NEA opposes anti-corruption measure

More NEA stories: here

Special interests line up against South Dakotans for Open and Clean Government

A national teachers union has provided most of the money used by a committee to fight a ballot measure that would ban government-funded lobbying and prevent many people from making donations to political campaigns.

The National Education Association is providing about $1.1 million to the No on 10 Committee, a coalition of 66 organizations representing unions, business groups, local governments and farm groups, said Steve Willard, a leader of the effort against Initiated Measure 10.

Related videos:
"YES on 10 / Stop the 'Pay to Play' Scheme"

"Stop the corruption, South Dakota"

"It isn't being funded by taxpayers' dollars," Willard said.

The No on 10 Committee spent about $1.3 million in the campaign, with the NEA's $1.1 million donation paying most of the bills, Willard said. The committee spent heavily on television ads.

The NEA and the South Dakota Education Association, which has 7,000 members, donated money to fight the ballot measure because the proposed law would prevent teachers and others who work under collective bargaining agreements from making campaign donations to candidates, SDEA officials said.

The campaign committee supporting the ballot measure, South Dakotans for Open and Clean Government, has received nearly all its money from the South Dakota Conservative Action Council, a nonprofit corporation that has not reported where it receives its funding. The council has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign.

Campaign finance reports were due Friday but had not yet been posted by the secretary of state's office late in the day.

Dena Espenscheid, a spokeswoman for South Dakotans for Open and Clean Government, said the committee's funding has all come from South Dakota people and organizations, except for a $10,000 donation last year from Americans for Tax Reform.

Espenscheid said her committee does not know where the South Dakota Conservative Action Council gets its money. "How should we know? We're not the Conservative Action Council."

Lee Breard, executive director of the Conservative Action Council, said his group and other nonprofit organizations do not have to report who donates to them.

"The funding for the Conservative Action Council is just raised from good conservatives who support our principles across South Dakota," Breard said, adding that the organization gets donations from outside the state.

Breard and Espenscheid asked whether the NEA and other groups opposing the ballot measure, such as the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, listed everyone who donated to them.

"In fact, the powerful, ultraliberal, out-of-state union bosses whose left-wing agenda is hostile to South Dakota values are the ones paying for the no-truth campaign, the no-truth committee's big-lie campaign," Espenscheid said.

Bryce Healy, executive director of the SDEA, said the national teachers' union got involved in the South Dakota campaign because similar ballot measures are being attempted in other states.

The money for the South Dakota campaign comes from a fund supported by contributions of 50 cents a month from teachers and other school employees, which includes 3.2 million NEA members and 7,000 SDEA members, Healy said.

The NEA's Ballot Measure Fund is intended partly to protect members from proposals such as Initiated Measure 10, which are attacks on the free speech rights of teachers, firefighters and others, Healy said.

Initiated Measure 10 would ban the use of government money for lobbying, prevent holders of some no-bid contracts and their relatives from contributing to candidate campaigns, and require details of some state contracts to be placed on the Internet.

Because the measure's definition of no-bid government contracts includes collective bargaining agreements, it would prevent teachers from making political donations, according to opponents of the measure.

Breard said the teachers' union money could be considered tax money because schools deduct union dues from payrolls.

Opponents argue the measure would mean that associations representing local governments could not testify in legislative committee hearings, and business people and their relatives would not be able to make political donations if they hold even relatively small government contracts.

Supporters contend it would create a more open and clean government and would prevent government officials from handing out contracts in exchange for campaign money.

Willard noted that the measure is opposed by 66 groups with widely different interests. Opponents include the state Republican and Democratic parties, the Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, various unions, the South Dakota Retailers Association, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and associations representing local governments.

"It's been fun," Willard said. "We've had people that disagree on so many different things, but on this we are sitting at the same table."

Opponents argue the measure is intended to give out-of-state interests more influence over South Dakota government.

"If it takes everybody out that's participating today, it doesn't do anything to hurt the out-of-state interests," Willard said.


