Obama's Organizers: The Rat Patrol

More ACORN stories: here collectivism: here Alinsky: here

Part Four of a series: "What did Barack Obama teach ACORN?"
Read the entire series: here

Saul Alinsky: the purpose of community organizing "is to get rid of four-legged rats so we can get on to removing two-legged rats."

What does it take to be a good community organizer? When Barack Obama trained community organizers for an ACORN subsidiary, Project Vote, he taught from the 1971 book 'Rules for Radicals', by the late socialist Saul Alinsky.

Although he attended Occidental College, and graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama calls his Alinskyite experience "the best education I ever had." In the photo above-left, Obama is teaching Alinsky's principles of "Power Analysis" and "Relationships built on self-interest" as seen written upon the blackboard [click photo to enlarge.] This post contains another selection from Alinsky's "playbook of the Left."

Let's find out more about the man expected to be elected President of the United States next month.

The selection, below, reveals:

• The long term goal of community organizers is creating a national popular force.
• Community organizers come from all walks of life and are generally undistinguished.
• Labor union organizers make poor community organizers.
• The purpose of community organizing "is to get rid of four-legged rats so we can get on to removing two-legged rats"
excerpted from "Rules for Radicals", by Saul Alinsky: The Education of an Organizer

The building of many mass power organizations to merge into a national popular power force cannot come without many organizers. Since organizations are created, in large part, by the organizer, we must find out what creates the organizer. This as been the major problem of my years of organizational experience: the finding of potential organizers and their training. For the past two years I have had a special training school for organizers with a full-time, fifteen-month program.

Its students have ranged from middle-class women activists to Catholic priests and Protestant ministers of all denominations, from militant Indians to Chicanos to Puerto Ricans to blacks from all parts of the black power spectrum, from Panthers to radical philosophers, from a variety of campus activists, S.D.S. and others, to a priest who was joining a revolutionary party in South America. Geographically they have come from campuses and Jesuit seminaries in Boston to Chicanos from tiny Texas towns, middle-class people from Chicago and Hartford and Seattle, and almost every place in between. An increasing number of students com from Canada, from the Indians of the northwest to the middle class of the maritime Provinces. For years before the formal school was begun, I spent most of my time on the education as an organizer of every member of my staff. [...]

As I look back on the results of those years, they seem to be a potpourri, with, I would judge, more failures than successes. Here and there are organizers who are outstanding in their chosen fields and are featured by the press as my trained 'proteges', but to me the overall record has been unpromising.

Those out of their local communities who were trained on the job achieved certain levels and were at the end of their line. If one thinks of an an organizer as a highly imaginative and creative architect and engineer then the best we have been able to train on the job were skilled plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, all essential to the building and maintenance of their community structure but incapable of going elsewhere to design and execute a new structure in a new community.

Then there were others who learned to be outstanding organizers in particular kinds of communities with particular ethnic groups but in a difference scene with different ethnic groups couldn't organize their way out of a paper bag.

Then there were those rare campus activists who could organize a substantial number of students - but they were utter failures when it came to trying to communicate with and organize low-middle-class workers.

Labor union organizers turned out to be poor community organizers. Their experience was tied to a pattern of fixed points, whether it was definite demands on wages, pensions, vacation periods, or other working conditions, and all of this was anchored into particular contract dates. Once the issues were settled and a contract signed, the years before the next contract negotiation held only grievance meetings about charges on contract violations y either side. Mass organization is a different animal, it is not housebroken. There are no fixed chronological points or definite issues. The demands are always changing; the situation is fluid and ever-shifting; and many of the goals are not in concrete terms of dollars and hours but are psychological and constantly changing, like "such stuff as dreams are made on." I have seen labor organizers almost out of their minds from the community organizing scene.

