charisma and rhetoric. He is no Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy, as you try to make him out to be.

In The Daily Journal Our View on Oct. 29, 2008, endorsing Congressman Frank LoBiondo for his eighth term, the newspaper made the following statement about Democratic challenger David Kurkowski: "But we just don't believe he is seasoned enough for the job with less than two years on the Cape May City Council."

Shame, shame on The Daily Journal for being two-faced. You use the LoBiondo editorial to pretend to balance your endorsements of Obama and Sen. Frank Lautenberg. But, if your standard is applied to Barack Obama, he is not seasoned enough for the job with absolutely no experience in managing anything. Managing a campaign is not experience, and it is likely that many others including his handlers are doing that.

So, to the voters I say, if you want to learn what it was like for your parents and grandparents to live through the 1929 Great Depression, you can recreate it by following The Daily Journal's endorsement and elect Barack Obama to be president in 2009, the 80th anniversary of that depression.

- Ed Gamble, Pittsgrove


Elections expert: Criminal ACORN gets free pass

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Falsified registrations become votes for union-backed candidates

The liberal "community organizing" group ACORN became a campaign issue last month after Nevada's Democratic attorney general and its Democratic secretary of state teamed up to conduct a highly visible raid of the group's Las Vegas offices. They seized files on what could be thousands of fraudulent voter registrations.

After ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, complained the raid was a "stunt" designed to hinder its efforts at minority registration, Larry Lomax, the chief elections officer in Las Vegas, responded that the group's claims it had extensive quality controls to catch fraudulent registrations were "pathetic." He noted that ACORN had hired 59 inmates from a work-release program at a nearby prison and that some inmates who had been convicted of identity theft had been made supervisors. That led some local wags to joke that at least ACORN was hiring specialists to do their work.

ACORN's second line of defense has been that fraudulent registrations can't turn into fraudulent votes, as if the felony of polluting voter lists was somehow not all that serious. But that defense goes only a short distance. "How would you know if people using fake names had cast votes in states without strict ID laws?" says GOP Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, who this year won a major Supreme Court case upholding his state's photo identification law. "It's almost impossible to detect and once the fraudulent voter leaves the precinct or casts an absentee ballot, that vote is thrown in with other secret ballots there's no way to trace it."

Anita MonCrief, an ACORN whistle-blower who worked for both it and its Project Vote registration affiliate from 2005 until early this year, agrees. "It's ludicrous to say that fake registrations can't become fraudulent votes," she told me. "I assure you that if you can get them on the rolls you can get them to vote, especially using absentee ballots." MonCrief, a 29-year old University of Alabama graduate who wanted to become part of the civil rights movement, worked as a strategic consultant for ACORN as well as a development associate with Project Vote and sat in on meetings with the national staffs of both groups. She has given me documents that back up many of her statements, including one that indicates that the goal of ACORN's New Mexico affiliate was that only 40 percent of its submitted registrations had to be valid.

MonCrief also told me that some ACORN affiliates had a conscious strategy of flooding voter registration offices with suspect last-minute forms in part to create confusion and chaos that would make it more likely suspect voters would be allowed to cast ballots by overworked officials. Nate Toller, who worked on ACORN registration drives and headed an ACORN campaign against Wal-Mart in California until 2006, agrees. "There's no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances," he told me.

There are already documented examples of fraudulent registrations being converted into fraudulent votes in Ohio, where ACORN and other groups were active. Darrell Nash, an ACORN registration worker, submitted an illegal form for himself and then cast a paper ballot during the state's "early voting" period.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien also cracked down in the case of 13 out-of-state registrants who came to Ohio to register voters in Columbus for the group Vote From Home. The group all lived out of the same rented 1,175-square-foot house in Ohio, registered to vote and then most of them either cast early voting ballots or submitted applications for absentee ballots before leaving the state. They have agreed to have all of their ballots canceled in exchange for the prosecutor's decision not to file charges.

The Columbus Dispatch reported last month that "none of them seems to have ties to Ohio" — and apparently had no intention of staying there. One has even moved back to England, where he is a student. It is illegal in almost all states to vote somewhere that is not your permanent residence.

The owner of the house the fraudulent voters stayed at is also under investigation. He has voted in Ohio even though he has lived and worked in New York for the past four years.

