SEIU stench reaches highest levels

More Andy Stern stories: here
Related Tyrone Freeman stories: here

Andy Stern cannot claim ignorance, fed probe needed

Startling revelations about the Service Employees International Union indicate the president of a Los Angeles local, which represents home-care workers, cared more about himself than his workers.

The local paid $177,000 last year to a video-production firm run by the wife of union boss Tyrone Freeman. It also has paid more than $90,000 annually to a child-care firm run by Mr. Freeman's mother-in-law. And it handed out $16,000 to a basketball team coached by Freeman's brother-in-law, reports The New York Times.

This is the same local that paid more than $400,000 to sponsor a golf tournament -- including $100,000 to a former football star and his charity -- that spent more than $100,000 than it took in. At least Mr. Freeman refunded $9,856 the union paid to a cigar lounge following published reports of that outrage. His members make, on average, about $9 an hour.

The stench reaches the highest union levels. SEIU President Andy Stern put Freeman in charge of the local. And Mr. Stern cannot claim ignorance. Another SEIU local boss told The Times that, "We and many others in California and beyond have long been expressing concerns to Stern about the leadership of the long-term-care union here."

The feds must thoroughly investigate Freeman's local, as well as Stern's SEIU. After all, these union members need someone to look after their best interests.


ACORN misdeeds reflect poorly on Barack

Related story: "ACORN 'Citizens Services' exposes Barack"
More ACORN stories: here
More Citizens Services stories: here

Heady mix of left-wing charity, activism draws scrutiny

Did Sen. Barack Obama's campaign attempt to hide a paid working relationship with a radical leftist organization that has admitted to major financial improprieties and has been convicted in numerous major voter fraud scandals?

That question is being openly asked by the Republican National Committee after it was disclosed Obama's campaign paid more than $800,000 in services to Citizen Services Inc. (CSI), a nonprofit organization that is an offshoot of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families. It has held violent, disruptive protests, seeks to regulate banks, supports left-leaning education policies, is accused of working on urging partisan voter turnout for elections, and seems to promote driving businesses from cities.

CSI is headquartered in New Orleans in the same building as ACORN. The three directors of CSI are also top leaders of ACORN. The two groups have close financial ties.

The Obama campaign's payments to CSI – first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – raise questions about the nature of Obama's current relationship with ACORN. Obama has been closely linked with the radical group and may have even helped drive large amount of money to the organization.

According to FEC records reviewed by the Tribune-Review, the Obama campaign paid CSI $832,598.29, from Feb. 25 to May 17, including $564,342.21 for "stage, lighting and sound."

That payment immediately stood out after a pro-Hillary Clinton blogger contacted CSI Director Sunday Alabi, who also serves as an ACORN leader. Alabi said CSI doesn't perform stage, lighting or sound services.

Also unusual was payment to CSI of $63,000 and $75,000 for advance work. Excluding the large payments to CSI, the average amount the Obama campaign spent on advance work paid to other organizations was $558.82.

The Obama campaign on Friday announced it was amending its FEC filings to indicate it hired CSI for "get out the vote" projects instead of stage, lighting and sound.

FEC spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger told the Tribune-Review it is not unusual for campaigns to amend FEC reports, even in the case of large sums of money.

The RNC immediately pounced, accusing Obama of hiding a deeper relationship with ACORN:

"Barack Obama's failure to accurately report his campaign's financial records is an incredibly suspicious situation that appears to be an attempt to hide his campaign's interaction with a left-wing organization previously convicted of voter fraud. For a candidate who claims to be practicing 'new' politics, his FEC reports look an awful lot like the 'old-style' Chicago politics of yesterday," stated RNC Spokeswoman Blair Latoff.

Obama's camp fired back, accusing the RNC of "outlandish conspiracy theories" and pointing out Sen. John McCain was forced to return $50,000 "raised by a foreign national through a number of contributors who weren't even supporting McCain."

Group promoting Obama has history of major voter fraud

But the Obama campaign did not address the larger issues of the presidential candidate's ties to ACORN and why Obama would hire for a "get out the vote" drive a reported subsidiary of an organization whose leadership was convicted in multiple voter fraud cases.

WND calls to the Obama camp were not returned before press time.

Last July, ACORN settled what was described by the Washington Secretary of State as the "largest case of voter fraud in the state's history." Government prosecutors had filed felony charges against seven ACORN workers, who ended up receiving jail time.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Hobbs said in the case the workers had admitted filling out registration forms with names they found in phone books. The ACORN canvassers filled out the forms while sitting around a table at the downtown Seattle Public Library, Hobbs said.

ACORN was also investigated in 2006 for submitting false voter registrations in St. Louis. Nearly 1,500 fraudulent voter registrations were identified in the case, which was tied to at least one campaign, that of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Four ACORN workers were indicted in the case.

Also in 2006, four part-time ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City, Mo., for voter-registration fraud after being caught, fired and turned in by ACORN.

In January 2005, two Colorado ACORN workers were sentenced to community service for submitting false voter registrations.

In Ohio in 2004, four ACORN employees were indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter-registration forms.

ACORN has been accused in multiple other voter fraud cases in other states. Some investigations are still pending.

Although the connections between ACORN and CSI are well documented, ACORN says it is not doing work on behalf of the Obama campaign, which may be accurate on the technicality that CSI, hired by Obama, is legally a different organization.

Asked about his group's relationship with CSI, ACORN spokesman Charles Jackson told WND, "We're an ally organization of CSI. We work with them on various projects. CSI is a different company altogether. Acorn is a community organization."

Jackson said ACORN "doesn't do work on behalf of Obama."

CSI executive vice president Jeff Robinson, an ACORN activist listed as a director for ACORN election campaigns, did not reply to a WND e-mail asking whether CSI is a nonprofit front for ACORN.

He told the Tribune-Review, "ACORN is a client of ours. ACORN has a lot of different partner organizations. We are a partner, but we are separate."

In a 2006 ACORN publication, Citizen Services Inc. is described as "ACORN's campaign services entity."

ACORN has been accused of financial improprieties.

The New York Times last month quoted ACORN officials admitting Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, embezzled nearly $1 million from ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000. A small group of executives decided to keep the information from almost all of the group's board members and not to alert law enforcement, the Times reported.

ACORN is organized into more than 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the United States, as well as in Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Peru. The organization was born out of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

ACORN strongly lobbies for gun control, leftist education policies, and the regulation of banks, targeting the lending practices of major financial institutions it sees as "predatory." It has a strong anti-capitalism agenda.

National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz, who conducted a thorough review of ACORN, wrote the organization's primary goals are "municipal 'living wage' laws targeting 'big-box' stores like Wal-Mart, rolling back welfare reform, and regulating banks – efforts styled as combating 'predatory lending.'"

Sol Stern of the City Journal, who also wrote an extensive piece on ACORN, stated the group's "radical agenda" occasionally broke through to "undisguised authoritarian socialism."

He wrote ACORN works to drive big businesses out of cities and force companies that want to move to obtain "exit visas."

Intrusive, radical protest tactics

ACORN protests have turned violent, at times as soon as the rallies began. Some protests disrupted Federal Reserve hearings and busted into closed city council meetings.

Stern noted that in 2003 that in Baltimore ACORN underlings piled garbage in front of City Hall to protest lack of services in poor neighborhoods, wielded huge inflated rubber sharks to disrupt a bankers' dinner, and even staged a profanity-laced protest in front of the home of the city's mayor, Martin O'Malley.

"They unloaded a busload of people shouting pretty ugly things and scared the daylights out of my wife and kids," O'Malley told the Baltimore Sun. "I thought it was a pretty cruddy thing to do."

