'Spread the wealth' costs Obama

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Barack Obama was the big loser v. Joe the Plumber

With the presidential campaigns entering the home stretch, some have already declared a landslide for Sen. Barack Obama. As of Oct. 22 an AP-GFK poll put Obama at 44 percent and Sen. John McCain at 43. This comes out three weeks after they put Obama up by seven points.

In the event that McCain manages to pull off this election, there will be cries of a Republican conspiracy with electronic voting machines, disenfranchisement of newly registered voters whose registration forms do not check out, and racism, professionally known as "the Bradley Effect."

Electronic voting fraud had come up as an issue in the 2006 election cycle. Yet, they Democrats still managed to gain control of the House and Senate. If the Republicans secretly programmed them, they did a poor job. However, the thought of a Republican getting any votes is part of the vast Right-Wing conspiracy in some people's minds.

The validity of new voter registration cards has been called into question as well. When 105 percent of all eligible voters in Indianapolis are "registered," there is a problem. ACORN (Association of Community Organization for Reform Now) has been at the center of this controversy, but other smaller groups have also been involved. ACORN registered a second grader, Mickey Mouse, Batman, some of the Dallas Cowboys in Nevada, a pizza delivery guy 72 times and many deceased people. Unfortunately for the Obama campaign, these groups are not eligible to vote. The connection to the Obama campaign comes from Obama paying a group $800,000 in advance for the purpose of voter registration. This group has the exact same board of directors as ACORN. Obama and ACORN do not endorse registering people who are not qualified to vote, but Obama funds it, and ACORN didn't try very hard to prevent it.

According to their website, "ACORN has just completed the largest, most successful nonpartisan voter registration drive in U.S. history. We helped 1.3 million low-income, minority and young voters across the country register to vote." (www.acorn.com) It is hard to believe that the people they targeted when registering were based on nonpartisan efforts. It is much more likely that it was based upon how much money each candidate gave them to register voters. It doesn't help their case when people were offered money and cigarettes to register. As many as 16,000 cards are under investigation in Pennsylvania alone. ("Vote Early. Vote Often?," Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24) Putting conspiracies aside, the main reason Obama may lose the election is because of his radical policy proposals. However, this will be undermined by cries of racism. Bradley did not lose because of race; he lost because he supported strict gun control policies that drew unprecedented and under-polled rural voters whose absentee ballots were not counted by pollsters.

One of the most liberal proposals Obama is touting is the signing of the Freedom of Choice Act as his first act as President. It would negate any current laws impeding abortion access, such as waiting periods and parental notification, and would overturn the partial birth abortion ban. Nobody, even NARAL (Pro-Choice America) has supported other measures Obama has voted for previously.

Another example of his radical policies is his tax program. He plans to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. One third do not pay taxes in the first place.

Phillip Klein asked David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, about what the Obama tax cut would do to low-income Americans' tax rate. His response was, "I'll have to get you the exact rate differential." He followed up by having a staffer forward him general claims about the tax plan. Obama further justified his socialist plan by saying, "When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." It looks like people may end up with returns for taxes they never paid. Another one of Obama's socialist policies is his healthcare program. It would use taxpayer money to subsidize insurance for everyone. It would also impose a fine of an undisclosed amount for people who do not wish to buy the insurance.

Although Obama may mean well, his plans are far more radical than the majority of voters are ready for. "Joe the Plumber," the most publicized example of an ordinary citizen who would "benefit" from Obama's plans, is rejecting them because socialism it is not part of our country's foundations. When Obama doesn't appeal to some of the people he should be most appealing to, there is a fundamental problem in his policies and campaign; racism or "the Bradley effect", voter fraud or machine manipulation will not be the reason he may lose this election.


Unchecked Dems set union dues payback

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Obama wants to force disinterested workers into unions without a secret ballot election

On the defensive across the country and staring down an election that could see them reduced to an ineffective minority in the House and the Senate, congressional Republicans are offering a new argument to voters: the danger of single-party rule in the nation's capital.

Democrats are increasingly confident that Sen. Barack Obama will cruise to victory Nov. 4 and that his election will be accompanied by the biggest congressional majorities their party has enjoyed in decades, perhaps even a filibuster-proof 60-seat presence in the Senate. They have begun to outline an agenda that would center on stimulating the economy in the short term and then move quickly to beginning a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and focusing on domestic priorities such as overhauling the health-care system.

At the same time, party leaders are mindful of the dangers associated with one party controlling all levers of government, particularly given the monumental financial and international problems the next president and a new Congress will inherit.

"The larger the majority, the more likelihood that people think they can go off on their own. But being in the minority for 12 years was probably pretty good for us. We are a party much more aware of the necessity of unity," House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) said.

In their eleventh-hour appeals for ticket-splitting, Republicans on the campaign trail are warning of Democratic overreach.