Many are concerned that other fraudulent votes could be cast in Ohio.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner admits that some 200,000 newly registered Ohio voters have been flagged by her office because their names, addresses, driver's license numbers, and/or Social Security numbers don't match other state or federal records. She is refusing to release the information on those registrants to county election boards that have requested them for the purpose of running further checks. Ms. Brunner was elected in 2006 with the support of ACORN, and indeed her campaign consultant that year was Karyn Gillette, who happened to be MonCrief's immediate superior at ACORN's Project Vote.

"I'd be very suspicious of what is going on in Ohio," MonCrief told me.

Other states provide other examples. Marybeth Brehany of Sioux City, Iowa, filed a sworn affidavit stating that she has discovered that several individuals unknown to her had registered to vote at her address. One of them, a David Loepp, had already requested and received an absentee ballot at his new address in, of all places, Rome, Italy. A 2005 Tennessee state Senate race was voided after evidence of voting by felons, nonresidents and the deceased who had been registered illegally. A Washington State Superior Court judge found that the state's 2004 gubernatorial race, which Democrat Christine Gregoire won by 133 votes, had included at least 1,678 illegal votes.

Perhaps the clearest look at how fraudulent registrations can be converted into votes comes from Wisconsin. Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Police Department's Special Investigation Unit released a stunning 67-page report detailing an "illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome" of the 2004 presidential election.

It noted many documented cases of staffers for a presidential campaign and an allied 527 group who illegally voted. Those involved in the scheme "represent multiple levels of both the organizations, from upper management to the street level canvassers." The task force report found many ineligible voters had cast ballots, ineligible felons not only had voted but also worked at the polls, transient college students had cast illegal votes along with day-trippers from nearby Chicago, and homeless voters may well have voted more than once.

The Milwaukee police report explained just how easy it is to cast an illegal vote without ever being detected., "Michael A. Smith can become Mike Smith, M.A. Smith, or Mickey Smith, depending on the person reviewing the Same Day registration card, and unless a specific allegation is made against one of those name variants, the new name would just be added to the overall database. Even if the new system were capable of discerning the differences in recorded names, the finding would not be discovered until after any multiple ballots had been cast and recorded." Indeed, the task force found that 1,100 registration cards filled in by voters were declared invalid or untraceable by election officials.

Another way that fraudulent registrations can be converted into illegal votes is when groups like ACORN either purposely or recklessly sign up visitors from out-of-state or felons who are ineligible to vote. The New York Daily News reported in August, 2004 on how some 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city and Florida, what it called a "shocking finding" because it "found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine," and noted that "efforts to prevent people from registering in more than one state rely mostly on the honor system."

Last month, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported that some 5,000 felons who do not have the right to vote have apparently voted in recent elections in Florida. Their illegal registrations turned into actual votes. The Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post had similar findings in May 2001 on the presidential election held the year previously. Reporters have found that that the number of illegal felon registrations that were cast that year was greater than the number of valid voters dropped from the voter rolls and thus blocked from voting. The Florida presidential vote — and the presidency — was decided in 2000 by only 537 votes.

Even if the problem of voter fraud caused by voter impersonation isn't as serious as some fear, Stuart Taylor of the National Journal notes that "polls show voters increasingly distrust the integrity of the electoral process." He also cites a 2006 NBC/Wall Street Journal nationwide poll which found that, by 80 percent to 7 percent, those surveyed supported voters showing "a valid photo identification." The idea had overwhelming support among all races and income groups.

That sweeping support helps explain why, in 2005, 18 of 21 members of a bipartisan federal commission headed by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker came out in support of photo ID requirements more stringent than Indiana's. "Voters in nearly 100 democracies use a photo identification card without fear of infringement on their rights," the commission stated.

Carter feels strongly about voter fraud. In his book, "Turning Point," he wrote of his race for Georgia state Senate in 1962, which involved a corrupt local sheriff who had cast votes for the dead. It took a recount and court intervention before Carter was declared the winner.

