Obamas ‘Funny Money’ Donations
A democracy cannot exis as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury”
Political Fundraisers Tony Rezko
The Real Barack Obama
Rezko watch http://rezkowatch.blogspot.com/
“I am a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist … [Laughs] Maybe I’m the last communist who is willing to admit it. … The ethics of Communism still appeal to me. I don’t like Lenin as much as the early Marx”
Obamas ‘Funny Money’ Donations
By Richard Olivastro
October 6, 2008
What does Nunda, New York have in common with Austin, Texas?
Both are residences of mysterious donors to the campaign of presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama.
Nunda, just south of Rochester, New York, is the listed residence of a person who lists his name as “Doodad Pro”. Austin, state capital of Texas, also has the distinction of being the listed residence of another Obama donor going by the name of “Good Will”.
Some Americans will think this funny; or, simply shake their heads and declare, ‘that’s politics’.
It just may be more “politics as usual”, but it also may be the tip of an iceberg.
Like ships, icebergs also sink campaigns.
Here’s some background for context and facts to frame the situation.
After first agreeing with John McCain to accept Federal Campaign funds and the limits that includes, Obama reneged on his word. Instead, Obama decided he would proceed into the general campaign without any limit on how much his campaign could raise overall. However, by law, Obama would still be required to limit individual contributions to a maximum of $2,300 dollars total – whether an individual donor did so in one or several instances.
As a result, Obama has enjoyed the advantages that go with record fund-raising totals. To date, Obama has raked in over $450 million dollars. Of that, his campaign claims that “about half came from individuals who contribute $200 or less”. Keep in mind, too, that donations of $200 or less do not need to be publicly reported by a campaign.
Barack Obama should be congratulated for his fund-raising.
And, if almost half has been donated by individual American citizens, in personal cumulative totals of $200 or less, he should be congratulated again.
That said, the unusually high number of such donations raise questions; and beg for prompt and effective review and follow-through now by the Federal Election Commission – not after the election – because, again, those donations do not need to be publicly reported.
Now let’s probe deeper into the mysterious donors “Doodad Pro” and “Good Will”.
So far, we know that “Doodad Pro” gave Obama more than $17,000 dollars and “Good Will” showed his by donating more than $11,000 dollars to the campaign. Media reports tell us that “Doodad Pro” did not identify his employer or occupation, although “Good Will did so, listing his employer asâ€¦” (get ready for this)â€¦ ‘Loving’ and his occupation as You. (Elvis must be smiling down on that one.)
The Obama campaign has been here before. Still, they refuse to provide more disclosure and openness about who is providing the vast sums of money to fund Obama’s electioneering.
For many Americans, that refusal to be transparent only serves to create still more mystery about Barack Obama himself.
it also provides us an example of what he won’t change.
If not addressed promptly and completely, the more important mystery question will become – ‘Why’?
Richard Olivastro is a professional member of the National Speakers Association, president of Olivastro Communications – an executive leadership development company – and founder of Citizens For Change.
Obama’s Fishy $200 Million
By The Prowler
Published 10/2/2008 12:08:46 AM
An auditor for the Federal Election Commission is attempting to have his bosses seek a formal investigation into the collection by the Obama for President campaign of more than $200 million in potentially illegal political donations, including millions of dollars of illegal, foreign donations, and has sought a request for assistance from the Department of Justice or Federal Bureau of Investigation. But the analyst’s requests have largely been ignored. “I can’t get anyone to move. I believe we are looking at a hijacking of our political system that makes the Clinton and Gore fundraising scandals pale in comparison. And no one here wants to touch it.”
One reasons cited by his superiors, says the analyst, is that involvement by the Justice Department or FBI would be indicative of a criminal investigation, something the FEC would prefer not take place a month before the presidential election. Such actions, though, have been used to scuttle Republican campaigns in the past, the most famous being the Weinberger case in the days leading up to the 1992 re-election bid of President George H.W. Bush.
The analyst, who declines to be identified for fear of retribution, says that on four different occasions in the past three months, he sought to open formal investigations into the Obama campaign’s fundraising techniques, but those investigations have been discouraged. “Without formal approval, I can’t get the resources I need, manpower, that kind of thing. This is a huge undertaking.” And the analyst says that he believes that campaign finance violations have occurred.
The Obama campaign has already had to deal with several FEC complaints about fraudulent donors and illegal foreign contributions, and the FEC says it has no record that those complaints have been resolved or closed. As well, the Obama campaign has been cagey at times about the means by which it has made its historic fundraising hauls, which now total almost $500 million for the election cycle. The Hillary Clinton campaign raised questions about the huge amount of e-retail sales the Obama campaign was making for such things as t-shirts and other campaign paraphernalia, and how such sales were being tracked and used for fundraising purposes. While the profits of those items counted against the $2,300 personal donation limit, there have always been lingering questions about the e-retail system.
“The question has always been, if you buy a $25 t-shirt and you go back to that purchaser eight or nine times with email appeals for $200 or $500 donations, and you have people donating like that all the time, at what point does the campaign bother to check if the FEC limit has been exceeded?” says a former Clinton campaign fundraiser. “There are enough of us from the 1992 and 1996 and 2000 races around to know that many of these kinds of violations never get caught until after the election has been won or lost. In this case, there is no way the Obama campaign will be held accountable before Election Day, unless someone raises holy hell.”
The FEC analyst says that Obama’s filings indicate he has received large, bundled sums of donations from overseas, sometimes exceeding a quarter millions dollars. “It’s suspicious, but it’s the small donations made by credit card that need to be examined. We’ve raised red flags on many of these and the Obama campaign just ignores us. After this election, after we’ve sifted through everything — if we’re allowed to sift through everything — I am confident that we are looking at perhaps the largest fine every leveled against a national campaign entity.”
Just as frustrating as the lack of desire on the part of his bosses to act, says the analyst, is that major media outlets have ignored the story he has been attempting to tell. Thus far, Newsmax is one of the few publications to cover the Obama campaign finance scam story.
FAN, FRED, AND FRANK
House Democrats are concerned that it wasn’t just Rep. Barney Frank who was having extracurricular relations with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives, and that those relationships will come to light before the election a month from now.
According to a former Democrat staffer working for the House Committee on Financial Services, there were a number of stories involving Democrat members of the committee, as well as staffers for those Democrats, participating in retreats and getaway weekends paid for by Fan and Fred executives and lobbyists.
“Republicans were in the majority, and they weren’t getting invited on these trips,” says the former aide, who now works for an investment house in New York. “It’s not that Republicans weren’t enjoying themselves, but not the way my guys were. If I were a Democratic member in the mid to late 90s and dealt with financial services or housing issues, I’d be real nervous right now.”
Frank has not hidden the fact that he was in a romantic relationship with a former executive for Fannie Mae. Frank now chairs the Financial Services Committee and was one of several longtime Democrat members who sought assurances from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that no action would be taken on Fan or Fred investigations until after the election in November.
McCain’s Housing Crisis And Obama’s Sweet Land Deal
Posted by Cheri Jacobus
August 22, 2008 at 11:02 am
>> Printer-Friendly Version
So — John McCain had to check with his staff to find out how many properties he and his wife, Cindy, own.