"If I lose this seat and one party has control across the board, then you'll see changes," Sen. Norm Coleman told voters last week in Minnesota, where he is trailing comedian-turned-politician Al Franken (D) in several polls. In North Carolina, imperiled Sen. Elizabeth Dole warns in a new television spot that Democrats will "get a blank check" if challenger Kay Hagan wins.

Poll numbers offer the GOP little comfort. The percentage of Americans saying they preferred that the same party control the White House and Congress has reached new highs in the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll. On Thursday and Friday, the poll showed that 50 percent of likely voters wanted one party to control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and that 30 percent preferred split-party rule.

In the House, Democrats could gain 20 to 30 seats, boosting their majority to about 250, and they appear assured of a significant expansion of their Senate ranks.

Margins that wide should ease passage of big initiatives, but divisions within the party will not disappear with a victory on Nov. 4. In both chambers, liberal stalwarts are eager to turn on the spigot for increased spending on health-care, housing and education programs. A formidable faction of House fiscal conservatives is determined to block every new expenditure that is not offset by a corresponding cut.

Obama and other Democratic candidates have promised expanded health coverage, alternative-energy incentives and increased education funding. But turning each goal into law will require careful coalition building. On the energy front, Democrats are by no means unified on clean-coal technology, biofuels, nuclear technology and offshore oil drilling. With health care, there are different blocs that defend insurers, doctors, hospitals and so on.

There are plenty of ideological flash points in the mix. Labor groups want Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to make union organizing easier. Hispanic groups want progress on immigration reform, including amnesty for illegal workers. The gay and lesbian community has long sought employment protections.

Democrats will face an early test when it takes up the children's health insurance bill vetoed by President Bush, as one of the new Congress's first tasks next year. The legislation would offer coverage to an additional 4 million children and is being portrayed by Democrats as a first step toward fulfilling Obama's pledge to provide universal health care.

Liberal Democrats are expected to expand the program further, to include children of illegal immigrants. But Hoyer said that would be asking for too much, financially and politically. "Philosophically, you want a healthy child sitting next to yours, but I think there will be reticence about taking that on," Hoyer said.

Powerful committee chairmen, frustrated by eight years of a Republican White House, present their own challenges. Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has a long history of resisting higher fuel-efficiency requirements for automakers. David R. Obey (Wis.) and Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.), Appropriations Committee chairmen in the House and the Senate, respectively, are big spenders who can be impervious to pressure from leadership or even presidents. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall II (W.Va.) is a clean-coal proponent, like Obama, and is distrusted by liberals.

One-party government is almost as difficult to sustain as it is to establish, and both parties have forfeited strong majorities in recent years in astonishingly short order. And Democrats are keenly aware of their history.

In 1992, President Clinton won the White House and Democrats emerged with 57 Senate seats and 258 House seats -- not far off the possible outcome this year. Together they produced a stack of significant bills, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, gun-control legislation and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But Clinton pushed for too much, too quickly. Universal health care and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy allowing gays to serve in the military became euphemisms in Washington for overreaching. The result was the 1994 Republican Revolution, ending a Democratic grip on Congress that had lasted decades.

In 2004, Republicans widened their control of the House and the Senate, and Bush won a second term. Voters again revolted in two short years, handing the GOP a defeat as punishment for worsening conditions in Iraq, the botched response to Hurricane Katrina and a spate of ethics scandals.

"You might be able to do big things that have been blocked by divided government," said David Rohde, a Duke University political scientist. "But the potential pitfall is you can overreach, alienate the opposition party and alienate independents -- sowing the seeds of your own destruction."

Many Democratic lawmakers experienced both eras first-hand and say they are determined to avoid the same mistakes. They have vowed to set realistic goals and govern from the center, not the liberal fringe. They describe the party as more homogeneous than it was under Clinton and less ideological than the Republican-led Congress under Bush.

They also are counting on the global economic crisis, two ongoing wars and a $500 billion deficit to keep their many competing factions disciplined and unified around a limited number of broad common goals, rather than a blizzard of narrow and more partisan objectives.

"The good news for Democrats is that we lived through this in '93 and '94," said Steve Elmendorf, a lobbyist and a former Democratic leadership aide in the House. What the party learned, he said, is that "you have to focus on the day-to-day concerns. People believe the country is off-track and someone needs to fix it. Other things are important, but they don't fit to that goal."

The key is to keep the mandate straight, said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a member of the House leadership and a senior Clinton White House aide. "There are certain things that people this year are voting for and certain things they're voting against. We'll be successful as a party if we're known as the party of reform. We will be unsuccessful if we do things the way they've always been done."


DINOs: Forcing unions on disinterested workers

More DINO stories: here EFCA: here card-check: here

Surprise! You're unionized.