Among the organizers I trained and failed with, there were some who memorized the worlds and the related experiences and concepts. Listening to them was like listening to a tape; playing back my presentation word for word. Clearly there was little understanding' clearly, the y could not do more than elementary organization. The problem with so may of them was and is their failure to understand that a statement of a specific situation is significant only in its relationship to and its illumination of a general concept. Instead they see the specific action as a terminal point. they find it difficult to grasp the fact that no situation ever repeats itself, that no tactic can be precisely the same.

Then there were those who had trained in schools of social work to become community organizers. Community organization 101, 102, and 103. They had done "field work" and acquired even a specialized vocabulary. They cal it "C.O." (which to use means Conscientious Objector) or "Community Org." (which to us evokes a huge Freudian fantasy.) Basically the difference between their goals and ours is that they organize to get rid of four-legged rats and stop there; we organize to get rid of four-legged rats so we can get on to removing two-legged rats. Among those who, disillusioned, reject the formalized garbage they learned in school, the odds are heavily against their developing into effective organizers. One reason is that despite their verbal denunciations of their past training there is a strong subconscious block against repudiating two to three years of life spent in this training, as well as the financial cost of these courses.

Daily Kos rips ACORN over social justice fraud

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

The Left's Problem with ACORN, or: We can't afford to let them crack our nuts

A note on this post: I am proudly supporting Barack Obama and I have been volunteering where I can. I want him to win and at this point I am allowing myself to believe that he will. But that doesn't change the fact that it will still be harder than it needs to. One big reason is the community group called ACORN, which right now I'm sorry to say is more trouble than they are worth. More tough love below the fold.

Related video: "New ACORN stain: 'Social justice' fraud"

Because McCain and Palin can’t fix our economy, come up with a health care plan that doesn’t enrich insurance companies while shortchanging the sick and needy, or do anything but spout platitudes about global warming (sure McCain believes in it, but Palin would charge Mother Earth for a rape kit), because of all this they are attacking Obama increasingly over his previous representation of ACORN and giving Faux News plenty of ammo to hit Democrats.

First: community organizing is hard work and people who belittle it can screw themselves. I've done it, and it's rewarding but definitely not for everyone. But it needs to be done, and ACORN has long been the biggest.

But their serious work is becoming overshadowed by negative press in a way that is entirely fixable: more stories this year of registering a 7-year-old in Connecticut, a 14-year-old in North Carolina, and even dead people in Wisconsin.

Notwithstanding the important difference between voter fraud and voter registration fraud, this is ridiculous. ACORN has embarrassed Obama this election after doing so to Kerry in 2004 and embarrassing itself for the third straight election. It’s time for us to offer some tough love and demand they clean up the registration efforts.

I was reminded of this need when I flipped over for my occasional voyeuristic click to Faux News (advance apologies for the source material) where I saw interviewed this guy, a registered Democrat, who is trying to clean up ACORN:

A lot of us get queasy about criticizing our own, but I agree that we’ve gotten to a point where silence on ACORN’s activities allows the right wing to tar everyone and turn them into a much bigger issue than they should be.

So I suggest this as a game plan: Kick ass on election day, and on November 5 send a quiet note to ACORNs bosses telling them to clean it up! Impose some quality controls and not get called out over stupid registration irregularities. Let's make sure that we’re not dealing with the same B.S. in President Obama's re-election campaign.

- Interrobanger


SEIU members ignore strike order

More SEIU stories: hereUHW: here strike stories: here

Barackonomics: Out-of-step unions' destructive power on display

Most employees showed up for work Monday despite a union's call for a one-day strike at hospitals in Hemet and Menifee and a skilled nursing facility in Hemet, officials said.

About 200 members of the SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West signed in to participate in the picketing, according to Alex Espinoza, lead organizer for the union unit that represents about 750 employees in Valley Health System, the public hospital district that operates the health care facilities.

But as of 5 p.m., hospital district spokeswoman Jerri Randrup said only 43 workers called in and specified they would not work because of the strike.

