Getting to know Barack: Meet Saul Alinsky

More Saul Alinsky stories: here

How Barack Obama came to work for ACORN

Most people have not heard of Saul Alinsky. He was a radical of the first order. His tactics, strategies, and thinking influenced a number of modern leftist politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

According to the Washington Post, a group of Alinsky’s “disciples hired Barack Obama, a 23-year-old Columbia University graduate, to organize black residents on the South Side, while learning and applying Alinsky's philosophy of street-level democracy.” In 1990, an article Obama had written on community organizing appeared in the book "After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois." [Alinsky's wikipedia entry: here.]

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

What frequently is ignored in all of this is Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals. The book is an instruction manual for left wing agitators and breaks down the core components of community organizing. Both Clinton and Obama were students of the book. Clinton wrote a college thesis on the book. Obama lived the book, applying its principles to organizing communities in Illinois.

At a time when the left’s new slogan is “Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor,” it is helpful to remember that Alinsky dedicated Rules for Radicals to Lucifer -- that is, Satan. Alinsky considered Satan the first radical.

The opening chapters of Genesis make clear Satan was the first community organizer. He convinced Adam and Eve that the man put them down. To empower them, Satan encouraged them to eat the apple. The results speak for themselves.

Is ACORN Using Barry’s Lessons?

During Barack Obama’s stint as a community organizer, he worked for ACORN, the radical group that directly applies Saul Alinsky’s tactics to agitate for a more socialist America.

In 1996, when Obama received the communist New Party’s endorsement, a local Chicago socialist writing in New Ground, the newsletter of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, noted, “As the single 800 pound gorilla in the Chicago New Party, it doesn't leave a lot of room for newcomers to participate except on ACORN's terms. This will make it difficult for the New Party to have a life apart from ACORN.”

Barack Obama had, at the time, a very tight relationship to ACORN.

That makes this story from the Detroit Free Press all the more interesting. It turns out ACORN has been turning in “fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications.” The article quotes Kelly Chesney, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, saying, “There appears to be a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications . . . . And it appears to be widespread.”

This is not the first time ACORN has done this. Back in 2006, ACORN got caught on tape actively engaging on behalf of Claire McCaskill’s campaign in Missouri. With Barack Obama refusing to release his bar application, his college transcripts, and a host of documentation relating to his past, it is a fair question to ask if Obama ever encouraged ACORN to engage in nefarious voter registration schemes.

It fits with Saul Alinsky’s advice and it fits with ACORN’s pattern and practice.

- Erick Erickson is the managing editor at RedState.


Worker-choice measure to be killed at all costs

More worker-choice stories: hereunion-dues stories: here

UFCW masks flood of out-of-state cash for Colorado politics

A local labor union gave more than $3 million this month to the campaign fighting a "right-to-work" ballot measure. On the other hand, a group fighting a measure that would eliminate a tax credit for energy companies received no contributions in September.

Campaign reports filed with the state Monday show that United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7R donated $3.2 million during the first two weeks of September to Coloradans for Middle Class Relief, one of the groups against Amendment 47. That brings the union's donations to the committee to $4.7 million so far this year.

The right-to-work amendment would ban mandatory union dues for workers covered by union contracts.

Jess Knox, campaign director for another group fighting Amendment 47, said he expected the big dollars to continue to flow into his committee, Protect Colorado's Future.

The group is also fighting pro- business measures 49 and 54. "We expect to raise $15 million to $20 million to defeat these," he said.

Amendment 54 prohibits companies that are the sole contractors to state and local governments from making campaign contributions.

Amendment 49 would prohibit public payroll deductions for anything except taxes, health insurance and charitable contributions, in effect wiping out such things as automatically deducted union dues on public payrolls.

The campaigns for and against the 18 statewide ballot measures already have raised more than $30 million. That's more than double the previous record $14 million for state measures set in 2004. In other campaign filings involving statewide ballot issues:

* Coloradans for a Stable Economy, which is fighting Amendment 58, reported receiving no contributions this month. Instead, it lists $98,844 in expenditures with much of the money going toward outreach consulting. However, the same group received a whopping $3.3 million in the last reporting period, mostly from energy companies.

* A group that supports Amendment 58, A Smarter Colorado, received a little over $400,000 of contributions this month, with $250,000 coming from one individual, Paul Tudor Jones.

* Expenses for the same period nearly wiped out the gains, totalling nearly $350,000, with $300,000 spent on media.

* Colorado Safe, the group behind a ballot measure to set aside state surplus money for education, raised more than $500,000 in the last two weeks.

* The teachers union, the National Education Association, donated $250,000, while the Denver Foundation gave the group $225,000. That brings the committee's donations to $1.3 million. The group has $374,000 on hand.

* Protect Families, Protect Choices Coalition raised $92,500 in its battle against Amendment 48, the measure to declare human life begins at fertilization. Almost all the money, $90,000, came from the ACLU of Colorado.