Big Labor is hoping to have a big election next Tuesday, with a goal of building a majority to rewrite negotiating rules between unions and management. Though it has received little media attention, Barack Obama's pro-union agenda is the most ambitious in decades and has a real prospect of becoming law. His stated goal is to "strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions" by doing the following:

- Mr. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would eliminate the secret ballot in union organizing elections. Unions would be certified to negotiate pay, benefits and work rules simply by collecting signed "union authorization cards" from a majority of employees at a work site. The law passed the House in 2007 but didn't come up for a Senate vote.
The Election Choice: Further Reading
* Unions – Obama's pro-union agenda is the most ambitious in decades.
Under current law, union organizers and management both have the opportunity to present the pros and cons of forming a union. A secret employee vote is then held. Under Mr. Obama's proposal, unions would be the sole provider of information to the employee, and the worker's decision whether to organize would no longer be private.

Unions say current law favors management, which can stall to a point where workers lose interest in organizing. But the median number of days between filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and holding an election has actually fallen over the past two decades. In 2007, more than 1,500 such elections were held, and unions won 54% of them, the same win rate of the early 1970s.

- Another labor-friendly provision of the Employee Free Choice Act is mandatory arbitration. Under current law, labor and management are required to bargain in good faith but aren't obliged to reach an agreement. Under Mr. Obama's proposal, if the parties can't settle on a contract within 120 days, the dispute goes to an arbitration panel which can impose a contract that is binding for two years.

As a practical matter, contracts typically involve dozens of provisions dealing with wages as well as seniority, grievances, overtime, transfers and promotions. Rarely is this accomplished in four months. The provision would notably shift bargaining power to unions, which would have an incentive to run out the 120-day clock and let an arbitrator impose a contract that is bound to include much of what unions demand.

- Mr. Obama also supports legislation to reverse the NLRB's "Kentucky River" ruling last year, which fleshed out the definition of a supervisor for the purposes of organizing. Unions usually prefer a narrow definition of management, because it increases the number of people potentially under their control. Conversely, labor has worked to expand the definition of "employee" to include everyone from temp workers to graduate-student teaching assistants.

- The Democrat also wants to bar companies from replacing striking workers -- a right that management has held for some 70 years. Unions made a similar push in the early 1990s, and a bill passed the House but was blocked in the Senate. Mr. Clinton issued an executive order that would have ended the provision for federal contractors. It was struck down in federal court. Mr. Clinton then tried to get the NLRB to make it more difficult to replace striking workers. The courts overturned that too. Mr. Obama says he will "work to ban the provision," but hasn't provided specifics.

- Mr. Obama supports the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act and has said he'd push for its enactment as president. The bill, which passed the House last year and already has 60 votes in the Senate, would force state and local governments to recognize union leaders as the exclusive bargaining agent for police, firefighters and other first responders. More than half of the states would have to change their laws. Thousands of public safety officers would no longer be able to negotiate directly with their employers on their own behalf.

- Last year Congress raised the minimum wage, which is set to rise to $7.25 an hour next year from the current $6.55. But Mr. Obama wants to raise it again, to $9.50 per hour by 2011, and index it for inflation. Mr. Obama says further increases are necessary so that "full-time workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs." According to Census data, less than 1% of workers over 25 are earning the minimum. And rather than family heads or full-time workers, they tend to be young single adults, teenagers living at home or spouses providing a second income.

John McCain has not made labor issues a major part of his campaign, but he opposes both the Employee Free Choice Act and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. The Republican has also gone on the record in support of national right-to-work legislation that would repeal all current federal laws that authorize the firing of employees for refusing to join or pay dues to a union. Some 22 states currently have right-to-work laws, which Mr. Obama opposes.

- Jason L. Riley


Obama exposed as anti-small business

More collectivism stories: here

Can forced-labor union dues can rebuild the middle class?

Joe the Plumber all but came out of the water closet for Sen. John McCain on Friday, saying that his famous exchange with Sen. Barack Obama made him "scared for America" and that he doesn't trust the Democratic presidential candidate on taxes.

The plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher, burst into the headlines after he buttonholed Mr. Obama less than two weeks ago during a campaign stop in his Holland, Ohio, neighborhood and quizzed him about his tax policy. On Friday, he said that he wasn't impressed by the Illinois senator in their encounter.

"When I was face to face with him, my honest first impression was that I expected something more. I had heard so much about 'his presence' in the media that I was surprised to find that he seemed very average," Mr. Wurzelbacher wrote in a live online chat on WashingtonTimes.com (read the transcript with Mr. Wurzelbacher here).

"My gut feeling as he answered my questions? I was scared for America," he wrote in response to a reader who asked "When you were face to face with Obama, what were you thinking and how did it feel?"

Mr. Wurzelbacher, arguably the world's most famous plumber, has become a cornerstone of Mr. McCain's Republican campaign, which had embarked on a statewide blitz across Florida in a series of "Joe the Plumber" events aimed at blue-collar workers.


Obama: Force unions on small employers

More EFCA stories: hereMore card-check stories: here

Dems rebuild the 20th century path to long-term, single party rule

As Americans are focused on the economy, an economic issue of note that has not gotten enough attention is how dramatically the rights of employees in the workplace may change depending upon the presidential and Senate races this year. Support for the woefully misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is a key issue of difference in the elections.

