How Obama organized America: Alinsky-style

More ACORN stories: here collectivism: here Alinsky: here

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

Ace community organizer Barack Obama has created a cadre to wrest power from The Establishment.

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.

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:

• People are naturally suspicious of community organizers
• Community organizers need to stoke common socialist "class" grievances.
• Community organizers must show themselves to be "fighters."
• Community organizers must employ power and fear to gain the faith of the "lower class."
excerpted from "Rules for Radicals", by Saul Alinsky: In the Beginning
In the beginning the incoming organizer must establish his identity or, putting it another way, get his license to operate. He must have a reason for being there - a reason acceptable to the people.

Any stranger is suspect. "Who's the cat?" "What's he asking all those questions for?" "Is he really the cops or the F.B.I." "What's his bag?" "What's he really after?" "What's in it for him?" "Who's he working for?"

The answers to these questions must be acceptable in terms of the experience of the community. If the organizer begins with the affirmation of his love for people, he promptly turns everyone off. If, on the other had, he begins with a denunciation of exploiting employers, slum landlords, police shakedowns, gouging merchants, he is inside their experience and they accept him. People can make judgments only on the basis of their own experiences. And the question in their minds is, "If we were in the organizer's position, would we do what he is doing and if so, why?" Until they have an answer that is at least somewhat acceptable they find it difficult to understand and accept the organizer.

His acceptance as an organizer depends on his success in convincing key people - and many others - first, that he is on their side, and second, that he has ideas, and knows how to fight to change things; that he's not one of these guys "doing his thing," that he's a winner. Otherwise who needs him? All his presence means is that the census changes from 225,000 to 225,001.

It is not enough to persuade them of your competence, talents, and courage - they must have faith in your ability to provide the opportunity for action, power, change, adventure, a piece of the drama of life, but to give a very definite promise, almost an assurance of victory. They must also have faith in your courage to fight the oppressive establishment - courage that they, too, will begin to get once they have the protective armor of a power organization, but don't have during the first lonely steps forward.

Love and faith are not common companions. More commonly power and fear consort with faith. The Have-Nots have a limited faith in the worth of their own judgments. They still look to the judgments of the Haves. They respect the strength of the upper class and they believe that the Haves are more intelligent, more competent, and endowed with "something special." Distance has a way of enhancing power, so that respect becomes tinged with reverence. The Haves are the authorities and thus the beneficiaries of the various myths and legends that always develop around power. The Have-Nots will believe them where they would be hesitant and uncertain about their own judgments. Power is not to be crossed; one must respect and obey. Power means strength, whereas love is a human frailty the people mistrust. It is a sad fact of life that power and fear are the fountainheads of faith.

Organized labor bigs demand federal bailout

More EFCA stories: here

Obama, Dems want to force disinterested workers into unions without a secret-ballot election

Imagine a binding union election where you had to cast your ballot in front of everyone you work with. The very concept is entirely un-American. Yet, for millions of American workers, it could soon become reality if the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act - which more accurately should be called the Secret Ballot Elimination Act - becomes law.

In a blatant attempt to pay back organized labor for political contributions and encourage it to continue funding Democratic campaigns, union-boss allies in Washington have promised to pass this dangerous legislation. They know that with a few Republican losses in the Senate and an Obama presidency it could become law.

This legislation seeks to "correct" a nonexistent problem. Workers are free now to vote their conscience and decide whether or not to join a labor union. This is the law of the land, and is enforced by the Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board. Union bosses and their political puppets just can't accept the fact that not all workers want to join labor unions.

The reality that organized labor won't accept is that American workers aren't being deprived the opportunity to join unions; most just don't want to join. Today, workers are choosing to maintain a work environment that allows them to be rewarded for their individual achievement rather than rigidity and tenure. Workers are choosing to work directly with management to solve problems rather than relying on union intermediaries and their conflict-escalating tactics.

For union bosses, this decline in union membership is a problem. Only 13 percent of the overall American workforce is unionized, down from 23 percent in 1983. As those numbers fall, so do union dues. Desperate to turn this decline around, union leaders have pressured Congress to pass their burdensome proposal which will radically change the current laws that have been in place for more than 60 years. In much the same way, union bosses poured money and effort into the national immigration debate in 2006 in hope of increasing membership through amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Among the changes proposed is the replacement of the current program of National Labor Relations Board supervised secret-ballot elections with a process known as "card check." In this process, employees would be pressured to openly sign undated cards by organizers and coworkers, almost certainly exposing them to more harassment and coercion. Rather than having a secret-ballot election at a fixed point in time, this process would give unions months to coerce people into supporting their cause. Card check would replace secret-ballot elections.