The strike was called in a dispute over wages, benefits and potential work condition changes from what is in a tentative contract. The district is in bankruptcy and gave a smaller pay increase than the contract calls for, and is requiring employees to pay part of the premium if they want family members covered by their medical insurance.

About 20 hospital workers picketed at the entrance to Menifee Valley Medical Center Monday morning, waving signs at traffic that read: "Be Fair to Those Who Care" and "Patients before Profits."

Besides pay and benefits issues, some expressed concerns about the loss of veteran staff members to higher-paying jobs elsewhere and the strain on the quality of patient care due to staffing levels.

Mary Nixon, a longtime certified nursing assistant at Menifee, said she is charged with cleaning and bathing, feeding, changing and checking the vital signs of 15 to 16 patients on the second floor. "I hit the floor running and I don't stop until I get off," Nixon said of her usual 12-hour shift.

In Hemet, the union set up at the corner of San Jacinto and Devonshire avenues and motorists honked as they drove by. Almost 50 pickets from Hemet Valley Medical Center and Menifee gathered trying to hold on to signs as gusts of wind forced organizers to take down two pop-up awnings.

Reagan Jackson, a registered nurse in telemetry at Menifee for three years, expressed concerns about "cutbacks affecting health care services." The mother of three brought her 11-month-old daughter, Sumayah, because Jackson said, "She wants everyone to know her mom can't afford to buy her health insurance."

Inside the Hemet hospital, employees interviewed said they came to work because they need to earn a living in tough economic times and care for patients.

"In order to get, you've got to give, and right now the hospital isn't in a position to give everything we need," said Roy Cachu, a part-time unit secretary who is studying to become a respiratory therapist.

"It's a financial decision," Anthony Dorado said of his showing up to work. The Hemet emergency room technician is sole support for his wife who is disabled.

Hospital administrators contacted the police in Hemet and sheriff in Menifee when pickets blocked driveways, but the strikers dispersed and no incidents were reported, officials said. Extra security was on duty.

Annette Greenwood, administrator at Hemet, and Rick Dicapo, administrator in Menifee, spent part of their day checking on employees. "The morale is very high today," Dicapo said by phone.

Greenwood and Dicapo, who still are licensed registered nurses despite years in management, dressed in scrubs just in case they needed to use their skills.


Fact: Obama opposes workers' voting rights

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

So-called 'Free Choice' would impose unions on disinterested workers without a secret-ballot election

The Statement: In a speech Monday, October 13, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain took on Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's stance on unions. "Senator Obama is measuring the drapes (in the White House), and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to … take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections," he said.

The Facts: McCain is referring to a plan supported by labor union leaders. Currently, workers must get a majority of their colleagues to sign an authorization form to ask for union representation — then hold a secret-ballot vote to finalize it. The change Obama supports would let a union be recognized by the National Labor Relations Board immediately after a majority of workers sign the authorization.

Supporters of the change, including the AFL-CIO and other unions, say it would cut down on the ability of employers to pressure their workers to vote against a union. Business groups, meanwhile, say the opposite — that the secret ballot allows workers who don't want to unionize to publicly sign off on the plan, pleasing union leaders, then privately vote against it.

The change is part of the Employee Free-Choice Act, which Obama co-sponsored. The plan is designed to make it easier to create unions in the workplace, and both supporters and opponents agree it would increase the number of union members in the United States. Backers say it will lead to better wages and benefits for workers and increase the size of the middle class, while opponents say it will hurt businesses by costing them more at a time when profits for many are already thin.

The bill passed the House last year by a vote of 241-185. It was also supported in the Senate, 51-48 — but that didn't reach the 60 votes that would have been needed to survive a filibuster on a final vote. That's also not enough to override a veto by President Bush, who is against it. Obama and running mate Sen. Joe Biden voted on June 26, 2007, to move the bill forward, while McCain voted against it.

Verdict: True. McCain accurately represents Obama's stance, although the candidates disagree on the merits of the plan. Organized labor backs Obama's position, while business groups and some non-union workers support McCain's.