EFCA is an extreme measure that would strip employees of their right to secret ballot in union elections and is so radical that even liberal icon George McGovern has called it "a disturbing and undemocratic overreach." In a recent ad, Mr. McGovern lamented that "today's union leaders are turning their backs on democratic workplace elections." Surprisingly, this issue puts Barack Obama and Senate Democratic candidates to the left of Mr. McGovern.

Under this bill, Big Labor bosses estimate that their winning percentages on union votes would accelerate to 75 percent to 80 percent instead of the current 55 percent. With union dues ranging from $300 to $600 a year or more, passage of this measure would bring them far more than the $400 million they are investing in elections this year. It's easy to see why organized labor is willing to make this investment, since union membership has decreased to only 12 percent of the American workforce and is only 7 percent in the private sector.

But what will this mean in the workplace and what will it mean to the economy? First of all, EFCA would make it easier for Big Labor to impose hefty union dues on an already strapped workforce, and would feather the nests of big union bosses on the backs of hardworking Americans. Union organizers could solicit signatures on cards from workers, and when they get a bare majority, the employer would have to recognize the union. Instead of a private election overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply be able to provide a mere majority of cards - the debate would be over, no elections would be held and the secret-ballot process would be eliminated. If workers refused to sign a card, they could be repeatedly asked to change their minds by union organizers at any time or any place.

Regardless of one's feelings about unions, the secret ballot should be sacred. This bill ends that principle. And the compulsory arbitration process in the bill would put government bureaucrats in charge of negotiating terms of employment for an automatic two years if an agreement were not reached after 120 days. This would be the most radical change in labor law since the 1930s.

The law could essentially nationalize the Michigan model of the economy with Big Labor in charge. Union-saturated states like Michigan have the highest unemployment rates in the country. Michigan, at 8.9 percent, is over 40 percent above the national average.

European countries that are highly unionized have experienced double-digit inflation for years. That is why European countries like Germany and France are moving away from that model and moving toward the U.S. model. Why would we turn toward a failed model that Europe has, through experience, now rejected?

Mr. Obama is an enthusiastic supporter of this bill, having voted for it in 2007 and promised Big Labor bosses that he would sign this measure into law. It could very well be one of the first measures taken up by the next Congress as payback to the labor bosses. Mr. McCain voted against the bill and has vowed to veto it. Even though the right to protect the secret vote should not be a partisan issue, all Democratic Senate candidates support this top priority of unions, while Republican Senate candidates are opposed.

As is too often the case with Congress, the best explanation for the support for this bill is to "follow the money." Big Labor bosses are at the top for special-interest funding of the presidential and competitive Senate races this year and this is their No. 1 legislative priority. The $400 million-plus they are investing in this election is designed to get a Senate that will pass the bill and a president who will sign it. (They already have enough House votes.) But the secret ballot should not be for sale at any price.

This bill is about whether or not employees will maintain the fundamental American and democratic right to a secret ballot. That right allows workers to have a say in how their workplace will meet the challenges of the current economy. In these tumultuous economic times, workers need to have their voices heard, not hijacked by Big Labor special interests.

When we vote on Nov. 4 for president and other federal offices, we will do so with a secret ballot. American workers deserve no less.

- Barbara Comstock is a founding partner in Corallo Comstock Inc. and is working with the Workforce Fairness Institute.


NYT reports ACORN tax fraud

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group was also paid $832,000 by the Barack Obama 2008 campaign

An internal memo obtained from ACORN indicates worries among the organization’s insiders that they’re going to be investigated for tax fraud for accepting contributions from a non-profit “dummy” organization they run called Project Vote (you know, the group Obama worked for)

The New York Times reports:
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. . .

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.
Fraudulent revenue. Organized efforts to foment voter registration fraud all over the country

When is the FBI going to get involved here? And when is the media going to start asking pointed questions about Obama’s $800,000 payment to this group for “get out the vote” efforts?

This group is claiming to have registered over a million new voters this election cycle, so doesn’t it follow that all this fraud and all these connections to one of the candidates running for President is sort of, you know, important?


Unchecked power flows to ACORN socialists

More ACORN stories: hereMore collectivism stories: here

The real Barack Obama will step forward only after he is President

There is Obama of flowery phrases and rhetoric. He says exactly what regular folks want to hear. Then there is Obama of record and the record of his political allies. He is a brilliant speaker, and since he was brought on the national stage that’s what the media has focused on. They repeat what he says, leaving what he’s done in the shadows. Please, I implore you voters living busy lives, please read his record, get past the rhetoric his boosters shine the light on.

There is so much to look into. Way too much to explain in this limited space. Start by going online and search for William Ayers, not just his terrorist past, but what and who he’s been up to lately. Hugo Chávez, for one. Look at ACORN, past their glossy home page to what they have been doing to voter registration all over America, and worse.