On it’s face, it appears to be a gaffe showing him to be out of touch with average Americans, and Obama was all over it like a lime green cheap polyester suit. But he may have been a bit short sighted in his I’m-dropping-in-the-polls-and-need-a-quick-fix attack on McCain for his wavering on his response.
The fact is, many Americans have become unwilling landlords in the current economic climate. Selling a property means a large loss, so holding onto it and renting it out (some might call it “riding it out”) until the situation improves is an option many take. As well, many Americans took advantage of a strong real estate market of a few years ago and invested in vacation property. In generations past, this usually meant they were part of the upper crust, but nowadays, it is much more common for the non-wealthy to have real estate as part of their investment portfolio. (My own modest vacation property is akin to a ski-in, ski-out 401K plan and much more fun than a monthly bank statement.) The fact that John McCain’s wife’s family is wealthy and likely has many real estate investments is understandable. The fact that John McCain did not know right off the bat how many investments there were underscores that his priorities do not lie in family fortune, opulent lifestyle, or conspicuous consumption. It also indicates that these are likely investment properties that Senator McCain rarely or never visits, rather than fancy vacation homes.
Since Obama’s smearing of McCain for his hesitation in reciting how many properties the McCains own, his own million dollar Chicago abode has graced our television screens many times, and we are reminded of the Clintonesque sweet real estate deal the Obama’s scored with the help of convicted felon Tony Rezko, where the Obamas paid 300k under the asking price for their Hyde Park mansion. This, following images of the Obamas enjoying a fancy Hawaii vacation just months after their Easter luxury vacation in the Virgin Islands in this year following Obama’s $4 million windfall from his most recent book sales.
Barack and Michelle Obama’s blatent flaunting of lucky “new money” is tacky at best, and political suicide, at worst. Having already earned a reputation as an elitist, his current display of his lack of understanding of how most Americans live feeds into the doubts voters have about Barack Obama’s judgement, maturity and ability to lead a nation of workers, investors, homeowners, retirees, responsible heirs, savers, spenders and taxpayers — those of us who have done it the hard way without the favors of a godfather like Tony Rezko.
The history of ACORN on Scam State/Year______Details
A contractor with ACORN-affiliated Project Vote was arrested for falsifying about 400 voter registration cards.
An ACORN employee admitted to forging signatures and registering three of her friends to vote 40 times.
Two ex-ACORN employees were convicted in Denver of perjury for submitting false voter registrations.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman said ACORN was “singled out” among suspected voter registration groups for a 2004 wage initiative because it was “the common thread” in the agency’s fraud investigations.
The Detroit Free Press reported that “overzealous or unscrupulous campaign workers in several Michigan counties are under investigation for voter-registration fraud, suspected of attempting to register nonexistent people or forging applications for already-registered voters.” ACORN-affiliate Project Vote was one of two groups suspected of turning in the documents.
Four ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City for charges including identity theft and filing false registrations during the 2006 election.
Eight ACORN employees in St. Louis were indicted on federal election fraud charges. Each of the eight faces up to five years in prison for forging signatures and submitting false information.
Of 5,379 voter registration cards ACORN submitted in St. Louis, only 2,013 of those appeared to be valid. At least 1,000 are believed to be attempts to register voters illegally.
North Carolina officials investigated ACORN for submitting fake voter registration cards.
Four ACORN employees submitted as many as 3,000 potentially fraudulent signatures on the group’s Albuquerque ballot initiative. A local sheriff added: “It’s safe to say the forgery was widespread.”
An ACORN employee registered a 13-year-old boy to vote. Citing this and other examples, New Mexico State Representative Joe Thompson stated that ACORN was “manufacturing voters” throughout New Mexico.
A man in Reynoldsburg was indicted on two felony counts of illegal voting and false registration, after being registered by ACORN to vote in two separate counties.
A grand jury indicted a Columbus ACORN worker for submitting a false signature and false voter registration form. In Franklin County, two ACORN workers submitted what the director of the board of election supervisors called “blatantly false” forms. In Cuyahoga County, ACORN and its affiliate Project Vote submitted registration cards that had the highest rate of errors for any voter registration group.
During a traffic stop, police found more than 300 voter registration cards in the trunk of a former ACORN employee, who had violated a legal requirements that registration cards be submitted to the Secretary of State within 10 days of being filled out and signed.
An ACORN employee in West Reading, PA, was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison for identity theft and tampering with records. A second ACORN worker pleaded not guilty to the same charges and is free on $10,000 bail.
Leading’s Director of Elections received calls from numerous individuals complaining that ACORN employees deliberately put inaccurate information on their voter registration forms. The Berks County director of elections said voter fraud was “absolutely out of hand,” and added: “Not only do we have unintentional duplication of voter registration but we have blatant duplicate voter registrations.” The Berks County deputy director of elections added that ACORN was under investigation by the Department of Justice.
ACORN turned in the voter registration form of David Young, who told reporters “The signature is not my signature. It’s not even close.” His social security number and date of birth were also incorrect.
In 2005, the Virginia State Board of Elections admonished Project Vote and ACORN for turning in a significant number of faulty voter registrations. An audit revealed that 83% of sampled registrations that were rejected for carrying false or questionable information were submitted by Project Vote. Many of these registrations carried social security numbers that exist for other people, listed non-existent or commercial addresses, or were for convicted felons in violation of state and federal election law.
In a letter to ACORN, the State Board of Elections reported that 56% of the voter registration applications ACORN turned in were ineligible. Further, a full 35% were not submitted in a timely manner, as required by law. The State Board of Elections also commented on what appeared to be evidence of intentional voter fraud. “Additionally,” they wrote, “information appears to have been altered on some applications where information given by the applicant in one color ink has been scratched through and re-entered in another color ink. Any alteration of a voter registration application is a Class 5 Felony in accordance with § 24.2-1009 of the Code of Virginia.”
Three ACORN employees pleaded guilty, and four more were charged, in the worst case of voter registration fraud in Washington state history. More than 2,000 fraudulent voter registration cards were submitted by the group during a voter registration drive.
The district attorney’s office investigated seven voter registration applications Project Vote employees filed in the names of people who said the group never contacted them. Former Project Vote employee Robert Marquise Blakely told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he had not met with any of the people whose voter registration applications he signed, “an apparent violation of state law,” according to the paper.
ACORN – Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
Is a Democratic Organization.
There are many other stories of voter fraud by this organization, an organization that Obama had ties with in his “community organizer” days.
Don’t forget that Obama taught ACORN the ropes during leadership training back in Chicago during his “community Organizer” days and later represented ACORN in harrassment lawsuits against Citi and other banks to require them to give loans to unqualified buyers. Birds of a feather…
ACORN Vegas Office Raided in Voter Fraud Investigation
Nevada state authorities seized records and computers Tuesday from the Las Vegas office of an organization that tries to get low-income people registered to vote, after fielding complaints of voter fraud.
Bob Walsh, spokesman for the Nevada secretary of state’s office, told FOXNews.com the raid was prompted by ongoing complaints about “erroneous” registration information being submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also called ACORN.
The group was submitting the information through a voter sign-up drive known as Project Vote.
“Some of them used nonexistent names, some of them used false addresses and some of them were duplicates of previously filed applications,” Walsh said, describing the complaints, which largely came from the registrar in Clark County, Nev.
Secretary of State Ross Miller said the fraudulent registrations included forms for the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team.
“Tony Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada, and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won’t be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4,” Miller said.
