Union bigs drool over Obama payback

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Unchecked Dems: Why bother with union secret-ballot elections or worker-choice?

With Sen. Barack Obama pulling ahead in the national polls, talk has begun to center on the length of his coat tails if he does manage to hold on and win the presidency less than a month from now. Of particular interest is the Senate, where a feisty Republican minority has been able to frustrate Democrats' plans again and again by blocking legislation with filibusters, just as Democrats did when they were in the minority between 2002 and 2006. Democrats have high hopes that they will be able to capture a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats with gains in this year's election. Together with an Obama victory and expected gains in the House, that would give Democrats virtually unchecked power to enact their agenda.

One of the first items on Democrats' list is legislation to pay back a key constituency, organized labor, for its loyalty and campaign contributions. Unions are expected to spend as much as $300 million dollars to elect Democrats this year, and Democrats, including Sen. Obama are eager to repay them with legislation. The bill in question is the rather inappropriately named Employee Free Choice Act, and it aims to increase union membership nationwide by changing the way employees elect join unions.

Under current law in most states, employees vote in secret ballot elections for union representation or no union representation. But under a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Obama, and backed by Congressional Democrats, the secret ballots would be done away with in favor of employee signatures on sign up cards. The so-called "card check" provision would undo the process of secret election ballots. Instead of a free and fair election, a simple majority of employee signatures would obligate employers to allow worker to organize and bargain collectively. That would potentially expose unwilling employees to intimidation by union organizers and fellow employees. The bill would almost certainly increase union membership, which has fallen to roughly 12% of the American workforce; and would fatten the wallets of union bosses with new membership dollars that they would continue to lavish on Democrat election campaigns. It would be a quid pro quo potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars to both labor and the Democratic Party.

Sen. Obama says that he wants to change politics-as-usual in Washington. But his efforts on behalf of organized labor and the Employee Free Choice Act are quintessentially the stuff of typical Washington wheeling and dealing. And Democrats are growing confident that they will win the seats necessary to begin taking bids on bills for favorite interest groups. Labor will not be the last Democratic constituency to win big favors from a one-party ruled federal government. Historically, the American people have shown an aversion to handing control of Congress and the White House to the same party. Union bosses and Democrats are betting that this year will be different.


Dems: Let's unionize U.S. small businesses

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Get candidates' stand on 'Free Choice Act'

This may be one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime – especially for small-business owners and their employees.

As a local business owner of seven New Hampshire restaurants and a proud New Hampshire voter, I want all to understand the proposed federal legislation misleadingly titled EFCA, the "Employee Free Choice Act." It is bad news, and it will be front and center in the new Congress in January.

This measure would dramatically change U.S. labor law. Today, employees are entitled to a private-ballot election when deciding whether they want union representation in their workplace. Elections are overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, which has numerous procedures in place to ensure fair, fraud-free elections.

Because of NLRB safeguards, employees can cast their vote confidentially, without peer pressure or coercion from unions, co-workers or employers.

If Congress passes the Employee Free Choice Act, employees effectively lose their right to private-ballot elections. The bill would establish a so-called "card-check" union organizing system, in which a majority of employees simply sign a card in favor of union representation.

When a union tries to organize a workplace, employees sometimes face intimidation and pressure about how they should vote: from the union, co-workers, management or all three.

The best way to protect employees from coercion is through the continued use of a federally supervised, private-ballot process.

The entire American system is based on respect for individual liberty and democracy. If Congress passes this proposal, it will strip away the protections that federally protected, democratic elections provide for American workers.

In fact, unions elect their officials via private ballot. How ironic, wouldn't you agree?

Employees should not have to reveal to anyone – employers, co-workers or unions – how they exercise their right to choose whether to organize with their co-workers in a union.

Moving to a card-check process rather than a federally supervised election tramples on employee privacy. An employee's decision to join a union should be made in private, protected from any coercion by unions, employers or co-workers.

After more than 20 years of investing in local business, creating jobs for the restaurant industry and listening carefully to those who watch over my investment – our employees – I pride myself on maintaining open communication with all who work with us toward success.

This attempted coercive power grab is the work of special interests in Washington, D.C., not the dedicated, hard-working professionals I am privileged to work with every day.

So, I have an urgent question for New Hampshire small-business owners:

Where do the candidates running for the U.S. Senate and House stand on this issue? More importantly, for those who are in favor of this bill, ask them "Why?"

- Tom Boucher, Bedford
CEO-Owner, Great NH Restaurants, T-BONES and Cactus Jack's


Unions, Dems obsessed with rigging elections

Related series: "What did Barack Obama Teach ACORN?"
More EFCA stories: here collectivism: hereSaul Alinsky: here

Leftists display a consistent pattern of anti-democratic fascism

"Let's put this in context," said Heritage legal eagle Hans A. von Spakovsky. "The left has not had unlimited power since 1965."