Democrats just want total unchecked power back. The media has paved the way. For the past seven years they reported as if the economy was bad, while by most actual factual measures, historically, it was very similar to that of the 1990s. Until now.

- Douglas Hespelt, Flat Rock


Stop the NEA corruption, South Dakota

Related story: "NEA opposes anti-corruption measure"

Union operatives smell power

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Alinsky, ACORN cited in Catholic complaint

More ACORN stories: hereSaul Alinsky stories: here

Catholic charity ripped over ACORN grants

A poverty-fighting arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which recently awarded $355,000 to Baltimore archdiocese nonprofits, is the target of a double-barreled challenge due to its funding of controversial community organizer ACORN and affiliated groups.

The furor over the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — stoked by allegations of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now’s use of the questionable organizing tactics of 1940s activist and writer Saul Alinsky — has Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien mulling a letter seeking the halt all CCHD grants “until a complete review and overhaul of the campaign can be conducted.”

The letter also asked that “ACORN ... and other Alinsky-style community organizations that follow immoral principles of action be permanently banned from receiving grants.”

“I’d like to see them cease altogether — not merely suspend, as the [USCCB] said it was going to do — all funding of ACORN [and related groups],” said Janet Baker, president of Faithful Catholics of Maryland/D.C. Inc., a member of the Virginia-based Catholic Media Coalition, which is spearheading the drive against CCHD’s funding.

Baker said that the USCCB’s recent funding suspension came not because of qualms over ACORN’s tactics but because of embezzlement charges against ACORN leadership.

Currently embroiled in FBI and state investigations of its voter registration practices and linked, according to CMC postings, to “Machiavellian” ends-justify-the-means community activism, ACORN management was sued in August by board members alleging the cover-up of a $948,000 embezzlement. The suit was later withdrawn.

“The CCHD has never funded any partisan political activity,” said archdiocese CCHD Director Monsignor William F. Burke, noting that both the application process and the archbishop’s review weeds political activity out. “We’re not allowed to. The checks are always in place.”

Baltimore archdiocese spokesperson Sean Cain said that O’Brien will answer CMC’s letter. He added that CCHD funding of area ACORN groups, because of its “admission of guilt to embezzlement,” is indefinitely suspended “pending an independent audit of their financial systems.”

Founded in 1970, CCHD disburses millions of dollars each year to qualifying anti-poverty organizations. Its next national collection will be at Sunday church services, Nov. 23.


ACORN gives good reasons to reject Obama

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed candidate flunks background check

Please say no to Barack Obama. A combination of a very liberal Obama along with a majority Democrat Senate and Congress will set our nation back for years. To complete his programs, the only way to fulfill Obama's campaign promises will be to raise taxes on everyone. Don't be fooled.

By taxing the upper bracket, he will be causing the loss of good jobs for the working people and revenues because the upper bracket business owners will be forced to cut jobs and services. Even middle America has reason for great concern because many of their business will also be taxed which will force these business owners to cut back on jobs and an outlay of cash to grow their businesses.

You can usually judge a person by with whom they associate. In Barack Obama's case that spells trouble. Ayers, the Rev. Wright and ACORN. An unrepentant terrorist, a liberal pastor who curses America and a far left organization, which is causing chaos in Ohio and many other states with voter registration fraud. Voter registration fraud can result in voter fraud. Those of us who vote every four years should be outraged by Obama's associates. We certainly should not be fooled by Obama campaign tactics, which included channeling $800,000 to Acorn through one of their associate organizations, meaning, you guessed it, the Obama campaign is helping to fund the voter chaos in Ohio.

This has been a long election period. A lot of campaign rhetoric is coming at we voters from all directions. As Americans, we have a serious decision to make in this presidential election. With all that is being said, there are truths that are undeniable, only one candidate has laid down his life for America, and only one candidate truly has the experience and credentials to be our Commander in Chief. That is why we support Senator John McCain, and hope that in writing this letter; some who read it would look deeper into who Senator Obama really is and for what he truly stands.

- Tom and Nancy Montgomery, Zanesville


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Discard all ACORN registrations

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Voters grow increasingly disgusted by union-backed fraud for Obama

Today major problems confronting voters are not only issues related to the presidential candidates, but the voting process itself. Voting is the crux of our freedom and democracy. The fact that an organization can forge registration is not only a federal crime, but also a way of disenfranchising all legitimate voters whether they are Democrats, Republicans or, like myself, independents.

ACORN has been shown to do just that. The name Monica Ray was used eight times in one county. In Nevada, the Dallas Cowboys football players' names showed up as registrants. On Oct. 12, I saw a young man on television testify at an inquiry in Ohio that a person from ACORN convinced him to register multiple times, as the worker was worried about losing his job.

Years ago when I was an assistant dean at the University of Michigan Medical School, if a student cheated on an exam they were failed. But, what if coercion is involved? Luckily, I don't know of such a situation in the medical school. It seems to me, however, when coercion is involved, sanctions should be placed on all involved.

