Tuesday wrap

Obama: Shades of Nixon, mob ruler, touched by ACORN-SEIU, mixes poison cocktails, caps federal gov't growth.

Mismanagement: SEIU too big to fail, new Tammany Hall exposed, labor-states infected, babysitter dues, Andy Stern beyond redemption, Wade's World grows, WFP-SEIU-ACORN fraud, CVS targeted.

International: Soros hails Fascism, Obama-Chávez-Lula destabilize Latin America.

What did Barack Obama know about ACORN-SEIU, and when did he know it? ... Official filings show that SEIU, referenced in the U.S. Attorney’s indictment of Governor Rod Blagojevich, contributed more than $4 million to ACORN and its affiliates since 2006. According to recent Department of Labor filings, the SEIU employs ACORN Founder and ACORN International Chief Organizer Wade Rathke. Mr. Rathke was recently exposed for running a cover-up of an embezzlement scheme run by his brother. In Chicago, SEIU Local 880 and SEIU Local 1 contributed more than $230,000 to ACORN groups in Illinois and Texas since 2006 – the most recent to “support election efforts.” SEIU Local 880, which until recently boasted it was founded by ACORN, used an ACORN e-mail address on its Web site and tax filings, was co-located with an ACORN “tax center” and employed the former president of ACORN Illinois, according to official records. Recently, the IRS terminated is relationship with ACORN tax preparation offices. In a 2006 end-of-year report issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, SEIU Local 880 recounted working with ACORN to reelect Governor Blagojevich and referred to ACORN as its “sister organization.” A new report issued by the Committee in July reports SEIU and SEIU Local 880 are official members of the “ACORN Council,” according to whistleblower documents acquired by the Committee. (liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com)

Mob Rule: Under Obama, Chicago-style bullying and intimidation go nationwide ... Millions of Americans were shocked at the specter of two menacing thugs, one brandishing a nightstick, blocking the doorway to a Pennsylvania polling place on Election Day last November. They were even more shocked when the Obama Justice Department decided not to prosecute the most blatant, egregious case of voter intimidation in modern history. But for those who understand the Obama administration, there was no surprise. Indeed, such shameless intimidation tactics are fast becoming the modus operandi of the Obama White House itself, as documented in November's jarring issue of Whistleblower magazine, "MOB RULE: Under Obama, Chicago-style bullying and intimidation go nationwide." (wnd.com)

Related video: Securing Philly voting for Obama

Big Easy prosecutors close in on Obama campaign ... "Current high-ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million, " the new subpoena says. The subpoena says, "It is still unclear if some of the monies embezzled are from state, federal or private funds." The subpoena requests documents from Citizens Consulting Inc., a financial arm of ACORN, and from various accounting and legal consultants in New Orleans. Investigators are trying to verify the issues raised in the subpoena. (nola.com)

Focus grows on huge Obama campaign payoff to ACORN affiliate ... Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office filed more subpoenas seeking documents in its investigation of the community activist group ACORN. The court order requires the release of financial documents from Citizens Consulting Inc., a financial management group that shares ACORN’s Elysian Fields offices along with the group’s accountants. The subpoena filed in Baton Rouge’s 19th Judicial District Court on Friday specifically demands income reports to the government, financial statements, bank card statements and other financial documents. (2theadvocate.com)

ACORN too big to fit under SEIU bus ... Democratic lawmakers in a handful of states are facing pressure from Republicans to distance themselves from the Service Employees International Union as a result of its ties to Acorn. Republicans in Kansas, Virginia and Illinois in recent weeks have called on union-backed Democrats to return SEIU campaign contributions, citing the close connection between the union and the community organizing group, whose full name is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. (online.wsj.com)

WaPo opens Andy Stern's Pandora Box ... A rapidly growing union that represents nurses, janitors and other low-wage workers is coming under fire from conservatives because of its long-standing financial and leadership ties to ACORN, a liberal organizing group recently embarrassed by videos filmed covertly. Some Republicans say federal agencies that recently cut ties with ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- should also consider severing their relationship with the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU and ACORN have long worked closely together, with the union paying the association more than $3.6 million in the past three years and sharing some office locations and leaders with the group. (washingtonpost.com)

Mortgage Meltdown 2: Let's do it again ... The White House and Congress want to expand a 30-year-old law--the Community Reinvestment Act--that helped to fuel the mortgage meltdown. What the CRA does, in effect, is compel banks to seek the permission of community activists to get regulatory approval for bank expansions and mergers. Often this means striking a deal with activist groups such as ACORN or unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and agreeing to allocate credit to poor and minority areas that are underserved. In short, the CRA encourages banks to make loans they would not ordinarily make. What's more, these agreements often require that banks offer no-money-down mortgages and remove caps on how much debt a borrower can take on. All of this is done in the name of "financial democracy." (forbes.com)

Obama, Can you spare 25 minutes? ... According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week. The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago’s unsuccessful Olympic bid. An adviser to the administration said: “People aren’t sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn’t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.” (telegraph.co.uk)

