Wednesday wrap

Obama: ACORN-Gate, promotes ACORN-lover, stimulates forced-dues P2P, Biden hearts corruption, ACORN gets another $1 million.

Mismanagement: NYT warns SEIU, ACORN accountability, Anna Burger fail, respect Saul, Probe TIDES, Cuomo misunderestimates, WFP whopper, SEIU big arrested, Bertha Lewis fail.

International: At the leftwing movies.

A Special Prosecutor for ACORN-SEIU? ... The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee yesterday called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate ACORN, saying President Obama's "close personal ties" to the group could impede a Justice Department probe. Texas Rep. Lamar Smith said he sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting a new investigation to prevent "the administration's political friends getting a free pass." "Only an independent investigation can ensure that justice is served in this case," Smith said. In the letter, Smith details several instances when Obama worked with ACORN or otherwise demonstrated ties to the group that could compromise an investigation, including the group's endorsement of Obama during his campaign. Department regulations require Holder to appoint a special counsel if an investigation is warranted and would create a conflict of interest for the department. (nypost.com)

NYT issues stern warning to SEIU ... After embarrassing videos led Congress to cut off all financing to Acorn, the liberal community group, various Republicans are turning up the heat on one of Acorn’s closest allies, the powerful Service Employees International Union. The state Republican organizations in Virginia and Kansas are urging various Democratic candidates to give back contributions they received from the service employees, insisting that the union is badly tarnished because it has given millions of dollars to Acorn and has been intertwined with that group in many ways. (nytimes.com)

Related video:

Keeping ACORN's political backers accountable ... Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown blasted his Democratic rival Attorney General Martha Coakley yesterday for failing to crack down on two local chapters of the controversial liberal group ACORN despite their repeated failure to file financial reports with her office. “It appears as though the attorney general is looking the other way,” said state Sen. Scott Brown. “It’s her job to determine whether non-profits are properly licensed to do business, especially when they oversee state funds.” The local office of ACORN - a grassroots organization that enrolls voters and helps secure housing for low-income families - never filed annual reports with the AG’s public charities division in 2006 and 2008, as required by law. Also, ACORN Housing - a branch of the organization which has received a $33,000 state grant - hasn’t filed a report since 2006. (news.bostonherald.com)

Obama gives ACORN-lover a big promotion ... President Obama announced he plans to nominate Patrick Corvington to be chief executive of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Big Government readers will remember that “the Corporation” assumed a prominent role on the infamous NEA Conference call, where ”the Corporation’s” Nell Abernathy joined White House and NEA officials to nudge artists to produce works supporting the Obama Administration’s legislative priorities. Although the charity Corvington works for, Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland, has granted funding to ACORN during his tenure, it is unclear if Corvington has ties to ACORN. Nonetheless, Corvington is part of the same cluster of organizations that provides financial and other support for ACORN which is a longtime fixture in the activist community. Since 2001 the Annie E. Casey Foundation has pumped at least $1,705,500 into the ACORN network, according to philanthropy database information. (biggovernment.com)

Obama stimulates forced-dues P2P ... Delivering on President Obama's promise to boost the labor movement, the administration has announced a $35 million federal construction project in New Hampshire that requires union representation for the workers and forces nonunion employees to pay dues and contribute to a union pension fund. Mr. Obama issued an executive order in the first weeks of his presidency that would make the requirement, known as a "project labor agreement" or PLA, the norm for all government contracts on large-scale construction jobs. The order is under review and a final rule is not expected for months, but that did not stop the Labor Department from rushing to use a PLA to build its new Job Corps Center in Manchester, N.H. The PLA executive order replaced a Bush administration order that discouraged the use of such agreements. (washingtontimes.com)

Anna Burger fail: SEIU fakes ACORN divorce ... Now that ACORN is drowning is an ocean of adverse publicity, its longtime ally the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) claims to have broken with the embattled radical left-wing activist group. Last week SEIU international secretary-treasurer Anna Burger dropped this political bombshell that has been ignored by the mainstream media. In response to a question from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) posed during a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee, Burger casually noted that her union “cut all ties to ACORN.” In an interview Monday night I asked SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette what Burger meant when she said SEIU had cut all ties with ACORN. Ringuette replied, “We have suspended all contracts and active work with ACORN,” pending the results of a panel of inquiry looking into ACORN. SEIU boss Andy Stern sits on that supposedly independent panel. Of course, SEIU –which is President Obama’s favorite union– could still be providing help to ACORN behind the scenes even if it publicly distances itself from the embattled activist group. Longtime lovers often sneak around together during messy breakups. (biggovernment.com)

Stop disrespecting Saul Alinsky, social justice fraud ... Shortly after the health care debates began erupting into shouting matches where citizens hectored elected officials at town hall meetings, articles about Saul Alinsky began appearing. The mobilizing of people, the shouting, the political theatre and the public histrionics all were attributed to Alinsky and his so-called handbook of protest politics, "Rules for Radicals." Trouble is, that's not the real Alinsky. Alinsky and the community organizing tradition that is his legacy have been co-opted by ideologically-driven groups, misread by academics and journalists, mocked by politicians and generally dismissed as senseless rabble-rousing. (denverpost.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com