Looking forward to 'union-only' fascism

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Dems: Surprise, you're unionized!

John McCain trails Barack Obama and shows no signs, at the moment anyway, of propelling himself into the lead. Democrats lead in eight Senate seats currently held by Republicans and are close in three others. In the House, Republicans once thought they'd lose only 5 to 10 seats. Now things look worse.

Thanks particularly to the month-long financial crisis, Republicans are in extremely poor shape with the election three weeks away. This means the worst case scenario is now a distinct possibility: a Democrat in the White House, a Democratic Senate with a filibuster-proof majority, and a Democratic House with a bolstered majority.

If this scenario unfolds, Washington would become a solidly liberal town again for the first time in decades. And the prospects of passing the liberal agenda--nearly all of it--would be bright. Enacting major parts of it would be even brighter. You can forget about bipartisanship.

Start with "card check." It would permit organized labor to unionize the private sector without winning a certification election by secret ballot. It's easy to get workers to sign cards saying they want a union, but it's hard to get them to vote that way when labor organizers aren't hounding them. Card check is labor's last hope for more dues-paying union members.

Unions simply aren't popular and neither is card check. But it passed the House last year, only to be blocked in the Senate by a Republican filibuster. In 2009, with Washington controlled by Democrats, it would sail through Congress and President Obama would sign it. After all, neither Obama nor congressional Democrats have bucked organized labor even once.

Then Democrats might go after a longstanding target of big labor, section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act. It allows states to enact right-to-work laws, which bar workers from being forced to join a union. Twenty-two states have right-to-work laws.

The liberal scheme for killing conservative talk radio--the so-called fairness doctrine--would stand an excellent chance of becoming law. It would require radio stations to offer equal time, for free, to anyone seeking to reply to broadcasts featuring political opinion. To remain profitable, many stations would have to drop conservative talk shows, a major medium for communicating conservative ideas, rather than give up hours of free time. Obama has said he opposes the fairness doctrine. But would he veto it? Not likely.

Obama would nominate liberals to fill Supreme Court vacancies--no doubt about that--with the strong likelihood they'd be confirmed. As a senator, he voted against John Roberts and Sam Alito. And free trade agreements would become a thing of the past, given liberal and labor opposition.

What about Obama's health care plan? He's described it as step or two away from a single payer, government-run health system like Canada's. While expensive, its chances of passage would be quite good.

A bad economy, however, might keep Obama and his allies in Congress from passing his entire package of tax increases and his "cap and trade" proposal for curbing the emission of greenhouse gases. Obama has called for increasing the tax rate on capital gains, dividends, and the income of top earners, and raising the cap on payroll taxes. But tax hikes would worsen, not stimulate, a weak economy. So that might make Democrats balk--except they might not. For liberals, requiring the well-to-do to pay higher taxes is a matter of ideology.

So is cap and trade. It would drive up the cost of energy, another downer for the economy, but Democrats believe it's necessary to save the planet. Besides, the environmental lobby would demand cap and trade's enactment. And environmentalists have as tight a grip on Democrats as labor does. Obama has never crossed environmentalists.

As for foreign and national security policy, there'd be nothing stopping President Obama from doing what he wanted in a liberal-dominated Washington, including a quick troop exit from Iraq and presidential-level talks with anti-American dictators. Congress would go along. The media would cheer.

But who knows? Maybe McCain and Republicans will rally their forces and keep the worst from happening--the worst, that is, from a conservative standpoint. The campaign has changed direction twice in less than two months, first when McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, then when the financial panic hit. There could be a third game changer.

If not, we face the liberal deluge.

- Fred Barnes


Unions, Dems back fascistic labor-union policy

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

So-called 'Free Choice' would impose unions on disinterested workers without a secret-ballot election

Controversial federal legislation targeting unions is drawing solid support from union leadership and staid distain from some workers and business leaders.