Socialistic trick and treats

More collectivism stories: here

Obama, ACORN spread the wealth around

Related series: "What did Barack Obama Teach ACORN?"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud: here collectivism: here

A vote for Obama is a vote for Marxism, class warfare

Barack Obama has bragged that he worked so hard for several years as a community organizer, and trainer for, a legal team on behalf of ACORN that he could be considered ACORN.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, has as its purpose: to empower the poor, especially minorities. Shamefully, it seems to feed on biases and resentments rather than providing enabling education.

It attempts to empower by convincing that unearned benefits, paid for by those who do earn, are a right. It’s beyond liberalism; it’s socialism and it’s a radical ideology.

The FBI is now investigating fraudulent voter registrations among hundreds of thousands collected by ACORN-paid workers and submitted across the country at closing deadlines.

Over several years, ACORN has intimidated banks to give mortgage loans to people who could not qualify under legitimate credit/lending practices. The banks resisted because the standards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not allow the needed financial suppport to those banks for such loans. So, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, being government-sponsored, the Democrats in Congress and President Clinton simply ordered them to ease up.

Thus began NINJA and “nodoc-lodoc” loans — NINJA: no income, no job, no assets; loans with little or no documentation to support their worth.

The ruination of the credit market had begun and would continue to spread through Wall Street and across the globe.

Obama and the Democrats negotiated an additional $150 billion to the $700 billion “rescue package” before they would approve it, and would have included another $20 billion for ACORN, but had to back off in order to get any Republican support.

Obama’s main ideology and plan for his presidency is, as he most recently confirmed: Spread the wealth. Take from those who earn to give to those who don’t.

- Judith McDonald, Port St. Lucie


Obama sets plan for unemployment surge

Related: "Jobless jolt expected in February"
More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Dems' Job Killer Act would unionize U.S. small businesses without workers' vote

Just days from now, voters will head to the polls facing the ultimate irony: potentially electing a President and congressional majority prepared to strip millions of Americans of the same right they will exercise on November 4th inside voting booths across the country: the right to a secret ballot. At stake is the American working men and women’s right to preserve their privacy during workplace unionization elections – a right Democratic leaders like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are ready to replace with a decidedly undemocratic process known as a “card check.”

Union elections have been monitored for decades by the National Labor Relations Board and decided by the secret ballot process that citizens of our nation have come to take for granted. The fact is, under the secret ballot, Big Labor has not fared very well. It’s not that the process is unfair – it’s a secret ballot, after all. Quite simply, it has become apparent Americans workers no longer see unionization as a priority. For proof, just look at the numbers. About 50 years ago, about four in 10 private sector workers were unionized. Thirty years ago, that level fell to one in four. Today, it’s less than 10 percent. Big Labor bosses are scrambling to stop the bleeding, and they’ve turned to the card check, even though it undermines a worker’s privacy.

Under the card check process, union organizers and bosses gather authorization cards purportedly signed by workers expressing their desire for a union to represent them. But these card checks often leave workers vulnerable to coercion, pressure, and outright intimidation and threats – from either the management or the union side of the election. That’s why nearly 90 percent of Americans polled on this issue oppose the process.

Imagine campaign workers for Sen. Obama or Sen. McCain – or even the candidates themselves – standing beside you, staring at your ballot as you make that critical choice on November 4th. Imagine your selection being made public to everyone: your family, your friends, and your co-workers. Not a very pleasant scenario, is it? Not a very democratic one either.

While John McCain opposes the undemocratic card check, Barack Obama has promised, “We’ll make it the law of the land when I’m President.” That sort of rhetoric should send a chill down the spine of every man and woman who treasures his or her privacy in the workplace. But if Sen. Obama wins the White House and Democratic majorities are returned to both the House and the Senate, the promise of ending secret ballots in the workplace will not just be part of campaign rhetoric; it will likely become a reality.

In the Democrat-controlled Congress that ends later this year, House Republicans mounted enough opposition to sustain a threatened presidential veto in the House, and Republicans – including John McCain – were able to bring the bill down in the Senate, so the measure never even arrived on the President’s desk.

Stronger Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, however, most certainly would get the bill to a President Obama’s desk, and as he has told his supporters in Big Labor, he’d sign it without a second thought. With the stroke of a pen, a time-honored right would be signed away into the pages of history.