Obama has deep ties to ACORN, including with Ayers

ACORN is very active in Obama's native Chicago, where in 1997, some 200 members attempted to storm a City Hall meeting, resulting in six members being arrested, including Madeleine Talbot, ACORN's Chicago director.

In the early 1990's during Obama's community organizing days, Kurtz notes Talbot invited Obama to help train ACORN activists, beginning what seems to be a long-term relationship between the presidential candidate and the radical group.

Obama and other Chicago attorneys won a 1995 suit on behalf of ACORN, forcing the state of Illinois to implement the federal "motor-voter" bill.

While Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago nonprofit, it channeled millions of dollars to ACORN and affiliated groups.

Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund's website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2000.

He served on the Fund alongside William C. Ayers, an unrepentant member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of the U.S. government and took responsibility for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971.

Obama actively sought and received the endorsement by ACORN for his local campaigns.

In the Social Policy Journal, Toni Foulkes, a Chicago ACORN leader, documents what he terms Obama's "long service" with ACORN, which he said led many of the organization's members to help in voter campaigns for Obama's early Chicago campaigns.

Foulkes said Obama and ACORN were "old friends."

As a state senator, Obama touted many of ACORN's lines.

Writes Kurtz: "Sure enough, a bit of digging into Obama's years in the Illinois State Senate indicates strong concern with Acorn's signature issues, as well as meetings with Acorn and the introduction by Obama of Acorn-friendly legislation on the living wage and banking practices."

ACORN endorsed Obama's presidential campaign, an endorsement touted on Obama's official website.

"What it came down to was that Senator Obama is the candidate who best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about like stopping foreclosures, enacting fair and comprehensive immigration reform, and building stronger and safer communities across America," said ACORN's Maude Hurd of the group's Obama endorsement.

Obama met numerous times in recent months with ACORN leaders.

Sam Graham-Felson, Obama's official website blogger, noted when Obama met with ACORN leaders in November, he reminded them of his history with ACORN and his beginnings in Illinois as a Project Vote organizer, a nonprofit focused on voter rights and education. Project Vote was connected to ACORN.

"I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work," Obama told ACORN members in November.


U.K. collectivist Kinnock OKs Biden

Senator's brain surgery remembered

Sen. Joe Biden’s selection as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s running mate has been greeted with delight by the man whose speech he famously borrowed.

Mr Biden’s own presidential campaign unravelled in 1987 when it was revealed he had plagiarised a speech delivered by Lord Kinnock in Llandudno. The two men have since become close friends, and Mr Biden believes that if he had not been forced from the race he would have died.

The senator had been plagued by headaches during the campaign and required emergency surgery to treat brain aneurysms. He told Lord Kinnock that if he had not been forced off the stump by the scandal he would not have had time to go to a doctor.

Lord Kinnock – now a Labour peer – said the two men met shortly after the debacle.

He said: “We had long sessions together and struck up a friendship from there.”

When Lord Kinnock visited the senator last November Mr Biden joked with his Senate staff about the plagiarism episode, saying: “Hey, you people! Do you know this guy? He used to be my greatest speechwriter.”

Mr Kinnock told the Western Mail: “He’s a man of immense maturity and unmatched in the Senate certainly, and probably much more widely, as an analyst and advocate in the foreign policy and defence policy areas.

“Even his enemies acknowledge his outstanding expertise.”

Mr Biden, 65, entered the Senate at the age of 29. His background as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee may help counter Republican attacks that Mr Obama lacks the experience a Commander in Chief will need in a time of war.

Mr Kinnock was confident that Mr Biden’s opponents will not be able to raid his political past to damage the present campaign.

He said: “That won’t stick because everyone knows Joe is his own man, he’s fully grown.”

Proud of his working-class roots, Mr Biden is one of the least affluent members of the Senate. He commutes to work daily by train from his home in Delaware.

He experienced personal tragedy in 1972 when his wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, died in a traffic accident while shopping for a Christmas tree.

His appointment is intended to shore up support among blue collar workers, especially Catholics, whose votes will prove critical in swing states.

It was widely expected that if John Kerry had won the 2004 presidential election he would have named Mr Biden as his Secretary of State.

Speaking shortly before that election, Mr Kinnock described his friend as an “absolutely terrific man” who would bring a “welcome and radical change of direction from the unilateralism of the George Bush administration”.

Mr Kinnock made no secret of his desire for President Bush to lose the election, saying the US electorate was facing an “intelligence test”.

Republican candidate John McCain – who will celebrate his 72nd birthday this week – will come under pressure to pick a youthful running mate who can compete with Mr Obama for the support of first-time voters.

He has met 37-year-old Indian-American Bobby Jindal, an Oxford Rhodes Scholar who is Governor of Louisiana.

Mr Jindal is regarded as one of the leading right-of-centre thinkers on the future of healthcare.


Union-member racism worries AFL-CIO big

Federation leaders blame rank-and-file, tradition

AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman says she believes racism is playing a role in limiting Barack Obama’s appeal to some union members, but she said union leaders were making a concerted effort to overcome prejudice among their members. “We feel there is a racial component for some union members,” she said Sunday. “We feel confident we can overcome it.”

Ackerman said the AFL-CIO has launched a $53.4 million grass-roots campaign to convince union members to come out for Obama, including mailing 1 million pieces of direct mail this week touting Obama to union members in four states expected to be battlegrounds: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

She said that disputes among AFL-CIO member unions over whom to endorse in the presidential race — 12 member unions previously endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — have been resolved and that the AFL-CIO was “now moving forward with a very unified program.”

But Ackerman acknowledged Obama’s struggles during the primary campaign to win over white workers without college degrees and said it was the union’s job to make the case for Obama.

“There has never been an African-American candidate for president and many folks around this country have never voted for an African-American candidate for any office,” she said. So Ackerman said union leadership is urging local union officials to reach out on a one-to-one basis to members resistant to voting for a black candidate. “We’ve had a lot of discussions about how to talk to union voters . . . to identify closely what issue is preventing some union voters” from considering a black candidate.

But AFL-CIO officials said that white union members already are more supportive of Obama than working class whites who are not union members and that turning out union voters in key states could make the difference in the campaign. At the same time, Ackerman said that if the AFL-CIO fails to turn out union voters in just Ohio and Michigan, Obama would have a less than one percent chance of defeating presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz.

Ackerman said the AFL-CIO was bombarding 3 million swing voters in key states with direct mail pieces attacking McCain for running negative ads against Obama, while also pointing out that McCain’s personal wealth means he would be “more responsive to corporate interests than workers’ interests.”

On Sept. 4, the day McCain will accept the GOP nomination in St. Paul, union members plan to parade in what Ackerman termed “massive walks” in support of Obama around the country.

Ackerman said the AFL-CIO is also trying to turn out support for 61 House candidates and 11 in the Senate. “Our goal is not just to elect Barack Obama but to build a progressive movement,” she said.

Quid Pro Quo

At a separate briefing Sunday, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern clarified that he’s expecting a lot in return for his union’s $85 million grass-roots and advertising campaign on behalf of Obama and pro-union members of Congress and challengers.

The union is pledging $10 million to go toward ensuring “accountability” among the newly elected during the first 100 days of the 111th Congress starting next January. Stern expects SEIU-backed candidates who win election in November to move legislation to provide health care to every American and pass legislation making it easier for workers to unionize.

Union Officials Worry Racism in the Ranks Is Hurting Obama

“Our goal is to have the same number of people on the ground and the same level of activity” after the election as before, Stern said. “We’re not going to be a lapdog, but a watchdog.”

Pointing out how the SEIU played a big role earlier this year in defeating Maryland Democratic Rep. Al Wynn — the national union supported his primary challenger Donna Edwards with an aggressive TV ad campaign – Stern said he would “paint a target” on any member who accepts SEIU backing in the election but fails to follow through on the union’s agenda in 2009.


