October 10, 2008
POLITICS: Not The ACORN He Knew
I'll cover this in more detail in a few days in Part II of my series on the Integrity Gap between the two tickets, but as the evidence mounts* of the involvement of the left-wing community organizer group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in extensive voter fraud across multiple states, Barack Obama has tried to minimize his involvement with ACORN and the critical role it played in his rise in the world of the Chicago political machine.
Obama's "Fight the Smears" campaign website denies any ties to ACORN other than his representation of the group in a 1995 lawsuit:
Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
Fact: Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.
Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.
As the Cleveland Leader points out, this is flatly contradicted by an article written by ACORN head Toni Foulkes, which was conveniently removed from the internet (a common practice in the drive to scrub all evidence of Obama's career prior to 2004) after it was quoted by Stanley Kurtz of the National Review and other sources, while the rest of the articles on the same site remain up:
Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5,000 of them).
Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for STate Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends."
This stuff has been out there in plain sight, yet still Obama denies it:
As recently as March 2008, the Los Angeles Times also made reference to Barack Obama's involvement with ACORN:
"At the time, Talbot worked at the social action group ACORN and initially considered Obama a competitor. But she became so impressed with his work that she invited him to help train her staff." (LA Times, March 2, 2008)
It was also reported contemporaneously by the left-wing Chicago press:
A 1995 Chicago Reader article on Obama stated "Obama continues his work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons."
During the 2008 Democrat primary, the Obama campaign paid Citizen Services Inc., a subsidiary of ACORN, more than $800,000, a payment that Obama's campaign somehow managed to misreport to the FEC
As of yet, we can only speculate about why Obama is lying about his involvement with ACORN, what other aspects of that relationship he has failed to disclose, and what other things have been conveniently "disappeared" from his Chicago past.
* - See the following on ACORN's pervasive involvement in voter fraud: * * * * * * * * * *
On the basis of posts like this, it looks like the McCain team is going to spend the month of October re-litigating the 1960's. Interesting strategy.
The "strategy" is born of necessity, as the vetting of the candidate by our esteemed fourth estate was so rigorous..."pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, I am Obama, the great and powerful!"
Crank, you know what I am trying to say. McCain is trying to say that Obama is some 1960's style radical. The Republicans pull this garbage all the time, trying to show the Dems are unpatriotic and anti-American.
Maybe if the Democrats stopped nominating the products of 60s protest culture (Kerry) and guys who have basically been marinated in 60s-style New Left radicalism, they would not have that problem. I mean, would Republicans run these ads against, say, Evan Bayh? Would we run them against Joe Biden, even? Obama's record is what it is. This stuff didn't come out of whole cloth.
I'm hoping to get Part II of my series up by Tuesday or so, and I'll have a lot more depth on the integral interrelationship between the extremists, the machine, the corruption, the earmarks, pork and foundation money, etc. They are not isolated or disconnected stories but a coherent whole. It's who Obama has been his whole political career.
You see, the Republicans absolutely would run ads like this if Biden or some other candidate were running. They would find the same angle they've been using since Dukakis in 1988: liberal, radical, socialist, hates America, etc. They would also try to play guilt by association, since I am sure you can show that any Democrat (or Republican) for that matter has questionable "associations."
Funny how you mention John Kerry. This guy had medals for his service in Vietnam. And somehow the Republicans found a way to challenge Kerry's war record! Those of us who are not wedded to the GOP talking points know that any Democratic candidate will be subjected to this garbage.
You mean, the medals he pretended to throw away? ;)
Biden is indeed a liberal with a lot of bad ideas. But he's not a 60s-style radical. A campaign against him as the Presidential nominee would have been very different, much more like the campaign against Gore.
"conveniently removed from the internet" now now Crank your a sad sad man. We could say the same thing of the current President. How much of his life was erased before he found Jesus. But then again you will spin that. Why not talk about the tanking economy or will you blame that on Jimmy Carter. When your guys does it you turn a blind eye then scream bloody murder when you think the other guy did by six degrees of seperation.
I find it intriguing that this fellow Kurtz with the National Review is the single person upon whose writings you are basing all of your arguments against Obama's character. Is he actually - with you as his blogosphere partner - the only media source we may assume is interested in pursuing leads of this nature? Does he stand to profit or gain in some way by establishing these connections? Just curious - Crank, I'm not saying I don't care about it. Only thing is, I really don't give it much credence when it's one guy from the admittedly partisan Natl Review.
I love how none of you actually respond to this post substantively.
Who argued that Clinton was a socialist liberal who hated America? Who said that about Gore? Who said that about Carter?