I was having lunch at the Heritage Foundation to get some perspective on a paranoia gripping the right and the left: the spectre of vote fraud. In 2004, you couldn't click on a liberal blog without reading rumors of Diebold machines rigging the election. In 2005, Democrats actually challenged Ohio's electoral votes on the floor of the House and Senate. The Democrats chilled out a little after, uh, winning in 2006, but vote fraud pied piper Greg Palast, who megaphoned those mid-decade stories of fraud, has an article in the new Rolling Stone (leading the site right now!) about how Republicans have pre-stolen the 2008 election through tickery and voter roll purges. Palast quote: "They've already stolen the 2008 election." Special extra Palast quote: "Fear of [Hugo] Chavez is fear of democracy."

Here he is:

Anyway, I went to Heritage to get the other side of this. It's more fact-based (no claims that the 2006 elections were stolen by brandishing Missouri Senate race exit polls), but if anything, it's more panicked. As Spakowsky said, conservatives fear that a Democratic victory will lead to ultimate Democratic power. Roman Buhler, a Republican election lawyer, warned that the cost of Democratic victory would not just be a locked-in liberal agenda, but locked-in Democratic power. "Their goal is rigged elections," said Buhler. "In Zimbabwe we know what to do with people like that. We're not used to it in America."

The evidence, point-by-point:

- Democrats passed the Motor Voter law in 1993 (in the meeting I started hearing the old Republican name for it, "auto fraudo"), which permanently loosened the rules on mailed-in voter registration.

- Democrats opposed a law that would have sent all military ballots back home via 4-day expedited mail instead of three-week snail mail, because the postal service unions opposed it. "They don't want the military to vote," Buhler said.

- Democrats want card check, which would take away the secret ballot in union elections. Not actually related to general election voting, but revealing of the party mentality.

- Democrats have muddied the vote fraud waters by accusing Republicans of "vote caging," sending mail to voters' homes and purging their names from the rolls if the names bounce back. That's legal, but Democrats have gained ground by characterizing it as illegally focused on minority neighborhoods. "They probably went through a lot of focus groups to come up with that name, caging" Buhler said. (Actually, it's what Tim Griffin and Monica Goodling called it.)

- Democrats take advantage of loose rules governing absentee ballots to committ fraud that way; "voters" will sign multiple ballots and send them in, confident that the state won't check to see if the signatures on them match other signatures.

Quin Hillyer of the D.C. Examiner began his remarks with a quote from Saul Alinsky: "A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play." He found it, he said, on the blog of Lynette Long, a Hillary Clinton dead-ender who claims that Obama stole the Democratic caucuses. This material can build the conservative argument against Democratic fraud, he said, because "this doesn't come from the right. It comes from a strong Hillary Clinton feminist."

There was even more at stake here than one stolen election, Buhler said. "The conservative movement has been what Americans look to when they think of political integrity," he explained. "Democrats were the party of Chicago and the Daleys. They've worked very hard to deflect that image and characterize all attacks on voter fraud as 'racism.' We must convince people that it is the left that breaks the law, and that they haven't changed since Dick Daley."


ACORN funded by labor-state taxpayers

Related story: "The 28 labor-states"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

FOB Dem Gov. rewarded union-backed voter fraud group with public's cash

Gov. Deval Patrick, a national co-chairman of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, teamed up with the Illinois senator to represent the controversy-plagued activist network ACORN in a 1993 case and secured money for the group in this year’s state budget, the Herald has learned.

Patrick secured a $33,000 grant for the Springfield branch of ACORN’s housing program in April. ACORN Housing New England Regional Director Theresa Naylor said the money was used for “foreclosure prevention.” She also said the agency’s housing arm has “nothing to do with” the voter registration program, which has been the subject of fraud allegations that have dogged Obama because of his ties to the group.

“We’re sister companies, but we’re two different organizations,” Naylor said.

In 1993, Patrick, then a Department of Justice lawyer, and Obama, as a private civil rights lawyer, teamed up to represent ACORN in a successful suit that forced Illinois officials to implement the “motor voter” law, which allows people to register to vote when they get a driver’s license.

ACORN has been accused of doctoring voter lists in key presidential battleground states by submitting bogus names such as Mickey Mouse and Dallas Cowboys players Tony Romo and Terrell Owens.

The agency’s Nevada offices were recently raided by state investigators, and the FBI is reportedly investigating the accusations. Republicans in Congress are also pushing for a probe. Obama has denied any involvement of his campaign in the suspect registration efforts.

ACORN officials say they haven’t been contacted by any federal investigators. In a statement on its Web site, the group says it closely monitors voter lists and takes swift action against activists who submit phony names.

Of the governor’s ACORN ties, Patrick spokesman Kyle Sullivan said: “The governor is very proud of his efforts at the Department of Justice and at the State House to make it easier for citizens to legally register to vote and to help families keep their homes.”

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Blair Latoff blasted Patrick, saying: “The fact that Gov. Deval Patrick would even consider rewarding ACORN with taxpayer dollars is astounding.”


Disgraced ACORN chief takes on the world

Wade Rathke stories: here ACORN: herefraud: here collectivism: here

Nation's leading collectivist organizes anti-U.S. communities under The Obama Doctrine

ACORN or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, the national community organization of 500,000 low and moderate income family members in communities throughout the United States, is having what I refer to as its "Britney Spears moment.''