He and other supporters of stricter safeguards to protect voter integrity recognize there are two civil rights in play here. One is the right to cast a ballot without fear or intimidation or artificial barriers. We fought a great struggle in the 1960s to eliminate poll taxes, literacy tests and pass a Voting Rights Act to protect the right to vote. But all Americans have another civil right — the right not to have their ballot canceled out by someone who shouldn't be voting, is voting twice or may not even exist. You can be just as surely disenfranchised by someone canceling out your vote as if someone blocked your entry into a courthouse door where a polling place was located.

As Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, puts it: "From voter fraud to election chicanery of all kinds, America teeters on the edge of scandal every November. Unless we take serious steps at reform, sooner or later we're headed for more disasters as bad or worse than what we saw in Florida in 2000."

That's why the activities of groups like ACORN have to be taken seriously, and why a robust debate needs to be held on how we can protect both the civil right to vote and the civil right to be protected from voter fraud.

- John Fund is a columnist with the Wall Street Journal's website and the author of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy."


ACORN - Not this time

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ACORN cited in new Obama story

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Union-backed voter fraud group for Obama was founded by SEIU founder, Wade Rathke

Over the weekend it emerged Zeituni Onyango, who lives in public housing Boston, was in the country illegally after her claim for asylum was rejected. The story was released by the Associated Press which said it received its information from a federal law enforcement official and another source.

The news agency stated that it could not establish anyone "at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign" was involved in the leak but David Axelrod, Mr Obama's chief strategist, branded the timing "suspicious".

"The American people are pretty sensible and I think they are pretty suspicious of things that are dumped in the marketplace 72 hours before a campaign, so I am not concerned about that," he said.

Mrs Onyango, 56, a Kenyan half-sister of Mr Obama's late father, attended her nephew's swearing-in ceremony to United States Senate nearly four years ago.

His campaign said she was last in touch with him two years ago when she told him she was in Boston.

The campaign said that his aunt's $265 in donations, which were illegal contributions because only citizens or permanent resident aliens can give money, would be returned. Nine years ago, Mrs Onyango visited the Obama family in Chicago on a tourist visa before returning to Kenya.

Congressman John Conyers, chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, wrote to Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security chief, urging them "to take immediate action to investigate and discipline those responsible" for the "deplorable" leak.

In a reference to details of an investigation in into the ACORN community organising group, which has links to the Obama campaign, he added: "I note that this is not the first leak of law enforcement information apparently designed to influence the coming Presidential election."

The McCain campaign declined to stoke the issue of Mr Obama's aunt, calling it a "family matter". But the presence of an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants incenses many centrist voters and the family link to the Democratic nominee could heighten perceptions among some voters that Mr Obama is somehow un-American.

Mr Obama first met his father's side of the family when he travelled to Africa two decades ago. In his memoir "Dreams From My Father" he referred to Mrs Onyango as "Auntie Zeituni" and described her as "a proud woman".

The McCain campaign had blasted other leaks, which is claims are politically motivated acts by Democrats.

But Obama supporters said there was a pattern of smears against its candidate. They cited comments by Tim McClellan, a regional manager for the McCain campaign in Florida, that Mr Obama might not be an American.

"I have strong concerns that Obama is not a citizen. I suspect the U.S. Supreme Court will prove that Obama's not a citizen," Mr McClellan told a local reporter. "Did he go to Indonesia and become an Indonesian citizen, and if so, did he take steps to regain his citizenship? There's no seal on his birth certificate and the font is wrong."

The National Republican Trust PAC, which has been airing an advertisement attacking Barack Obama's long relationship with his former pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, which Mr McCain himself has ruled out of bounds.

Footage of Mr Wright shouting "God damn America" from the pulpit is included in the advertisement as a narrator charges that Mr Obama "never complained" about Mr Wright "until he ran for President" and concludes that Mr Obama is "too radical, too risky".

It also emerged at the weekend that Republicans had attempted to block Mr Obama's route to the White House by enlisting the support of an Oxford academic to "prove" that his memoir had been written not by the future Democratic nominee but Bill Ayers, a former member of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground.

Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, has created a computer software programme that can detect when texts are written by the same author by comparing common words, phrases and sentence structures.

But when he was contacted and offered $10,000 to compare supposed similarities between Mr best seller, Dreams from My Father, and Fugitive Days by William Ayers his initial conclusion was that this was "laughably unsubstantiated".