Instead of putting a terrible burden on our voting system to sort out which of ACORN's registrants are legitimate and which are not, all ACORN registrations should be thrown out. ACORN has stated officially that they did not intend fraud. If this is true, then as a group they should support proper voter registration and take responsibility for their improper actions.

- Maria J. Paluszny, M.D., Ann Arbor


Seeds of doubt plague U.S. voters

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud units specialize in rigging elections

As the presidential campaign has pushed concerns about voter registration fraud into the spotlight, some local registrars said they are looking at registrations more carefully.

Chester Miller, the Republican registrar in Wallingford, said he received two voter registrations that he has determined to be invalid. One, he said, listed a non-existent address, while the other was submitted by someone who is already registered in Bridgeport and apparently does not live in Wallingford.

When the registrar's office sent a letter to the address listed in the latter registration, he said, the letter was returned.

"He does have a registration in Bridgeport and Wallingford," Miller said. "The mail keeps coming back to us."

Both cards indicated they had been submitted by a nonprofit organization, he said.

Lillian Soboleski, the Republican registrar for Meriden, said she has instructed her staff to tell her of any registrations submitted by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

The group, which works to register minorities, young people and poor and working-class voters, has come under fire following reported problems with some of its voter registration cards.

Allegations of fraudulent voter cards submitted by ACORN field workers are being investigated in Connecticut, Nevada, Missouri and at least five other states. In Connecticut, the State Elections Enforcement Commission is investigating complaints of fraudulent registrations in Bridgeport.

The group has defended its practices, stating that it has registered 1.3 million citizens. It stated it is required by law to turn in every registration card, even when a card appears invalid. The group stated that it has reported suspicious registration cards.

Soboleski said the office is using its usual scrutiny in accepting voter registrations.

"We always examine every voter registration card to make sure everything looks legitimate to us," she said.

She hasn't noticed any major problems with ACORN in Meriden, she said. But in 2002, she said, the registrar's office did have problems with organizations submitting bogus registration cards "by the piles."

In 2002, she said, registrar staff found that many registrations submitted by organizations listed non-existent addresses.

Southington Democratic Registrar Edward M. Malczyk said he has not seen any suspicious registration cards.

"We've had some pretty heavy registration, but nothing that's looked out of the ordinary," he said. "We send letters to everybody we get cards from."

He said Southington expects to have more than 28,000 registered voters this year, compared to the just more than 27,000 last year.

Cheshire Democratic Registrar Aleta Looker said she has seen "nothing at all" in the way of suspicious voter registrations


Obama's union-backed ACORN conspiracy

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

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

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- or Acorn -- the troubled left-wing activist group, has new headaches. Last week Michael Slater, head of its Project Vote, admitted that some 400,000 of its claimed 1.3 million newly registered voters were rejected by election officials as either duplicates or fraudulent -- i.e. it doesn't sound as if Acorn's vaunted "quality control" efforts were all that effective.

Some reasons why may be exposed next week in a lawsuit filed by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania in state court. The Web site PolitickerPA reports that Anita Moncrief, an Acorn worker in Washington D.C. from 2005 to 2008, will testify that the group engaged in "minimal to nonexistent" checking of its voter registration work during her time with Project Vote.

The Republican suit, filed by Pittsburgh attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, demands that the Pennsylvania Secretary of State follow federal law requiring that first-time voters using an absentee ballot show some form of identification. It also seeks to have Acorn turn over its voter registration lists, identify registrants who signed up fraudulently and instruct them not to vote.


Leftists panicked by blatant social-justice fraud

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

NYT: Widespread voter fraud aids Obama

Senator John McCain warned at the last presidential debate that the Nov. 4 election could be marred by voter fraud and added that Acorn, an organizing group in minority and low-income communities, was “now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

The comments by Mr. McCain, the Republican nominee for president, threw another log onto a fire already burning in the conservative blogosphere and on talk radio, where McCain supporters contend that the Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama, is trying to “steal” the election through groups like Acorn (an accusation the Obama campaign calls outlandish).

The disclosure on Thursday that 30 percent of the 1.3 million voter registrations gathered by Acorn were faulty turned the issue into a roaring bonfire. Among the problems were registration forms filled out by “Mickey Mouse” and the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

Some voting rights advocates said they were surprised that the level of irregularities was so high, but they also said these irregularities, reported by Acorn itself, did not necessarily translate to fraud at the polls.

At the same time, Democrats are concerned that Republicans’ focus on the “purity” of voter registration lists could add to confusion on Election Day and suppress the vote.

Republican charges of fraud — and Democratic charges of disenfranchisement — are not new. What is different this year is the degree of skirmishing, and the flurry of lawsuits, in advance of the election.