Gov't-unions: The New Tammany Hall ... Katz not only represents thousands of state employees, she is also the richly rewarded former girlfriend of New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. Katz's influence on Corzine became clear in 2006 when the impassioned governor spoke to a Trenton rally of roughly 10,000 public workers and shouted out: "We will fight for a fair contract." Corzine was of course management in that situation, not labor. But with the power of the public sector unions to drive election outcomes, they now sit on both sides of the bargaining table. Unlike private sector unions, the sheer number of workers represented is not the linchpin of their influence. Private sector unions have a natural adversary in the owners of the companies with whom they negotiate. But public sector unions have no such natural counterweight. They are a classic case of "client politics," where an interest group's concentrated efforts to secure rewards impose diffused costs on the mass of unorganized taxpayers. Also unlike private sector unions, those in the public sector can achieve influence on both sides of the bargaining table by making campaign contributions and organizing get-out-the-vote drives to elect politicians who then control the negotiations over their pay, benefits, and work rules. The result is a nefarious cycle: Politicians agree to generous government worker contracts; those workers then pay higher union dues a portion of which are funneled back into those same politicians' campaign war chests. It is a cycle that has driven California and New York to the edge of bankruptcy. (weeklystandard.com)

SEIU infects Illinois ... Last month, I noted the appalling story about the SEIU’s power grab in Illinois to unionize home health care workers. But you haven’t heard the half of it. It’s an ongoing nightmare you should know about — because it may be coming to your own front door if Big Labor gets its way. Roughly 3,500 people in Illinois receive state funding to assist someone, usually a family member, at home with a developmental disability. In June, Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn signed an executive order approving collective bargaining by “individual providers of home-based support services” — effectively busting open the doors of private homes for the Purple Shirts of the SEIU and other union competitors hungry for new dues-paying members. The home-based workers weren’t seeking a collective bargaining agent. (michellemalkin.com)

Owned by SEIU ... Last week, Illinois Review posted the list of Republicans who've received donations from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - the organization whose Illinois offices connect directly with the ACORN organization, which was recently dubbed in a U.S. House investigation as a "criminal enterprise." While the money to Republicans was significant, the SEIU largess shown to Democrats is significantly more. The kind of financial support that could give an organization a "controlling stake" in the Democrat Party, so-to-speak. (cdobs.com)

Purple People Beaters demand dues from babysitters ... In Illinois, in-home providers who care for the developmentally disabled are battling an aggressive power grab by the SEIU Purple Army and its Democrat enablers. In Michigan, the unions are going after…home-based child care workers. That’s right. Last month, the Mackinac Center blew the whistle on the scheme and filed suit against the Michigan Department of Human Services to prevent illegal siphoning of so-called “union dues” from state child care assistance payments to home-based day care providers. Instead of an executive order, the Michigan government abetted the unions by creating a “shell” corporation through the use of an “interlocal agreement” between the state’s DHS and a local community College. (michellemalkin.com)

Defenders of union-backed political fraud mount the ramparts ... ACORN, the controversial grass-roots community organizing group accused of participating in an illegal voter registration scheme, will stand trial on felony charges, a Las Vegas Justice of the Peace ruled Wednesday. But before the trial, the untested Nevada law that ACORN and co-defendant Amy Busefink are charged with breaking probably will need to survive a myriad of legal challenges being planned by the defense. Immediately after Justice of the Peace William Jansen ordered ACORN and Busefink to stand trial in District Court before Judge Donald Mosley, defense attorneys were planning motions to dismiss the case because they claim the law is vague and unconstitutional. (lvrj.com)

Karen Inman takes on Wade Rathke ... A motion was crafted that ordered the removal of Wade Rathke from ACORN and all the affiliate organizations under the ACORN umbrella. Not everyone wanted Wade Rathke terminated, but the motion passed with a two-thirds majority. The organization was being run by senior staff, many of whom I learned had pledged never to divulge the theft. I was one of three board members elected to sit on an interim management team help deal with the myriad legal, organizational and financial issues - to right the ship. Besides the lack of any apparent firewall between ACORN's political and nonpolitical operations, I became aware of other troubling concerns. ACORN had more than $1.5 million in unpaid taxes. The health fund and the pension fund were underfunded. Funds were co-mingled between various nonprofit and taxable ACORN affiliates. A colleague on the board, Marcel Reid, and I went to the ACORN office and asked to see the books. We were turned down. We tried legal action to get an accounting from Wade and Dale Rathke of any assets they had from ACORN and to compel an independent audit. It quickly became apparent that the staff did not want an investigation. We were pressured to drop the court action, as was the board, which ultimately terminated it - and us. We were fired for attempting to carry out our fiduciary duty and recommend reforms. (minnesota.publicradio.org)

U.S. funds its own undoing ... “Senator Nelson and I strongly believe in the protection of taxpayer dollars, and this bill is a clear way of working towards that goal,” Johanns said. “Let the message be clear: Americans should not be helping to fund any organization whose employees use the money to commit fraud or any other reprehensible practices.” “This legislation builds on actions taken to cut off federal funding for ACORN,” Nelson said. “To further protect taxpayers’ money, this bill extends that prohibition to all forms of federal assistance, and all groups who violate our election laws. And we require a report, so Congress can know exactly which organizations we need to watch out for.” (biggovernment.com)