Surprise - you're unionized!

More EFCA stories: here

Proposed card-check law denies workers' rights

While it's been said that the Employee Free Choice Act will "restore workers' freedom," nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, EFCA eliminates employees' rights to cast a private ballot regarding union representation, which undercuts the principles at the heart of a democratic society. For this reason alone, there is no doubt that, if enacted, EFCA will constitute one of the most significant changes to the National Labor Relations Act in more than 60 years.

Made up of three main provisions, EFCA's first will essentially eliminate secret ballot elections for union representation. This means that an employer may be unionized before it's even aware of union organizing activity or it may have too little time to communicate with employees effectively on the union issue.

Experience shows that it's easier for a union to get an employee to sign an authorization card than it is to get that employee to vote for the union in a secret ballot election. Often the employee simply signs the card before hearing the other side of the argument from the company. Also, it's not hard to pressure an employee until he or she signs the card. Contrasted with the current right of workers to step into the voting booth to make a decision in secret, EFCA will expose workers to undue intimidation and harassment.

A less well-known but equally harmful feature of the EFCA is interest arbitration. Once the union is certified, the parties have a total of 120 days to negotiate a contract. If they cannot agree on a contract, an arbitrator will write the provisions to which the parties could not agree.

Today, it's not uncommon for a first contract to take up to a year to negotiate. Thinking that the process can be completed in a matter of weeks is naive. Moreover, if the union thinks it can do better with the arbitrator, it will stall the negotiations.

Interest arbitration represents a major change in the law. Currently, nothing goes into a collective bargaining agreement unless the employer agrees. This gives the company a significant measure of control over its own economic future. But under EFCA, anything the union wants might end up in the contract. Ultimately, such decisions would be made by the arbitrator, who may know little or nothing about the business.

Finally, EFCA significantly increases penalties for unfair labor practices. Under EFCA, a fine of up to $20,000 per violation may be imposed for willful or repeated violation of employees' rights in a union campaign or in bargaining for an initial contract.

It's astonishing to me that there are still many individuals and businesses across the country that are still not aware of this law. The battle against EFCA is only beginning, and concerned employers should keep a vigilant watch on what may become one of the most catastrophically conceived labor laws of all time.

Unions are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to get Democrats elected to federal offices in 2008. These candidates have all pledged to support the passage of EFCA. Workers and business owners wake up; you have a big target on your back.

- Kenneth A. Knox is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Fisher & Phillips.


Union political cash ushers in ugly Fascistic Era

More EFCA stories: here

'There's no need to subject the workers to an election.'

Organized labor spent tens of millions of dollars and untold man hours to help elect a Democratic Congress in 2006. So far the pay-off has been modest. But with the presidency at stake, unions are expected to spend up to $360 million by November, more than twice as much as four years ago.

At the top of labor's agenda is the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, which would deny employees the opportunity to vote before a union takes over their workplace.

Today organized labor represents just 12 percent of all workers and 7.5 percent of private employees. Labor officials blame their woes on the fact that they must win a secret ballot regarding representation whenever 30 percent of workers sign a union card. So organized labor proposes doing away with elections if 50 percent of the workers plus one sign a card.

Unions dislike secret ballots, which protect workers from retaliation for rejecting representation. In contrast, labor organizers find it much easier to mislead and harass workers to sign a union card. Bruce Raynor of the union UNITE HERE says simply: "There's no need to subject the workers to an election." Ironically, a Zogby poll found that 84 percent of union members believed in certification elections.

ECFA didn't go anywhere this year. But labor can wait.

Come November, the Democrats are likely to increase their margins in Congress, even possibly reaching a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate. Labor also is campaigning for Barack Obama and against John McCain. Bill Darling, the AFL-CIO's legislative director, said that a Democratic presidential victory "could be an opportunity for historic change."

Earlier this year Obama endorsed Card Check, promising: "We're ready to play offense for organized labor ... letting them do what they do best: organize our workers." If EFCA becomes law, it would sharply increase the number of unionized employees. Andy Stern, head of the Service Employees International Union, predicts that ECFA would cause unions to "grow by 1.5 million members a year, not just for five years but for 10 to 15 straight years." More employees mean more union dues. On average, every one percent increase in workforce unionization would add another half billion dollars in revenue.

Some of that money would go for organization campaigns. Unfortunately, forced unionization guarantees sclerotic economies. Observed Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, ECFA "could trigger a surge in unionization across U.S. industry -- and in time, a reversion to the bloated economy that brought America to its knees in the late 1970s and early '80s and that today cripples much of European business."

Alas, many unions today are as interested in politics as economics. They see the political process as the best way to get what they can't win through negotiation in a free market.

Unions spent over $104 million directly and a multiple of that indirectly on the 2006 election. Labor consultant Jonathan Tasini reported that "unions spend seven to ten times what they give candidates and parties on internal mobilization," which he figured meant "$8 billion to as much as $12 billion on federal elections alone" between 1979 and 2004.