To say there is a great deal at stake in this election is an incredible understatement. From the economy and national security to judicial nominations, health care, and energy policy, the ramifications of the choice our nation will make on November 4th will be felt for decades to come. Yet on no single issue could the ramifications be felt more swiftly or more severely than workplace elections.

By killing secret ballot union elections within the first several months of an Obama Administration, a major payback would be delivered to leaders of Big Labor – just one group of radical special interests to whom Democrats in Washington are beholden. Decades of fairness, order, and tradition in the workplace would be overhauled. And worst of all, a tenet of American democracy would be effectively shredded. That’s change alright – change of the very worst kind.

-John Boehner, U.S. House Minority Leader


Unions to curb their executives' pay?

More AFT stories: here

Teachers' union dues line the pockets of union bigs

You know, I’ve got enough people haranguing me about things I’ve written to have to deal with things I haven’t written, but the American Federation of Teachers suddenly wants to be sure that everyone knows that AFT President Randi Weingarten only makes $350,000 a year.

The impetus for this disclosure comes from a blog item written by Mike Petrilli on Flypaper yesterday that listed Weingarten’s annual salary as $600,000. In the item he links to the EIA Communiqué of April 14, 2008. This prompted AFT to call for a correction from Petrilli, because Randi Weingarten only makes $350,000 a year. Petrilli then updated the item with “If you follow the link, it goes to Mike Antonucci’s Education Intelligence Agency, where he reports that Randi planned to draw salaries from both the AFT and UFT.”

This prompted AFT to call for a correction from me, because Randi Weingarten only makes $350,000 a year.

I’m happy to oblige, even though I’m not sure what exactly is inaccurate in this six-month-old item. Here it is in full:
Randi Weingarten Makes Her AFT Accession Official. Spilling what was arguably one of the worst-kept secrets in American labor history, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten officially announced her candidacy for the presidency of the American Federation of Teachers.

She also made official her intention to continue as UFT president while holding national office. When the New York Daily News remarked that holding both positions would nearly double her annual salary to reach almost $600,000, Weingarten referred to her previous career as a Wall Street attorney and replied, “I took a huge cut in any kind of pay that I was ever going to make in my life to do this job. And so money has never been an issue with me other than to try to champion those causes for my members.”

Weingarten spent three years as an associate for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. While there is no way to know what career path she might have taken had she not been hired by UFT in 1986, it’s pretty clear how much she would have made had she stayed at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan as an associate. She even mentioned it in a 2004 speech:

“If I were starting out today as a young new attorney in my old firm – Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, I would be starting at $125,000. After eight years as a teacher here in New York, I’d be making $60,700. After eight years in my old law firm, I’d be making a base salary of $215,000.”

A more recent look at the firm’s salary schedule shows a $280,000 level after eight years. Certainly we can generate scenarios in which Weingarten would have made more than $600,000 as an attorney, but in reality she made more money in her first eight years as UFT president than she would have had she spent those eight years as a Wall Street attorney.
If you follow the link, you’ll see that Weingarten told the Daily News that she “hadn’t even thought about the money attached to her potential new role.”

AFT informs me that sometime after my item appeared Weingarten “then told her UFT Delegate Assembly and the AFT Executive Council that she would only draw one salary,” which is only $350,000 a year, split between the United Federation of Teachers and AFT.

I’m flattered to hear that AFT thinks I’m privy to all the details of meetings of the UFT Delegate Assembly and AFT Executive Council, but this is the first I’ve heard of the arrangement. So, for the record, Randi Weingarten does not make $600,000 a year, which is so outrageous a sum it would prompt all sorts of internal unrest. Randi Weingarten only makes $350,000 a year.


Andy Stern disqualified for Labor Secretary

More SEIU stories: hereAndy Stern stories: here

Shame on Andy Stern and his scofflaw SEIU proteges

It the investigation into the corruption of Calif. SEIU head Tyrone Freeman keeps getting better … well, actually worse. Now it is being revealed that Service Employees International Union chief Freeman regularly forced employees of a charity he headed to do political hack work — a practice barred by law.
Six people who worked for either the union or the charity told The Times that Freeman, and others at the labor organization acting on his behalf, ordered the nonprofit’s staffers to join partisan get-out-the-vote drives and other campaign efforts during and after their regular hours. The former employees spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation and legal jeopardy.