Union organizers and their supporters have twisted the truth about the bill, falsely claiming it would allow workers to choose whether to use a secret ballot or not. In reality, union members have no say in this or other matters. For example, it's no secret that union organizers heavily favor the Democratic Party when making donations, regardless of who their members support. The five unions that have donated the most to campaigns this year have given a whopping $1.67 million - or 94 percent - to Democrats.

In addition, the Secret Ballot Elimination Act would rush negotiations to binding arbitration, where a federal arbitrator with little or no familiarity with the industry or business would determine wages, benefits and other contract terms unilaterally.

Union bosses and their supporters are blind to what is obvious to most. The decline of the power of organized labor over American workers over the past 50 years has coincided with the era of greatest economic expansion in America. American workers are choosing to stay nonunion, not because the process is broken, but because unions don't offer them the flexibility, opportunity and upward mobility they desire. Changing the union election process so dramatically would endanger businesses and jobs.

The current auto-industry crisis provides a dramatic contrast between states where workers are forced to join unions and right-to-work states where workers can decide for themselves. In Michigan, where auto industry employees are forced to unionize, we see Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - the Big Three - struggling to keep their heads above water, while Toyota, Honda, Nissan and BMW plants stationed in right-to-work states continue to turn a steady profit.

A 2004 poll by Research 2000 shows that 80 percent of Americans agree that it's wrong to force anyone to join or pay dues to a union to get or keep a job. A January 2007 poll by McLaughlin & Associates shows that nine out of 10 Americans agree "that every worker should continue to have the right to a federally-supervised, secret-ballot election when deciding whether to organize a union."

To this end, I have sponsored the National Right to Work Act and the Secret Ballot Protection Act to guarantee a secret-ballot vote for all American workers and ensure that no worker has to join or pay dues to a union to work and provide for their family.

In the past, workers were trusted to cast a secret ballot in union elections. Today, union bosses are more concerned about their bank accounts than respecting the democratic rights of their workers.

- Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, is chairman of the Republican Steering Committee.


Obama to strip workers of fundamental right

More EFCA stories: here

Dems fight for union bigs, abandon the Little Guy

The Rev. Daniel Klawitter either does not understand the Employee Free Choice Act or is purposefully mischaracterizing the legislation.

The misnamed Employee Free Choice Act strips workers of a fundamental democratic right on the job. The EFCA places the decision to use signed cards or a private ballot in the hands of union organizers. And given the option, union organizers are going to use a public card-signing method which allows them to win 100 percent of the time rather than seek an election which they often lose.

Additionally, anyone who thinks increased unionization is an “economic uplift program” hasn’t been paying attention to the way the unions have crippled major American industries like steel and automobiles, leaving companies in ruin and many without a paycheck. Seems fair to let employees decide in private if they want to roll the dice on someone else playing fast and loose with their future.
We can’t let power-hungry Big Labor bosses and their friends in Congress do additional damage to the struggling economy, while taking away our right to privacy in the workplace.

J. Larson, Arvada


'You spread the wealth around'

More collectivism stories: here

Chávez: Comrade Bush

Related: "Socialism is not scary" • More collectivism stories: here

U.S. moves away from market capitalism

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez joked that US President George W. Bush has started adopting the same socialist economic policies that US economists have criticized in the South American country. Chávez said, with a grin, that a US plan to buy stakes in banks is evidence that the Bush administration is moving away from capitalism.

The US Treasury Department plans to inject $250 billion of taxpayer money into US banks to try to end a credit freeze. "Comrade Bush is nationalizing banks,'' Chávez said in comments broadcast by state television. "Now Bush is to the left of even me.''

In the last two years, Venezuela has taken over electricity, telephone, cement and steel companies as well as oil ventures.


USA Today on EFCA: No way to form a union

More EFCA stories: here

Barack Obama does not believe that workers deserve to hear both sides, vote in private

When citizens go to the polls on Nov. 4, they will be free to vote their conscience — regardless of pressure from relatives, friends or co-workers — after having had a chance to weigh the alternatives. Campaigns and secret ballots are sacrosanct elements of American democracy.

So it's surprising and disturbing that organized labor wants to do away with both these elements when workers decide whether to form a union.

Under the current system, once 30% of a company's workers sign union authorization cards, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administers a confidential vote, typically 39 days after it receives the cards. The union and employer campaign for votes.

Under a major rewrite of U.S. labor law being promoted by unions, when more than 50% of employees sign authorization cards, the NLRB would have to recognize the new union. No campaign. No secret ballot.