Force unions out of politics?

European Union banned the use of forced dues for politics in 2007

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Last week, representatives from organized labour accused an American corporation of telling its employees how to vote.

They have asked federal regulators to investigate whether company officials with Wal-Mart broke the law by "dissuading" store managers from supporting a proposed labour law that would make it easier to unionize. Apparently, according to the unions, discussing this law at the stores is tantamount to telling Wal-Mart employees how to vote. These managers, the labour groups argue, are really being told to not vote for U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama as Democrats support the proposed law.

To clear the air, let me establish that I do agree that companies should not be telling their employees how to vote. That is a private decision. From all accounts of this particular situation, store managers were being told of the consequences of this bill for their jobs. That is not the same thing as being told who to vote for. The problem is that this scenario drips with irony.

For decades, both American and Canadian unions have been so obviously politicized that these labour groups should be embarrassed to even raise the issue.

Unions have become so joined at the hip to leftist political parties, whether the Democratic Party in the United States, or the New Democrats in Canada, that their accusations are laughable.

Unions in Canada publicly post their affiliations with the NDP on their website. They send union workers to work on the campaigns of left-wing candidates. They take positions on divisive political issues with no mandate from their membership and they send money to all sorts of clearly political causes that not all their members support.

The first and only time I was unionized was against my will. I was hired as a teaching assistant at Carleton University while studying for my master's degree. Accepting this position required me be a member of a CUPE local. Granted that CUPE is probably one of the most politicized of Canada's unions, I felt for union members everywhere who had to endure having their job become completely politicized without their consent. I am sure for the ardent left-wing activists, this was fine. I do not begrudge their rights to their space, but the problem was that they did it on my dime and against my will.

Unlike what union leaders preach, individual union members hold very different opinions on a wide range of opinions. I saw it at CUPE. But, this was lost on the leadership and still continues to be.

At the start of our first meeting, a top official quipped that he was "so happy" that so many of us were on the left side of the room. To make a point, I got up and moved to the right.

Both unions and management should be able to discuss with members or workers how proposed legislation would affect them in their job.

That is part of their job. If Wal-Mart did more than that in the above case, they should be disciplined.

The question is how can unions get away with their overt political partisanship for so long?

In 2007, the European Union outlawed the use of dues from unionized non-members for political activities. It's time we in North America took notice.


Worker-choice threatens established order

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Forced-labor unionism defended fiercely in Colorado

Denver was picked for the Democratic National Convention despite Colorado's long-lost history as an unfriendly place for organized labor. Now the city has its first unionized hotel, and the contractor that transformed the Pepsi Center into a glamorous party venue used union labor.

But not all's rosy with organized labor in the Centennial State. Unions are fighting a campaign to turn Colorado into a true right-to-work state - a fight triggered by a failed attempt last year to pass a bill to help unions to organize.

Backers of the November ballot measure, including Jonathan Coors of the prominent brewing family, want voters to bar unions from collecting dues from nonunion workers they represent. Opponents claim the petition process was flawed and want the state Supreme Court to toss it from the ballot.

Colorado is the only state in the country that hasn't come down squarely in either the right-to-work camp or the union-friendly side.
This story continues below

There are 22 right-to-work states and 27 where unions can automatically collect dues from workers. For more than 60 years, Colorado unions have been able to collect dues from nonmembers only by holding a second election and getting 75 percent support.

Neither business nor labor have ever been satisfied with the status quo.

When Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter took office in 2007, unions pushed a bill to get rid of that second election and allow automatic dues collections. Republicans urged Ritter, who had campaigned as a business-friendly moderate, to veto it.

Ritter, who paid his way through law school as a union pipe layer, stunned Democrats by doing so, saying business groups weren't consulted. AFL-CIO president John Sweeney threatened to force Democrats to move the convention because of the veto.

Workers at the city's newest hotel, the Hyatt Regency, have since reached a contract deal, and the hotel was picked to be the DNC committee's headquarters. Ritter also signed an executive order giving unions the right to negotiate contracts for state workers.

Republicans claimed Ritter was pandering to unions, and the right to work measure, known as Amendment 47, was launched.

"This is not something Colorado needs. It's not worker-driven," said Mike Cerbo of the Colorado AFL-CIO.

The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry supports it. But other business groups, like the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., don't. And they don't like rival ballot measures backed by unions.

Metro Denver's executive vice president, Tom Clark, said he personally prefers right to work laws but thinks Colorado's status quo has served it well. It's allowed the state to attract strongly unionized companies as well as nonunion firms, Clark argued.

"I like the fact that we're a purple state," he said. "It creates a business and living environment that appreciates different points of view and has a degree of tolerance. That makes for a good business climate."

Clark said at least one company - which he refused to identify - won't decide whether to locate in Colorado until after November's election. A union-backed measure that would require companies to show cause before firing employees could force firms that rely on contract workers to keep them on the payroll even after their work runs out, he said.

The AFL-CIO's Cerbo said not having enough work would qualify as "just cause" under the measure.

Except for New Mexico, Colorado is surrounded by right to work states. Unions haven't made big inroads here.

According to federal records, 8.7 percent of Colorado workers belonged to unions in 2007. That's higher than many states in the strongly right-to-work South but lower than California's 16.7 percent or New Jersey's 19.2 percent.

Gary Horvath, a researcher at Denver's Leeds School of Business, said Colorado's union growth has been slow because the state doesn't have many large companies ripe for organizing.

James Walsh, a labor history instructor at the University of Colorado, noted that most of Colorado's working class at the turn of the last century was in one lucrative industry - mining - and that mining interests and lawmakers made sure no single union became too powerful.

In 1914, Colorado was the scene of one of the nation's most violent labor conflicts. The National Guard opened fire on striking coal miners in Ludlow - an operation owned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. - and set fire to a tent colony where miners and their families were living.

Two women and 11 children died in the fire, and one militia member and five strikers were killed in fighting. What became known as the "Ludlow Massacre" touched off a local civil war. Miners took over the southern town of Trinidad and burned mine property, forcing President Woodrow Wilson to send in federal troops.

Changes in federal law in the 1930s made it easier to organize, but in 1943 state lawmakers rolled back labor gains by passing the Labor Peace Act. The bill Ritter vetoed would have changed that law.

Clark regrets that right-to-work supporters didn't let things end with the veto. He thinks they see Colorado as a place to make a stand against organized labor.

"It just should have all gone away. We have too many more important issues to deal with in society than fight a national battle on the plains on Colorado," Clark said.


Disinterested workers get stuck with union

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Labor-state vacuums union-dues from rank and file

Some pundits and hopeful partisans speculate that our upcoming national election may see less apathy among younger voters. Coloradans might also wonder about the apathy among their state employees.

Forty-nine percent of Americans between 18 and 29 voted in the 2004 national election, a slight rise from previous showings. While at least one candidate has made more appeals to the youth on the bases of “hope” and “change,” it’s unclear whether the trend will continue.

Overshadowed recent news in our own backyard shows even greater voter apathy outside the sphere of electoral politics. When faced this year with deciding on union representation, two-thirds of state workers never cast a vote. Fewer than one in four affirmatively chose the union. All are stuck with the result.


It’s not easy to explain such tremendous apathy. Perhaps it’s because Colorado state government employees already are the ninth-highest paid nationwide. Most make wages comparable to or greater than their private sector counterparts.

Nevertheless, union election participation had a direct impact on state employees’ personal interests. And with hundreds rather than millions casting ballots, an individual worker’s vote held more clout than any vote for U.S. president will.

Based on their job classification, 32,000 state workers across Colorado were eligible to participate in one of eight separate mail-in ballot elections to decide whether union leaders should represent them in all matters of compensation, grievances, and workplace conditions. The last two elections were decided on Aug. 12.