What does it take for you guys to admit that Obama flat-out lied about this? It's obvious. And before you say "well, everyone lies about stuff like this", remind yourself that the ENTIRE justification for Obama and his movement is that he is "different breed of politico."
And what does it take for you guys to realize that George W. Bush is not running for President.
Bush isn't but the nasty little old man he pooped out is.
Well, I recall Carter being called a "treasonous prick," but that was by a member of the Clinton Administration. I don't think anybody arguing he was un- or anti-American until after he left the White House.
Clinton was, in fact, often criticiized for his and his wife's 60s-era ideas and activities. Gore, so far as I know, never has been.
Kurtz isn't the only one but he is, in fact, responsible for a lot of the firsthand reporting on Obama's Chicago years, he and David Freddoso (also of NR) and Jennifer Rubin of Commentary. Sadly, for all the reporters descending on Alaska, mainstream media outlets have yet to send reporters to Chicago to dig into a lot of this stuff beyond the episodic piece that glosses over a lot of key details. It's not like the networks and the broadsheets are coming back saying Kurtz has anything wrong, they just haven't looked into this stuff yet. Maybe in a few years.
The GOP is just paving the way for a whole new wave of Tim McVeighs. I'll bet the $700 Billion that when they strike, the GOP and its followers will make believe they're shocked.
George W. Bush isn't running for President, because his spot on the ballot is being taken by Ayers and Rev. Wright.
AIP AIP AIP AIP AIP
spin that one,.
Good luck hoping your ACORN grows into an oak in four weeks, Crank. Stan Kurtz could't stop gay marriage and he's not stopping Obama either.
javaman... Kurtz is one of the leaders in vetting Obama, but Steve Diamond at Global Labor and Politics has done an arguably even more in-depth look at the ties between Obama and Ayers.
In fact, Steve Diamond has been one of the main people interviewed by the NYTimes and other MSM outlets on this story. He's stated, on his blog, that they've all ignored the information they've received from him and ran with the angle they wanted to run with, regardless of the fact it wasn't true.
Also, I consider myself a 'classical liberal' (i.e., what conservatism 'should' be), and I don't recall all these political campaigns continually targeting 60's radicalism.
The point many people are losing focus of, is not that the argument is that Obama agrees with Ayers tactics, but that he agrees with the strategy and the 'ends'. He has denounced the means, but he's never said he disagrees with Ayers vision as it pertains to America and how to construct change.
Ayers isn't considered a radical simply because he bombed some buildings. It comes from his ideas, as well as the tactics he chose to carry out those ideas. The ideas are every bit the new left radical progessivism they've been made out to be, and Obama's actions with the CAC and Wood's speak to, at the very least, implicit agreement on principle with those ideas.
If "Pot Calling the Kettle Black" was a disease, you'd be in hospice right now...
Your assertion that McCain has more integrity than Obama is laughable, and just because you post this stuff in your matter-of-fact way, reality be damned, doesn't mean it's true...
The current Rolling Stone alleges that McCain lied about the details of his captivity in Hanoi. Pretty serious stuff, treasonous almost. But they're just a 60's rag, right, without credible sources...
Of course there's the Keating 5, which I'm sure has absolutely nothing to do with integrity.
Then, a few weeks ago, you even have Karl Rove commenting on how nasty a campaign McCain has run, all the while lying about how he's "above" politics like that...
Come on, Crank, you're grasping for straws. Stick with the baseball playoffs if you can't come up with anything better than this!
Hey, I'm still waiting for "It is Brung"... (cue dramatic music)
My favorite part of Crank's "searching analytical pieces" is where he first establishes criteria that will allow him to reach a pre-ordained conclusion (does ANYONE think there was any chance the "integrity gap" or "qualified to be President" evaluations would come out against the GOP?).
Crank, I hope your legal work shows considerably more objectivity in analysis or the malpractice premiums for your firm are going to sky rocket.
javaman - Good heavens, you don't mean the bogus story about Palin being a member of the AIP, do you? That was debunked and retracted by the NYT over a month ago after the records conclusively demonstrated that Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982. Other than that...what, she gave a welcome to their convention? Governors and Mayors do crap like that all the time. And frankly, everything I've seen indicates they are basically harmless cranks like the Libertarian Party, which also has some good ideas and a lot of loony ones.
nice dodge, but her top special advisor was a member. Want to guess who that is? Her Husband. So she welcomed them, hmmmm knowing full well what their mission is to leave the good old USA? So now they are harmless, you’re a sad man. Name another Governor or Mayor who has welcomed a separatist group? So what does that say about Palin’s judgment that she would welcome a fringe group of nuts that her husband follows? I know you have been so busy you will get to it when you can.