This misguided measure passed the House shortly after Democrats took the majority in 2007. But it needs several more votes in the Senate and a president who will sign it. Barack Obama supports it; John McCain does not. It's no surprise, then, that the AFL-CIO plans to spend an eye-popping $200 million this election cycle to support Obama and Democratic candidates for Congress. A win for Obama and big gains for Senate Democrats could remove the remaining obstacles to the euphemistically named "Employee Free Choice Act."

Cajoled choice is more like it. The proposed change would give unions and pro-union employees more incentive to use peer pressure, or worse, to persuade reluctant workers to sign their cards. And without elections, workers who weren't contacted by union organizers would have no say in the final outcome.

Labor leaders, such as AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in the space below, argue that the proposed law wouldn't prohibit private balloting. This is accurate but misleading. Union organizers would have no reason to seek an election if they had union cards signed by more than 50% of workers. And if they had less than a majority, they'd be unlikely to call for a vote they'd probably lose.

The legislation has other questionable provisions as well. For example, once a union is formed, if labor and management can't agree on a contract, a federal arbitration board would be called on to go beyond the normal role of facilitating talks and actually dictate terms.

Labor has seen its role decline since the 1950s, when about a third of all private sector employees belonged to unions, compared with about 7.5% today. So it's understandably eager to find ways to expand membership, particularly at a time when workers are feeling economically vulnerable. But undermining democratic principles is not the answer.


Striking IAM members use hate symbol

More inflatable rat stories: hereIAM: here strike stories: here

RICO charges v. ACORN detailed

More ACORN stories: here

Union-backed voter fraudsters have already admitted submitting bogus registrations in Ohio

This isn’t quite what we were expecting but we’ve learned that the Buckeye Institute has filed suit against vote manufacturer ACORN and its vote fraud marketing arm, Project Vote, under Ohio’s Corrupt Activity Act.

The press release from the Buckeye Institute, a think tank based in Columbus, Ohio, reads as follows:
COLUMBUS - The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank, today filed a state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on behalf of two Warren County voters. The action filed in Warren County Court of Common Pleas alleges ACORN has engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime. It seeks ACORN’s dissolution as a legal entity, the revocation of any licenses in Ohio, and an injunction against fraudulent voter registration and other illegal activities.

Plaintiffs Jennifer Miller of Mason, Ohio and Kimberly Grant of Loveland, allege that ACORN’s actions deprive them of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process. They allege fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters.

“The right to cast a vote that is not diluted by fraudulent votes is a fundamental individual right,” Buckeye Institute President David Hansen said.

“ACORN appears to be recklessly disregarding Ohio laws and adding thousands of fraudulent voters to the state’s roles in the process,” Maurice Thompson, Director of the Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law said. “Such voter fraud erodes the value of legally cast votes,” he added.

In the complaint, Thompson cites an accumulation of evidence showing numerous instances of admitted fraud by ACORN employees, as well as individuals solicited by ACORN.

“In light of its hiring, training and compensation practices, ACORN should have known its conduct would cause fraud,” Thompson said. “It also should know that its conduct will cause fraud in the future.”

In addition, the complaint cites conduct by ACORN in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

A full copy of the complaint is available online at http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/acorn.pdf.

The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, together with its 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, is a nonpartisan research and educational institute devoted to individual liberty, economic freedom, personal responsibility and limited government in Ohio.
The legal complaint, filed on behalf of two Ohio voters, contains some interesting allegations — and could serve as a course syllabus if a university were to offer a course called “ACORN: New Frontiers in Vote Fraud.”

Here are some of the allegations:

10. Project Vote/Voting for American [sic], Inc. shares a statutory agent with ACORN, and for all intents and purposes, is indistinguishable from ACORN.

There is a typo. Project Vote is also known as Voting for America. Presumably the wording can be amended. But yes, Project Vote is indistinguishable from ACORN.

11. ACORN’s “voter-mobilization arm,” Project Vote, regularly advises Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner on election strategy, even recently issuing a news release that claims credit for Brunner’s directive restricting challenges to suspected fraudulent voter registrations.

#11 is a potentially explosive allegation, for sure.

12. According to Congressional testimony, while “ACORN says they don’t take federal money,“ Acorn Housing Corporation receives millions of dollars from the federal government, and from 2004 to 2006, funneled 4.6 million to ACORN.” ACORN is thus willfully using taxpayer funds to support fraudulent political operations.

This is an interesting argument about taxpayer money supporting fraudulent activities except that money is fungible, i.e. it’s hard to say which pool of money funded what.

13. According to Congressional testimony, “ACORN’s massive enterprise includes as many as 150 subsidiary organizations, according to a recent legal filing by members of its board of directors. This list includes two affiliated labor union locals, TV and radio broadcast operations, immense housing counseling operations, and a number of lobbying and political entities. In all, ACORN’s total operation this year has an estimated budget of $110 million. * * * [T]hese organizations are operated as a single enterprise, which is controlled from the top down.”