Gov. Bill Ritter’s November 2007 executive order made the entire exercise possible. According to the order, a simple majority of votes cast in each occupational group decides the election. The “Colorado WINS” union organizing coalition prevailed in seven elections. A different group won the eighth vote to represent 700 state troopers.

Despite the low response, it’s easy to argue the unions fairly won a democratic process. Just like the presidential election, every eligible person was given a chance to vote. Whether it’s college students or state workers, the fault is theirs if they didn’t participate. Right?

Hold on

Not so fast. There’s more to the story: namely, two distinct and important differences between national elections and union elections like those recently held among Colorado state employees.

First, in national elections, Republicans and Democrats battling head-to-head each have a strong, shared interest to defeat the other. Because both John McCain and Barack Obama stand to gain much from a November victory, they assure at least two sides to the debate.

In union elections, though, a well-funded and entrenched coalition like Colorado WINS essentially stands on its own to make its case. Thirty percent of workers in a unit had to sign a WINS card for the election to take place. Union organizers sent multiple flyers, made numerous phone calls, and even approached some employees at work. While most state employees work in Denver, others received direct contact on their job sites in other parts of the state.


The closest to an organized opposition was thrown together on a shoestring, and it only emerged after six of the eight elections had been decided. Operating on his own initiative under the tongue-in-cheek name “Colorado LOSES,” state employee David Ohmart sought to tell his colleagues to think carefully about what union representation would entail and that sitting out the vote only helped WINS.

Evidence suggests Ohmart’s catchy personal e-mails and homemade poster (which briefly stayed on the office bulletin board) may have made some difference. More workers participated in the last two WINS elections than the first five, with closer results. In fact, less than 30 percent of the total yes votes—but more than half the total no votes—were cast after Ohmart’s campaign.

Second, regularly scheduled elections give Americans the chance to vote for a new president. After four years, either Obama or McCain will have to run for re-election if he wants to stay in office. Our Constitution sets the limit to two terms.

No guarantee

But exclusive union representation offers no guarantee of a future election. If enough employees decide they want WINS out, an unorganized opposition has to collect signatures from 30 percent of eligible employees just to hold an election.

Under the terms of Ritter’s order, such a decertification election cannot be held for at least two years after a representative is voted in, or until 90 days before a three-year union bargaining agreement expires. Those workers who don’t like the representation must grin and bear it. At least for now, both the governor and WINS officials have assured state employees they won’t be required to pay union tribute to keep their jobs.

If enough state workers grow dissatisfied with union representation, they still will have to overcome more than apathy just to ask their colleagues whether the union should be voted out.

- Ben DeGrow is a policy analyst for the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank located in Golden.


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Unions mislead about secret-ballot ban

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Kentucky sees through attack on American way

In explaining the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), union bosses seem intent on misleading Americans about how the bill changes the way employees decide whether to unionize. And after reading Bill Londrigan’s op-ed, I see that Kentucky’s union bosses are no exception.

EFCA would write into law a high-pressure, petition-like alternative to private elections, thus removing any bit of democracy left for the working class. Our American way has its basis in the individual’s freedom to privately choose.

These card sign-up drives are typically carried out by union organizers, who can intimidate, pressure, and coerce employees into signing up, since there is no privacy like in a voting booth.

By throwing out the private vote, the union organizers can harass the employees until the contract is signed, which means organizers could confront employees at their homes or intimidate them in front of other employees.

I understand that Bruce Lunsford, the Democratic candidate for the U. S. Senate, is one who would be in support of such a bill, as would the Kentucky AFL- CIO.

Lunsford has been endorsed by numerous union organizations including Change to Win, AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial Workers, so it’s no surprise that he is aligning with the union bosses to support this corrupt and deceptive idea.

The TV and radio ads that are currently being presented by the Employee Freedom Action Committee aim to tell voters the truth, and it’s obvious the ads are working with the recent criticism they’ve earned from the liberal Kentucky media and union bosses.

The Kentucky’s AFL-CIO wants you to think that the EFCA will protect workers’ rights. Don’t believe it. It does the exact opposite, and the unions are scared that the truth is finally being told.

- Fred Mudge of Louisville, retired chairman of R.J. Corman Railroad Group, is on the steering committee of Kentuckians for Employee Freedom.


Workers repel IUOE, Teamsters by secret-ballot

More secret-ballot stories: here

Why union bigs want card-check instead of elections

On Friday, Aug. 22, a group of full-time roadway maintenance employees totaling 86, working for ITR Concession Co. LLC (ITRCC), voted no to having Union representation. The final vote, tallied under the direction of the NLRB – a federal agency overseeing private sector labor-management relations – resulted in a majority voting against union representation.

The election was held at five work sites along the Toll Road. NLRB representatives counted the ballots today and reported the results to ITRCC representatives and union observers. A petition seeking an election was filed with the NLRB by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 on July 10, and by Teamsters Local Nos. 364 and 135 shortly after.

ITRCC respects the choice made by its employees in this secret ballot election. The company intends to continue to build on the relationships that have developed during the first two years of operations.

Further, ITRCC will continue with its long-term plans to ensure the traveling public has the best possible driving experience on the Indiana Toll Road.


Labor interests fully vested in Denver

Money follows power

The corporate-sponsored fetes with big-name celebrities may get all the buzz at the party conventions, but when it comes to the Democrats this week, it’s the unions that seem to have it made.

Not only are the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union planning rallies, news conferences and receptions, their leaders have been slated for prime time to address the delegates from the same podium that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and other party VIPs will use. The AFL-CIO’s president, John Sweeney, will speak on Tuesday, while SEIU Secretary Treasurer Anna Burger is scheduled for Wednesday.

“I don’t think that much is accomplished by hosting parties in terms of the legislative agenda, so we’re not trying to compete on that basis,” said the AFL-CIO’s legislative director, Bill Samuel. “Frankly, I’m pretty confident about the level of support working families get from the Democratic Party. Businesses may be less secure and may be looking for ways to get attention.”

The AFL-CIO has an economic panel planned for Tuesday morning with such participants as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.).

SEIU’s Michelle Ringuette said her union’s events are geared at pressing health care reforms and will take place at both convention cities, even though the group has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

“We have a bigger role in Denver,” Ringuette said, noting that the group is hosting events in Minneapolis-St. Paul next week during the GOP convention. “A lot of our events are about calling attention to what we think needs to be the priorities in the Obama administration. All of our events are really substantive.”

In-Flight Reading. House Republicans will be taking a reprieve from talking on the House floor about their demand for a vote on offshore drilling, but don’t expect the issue to die down during the conventions.

The Air Transport Association is continuing its call for action, along with its Stop Oil Speculation Now coalition made up mostly of airlines, cargo carriers and other associations of fuel dealers and airport executives, as well as unionized employees. The group will be taking its message directly to the masses.

As convention-goers take to the air to get to Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul, several of the airline CEOs are championing their cause by writing columns about the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive energy plan in the airlines’ in-flight magazines. Northwest Airlines CEO Doug Steenland, for example, writes about the “local” issue affecting the airline industry calling for legislation to “close loopholes that allow rampant, unregulated oil speculation and to support giving the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) greater regulatory and enforcement authority.”

The group doesn’t have events planned on the ground for either convention, but David Castelveter, ATA’s spokesman, said that in addition to the CEO columns and getting the message out at airports through employees, it is also in the midst of planning ad buys in local papers and radio shows in Colorado and Minnesota.

Cheers — Convention Style. Some might say that convention-goers of both parties like to drink the Kool-Aid — a reference to cult-like loyalty. But one company, Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., is looking to spice up the beverage repertoire of delegates and K Streeters alike.