The Employee Free Choice Act says that if a majority of workers sign their names to cards favoring a union, timelines for bargaining are automatically set. After 90 days, a union could apply for arbitration, and at 120 days, the matter would go to an arbitrator. The arbitrator would decide on wages, working conditions and other issues.

That contract would then be put in place for the period originally consented to by both sides for the contract they had failed to complete negotiating.

The legislation is currently bogged down in Congress, but national union groups are spending money on ad campaigns to keep the issue in the forefront.

"The Employee Free Choice Act is good for workers. Period," said Vince Beltrami, president of the Alaska AFL-CIO, the state's largest organized union.

Joey Merrick, business manager for Laborers Local 341 in Anchorage, supports the new legislation, which he feels will offer workers a speedier method of unionizing, should they choose to.

"If people want to be union, they should be. If they don't want to be, they don't have to be," he said.

Glenn Spencer, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the measure is a dramatic rewrite of the nation's labor laws.

"We think it's one-sided," he said. "Every position is designed to take shots at employers. It denies the employer the ability to make their case to workers during union-organizing campaigns. With the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) everybody gets a chance to make their case."

But union leaders say the current methods gives employers the upper hand as businesses try to keep unions out. Employees seeking a union are a captive audience when employers call meetings and go through a playbook of reasons why they shouldn't form a union, Beltrami said. John Palmatier, executive secretary treasurer of the Alaska Regional Council of Carpenters, which represents all carpenter unions in the state, agreed.

Those opposing the measure, including some longtime union workers, say their biggest concern is the loss of the secret ballot method historically used. Conducted similar to a government election for, say president, a ballot is filled out privately, with only the person casting the ballot knowing its contents. No names are attached.


GOP candidate mentions EFCA

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Most folks don't know that Obama wants to end secret-ballot union elections in order to impose unions on disinterested workers

Three weeks before Election Day, John McCain on Monday unveiled a feisty new stump speech in which he portrayed himself as a scrappy fighter on the comeback trail against an opponent who’s already “measuring the drapes” in the Oval Office.

Appearing in Virginia Beach with his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain said to applause that "what America needs in this hour is a fighter, someone who puts all his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people."

"Now, my friends, let me give you the state of the race today and some straight talk," McCain said. "We have 22 days to go. We're six points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending — take away your right to vote by secret ballot and labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq — and concede defeat in Iraq. Our troops — my friends, I won't concede defeat. I'll bring our troops home with victory and with honor."

The audience responded with chants of: "John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!"

Referring to his more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, McCain continued: " I know what fear feels like. It's a thief in the night who robs your strength. I know what hopelessness feels like. It's an enemy who defeats your will. I've felt those things once before. I will never let them in again. [Applause]I'm an American, and I choose to fight."

McCain was appearing Monday in Virginia and North Carolina — two states that are usually safe for Republicans in presidential races and that he should have put away long ago. But Barack Obama is pouring visits and staff into the former Confederacy, and he has caught McCain in many Southern polls.

Nationally, the Real Clear Politics average has Obama up 7.3 points. A Washington Post-ABC News Poll out Monday morning gives Obama a yawning 10-point lead, while a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll shows Obama up just four points.

The reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is part of a new Republican effort to warn voters of the consequences of having one party dominate all of Washington, as Democrats would if Obama won in a landslide that helped his party rack up wider congressional margins.

"I know you're worried," McCain told the crowd. "America is a great country. We're in a moment of national crisis that will determine our future. Will we continue to lead the world's economies, or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours? My answer to you is, yes, yes we will lead, yes we will prosper, yes, we will be safer, yes, we will pass onto our children a better, stronger country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage, with wisdom. "

The audience chanted, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

The McCain campaign is beset from all sides. William Kristol, the influential conservative commentator, has a column in today’s New York Times with the headline “Fire the Campaign” and the lead: “It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign. He has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s.”