Robert Fox, a California businessman and his brother-in-law Chris Cannon, a Republican congressman from Utah, who were behind the approach to Mr Millican, apparently cooled to the idea when told by Mr Millican that the results of a full comparison had to be made public even if his final conclusion was that different authors had penned the two works.


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Congress subdues Executive Branch

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America's lowest-rated political institution in power-grab

Voters for the first time in almost five decades on Tuesday will send a sitting member of Congress to the White House, with Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain both promising to thaw the prickly relationship between the two branches of government.

But congressional experience is no guarantee the next president will have a cozy time with his former colleagues, as both candidates would likely face obstacles on Capitol Hill that could slow or sidetrack their political agendas.

"With Obama, he was not in the Senate very long, and John McCain is not very well-liked in the Senate, so [their congressional experience] might cut the other way," said Gene Healy, a vice president at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute and author of the 2008 book "The Cult of the Presidency."

"I don't know how much we can read into whether legislative experience at the federal level is going to lead to greater comity" between Capitol Hill and the White House.

With Democrats expected to make significant gains to their House and Senate majorities, a Democratic Obama administration would have a clear mandate to press ahead with his priorities, such as an expansion of government-subsidized health care, other spending programs, and a mix of tax increases and middle-class tax cuts.

• Read all articles from The Washington Times' 2008 Voter Issues series.

An Obama presidency would have a more unified Democratic majority in Congress compared with what greeted the two previous Democrats in the White House - Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

"Twenty or 30 years ago [the Democratic Caucus] had a progressive part in some parts of the country and a conservative wing in the South that in some ways meant that [Democrats] didn't run Congress from the top; it was run from the committees," said John Fortier, a Congress scholar with the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "That's very different today."

And despite Mr. Obama's image as a reformer, his campaign hasn't been shy about hiring Washington insiders who are "unlikely to stick a finger in Congress' eye, either accidentally or on purpose," Mr. Fortier said.

Yet if Mr. Obama leaves the Senate for the White House, he may leave behind a few bruised egos among his former colleagues.

"They're going to expect his phone calls to be returned because, 'Hey, he was one of us,' and now he has the mystique of a president," Mr. Fortier said. "I think there could be occasional bad feelings on that regard."

A sustained sour economy would pressure lawmakers to hold off implementing Mr. Obama's proposals on taxes and spending. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, for example, wants to lower the corporate income-tax rate, a position Mr. Obama has not advanced.

Mr. McCain has a history of cooperating with Hill Democrats, and a McCain presidency likely would have a less contentious relationship with Congress than fellow Republican President Bush did. But if Mr McCain shocks the pollsters and wins Tuesday, a Democratic majority on Capitol Hill would be in no mood to work with another Republican administration.

"The best-case scenario of a McCain presidency would be that McCain, like [former Republican President] Gerald Ford, would use the veto power vigorously and keep Congress in check," Mr. Healy said.

Mr. Healy also speculated that Mr. McCain may be willing to cut deals to let Democratic leaders mostly have their way on domestic issues if they let him control foreign policy. "McCain's real passion is foreign policy, and he might go along with the Democratic majority to keep a free hand abroad," he said.

Both candidates have expressed an unwillingness to step on congressional toes and duplicate the Bush administration's expansion of executive powers if elected president.

In an interview with The Washington Times in October, Mr. McCain said he would step back from some of the executive authority Mr. Bush has claimed, including the president's frequent use of signing statements - written pronouncements issued by a president when signing a bill into law that shades its meaning.

"I would veto the bills or say, Look, I don't like it, but I'll obey, you know, the law that's passed by Congress and signed by the president,' " he said. "I think the signing statements was not a correct implementation of the power of the executive. I think it was overstepping."

Mr. McCain blasted the current administration's varying assertions of privilege for Vice President Dick Cheney, saying, "I don't agree with Dick Cheney's allegation that he's part of both the executive and legislative branch."

Mr. Obama also repeatedly has accused the administration of overextending its powers. In a Boston Globe questionnaire in December 2007, Mr. Obama said that, if elected president, he wouldn't use signing statements "to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law."

"The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation," said Mr. Obama, adding that it was a "clear abuse" of executive authority.