14. According to Congressional testimony “[ACORN’s] practice of juggling funds and blame between entities has often created good deal of confusion as to which crimes are allegedly committed by ACORN and which activities are those of subsidiaries such as the “non-partisan” 501(c)(3) Project Vote and the political operative organization known as Citizen Services, Inc.”

It’s true that ACORN is a massive, far-flung liberal political activism conglomerate. It’s also true that it’s ACORN’s modus operandi to juggle funds and blame between entities. Throw out enough red herrings and confusing details and people will easily get sidetracked.

Paragraphs 34 through 53 details the Ohio-specific allegations. Non-Ohio allegations are also detailed in the complaint but you’ll have to read the complaint to see them (because this blog entry is becoming way too long). Here are 34 to 53:

34. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has turned in at least 65,000 cards to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in the last year.

35. At an October 8, 2008 Cuyahoga County Board of Elections hearing related to ACORN voter fraud, two Ohio voters, including Christopher Barkley , claimed that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they’d already signed up. Barkley estimated he’d registered to vote “10 to 15″ times after canvassers for ACORN relentlessly pursued him and others. “I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,” Barkley said. “They’d ask me if I was registered. I’d say yes, and they’d ask me to do it [register] again. Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it,” he said.

36. Another witness subpoenaed to testify at the same October 8, 2008 hearing, Lateala Goins, 21, stated “[y]ou can tell them you’re registered as many times as you want - they do not care, …they will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter.” She added that she never put down an address on any of the registration forms, just her name.

37. ACORN admitted to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections that the group engages in fraudulent voter registration activity.

38. Ohio ACORN officials “blamed the elections board for not scrutinizing ACORN’s suspicious cards,” claiming the group “can’t be expected to catch everything.”

39. Local representatives of the organization told Cuyahoga board members that they don’t have the resources to identify fraudulent cards turned in by paid canvassers.

40. ACORN bribed and/or pressured Freddie Johnson of Cleveland to register to vote 72 times. Johnson filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of ACORN. Johnson stated “[s]ometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they’ll give me a dollar to sign up, …The ACORN people are everywhere, looking to sign people up. I tell them I am already registered. The girl said, ‘You are?’ I say, ‘Yup,’ and then they say, ‘Can you just sign up again?’” He’d collected 10 to 20 cigarettes and anywhere from $10 to $15, he said.

41. In Columbus, Ohio, several Columbus citizens have acknowledged to reporter Shelby Holliday, on video tape, that ACORN’s voter registration efforts include harassing and begging voters to register more than once, even when the voter tells the ACORN agent that he or she is already registered, and offering favors in exchange for voting.

42. In Greene County, Ohio ACORN’s fraudulent registration efforts have induced involvement from the County Sherriff and Prosecutor.

43. On May 8, 2007, a Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Franklin County) man was indicted for voting twice in the November election. … [An attorney] said the man, a Mr Gilbert was registered in both counties by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a nonprofit agency that has come under fire in 12 states for voter fraud.

44. On or about September 19, 2006, the mother of a 16-year-old has told the Summit County elections board that her daughter was registered to vote, just two months after a 10-year-old boy was summoned for jury duty because he was on the county’s voter rolls. The person who filed the voter registration application was Prentice McNary of Akron, a circulator paid by Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, according to Board of Elections Director Bryan Williams.

45. On or about September 1, 2006, Franklin County Elections Board staffers questioned the validity of hundreds of names on registration forms and petitions for a proposed constitutional amendment to boost Ohio’s minimum wage. Most of the disputed names came from lists provided by paid solicitors working for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

46. On or about August 11, 2006, and according to Matt Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, 500 voter registration cards, all collected between March and July of 2006 by ACORN, were turned over to County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to determine if a crime had been committed.

47. Between Fall 2003 and June 2004, ACORN submitted approximately 23,000 voter registration cards in Franklin County, Ohio. The Franklin County Board of Elections discovered that voter registration cards submitted by ACORN included cards for people who did not exist. Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matthew Damschroeder characterized many of the registrations as “blatantly false,” while the manager of Franklin County Voter Services confirmed that the submission of false voter registration forms has resulted in the issuance of voter identification cards that could have been used, and can be used in the future, to cast fraudulent votes in the November 2004, November 2006, and November 2008 elections.

48. On or near June 3, 2004, two ACORN agents submitted fraudulent voter registration cards forms to the Franklin County Board of Elections.