Walsh said agents from both the secretary of state’s office and Nevada attorney general’s office conducted the raid at 9:30 a.m. local time, and “took a bunch of stuff.” Miller’s office reported seizing eight computer hard drives and about 20 boxes of documents.
Bertha Lewis, interim chief organizer for ACORN, released a statement saying the group has for months been turning over any suspicious registration information to elections officials. She said those officials routinely ignored their tips, and called the raid a “stunt.”
“When we have identified suspicious applications, we have separated them out and flagged them for election officials. We have zero tolerance for fraudulent registrations. We immediately dismiss employees we suspect of submitting fraudulent registrations,” she said. “Today’s raid by the secretary of state’s office is a stunt that serves no useful purpose other than discredit our work registering Nevadans and distracting us from the important work ahead of getting every eligible voter to the polls.”
Neither the group, which hires canvassers to register voters, nor any employees have been charged or arrested for fraud or other crimes, said Miller, a Democrat.
But it’s not the first time ACORN’s been under investigation for registration irregularities. The raid is the latest of at least nine investigations into possible fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by ACORN — the probes have involved ACORN workers in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Indiana and other states.
In response to the Las Vegas raid, Republican Nevada Sen. John Ensign and seven other senators penned a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency calling for the suspension of taxpayer dollars to “controversial groups like ACORN.” The letter referred to contributions that potentially could come from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
In 2006, ACORN also committed what Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed called the “worse case of election fraud” in the state’s history.
In the case, ACORN submitted just over 1,800 new voter registration forms, and all but six of the 1,800 names were fake.
More recently, 27,000 registrations handled by the group from January to July 2008 “went into limbo because they were incomplete, inaccurate, or fraudulent,” said James Terry, chief public advocate at the Consumers Rights League.
The ACORN Obama Knows
By Michelle Malkin
June 25, 2008
If you don’t know what ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is all about, you better bone up. This left-wing group takes in 40 percent of its revenues from American taxpayers — you and me — and has leveraged nearly four decades of government subsidies to fund affiliates that promote the welfare state and undermine capitalism and self-reliance, some of which have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and encouraging voter fraud. A new whistleblower report from the Consumer Rights League claims that Chicago-based ACORN has commingled public tax dollars with political projects.
Who in Washington will fight to ensure that your money isn’t being spent on these radical activities?
Don’t bother asking Barack Obama. He cut his ideological teeth working with ACORN as a “community organizer” and legal representative. Naturally, ACORN’s political action committee has warmly endorsed his presidential candidacy. ACORN head Maude Hurd gushes that Obama is the candidate who “best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about” — like ensuring their massive pipeline to your hard-earned money. Let’s take a closer look at the ACORN Obama knows.
Last July, ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in the history of Washington State. Seven ACORN workers had submitted nearly 2,000 bogus voter registration forms. According to case records, they flipped through phone books for names to use on the forms, including “Leon Spinks,” “Frekkie Magoal” and “Fruto Boy Crispila.” Three ACORN election hoaxers pleaded guilty in October. A King County prosecutor called ACORN’s criminal sabotage “an act of vandalism upon the voter rolls.”
The group’s vandalism on electoral integrity is systemic. ACORN has been implicated in similar voter fraud schemes in Missouri, Ohio and at least 12 other states. The Wall Street Journal noted: “In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained ACORN’s practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.”
In March, Philadelphia elections officials accused the nonprofit advocacy group of filing fraudulent voter registrations in advance of the April 22nd Pennsylvania primary. The charges have been forwarded to the city district attorney’s office.
Under the guise of “consumer advocacy,” ACORN has received money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD funds hundreds, if not thousands, of left-wing “anti-poverty” groups across the country led by ACORN. Last October, HUD announced more than $44 million in new housing counseling grants to over 400 state and local efforts. The White House has increased funding for housing counseling by 150 percent since taking office in 2001, despite the role most of these recipients play as activist satellites of the Democratic Party. The AARP scored nearly $400,000 for training; the National Council of La Raza (“The Race”) scooped up more than $1.3 million; the National Urban League raked in nearly $1 million; and the ACORN Housing Corporation received more than $1.6 million.
As the Consumer Rights League points out in its new expose, the ACORN Housing Corporation has worked to obtain mortgages for illegal aliens in partnership with Citibank. It relies on undocumented income, “under the table” money, which may not be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Moreover, the group’s “financial justice” operations attack lenders for “exotic” loans, while recommending 10-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and risky reverse mortgages. Whistleblower documents reveal internal discussions among the group that blur the lines between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive electioneering activities. The group appears to shake down corporate interests with relentless PR attacks, and then enters “no lobby” agreements with targeted corporations after receiving payment.
Republicans have largely looked the other way as ACORN has expanded its government-funded empire. But finally, a few conservative voices in Congress have called for investigation of the group’s apparent extortion schemes. This week, GOP Reps. Tom Feeney, Jeb Hensarling and Ed Royce called on Democrat Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, to convene a hearing to probe potential illegalities and abuse of taxpayer funds by ACORN’s management and minions alike.
Where does the candidate of Hope and Change — the candidate of Reform and New Politics — stand on the issue? Barack Obama, ACORN’s senator, is for more of the same old, same old subsidizing of far-left politics in the name of fighting for the poor while enriching ideological cronies. It’s the Chicago way.
The ACORN/Obama Voter Registration ‘Thug Thizzle’
By Michelle Malkin
October 8, 2008
Systemic corruption of our election process continues. Barack Obama and his old friends at ACORN and Project Vote are leading the way. This radical revolution is taking place in your backyard. And as I’ve reported before, this voter-fraud racket is on your dime.
On Monday, the two liberal groups announced the wrap-up of a 21-state voter registration drive targeting low-income people and minorities in battleground states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
What’s wrong with that? For starters, these two groups are militant partisan outfits purporting to engage in nonpartisan civic activity. And their campaign comes amid an avalanche of fresh voter-fraud allegations involving ACORN in many of those same key states.
On Tuesday, Nevada state officials raided ACORN’s Las Vegas office after election authorities accused the group of submitting multiple voter registrations with fake and duplicate names.
ACORN, which receives 40 percent of its revenues from American taxpayers to pursue an aggressive welfare-state agenda, has already helped register over 1.27 million people nationwide. The rest of their funding comes from left-wing heavyweights like billionaire George Soros and the Democracy Alliance.
Project Vote, a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded by left-wing lawyer Sandy Newman to register voters in welfare offices and unemployment lines with the explicit goal of turning back the Reagan revolution.
The two groups are inextricably linked — and at their nexus is Barack Obama.
In 1992, Newman hired Obama to lead Project Vote efforts in Illinois. The Illinois drive’s motto: “It’s a Power Thing.”
As previously noted in this column (“The ACORN Obama Knows,” June 25, 2008), Obama also trained ACORN members in Chicago. In turn, ACORN volunteers worked on his Illinois campaigns and ACORN’s PAC endorsed his primary bid with full backing and muscle.
Despite his adamant denials of any association with the group (his Fight the Smears website now claims “Barack Obama never organized with ACORN”), Obama’s political DNA is encoded with the ACORN agenda.
The Obama campaign’s “Vote for Change” registration drive, running parallel to ACORN/Project Vote, is an all-out scramble to scrape up every last unregistered voter sympathetic to Obama’s big-government vision. “Our volume,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe bragged of the voter-registration program, “will be enormous.”