EFCA would enable organized labor to pour even more money into campaigns, spurring passage of union-supported legislation. For instance, unions are pushing Congress to override state laws limiting unionization of public safety employees, open the Traffic Safety Administration to organizing, and reverse recent National Labor Relations Board decisions defining "supervisors," who are exempt from collective bargaining requirements. Labor also has led an assault in the Democratic Congress on the Office of Labor-Management Standards, which enforces laws and regulations against union corruption.

But the official union agenda goes far beyond traditional labor law. Despite the explosion of opportunity afforded Americans through economic growth, technological transformation, and rapid globalization, many unions are lobbying government to enforce economic stasis in the name of protecting their members.

That perspective is evident in the Democratic presidential campaign. During the primaries Barack Obama, who has a 98 percent lifetime AFL-CIO rating, increasingly articulated a populist, anti-business, anti-market agenda. Whatever his intellectual preferences, he is committed to organized labor, which provides much of his campaign muscle. In fact, union members or retired union members accounted for a quarter of Democratic delegates.

In a labor-dominated Congress, initiatives promoting trade liberalization -- such as renewing presidential "fast-track" negotiating authority and passing the three pending free trade agreements -- would die. Congress might even impose new restrictions on international commerce.

A more Democratic Congress likely would hike, not cut, taxes. Personal income and capital gains tax rates would rise. Genuine tax reform would be dead.

A labor-oriented congressional majority likely would restrict alternative capital sources, such as private equity. The Bear Stearns bail-out would become an excuse for enacting the entire liberal regulatory agenda.

Spending would surge. Moreover, as Medicare and Social Security slid ever faster towards insolvency, a union-dominated Congress would turn to massive borrowing and tax hikes. Private Social Security accounts and market-oriented Medicare options would be off the table.

Teachers' unions would block any proposals for parental choice and school accountability. Unions would work to kill consumer-oriented health care, such as health savings accounts, and press for enhanced employer-provided health insurance, which has led to today's cost-plus system of medicine.

Finally, a more influential labor movement would join trial attorneys to kill any hope of tort reform. Last fall the House voted to create new investor liabilities as part of the subprime bailout.

Some businesses believe that they can immunize themselves by locking in regulations today, while the GOP still holds the White House. But most of the rules could be changed by a future administration.

Another business strategy has been to hire Democratic lobbyists. Ivan Adler of the McCormick Group, an executive recruiter, told the New York Times: "It's a bull market for Democrats, especially those who have worked for the congressional leadership." But a GOP electoral debacle likely would generate an unstoppable Democratic policy tsunami, irrespective of how many lobbyists business deployed.

Congress should reject card check on its merits. Workers are entitled to a secret ballot over unionization.

But there's another reason for anyone committed to a freer economy should oppose ECFA. Abandoning workplace elections would allow organized labor to intimidate its way to greater power and money which would, in turn, be used to promote the entire left-wing economic agenda.

The vast majority of Americans -- and union members -- support holding representation elections, which protect workers and employers alike. Yet organized labor is working overtime to override the public's interest. If the unions succeed, the public will pay a high price for years to come.

- Doug Bandow is the Bastiat Scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Vice President of Policy for Citizen Outreach.


Collectivists go uncredited for advances

Related story: "Guilty as hell and free as a bird."

With friends like ACORN ...

The lack of media interest in the role of former domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn in Democratic nominee Barack Obama's political ascent in Chicago is one of the most remarkable aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign. When the question is raised at all, reporters are quick to repeat Sen. Obama's claim that his relationship with the two former bomb-makers was fleeting and casual. Some cite Chicago mayor Richard Daley's defense of Ayers as a "distinguished professor of education" and "a valued member of the Chicago community." Why then should there be cause for concern?

Weatherman: bombs, rage and revolution

Weatherman was a revolutionary communist sect that split from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1969. Weatherman's founding document called for a "white fighting force" that would be "akin to the Red Guard in China" to work with the Black Liberation Movement and other "anti-colonial" movements to bring about a communist revolution and destroy "US imperialism." Weatherman committed at least 40 bombings between 1969 and 1975. Targets included the Pentagon, the State Department and the US Capitol, other government buildings, military bases, police offices and corporations. Two of the group's primary leaders were Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

Defenders argue that Weatherman was not a terrorist group, since it frequently tipped off police about the devices. Bill Ayers recently called the bombings "a dramatic form of armed propaganda" and claimed "no one was ever hurt." In reality, the relatively low death toll from the bombing campaign was mostly due to technical incompetence.

On March 6, 1970, three members of Weatherman were killed when a powerful bomb they were constructing exploded prematurely. The device had been made from dynamite, wrapped with roofing nails to maximize casualties. Its intended target was a dance for noncommissioned officers and their dates scheduled for that evening at Fort Dix. The bomb that killed three in a Greenwich Village townhouse would have killed far more on a crowded dance floor.