This is partly a legacy of Florida in 2000, when it became clear just how much the administration of elections could influence the outcome. That could be true again this year, when high voter turnout is expected to put an extra strain on the system and the tallies in some states could be extremely close.

“It is definitely happening earlier and with far more ferocity than we’ve ever seen,” said Jonah Goldman, a lawyer with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

Voting rights advocates say the Republicans’ accusations of fraud (even though party operatives themselves face possible charges of fraud, most notably in California) are part of a deliberate strategy to create confusion among voters, to galvanize the conservative base and to set the table for possible legal challenges of voters at the polls and of the election results.

“There is a real concern that the courts will be asked once again to weigh in on tight races where the losing party may seek to raise real questions about the legitimacy of the vote,” said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of national civil rights and advocacy groups. “You can’t help but conclude that this is an effort to lay a foundation for a subsequent challenge to an Obama victory, should it occur.”

There has been ineptness at the polls — an elections official in Mississippi wrongly purged 10,000 voters from the rolls in March while using her home computer — as well as dubious interpretations of state laws, including the “no match, no vote” laws, which require a voter’s registration information to match precisely that of government documents.

“There’s always been a struggle, throughout the country’s history, over who could vote, how their votes would be counted,” said Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, “and this is not that different, but it does seem more strategic this year. The same arguments are being made all over the country at the same time.”

Robert F. Bauer, who is general counsel for the Obama campaign and is overseeing its voter protection program, said that what was different this year was “the very aggressive involvement of the top of the ticket in promoting this fear message.” Mr. Bauer said this was intended to create “an ominous atmosphere” to discourage people from voting.

“I don’t recall in recent history,” he added, “a presidential candidate before the fact trying to suggest in a nationally televised debate that the entire electoral system was under assault, the fabric of democracy was at risk.”

Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, said in mid-October that the activities of Acorn had already put the election under a “cloud of suspicion.”

Republicans have also been invoking the Florida debacle in 2000, a scene that could help galvanize their base. Ken Blackwell, a Republican who is a former secretary of state in Ohio, has warned, for example, that voters should expect “the kind of chaos you expect from a Category 5 hurricane, with radical groups sending the nation into a protracted legal battle even worse than the mess back in 2000.”

A McCain campaign spokesman, Tucker Bounds, said the fraud was real. “When the F.B.I. is raiding Acorn offices and Mickey Mouse becomes a registered voter, it’s not an accusation — it’s a certifiable problem,” Mr. Bounds said. “Barack Obama should stop with the half-cocked accusations and take action to curb the illicit activity."

Mr. Goldman said his concern with what he called pre-election hysteria was that it “ripens the climate for challenges” by undermining confidence in an already-vulnerable election system, one with incomplete voter rolls, long lines, misinformation and unreliable machines.

Richard L. Hasen, a professor specializing in election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the Republicans were intentionally trying to foster an atmosphere of mistrust. “If you can convince the public and election officials that there’s a lot of fraud in the voter rolls,” Dr. Hasen said, “that’s a reason to purge the lists and mount challenges on Election Day. Where you see claims about Acorn being raised is in battleground states.”

Alexander Keyssar, a voting expert at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the author of “The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States,” suggested another possible strategic reason for Mr. McCain’s comments: an effort to “reinforce an image of the Democrats, or at least some Democrats, as the party that, A, will steal elections, and B, will steal elections by somehow mobilizing this threatening nameless mass of people who are ‘other,’ ” a reference to the mostly minority and low-income people registered in drives like Acorn’s.

Longer term, he said, the creating of a sense of chaos now could help “set the groundwork for more laws and procedural obstacles” to be enacted by the states before the next presidential election. He said several were already considering laws similar to one in Indiana that required voters to present a government-issued photo ID.

The Justice Department has opened a nationwide investigation into charges of fraud against Acorn. But some former lawyers for the department warned on Friday in a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey that the probe might violate department policy of not initiating such investigations until after an election, citing the “long recognized sensitivity to the role of federal law enforcement officials in elections.”

Acorn said that of its faulty registrations, 20 percent to 25 percent were probably the result of duplications, 5 percent were incomplete and 1 percent to 1.5 percent were fraudulent.

Voting rights advocates say that there is no correlation between fraudulent registrations and fraudulent voting and that past elections have shown little evidence of actual voter fraud. While it does occur, they say, it is hardly rampant.

After the 2004 election in Ohio, for example, the Brennan Center found a voter fraud rate of .00004 of a percent, saying, “Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.”

But Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday again called for hearings into “the allegations of systematic nationwide registration fraud” by Acorn. They said registration fraud “makes it possible to commit vote fraud in a way that is almost completely undetectable.”

In the letter, the Republicans rejected the idea that they were trying “to create a panic in the electorate” by raising such concerns.