The company, getting into the spirit of the political conventions, has tapped bartenders in the Denver and Twin Cities areas to concoct special cocktails to sip while toasting your favorite candidate.

A bartender in Minneapolis has invented the Grand Ole Party: 2 parts Canadian Club whisky, 1 part DeKuyper creme de menthe and 1 part DeKuyper Blustery Peppermint Burst Schnapps.

Or how about the Running Mate, courtesy of James Lee, a bartender at the West End Tavern in Boulder, Colo. That one is 2 parts Maker’s Mark bourbon, 1 part simple syrup; 2 wedges of lemon and 1 slice of watermelon. (Directions: Muddle lemon and watermelon with simple syrup. Add Maker’s Mark and ice. Shake and strain into a large old-fashioned glass with fresh crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of watermelon and lemon wheel.)

In honor of all the delegates, bartenders came up with the Delegate: 2 parts Hornitos Reposado tequila; 1 heaping spoon of agave nectar; 1 part fresh lime juice; and 2 ounces cucumber foam.

Bleary eyed for those 7 a.m. breakfasts? Beam’s lobbyists, we’re certain, would recommend a little hair of the dog.


Biden receives OK from AFL-CIO

Jumbo labor federation approves of Barack's choice

The AFL-CIO, in a statement Sunday, voices its approval of Senator Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential running mate.
In asking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama has affirmed the judgment it takes to be President of the United States and an understanding of the team it will take to turn around America. Sen. Biden is not only one of the most experienced foreign affairs experts in our country, he’s an eloquent and unwavering defender of working families and opponent of the Bush Administration’s war on workers. He’s a man of great faith and modest means who has lived his life in direct contrast to those who support Bush and his would-be successor, John McCain. He’s honest and outspoken and he’s never forgotten his working-class roots. Joe Biden will be received and supported wholeheartedly by the working women and men of America and our unions. We are more enthusiastic than ever about electing Barack Obama and Joe Biden and getting on with the job of changing America to work for all.
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly known as the AFL-CIO, is the largest organizatio of labor unions in the U.S., with more than 10 million members. The million American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) workers comprise its largest member union.


Special interest feeding frenzy in Denver

Corporations pay off union bigs at political pander-fest

Last year, when a union for government workers in Colorado needed help from Gov. Bill Ritter, he issued an executive order making it possible to organize state employees. Months later, it was Ritter who needed a favor, and the union readily delivered a $500,000 donation to help fund the Democratic National Convention.

Like the governor, Colorado's congressional delegation also managed to find folks eager to help pay for the convention. It called on Qwest Communications International Inc., a company seeking help in Congress with a case pending before the Federal Communications Commission. One House member, Rep. Diana DeGette, active on the convention's fundraising committee, wrote to the agency about the case. Qwest, at $6 million, is now the largest donor to the convention.

Ritter and DeGette emphatically deny any connection between official actions and donations to the convention host committee. But the coincidence of these actions speaks to the problem facing public officials raising large donations for both political parties' conventions: The largest donors frequently have some of the largest business issues pending before state and federal agencies at the time lawmakers ask them to donate.

Qwest, which offered cash and in-kind services, is appealing a long-standing case before the FCC that would give it relief from regulatory requirements.

The case also affects Qwest's sometimes competitor, the cable and Internet behemoth Comcast Corp., which, like other telecommunications companies, has huge policy questions pending in Washington. Comcast provided a total of $5 million to the Democrats, mostly in video and other services, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization.

Electric utility Xcel Energy Inc., a major donor to both conventions, has issues before the public utility commissions in Colorado and Minnesota, where the Republican convention will be, as well as before federal regulators. It is based in Minnesota but is also the largest supplier of electricity to Colorado.

And UnitedHealth Group Inc., which also donated to both events, plays a central role in the health policy and insurance debates already coursing through the executive and legislative branches.

All of the donors said their giving was unrelated to any government policy decisions.

In the case of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Colorado has historically limited union efforts to organize state workers. Last year, Ritter vetoed legislation that would have given unions sweeping new rights, but later issued an executive order that allowed the federation, in a coalition with other public employee unions, to launch its current drive -- said to have signed up about 35,000 of the state's 50,000 employees thus far.

If the federation succeeds in getting enough signatures to represent workers in contract talks, it will, directly or indirectly, be bargaining with a governor who sought and received major financial support from it.

A spokesman for Ritter did not dispute the account of his fundraising. "The governor had an obligation to raise funds for the convention and the financial obligation is tremendous," said Evan Dreyer, Ritter's communications director, adding that the governor's executive order was written independent of any requests from unions.

At the federation, political director Lawrence Scanlon said the donation had "absolutely no connection" with the union's organizing drive. "This is about civic pride for the state of Colorado. From our union's perspective, we are supporting the Democratic candidate and party, and it needs to have the money to run a good convention program. You can't do it in a pup tent."

Colorado members of Congress who were raising money said their efforts were similarly altruistic.

A spokesman for DeGette said that she did write a letter to the FCC regarding Qwest's case but that it did not take sides in the matter. The spokesman, Kristofer Eisenla, said that the letter was unrelated to convention fundraising efforts and that she never asked Qwest for funds. DeGette is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC.

"It's not my favorite activity," DeGette said about such fundraising. "It's not some secretive soft money slush fund, because it's really going to a convention" that will be a boon for the city and the state.

Fundraising calls by governors and prominent members of Congress are not unusual, particularly this year, when the convention hosts, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul, are mid-size cities and must solicit huge sums from a relatively small donor pool.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, has been calling corporate chiefs in his state. Initially, the host committee suggested the executives be promised personal meetings to "connect with influential government officials (Cabinet, president, next president)," according to a memo prepared for the governor.

Those promises were subsequently removed from official presentation documents, but access to powerful figures is still an important draw in the big-dollar fundraising for both conventions.

The practice of corporations and unions making big convention donations has a long tradition and is criticized by groups that want to limit the role of money in politics.

"We ended the role of federal officeholders seeking huge unlimited contributions for the federal electoral process," said Fred Wertheimer, a campaign finance reform advocate who helped draft recently approved changes to federal election law. "This is the only place left where it continues."

Members of both convention committees -- and Barack Obama -- agree on the need for reform. For Obama and his closest advisors, asking for million-dollar donations appears particularly embarrassing given the candidate's repeated emphasis on raising funds through small individual donations.

Nonetheless, at least one of Obama's top advisors has been on the telephone asking union chiefs and corporate executives for large sums, a person familiar with the calls said.

Raising the estimated $60 million in cash and in-kind donations that each major party will spend would be difficult without such appeals to donors with deep pockets, and the donors see it as money well invested.

Even quasi-governmental mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which many lawmakers wanted to bar from lobbying if they received an unprecedented government bailout, planned to host convention events until their participation drew criticism.

The value of the donations made by almost 150 corporations varies.

Some, such as nationwide garbage hauler Waste Management Inc., are offering services instead of cash. Waste Management is handling recycling at both conventions.

Others have agreed to pay $1 million to get access to a special package that includes stadium skybox seats to hear Obama's acceptance speech Thursday, in addition to hotel suites and private seminars with the senator's top advisors.

David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, said the cable giant was providing "a package of in-kind commitments designed to help the city and state promote themselves. It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with the party."

Telecom and Internet companies are at the top of the donor list this year at both conventions in part, industry insiders say, because decisions are about to be made by the FCC and state utility commissions that will shape the future of the industry.

Google Inc., which is investing large sums nationally to influence congressional and executive branch debate over the future of online communications, rented a 9,000-square-foot space adjacent to the Denver convention hall to serve Internet surfers and bloggers. In addition, the company is throwing an exclusive party with Vanity Fair magazine and opening a "retreat" for tired delegates and media representatives that will offer smoothies and massages.