The former workers say that employees were required to distribute fliers, walk precincts and staff phone banks for individual candidates and the Democratic ticket during the days leading up to primary and general elections.
Naturally, Freeman is giving that innocent look of “what, me?” He is denying all allegations despite the several workers and other witnesses saying the opposite.

Like the old saying goes, deny, deny, deny.

The many scandals surrounding Freeman has resulted in several firings by the SEIU.
In the meantime, the SEIU has fired four of Freeman’s top managers and assistants. Two other employees either were fired or resigned after being accused of threatening colleagues suspected of speaking to The Times, according to an SEIU official.
It’s sure to get messier before it’s all over. Freeman had direct ties to SEIU head Andy Stern in Washington D.C.


Union big indicted for embezzlement

More embezzlement stories: here

Too much cash, lax management create a national epidemic

A Pevely union officer was indicted on charges of embezzling $24,000 from the St. Louis-area Glass Molders Plastics Local 30, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Thursday. Michael St. John, 32, of Festus, now faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000. St. John was an officer with the union between October 2003 and December 2007, according to the indictment.


Obama payoff to Teamsters cited

Related: "Is Barack too cozy with Hoffa?"
More Teamsters stories: here

Police expert: The fix is in

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa will be visiting Teamster worksites around the Philadelphia area on October 27-28 to help get out the vote for Sen. Barack Obama in this crucial presidential election, according to a press statement from the union's press office.

Hoffa will meet with members at their job sites, discussing important issues affecting their lives and their families, including the country's financial crisis, the job-killing trade policies backed by Sen. John McCain, the failing Bush-McCain economy and affordable health care.

Hoffa is the son of Teamsters honcho Jimmy Hoffa whose connections with organized crime are believed to have led to his disappearance.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that last summer, Illinois Senator Barack Obama told officials in the Teamsters union that he favored ending the Independent Review Board (IRB) that was created in 1989 by the federal government to rid the union of organized crime.

Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama, confirmed the story, saying that the candidate believed that the IRB had "run its course" because "organized crime influence in the union has drastically declined."

The Teamsters subsequently endorsed Obama for president, in late February. Obama and the Teamsters bristled at suggestions that any deal was made.

The Obama campaign also circulated a tape of a speech that Senator Hillary Clinton made last March to the Teamsters saying "at some point the past has to be opened," but Clinton's statement, like those made by Senator John Kerry in 2004, stopped well short of committing her to end oversight of the Teamsters.

"So what do you expect from a Chicago politician," quips former NYPD detective Mike Snipes who investigated organized crime in the 1970s.

"Obama wants to use the Teamsters as his foot-soldiers to get out the vote. The Teamsters want Obama to call off the watchdogs so they can return to their cozy relationship with organized crime," said the decorated detective.

- Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org).


Obama's plans for economic growth exposed

More collectivism stories: hereMore EFCA stories: here

Progressives herald end to Era of Prosperity

It appears more and more likely with each passing day that we’ll wind up with an Obama administration. If Obama is elected, we will face a lengthy list of policy proposals that are supposed to help the less fortunate but in fact just kill economic growth. He would expand the welfare roles through tax credits to those who pay no taxes, restrict the freedom of employers to pay workers what they are worth, grant unions and government officials power over workers and business, and put government in the business of employing the out-of-work. Each of these proposals has been proven in the past to kill jobs and drag the economy down. Here are just a few examples:

* Additional credits to tax filers paying nothing in taxes would amount to about $33 billion per year and constitute almost 15% of the total cost of Obama’s tax plan (including extension of current rates). They make up 40% of the cost of his new tax cuts. He would add about 24 million new net-recipients of IRS money, taking these people out of the work force. In fact, he would greatly shift the burden to the rich, even though the tax code is already highly progressive. Of course, higher taxes on the successful reduce their incentive to work and invest. This kind of redistribution can only be a drag on growth.