The third and final presidential debate is Wednesday at Hofstra University, the largest private school on Long Island, N.Y. After that high-stakes encounter moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News, McCain’s chances of changing the dynamics of the race dramatically diminish.


State elections officials behind the ACORN curve

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

It's probably too late to prevent 2008 from being the most fraudulent presidential election in U.S. history

As the Republican furor over ACORN and voter fraud continues to heat up nationally, there are two local developments in Democratic counties in swing states that are worth noting. In Lake County, Indiana, where the GOP has already tried to prevent the opening of early voting sites in minority areas, the secretary of state has now asked the state attorney general and federal prosecutors to investigate ACORN for voter fraud.

Secretary of State Todd Rokita wrote a letter to fellow Republican, AG Steve Carter on Friday, stating that he had received "secured credible evidence" of voter fraud perpetuated by ACORN, the AP reports. "There looks to be some felonious actions taken here," Rokita said to reporters. "I think the message to the voters and taxpayers of this state is that we're watching, and we're not going to tolerate the kind of behavior in the state."

ACORN responded on Friday saying that they themselves had "identified approximately 2,100 cards in Lake County that we believe were problematic."

"We are the victim here because we have identified the problem, and now certain interests are turning that information against us," Brian Kettenring, a spokesman for ACORN said.

And Lake County isn't the only Democratic stronghold in a swing state to be targeted with voter fraud accusations. The bipartisan Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, a county which contains Cleveland, held hearings today and voted unanimously to ask the county prosecutor to investigate multiple registrations of individuals registered by ACORN, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Four people were subpoenaed in front of the board this morning, testifying that they had been asked to register multiple times by ACORN solicitors.

Katy Gall, the ACORN director for Ohio, said that they had cooperated with the investigation and would terminate the employment of anyone found soliciting multiple registrations.

No charges have been filed against ACORN in either state and in Indiana, the attorney general has yet to respond to Rokita's request Friday for an investigation.


News Union on strike!

Related: "Spotlight: The Newspaper Guild"
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ACORN boosts Obama

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group registers a 7-year old

O'jahnae Smith is ready and registered to vote this November. There's only one problem: She's 7 years old. The Connecticut girl is 11 years too young - and nobody in her family knows how she ended up on a voter registration form submitted by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

"She's registered to vote?" said a surprised Jerome Smith, O'jahnae's teenage brother. "She's too young to vote."

But that didn't stop someone from forging the child's signature on a voter registration card and giving her a fake birth date that upped her age to 27. The family told The Post a drug-addicted relative may have given the bogus card to ACORN.

Voter registration fraud complaints like these continue to mount for the group, already under scrutiny in 11 states where hundreds, if not thousands, of new registrations are being questioned.

ACORN volunteers have been found to register dead people and even put members of the Dallas Cowboys on Nevada lists.

The community organizing group has a long history of flooding low- and middle-income neighborhoods in election years with temporary workers instructed to register 20 to 25 voters per day - or risk getting fired.

Most states prohibit paying per signature, but ACORN workers earning $8 to $9 an hour still have to hit their quotas. And many need the money - including some ex-cons in work-release programs.

ACORN's controversial tactics have fueled John McCain's criticism of Barack Obama, whose campaign paid an ACORN spinoff - Community Services Inc. - about $800,000 to knock on doors and urge people to vote for Obama in four key primary states: Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

In his pre-politics days, Obama ran the Illinois chapter of Project Vote in 1992, before it hooked up with ACORN.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis on Friday called for a freeze on taxpayer dollars to ACORN until recent allegations have been investigated.

Meanwhile, state authorities in New Mexico, Indiana, Missouri, Connecticut, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada have launched probes of bogus voter registration forms filed by ACORN.

Roberta Casteel, a nurse, is one of several dozen Nevada voters caught in the web of fake ACORN registrations. Casteel, a registered voter since 1991, was shocked to receive a letter rejecting a voter application she didn't know she'd made.