Not to be outdone, Microsoft contributed a not-yet-disclosed sum to be named "official software and HD Web content provider." Comcast, another firm with a huge stake in the future of the Internet, will have high visibility during the convention. Recently, a senior Comcast executive was named to Obama's informal telecom advisory committee.

Other companies competing in the digital realm, such as Verizon Communications Inc., are donating significant sums. Verizon also was invited to join the Obama advisory team. AT&T Inc. won't say how much it is donating, but a new survey suggests that it is holding more receptions and parties than any other corporation.

New ethics rules were designed to curb lavish entertainment by specifying that only "finger food" and appetizers could be served.

AT&T has driven a large catering truck through that narrow description. At an event this week at Denver's tony Pinnacle Club, members of Congress and convention delegates will be served an exotic menu including elk quesadillas, buffalo meatballs and, yes, Rocky Mountain oysters.

"The presidential conventions give AT&T a unique opportunity to present and display the many leading-edge technologies and products that we offer to tens of thousands of consumers," company spokeswoman Claudia Jones said in a statement.

Corporate giving has become commonplace at conventions, thanks to a provision in campaign finance laws that allows wealthy individuals, unions and companies to give unlimited donations of cash and equipment to help local convention planners meet their budget goals.

These so-called soft money donations were supposed to have been limited after the Nixon-era Watergate scandal, which included instances of big donors giving large sums to the Republican Party. But loopholes were quickly found.

Recalling grander days from the past, railroad companies Union Pacific Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., which face a congressional threat of new freight price regulations, are offering retreats at both conventions for members of Congress in the form of luxury train cars, with such amenities as domed ceilings and upscale kitchen and dining facilities.

Union Pacific has donated $1 million to the Democratic convention.


Barack's mentor remembered

Related stories: "Union-backed candidate has Leftist cred", "Barack's collectivist mentor remembered"

News editors shelter public from Barack's past

Covering a sensitive and explosive subject that has been off-limits for the major U.S. media, the London Daily Telegraph is now claiming that Communist Frank Marshall Davis was a strong influence over a young Barack Obama for nine years of his life, rather than just four, and was a sex pervert and pothead.

The Telegraph article alleges that Davis was a bisexual engaged in “sordid” sexual activities and had repeated sexual encounters with a 13-year-old girl.

In an article headlined, “Frank Marshall Davis, alleged Communist, was early influence on Barack Obama,” writer Toby Harnden confirms everything Accuracy in Media has been reporting since February about the mysterious “Frank” in Obama’s book being Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis. Harnden is the Daily Telegraph’s U.S. Editor, based in Washington, D.C.

The word “alleged” in the headline is misleading, since there is no doubt that Davis, who was investigated by the FBI and various congressional and official inquiries, was a CPUSA member. In fact, as AIM has documented, Davis was involved in the CPUSA or its front activities, before, during and after World War II, and became a member of a secret communist apparatus in the 1950s after the CPUSA in Hawaii was reorganized on an underground basis. Davis died in 1987.

“Although identified only as Frank in Mr. Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father, it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall Davis, a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of being a member of the Communist Party in the 1950s,” Harnden reported.

Davis wasn’t just a “suspected” communist but a key CPUSA member involved in an important Soviet-sponsored network. The communists had targeted Hawaii largely because of its strategic location and importance to the U.S. defense effort. The CPUSA, which was controlled by the Soviet Communist Party, was receiving funding from the Soviet Communist Party through KGB channels as late as the 1980s.

But while the London paper is reporting explosive new information about Davis and his relationship with Obama, the Washington Post on Sunday, August 24, published a 10,000-word article, supposedly on Obama’s years in Hawaii, and never once mentioned Davis. Even though the Post advertised the article as being about Obama’s “formative years” in Hawaii, the lengthy piece by David Maraniss, an associate editor at the paper and Pulitzer Prize-winner, completely ignores the fact that Davis was Obama’s mentor and adviser for a significant number of those years.

This is so despite the fact that Maraniss claims in the article and a video to be familiar with the contents of Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father, where the mysterious “Frank” makes numerous appearances and gives Obama advice on matters ranging from race relations to college and his life in the U.S.

Asked about this striking omission in his Post article, Maraniss told AIM that “My reporting conclusion was the role of ‘Frank’ had been hyped out of all proportion, both by Obama himself in his book and some others later. He did not play a role in really shaping Obama.”

This “conclusion,” of course, fails to let the readers decide, based on what Obama and others have reported. And he does not explain how he came to this conclusion.

Clearly, this is liberal pro-Obama media bias by omission. It is designed to keep the public in the dark about the role of a CPUSA member in shaping Obama’s worldview. Such a cover-up is necessary to get Obama elected.

Indeed, the Post Maraniss article is deception on a greater scale than a recent Associated Press article, which examined Davis’s role as Obama’s mentor and adviser but ignored his CPUSA activities.

As we all know by now, “Frank” was initially “established” to be Frank Marshall Davis by Gerald Horne, a writer for a CPUSA publication, who boasted about the relationship that Davis had with Obama. Horne’s remarks were brought to our attention by New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon. Former associates of Davis in Hawaii confirmed his identification.

Based on these sources, AIM had confirmed that Obama’s white grandfather, Stanley Dunham, picked Davis because Obama’s black father had abandoned the family and Dunham thought Obama needed a black father-figure. AIM also confirmed that Davis was Obama’s mentor during the critical years 1975-1979.

Harnden claimed in a preceding article that Obama was introduced to Davis in 1970 when he was only nine years old. This would mean that Davis was an influence over Obama for about nine full years, until Obama was 18 and went off to college.

Harnden quotes Dawna Weatherly-Williams, a friend of Davis’s, as saying that Stanley Dunham brought Obama to meet Davis in the autumn of 1970. She “was chatting with him [Davis] that late autumn afternoon as Dunham and Barry [Obama] approached,” Harnden reports.

Some accounts say that Obama returned to Hawaii in 1971. But Harnden tells me that the Punahou School, the coeducational college preparatory day school in Honolulu that Obama attended from 1971 to 1979, was adamant that Obama took his entrance examine in autumn 1970. “It’s possible he briefly went back to Indonesia before actually starting at the school,” he said.

But whether it was 1970 or 1971, this adds several years to the amount of time that Davis was exercising influence over Obama. This is enough time to have made it into a Washington Post 10,000-word account of Obama’s years in Hawaii. But Maraniss deliberately decided to ignore it.

Harnden also reports that Davis and Dunham smoked marijuana together. Dawna Weatherly-Williams said that “Frank never really did drugs, though he and Stan would smoke pot together,” the paper said.

Obama, of course, also admits that he used marijuana and cocaine in his youth.

Citing passages from Obama’s own book, Dreams From My Father, which was published in 1995, Harnden demonstrates how Obama went to “Frank” for advice about racial issues, college, and other matters at critical periods in his life. Clearly, the relationship between them, as concluded by many observers, was strong. But Maraniss of the Post decided to deliberately ignore it.

This may have something to do with the fact that the Post chairman, the late Katharine Graham, began her career as a journalist for the San Francisco News using labor leader Harry Bridges, a CPUSA member and Frank Marshall Davis associate, as a news “source.” This fact is acknowledged in an obituary of Graham on the official Post website. The Post Company and the paper today are run by members of the Graham family.

While Obama cites the radical advice that Davis gave him, he gave no hint that “Frank” was ever a communist. But the evidence shows that Davis was not only an identified member of the Communist Party USA but that his associate, Bridges, the labor leader in Hawaii, was elevated to the CPUSA central committee only with the approval of Moscow itself.