49. On or about October 8, 2004 ACORN submitted 19 false voter registration cards to the Franklin County Board of Elections, including cards identifying people who did not exist.

50. On or about October 8, 2004 ACORN submitted 19 voter registrations to the Hamilton County Board of Elections for people who could not be located by the sheriff’s department after similar handwriting and false addresses raised the suspicions of elections workers. These registration cards were fraudulent and contained forged signatures.

51. On or about September 7, 2004, ACORN employee and/or agent Kevin Eugene Dooley submitted a fraudulent voter registration card to the Franklin County Board of Elections that resulted in Mr. Dooley being charged with a felony offense for forging the voter registration card in question.

52. In September 22, 2004, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation confirmed that it was investigating over 800 fraudulent voter registration cards submitted in Summit County.

53. Numerous, perhaps thousands, of fraudulent voter registration cards have been submitted in Ohio by Defendant ACORN.


Ohio ACORN a corrupt enterprise?

More ACORN stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group ACORN draws racketeering charge

Well, I'm delighted to see that other people have finally come to the same conclusion I did a while ago, and have filed a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) lawsuit against ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) over their long-standing and increasingly blatant fraudulent voter registrations.

I've been keeping a jaundiced eye on ACORN for some time, and they've bounced around in my subconscious quite a bit. I've given quite a bit of thought to just what they do, what their model is, and trying to grasp just what they are all about. This is all utterly half-assed speculation and a bit of fantasy mixed together, but I think it hangs together fairly well.

I'm no economist, but I've often found that an economic model is often a reliable way of understanding things like motives and goals and whatnot. At their essence, every single individual and organization is governed by the profit motive: they want to maximize their benefits.

That even works for non-profit organizations like ACORN. In those cases, you just have to recognize that their definition of "profit" is not purely economic. Once you figure out just what it is, then the rest falls into place.

Their stated goal is not very helpful. "Reform Now." That's as vague as an Obama speech or a Bill Clinton promise. And looking at their ideals -- helping the poor acquire political power as a step towards economic and social advancement -- is equally pointless.

No, what I think is important is to tune out their words and look at their deeds. Their wonderful intentions don't really matter much; it is what they do, not what they say, that truly shapes events.

And since the activities that have earned my ire -- and that of so many others -- has been the gross violations of voter registration laws, corrupting the electoral process, let's look at just what they are doing in that field in hopes of understanding how they are doing it, why they are doing it, and what possible consequences might come.

First up, let's bring back the profit motive here. In our society, once an organization declares itself a non-profit, it doesn't automatically become exempt from the basic laws of economics. It simply redefines those terms. They still need to take in money to operate, and they still need to show some productive results to sustain that income. The differences are that the productive results are not financial, and the people who supply them with the money are not the actual consumers of those productive results. In other words, they don't have to produce something of value, just convince their backers that they have -- because those backers aren't actually buying the product or service for themselves.

In ACORN's case here, they have chosen to define their "profit" as gross numbers of new voter registrations. The bigger the number they can claim to have registered, the greater their success and "profit" they can boast about and convince their backers that their money was well spent. It's a simple equation: more voters registered equals more success.

There are complications, of course. There are only a finite number of eligible voters out there to be tapped. And while that number is always expanding as people are either turning 18 or becoming citizens faster than they are dying or giving up their citizenship or becoming convicted felons, it's nowhere near as fast a growth as ACORN needs.

But it's raw numbers that ACORN is interested in, not confirmed numbers. There is absolutely no incentive for ACORN to perform any kind of quality control on those numbers. Indeed, in many states, that is barred by law -- they are obligated to turn over any and all voter registrations to local officials, even if they are utterly convinced that it is fraudulent. Sure, they can indicate those they think are suspicious, but they don't have to.

And just how does ACORN collect these registrations? By having its people -- both volunteers and hired representatives -- go out and get people on the street to fill out the forms.

Now, these people have no assigned quotas -- at least, not officially. Just like police officers and traffic tickets. But there are often unofficial quotas, and those that ACORN hires are those with very poor employment prospects of their own -- they've been caught many a time hiring convicted felons to do registrations, which is illegal. Even more appalling is that these felons have included such savory types as sex offenders and identity thieves, two groups who should absolutely NOT be allowed anywhere near this sort of thing.

So here we have a bunch of people working for ACORN who are told that their job is to collect voter registrations. A large percentage of them have no proven track record for reliability or trustworthiness. They are told that they are "expected" to produce a certain number of registrations each day they work. And they are told that the people who give them their paychecks will not be checking on their work to make sure that they don't cheat.