ACORN is a question in the presidential debates, part of the Palin stump speech, the backdrop for a Stephen Colbert satire and the setup for a Jay Leno joke about President Bush. Stop already!

Having founded the organization 38 years ago and directed its operations as chief organizer until this year, now I get to wince as the limelight puts out more heat than light in intensity of ACORN's 15 minutes of fame.

The roots of the controversy around ACORN are pretty confusing, as Greg Gordon of McClatchy-Tribune's Washington Bureau tried his best to explain earlier this week in a piece called, ACORN may be victim of its own workers in voter registration cases.

The facts get lost too easily. In nie of the 11 states where questions about ACORN's registration efforts have been raised, by law every voter registration form must be submitted, regardless of doubts about its authenticity.

For all of the publicity about Mickey Mouse registering in Florida with ACORN, the law gave the organization no choice but to flag the form and turn it in or face a $1,000 fine. That may seem goofy to some, but it is the law nonetheless.

A small number of problems in a pile of 1.3 million new registration forms are miniscule and do not equal voter fraud. Mickey Mouse is not voting and cannot vote. Experts everywhere have roundly dismissed voter fraud as an infinitesimally small problem in American elections given the extensive vetting, identification requirements, and real obstacles we create for voting.

In my view obstacles are the real problem here.

In the American democratic system we are making it hard to vote and harder to register, and that should be the real fire we need to quell underneath all of this smoke. In other democratic countries there is almost universal and automatic registration. Countries as diverse as Brazil and Australia even have mandatory voting to ensure that democracy works, since without full citizen participation, democracy cannot exist.

Yet here in the United States we make voter registration difficult, expensive and little more than a partisan firestorm in the weeks before an election. All of the publicity here is in fact deja vu all over again.

The Republican state parties field Federal Election Commission charges against ACORN registration efforts before the 2006 election in battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and dropped the charges right after the election. U.S. Attorneys in several places were fired for refusing to indict ACORN registers and registration efforts in New Mexico and Missouri in 2006 because there were no grounds, and this politicization of the Department of Justice led to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation. They mounted the same attacks in 2004 in Florida, and ACORN sued for libel and won.

ACORN raised and spent $16,000,000 to register 1.3 million new voters.

Think that's easy. It's not. But, why in a democracy are we creating a system that requires an organization of lower income families to spend more than $12.00 a person to do the best job it can to register its people in working class neighborhoods all over America so that they can fight for what should be their automatic right to vote?

Mistakes are certainly going to be made, and the work needs to always be done better, but frankly this seems like blaming the victim. We need to fix the system and make registration universal and easy, so that we can concentrate next on full democratic participation, not just kick around groups like ACORN that are willing to get in the kitchen and take the heat so that their members get the chance to vote.

- Wade Rathke is Chief Organizer of ACORN International, a community organization working in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Canada, Peru, Argentina, India, Kenya, Indonesia, and Korea and other countries. He founded ACORN in 1970 and was chief organizer directing the staff and programs of ACORN until June 2008.


U.S. liberalism turns toward fascism

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SF Chronicle asks if union-backed Dems are too collectivist for America

As Americans render what Catholics call temporal judgment on President Bush, are they aware of the radical course correction they are about to make? This center-right country is about to vastly strengthen a liberal Congress whose approval rating is 10 percent and implant in Washington a regime further to the left than any in American history. Consider.

As of today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat, anticipates gains of 15 to 30 seats in the House. Sen. Harry Reid, whose partisanship grates even on many in his own party, may see his caucus expand in the Senate to a filibuster-proof majority where he can ignore Republican dissent.

Headed for the White House is the most left-wing member of the Senate, according to the National Journal. To the vice president's mansion is headed Joe Biden, third most liberal as ranked by the National Journal, ahead of No. 4, Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.

What will this mean to America? An administration that is either at war with its base or at war with the nation.

America may desperately desire to close the book on the Bush presidency. Yet there is, as of now, no hard evidence it has embraced Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, his ideology, or agenda. Indeed, his campaign testifies, by its policy shifts, that it is fully aware the nation is still resisting the idea of an Obama presidency.

In the later primaries, even as a panicked media were demanding that Hillary Rodham Clinton drop out of the race, she consistently routed Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania and crushed him in West Virginia and Kentucky.

By April and May, the Democratic Party was manifesting all the symptoms of buyer's remorse over how it had voted in January and February.

Obama's convention put him eight points up. But, as soon as America heard Sarah Palin in St. Paul, the Republicans shot up 10 points and seemed headed for victory.

What brought about the Obama-Biden resurgence was nothing Obama and Biden did, but the mid-September crash of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros., AIG, the stock market, where $4 trillion was wiped out, the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street that enraged Middle America - and Republican presidential candidate John McCain's classically inept handling of the crisis.

In short, Obama has still not closed the sale. Every time America takes a second look at him, it has second thoughts, and backs away.