Probe TIDES: Rathke-Pike charity fraud exposed ... Tides Foundation & Tides Center - $2,693,000.00 (1989 - 2005). As it turns out, the Tides Foundation and Tides Center are also actively involved in the petition to regulate silver, as well as the source of funding and support to several of the other groups who signed the EPA petition. Their position became apparent to one and all when they posted a press release urging support of the EPA petition: The Tides Foundation is described by Activistcash.com as quickly becoming "the 800 pound gorilla for activist funding." As reported on ActivistCash: "The Tides foundation was established in 1976 by California activist Drummond Pike, Tides does two things better than any other foundation or charity in the U.S. today: it routinely obscures the sources of its tax-exempt millions, and makes it difficult (if not impossible) to discern how the funds are actually being used." Activistcash went on to report: "In practice, "Tides" behaves less like a philanthropy than a money-laundering enterprise (apologies to Procter & Gamble), taking money from other foundations and spending it as the donor requires. Called donor-advised giving, this pass-through funding vehicle provides public-relations insulation for the money`s original donors. By using Tides to funnel its capital, a large public charity can indirectly fund a project with which it would prefer not to be directly identified in public. Drummond Pike has reinforced this view, telling The Chronicle of Philanthropy: "Anonymity is very important to most of the people we work with." (naturalnews.com)

Cuomo misunderestimates union-backed political fraud ... The former head of the state Liberal Party pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony securities fraud charges in Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's ongoing investigation of corruption in the state pension fund. "This is a fatally flawed system," Cuomo said in announcing the plea during a teleconference. "The system is easily corrupted, and it's been corrupted on and off for 30 years." Raymond B. Harding, who for years was the public face of the all-but-defunct Liberal Party, admitted to receiving at least $800,000 in kickbacks from the pension fund for doing political favors for former Comptroller Alan Hevesi. (timesunion.com)

Scandal-plagued SEIU political unit tells a whopper ... The union-backed Working Families Party won't use its newfound power to push for more generous raises and pensions for city workers, its leaders said Tuesday. (nydailynews.com)

Labor-state SEIU chief arrested

Biden hearts pro-union corruption ... Vice President Joe Biden is set to make his second stump speech for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. Biden will speak at the state AFL-CIO conference with the governor in Atlantic City Wednesday. Biden made his first trip to New Jersey in June when Corzine accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for governor. That trip was nearly skirted because Corzine was locked in a tense labor negotiation and union members threatened to picket. Biden, a pro-union politician, was unlikely to cross a picket line. (philly.com)

You cannot stop union-backed, tax-funded fraud ... Nearly $1 million in Homeland Security funding typically earmarked for fire departments has been awarded to ACORN, despite a clear signal from Congress that it intends to cut off federal funding to the embattled group, the Washington Times reported. The grant to ACORN's Louisiana office became public on Oct. 2, less than three weeks after the House and Senate voted to cut off ACORN funding after employees were caught on video advising a fake prostitute and pimp on scams. It was one of only three such grants issued to the state and made up almost 80 percent of the firefighting money earmarked for Louisiana, prompting one of the U.S. senators from the state to demand that the funds be taken back. (foxnews.com)

Bertha Lewis loses grip on fraud group ... Poor Bertha Lewis. The embattled ACORN honcho can barely start ex plaining away the latest allegations surrounding her community-organizing behemoth before fresh ones pop up. Yesterday, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, a Democrat, floated a new charge: In a subpoena, he said fraud committed by a former top ACORN exec was five times bigger than previously reported -- and that Lewis knew about it. Gee, what else is ACORN hiding? Dale Rathke, the group's then-bookkeeper and brother of founder Wade Rathke, embezzled ACORN funds in 1999 and 2000 to the tune of what the group said was nearly $1 million. Yet Cantwell claims that at a 2008 directors' meeting, Lewis acknowledged that the fraud ran to $5 million -- likely consisting largely of taxpayer money. (nypost.com)

ACORN-SEIU roils Minnesota politics ... U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty to name a special investigator to probe ACORN in Minnesota. Bachmann says the step would ensure proper use of public funds by the activist group and its affiliates. The two-term Republican member of Congress is a longtime critic of ACORN. Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung says the GOP governor has already directed his administration to review ACORN’s use of state money. (grandforksherald.com)

International Collectivism

U.S. movie-goers learn to love leftist thugs ... Oliver Stone has made a documentary about Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez. I'm sure it will be a fair and balanced piece of work. Stone has a long and distinguished record of factual filmmaking. There was Platoon, which incorporated just about every Vietnam War stereotype. Then there was JFK, a conspiracy theorist's dream that runs circles around the facts. Then there was W, which portrayed George W. Bush as a weak man trapped in his father's shadow. Stone admitted he didn't interview a single member of the Bush administration before making the film and instead relied on what he had read in books. Stone's Comandante was much more flattering of Fidel Castro, whom Stone called "one of the Earth's wisest people." Now Stone has turned his cameras on Chávez, and if there was any doubt about which way the movie South of the Border would lean, it was erased when the two walked the red carpet together at the Venice Film Festival. Stone has been extremely complimentary of Chávez and of other leftist South American leaders. Chávez's political opponents have lost their jobs and been sent to jail. His government has openly supported Sudan's genocidal government and Iran's Holocaust-denying leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Castro is Chávez's hero. (sun-sentinel.com)
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