* Obama has promised to sign the Employee Free Choice Act, which would strip workers of the right to vote in secret ballot elections before joining a union, and give the National Labor Relations Board the power to negotiate wages and employment contracts in the event of any dispute. This takes power from workers and employers, and gives it to unions and government. Unionization is known to be a drag on productivity, and to concentrate industry and kill entrepreneurship.

* Obama wants to raise the minimum wage and index it for inflation, despite overwhelming evidence that a higher minimum wage causes unemployment among the low-skilled workers it aims to help. Minimum wages also favor established business over start-ups, hurting entrepreneurship and growth.

* Obama also advocates “Transitional jobs” which are government funded jobs for people who can’t find employment. “Transitional jobs” is just a new name for a public works scheme. Public works programs compete with private industry but are much less efficient, so they are well known to kill economic growth. They are based on the old “broken window fallacy” in which any kind of make-work is better than no work. In fact, as Frederic Bastiat pointed out, there is “what is seen” and there is “what is not seen.” When government tells you they created so many thousand of jobs with their program – that is what is seen. All those private sector jobs which were killed – they are what is not seen.

If Obama wins, the economy will face a huge onslaught of regulation. In addition to whatever bailouts, subsidies and regulations on business pass in the name of escaping the financial crisis, Obama will try to pass these pro-labor and anti-poverty programs. But, he should not be allowed to introduce stagflation and European style unemployment in the name of the workers and the poor.


Student raps Obama over bogus unionism

More collectivism stories: hereMore EFCA stories: here

Barack Obama supports a fascistic crackdown against workers' right to a secret ballot union election

Mike, you have much to learn. Mr. Westervelt, I completely agree on the point that any campaign that seeks to paint its opponent as a terrorist (when evidence is completely to the contrary) is fruitless and distracting. The McCain campaign has erred in that regard.

However, your defense against the arraignment of Senator Barack Obama as a socialist was void of a shred of empirical data or historical reference. Most recent data suggest that some 70 million returns in the bottom half of the U.S. income tax bracket have at most 3 percent of their income in taxed. By taking into account that the median income split point of a U.S. return is just under $32,000, Senator Obama's proposal of widespread $1,000 tax rebates creates a group consisting of nearly half the U.S. population ironically profiting from "paying" their taxes.

Senator Obama's support of the H.R. Bill 800 delves into the deepest roots of collectivism and state socialism. Known as the Employee Free Choice Act, it would eliminate the freedom of workers to vote privately in organization drives and give unseen power to labor unions. Such organizations skew wages to levels above those that are healthily competitive (Freeman, et al. Harvard University). As Friedrich Von Hayek with great foresight saw and predicted, "We have now reached a state where unions have become uniquely privileged institutions to which the general rules do not apply."

If you plan on putting forth an argument with zero supporting evidence, Mike, please know that there are people who actually know what they are talking about who will call you on it. Brush up on your numbers (if you can handle it) and remember what French political philosopher Elie Halevy stated so beautifully: "The Socialists believe in two things which are absolutely different and perhaps even contradictory: organization and freedom."

- Trenton Morton, Senior, School of Nuclear Engineering


Barack Obama is The One

More ACORN stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

The One is socialistic

Obama is "The One." He's the one who launched his political career from the living room of American terrorist, William Ayers. He's the one who then lied about his association with Ayers and ACORN. He's the one who said he'd vote against the surge again even though it worked. And he's the one whose campaign jet dropped the American flag from its tail during a refurbishment, and the truth of this claim has been verified by Snopes.com.

He's the one who wants to raise capital gains (and many other taxes) because he doesn't understand economics. In 1981, 1997 and 2003 capital gains were cut and revenues rose by 49 percent, 49 percent and 88 percent respectively. When capital gains were raised in 1986, revenues fell by 44 percent and the source of this information is Americans for Prosperity as illustrated in "Fleeced" by Dick Morris, a longtime political consultant to President Clinton. Obama's the one all right.

He's the one who wants to double capital gains, double taxes on dividends and take money away from hardworking Americans like Joe-the-plumber and "spread the wealth around."