Quantity over quality. It’s the ACORN way.
In addition to the Las Vegas raid, fraud allegations keep piling up:
— Lake County, Ind., election officials this month rejected a large portion of the 5,000 registration forms ACORN turned in after conducting registration drives in the area all summer. Some vote canvassers had pulled names and addresses from telephone books and forged signatures. According to local reports, “large numbers of voter registration forms bore signatures all in the same apparent handwriting style” and “apparently the organization’s canvassers broke rules to meet ACORN-set voter registration quotas to get paid.” The fake registrants included dead people and underage kids.
On a conference call yesterday, GOP officials noted that up to 11,000 voter applications were no good — tying up election officials and jeopardizing the voting rights of untold victims whose identities may have been stolen.
— Last month, Milwaukee, Wis., officials discovered at least seven felons employed as voter registration workers for ACORN and another affiliated group. They also uncovered a raft of problematic voter registration cards. The state GOP accused ACORN of attempting to enroll dead, imprisoned or imaginary people to voter rolls. Fraud has plagued ACORN’s Milwaukee chapter since the last election cycle.
— In Florida, in Orange County alone, ACORN workers turned in multiple copycat forms for six separate voters over the summer. According to the Miami Herald, “One individual had 21 duplicate applications.”
Election officials had flagged ACORN’s negligent practices several months ago, but it may be too late: In Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, ACORN has signed up 135,000 new voters, nearly 60 percent of them registered as Democrats that constitute a fifth of all new voters in that region.
— In Ohio, large numbers of homeless people received free van and bus rides to register. Shelby Holliday, a reporter for Palestra.net, filmed ACORN shuttling prospects to the polls. She told me she spoke with one homeless woman who told her ACORN “told her who to vote for if she wanted a ‘better life,’ and told her not to worry about jury duty (one of the reasons this homeless woman didn’t want to register) because the government probably wouldn’t be able to track her down. She was registering with a temporary address.”
Holliday interviewed another homeless man targeted by the registration drive who exulted that he was voting for Obama because “I want him to do his thang. You know, do his thug thizzle.”
“Thug thizzle” is street slang for performing your trademark move. Obama and ACORN have practiced their thug thizzle together for years: organizing an ever-expanding community of ineligible and marginal voters to expand the Democratic power base. Rules be damned.
ACORN Busted- Faking Voter Registrations Again
The radical anti-capitalist group ACORN was busted again this week for turning in bogus voter registration applications- this time in Michigan.
Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families.
The majority of the problem applications are coming from the group ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has a large voter registration program among its many social service programs. ACORN’s Michigan branch, based in Detroit, has enrolled 200,000 voters statewide in recent months, mostly with the use of paid, part-time employees.
“There appears to be a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications,” said Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. “And it appears to be widespread.”
Chesney said her office has had discussions with ACORN officials after local clerks reported the questionable applications to the state. Chesney said some of the applications are duplicates and some appear to be names that have been made up. The Secretary of State’s Office has turned over several of the applications to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Barack Hussein Obama’s Ties to ACORN–According to Stanley Kurtz from National Review Online, ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is the key modern successor of the radical 1960’s “New Left,” with a “1960’s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism” and is closely linked to the Obama Campaign. Barack Hussein Obama has had an intimate and long-term association with ACORN. During the period of Barack Hussein Obama’s service on the boards of two charitable foundations, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, he helped direct tens of millions of dollars in grants” to various liberal organizations, including Chicago Acorn.
Barack Hussein Obama also helped train leaders of this anti-capitalist organization in Chicago. According to Kurtz, “Barack Hussein Obama’s ties to Acorn — arguably the most politically radical large-scale activist group in the country — are wide, deep, and longstanding.”
Are you really surprised?
ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS FOR REFORM NOW (ACORN)
- Largest radical group in America, with 175,000 dues-paying member families, and more than 850 chapters in 70 US cities
- Implicated in numerous reports of fraudulent voter registration, vote-rigging, voter intimidation, and vote-for-pay scams during the 2004 election
- Maintains close ties to organized labor
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is a grassroots political organization that grew out of George Wiley‘s National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), whose members in the late 1960s and early 70s invaded welfare offices across the U.S. — often violently — bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law “entitled” them. In the late 1960s, ACORN co-founder Wade Rathke was a NWRO organizer and a protegé of Wiley. Rathke also organized draft resistance for the militant group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the same period.
In 1970 Rathke — along with the aforementioned Wiley (best known for his effective use of the so-called “Cloward-Piven strategy,” which called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants and thereby creating an economic crisis) and Gary Delgado (a lead organizer for Wiley’s NWRO) — formed a new entity called Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). The group’s name was later changed to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, but the acronym ACORN remained. Instead of focusing only on welfare recipients, ACORN’s mandate included all issues touching low-income and working-class people.
Rathke and his ACORN co-founders enlisted civil rights workers and trained them in a program (at Syracuse University) patterned after Saul Alinsky‘s activist tactics.
Today ACORN claims 175,000 dues-paying member families, and more than 850 chapters in 70 U.S. cities in 38 states. (The organization is also active in Canada and Mexico). It owns two radio stations, a housing corporation, and a law office, and maintains affiliate relationships with a host of trade-union locals. ACORN also runs schools where children are trained in class consciousness; a network of “boot camps” for training street activists; and operations that extort contributions from banks and other businesses under threat of racial violence and trumped-up civil rights charges.
In 1998, ACORN founded the Working Families Party in New York, which endorses candidates for political office. It endorsed Hillary Clinton in her 2000 Senate race. Canvassers from ACORN and its sister groups launched a statewide voter-mobilization drive that proved influential in Clinton’s victory. In November 2001, a coalition of radical politicians led by ACORN-sponsored candidates running on the Working Families Party ticket won a veto-proof majority on the New York City Council, giving ACORN de facto control of the New York City government.
With little opposition from Republicans or moderate Democrats, ACORN radicals pushed laws tightening their control over New York City government and stripping the Mayor of executive power. Their current platform calls for a rollback of welfare reforms; a crackdown on NYC police, including a ban on “racial and ethnic profiling”; and the appointment of a politicized Civilian Review Board newly empowered to prosecute police officers. ACORN also seeks to use its influence to raise corporate taxes, increase regulation, and empower unions with an array of new rights. ACORN seeks to prevent any corporation from being free to leave New York without an “exit visa” from the City Council.
On March 12, 2003, the ACORN-controlled City Council passed a resolution, by a 31-17 margin, condemning the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
In the 2004 election cycle, ACORN and its sister group Project Vote ran a nationwide voter mobilization drive that was marred by allegations of fraudulent voter registration, vote-rigging, voter intimidation, and vote-for-pay scams. ACORN’s get-out-the-vote activists were implicated in schemes that included the falsification and destruction of thousands of voter registration forms, and the registering of convicted felons even in states where felons are ineligible to vote.
In 2006, approximately 20,000 questionable voter registration forms were turned in by ACORN officials in Missouri — virtually all in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, where ACORN purportedly sought to help empower the “disenfranchised” minorities living there. Similar allegations of ACORN voter fraud were made in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado. Between 2004 and 2006, ACORN employees were accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration cards and forging signatures on ballot initiatives in 12 states.
Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin writes:
“[In July 2007] ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in the history of Washington State. Seven ACORN workers had submitted nearly 2,000 bogus voter registration forms. According to case records, they flipped through phone books for names to use on the forms, including ‘Leon Spinks,’ ‘Frekkie Magoal’ and ‘Fruto Boy Crispila.’ Three ACORN election hoaxers pleaded guilty in October . A King County prosecutor called ACORN’s criminal sabotage ‘an act of vandalism upon the voter rolls.’
“The group’s vandalism on electoral integrity is systemic. ACORN has been implicated in similar voter fraud schemes in Missouri, Ohio and at least 12 other states. The Wall Street Journal noted: ‘In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained ACORN’s practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.’
“In March , Philadelphia elections officials accused the nonprofit advocacy group of filing fraudulent voter registrations in advance of the April 22nd Pennsylvania primary. The charges [were] forwarded to the city district attorney’s office.”
ACORN makes a great deal of money from its “community organizing” campaigns, and shows little tolerance for rival leftist groups infringing on its turf. For instance, when ACORN set up shop in San Francisco in May 2002, it discovered that many of its potential recruits – low-income blacks and Hispanics – were networked with the Outer Mission Resident’s Association (OMRA). The San Francisco Examiner reports, “ACORN soon began a process of intimidation by busing in activists from Oakland to disrupt OMRA events. ACORN members then began showing up at some neighbors’ homes, and in one case jabbed a person in the chest.”
Since ACORN is a private corporation, it does not divulge its finances. Further complicating any effort to calculate ACORN’s income is the fact that it operates an unknown number of front groups, many of which conceal their relationship to ACORN. But as of March 2006 ACORN claimed 175,000 member families on its website, each contributing at least $120 per year, which amounts to about $21 million in annual membership fees. ACORN’s website states, “Membership dues and a host of grassroots and chapter-based fundraising programs pay for 70 to 75 percent of the entire organization’s budget.”
Since its inception in 1970, ACORN’s overriding mission has been to enact “living wage” ordinances at the local, state and – ultimately – federal levels. It has succeeded in getting many such laws passed. ACORN’s model legislation contains a clause that exempts unionized businesses from paying the minimum wage. As a result, those companies that stubbornly resist unionizing founder and, in many cases, go bankrupt. Those that unionize thrive, providing an ever-expanding membership base for union recruiting. This is the main reason that unions such as AFSCME and SEIU contribute so generously to ACORN.
Housing activism is another major focus for ACORN, which forms housing collectives in targeted areas. The collective applies pressure on local authorities to place it in charge of renovating and managing abandoned or dilapidated properties for poor tenants. Local authorities provide money for renovation — much of which ends up in ACORN bank accounts. The poor tenants are compelled to “earn” their new homes by investing “sweat equity” — that is, working without pay on renovating the properties. ACORN or its designated “housing collective” retains title to the land on which the building stands. If the tenants decide to move out, they are required to sell their property back to ACORN, at cost, no matter what the market value of the property.
In recent years, ACORN has received funding from many foundations, including but not limited to the Annie E. Casey Foundation; the Minneapolis Foundation; the Open Society Institute; the Public Welfare Foundation; the Surdna Foundation; the Woods Fund of Chicago; the Scherman Foundation; and the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation.
At the March 2008 “Take Back America” conference sponsored by Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), ACORN joined CAF and five additional leftist organizations in announcing plans for “the most expensive [$350 million] mobilization in history this election season.” The initiative focused on voter registration, education, and get-out-the-vote drives. Other members of the coalition included MoveOn.org, Rock the Vote, the National Council of La Raza, the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, and the AFL-CIO.
On June 2, 2008, Wade Rathke stepped down from his role as ACORN’s chief organizer.
Also in 2008, ACORN publicly acknowledged that Dale Rathke — the brother of Wade Rathke — had embezzled nearly $1 million from ACORN and affiliated groups in 1999 and 2000. ACORN further admitted that for eight years its executives had kept this information secret from almost all of their organization’s board members and from law-enforcement authorities. Wrote journalist Stephanie Strom in July 2008:
“Dale Rathke remained on Acorn’s payroll until a month ago, when disclosure of his theft by foundations and other donors forced the organization to dismiss him. ‘We thought it best at the time to protect the organization, as well as to get the funds back into the organization, to deal with it in-house,’ said Maude Hurd, president of ACORN. ‘It was a judgment call at the time, and looking back, people can agree or disagree with it, but we did what we thought was right.'”
According to Strom, Wade Rathke “said the decision to keep the matter secret was not made to protect his brother but because word of the embezzlement would have put a ‘weapon’ into the hands of enemies of ACORN, a liberal group that is a frequent target of conservatives who object to its often strident advocacy on behalf of low- and moderate-income families and workers.”
In September 2008 the Board of Elections in Cuyahoga County, Ohio accused ACORN’s paid workers, who had been tasked with registering as many pro-Democrat voters as possible, of submitting fraudulent voter-registration cards. According to the Board, ACORN workers had commonly turned in separate cards with duplicate names but different addresses or different birth dates. Other cards listed people living at an address that was not a residence.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan indicated that it might prosecute ACORN for similar voter-registration scams in that state. Registrars there had complained about duplicate registrations and fictitious names. “There appears to be a sizable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications,” said Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s office. “And it appears to be widespread.”
Who Did You Know, Sen. Obama, And When Did You Know Them?
By Frank Salvato
October 8, 2008
There has been much talk, both pro and con, about whether Sen. Barack Obama’s “associations” matter with regard to his qualifications to hold the office of President of the United States. This argument, this avenue of political discourse, misses the point. Whether or not Sen. Obama has associations with criminals, terrorists and other nefarious and infamous individuals pales in comparison as to whether he has been influenced by them.
We have heard the names of the people on the list of radicals and ne’er-do-wells that Barack Obama says he knows but doesn’t know; has worked with but hasn’t worked with; has taken money from but hasn’t taken money from. They include but are not limited to:
Williams Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Don Warden (aka Dr. Khalid Al-Mansour), Frank Marshall Davis, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Fr. Michael Pfleger, Rashid Khalidi, Tony Rezko, Franklin Raines, James Johnson, Nadhmi Auchi, Joseph Aramanda, Louis Farrahkan, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Kevin Wardally.
While it is legitimate to question whether it demonstrates good judgment to associate with such decidedly radical ideologues, it is more important to understand whether or not Sen. Obama has been influenced ?” at any point in his life ?” by any of these people.
The argument can be made that Sen. Obama has most certainly been influenced by the teachings of self-proclaimed socialist Saul Alinsky. (web site) In, Saul Alinsky’s best known and final work, Rules for Radicals, (web site)he mapped out a course of action for the counter-culture movement of the 1960s. It is in Rules for Radicals that Barack Obama found his model for his community organizing activities.
In the opening paragraph of the first chapter of Rules for Radicals, Alinsky writes:
“What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
This opening sentiment lends itself to the socialist penchant for redistribution of wealth and creating a false equality among “the masses.” It certainly accounts for Sen. Obama’s belief that taking from those who earn, only to give it to those he would define as more deserving, is justified.
It can be argued that Sen. Obama was influenced by William Ayers, (web site) unrepentant terrorist and bomber of the US Capitol Building, free today only due to an evidence gathering technicality (it should be noted here that no trial is needed to determine Ayers guilt in his terrorism…he has admitted to the acts).