But don't count on either candidate to significantly scale back executive power, Mr. Healy said.

"I don't think men who have done what's necessary to become president and have gone through the enormous, endless labor that requires [will] arrive in the office and say, 'You know, I need less power,' " he said.

Even Mr. Obama, who has campaigned as a reformer and has tried to portray Mr. McCain as a Bush lackey, is unlikely to diminish the powers of the presidency if elected, Mr. Healy said.

"People who think that Barack Obama is going to end George Bush's imperial presidency are really kidding themselves," he said. "People who railed against the expansion of executive power under Bush are going to see things differently when their team is in office."

Both candidates also have promised to trim pork-barrel projects from spending bills, with Mr. McCain going as far as to say he would eliminate all such legislative "earmarks."

Such a move would be met with strong resistance from many members of Congress, who routinely use the earmark system to pay for pet projects in their home state or district.

But tension between the executive and legislative branches isn't necessarily a bad situation, as it helps foster the checks and balances that the framers of the Constitution deemed crucial to the survival of American democracy, many political experts say.

"I think the idea of the legislative and executive branches working together is dramatically overvalued," Mr. Healy said. "In our Constitution and in the Federalist Papers, gridlock is good - it's not a pejorative term."


Collectivist FOB blames America

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The Left-wing double-standard: You'd better get used to it

It's not every presidential election that American voters are introduced to characters like former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers or Middle East historian Rashid Khalidi -- both of whom, we have learned, Barack Obama worked and socialized with in Chicago.

To the Obama campaign, these men are unimportant, except as products of the McCain campaign's desperate willingness to deploy tactics of guilt-by-association. But faced with Mr. Obama's short record, pundits and voters are looking for clues about Mr. Obama's character, and thus at friends like Messrs. Ayers and Khalidi.

I took a class with Mr. Khalidi at Columbia University. He designed the course, a survey of Modern Middle East history, on his 2004 book, "Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East." The book, inspired by the work of the late Edward Said, is a polemic against the use of American power in the Middle East. Said is quoted, prophesying: "We are in for many more years of turmoil and misery in the Middle East, where one of the main problems is, to put it as plainly as possible, American power."

For the final exam, we were asked to respond to the following: "The United States has been an unmitigated force for good in the world." No one doubted the professor's view on the matter.

Disdain for American power and a muscular foreign policy are the standard at Columbia. But in rereading "Resurrecting Empire" this past week, I took new note of the book's dedication: to Said, and to Mr. Ayers. Mr. Khalidi writes: "First, chronologically and in other ways, comes Bill Ayers. He persuaded me a little over a year ago that I should write this book . . . Bill was particularly generous in letting me use his family's dining room table to do some of the writing for this project." Mr. Khalidi also thanks Mr. Ayers's notorious wife: "Bernardine Dohrn continually encouraged me to keep working on the book when I was traveling and at home."

This dedication is an insight into Mr. Obama's social milieu in Chicago. In April, Mr. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers simply as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" -- omitting that the two men had worked together for years at a multimillion dollar foundation. Other notable parts of the record: Mr. Obama held an early meeting of his campaign for Illinois State Senate in Mr. Ayers's living room; Mr. Obama blurbed a 1997 book of Mr. Ayers as "searing and timely"; and Mr. Obama toasted Mr. Khalidi at a 2003 farewell dinner for the professor who was moving from the University of Chicago to Columbia.

Is it fair for voters to judge Mr. Obama by some of the company he has kept? Mr. Khalidi implied last week that he thinks not. The controversy over his connection to Mr. Obama was "an idiot wind," he said. But Mr. Khalidi is not shy about judging others by their associations. In explaining the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, Mr. Khalidi pointed to a favorite target of left-wing academics, neoconservative government policy makers and their connections to Israel. He wrote:

"The idea that the neocons and [the Israeli right-wing party] Likud are joined at the hip is reinforced by a revealing piece of intellectual affinity: University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss, the revered mentor of [Deputy Defense Secretary] Paul Wolfowitz, his deputy in the Pentagon Avram Shulsky, and many other neocon leading lights, was a great admirer of Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of the extreme ultranationalist Revisionist branch of Zionism from which Likud has grown."