Herbert Romerstein, a former government investigator of communist activities, has documented how Davis was one of the party cadre sent to Hawaii from Chicago to organize the party there. Davis went to Hawaii after consulting with Paul Robeson, a secret CPUSA member, and Bridges, who ran the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. This labor union subsidized the newspaper, the Honolulu Record, which Davis wrote for.

Romerstein visited the archives of the Communist International, known as the Comintern, and discovered a report on Bridges, establishing him to be a member of the central committee of the CPUSA with a great future in the party. Moscow had to approve Bridges’ high-level status in the party.

Romerstein explains, “Bridges, of course, always denied party membership and attempts were made to deport him because he was a communist. He was born in Australia, but he was able to fight back because he had very, very sharp shyster lawyers and a lot of friends in the U.S. Government that helped him and they prevented his deportation. But he had been a major force promoting communism.”

We also know that, as late as the early 1970s, after he had met Obama, Davis was still associating with a CPUSA front called the American Committee for Foreign Born, which existed to prevent the deportation from the U.S. of foreign communists such as Bridges. Davis had met Bridges at the Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago, a CPUSA front.

A 1973 mailing from the American Committee for Foreign Born listed Davis as a sponsor, in addition to Harriet Bouslog, the CPUSA member and Hawaii lawyer who was his counsel during Davis’s appearance in 1956 before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. In that appearance, Davis refused to deny he was a CPUSA member.

Davis’s alleged sexual perversion adds a dramatic and alarming element to the controversy. Harnden reports that Davis’s sexual proclivities were documented in a 1968 pornographic novel, written just two years before Davis became Obama’s mentor, which was titled, Sex Rebel: Black (Memoirs of a Gourmet Gash). Davis wrote the book, which is now generally unavailable, under a pseudonym, Bob Greene.

Harnden flatly asserts that “The book, which closely tracks Mr. Davis’s life in Chicago and Hawaii and the fact that his first wife was black and his second white, describes in lurid detail a series of shockingly sordid sexual encounters, often involving group sex. One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr. Davis and his first wife of a 13-year-old girl called Anne. Mr. Davis wrote that it was the girl who had suggested he had sex with her.”

Harnden added, “He then described how he and his wife would have sex with the girl” many times over the course of several weeks. “On other occasions,” he added, “Mr. Davis would cruise in Hawaii parks looking for couples or female tourists to have sex with. He derived sexual gratification from bondage, simulated rape and being flogged and urinated on.”

This explosive information, if the character in the book is actually based on Davis’s own experiences, would further demonstrate why Obama would want to cover up Davis’s true identity in his book, calling him just “Frank.”

There is no question that Davis wrote the book under the pseudonym of “Bob Greene.” John Edgar Tidwell, the editor of other books by Davis, has confirmed this is the case. But Tidwell has questioned how much of Sex Rebel is based on Davis’s own life experiences and describes it as “semi-autobiographical.”

Harnden acknowledged to AIM that Davis “left himself some wiggle room, not least I suppose because of the possibility of prosecution” for statutory rape of a 13-year-old.

But in the introduction to Livin’ the Blues, a book by Davis that Tidwell edited, Tidwell reveals that Davis left behind after his death an uncompleted manuscript, “The Incredible Waikiki Jungle,” which describes how Davis “specialized in sex” during the period 1969-1976. No details are provided by Tidwell. He also says that Davis wrote another unpublished manuscript called “Mixed Sex Salad.”

Whether the book Sex Rebel is entirely based on Davis or not, the controversy certainly demonstrates that Davis had a perverted sexual interest and should not have been trusted as a mentor for any young person.

Obama has not publicly responded to growing concern about his relationship with Davis, and whether Davis’s influence went beyond ideology to matters of a sexual nature. However, during a campaign appearance on Thursday, Obama accused Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation, of “making stuff up” about him. Corsi devotes part of chapter 3 of his book to Davis’s role as a “Communist mentor” for Obama.

But the Obama campaign’s 40-page so-called rebuttal to Corsi’s book confirms and does not deny the Obama relationship with Davis. The rebuttal, however, doesn’t acknowledge that Davis was a communist and instead tries to depict him as a civil rights activist by dishonestly editing an article about Davis. It makes no mention of Davis’s Sex Rebel book and his interest in pornography.

With the allegations about Davis’s life as a sex pervert and consumer of illegal drugs, the pressure could mount on Obama to come clean about the mysterious relationship.

But the pressure may not be coming from the “conservative” Fox News Channel.

On August 18, Fox News aired a special program, “Presidential Character & Conduct 2008: Barack Obama,” which not only ignored Frank Marshall Davis but the association of Obama with Communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. The program, narrated by Bill Hemmer, a former anchor for CNN, mostly relied on friends, associates and a friendly biographer of Obama for information about the candidate.

While the program did include information about Obama’s relationship with convicted felon Tony Rezko, it concluded that Obama did nothing illegal and ignored Rezko’s involvement with a controversial Iraqi-born billionaire, Nadhmi Auchi, who has been pressuring the media to stop running negative stories about him.

One has to wonder if Auchi or his representatives got to Fox News Channel, whose parent company, News Corporation, is run by Rupert Murdoch, a vocal supporter of Obama, and is owned in part by an Arab-based Middle Eastern company.

- Kincaid is the editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.


Barack taps liar, cheat for VP

At least Joe Biden is a reliable union guy

"Joseph Biden: Liar, Cheat Traitor" by Devvy Kidd: Back on December 18, 2006, I wrote a column on Joseph Biden's decision to once again run for president. Biden has now been tapped as Marxist Barack Hussein Obama's choice for vice-president. One columnist wrote this was akin to a Watergate suicide. Biden was dropped like a hot potato by the DNC in 1998 when he ran for president because Biden was exposed as a liar and cheat, although now it seems to be a qualifier for both the Democrat and Republican parties. I'm not a Republican and I would never vote a despicable person like Juan McCain. Like Obama, Biden plagiarized someone else's speech. Biden also plagiarized in law school; NY Times article back in 1987.

Some boob tube pundits have remarked that Joseph Biden is a "cultural Catholic." A what? There is no such thing as a cultural Catholic. You either follow Church doctrine or you're a heretic. Biden believes Roe v Wade should stand, but believes life begins at conception. So, while Biden believes a baby is a human life at conception, he believes it's okay that nine men on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it's legal to kill that human life. Biden believes that sodomite and lesbian marriages are inevitable, but doesn't support them. However, he is considered to be pro sexual deviants and their causes. (Voted yes to expand unconstitutional hate crime laws to 'sexual orientation.') The Catholic Church forbids abortion and the abomination of sodomy and lesbian sex. Clearly, while professing to be a 'practicing Catholic,' Biden has cherry picked which of God's laws and the Church he will uphold.

One has to wonder why Obama would pick someone not close to his own beliefs on these issues. Obama supports sexual deviants and partial birth abortion. Read how a baby is murdered in graphic detail during a partial birth abortion procedure; it's called infanticide. Obama's much bally-hooed accomplishments are so blown out of proportion it's pathetic. His one and only piece for the Harvard Law Review was his zealous support of unlimited abortion: "In a discussion of abortion itself, Obama wrote that government has more important business than "ensuring that any particular fetus is born." That's just the tip of Obama's black heart:

"Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, "All praise and glory to God!" but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have "hijacked" — hijacked — Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing."

In the interview cited above, Biden also makes this statement which I pointed out in my December 18, 2006, column cited above: "Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the US Senate." It's also in his official bio here: "Joe Biden has represented the state of Delaware in the United States Senate since 1972, when he was elected at the age of twenty-nine."

Wait one minute. Art. 1, Sec. 3, says: "No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years....." The fraudulent ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment did not change the age requirement in the U.S. Constitution. How did he get "elected" to office when he clearly did not meet the age requirement? In his own words, Biden says he was elected at age 29, not 30.