Even after the media have mocked and pilloried Palin, and ceded Obama and Biden victory in all four debates, the nation, according to Gallup, is slowly moving back toward the Republican ticket.

Moreover, Obama knows Middle America harbors deep suspicions of him. Thus, he has jettisoned the rhetoric about the "fierce urgency of now," and "We are the people we've been waiting for," even as he has jettisoned position after position to make himself acceptable.

His flip-flops testify most convincingly to the fact that Obama knows that where he comes from is far outside the American mainstream. Flip-flopping reveals the prime meridian of presidential politics.

Thus, though he is the nominee of a party that is in thrall to the environmental movement, Obama has signaled conditional support for offshore drilling and pumping out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

While holding to his pledge for a pullout of combat brigades from Iraq in 16 months, he has talked of "refining" his position and of a residual U.S. force to train the Iraqi Army and deal with al Qaeda.

On Afghanistan, he has called for 10,000 more troops and U.S. strikes in Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden, even without prior notice or the permission of the Pakistani government.

No Democrat has ever come out of the far left of his party to win the presidency. McGovern, the furthest left, stayed true to his convictions and lost 49 states.

Obama has chosen another course. Though he comes out of the McGovern-Jesse Jackson left, he has shed past positions like support for partial-birth abortion as fast as he has shed past associations, from William Ayers to ACORN, from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to his fellow parishioners at Trinity United.

One question remains: Will a President Obama, with his party in absolute control of both Houses, revert to the politics and policies of the Left that brought him the nomination, or resist his ex-comrades' demands that he seize the hour and impose the agenda ACORN, Ayers, Jesse, and Wright have long dreamed of?

Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Obama wins, a backlash is coming.


U.S. girds for Era of Labor Fascism

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Political leaders favor eliminating worker-choice

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.


Show the union your ballot

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Stop teacher strikes in PA

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Jumbo SEIU unit placed in trusteeship

More SEIU stories: hereAndy Stern stories: here

Andy Stern's proteges ousted over embezzlement

Elected officers at the Service Employees International Union's largest California chapter are out of their posts after the U.S. Labor Department charged the local's leaders with violating labor laws.

United Long-Term Care Workers President Tyrone Freeman and his cohorts are the focus of a Labor Department investigation. Freeman, who himself is already under scrutiny for alleged improper spending practices, is charged with making it too difficult for would-be challengers to qualify for the local's election ballot. The complaint says the local required 4,800 signatures to be collected in just three weeks from members working mostly in private homes. Due to the difficulty of the requirements, the only ones to qualify for the ballot were Freeman and his allies.

Until the investigation is concluded, the SEIU has placed the ULTCW local into trusteeship. Several former members of the ULTCW board have filed a suit against SEIU asking the union to revoke the trusteeship. Freeman is not part of that suit, and has denied any wrongdoing.


Swing-state voters received multiple ballots

Voter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed ACORN's shock troops for Obama not cited

The Republican Party of Virginia is urging election officials to investigate allegations of “double-balloting” in five counties in the swing state where party leaders say they’ve had reports of absentee voters being mailed multiple ballots for this year’s election.

Lauren Carter Mann, 23, is one such voter. Mann told The Examiner Tuesday she received two absentee ballots from the Henrico County registrar the same day at her New York City apartment.

“I was just confused, I thought it was really weird,” Mann said. “I actually had no idea what to do, I had a friend sit down with me and compare the two because I was thinking there was no way they could both be real ballots. They were exactly the same though.”

Republican party officials in Virginia say they have confirmed duplicate ballot mailings coming from registrars in Henrico, Fairfax, Chesterfield, Petersburg and Virginia Beach.

Staff working for Virginia Secretary of Elections Nancy Rodrigues said she would issue a letter responding to the complaints Wednesday, but they were not able to provide an advance statement.

Cleta Mitchell, general consul for the Republican Party of Virginia, said party leaders asked Rodrigues to stop processing absentee ballots until there has been an analysis done of which localities mailed duplicate ballots.

In a letter to Rodrigues, Mitchell said: “We trust that you share our concern and recognition of the potential for this mistake to undermine the integrity of the upcoming Election ...”

According to Mitchell, Rodrigues e-mailed all local registrars late Friday telling them to stop processing absentee ballots until further guidance from her office Tuesday.

Fairfax County registrar Rokey Suleman said duplicate absentee balloting happens every year, typically with military voters who fill out federal postcard applications for absentee ballots that are good for two federal elections. Some inadvertently reapply for absentee voting the following election, without knowing a ballot was on the way.

Suleman acknowledged there are “less than 12” people on Fairfax County’s rolls who may have received duplicate ballots from postcard applications, but said two ballots from the same voter would never both be processed.

“The system has safeguards to prevent two votes from counting,” Suleman said. “We have in the system that Joe Doe has returned an absentee ballot, so if a second comes in from the same person, it would be automatically voided.”


ACORN delegitimizes Obama

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group was supposed to aid and abet Obama, Dems

All governments rise or fall on the degree to which the people find them legitimate. When the people no longer believe a government has gained power by legitimate means or that a government operates in an honest and legitimate manner, only force and intimidation maintains it.