Larry Grathwohl, an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated Weatherman, later testified that Ayers had identified Bernadine Dohrn as the person who bombed a San Francisco police station in February 1970, killing one officer and injuring two others. The agent also said that Ayers had constructed a bomb made from 13 sticks of dynamite that the group placed in a Detroit police officers' association building. The agent contacted the police, who cleared the area, but the bomb failed to explode. Ayers' murderous intent was clear enough, however. According to the FBI agent, "Bill said that we should plan our bombing to coincide with the time when there would be the most people in those buildings."

Ayers and Dohrn were never prosecuted for the bombings because of government misconduct in collecting evidence. In 2001, Ayers told the New York Times, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

Befriending America's foreign enemies

Even before Weatherman began its notorious bombing campaign, the group's future leaders had formed relationships with others who shared their hatred for "Amerikkka."

Bernadine Dohrn made numerous contacts with Fidel Castro's Cuban Mission at the UN in 1968 and 1969, during which time she arranged for SDS groups to visit Havana.

After returning from Cuba, Dohrn and others met with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong representatives in Budapest, Hungary, to discuss antiwar strategy on US campuses. Speaking a few days later at an assembly of revolutionary student movements at Columbia University, Dohrn reported that the Vietnamese communists she met in Budapest were working with US GIs in Saigon, attempting to obtain military information.

As a gesture of solidarity, the Vietnamese who Dohrn met in Budapest presented her with a ring made from an American aircraft shot down over North Vietnam. Bill Ayers would receive a similar ring while meeting with Vietnamese communists in Toronto. He later recalled being so moved by the gesture that he "left the room to cry." He said, "I realized...America was an evil... and that I was... living inside the belly of the beast...."

In January 1969, at the request of the Cubans and the Vietnamese, Dohrn assembled another SDS delegation to travel to Havana to plan what the Chicago Sun-Times called an "antiwar campaign during an eight-day seminar with representatives of Hanoi and the Viet Cong."

Dohrn became a key planner in the founding of the Venceremos Brigades. Ostensibly a "solidarity" program for US leftists to visit and support Castro's Cuba, the group was actually organized by Cuban intelligence as a covert attack on US security. Cuban secret police offered the "brigadistas" money, advice and logistical support. Some Americans were also given guerrilla warfare training and instructed in the use of weapons and explosives. While they were in Cuba, Huynh Van Ba, a representative of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (Viet Cong) advised his American allies to "look for the person who fights hardest against the cops." Dohrn stayed in telephone contact with Ba after returning home.

In his autobiography, Fugitive Days, Bill Ayers recalled the "Days of Rage" protests he helped to lead in the streets of Chicago in October 1969:
"...A small determined group suited up for battle...wearing...motorcycle or army-surplus helmets...goggles and gas masks, heavy boots and gloves...Most of us carried an arsenal of...steel pipes and sling shots, chains, clubs, mace, and rolls of pennies to add weight to the punch... our bonfire was full up, feeding on...splintered park benches.... The crowd roared...HO, HO, HO CHI MINH...Bernardine (Dohrn)...shouted, ‘BRING THE WAR HOME'."
Speaking before an SDS "National Action" conference in Cleveland, Ayers called "Days of Rage" "a strategy...that's going to help the NLF [National Liberation Front] concretely."

Ayers also led a group of rioters in an attack on the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington. The mob broke windows, smashed cars, and threw rocks, sticks, firecrackers and bottles at the Embassy. At one point, a counter-demonstrator grabbed a Viet Cong flag from the group and set it on fire. Ayers proudly recalled that he had "burned my left hand and broke my ring finger rescuing" the flag. In contrast, Ayers was later photographed for a New York Times profile standing on a crumpled US flag.

Working within the system

Ayers and Dohrn were fugitives from justice for several years, living "underground" with assistance from sympathetic fellow radicals. When they emerged, both were welcomed into the ranks of academia, where they quickly rose to positions of influence. Ayers is now a professor of education and a Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was recently elected vice-president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association, the largest US association of education professors and researchers. Dohrn, who is now married to Ayers, is an Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University, where she also directs the Children and Family Justice Center. She has participated in several key American Bar Association committees and boards and was a founding co-chair of the ABA's Children's Law Committee.

Ayers now uses his academic position and political connections to promote his theories of "progressive" education, a topic on which he has authored several books. In 1995, Ayers co-founded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a radical education reform project created to award grants to Chicago schools and "education networks." The grant-making non-profit handed out well over $100 million between 1995 and 2001, but failed to measurably improve the Chicago school system. Where all the money went may never be determined, but some of it was used to fund projects run by Ayers' radical friends.