It is becoming more evident as each day passes that Ayers met a young Barack Obama on the Columbia University campus, or at least at common ground near the campus, where a plethora of anti-American and socialist and Marxist-leaning rallies took place. Both admit to attending these rallies and both were enrolled at Columbia; Ayers studying for his M.Ed in Early Childhood Education and Obama his B.A. in political science with a specialization in international relations.
While this supposition alone doesn’t prove any ideological symbiosis between Ayers and Obama, the fact that Obama channeled millions of dollars to Ayers’ “educational projects” when chairing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, does.
In the person of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, (web site) we most certainly see someone who held influence with Barack Obama, so much so that Obama titled his second book, The Audacity of Hope, after one of the reverend’s sermons. To believe that Sen. Obama would be able to listen attentively enough to draw “wisdom” from one of Wright’s sermons so to include in a book while sitting in the pews of Trinity United Church of Christ for twenty years but not understand that Wright was a racist is to believe that the American public is completely devoid of intelligence.
These are only three of at least fifteen people of questionable character that Sen. Obama says he knows but doesn’t know; has worked with but hasn’t worked with; has taken money from but hasn’t taken money from, and the list gets more contentious as it goes on.
A person’s associations matter when one is running for the most important position in the United States, especially when there is no notable record to back-up one’s promises. Barack Obama’s legislative resume is paper-thin, consisting of an overwhelming number of politically calculated “present” votes which achieved nothing for his constituents, his bosses. This alone should negate his assertion that he is an agent of change; he is nothing of the sort and his voting record proves it.
But more important is the level of influence that some of the more radical of these associations had on Sen. Obama.
I don’t know too many people who spend a great amount of time among alcoholics who don’t drink and I don’t know of too many people who hang around drug addicts who don’t use drugs. Employing that logic, to have acquired so many associations to so many radical ideologues over such an extended period of time ?” a lifetime ?” it is impossible to believe that Barack Obama has not been influenced by their ideology.
Associations do matter. Influences matter even more.
CNN Present Unbiased Report on Ayers and Obama Connection
Obama About to Be Hit on Questionable Associates
October 04, 2008 10:28 AM
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the FBI is looking into whether or not former Obama pal Tony Rezko — convicted in June of attempted extortion, mail and wire fraud, and aiding and abetting bribery — paid for all or part of $90,000 worth work on the Northwest Side Chicago home of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Rezko apparently liked helping out his politician pals on their real estate transactions. As you may recall, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Rezko’s wife, Rita, bought adjacent properties in a controversial and complicated series of real estate transactions, one of which Obama later called “boneheaded” because it might cause people to think he’d been done a favor in exchange for something untoward, which he denies is the case. Rezko at the time was under federal investigation.
A federal judge Wednesday froze more than $100,000 of Rezko’s cash. Rezko’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 28.
The conservative Judicial Confirmation Network is running a TV ad tying Obama to not just Rezko, but William Ayers (now using cartoons to spread his ideas) and the bombastic Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
“We don’t know who Barack Obama would choose” as a Supreme Court justice, the ad says, “but we know this. He chose as one of his first financial backers a slumlord now convicted on 16 counts of corruption. Obama chose as an associate a man who helped to bomb the Pentagon and said he ‘didn’t do enough.’ And Obama chose as his pastor a man who has blamed America for the 9/11 attacks.”
There’s also a curious story bubbling out there about a former Obama poker buddy, Will County Executive Larry Walsh, and questions leveled by a political opponentabout Walsh’s connections to a county contractor.
It’s unclear that Walsh did anything remotely wrong, but, hey, it’s October.
Meaning you should expect to hear much more about these Obama associates — some questions fair, others not; many associates legitimately slimy, others mere road kill on this political Autobahn — in this last full month of the campaign.
To wit: the Washington Post reports that Sen. John McCain’s campaign — convinced that the maverick thing alone isn’t working — is about to open up a can of whoop-ass on Obama with a focus on his personal associations.
“We’re going to get a little tougher,” a senior Republican operative tells the Post. “We’ve got to question this guy’s associations. Very soon. There’s no question that we have to change the subject here.”
Fasten your seatbelts!
September 28, 2008
Looks like convicted political fixer, and Obama’s personal real estate fairy, Antoin “Tony” Rezko is well-tuned and singing with the choir.
Recap: A few days ago news arrived that the Feds might indict Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (right),1 followed by word from the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed2 that Rezko (left) was reportedly singing like a canary to the Feds:
• •To wit: “I’m told by a close friend of Rezko that he’s cooperating with the feds,” said a Sneed source. “I don’t know whether he’s talking about Gov. Blagojevich or Barack Obama or anyone else,” the source said.
• •The shocker: Rezko, a Wilmette businessman who was a top adviser and fund-raiser for Blago, has been locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center awaiting an Oct. 28 sentencing — one week before the presidential election.
• •Background: Convicted in June of wide-ranging fraud tied to kickbacks on state deals, Rezko’s involvement in real estate deals with Gov. Blago’s wife, Patti, are also under federal scrutiny.
• •The backshot: Rezko’s name has continually surfaced as a friend of Obama, who benefitted from a real estate deal involving Rezko — which involved Obama’s Kenwood home. Thus far, no serious paint has been splashed on Obama by the Rezko brush. But rumors abound that the feds have their eyes fixed on Blago and his wife, who firmly maintain their innocence.
• •The buckshot: Being locked up at the MCC has been known to be a sure way to break a felon’s silence. Tweet. Tweet.
Chicago Tribune reporters David Kidwell, John Chase and Jeff Coen wrote September 27, 2008, that, according to “sources”, Rezko “has met with federal prosecutors and is considering cooperating in the corruption probe of the governor’s administration.” (This was confirmed by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Natasha Korecki.)
Rezko’s possible change of heart—after years of steadfast refusal—has sent ripples through a tight circle of prominent defense attorneys who represent dozens of potential witnesses and targets in the wide-ranging probe.
His cooperation would give prosecutors investigating the governor and his wife access to someone they have described as an ultimate political insider at the center of a pervasive pay-to-play scheme.
Rezko’s trial this year laid bare a culture of scams, bribes and backroom deals stretching from City Hall to the Statehouse. It even became fodder in the presidential campaign of Democratic nominee Barack Obama, whose fundraising and personal ties to Rezko go back more than a decade.
The Chicago Tribune reporters write that, although Rezko has not made a deal since his June 2008 conviction on corruption charges, “sources familiar with the situation” report Rezko “has had preliminary talks with prosecutors” ahead of his October 28 sentencing date:
Still, there are indications Rezko has already provided investigators with information.
Four attorneys have told the Tribune in recent days that federal prosecutors have telephoned them and other attorneys either with news Rezko is talking, or armed with details only Rezko could know. The lawyers speculated prosecutors are using the preliminary talks with Rezko to shake loose more cooperation from other witnesses. […]
The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago declined to comment, as did Rezko’s attorney William Ziegelmueller.
Rezko’s potential worth to federal authorities extends to every aspect of their investigation, including probes of state hiring and real estate deals involving the governor’s wife. Prosecutors have portrayed Rezko, a former restaurant magnate and real estate developer, as intricately involved in some of the most guarded decisions since the earliest days of the administration.