Is it any wonder that, in those circumstances, that so many of them will just start filling out the forms themselves, making up any old names (such as, say, "Mickey Mouse" or "Tony Romo") and filling in whatever information they feel like? The end result of doing so will be just the same as if they actually went out and tracked down twenty unregistered voters, and a hell of a lot easier. Especially when they KNOW, as an absolute fact, that the people giving them their paychecks won't be verifying a single detail.

Again, we see the danger in the economic disconnect: there is no direct tie between those who will be verifying the quality of these people's work (the public officials in charge of maintaining the voter rolls) and those paying the people producing the work (ACORN). With absolutely no incentive to produce quality registrations, and no penalty for generating bogus ones, it should come as no surprise that a lot of them will take the easy way out. Lord knows I'd be tempted, and most people -- if they were honest -- would admit the same.

So here we see that ACORN has set up a business model to generate tremendous numbers of voter registrations, with absolutely no quality control to catch and prevent bogus ones. And, indeed, a hefty incentive to allow them -- they increase the gross total of registrations that they can claim as their "profit," knowing that those rejected by government officials will not affect their "profits" in the least. The question of malicious intent is largely moot -- remember, we're judging them not on their words or intentions or goals, but actual deeds here. Remember the aphorism about the road to hell, and the pavement thereof.

OK, that covers what they are doing, and why. That still leaves the consequences of their actions. What harm is all this causing?

I'm closing in on 1200 words here already, so I think I'll save the rest of that for later today.


Obama Surge in ACORN Fraud States

More ACORN stories: here

How ACORN frauds-up Ohio

More ACORN stories: here

ACORN-Obama fraud likened to Saul Alinsky

More ACORN stories: hereMore Saul Alinsky stories: here

CNN: ACORN defrauds America

More ACORN stories: here

CNN: Drew Griffin reports on ACORN

More ACORN stories: here

Louisiana elections officials investigate Dems

More ACORN stories: here

This time ACORN may not be involved

"They walked in here just mounding up cards," said Registrar of Voters for Caddo Parish, Ernie Roberson while looking over a box full of thousands of voter registration cards. "They" are a group called Voting is Power, that went door to door in Caddo Parish to register people to vote, "They turned in about 8600 applications, out of that number 1400 new ones, sorted out the new and then we had around 1400 address changes, the rest of them were non existent," says Roberson.

Before the organization ACORN appeared in the headlines for reported registration fraud, VIP caught the attention of Louisiana authorities over the summer. "They swamped all of us with a lot of applications but we haven't had the problem since we aggressively started dealing with that group and I think they just picked up and left Louisiana," says Roberson.

The Louisiana Secretary of State's Office is investigating the group, Voting is Power. The Secretary of State won't comment on the investigation, only to say all the findings will be turned over to the parish district attorneys in the parishes where the cards were turned in. The fear here in Caddo is: The damage has already been done "What I'm afraid of is a lot of people think they are registered, and that's going to cause problems on election day," says Roberson. That's because many of the applications turned in, even with real names, were incomplete. A big headache that's resulting in thousands of man hours. "It costs money, democracy is very expensive whenever you have to sort through hundreds and even thousands of forms that are either duplicates or completely bogus that costs us time. Ultimately costing the tax payer money.


NYT rips Wade Rathke, ACORN's founder

Related: "NYT rips ACORN over Rathke embezzlement"
More ACORN stories: hereWade Rathke: here

On leave, Wade Rathke is currently fomenting anti-capitalist revolution in Peru

Even as it battles charges of fraudulent voter registration practices in several states, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is negotiating to sever all ties with its founder, whose brother embezzled almost $1 million from the group.

Two board members and Bertha Lewis, the organization’s interim chief organizer, or chief executive, met last week in New Orleans to hammer out a deal with the founder, Wade Rathke, according to board members who learned Tuesday of the talks. Mr. Rathke resigned as chief organizer after it became public this summer that his brother Dale had embezzled almost $1 million from the organization eight years ago.

Mr. Rathke retained control of
ACORN International, however, and maintained its offices in buildings in New Orleans shared by ACORN and many of its 174 affiliates. Foundations that support ACORN financially, as well as many of the 51 voting members of its board, have been critical of that arrangement, saying it allows Mr. Rathke to retain his influence over the organization.

The deal, as described by board members, would hand Mr. Rathke control of the Wal-Mart Alliance for Reform Now, or WARN, an
ACORN affiliate that focuses on what it considers to be unfair labor practices and other issues at Wal-Mart, and a radio station in Texas that is one of five media companies affiliated with ACORN, according to board members critical of the negotiations.

Ms. Lewis said there was no such deal and described the meeting as “a discussion.”