For example, $175,000 went to former SDSer Mike Klonsky, who until recently was also a blogger at Obama's official campaign website. Before reinventing himself as an educator, Klonsky founded an American Maoist communist sect that worked with the Chinese communists. Among the organizations receiving funding from CAC were the community action group ACORN, the Arab American Action Network, Bernadine Dohrn's Children and Family Justice Center, and Trinity United Church, home base of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

The man Ayers and his friends chose as CAC's first board chairman was a little-known 33-year old associate at a small Chicago law firm, Barack Obama. Ayers himself co-chaired CAC's other operational arm, the "Collaborative." Ayers and Obama held their respective positions for more than four years, working closely together during that time. They also served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago for three years.

Their association extended beyond working hours. In 1995, Obama launched his first political campaign, for the Illinois State Senate, at Ayers and Dohrn's home in Hyde Park. In 1997, Obama endorsed Ayers' book on juvenile justice, and Michelle Obama hosted a panel discussion of the book in which Ayers and Barack Obama participated.

However, when asked to describe their relationship during the Philadelphia primary debate last April, Barack Obama recalled Ayers merely as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood."

Suppressing the evidence

Obama has been less than forthcoming with information that might shed light on these close associations in his past. Until quite recently, researchers have been blocked from accessing the document archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, now held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This delay has provided ample time to review and quite possibly sanitize the contents. When Klonsky was identified online earlier this year, all his posts at Obama's website were instantly deleted. Documentation concerning many aspects of Obama's life remains unavailable, including papers from his time in college and law school, medical records, law firm clients, and files as an Illinois State Senator.

Obama's campaign attorney has tried to suppress a TV ad that calls attention to his connection with Ayers, threatening the broadcast licenses of TV station managers and calling for the Justice Department to prosecute those who produced and financed the ad.

Throughout his life, Barack Obama has selected his mentors from the ranks of those who despise the United States. This common thread connects Hawaiian Communist Party organizer Frank Marshall Davis, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright ("God bless America? No, no... God DAMN America!") and the former Weatherman leaders, Ayers and Dohrn.

Did Ayers, Dohrn and their fellow domestic terrorists ever give up their revolutionary goal of destroying the "imperialist" America they hate? Or have they simply substituted new tools for the bombs and violence that were once the measure of their commitment?

- Scott Swett is the primary author of a new book on the 2004 presidential campaign, To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry. He is also webmaster for SwiftVets.com and WinterSoldier.com.

- Roger Canfield is the author of a forthcoming series of books on the antiwar movement:
Comrades in Arms: How the Ameri-Cong Won the Vietnam War Against the Common Enemy-America.


ACORN to probe itself in Michigan

More ACORN stories: here

Union-backed fraud looms over 2008 vote in key swing-states

As the November election draws near, elections officials say fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications seem to be a widespread problem in Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, most of the questionable applications have been submitted to local clerks by ACORN, a nationwide advocacy group for low and moderate-income families.

A spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State says her office has turned over several of the applications to the US Attorney's Office, but wouldn't confirm whether an investigation was taking place. A spokesman for the group says ACORN will conduct its own investigation, but adds that any problems were probably not intentional.


UFCW preps community organizers for Barack

UFCW To Train 500 Members From Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky For Massive Mobilization Effort At Political Conference In Dayton, Ohio

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), one of the largest unions in the country, will hold a regional membership mobilization political conference on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 in Dayton, Ohio to train 500 members in key battleground states -- Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky -- for a massive mobilization effort from now to Election Day. This conference will bring together hundreds of volunteers that will play a critical role in addressing the tough issues facing working families and turning out the critical working middle-class vote for Barack Obama in November.

Speakers at the opening session of the political conference will include former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus, UFCW national political campaign director Steven Powell, and UFCW International vice-president and director of Region 4 Larry Plumb.

DATE: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
TIME: 10:00 a.m. ET
LOCATION: Dayton Convention Center 22 E. Fifth Street
Dayton, Ohio.
PARTICIPANTS: Ray Mabus, Former Gov., D-Miss.
Steven Powell, Natl. Political Campaign Dir., UFCW
Larry Plumb, International vice-pres. and Region 4 Dir., UFCW


MM: GOP numb to community organizing fraud

More ACORN stories: here

Non-eligible voters set to defraud 2008 election

Barack Obama’s old friends at ACORN have been busy this election cycle. The McCain campaign had a golden opportunity to bring the left-wing, tax-subsidized con artists to light, but McCain’s already blown it with his effusive praise for Obama’s “outstanding” community organizer record last week at Columbia University.

Anyway, we forge ahead. Hoping the truth will get out there. Hoping that people will change their minds about Obama and his radical Chicago-based racket of election saboteurs and anti-free market thugs. Hoping that someone else in the MSM will start asking pointed questions about the $800,000 Obama failed to report in hidden payments to ACORN under the name of a left-wing non-profit front group.

Meanwhile, in Detroit:
Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families.