Obama is the one who's a socialist. McCain's an American hero, and the American flag adorns McCain's campaign plane.



ACORN scandal gathers hurricane force

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed Obama shock troops spread corruption nationwide

The furor over ACORN's national voter registration drive exploded with new controversies Friday, including a call by Barack Obama for an independent prosecutor, a Supreme Court ruling over voter access and the disclosure of a death threat against an ACORN worker.

What remains unclear is whether the campaigns of Obama and John McCain will reach a truce over voter access to the polls by Election Day or whether their legal and rhetorical battles will persist to the finish line — or beyond.

Republicans allege that the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now is engaged in rampant voter fraud, but they've offered no proof of such a systematic effort. The GOP does have evidence that some of the group's 13,000 canvassers submitted fraudulent applications, but ACORN says it alerted authorities to most of the phony forms.

Democrats counter that the GOP is trying to whip up fears of voter fraud so it can knock students and low-income minorities off the voter rolls to enhance McCain's chances of victory.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled an attempt by Republicans to challenge the validity of 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio, saying that the party lacked the standing to sue.

The Republicans had sued to force Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, to provide county election officials with lists of registrants whose personal information did not exactly match Social Security or driver's license data, a step that would leave those voters vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

Tensions began to escalate Thursday with disclosures that the FBI is investigating ACORN and the possibility that it's engaged in a vote-fraud scheme.

On Friday, Obama's legal counsel, Robert Bauer, wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey, charging that the inquiry is politically motivated and that it risks repeating the 2007 scandal over the Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department.

Bauer asked Mukasey to broaden a special prosecutor's investigation to examine the origin of the ACORN inquiry.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment, except to say: "We will review the letter."

Earlier Friday, ACORN told McClatchy that one of its senior staffers in Cleveland had received a death threat and that its Boston and Seattle offices had been vandalized sometime Thursday, reflecting the mounting tensions over the group's role in registering 1.3 million mostly poor and minority Americans to vote.

ACORN attorneys drafted a letter alerting the FBI and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division of the incidents, said Brian Kettenring, a Florida-based spokesman for the group.

Kettenring said that a senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland, after appearing on television this week, got an e-mail that said she "is going to have her life ended." A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of "We know you get off work at 9," then uttered racial epithets, he said.

McClatchy is withholding the women's names because of the threats.

Separately, vandals broke into the group's Boston and Seattle offices and stole computers, Kettenring said.

The incidents came the day after McCain charged in the final presidential debate that ACORN's voter-registration drive "may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and may be "destroying the fabric of democracy."

McCain's comments provoked a response from ACORN.

"I would not say that Senator McCain is inciting violence," Kettenring said, "but I would say that his statements about the role of this manufactured scandal were totally outlandish."

Kettenring said that the debate comments seemed to have tipped the atmosphere "to a scary point, where raising allegations of voter fraud went from a cynical campaign ploy to really inciting racial violence." He called on McCain "to tamp down the fringe elements in his party."

McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis didn't directly address the threats, but said he sent a letter inviting Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to join an Honest and Open Election Committee "to ensure that there is a total confidence level in the American public for these elections."

"We believe that these are important historical elections and nothing should mar the outcome, regardless of whether we win or lose," he said.

Since McCain's remarks, ACORN's 87 offices across the country have received hundreds of hostile e-mails, many of them containing racial slurs, Kettenring said. "We believe that these are specifically McCain supporters" sending the messages, he said.

The e-mail to the Cleveland employee was traced to a Facebook Web page in the name of a Baltimore man. It featured a photo of a McCain-Palin sign.

Kettenring said that the bulk of the e-mails had been either "flat-out racist" or had racial overtones. Most of the group's 400 members and about 80 percent of the 13,000 voter-registration canvassers are African-American or Latino.


ACORN admits to huge sweatshop fraud

Related: "ACORN caught in social justice double-standard"
More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed group now ready for GOTV assignment

The community organizing group ACORN’s claim that it had registered 1.3 million new voters was “a wild exaggeration,” according to a charity affiliated with the group, Project Vote. Michael Slater, executive director of Project Vote, told The New York Times that the real number of newly registered voters is closer to 450,000.