So on the one hand, Mr. Khalidi charges that American voters today would be caught in an "idiot wind" if they worry about Mr. Obama's connections to radical intellectuals. Yet Mr. Khalidi and many of his colleagues write volumes about how a group of intellectuals supposedly hijacked American foreign policy during this decade. It's not only the right that argues that friendships -- particularly when they are animated by political questions -- should be taken into account.

- Ms. Bari Weiss is a writer living in New York.


Take a hard left

More collectivism stories: here

• “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” - John F. Kennedy
• “What can the government give you?” - Barack H. Obama

The candidate was a man of great courage. A decorated war hero, he was nearly killed in combat. He risked life and limb to save his comrades and never left their side. He was a true patriot in every sense of the word. After his military service, he devoted his life to public service. He stood for strong national defense, a vigorous economy, and promotion of free enterprise. He vowed to fight socialism and believed with all his heart in the principles of freedom and capitalist democracy—which made the United States the most powerful country on earth. He knew how to salute the flag—you know, with the hand over the heart.

He challenged Americans to work for the good of the country—not ask the country for a hand out or a free check. Of course, the government would help the truly needy—as it always had. But the country was not “Uncle Sugar” who would be all things to all people. Nor was it our private piggy bank. He did not believe in taking from the rich and giving to the poor. He was an enlightened, good-hearted man; but he was no Robin Hood. He did not believe in the Marxist axiom, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Communism was an evil doctrine, to be opposed at every level; capitalism, with all its faults, was the way to prosper and do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. It was what made our nation prosper. He understood this. His name was John. He was of Irish descent.

His platform held that, “If America is to work effectively for peace, [it] must first restore its national strength-military, political, and economic.” It cautioned that our military power was declining relative to that of the Chinese and Russians. It declared that democracy was the supreme form of government , which “places its highest value upon individual dignity,” and it opposed socialism, in which “the rights of men and women were sacrificed to the state.” It pronounced that, with respect to the former members of the Soviet bloc, his party would “never accept any deal or arrangement which acquiesces in the subjugation of these peoples” by Russia. His platform promised to “unshackle American enterprise and to free American labor, industrial leadership, and capital, to create an abundance that will outstrip any other system.” It boasted that, “Free competitive enterprise is the most creative and productive form of economic order that the world has seen.” It promised to “foster the development of [energy] from all sources, including water, tidal, and nuclear power.” It vowed to prospect for mineral deposits, oil shale, and radioactive materials as means of generating energy. It was a platform that was bold, unafraid, unabashedly pro-American, pro-capitalism, and pro-democracy. It did not seek to “transform” America, but to promote the values that made it great. And it did not apologize for America.

Although the biographical sketch as well as the platform might well be that of John McCain, it is not. The man was President John F. Kennedy and the platform was that of the Democrat Party. If his bio does not sound much like that of Barack Hussein Obama, and his platform does not sound much like the radical principles espoused by Obama, it should come as no surprise. Barack Obama is no Jack Kennedy. He is a radical, whose Robin Hood steal from the middle- class and give to those who do not work socialist creed does not remotely resemble that of our beloved Jack Kennedy. In fact, I doubt that Kennedy would agree with Obama on very much at all. Which brings me to my point.

In the early 1960s, I was a Democrat. Everyone in my family was a Democrat. Everyone I knew as a Democrat. We believed in the country and were proud of it. Our families worked hard. Most of us went to church. We saluted the flag. We did not know what welfare was. We helped the poor and our neighbor. No politician had to tell us to do so. We said the Pledge of Allegiance, belonged to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, never thinking that it was politically incorrect to do so. We loved the country, and asked nothing from it other than to protect us. Our president was a national hero who risked life and limb to rescue his comrades during World War II and he was anything but a socialist. He never associated with homegrown terrorists, enemies of the United States, radical anti Semites, or racist preachers who cursed America from the pulpit. And patriotism was neither a dirty word nor politically incorrect.