Well, first of all, you're admitting that there's no evidence of Palin doing or believing anything that promoted the AIP's ideas or interests.
And what precisely is the real world impact of the AIP, aside from bringing unsuccessful lawsuits against Palin's administration? What harm has ever come of them or of anyone sharing their ideas? What funds were disbursed to them? When were their ideas taught in schools, or brought to bear in voting booths or courtrooms? When you look at Obama's record you can see that his associations are with people with ideas that have real and pernicious influence in our system, and real impacts on the real world, and that he gave them in many cases concrete benefits. What you are coming back with is cargo-cult responses, that mimic the structure while utterly misunderstanding the essence of the problem with Obama and are designed only to muddy the waters.
Funny answer, but you failed to answer why would she speak to a group like that? What does it say about her record? Spare me the thousand word rant on Obama and answer the question. Why work with a group like the AIP on more than one occasion?
It was a freaking "welcome to your convention" message. Sheesh. Have you even watched the video?
If we really want to talk about fraud relative to voting rights, I can think of some Republicans - and supportive organizations - in the last 8 years who have warranted some investigation and analysis, too. Ohio, Florida...
So it is no big deal to hang out with fringe nut jobs? But that only applies to the people you like? Do you think it was her top advisors (husband)idea to speak to them since he was a member?
Former member, by that point, if we are being accurate here.
I think politicians speak to all kinds of groups. There's no real issue with speaking to people who are a little off, but there are some groups you really shouldn't associate with. I don't see what makes these guys #2 rather than #1 - they have a lot more in common with Ron Paul than with Al Sharpton or the KKK.
Admit it Crank, you know nothing about the AIP. B/C if you did your views would change. They make statments that mirror Rev Wright only sermon (sound bite) you ever heard. But I am quite sure you could never stop throwing rocks from your glass house. Stick to baseball.
I've seen several writeups on the AIP issue, nearly all of which are grounded on the fabricated claim that Palin was herself a member. But I'd be interested to see if you have something in mind.
Look, I would not be making a big deal about Wright if Obama had spoken at his church. Being a member of the church for two decades and all the rest is another story. Ditto the relationship with Ayers - it's a lot more than just speaking on a panel with him once or twice.
This silliness about Sarah and the AIP is paralleled by the recent Keating Five attack on McCain. Just to punish you clowns for bringing up a ridiculous charge, I'm appending an article, one of a series I write for a local newspaper.
Exonerate This! 8 Oct 2008 Dai Alanye
Big problem for McCain.
In response to ethical charges against Obama from the McCain campaign, Barack Obama is bringing up the Keating Five.
In the late 1980s Charles Keating, a nasty piece of work, was running a savings and loan empire into the ground, and breaking federal law while doing so. For safety's sake he decided to buy a few legislators, sticking to Senators and ignoring lowly Representatives. He chose Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, Donald Riegle, John Glenn and John McCain.
He had a head start with McCain, for Keating and 2000 of his employees were McCain's constituents in Arizona, McCain's in-laws had invested in one of Keating's developments, and he and McCain were personal friends.
So the Senators demanded a meeting with those government regulators who were bugging Keaton, urging better treatment for him. The regulators clammed up and refused to give out information, and the Senators continued to pressure them.
Except one. McCain smelled a rat and pulled out of the cabal. He quarreled with Keating, and refused him any more assistance. The eventual outcome was that Keating went to jail, three Democrat Senators were reprimanded and never again ran for public office, and John McCain was exonerated of any wrong-doing.
He considered himself humiliated, but the investigating attorney, Democrat Robert Bennett said, "I investigated John McCain for a year and a half, and if there is one thing I am absolutely confident of... it is John McCain is an honest man. I recommended to the Senate Ethics Committee that he be cut out of the case, and there was no evidence against him."
So here is the deal: Obama is saying, in essence, "So what if I associated for many years with a terrorist? And so what if I exchanged favors with a jailed real estate speculator? And so what if my spiritual mentors--one Protestant, one Catholic, and one Muslim--were racist bigots? Look at John McCain--he was EXONERATED!"
And *you* are saying, "Look at Sarah Palin--as Mayor she made a welcoming speech to a convention of kooks."
How about Kwame Palin. Spin away Crank.
Dai Alanye -- now let me hear you explain Vicki Iseman -- the little cupcake lobbyist McCain was 'palling' around with a few years back. Sure there's no Edwards like smoking gun that he was sleeping with her, but combine this relationship with McCain's associations with Keating, and its clear the ever rightous John McCain enjoys hanging out with sleazy lobbyists who pick up the tab for his private jets and god knows what else.