During his trial, prosecutors described Rezko as having a direct line to the governor and his top aides on issues including policy and the appointments of key department heads and members of state regulatory boards. And, they charged, Rezko traded those positions and favors for some of the millions in campaign contributions he raised for the governor, and for the allegiance of those he lifted to influential posts.
Korecki adds “one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, warned it’s too early to call the discussions full-fledged cooperation.”
Already, however, Rezko has provided information to the feds, who are in the process of vetting it, sources said. […]
The implications of Rezko’s cooperation are innumerable. His reach as a businessman, political adviser, real estate mogul and political fundraiser has the potential to take federal authorities from Springfield to Iraq.
Rezko not only was privy to inside meetings with the governor, but engaged in numerous real estate dealings with his wife, Patti.
The governor’s office has denied that the first lady’s business dealings with Rezko had anything to do with his influence in her husband’s administration.
Federal authorities have long sought Rezko’s cooperation in their ongoing probe into the governor.
A few months before his conviction, Rezko wrote a letter saying prosecutors were pressuring him to give them information on Blagojevich and White House hopeful Barack Obama. At that time, Duffy told the Sun-Times that Rezko had never met with, or spoken to prosecutors.
One source with knowledge of the investigation into the governor and into his wife Patti Blagojevich’s real estate dealings say the probe is going “at top speed.”
Why Michelle Obama should worry: Abraham H. Miller3wrote July 5, 2008, in a Chicago Sun-Times’ blog entry:
Michelle Obama spent just three years at the Chicago Law Firm of Sidley Austin, far less than a typical associate on the career path to be partner. In a move incongruous with the alleged iconic credentials that are a mainstay of the Michelle hagiography, she took a job with the Democratic machine.
Probably some people think you leave a high- powered, prestigious law firm like Sidley Austin to take a job with the Chicago machine to save the world. But no one who knows how Chicago works is going to buy that!
Michelle was subsequently hired by the University of Chicago, ultimately ending up as the University of Chicago Hospital’s Vice President for External Affairs. Barack was chair of the Illinois Senate’s powerful Health and Human Services Committee, the position tied by some to the Rezko scandal.
If you don’t get the picture, you are definitely not from Chicago.
In 2007 the not-for-profit University of Chicago hospital turned out a profit of 143 million, and is up 118 million for 2008. The hospital is scheduled to receive a 30 million infusion from Medicaid, and will be turning some of its Medicaid patients to another hospital to free up space for its private insurance paying patients. According to the (London ) Daily Mail (online), in 2006 the hospital turned away an indigent man, who died.
When Michelle exhorts young people to turn down the profit system and do something meaningful with their lives, apparently this is not the example she means to convey.
Now you might ask what does a community relations director at a university do? That’s really a naive question. The question is who does the community relation’s director know?
The answer became apparent when Barack was elected to the U.S. Senate and Michelle’s salary more than doubled.
Barack and Michelle were a power couple hooked into the Democratic machine. Tony Rezko cultivated them, the Chicago Way.
Produced by ObamaTruth, January 22, 2007
Why Barack Obama should worry: Miller writes:
To understand the genius of Rezko, you need to understand that for generations, corruption in Chicago was partisan specific. As my mother used to say when she split her ticket, ‘You need some Republicans. Then the machine can’t steal as much.’
But then came the Chicago Combine: bipartisan corruption you could believe in. Rezko established a typical Chicago ‘pay for play’ scheme, but one that crossed party lines. You want to build a hospital, you had to pay Rezko, who paid the appropriate people who could help you play. The problem that Rezko faced was the hospital board had fifteen members and that is a lot of people to bribe and a lot of loose ends. But then Rezko had a friend who chaired the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.
Enter State Senator Barack Obama, who is credited as the moving force behind a piece of bipartisan legislation (Il. Senate Bill 1332) that reduced the hospital board to nine people, to be appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich (know as Governor ‘Blago’) with advice and consent of the Illinois Senate.
Blago immediately appointed three physicians, Rezko cronies with similar Middle Eastern backgrounds, all of whom were coincidentally big contributors to Barack Obama. As they say downtown, Barack knows how to walk the Chicago Way. Rezko became the guy you saw if you wanted to build a health care facility. He controlled the board’s votes.
The three appointed physicians have been convicted in the Federal probe and are rumored to be about ready to sing.
Miller wisely concluded:
And if you want to make sure that the White House is not going to be tainted by corruption, don’t elect a president who grew up in the Chicago political system and whose wife thinks that the country owes her some palliative to eliminate her sense of personal shame. Because unlike the stock market, when it comes to human behavior, past performance really is indicative of future results.
For those who are not familiar with this whole sordid tale, RBO has articles dating to January with more details than you’d ever want to know. A good place to start is here, with Rezko trial-related articles here; on Obama’s Rezko house here; and Evelyn Pringle’s Operation Board Games articles here.
Read fast. Although Rezko’s October 28th sentencing is a mere month away, and Rezko is singing his corrupt little heart out, there’s a lot of catching up and memory refreshing needed to enjoy the possible (probable) blowback.
- 1 — HillBuzz has more on the Blagojevich perspective.
2 — For those who may not recall, it was Sneed whose reliable sources informed on Barack and Michelle Obama’s April 3, 2004, attendance at a reception hosted by Rezko at his mansion where Obama toasted honored guest Iraqi British billionaire businessman Nadhmi Auchi.
— “Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science. He grew up in Chicago’s notorious 24th Ward, and he is author of a recent work of Chicago-based fiction, ‘Vorshavsky: A Chicago Story.’”
Let’s not forget that DoD IG preliminary investigative report on Auchi “leaked” September 21, 2008—with the emphasis placed on preliminary.
This IS still the Bush DoJ, at least until January 2009, that is.
Bithead at BitsBlog commented
This set of charges is, essentially, based on testimony taken at the trial of Tony Rezko. Rezko, Blagojevich, Obama, are all names that keep coming up in that trial. Blagojevich,is an Obama supporter, of course, but more than this… the two apparently have had a working relationship as close as that between Obama and confessed bomber William Ayers.
And of course the mainstream is not paying attention to this story. Gee, I can’t think of why they wouldn’t, huh? Perhaps they’re afraid of what they’ll find?
The AP’s Mike Robinson reported September 29, 2008:
“Jail is horrible and Tony Rezko has just two options,” says Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association. “One option is to do nothing and get a full sentence. The other is to cooperate with prosecutors.”
Attorneys with knowledge of the government’s investigation of corruption in state government say they are convinced the key fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama is either talking or about to do so.
Two attorneys said Monday they and other lawyers have been contacted by prosecutors seeking to check information that only Rezko could have told them. Both attorneys spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying prosecutors have sought to keep such matters secret as part of the grand jury investigation.
Attorneys said Rezko may not have made a final agreement to talk but could have dangled information before prosecutors to coax them into making a deal.
Keep in mind, Rezko’s sentencing for his corruption conviction will only conclude round one:
Rezko also faces trial next year on charges of swindling General Electric Capital Corp. out of $10 million in the sale of a pizza business. The sheer size of the loss could send him to prison for many more years if he is convicted.
And Rezko is also facing allegations in Las Vegas that he failed to pay debts totaling almost $800,000 to three gambling casinos.
And there is no mention here regarding that Iraqi contract for a power plant in Chamchamal in Kurdish Iraq executed between Rezko and then Iraqi Minister of Electricity, and Rezko long-term friend, Aiham Alsammarae—as well as Obama’s role in assisting Rezko and his business partner, Daniel Frawley, in arranging for an Illinois training facility for Iraqi security guards for the power plant.