The majority of the problem applications are coming from the group ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has a large voter registration program among its many social service programs. ACORN’s Michigan branch, based in Detroit, has enrolled 200,000 voters statewide in recent months, mostly with the use of paid, part-time employees.

“There appears to be a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications,” said Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. “And it appears to be widespread.”
Yeah, duh.

And in Cleveland:
A national organization that conducts voter registration drives for low-income people has curtailed its push in Cuyahoga County after the Board of Elections accused its workers of submitting fraudulent registration cards.

The board is investigating the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Results of the inquiry could be turned over to the county prosecutor.

Board employees said ACORN workers often handed in the same name on a number of voter registration cards, but showing that person living at different addresses. Other times, cards had the same name listed, but a different date of birth. Still another sign of possible fraud showed a number of people living at an address that turned out to be a restaurant.

“I’m obviously very concerned,” Board Chairman Jeff Hastings said. “This goes to the essence of our democracy.”
Which is why the McCain campaign should be pressing Obama’s longtime ties to ACORN hard.

But they won’t.

John Fund has, though. And he’s updated his book, Stealing Elections, with the goods:
Election 2008 is poised to become worse than the Florida meltdown of 2000 as numerous factors foreshadow a replay of Florida’s court battles and recounts - but this time in more than one state.

In his book, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, seasoned columnist and political analyst John Fund reveals voter fraud scandals across the country that threaten to drag Election Day 2008 into Election Month. 10,000 lawyers have been recruited for Election Day ’08, and that’s just on the Democratic side. Voter fraud scandals everywhere from Seattle to Miami have rocked elections in the past several years and many of the problems encountered have not been resolved.

“This will be the first presidential election where the full impact of new federally-mandated provisional ballots will be felt,” said John Fund. “Any person who is not on the voter registration lists this November must be given a provisional ballot, which will be set aside and counted if found valid later. A tug of war over provisional ballots may be inevitable in key states where the margin of victory is no greater than the number of provisional ballots cast. Both campaigns would once again send squadrons of lawyers to any closely contested state to watch and argue as every single provisional ballot in the state is reviewed and a determination is made as to whether it should be counted. Results could once again be delayed for weeks after Election Day.”

Stealing Elections uncovers perhaps the most disturbing reason why this election’s credibility is in jeopardy. The Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama, is intimately linked to ACORN, a supposedly non-partisan voter registration organization that has had many of its activists indicted and convicted of voter fraud violations. Senator Obama has been involved with ACORN throughout his career and in turn, ACORN’s political arm has endorsed him while its “non-political arm” is “pledging to spend $35 million this year registering voters— most real but many fictional.”

Stealing Elections reveals shocking truths about how Barack Obama was supported by the notorious Chicago Daley machine that stops at nothing to win elections, how ACORN led “the worst case of voter-registration fraud” in Washington State’s history, and how the 2008 elections are on a collision course to create the perfect storm of controversy as disputed provisional votes, absentee ballots and an army of lawyers disputing results all converge in closely contested states.

Fund’s Stealing Elections reveals exclusive details including:

· Obama’s First Election: How Obama dismissed complaints of vote fraud even in notoriously dodgy Chicago precincts while at the same time owes his first political office to his ability to deploy lawyers and throw every single one of his opponents off the ballot.

· Voter Fraud Nation: Seattle, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, San Francisco, Miami, Milwaukee, St. Louis and many other cities may be front and center in the news as they seek to overcome past election SNAFUS and voter fraud controversies that if repeated could affect the outcome of the 2008 election.

· Incompetence: From the national level to city hall, voting precincts in many states are ill-prepared to handle the influx of absentee ballots, provisional votes and illegal voter registrations that could overwhelm election systems in many states this November.
Someone send a copy to Team McCain. They could use a clue.


IAM-Boeing strikers' gripes

Related IAM-Boeing stories: hereVideo: "IAM bigs prep Boeing clash"

Bad management: Staff out on strike v. union

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"

Is labor-state's largest union anti-worker?

Oregon Education Association professionals who help teachers in contract negotiations went on strike Monday against the union they represent, alleging unfair labor practices by the association's bargaining team and protesting proposed rollbacks in benefits.

The OEA Professional Staff Organization, a union of 42 members, led demonstrations throughout the state, including the Medford OEA office where about seven people picketed.

"It's never a happy time when you have to go on strike, but we also feel that if we don't stand up for our union how could we be trusted to stand up for others' unions?" said Jane Bilodeau, a Medford-based OEA consultant and PSO member.

OEA has 48,000 members, including teachers, school support staff members and college employees.

The PSO helps guide OEA members in collective bargaining, assists in teacher complaints, arranges arbitration between teachers and their employers and publishes newsletters about changes that could affect members. All of those services, however, are on hold pending a contract agreement.

The PSO's two-year employment contract expired on July 1.

The PSO and OEA bargaining teams met in May to begin negotiations. In mid-August, the OEA presented the PSO with a "last-best offer" in which retirement and medical benefits were scaled back. The offer also included an annual 4 percent cost-of-living pay raise and eliminated compensation time for overtime.