And why does every one in the country know Michelle Obama uttered a clumsy phrase regarding racial progress in this country, which when taken out of context, sounded as if she may harbor some resentment.
But so few discuss Palin's hubby's open association with a group trying to seperate from the United States.
McCain was the least culpable of the Senators, BUT he knowingly participated in a meeting intended to intimidate Ed Gray (FHLBB Chairman). And he took money from Keating for his campaigns. He distanced himself only after the Ethics Committee process.
Crank, now that there is a formal finding of Palin's abuse of her authority, I assume we'll see a "fair and balanced" review of her "integrity." We will, won't we?
McCain distanced himself from Keating well before the Ethics Committee started its investigation.
As far as Palin's handling of "Troopergate," she has been accused by a partisan investigator of insufficiently controlling her husband, a pretty laughable charge. Monegan himself has stated that he was never told to fire Wooten, and months after Monegan was replaced, Wooten is still on the job.
This is extremely thin stuff to attempt to pin on Palin, and is, in fact, 99% phony.
But let's examine one small part of the record of Blessing Handsome (in English, Barack Hussein) Obama--specifically, the "high-paid Wall Street job" that he quit in order to become a community organizer. Fellow employees, including one who backs him, have explained that it was, in fact, low-paid drudgery, putting together financial newsletters. He was actually a copy editor. Contrary to the story in his memoir there was no suit and tie, no secretary, no meetings with Japanese financiers or German bond traders. Small wonder he was willing to trade it for something more exciting if lower-paid.
I mention this as a partial example of the legend Obama has created about his early life. To counter his largely fictional background many of you are reduced to false claims about Palin's supposed flirtation with a separatist group, or John McCain's supposed affair with some babe.
Whatever you do, don't compare accomplishments, for neither Obama nor Biden have many, while Palin is the most successful governor now serving. Maybe it's just dumb luck and glamor on her part--I dunno. But I do know that Obama has been forced into gross resume enhancement to come up with anything worth bragging about. It's lucky he didn't come in second in the primaries, for he would never have passed the VP vetting process.
"Who argued that Clinton was a socialist liberal who hated America? Who said that about Gore? Who said that about Carter? "
You're kidding right?
It's pretty much a standard attack. You can find these easily by looking through the Google News archive. Gore was as well in 99.
"He quarreled with Keating, and refused him any more assistance. "
No. The regulators told them that a criminal investigation was underway, at which point it stopped. This was after they were fighting.
"McCain distanced himself from Keating well before the Ethics Committee started its investigation."
Uhh - the ethics investigation started about year and a half after the first meetings, and about 6 months after the seizure and subsequent rumors of Keating's arrest. They all ran before this started.
By the time the relatively toothless Ethics committee gets involved, most people would sever their relationship. It's not exactly timely.
Oops! 2 1/2 years after the meetings.
Crank, I'll admit that unlike the Ayers (non-)story, this ACORN voter registration angle is at least worth exploring. The press has, and should, look into it.
Funny thing is, it has as little traction as the Ayers story. With the global economy crumbling before our eyes, all but the most blindly committed GOPers care about one issue, and one issue only, in this campaign: the economy.
And strangely enough, on that issue I don't think Obama has any more of a clue than McCain does. But . . . Obama has three things going for him, and barring some unexpected swing in the next three and a half weeks, they're gonna carry it for him:
1. He's not a GOPer and therefore not associated with the current administration.
2. He's remained calm and even-keeled over the past three weeks while McCain has flailed about, grasping for every straw, changing his positions constantly (the economy is fundamentally sound; the fundamentals are the American workers; we're facing a crisis; blah, blah, blah . . .), even throwing out crazy ideas without vetting them (like his buy-all-the-mortgages idea, unveiled at the debate!).
3. Obama has surrounded himself with fine economic minds. Say what you will about the policies or philosophies of Volker, Buffett, & Rubin, but they're thoughtful, learned men with experience and financial success stories on their resumes.
This Ayers-Acorn type of crap worked for the GOPers in the past when things were "normal," Crank. But with (i) McCain linked to the political party one of the most unpopular presidencies in American history, and (ii) a global economic crisis of historical proportions, it's gonna take more than Willy Horton, gay marriage, or ACORN to change the wind.
By Kwame Palin allowing a family grudge to run amok in her office she now has opened the good people of Alaska to a nice civil suit. Look at the basics of the mess in Detroit same exact thing. Once the two parties file suit I can not wait till they depose AIP Todd and his wife. She has no choice but to tell the truth the whole truth.