The rest are registered voters who were changing their address, and about 400,000 that were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons.

Those include duplicate registrations, incomplete forms, and “fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers” trying to please their supervisors, according to The Times.

“We were wondering how many were Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse,” said Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “The group is really tainted, and any work they do is suspect.”

Election officials have said it is unlikely that large numbers of people would actually try to vote through a fraudulent registration.

But Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund told Newsmax the idea that fictitiously registered voters don’t actually vote is wrong.

Fund, author of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy," says that fraudulent voters have already started to impact the presidential election.

The process is easy, he said — the fraudsters simply use absentee ballots.

State and local authorities have launched investigations into possible fraudulent activity by ACORN in at least 10 states.

Acorn spokesman Brian Kettenring acknowledged that at least some bogus registration cards had been found in all 18 states where the organization has had major registration drivers.


Obama seeks delay in federal ACORN probe

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Bush DOJ expected to back off Barack's union-backed shock troops

Barack Obama's presidential campaign is pressuring the Department of Justice to put off a probe of voter registration fraud allegations leveled against the now infamous liberal group ACORN.

Lawyers for the Obama campaign have written U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, asking him to delay any investigations of voter fraud until after the election. The Obama campaign's general counsel, Robert Bauer, says the FBI should instead be investigating those who have lodged complaints of voter registration fraud against groups like ACORN. Bauer contends that concerns about voter registration fraud are "manufactured allegations" being used to intimidate and disenfranchise low-income voters.

Former Oklahoma Republican Congressman Ernest Istook is a distinguished fellow for government relations at the Heritage Foundation. He says the Obama campaign is encouraging ACORN to continue its "nefarious" conduct.

"They're saying that they think that there's a plot between the McCain campaign and the Justice Department to suppress voter turnout by complaining about voting fraud and irregularities in registration, and so forth," says Istook.

acorn"Naturally, they pooh-pooh the very notion of the problems that have been uncovered -- hundreds of thousands of questionable voter registrations, [including] one man in Ohio who says ACORN got him to register to vote 72 different times."

Istook says ACORN and "its minions" represent a large part of the Obama base, so the senator's camp is trying to keep them motivated by standing up for them and "showing them they have will have a friend and a protector in the White House."

U.S. criminal statutes say that someone who either is involved in a voter registration fraud effort or casts a fraudulent vote himself could receive up to five years in prison.


Partisan ACORN probed by FBI

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Pennsylvania judge clears path for ACORN

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

Union-backed Obama voter fraud group gets friendly treatment in labor-state

A state judge is rejecting the Pennsylvania Republican Party's request to put its lawsuit against the community-activist group ACORN on the fast track. Commonwealth Court Judge Barry Feudale issued the order Friday. Feudale also fixed Wednesday as the date for a hearing on the lawsuit.

The GOP wants the court's approval for party lawyers to immediately interview three people and seek a list of the 140,000 Pennsylvanians that ACORN claims to have registered this year. The party contends that ACORN is fostering voter registration fraud that threatens the integrity of this year's election in the state.


Alinsky: Godfather of Class Warfare Democrats

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

What did Barack Obama know and when did he know it?

Could Lucifer play a role in this presidential election? It may sound crazy, but one of the candidates in this race has publicly praised, even emulated, a writer-activist who himself paid tribute to Lucifer. That’s right, Lucifer, also known as the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub—you get the idea.

Do you think that admiring a Lucifer-admirer would make a difference to some voters? If you’ve never heard of this true fact—and most Americans obviously haven’t—well, that might help to explain why John McCain is behind in the polls.

OK, you might be asking, where is this Lucifer stuff coming from? It comes from a man named Saul Alinsky, who devoted his life to left-wing agitation in Chicago. He also wrote two seminal books, “Reveille for Radicals” and “Rules for Radicals,” still regarded as key how-to manuals for left-wing activists.

But Alinsky was more than just a leftist; he was a genuine out-there crazy, someone who loved to shock and stun, just for the helluvit. And so in the first edition of “Rules for Radicals,” published in 1971, he offered this astounding dedication: “Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgement of the very first radical, from all our legends, mythology, and history … the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.”