The PSO claimed the OEA circumvented the PSO's bargaining team, presenting the last-best offer directly to members, and tried to strong-arm the union into agreeing to terms before negotiations.

It also alleged that OEA refused to provide the union with medical insurance claim information it needed to craft a counterproposal.

The complaints were filed Thursday with the National Labor Relations Board, said Tom Husted, a PSO spokesperson.

The two bargaining teams also went to mediation Thursday but talks had broken down by the end of the week, Husted said.

The OEA denies it withheld information from the PSO bargaining team, said BethAnne Darby, OEA director of public relations.

"We are open to returning to the table to resolve the issues," Darby said. "We want the staff working with us, and we are sorry this is their choice, that they decided to go on strike."

Under the union's last contract, an employee with 10 years' experience or more would earn an annual salary of about $110,000, including a travel allowance and other incidentals.

About 75 percent of the union's members have 10 years-plus of experience, Darby said.

Husted said the bargaining teams' differences aren't related to salaries. The PSO's main concerns are increases in medical insurance premiums for employees, the elimination of compensation time and shrinking retirement benefits, he said.


Stern: We're better off with unions

Andy Stern stories: here

Striking teachers fail to hold the line

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

Saucon Valley sports will go on during teachers' strike

The Saucon Valley (PA) School District School Board says the show will go on for the district's interscholastic athletic programs even though district teachers are on strike. And while the district has found substitute head coaches for each of its sports, the teachers union has apparently backed down from an earlier mandate that coaches should not cross the picket line to coach.

"Members have been encouraged not to cross the [picket] line if they coach, so as a result, we don't know what's going on as to the coaches," said librarian Joanna Lemay, speaking for SVEA president Vivian Demko, who did not return phone calls seeking comment.

According to the Saucon Valley High School athletic department, 429 student-athletes from grades 7 though 12 participate in fall sports for the district. While coaches who are employed as teachers in the district can choose not to coach, those who aren't employed in a capacity other than coaching are under no obligation to honor the picket line.

"Right now, our entire fall sports schedule is to run as planned thanks to people in the community stepping up," Sandra Fellin, the Saucon Valley superintendent, said this afternoon

"Not all of our coaches are teachers," she added. "Many of those assistant coaches who are not staff are stepping up to coach. They get my whole-hearted thank you for keeping up normal activities including band and cheerleading -- for these students. After all, that's what these activities are for, the students."

Assistant football coach Ed Chromczak, who is not employed by the district other than as an assistant coach, has agreed to act as head coach during the strike, according to two sources.


Chicago-area teachers go out on strike

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

Forced labor-unionism states boast militants

The District 158 teachers' union in far northwest suburban Huntley early Monday morning turned down what school board members call a 17.8 percent salary increase. A teachers' strike was made official during the middle of the night, after more than 40 hours of negotiations between the two sides over the weekend failed to produce a full contract deal. Classes for the near 8,200 District 158 students have been canceled today.

Board member Larry Snow said early Monday morning that the sides had reconvened their ongoing negotiations meeting at about 3:15 a.m., while teachers' union leaders had told them their final decision to strike today. A previous deadline to inform families of school cancelation by 6 p.m. Sunday had been pushed back twice, first to 9 p.m. Sunday and then to 5:30 a.m. today, to allow for extra time to negotiate.

"It's extremely disappointing of the [Huntley Education Association] leaders," Snow said.

Union co-president Julie Hunter said a federal mediator is scheduled to be brought in Tuesday night, but no further negotiation meetings have been set yet.

"We couldn't reach an agreement," Hunter said early Monday of the decision to strike. "At this point, that's all we have planned."

According to a press release sent by union leaders at 3:49 a.m., the school board "has forced us to call this strike."

"The Board has the resources to meet our reasonable proposals without increasing taxes or engaging in deficit spending," the news release said. "Though the school board had promised to come to the bargaining table this weekend, statements in the press from the Board of Education suggest the outcome was predetermined and the Board intended to force the teachers out of the classrooms and onto the picket lines. "

The union, however, said it has made significant movement on a fair and competitive teachers' contract in recent talks. Union leaders say they stand ready to meet any time to resolve the strike, the news release said.

On the other hand, the board says union leadership "has repeatedly declared they would not strike as long as the board continued to negotiate," a 4 a.m. news release said.

"Despite that fact, the HEA leadership did not keep their promise to the families and students of District 158, and instead declared a strike," the release continued.

The school board and teachers union had agreed to a three-year "halfway" compromise offering each on-schedule teacher more than a 5 percent raise every contract year. Those in the top-tier previously scheduled to get a 2-percent raise, would be bumped to get 4 percent the first year and 3.5 percent in years two and three.