Authorities said they'd received two voter applications in her name: one as a Democrat and one as an independent. Both cards had her address, date of birth and Social Security number, and were submitted by ACORN workers. Neither signature matched her original one on file.

A former ACORN worker in Pennsylvania has already been charged with 17 counts of identity theft and forgery.

Other states are sifting through cartons of suspicious forms.

The ACORN shenanigans likely won't rise to actual voting fraud, stressed election law expert Terri Enns at Ohio State University.

"ACORN's problematic registrations create extra work for election boards, because they have to check them, but it's not double voting," she said.



More ACORN stories: herefraud stories: here

ABC's Jake Tapper rips Obama over ACORN

Related: "ABC News scores Barack, unions for hypocrisy"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed candidate deceives about his connections to union-backed voter-fraud group

As reports pile up of voter registration fraud connected to ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, a group that advocates for low-income voters – the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has sought to downplay his past ties with the group.

But in their efforts to do, Obama campaign officials found themselves forced last week to correct an erroneous assertion made on the campaign’s “Fight the Smears” webpage that “Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.”

That wasn’t true.

In fact, ACORN spokesman Lewis Goldberg told the New York Times that Obama conducted two unpaid leadership training sessions for ACORN’s Chicago affiliate in the late 1990s.

The “Fight the Smears” website now asserts, "Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.”

Key word: hired.

Goldberg told the Times that Obama’s work for ACORN was unpaid.

You can see the old version HERE and the new version HERE.

Moreover, Obama also represented ACORN and other groups in the mid 1990s as an attorney suing the state of Illinois to uphold the federal Motor Voter law. The governor and other officials of the State of Illinois were refusing to comply with the law on the ground that it was unconstitutional.


Further confusing the length and depth of the Obama-ACORN relationship was the discovery by conservative bloggers of an error-riddled story in the journal Social Policy featuring not only a 2004 photograph of Obama and ACORN members but an essay called “Case Study: Chicago- The Barack Obama Campaign” written Toni Foulkes, a Chicago ACORN Leader.

"Obama started building the base years before,” Foulkes wrote in her 2004 essay. “For instance, ACORN noticed him when he was organizing on the far south side of the city with the Developing Communities Project. He was a very good organizer. When he returned from law school, we asked him to help us with a lawsuit to challenge the state of Illinois’ refusal to abide by the National Voting Rights Act, also known as motor voter. Allied only with the state of Mississippi, Illinois had been refusing to allow mass-based voter registration according to the new law. Obama took the case, known as ACORN vs. Edgar (the name of the Republican governor at the time) and we won. Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5000 of them).”

Foulkes messed up the chronology in that account, making it sound earlier than it had occurred. The Motor Voter Law was passed in 1993, the lawsuit was brought in 1995.

Additionally, press accounts from the time of the Illinois Project Vote voter registration drive put the number of new voters registered at 150,000, not 50,000.

Still, that doesn't seem to square with the Obama campaign's assertion that "Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992."

Foulkes went on to note that “since then,” ACORN had “invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for State Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends."

Obama’s losing congressional campaign was in 2000, not 1996.


Further adding to the confusion were rather questionable charges coming from the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., which has sought to portray Obama’s training sessions in just about the most negative light imaginable.

In a conference call, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis urged reporters to ask Obama of the ACORN training sessions, “What were you teaching them? Were you teaching them how to evade the law?”

"Were you teaching them how to evade the law?" ???

Excuse me?

Davis also incorrectly asserted that when Obama represented ACORN he was standing “against the State of Illinois and the federal government.”

Actually, the Justice Department was a co-plaintiff with ACORN in the suit.

- Jake Tapper


Florida cries 'Foul' over ACORN registrations

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter-fraud group annoys Sunshine State officials

Central Florida Republicans are accusing the left-leaning group ACORN of trying to hijack the upcoming election.