- CBS2Chicago reported September 29, 2008:
One prominent defense attorney told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, “I’ve heard 18 different ways that Rezko is talking.”
Another says Federal Marshals are regularly transporting Rezko from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. It is, what appears to be, a major about-face for Rezko.
Rezko had nothing to say to prosecutors while he was on trial. But all that seems to have changed after six months behind bars in the notorious federal prison in the South Loop.
“It is a dungeon and when you spend night after night in those conditions and face the prospect of doing it for years to come, all of a sudden a light goes off and you may want to cooperate with the federal government,” CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said.
Attorneys with knowledge of the government’s investigation of corruption in state government say they are convinced the key fundraiser for Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama is either talking or about to do so.
Two attorneys said Monday they and other lawyers have been contacted by prosecutors seeking to check information that only Rezko could have told them. Both attorneys spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying prosecutors have sought to keep such matters secret as part of the grand jury investigation.
As prosecutors target Blagojevich, attorneys representing other defendants have been called with information Rezko has reportedly given them during recent meetings with U.S. Attorneys at the Dirksen Federal Building – information which can be used in court only if Rezko agrees to the deal prosecutors offer.
“It could break off in a number of points in the process – – at the interview stage because the information isn’t checking out, and after the interviews because each side values the information differently and the two sides can’t reach a deal,” former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins said.
Right now Rezko is looking at a sentence of seven to 10 years. He also has two more trials ahead. Cutting the minimum sentence by perhaps a third and agreeing that future sentences will run concurrently could be a powerful incentive for him to talk.
But Collins says the government can only go so far.
“Mr. Rezko, if they do reach a deal, will receive no get-out-of-jail-free deal because then he’d have no value as a witness,” Collins said. “You can’t put up a witness who got to walk out of jail for a serious crime.”
The Lowdown on ACORN
ACORN, one stop shopping for all of your voter fraud and predatory lending needs.
The Danger of Vote Fraud in the 2008 Election
The most provocative line in the Democratic national platform adopted in Denver is: “We oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to vote.” Since it’s routine to show an ID in order to board a plane and do dozens of other very ordinary things, what’s the big deal about showing an ID to exercise the most important privilege of citizenship?
That question is answered in the new book by John Fund called “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.” Honest elections absolutely depend on preventing the stuffing of the ballot box by people who are not eligible to vote.
Among those who are not eligible to vote are those who are dead, who are not residents of the precincts where they vote, who are registered to vote in another state, who are underage and especially those who are not citizens. Votes cast by any of those can cancel out your vote and, in close elections, decide the winner.
Fund describes how easy it is for unscrupulous politicians to buy voter impersonators with a little cash and get them to cast illegal votes. The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals explained “the extreme difficulty of apprehending a voter impersonator. He enters the polling place, gives a name that is not his own, votes and leaves. If later it is discovered that the name he gave is that of a dead person, no one at the polling place will remember the face of the person who gave that name.”
The Democrats have hysterically fought against voter ID laws in Congress, in state legislatures and in the courts, taking what they thought was their best case, the Indiana law, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. They lost there because they ran into liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, who, hailing from Chicago, was acquainted with many “flagrant examples” of election fraud going back to Mayor Richard Daley’s shenanigans that swung Illinois to John F. Kennedy in 1960.
The National Voter Registration Act (known as the Motor Voter Law), the very first law signed by President Bill Clinton, imposed fraud-friendly rules on the states by requiring them to offer registration to anyone who applies for a driver’s license, to offer mail-in registration with no identification needed, and to make it very difficult to purge dead and moved-away voters from registration rolls. The voter rolls in many U.S. cities now contain more names than the U.S. Census lists as residents over age 18.
The Motor Voter Law, according to Fund, “has fueled an explosion of phantom voters.” In the four years since passage, nearly 26 million names were added to the voter rolls nationwide. One investigation in Indiana showed that hundreds of thousands of names were people who had died, moved away or gone to prison.
Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s report on the 2000 election showed how the Motor Voter Law facilitated fraud in one district. He reported that votes were illegally cast by 14 who were dead, 68 who voted twice, 79 who were registered from vacant lots, 62 who were federal felons, 52 who were state felons and an undetermined number who were registered from drop-sites where multiple fake names were registered to one person.
Fund’s book makes fascinating reading because of his descriptions of many specific examples of vote fraud that actually determined the outcome of elections. Fund describes in detail some of the more outrageous examples of recent vote fraud in Chicago, Indiana, St. Louis, Seattle, Milwaukee, Mississippi and Georgia.
Fund believes that the biggest opportunity for vote fraud this year is the registration tactics of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). ACORN is a classic Saul Alinsky-style community-organizing group, and it has received hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars as well as corporate donations.
It’s no surprise that ACORN is closely associated with Barack Obama. Right after graduating from the Harvard Law school, Obama was recruited by ACORN to run a successful voter registration drive for an ACORN affiliate, Project Vote.
ACORN claims that, along with Project Vote, it registered 1.15 million new voters in 2004 and deployed 4,000 get-out-the-vote workers on Election Day.
The job of handling legitimate voters is tremendously complicated by phony registrations and by the tactic of filing new registrations on the last possible day when there is not adequate time to verify them.
In 2008, Obama was a major supporter of a Democratic housing bill that provided $200 million to community groups (such as ACORN) that are counseling homeowners facing foreclosure. ACORN is pledging to spend $35 million this year registering persons who will vote.
With the 2008 elections as close as they are predicted to be, Obama’s best chance to win is to flood new names on the registration rolls who may or may not be eligible voters. It is more important than ever that voter ID be used in order to make sure that ballot boxes are not stuffed by voter impersonators.
Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama’s first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers’s home.
The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and “not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis.” Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I’ve recently spent days looking through them.
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago’s public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation’s other key body, the “Collaborative,” which shaped education policy.
The CAC’s basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.
One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s “recruitment” to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.
The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland’s ghetto.
In works like “City Kids, City Teachers” and “Teaching the Personal and the Political,” Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? “I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist,” Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk’s, “Sixties Radicals,” at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with “external partners,” which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Mr. Obama once conducted “leadership training” seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama’s early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC’s in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.
CAC also funded programs designed to promote “leadership” among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children’s education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama’s alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents “organized” by community groups might be viewed by school principals “as a political threat.” Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber’s objections.
The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC’s first year. He also served on the board’s governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.
The Obama campaign notes that Mr. Ayers attended only six board meetings, and stresses that the Collaborative lost its “operational role” at CAC after the first year. Yet the Collaborative was demoted to a strictly advisory role largely because of ethical concerns, since the projects of Collaborative members were receiving grants. CAC’s own evaluators noted that project accountability was hampered by the board’s reluctance to break away from grant decisions made in 1995. So even after Mr. Ayers’s formal sway declined, the board largely adhered to the grant program he had put in place.
Mr. Ayers’s defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the “small schools” movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to “confront issues of inequity, war, and violence.” He believes teacher education programs should serve as “sites of resistance” to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his “Teaching Toward Freedom,” is to “teach against oppression,” against America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming “guilt by association.” Yet the issue here isn’t guilt by association; it’s guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.
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