Retirement contribution would also be considered in part of the raises, the board said, but a specific amount was not detailed. The 17.8 percent figure cited by school board members is for the life of the three-year contract proposal.


Experts: Boeing strike harms unionized workers

Related IAM-Boeing stories: hereVideo: "IAM bigs prep Boeing clash"
More strike stories: here

Militant unionists kiss away future work opportunities

Given the ever-slackening US economy and mass layoffs at several airlines and manufacturers, one would think now wouldn't be the best time for labor unions to take a hard line in demanding better and compensation. For the most part, you'd be right... but workers on strike at Boeing say they have the power.

As we enter the second week of a strike at the American planemaker by some 27,000 workers represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, so far there's little sign either side will budge in their efforts. IAM representatives tell The Associated Press the union is prepared to go the distance in forcing Boeing to sweeten its previous contract offers.

Considering Boeing's record $4.1 billion profit last year, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger says the planemaker can indeed afford to reward the people who assemble its planes.

Mark Blondin, chief negotiator for the IAM in talks with Boeing, adds other unions are watching the IAM strike for pointers on how to take a hard line in labor talks ... and most are supportive of IAM's efforts, despite the fact machinists are already some of the best-paid workers in the industry.

In particular, those unions support IAM's efforts to cull Boeing's increasing reliance on outsourced production to overseas companies.

"I've had nothing but encouragement from other unions," Blondin said. "[The strike] raises the bar in the community. It's going to help everybody in this community, if not the country."

Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst for the Teal Group, says the specialized nature of the work machinists perform for Boeing gives them additional bargaining clout... as the planemaker cannot produce aircraft without them, nor can they quickly find qualified replacements.

"This is America's last successful major heavy industry," Aboulafia said. "As a result, the workers have a lot more power ... and they're taking advantage of that power."

That's precisely the problem, counters University of Maryland international business professor Peter Morici. He says unions are cutting off their noses to spite their faces, as continued labor strife will only convince Boeing to send more work overseas, where labor actions are few and far between.

"This is a good example of why manufacturing is leaving the country," Morici said. "This is like the UAW in the '50s."

IAM's Buffenbarger maintains the union is working to avoid that very scenario. "This is the time to secure the future," he said. "Somebody's got to break the mold of this outsourcing."


Strikers betray unions' ugly legacy: Racism

More union racism stories: hereMore strike stories: here

Collective bargaining disputes show union organizers at their worst

Striking workers at a Moncure factory say a noose was hung over the weekend near one of the sites where they picket. Union members at Moncure Plywood in Chatham County have been on strike since late July. On Saturday, they said, a noose made of red rope appeared. It dangled from a piece of machinery just inside the plant's gate until Monday morning, when someone inside the plant removed it.

"It was visible for anyone to see," said Wade Crump, an 18-year plant employee who was picketing outside the plant Monday. "It was racist."

Crump said about 60 percent of the plant's union members are black, and 30 percent are Hispanic.

Plant managers could not be reached for comment Monday.


AFSCME bus drivers out on strike

Bus drivers still on strike for forced dues

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

Labor-states boast higher incidence of work-stoppages

The strike between union bus drivers and the Portage Area (OH) Regional Transportation Authority is entering its fourth week with no conclusion in sight. The union representing the striking drivers recently started making direct appeals to county residents. Automated telephone calls asked residents to contact PARTA and ask them to give the drivers a contract.

PARTA spokesman Frank Hairston said the bus service had gotten about three dozen calls as a result. While the union was asking for support, about a third of the calls were in support of PARTA, Hairston said.

At PARTA's Summit Road entrance, picketers walked the line this week with passing motorists honking in support.

"The public response has been amazing," said Trina Molnar, field representative for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees.

"Money, food, cases of water -- people are bringing us hot meals. The people who live in this area have been so kind to the people on the picket line. It's so incredible and so appreciated," Molnar said.

In the latest move, OAPSE Local 037 is contending that PARTA has locked out the striking drivers. The union claims some 65 drivers as members.

Hairston said 20 drivers (15 part- and 5 full-time) are crossing the picket line to work on a regular basis. PARTA has about 212 employees.

"We're providing the transportation that's needed here in Portage County," Hairston said.

Molnar said a determination hearing is set for Sept. 22 by the State Employee Relations Board. If SERB finds in favor of the union, then unemployment benefits will be paid to striking workers, Molnar said.

As of Sept. 1, striking workers lost their PARTA benefits, including health coverage.

An unfair labor practice charge by the union against PARTA is still pending. If SERB finds in favor of the union, then PARTA will have to pay wages to striking drivers, Molnar said.

An earlier charge by PARTA against OAPSE was dismissed this summer.
PARTA and OAPSE are split over the issue of "fair share," which requires nonunion drivers to pay a percentage of their gross pay, estimated by the union at 2 percent, to the union as an "administrative fee."

PARTA carries some 7,700 riders daily, with about 5,700 coming from bus service on the Kent State University campus.

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