ACORN has been working to register voters but some of the forms it has brought to elections offices have been filled with problems. Complaints include everything from voter registration forms that were filled out with illegible handwriting, to forms that were completely made up.

With the help of ACORN, someone named Davonte Rogers filled out 21 different voter registration forms. Some had wrong phone numbers, others phony addresses. In fact, it's questionable whether Davonte Rogers even exists. Some say he may have been made up by Orange County ACORN workers who were paid to collect registration forms.

Problems such as this prompted Orange County's Supervisor of Elections to send the group a letter saying its workers are "hurting the very people ACORN intends to help."

In Seminole County, a man's party registration was changed without him knowing.

Local Republicans are crying foul.

"I think ACORN is an apologetic, quasi-criminal group full of folks who are really trying to hijack the election," said Jason Brodeur, the McCain/Palin '08 Seminole County Chairman.

But ACORN says out of the more 15,000 new Florida voters it registered this year, there have been few errors. The group says it goes to extensive lengths to check the validity of paperwork and workers even flag registration forms found with problems for election offices. If the group finds a bad form, it is still legally obligated to turn it in.

"This is just a ploy of the right wing, the RNC, the Republicans and John McCain to suppress the vote," said LeRoy Bell of ACORN.

ACORN says it does require its workers to reach certain goals. However, in the cases locally where it appears that phony forms have been turned in ACORN said it fired or disciplined the employees involved. It has more than 13,000 paid people who canvass.


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Barack Obama lies about his ACORN past while agreeing to let the group shape the policies of his administration. He hopes his community organizer pals will help him make America "less mean-spirited."

As far back as Harvard Law School, Obama dreamed of transforming America in the image of community organizations such as ACORN with whom and for whom he trained.

In the May 3, 1990, edition of Chicago's Daily Herald newspaper, there's an article in which Obama, while attending Harvard Law School, gives his skewed view of American society and his plans for it. "I'm interested in organizations, not movements," the young Obama said, "because movements dissipate but organizations don't."

Through these organizations, Obama hoped that "more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we're going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous."

Less mean-spirited? Apparently wife Michelle isn't the only one who thinks America is mean and should be more generous with other people's money. "I hope to be part of a transformation of this country," Obama also said in 1990.

Of course, Obama denies being a trainer for ACORN and its staff of community rabble-rousers now engaged in massive countrywide vote fraud to elect the man who helped lead their effort to force banks to issue loans to people who could not afford them.

Obama's Web site proclaims, "Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity." Then how is it that Chicago ACORN leader Toni Foulkes sang Obama's praises for his work for ACORN in his article, "Case Study: Chicago — The Barack Obama Campaign," which appeared in Social Policy magazine in 2004?

Foulkes said ACORN first recognized Obama's talents as a community organizer when he was organizing on Chicago's far south side with the Developing Communities Project.

Foulkes wrote: "When he returned from law school, we asked him to help us with a lawsuit to challenge the state of Illinois' refusal to abide by the National Voting Rights Act . . . . Obama took the case, known as ACORN vs. Edgar . . . and we won."

Then Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar balked at implementing the new federal "Motor Voter" law out of concern that allowing people to register via postcard and blocking the state from pruning voter rolls might invite vote fraud. We wonder where he got that idea.

Foulkes says that "Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Mosely Braun to win the Senate that year. Project Vote delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5,000 of them)."

ACORN was so impressed with Obama's work with and for ACORN that, according to Foulkes, "Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office."

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

Obama appreciates ACORN's work so much, and vice versa, that Obama last December promised to implement ACORN's agenda as president. On Dec. 1, 2007, Obama spoke at the Heartland Democratic Presidential Forum organized by Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change. When asked if Obama would sit down with community organizers in the first 100 days of his presidency, Obama said, "Yes, but let me even say before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we'll be calling all of you (community organizers) in to help us shape the agenda."

Obama pledged before leaders of community organizing groups including Gamaliel and ACORN: "We're gonna be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America."

That's what we were afraid of.


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