Back then we were all traveling through life in a caravan--our whole family, and everyone we knew—in our Democrat Fords and Chevys, believing Democrat ideals, and living Democrat family values as we drove down the middle of the road. I still have the same basic values I did back then. So does my brother, my mother, and many of my friends. We did not change; the party did. Co-opted by vacuous Hollywood celebrities who tell us how to think, radical socialists who believe that your money should be given to someone who chooses not to work, and welfare-staters who believe government is a candy machine, the party of Truman and Kennedy is nothing I recognize. Nor would my father—who worked so hard for the party decades ago. In time, many of us became Republicans.

No, we did not leave the party…the Democrats left us. Sometime during the past five decades the Democrats turned left…hard left. And we kept driving straight down the road.

- William Kevin Stoos


Obama makes Marxism acceptable in U.S.

More ACORN stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

What if Karl Marx had been an African-American?

Many in the mainstream media would have us believe that Senator Obama’s election would be a historical moment of great import because he is black. In actuality, he is more white than black and more Arab than black, but this is lost in the media’s attempt to rewrite the facts to suit its propaganda onslaught. But is it a great moment in history if the greatness of the United States is wrecked by a Marxist simply because he is black?

Senator Obama is an activist socialist who has carefully concealed the true nature and depth of his radical political philosophy. Senator Obama’s wife, his spiritual mentor, his associates on boards and his family all share this same socialist political philosophy. If we are honest in our analysis and description of Senator Obama, he is a Marxist. If he manages to get elected, we will all begin to see more clearly the extent of his radicalism.

The followers of Karl Marx are activists who believe that revolutionaries must organize social change. Marx said that “philosophers have only interpreted the world …the point is to change it.” Does this not describe Senator Obama and his associates and his activities with ACORN?

Many Americans have a tendency to get swept up in what they perceive to be great historical movements. The mainstream media packages Senator Obama as a “transfigurational” figure and then mounts a campaign to manufacture public opinion to support the false image it has created. If we do not support the messiah, we are reactionaries standing against the great historical tide.

What the mainstream media has misjudged, however, is the innate intelligence and common sense of the average American voter and the ability of Americans to keep alive free and open political discourse through media such as the Internet and talk radio. Those liberals who understand the power of the Internet and talk radio to blunt the effectiveness of the mainstream media’s unrelenting propaganda want to destroy them through the so-called “fairness doctrine”. The true enemy of individual liberty at this moment is the mainstream media.

The battle for individual liberty and government by the people will continue no matter the outcome of this election. The battle becomes more intense and more critical as we near the time when more Americans receive money from their government than pay taxes to their government. Before the wealth can be “spread around”—in Senator Obama’s words—it first must be taken from those who earned it. When the number of takers exceeds the number of earners, we are all in trouble.

We know now the great misery inflicted upon millions of souls in this world by the false doctrines of Karl Marx. We know of the economic devastation of country after country and the liquidation of millions of human beings in the name of socialism and communism. And yet, there are many who either do not understand, or choose to ignore, the great darkness that descends upon a society in the grip of Marxist ideologies.

So, if we know that Marx’ philosophy inflicts pain on individuals and destroys freedom wherever it has been imposed, does it make it better or more gentle if it is advanced by a black politician who must be elected in order to prove our tolerance and our opportunity to experience a “historical” moment? If Karl Marx had been black, his philosophy would still have been a historical calamity. Why do we think Barack Obama can transform it into something benign?

- Randall H. Nunn is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc.


What we know about our Alinskyite leader

Related 6-part series: "What did Barack Obama Teach ACORN?"
More ACORN: herefraud: here collectivism: hereAlinsky: here

Late Chicago icon of anarchy and socialism defines Barack Obama

Reflecting on all that I’ve written about Barack Obama over these past six months, four inter-related points stand out: Obama’s radicalism, his stealthy incrementalism, his interest in funding and organization-building, and his willingness to use — or quietly support — Alinskyite intimidation tactics. Since we stand on the cusp of the election, I’ll lay out the bottom line. For those who want to know more, go back and read the detailed studies on which I base these conclusions.

Related video: "Who is Saul Alinsky?"