Andy Stern, SEIU take heat in labor-state ... The Statesman Journal ran a column by Kathleen Parker in Wednesday's paper, prior to Stern's statement, that attempted to conflate SEIU with a popular right-wing target, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN. Parker's column involves quite a bit of conspiracy theorizing in its attempt to link SEIU to the beleaguered ACORN group. But the column undoubtedly hit a nerve with Statesman Journal readers, racking up 82 online comments by Friday afternoon. Some commenters, such as MaxRobespierre, think there's something to Parker's theorizing, and bring it straight on to the local level: "SEIU thug-in-chief Andy Stern is a Marxist who believes in violent change if the opposition doesn't knuckle under. "The state of Oregon and SEIU members should decertify this union. But wait, our governor, like former Illinois governor Blago has organized home-care workers for SEIU and taken big bucks from them for his campaigns." (statesmanjournal.com)

ACORN-SEIU 'beyond redemption' ... Again, just last week, Rathke quibbled with me over the amount reported to be embezzled. "My brother misappropriated not your figure [the NYT reported figure of just under $950,000] — but it's $985,000," he told me. And Rathke also responded to my questions by doubling down and insisting that he was right to hide the embezzlement from the organization's own board of directors so the information could not be used as a "weapon" in the hands of ACORN's enemies. This is an incredibly dubious justification for the organization's obdurate unwillingness to be internally, let alone publicly, accountable. If this report that the actual amount embezzled is over five times what the organization has previously reported turns out to be true, it's safe to say that there's still a cover-up going on and the organization's current leadership is totally beyond redemption. (corner.nationalreview.com)

Related video: Wade's World

Dems blow up over ACORN-SEIU-WFP voter fraud ... Democrats are returning fire over voter fraud allegations in Rensselaer County. They called on a special prosecutor to expand his investigation beyond Troy. While not admitting to fraud, the Democrats called a news conference Monday to contend that Republicans -- particularly their accuser Bob Mirch -- do the same things Mirch is accusing them of doing. But while Mirch and Henry Bauer released copies of 34 sworn affidavits from Troy residents supporting their claims of voter fraud, which claims Judge Michael Lynch found sufficiently believable to throw out 38 Working Families Party primary ballots, the Democrats produced no affidavits -- only charges. (wnyt.com)

Obama caps federal government ... President Barack Obama issued an executive order this afternoon that requires agencies for the first time to measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Obama nixed an earlier idea, included in a draft executive order I reported on back in August, to set a governmentwide percentage target. Instead, each agency must recommend its own target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. It will be up to the heads of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Management and Budget to approve those targets. Obama’s order also sets new requirements for cutting gas and water consumption, reducing landfill waste and purchasing products and services that meet environmental sustainability mandates. (federaltimes.com)

Corrupt union operatives threaten CVS workers ... CVS Caremark Corp. is challenging an attempt by a union coalition to reach out to retail pharmacy workers in southern New Jersey. The Put Pharmacy First campaign has been courting retail pharmacists nationwide who object to "the influence of 'fast food pharmacy' practices that put profits ahead of patients," according to its Web site. Behind the campaign are unions belonging to the Change to Win Federation, whose membership includes the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Service Employees International Union. (pressofatlanticcity.com)

Police abandon jumbo union ... Officers with the 15-member Grand Falls Town Police Force have voted 95 per cent to leave the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and form their own union group, following in the steps of other municipal police forces in New Brunswick. After voting recently in favour of the move, town police officers are now awaiting official certification from the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board. Union spokesman Sgt. Chanel Roy told The Victoria Star that the certification should be granted in the next few weeks. (bugleobserver.canadaeast.com)

International Collectivism

FOB Soros revives global Fascism ... The result of the global crisis is likely to be a rise of state capitalism, George Soros, the American investor and philanthropist, said Monday. Speaking at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, or IMF, annual meetings in Istanbul, Soros said countries could start turning increasingly away from the current capitalist approach. "In the future international capitalism might be superceded by state capitalism, which will be operating on a bilateral basis rather than multilateral basis," he said. (hurriyetdailynews.com)

Obama, Chávez, Trotskyite Lula Make Honduras Unstable ... If Honduras descends into civil war, we can thank Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and credit Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with an assist. Pushing the Central American nation to the brink is precisely what Chávez accomplished when he persuaded Lula to welcome ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya inside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, the capital, last month. Reasonable people can argue whether Zelaya deserved to be tossed out of office. The fact is his ouster was legal, according to a detailed report issued by the U.S. Congressional Research Service. Making things even worse, President Barack Obama’s administration, which correctly criticized Venezuela and Brazil for letting Zelaya into Honduras, says it won’t recognize the scheduled November election unless the political crisis is resolved. That gives carte blanche to Zelaya. The more turmoil Zelaya creates, the closer to civil war the country will be. (bloomberg.com)
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