One of the true strengths of the United States has been the accepted process for the peaceful transfer of power from one group of people to another. This process, elections held at regular intervals, has conferred that most precious of all commodities on the United States Government: legitimacy.

But in 2008, in a desperate drive for power, that most valuable of gifts from our Founding Fathers is being abused and discarded. Simply put, it is becoming more and more evident every day that the elections this year may not be legitimate, that the “winners” will not be able to claim they assumed office in a fair and open manner. In short, we could be about to be ruled by an illegitimate government founded on fraud and outright criminality.

All across America reports are coming in of obvious voter fraud. While election offices have been flooded with new registrants, even a cursory review is finding rampant fraud. The abuse was so blatant in Nevada that police secured a search warrant and raided one of the offices of the registration organization. They had arrogantly used the roster of the Dallas Cowboys football team on multiple registration forms.

If all of these incidents were isolated, then you could just chalk it up to an over enthused electorate. But they are not isolated; they are coordinated and planned. And all of the abuse and outright criminal behavior leads back to one place, an organization named ACORN.

ACORN is a radical left-wing group formed out of the Welfare Rights organization. Its founder, Wade Rathke, was a member of the SDS, the violent, anti-American organization. Over the years, this fringe group has grown in power and stature through tens of millions of dollars in tax money funneled to them from crony politicians and from a network of socialist private foundations.

The level of fraud is so great that some brave U.S. Attorneys are looking at taking action. But the odds are it is too late, that their efforts will be squashed and the election will be outright stolen. There is zero precedent in America for overturning an election once it has been certified. So, the fraudulent election is likely to take place, the results certified and the so-called “winner” will assume office.

And since it is Barrack Obama who is joined at the hip with ACORN, one must assume it is for his election that ACORN is breaking every law it can. That should not be much of a surprise since the Obama campaign paid ACORN $800,000 for “advance” work, even going so far as to try to hide who was actually getting the money.

Justice may yet prevail. The U.S. Justice system may block this assault. It is not pre-ordained that Barrack Obama will be sworn in to office on Jan. 20. A lot is going to happen between now and the election. But the question should be asked: If Obama does win based on a plan of massive voter fraud, intimidation, and outright criminal activity, how will he govern? How can anyone who has attained the office through tactics more akin to tin-horn dictators ever have the legitimacy to govern?

The answer is self-evident, he will have no legitimacy. Every act he and his dutiful lackeys in Congress take will have no legitimate base with the American people. As someone who will have only attained power through the crude, thuggish actions of ACORN and their allies, nothing he says will carry the authority or respect all law depends on to function.

As observed before, when power lacks moral authority and the true consent of the governed, it has only one way to assert its will — force, the threat of violence, and outright physical control. And, especially given the temperament of the American people, such action would lead to only one reaction, resistance.

That is what is at stake. The seeds are being sown now of what could be the darkest chapter in our nation’s history. An illegitimate government using force to compel a restive citizenry to “share” their income in ever increasing amounts for dubious social welfare scams and radical One World foreign policies will not end well.

One person has the ability to prevent this. Barrack Obama himself is the only person who can short-circuit the dangerous cycle we have entered. If he immediately called on state election officials to purge voter lists in a manner designed to remove the fraudulent registrants, if he joined with people of good faith of all political persuasions to establish a monitoring system, if he openly discussed his relationship with ACORN and cooperated with law enforcement authorities, he would ensure the legitimacy of the elections. And, he would accomplish what he says he wants, true reconciliation in America.

Whether Obama would win in a fair contest is hard to say. He has many assets and skills. If he fails to acts now, he could win the White House and lose all. He would forever be seen as the interloper, the illegitimate beneficiary of the largest fraud ever committed. But if he does “man-up” at this crucial moment, he will gain the respect of friend and foe alike. He will have earned for himself the legitimacy no stolen election can ever confer.

- Bill Wilson is the president of Americans for Limited Government, a nonpartisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms and private property rights. Visit www.GetLiberty.org


NYT rips ACORN over Rathke embezzlement

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud: here embezzlement: here

Embezzlement epidemic sweeps through Organized Labor

An internal report by a lawyer for the community organizing group Acorn raises questions about whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws.

The group, formally known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been in the news over accusations that it is involved in voter registration fraud, charges it says are overblown and politically motivated.

Republicans have tried to make an issue of Senator Barack Obama’s ties to the group, which he represented in a lawsuit in 1995. The Obama campaign has denied any connection with Acorn’s voter registration drives.

The June 18 report, written by Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington lawyer, spells out her concerns about potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things.

It also offers a different account of the embezzlement of almost $1 million by the brother of Acorn’s founder, Wade Rathke, than the one the organization gave in July, when word of the theft became public.

“A full analysis of potential liability will require consultation with a knowledgeable white-collar criminal attorney,” Ms. Kingsley wrote of the embezzlement, which occurred in 2000 but was not disclosed until this summer.