Election fraud threatens our democracy

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Dem fraud: 2008 election FUBAR

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Organized labor thugs' fingerprints are all over Obama campaign

I am 80 years old. I have been a Democrat all my life. Right now, I am angry and embarrassed for the Democratic Party, over how dishonest it has become. The Democratic Party has given thousands of dollars to AGI, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and above all, to ACORN. Now that ACORN is showing thousands of votes to be subject to fraud, the Democrats are doing nothing about it. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled thousands of votes there that are suspected of fraud are OK; most are Democrats, including the regional jurisdiction of Ohio.

This hurts me to see individuals think more of their pocketbooks than of honest voting for our country. We have been blessed to have the freedom to vote and feel that our vote counts. With the fraud taking place in this election, I feel my vote does not mean much.

What a privilege we have lost. Someday you will be judged for your dishonesty. Americans know this is true.

- C. Ames Bird, Pocomoke City


Steal this election.

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

It only takes a few simple steps by union-backed fraud group, ACORN

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is drawing intensifying fire in the final days of the presidential campaign. ACORN, as the group is known, is ostensibly involved in the commendable job of registering voters.

The problem is, it has been caught numerous times registering people who either don't exist or aren't eligible to vote. The misdeeds have been widespread. ACORN members in Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin and Missouri have been convicted of voter registration fraud, and investigations are open in Nevada, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Many counties have reported that registration cards submitted by ACORN -- an organization that advocates for liberal causes such as higher minimum wages and unionizing efforts -- and its affiliates contain more errors than any other voter- registration group. Election officials in several states have said at least 20 percent of ACORN registration forms are faulty.

ACORN's defenders have said that the actions of overzealous ACORN workers to register Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck won't influence the election because "Mickey'' will never vote. For example, Politico.com's Ben Smith earlier this month argued that ``the key distinction here is between voter fraud and voter registration fraud, one of which is truly dangerous, the other a petty crime.''

Others disagree. In the last presidential debate, Senator John McCain accused the organization of being "on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country.''

How It's Done

Whether ACORN plans to try to turn false registrations into votes is hard to know, of course. But sadly, there are a number of pretty simple steps one could take to steal an election, given current law.

The most dangerous scams would begin with actions similar to ACORN's. Here is how it might work:

First, someone fills out a large number of fake registrations. For convenience, the scammer could register fictional people at his own address.

Then, the scammer requests absentee ballots for all these individuals. Federal law requires that first-time voters submit their vote with some form of identification. Some states consider such things as utility bills acceptable. It would be pretty simple for the scammer to falsify utility bills for each fake voter and mail them in with the absentee ballots.

The Dead Vote

A sophisticated operation wouldn't rely just on newly registered voters. Many states require no identification for someone who has voted in the past. Anyone with access to public voter-registration records could cull a list of individuals who have died, moved or failed to vote in past elections and request absentee ballots for them.

These ballots could be mailed in and likely would be counted. In many states, the only check would be whether the signature on the ballots matches the registration card.

Such a pattern isn't mere speculation. In his book, "Stealing Elections,'' Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund tells the story of a Las Vegas bar owner who solicited votes from his tavern's customers while campaigning for the Nevada Assembly. If his patrons weren't registered, or if they were registered in a different area, the bar owner provided them with bogus voter-registration cards and had them complete absentee- ballot requests using the bar's address.

Although he failed to make it past the Republican primary, the tavern owner campaigned against his primary challenger in the general election and submitted dozens of ballots in support of the Democratic candidate. His downfall came only when he boasted to an elected county recorder about what he had done.

National Level

Investigators later found that 160 voters had been illegally registered during the election, and many of the illegitimate ballots were sent to the tavern. The bar owner was fined $7,000 for the offense, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Such a scam is possible on a national level. How can we tell whether it has happened? If the proportion of absentee ballots for a given candidate is much different from the proportion of votes cast at the polling booth, then further investigation would be warranted.

Fraud at the voting place is conceivable as well, but probably would be harder to pull off. The simplest scam would be for a poll worker to call up co-conspirators late on Election Day and read a list of individuals who haven't voted. The co- conspirators could then report to the polls under those names.

Legal experts are aware of all of these problems and have begun to work on fixes. A first step is allowing absentee ballots or early voting only when there is a reasonable cause for the voter to be unable to vote, such as a hospital stay.

Polling Place

Edward Foley, a professor at Ohio State University and a leading election law expert, summed it up well when he told me, "I am not a big fan of at-home voting, given the risk of what can go wrong.''

Although Foley sees little risk of fraud at the polling place, he has proposed a solution designed to crack down on forgery without requiring voters to produce a driver's license or other photo identification. Under Foley's plan, voting rolls would be electronic and would include photos alongside names of registered voters.

Given the widespread concern over voter fraud, the next president should consider a reform like Foley's. If he does, I would add one other condition.

The biggest risk is the proliferation of ``vote shops'' like the one set up by the Nevada bartender. To combat this, a federal database should record every address that receives an absentee ballot. If a single-family home in Washington receives 300 absentee ballots, the database would flag the address and alert investigators.

It is hard to see how any responsible individual could defend the current system.

- Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He is an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.

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