Obama’s troubling associations are more than isolated friendships or instances of bad judgment. His ties to Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Rashid Khalidi, Michael Pfleger, James Meeks, ACORN, the New Party, and the Gamaliel Foundation all reflect Obama’s sympathy with radical-left ideas and causes — wealth redistribution prominent among them. At both the Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, for example, Obama and Ayers channeled money into ACORN’s coffers. ACORN, a militant group pursuing economic redistribution, succeeded in undermining credit standards throughout the banking system, thereby modeling the New Party’s plans to tame capitalism itself. So the association with Ayers is not an outlier issue, but part and parcel of a network of radical ties through which Obama’s supported “major redistributive change.” Via ACORN, that project has already nearly wrecked our economy. What will happen when it’s generalized?

Similarly, Obama’s “association” with Wright was far more than a mere pastor-parishioner — or even mentor-protégé — relationship. Obama’s work with the Gamaliel Foundation required him to “organize” left-leaning churches into a larger political force. His real interest in Wright, Pfleger, and Meeks was to turn them into the nucleus of a far broader politicized coalition of radical black churches — as shown, for example, by his work with them on the Illinois racial-profiling bill. Again, we are not dealing with mere “associations,” but with intentional political partnerships.

Although media malfeasance is at the heart of our ignorance about these broader patterns, Obama’s absorption of Alinskyite strategies of stealthy incrementalism have helped to hide the truth. Following well-worn organizer strategies, Obama knows how to wrap ideological radicalism in the soothing rhetoric of “pragmatism” and classic American values. There is a kernel of truth to the pragmatism, however. Radical though his ultimate goals may be, Obama follows classic organizer strategy — pursuing his ends in tiny, incremental, and cumulative baby-steps. The municipal “living wage” campaigns supported by Obama, Wright, and groups like ACORN and the New Party were never designed, in themselves, to bring fundamental economic change. These ordinances actually applied to only a very small number of companies. The broader purpose of these battles was to build coalitions for deeper structural change on the national level, when the moment was right. Obama would likely hew to this incrementalism in power, with the same radical long-term goals in mind.

Obama was a master at channeling funding to his organizer allies. He was the key force turning the Woods Fund toward a major increase in support for community organizers, at a moment when other foundations shied away from funding the militant and confrontational tactics of groups like ACORN. In his now infamous 2001 radio remarks, Obama’s preferred strategy for promoting “major redistributive change” was through society-wide organizing from below. As president, Obama would connect his massive youth-volunteer program to his favorite community-organizer groups, thereby creating a political force for long-term restructuring of the American economy. This was the program of the New Party, and I believe it is still Obama’s long-term goal.

In pursuit of his goals, Obama has shown himself willing to quietly support, and sometimes to openly use, radical Alinskyite tactics. At the Woods Fund, Obama’s allies bragged about the way their “post-ideological” cover had allowed them to fund ACORN’s confrontational tactics, while escaping public criticism. Obama has shamelessly used Alinskyite “direct action” to silence and intimidate political foes during the current campaign (a matter well-known to conservatives, yet little noted by the mainstream press). Victory would only cement the conviction in Obama and his allies that these tactics had “won,” and therefore should be used again.

Has Obama changed? Was he merely using his radical Chicago allies to gain national renown, and thereby an opening for a more moderate political program? I find this view unconvincing. Obama has often claimed that his early community organizing, and his redistributive legislative work, were at the very core of his political identity. We’ve heard his radicalism on the radio in 2001. Does anyone really believe that he’s changed in 2008? Obama’s political radicalism consolidated his shaky personal identity. It formed him as an adult. He cannot abandon that inner stance without losing hold of an already precarious self. Obama chose to live in Hyde Park — chose that radical setting as the site of his adult self-creation. Hyde Park was never the place Obama needed to conquer in order to escape. On the contrary, it was the personally chosen home he now hopes to nationalize by spreading his organizing gospel to America’s youth.

Obama is clever and pragmatic, it’s true. But his pragmatism is deployed on behalf of radical goals. Obama’s heart is, and will remain, with the Far Left. Yet he will surely be cautious about grasping for more, at any given moment, than the political traffic will bear. That should not be mistaken for genuine moderation. It will merely be the beginning stages of a habitually incremental radicalism. In his heart and soul, Barack Obama was and remains a radical-stealthy, organizationally sophisticated, and — when necessary — tactically ruthless. The real Obama — the man beyond the feel-good symbol — is no mystery. He’s there for anyone willing to look. Sad to say, few are.

- Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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