“Not to cast aspersions on your sources, but they’re always a little bit off,” she said. “We discussed about 60 different corporations. WARN came up,
ACORN International came up, but we didn’t even discuss the radio stations.”

She said the various options for divorcing Mr. Rathke from
ACORN would be presented to the board at its next meeting, which starts Friday. Mr. Rathke did not respond to an e-mail message seeking comment.

Some board members from a group of dissidents calling itself the
ACORN 8 questioned the meeting. The group has demanded access to financial records and a forensic audit to review Acorn’s accounting and financial records during the period the embezzlement was covered up.

Two of its members, Marcel Reid and Karen Inman, who also sit on the interim management committee that the board appointed to govern Acorn after the embezzlement scandal, filed a lawsuit in August seeking to break the Rathkes’ ties to the organization, as well as protect financial records from destruction and enhance board access to documents. They said the negotiations with Mr. Rathke were an end run around the board, a charge that Acorn has leveled against their lawsuit.

“I object to this, in part,” Ms. Inman said, “because the board was not told about these negotiations, but mainly because we have no idea what the assets held by those entities are because management has refused to do a forensic audit.”

Ms. Lewis said the two board members involved in the talks were assigned the task by the board’s executive committee, which is charged with making decisions between the board’s two annual meetings.

Coya Mobley, one of the dissidents, still questioned their participation. “The executive board is only supposed to act in the event of an emergency, and this was not an emergency,” Ms. Mobley said.


Obama's collectivist cred checks out

More collectivism stories: here

While Sen. Barack Obama's association with Weathermen co-founder William Ayers has gained publicity on the campaign trail, his active participation in socialist organizations during his days as a local Chicago politician are less well-known.

Mr. Obama has had a long association with both the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)-affiliated New Party and the DSA's Chicago chapter dating back to his first run for the Illinois state Senate in 1996. (The DSA is the American affiliate of the Socialist International, which includes Nicaragua's Sandinsta Party among others.) That year, he addressed a gathering of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) at the University of Chicago.

The address was documented in the March-April 1996 edition of the Chicago DSA's publication, The New Ground. In that edition, DSA columnist Bob Roman described Mr. Obama's views of the welfare system as sounding "much like the 'social wage' approach used by many social democratic parties." The Chicago DSA enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Obama's unopposed candidacy during the March 19, 1996 primary election.

"Luckily, Mr. Obama does not have any opposition in the primary. His opponents have all dropped out or were ruled off the ballot," The New Ground urged its readers. "But if you would like to contribute to his campaign, make the check payable to Friends of Barack Obama ... If you would like to become involved in his campaign, call the headquarters ..."

The Chicago DSA renewed its recommendation, although not endorsement, of Mr. Obama's unsuccessful 2000 congressional campaign. (It did not formally endorse Mr. Obama because it believed Bobby Rush equally favored its goals.) Once again that year, The New Ground trumpeted Mr. Obama's socialist credentials.

"When Obama participated in a 1996 U[niversity] of C[hicago] YDS Townhall Meeting on Economic Insecurity, much of what he had to say was well within the mainstream of European social democracy," Mr. Roman wrote in the publication's March-April 2000 edition.

While Mr. Obama aligned himself with socialists during his days as a Chicago community activist and politician, he also actively participated in their activities.

This is evinced by Mr. Obama's involvement with the New Party. Mr. Obama needed to sign a contract to be endorsed by the New Party. The contract, according to the September-October 1995 edition of The New Ground, mandated he had to maintain a visible and active relationship with them, and its support was contingent on their ability to win.

The same edition attested, in an article written by Bruce Bentley, that Mr. Obama had attended a July 1995 New Party membership meeting representing then-state Sen. Alice Palmer as her chief of staff.

"Obama is running for Palmer's vacant seat," Mr. Bentley wrote.

His involvement with the New Party is further substantiated in a story that appeared in the July-August 1996 edition of The New Ground.

"Barack Obama, victor in the 13th state Senate District, encouraged [New Party members] to jin his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration," Mr. Bentley wrote in that edition.

Mr. Obama's affiliation with the New Party is significant. Writing in Human Events, Erick Erickson, managing editor of RedState.com, traces their history.

A union activist, Sandy Pope, and Joel Rogers, a University of Wisconsin professor, established the New Party in 1992. It described itself as being "socialist democratic."

However, the roots of the party go back to 1988 following Jesse Jackson's failed presidential campaign. Mr. Jackson's labor coordinator, Dan Cantor, and Mr. Rogers wanted to create an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans.

Mr. Rogers developed the idea of fusion, which states that a candidate could be both a Democrat and a New Party member. By doing so, the candidate indicates that he is left-wing as opposed to center-left. By working within the Democratic Party, the New Party could move Democrats away from the center.