In a telephone interview on Monday, Ms. Kingsley and Bertha Lewis, Acorn’s top executive, said the group had begun addressing the concerns raised in the report.

“Has everything been done yet? No,” Ms. Lewis said. “We’ve been at this for three months, and we have taken everything she said in the report very seriously. It’s a huge undertaking.”

Over the weekend, Ms. Kingsley said, the national board adopted several good-governance policies, like appointing an audit committee for the first time.

Disclosure of her report, which was distributed to Acorn and 10 affiliates, increases pressure on the organization at a particularly troublesome time. Besides the inquiries into its voter registration efforts, Acorn faces demands for back taxes by the Internal Revenue Service and various state tax authorities. At the same time, foundations that have backed Acorn are withholding support.

Ms. Kingsley’s concerns about the way Acorn affiliates work together could fuel the controversy over Acorn’s voter registration efforts, which are largely underwritten by an affiliated charity, Project Vote. Project Vote hires Acorn to do voter registration work on its behalf, and the two groups say they have registered 1.3 million voters this year.

As a federally tax-exempt charity, Project Vote is subject to prohibitions on partisan political activity. But Acorn, which is a nonprofit membership corporation under Louisiana law, though subject to federal taxation, is not bound by the same restrictions.

“Project Vote and Acorn have a written agreement that specifies that all work is nonpartisan,” Michael Slater, Project Vote’s new executive director, wrote in answer to e-mailed questions about the relationship.

But Ms. Kingsley found that the tight relationship between Project Vote and Acorn made it impossible to document that Project Vote’s money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner. Until the embezzlement scandal broke last summer, Project Vote’s board was made up entirely of Acorn staff members and Acorn members.

Ms. Kingsley’s report raised concerns not only about a lack of documentation to demonstrate that no charitable money was used for political activities but also about which organization controlled strategic decisions.

She wrote that the same people appeared to be deciding which regions to focus on for increased voter engagement for Acorn and Project Vote. Zach Pollett, for instance, was Project Vote’s executive director and Acorn’s political director, until July, when he relinquished the former title. Mr. Pollett continues to work as a consultant for Project Vote through another Acorn affiliate.

“As a result, we may not be able to prove that 501(c)3 resources are not being directed to specific regions based on impermissible partisan considerations,” Ms. Kingsley said, referring to the section of the tax code concerning rules for charities.

She also found problems with governance of Acorn affiliates. “Board meetings are not held, or if they are, minutes are not kept, or if minutes are kept, they never make it into the files,” she wrote.

Project Vote, for example, had only one independent director since it received a federal tax exemption in 1994, and he was on the board for less than two years, its tax forms show. Since then, the board has consisted of Acorn staff members and two Acorn members who pay monthly dues.

But George Hampton, who was listed as a board member from 1994 to 2006, said that while he had been a member of Acorn, he had never heard of Project Vote. “I don’t know anything about this,” Mr. Hampton said.

Cleo Mata, listed as a board member on tax forms from 1997 to 2006, also said she was not aware she was on the Project Vote board. “If that’s what you say,” Ms. Mata told a visitor to her home in Pasadena, Tex. “I tell you that I didn’t realize I was.”

Mr. Slater said he “cannot speak to why Mr. Hampton and Ms. Mata fail to recall their involvement on the Project Vote board.” He noted that Ms. Mata, 63, was “in poor health.”

Project Vote assembled a new board this fall that Ms. Kingsley said had greater independence, even though five of the six new members have longstanding ties to Acorn.

Ms. Kingsley’s description of the embezzlement differed from the organization’s. In an interview July 8, Ms. Lewis said 90 percent of the $948,607 Mr. Rathke’s brother embezzled came from Acorn and the rest from its charity affiliates.

But Ms. Kingsley reported that $215,000 was charged to an Acorn American Express card paid by the Acorn Beneficial Association, a pension fund that has been replaced by a new Acorn pension fund. After the embezzlement was discovered, the Acorn Beneficial Association wrote off the embezzlement as a gift to Acorn.

Acorn contends that the fund is not covered by federal pension fund regulations, but Ms. Kingsley wrote: “It is nonetheless the case that a number of organizations, possibly including unions and charities, paid funds into the A.B.A. for entirely different purposes. They did not make those contributions in order to make a gift to Acorn.”

Ms. Kingsley also found that the Acorn Fund, a health care benefits fund, had advanced “a large amount of money” to Acorn, adding that it appeared that the money was used to cover “the cash shortfall caused by the embezzlement.”


Union-backed ACORN covers-up embezzlement

More ACORN stories: hereWade Rathke: here collectivism: here

ACORN moves to insulate Barack Obama from scandal

The board of a national activist group embroiled in controversy over its voter registration practices has decided to withdraw an unrelated lawsuit over claims that the founder's brother embezzled nearly $1 million, a spokesman said Monday.

Two of 51 board members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now sued for access to the group's financial records. But the full ACORN board voted to withdraw the lawsuit during a weekend meeting in New Orleans, ACORN spokesman Charles Jackson said.

"The board is moving in a positive manner for a speedy resolution in the best interests of the organization," he said.