Joseph Biden is also a traitor. I don't use that word lightly, but Biden has clearly shown by his own words and actions over the decades that he is for a one world government: a one world banking system, one world religion (new age), one military force, world regional government. Joseph Biden by his own words and actions has been a participant in bringing these united States of America into a one world order and for that, he is a traitor:

His full speech is here and every American should read Biden's run off his mouth about the "military dimension of America's new world order agenda." How he goes on about how we must look to the 'vision' of Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman in laying the groundwork for a new world order and "complete the task." Wilson signed the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act, December 23, 1913. As for Truman, I believe this sums it up: "When Franklin Roosevelt died during the closing days of WWII, it fell to Truman to end the war and formulate policies for the new world order." The Smithsonian Treasury: The Presidents (1991), pg 72

In the fourth section of Biden's blather, he runs off about "creating" an environmental revolution. Yes, that's exactly what global warming and this whole greenie garbage is all about: creating a movement to siphon off the wealth of the American people using scientifically flawed propaganda:

"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill ... All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." Alexander King, Bertrand Schneider - founder and secretary, respectively, of the Club of Rome - The First Global Revolution, pp.104-105. Published 1991. How timely since the mass gathering of hysterical greenie guru's was at the "Earth Summit," held in Rio in June, 1992.

"We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." – Tim Wirth, former member of Congress, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs.

At the Fifth Congress in Moscow, 'The Program,' was drafted and agreed upon by the International Communist dictators. It was agreed that an environmental "crisis" would be gradually developed to siphon off the money from capitalism and reduce countries to socialism and eventually under communism. I refer readers back to this column and the book by Gus Hall, head of the Communist Party USA for decades: Ecology, Can we survive under capitalism? published in 1972.

I caught a 'few man on the street' comments on the tube: Does Obama's choice for VP affect your vote for him? Three said no, they would vote for Obama no matter who he chose. It should. The vice president is only one heart beat away from the presidency. Joseph Biden is dangerous to your wallet, private property ownership and your guns. A true champion for decades of the Second Amendment, Bernadine Smith puts it this way:

"I hope everybody knows that Obama is anti-gun. And so is Senator Joe Biden (Democrat - Delaware) his chosen V.P. Biden is in support of General and Complete Disarmament - Public Law 87-297. P.L.87-297, a (so-called) "law" isn't just for nuclear disarmament. It is for general and complete disarmament of our nation and all citizens, and giving our armed forces to the United Nations on a permanent basis! No nation ever did, nor ever can, retain its freedom and liberty once it gives up its armed forces, and armed citizenry. The United States hasn't a chance with these two guys at the helm. Biden and Obama will get along like two peas in a pod. McCain will be no different, though! He will do exactly the same. All three will be programmed, tasked, and scheduled just like the others!"

I wonder how Biden feels about Obama joining his friend, Louis Farrakhan, at the "million man march"? Louis Farrakhan, who has openly endorsed Obama, says with utter scorn on this video: "..a black man born of a white mother could lift America...." That also sums it up for Obama: "He (Obama) cherishes every cause for complaint he can discern against white folks. He is constantly distressed at being half-white. Obama says he “ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

Obama can't stop Farrakhan from endorsing him, but if he finds Farrakhan's comments repugnant, why attend one of his functions? I guess he also knew nothing about his church giving Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award for his "greatness":

"Russert persisted, stating, "The title of one of your books, Audacity of Hope [Crown, 2006], you acknowledge you got from a sermon from Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the head of the Trinity United Church. He said that Louis Farrakhan 'epitomizes greatness,' " before asking Obama, "What do you do to assure Jewish Americans that, whether it's Farrakhan's support or the activities of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, your pastor, you are consistent with issues regarding Israel and not in any way suggesting that Farrakhan epitomizes greatness?" Trumpet Newsmagazine, a publication founded by Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, where Obama is a parishioner and Wright was a minister, awarded Farrakhan the "Lifetime Achievement 'Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Trumpeter Award' " in 2007. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen reported that Trumpet said Farrakhan "truly epitomized greatness."

I wonder if the late Tim Russert was more concerned about Farrakhan's bigotry or that Obama will be "consistent with issues regarding Israel"? In any event, Obama finally denounced Farrakan and his statements. It's all just a big misunderstanding. Just like he was never in church during one of Wright's digusting tirades over a twenty year period. Obama knew nothing about it, doesn't approve of it. Poor misunderstood Barack Hussein Obama with his Harvard law degree.

Additionally, it's not like Biden holds Obama in high regard. Just last year, Biden said this in an interview with George Stephanopoulos: "You were asked, “Is he ready?” You said, “I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job-training.” Biden: "I think that — I stand by the statement." Boy, in Biden's eyes, Obama, sure got "ready" in a hurry! Scratch my head, but these two don't seem to be very compatible on the Iraq war issue, either.

In case you missed it, Phil Berg, who I met and spoke with for a while at a conference in Phoenix back in February, 2007, filed a lawsuit in Federal District court last week to stop Obama from running based on citizenship requirements. Phil also brings up Obama's failure to admit on his Illinois Bar application his many aliases: Barack Hussein Obama; Barry Soetoro; Barry Obama; Barack Dunham; and Barry Dunham. Lest people think Berg is some bug-eyed Kool Aid drinker like Bill O'Reilly, this is part of his bio: Philip J. Berg, Esquire; former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania; former candidate for Governor and U.S. Senate in Democratic Primaries; former Chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery County; former member of Democratic State Committee; an attorney with offices in Montgomery County, PA"

You can read Phil's statement to the press here. It's my understanding that on August 22, 2008, the judge ruled against Phil in getting a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order), but has left the matter open for hearing after Obama, the DNC and FEC (Federal Election Commission) have been served. WorldNetDaily.com ran a piece over the weekend stating that some of the claims have been discredited. Where's the "mainstream media?" This is news of great importance because it's a valid constitutional issue.

We'll see how this plays out and if there's any fire attached to the smoke. I believe there is because, based on my own on-site investigation and tracking down the birth certificate, I believe 100% that U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, is an illegal alien. If providing a phony birth certificate can be done to protect Sanchez (who allegedly unseated Congressman Bob Dornan), the powers that be who want Obama in the White House so bad, will move mountains to keep him as their chosen "messiah" for the gullible masses.

Why would Obama saddle himself with such a rich target as Joe Biden? Surely, not a quid pro quo? An interesting observation from a web site with a kooky name, but is always spot on, brings forth perhaps the reason why Obama chose Biden. In order to understand this, you have to get some history. Please see my column here, scroll down to the paragraph which begins: Next up: Barrack Hussein Obama.

What we have is a man, Larry Sinclair, with a very troubled background (which he has acknowledged in full), accusing Obama of doing drugs and having oral sex with him; see here and here. Sinclair has made quite a bit of noise about this all year and has battled for months with Obama's henchmen. The retaliation against Sinclair has been vicious. While in Washington, DC, explaining to the media who did show up about his relations with Obama and the proof he's been gathering (limo, phone records, hotel records, etc), he's arrested for a misdemeanor in Delaware! The State of Delaware is so interested in getting a disabled man on a misdemeanor charge, they spend the taxpayers hard earned money to have him arrested in Washington, DC! Can anyone deny this is to shut Sinclair up if you've followed this story? The interesting part is guess who is the Attorney General for the State of Delaware? Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III. Son of guess who? U.S. Senator and now VP candidate, Joseph Biden.

I'm sure this is just some strange coincidence and that Obama picked Biden solely because of his experience and integrity. And, I'll bet Marxist Hillary Clinton is just salivating while waiting; her campaign is on legal "suspended" status. If you don't think Clinton and her gutter thug operatives don't know what's going on with the Obama/Sinclair scandal, think again.

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