This dedication is no secret. David Freddoso wrote about it in his book, The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate; and the inimitable Ann Coulter noted it, too, just last month.

And the connection between Alinsky and Barack Obama—and Alinsky and the left in general—is real enough. As John Fund, author of a newly revised book, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, observes, Alinsky, who died in 1972, was a sort of godfather to all the activist groups that emerged in the 60s and 70s, the most famous (or, if you prefer, notorious) of which today is ACORN.

Fund notes that young Hillary Rodham was such a fan of Alinsky that she traveled to Chicago, four times, to interview him for an adulatory school thesis she was writing. And Obama is an on-the-record fan too: Fund quotes The Washington Post’s Peter Slevin, writing in 2007, “Obama embraced many of Alinsky’s tactics and recently said his years as an organizer gave him the best education of his life.” Slevin further noted that Obama’s and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “common connection to Alinsky is one of the striking aspects of their biographies.”

OK, so the Alinsky-Obama connection is real. But the full truth about Alinsky, and whom he admired, is so wacky, or so horrible, that even the media have been reluctant to get into the story. And so it has received relatively little play. Oh sure, if John McCain had expressed admiration for a Lucifer admirer, that would have been news, but as we all know, there’s a media double standard on such things. That media bias is lamentable, of course, but for a Republican, it’s part of the strategic landscape—one more roadblock to factor into any GOP victory strategy.

Speaking of McCain, he would seem to have the greatest interest in taking Obama down a peg—or, according to the latest calculation from RealClearPolitics, about seven points in the polls. So why hasn’t he highlighted the Alinsky-Lucifer connection? Why hasn’t the McCain-Palin ticket raised this issue, knowing full well that if the candidates say it, reporters have to cover it? Good questions. Did I mention that the Republican nominee is down seven points?

In debate and argumentation, there’s a concept called the “rule of three”—that is, if you can come up with three examples to support your argument, you’ve got a pretty good argument. And so, for example, if one were to make the argument that Obama has strange radical associations, one could bring up Bill Ayers. And check, the McCain campaign has done that. And of course, there’s Reverend Wright, who McCain has stayed away from. So no check there. And no check, of course, for Alinsky-Lucifer. So McCain is left with the “rule of one,” which isn’t much of a rule. If McCain won’t bring up Wright, I guess it’s no surprise that he’s not bringing up Alinsky-Lucifer, assuming his campaign even knows about it.

The point of the “rule of three” is to make a sustained argument, to paint a comprehensive picture, to build an overall narrative—so that nobody can say that any one “hit” is just a cheap shot. That’s what happened to McCain with Ayers; the Obamans, and their allies in the media, said that it was just a “one off,” the sort of incidental association that happens in the course of a public career. And McCain had no good comeback, no additional opposition-research arrows to pull from his quiver.

So the Obama-Alinsky-Lucifer connection is left to float around in the vast soup of the Internet—plenty of mentions, here and there, but no real impact.

But had McCain really gone after Ayers AND Wright AND Alinsky-Lucifer, all at once, he would have had a strong argument that Obama was, and is, well out of the mainstream. And then all the information about Tony Rezko, Emil Jones, and the scandal-ridden Daley machine, would be all the more compelling to reporters and voters, because, as they would have to admit, a “pattern has emerged.”

And, for that matter, let’s talk about the great state of Illinois, where three governors in the last 40 years—Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, and George Ryan—ended up not only convicted, but imprisoned. And a fourth, incumbent Rod Blagojevich, may also end up in the clink. That’s quite a streak of corruption. And what does Obama have to say about any of that? And what did he know, and when did he know it?

If the McCain campaign had been on its game, its opposition researchers would have gone through every single day of Obama’s life since he first set foot in Chicago in 1987. Everyone he met, everything he did. And then, having amassed all that information, the McCainiacs would have made the rest of us know about it—in a sustained, organized, and unrelenting volley.

That’s how you win a presidential campaign, even amidst hard times for your party.

- James P. Pinkerton

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