The case has set off a power struggle within ACORN at a time when its voter registration practices are the subject of fraud investigations in several states.

The lawsuit accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale misappropriated $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.

In the suit, board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid claimed a small group of ACORN executives allowed the Rathke family to repay the embezzled money instead of reporting the allegations to law-enforcement authorities.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN's interim chief organizer, has said Inman and Reid didn't have the authority to sue on the board's behalf. Lewis, who didn't immediately return a call for comment Monday, also has said the suit was a distraction from responding to "Republican right-wing attacks" over ACORN's voter registration.

ACORN is accused of submitting false voter registration forms for some of the 1.3 million young people, minorities, and poor and working-class voters it has registered. The FBI has joined nearly a dozen states in investigating.

Inman said the board only had a "minuscule" discussion of the voter fraud scandal.

"We probably spent 20 minutes on it," she said.

Inman said she was one of 11 members who voted against withdrawing the suit. She couldn't say how many voted in favor of its dismissal, and Jackson refused to disclose the tally.

"The board was overwhelming on the vote to withdraw that," said Inman, adding that a proposal to remove her and Reid from the board was tabled.

Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, has defended the decision to keep his brother's actions an "internal matter" and resolve it with "private restitution." Reporting the case to law enforcement could have left the group at risk of financial ruin, Rathke said.

No working phone number for Dale Rathke could be found and a request by The Associated Press to contact him through his brother wasn't immediately answered.


Obama, ACORN steeped in corruption

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Connecting ACORN and Organized Labor

I cannot believe the hypocrisy of Sen. Barack Obama, who claims that he does not want four more years of the same garbage that we as a nation have endured under our current president. Now, it puzzles me that a man so steep in corruption can make that kind of statement. Obama has given generously to ACORN, an organization which is attempting to steal this election. ACORN has committed voter registration fraud, yet has the audacity to rise up and claim that this is justified. Does this sound familiar, kind of like the 2000 election? I am shocked that 51 percent of our nation feels that this is not an important issue.

Obama was a willing participant in some of the most corrupt politics while in Chicago — a willing participant, not an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is how he rose in the Senate. Obama has associated himself with some of the sleeziest, most inhumane people to ever walk the face of this earth and Sen. Obama stands on his box and preaches about bringing change? I am shocked that 51 percent of Americans do not feel his association with is an important issue.

A vote for Sen. Obama is a vote for four more years of the same corrupt garbage that this current administration has brought to the country. How can a man with such poor judgement, such greed, corruption, and dishonesty stand in front of citizens of this country and promise to bring about change?

It’s time for us to wake up and see our hands in front of our faces. The writing is on the wall. Four years of Barack Obama will be no different than eight years of George W. Bush. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

- Steve Allen, Montgomery


ACORN-Obama voter-fraud is good

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Dems, Obama, Organized Labor benefit from double-standard

We interrupt regular column writing to ... imagine John McCain ahead in the polls.

Imagine that McCain had spent the last 20 years in the pews of a white supremacist church that supported an apartheid-like separationism from black people, and also that, until a few months ago, McCain had proudly claimed the church’s white racist pastor as his “friend, mentor and pastor” — even taking the title of his best-selling 2006 memoir from one of this man’s sermons. Imagine further that, in the 1990s, McCain had directed foundation funding toward a white-separatist educational program supported by this same pastor.

Now imagine McCain — this same imaginary McCain whose polls indicate imminent victory — had only lately left this church, brushing off his relationship with the racist pastor by pleading ignorance of the man’s vile views.

All of these McCain hypotheticals, of course, are mirrored in Barack Obama realities related to his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah “G-- d--- America” Wright. The foundation funding I refer to, detailed in a recent scoop by Stanley Kurtz, is the $200,000 that Obama, as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundation, approved for a local organization that promoted black separationism as taught by such Afrocentric theorists as Jacob Carruthers, who, Kurtz writes at National Review Online, sought to use “African-centered education to recreate a separatist universe within America, a kind of state-within-a-state.”

Interesting, no? Worth a question or two into Obama’s more or less political relationship with Wright, no? Or views on Afrocentrism, no? Or into his media-honed reputation as the candidate of post-racial integration, no?

No. Let me demonstrate why not by harkening back to our McCainian world of pretend for an unreality-check.

Imagine — and this may be the hardest thing to swallow — that the press corps (panting adjunct to this imaginary McCain campaign), assorted pundits, politicians and practically anyone else with a microphone or blog, say none of this matters. Or say it is “racist” to discuss these shocking facts. Weirder still, imagine that Obama, imaginary McCain’s trailing opponent, says the very same thing — more than passing strange given the happenstance that Obama is black and thus a key symbol of the imaginary pastor’s vicious animus.

It is mind games like these that we need to play on ourselves to puncture the bubble of complacency and conditioning that has swathed and protected Obama not merely from the consequences (as in voter-rejection) from his Jeremiah Wright relationship, but from his relationships with a veritable pantheon of anti-American extremists. A partial list includes the racist Jeremiah Wright, the radical William Ayers, the former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, the redistributionist and voter-fraud-perpetrating ACORN, and the out-and-out socialist New Party. These are the people and groups, from the farthest reaches of the anti-American left, that have shaped and driven this man who would be president.