The New Party's creators also wanted to merge what they felt was a fractured American Left. They wanted to combine all the factions with a unified ideology and become the predominant political force.

Part of this equation was another group that Mr. Obama joined - ACORN. A 1995 edition of New Ground said, "In Chicago, the New Party's biggest asset and biggest liability is ACORN." The party gave ACORN monthly membership recruitment quotas.

Recently, ACORN's voter registration activities have resulted in convictions of ACORN employees across the United States for voter registration fraud and many more allegations and ongoing investigations for the same reason.

The city of Chicago has long been a hotbed of leftist thought going back to the days of the Haymarket Riot and bombing of May 4,1886, and it was the site of the founding of the Communist Party USA in 1919. Indeed, in 1970 student radicals toppled a statue that was erected in honor of a police officer killed in that bombing.

Soon after arriving in 1992 to work as a director for the ACORN affiliate Project Vote, Barack Obama, the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review immersed himself in that culture.


Will Obama support social justice within ACORN?

More ACORN stories: here

Progressive reformers seek to remove stain of social justice fraud at union-backed ACORN

Today, Gregory Hall, founder of the Truth To Power campaign aimed at reforming corruption of top ACORN executives, issued the following statement in response to remarks by Sen. Barack Obama explaining his relationship with the community organization:

"ACORN's hard-working organizers are glad Sen. Obama is starting to defend them against attacks that would be better directed against ACORN's management.

"ACORN organizers believe they have had a long, proud relationship with Sen. Obama and are doing everything they can to support his campaign to bring change to America. He's trained them, he's been their lawyer, and he's been their ally. He should be as proud as they are.

"At the same time, we hope that on his way to winning on election day Sen. Obama will help reform ACORN, which has been beset by embezzlement and voter fraud this year. His ideals have been forgotten by corrupt ACORN leaders.

"Like the professional ACORN organizers seeking to reform ACORN, I will personally be voting for Sen. Obama on election day. I hope he will give a vote of confidence in our campaign to clean up ACORN."

About Truth to Power:
Truth To Power is a national campaign to reform and strengthen our movement of social-justice organizers from the bottom up. With our allies, supporters, and members we are going to earn respect on the job and reform and strengthen our organizations at the same time.

Contact: Gregory Hall
Email: gregory.hall@speakingtruth2power.org
Phone: 919-721-7363
Web site: http://www.speakingtruth2power.org/acorn/


No ACORN, no fraud

More ACORN stories: here

County voters relieved by union-backed fraud group's absence

Local elections officials say the advocacy group in ACORN did not register voters in Butler County and they have no indication of voter fraud this year, though the state GOP still has its concerns.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has attracted criticism and lawsuits across Ohio and the nation. The group is accused of registering ineligible voters.

A conservative research group sued in Warren County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, Oct. 14, for the group to be dissolved on behalf of two voters there.

"There's nothing to indicate to us that we have any fraudulent registrations (in Butler County)," said Tippi Slaughter, a representative with the Butler County Board of Elections. She said ACORN had no presence here.

She said the county has checked its database of roughly 261,000 registered voters for duplicate information, looking for people who registered more than once. The few dozen instances they found were errors, not intentional fraud, she said.

"It could be a data entry error it could be they moved from another county into this county ... or (a) person who changed their name, like a woman who got married," Slaughter said.

But this doesn't protect against new registrations using unique but false information.

The county has not checked all new registered voters against the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or Social Security Administration to make sure registered voters actually exist. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said her office does this, but doesn't communicate the results to local boards of election.

The U.S. Court of Appeals sided Tuesday with the Ohio Republican party and is requiring Brunner to make a list of all questionable registrations available to election boards by Friday, Oct. 17. There could be 200,000 such registrations statewide, Brunner's office said.

Brunner has expressed concerns this could disenfranchise voters because of database errors and has released guidelines on how elections boards may determine voter eligibility.

The Ohio GOP applauds the court's decision but still worries Brunner is playing politics with the election system, according to state Republican Party spokesman John McClelland.

"There's still the problem of the secretary of state who has been turning a blind eye toward this activity and shown a disturbing pattern of ignoring what these groups have been doing and at the same time engaging in her own partisan activity to tilt the playing field for Barack Obama and for the Democratic party," Mclelland said.

Slaughter said the county has received a request from the Ohio Republican party for a list of all 6,036 registrations received between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 and the 549 people who voted that week.

John McClelland said the information is being collected from all of Ohio's 88 counties for "historical" reasons.

"If the question here is whether or not we're going to be challenging — no, that's was not our intent," he said. "It's really for more of a historical nature than anything."

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