This may come as a big yawn to big media, but it is, as our little game of pretend shows, outrageous. Just imagine if McCain had once belonged to a far-right extremist party, and, naturally enough, had had his 1995 political coming-out party in the living room of the likes of Timothy McVeigh. Imagine, like ex-Weatherman William Ayers, that McVeigh’s treasonous goals to destroy the U.S. government hadn’t diminished over the years — indeed, that he called himself a “radical, rightist, small “f” fascist” the same year McCain’s political career was launched in his home — but that he had merely abandoned violent means to revolution in favor of “educational reform.”

(Ayers, of course, in real life, called himself a “radical, leftist, small ‘c’ communist” in 1995, the same year Obama debuted as a political candidate in Ayers’ home. In 2006, with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez looking on, he declared, “La educacion es revolucion.”)

Would the media and political consensus insist none of this mattered to voters? That it was “racist” or “negative” even to bring it up? And, further, that such a candidate’s comfort with and receptivity to anti-American extremists was not an automatic disqualifier for the presidency?

The answer to all of these questions is “no.” Indeed, it’s a sure thing that a reflexive, righteous and widespread consensus against my imaginary candidate would have formed among the media and political establishment, thus disqualifying him from becoming his party’s presidential nominee, let alone the next president of the United States....

We now return to regular programming.

- Diana West blogs at dianawest.net.


ACORN scandal reveals Obama's bad judgment

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Stench exposes Dem, Obama politics-as-usual

It’s very disturbing to learn about some of the individuals who are involved in Barack Obama’s campaign —former Fannie Mae executives who helped bring about our present economic crisis.

Franklin Raines — forced to retire as CEO at Fannie Mae when severe auditing irregularities were found — has advised Obama’s campaign. Tim Howard, once chief financial officer at Fannie Mae, is a chief executive officer for Obama, and Jim Johnson, former executive at Lehman Brothers — currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving at Fannie Mae — was hired as a senior finance officer.

Why in the world would Obama want to be involved with these individuals? They helped cause this economic mess in the first place. And Obama’s other longstanding, close relationships with William Ayers, the former terrorist who bombed the U.S. Capitol; indicted deloper Tony Rezko; Rasheed Kaliddi, Bernadine Dorn and the Rev. Wright, who damns America, all make Obama’s judgment suspect at best.

Recently there was a report regarding voter fraud in 15 states by ACORN, the community activist group supported by the Obama campaign to help turn out the Democrat vote for the November election.

A recent ACORN office was raided by federal officials on reports that employees falsified forms with fake names and made-up addresses.

In Hampton Roads, phony voter registration forms were filled out by paid employees of Community Voters Project, resulting in felony voter fraud charges.

“Democrat sheriffs in Fairfax and Petersburg are registering prison inmates to vote, some of whom are awaiting trial for felonies, and Gov. Kaine is rushing to restore voting rights to felons,” according to Jeff Frederick, Republican Committee chairman for Virginia.

Good judgment matters —character matters, and it comes down to who you feel is more qualified to lead and protect our country.

Sen. John McCain has proudly served his country in war and peacetime, and I believe his honest and sound judgment will enable this country to move forward while at the same time keeping us safe.

- Ginny Pegelow is a resident of Etlan.


ACORN fraud charges filed in PA

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed ACORN paid for fraudulent voter registrations in swing-state

The accusations stem from the man's time spent working with ACORN this past spring. The Delaware County DA has filed dozens of federal charges against 34-year-old Jamar Barksdale of Chester. He was hired by ACORN to go out to a mall and register new voters.

Investigators say this is a case of one man, acting alone, accused of altering the registration information of 18 individuals and simply making up another 22 names, just to collect a paycheck from ACORN.

The DA says Barksdale turned in phony applications to ACORN which were then submitted to the County Registration Commission. The DA says the head of that office discovered the discrepancies.

"The deception was handing in to a supervisor fraudulent voter applications in exchange for money," said District Attorney Mike Green.

ACORN says they fired Barksdale at the end of May when they discovered his alleged fraud. They say they also alerted the county Board of Elections. The DA says the investigation was initiated by his detectives.

"The question as to how ACORN operates, its internal business procedures... that's not a matter that's being investigated by the office of the District Attorney," Green said.

ACORN has been under fire nationally by the Republican Party for allegedly cutting corners to swell the registration rolls for the Democrats.

The DA of Delaware County, a Republican, says ACORN is cooperating with his investigation.

But, why bring charges now, just two weeks before the election when detectives have been on the case since July?

Green says they had to wait for handwriting analysis that was submitted just five days ago.

"Given the investigative technique they were required to use in this case, that was delayed until a few days ago," Green said.

Green said he could not elaborate as to what technique he was referring to.

Green says the county is investigating another 500 questionable registrations, most of them submitted by ACORN. But he wouldn't say which organizations submitted the others.

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