You compile multiple paragraphs exploring the thesis "As evidence mounts of the involvement of the [ACORN] in extensive voter fraud across multiple states, Barack Obama has tried to minimize his involvement with ACORN."
What a waste of server space. Nobody cares. Everyone knows Obama was a community organizer. Most people know he was involved extensively with voter registration (actually a pretty useful background for a pres. candidate). Its not too surprising that he crossed paths with the premier organization in this area: ACORN. As the right tries to vilify ACORN, rather than wasting the breath defending ACORN against the onslaught of attacks, Barack takes the path of least resistance and instead "tries to minimize his involvement with ACORN."
Crank -- you and your brethren at NRO may be the only people in America that care about this story. So you may want to save your storage space and just email your findings to those guys.
Javaman -- I am hoping by the time they depose AIP Todd and his wife they will have drifted back into obscurity. Maybe she'll resurface on the Surreal World alongside MC Hammer and Corey Feldman.
the AIP, of which Palin's husband was a member and which she herself formed a purposeful alliance with during her service in city government, is more akin to the militia movement than the Libertarian Party.
It's laughable how the right has totally gotten themselves caught up in the "get Obama" game that even though there is a financial situation of amazing proportions going on they can't disengage themselves to be bothered with it. Their like raccoons who won't let go of the shiny object even though their very lives may be in peril. Even McCain can't seem to figure out that no one, other than people already voting for him, give a rat's butt about this stuff. Please run many more features on topics such as Barack's junior high gym teacher, 4th grade Little League friend and first date in high school. The American public demands more!
The investigation on behalf of the Alaska Legislative Council is "partisan" on what basis? Because you say so?
The hatred and appeals to ignorance that fuel violence from the McCain campaign -- and fed by you, Crank and your fellow travelers -- are the most un-American aspects of this election. McCain appears, finally, to have recognized the depths to which he has stooped and is scaling back. You might consider the same.
The committee that put investigator Branchflower on the trail of Palin was controlled by open Obama supporters who stated their intention of bringing out the report just before the election as a deliberate October surprise. There is no mystery to this.
Branchflower's 200+ page report has but one charge against Palin, that she insufficiently reined-in her husband. But Monegan himself has stated that he was never told to fire Wooten, either by Todd Palin or anyone in Palin's administration.
Months after the transfer (not firing) of Monegan, Wooten is still on the job. For a woman whose opponents' bodies "litter the Alaskan landscape" Palin has been oddly ineffective in getting Wooten, if that was her aim.
Those of you who insist that Palin was pursuing a vendetta against Wooten are not looking at this analytically. i suspect the problem is simply PMS--Palin Madness Syndrome.
This will be my last contribution to this particular string, since we (well, mostly you) are simply repeating ourselves, and applying precious little rational thought to the questions discussed.
Gosh, Crank, isn't this about the time when you tell everyone, "This is my blog, I'll post what I want..."?
But without comments, your blog is mere electronic masturbation. It seems the consensus here is that you've lost sight of facts, context, and fairness in your "Let me crucify Obama, while celebrating almost 8 years of ignoring Bush's crimes" crusade...
Once again, let's talk baseball...
The McCain campaign is dead. Good riddance. The Palin report shows she abused her power and is nothing but a good ole boy who happens to be a woman. Some maverick. Horrible vetting by the McCain team to choose a VP in the middle of an investigation like this. There must have been better choices. But McCain has his own problems. His stupid campaign tactics have unleashed hateful and venomous rallies, which McCain now has to calm down by telling his own supporters that Obama is a decent man. I shed no tears for this man. He made his bed, and now he has to lie in it.
"Branchflower's 200+ page report has but one charge against Palin, that she insufficiently reined-in her husband. But Monegan himself has stated that he was never told to fire Wooten, either by Todd Palin or anyone in Palin's administration."
First, the report is going on to another level. They (a stacked deck) determines what happens.
Second, you lead a blessed life if a superior has never come to you with a series of indirect statements that is not what you want to do, or believe what you should do.
Take the results of the current investigation into the prosecutor firings - Senators calling up didn't say 'bring the Democrat to jail', they were quite a bit more circumspect.
"Months after the transfer (not firing) of Monegan, Wooten is still on the job. For a woman whose opponents' bodies "litter the Alaskan landscape" Palin has been oddly ineffective in getting Wooten, if that was her aim."
You should look at the timeline. Monegan was fired on July 11th, and I believe within that day he had made allegations about why. In less than 6 days he released a packet which included comments about her brother in law.
Generally, once light is shining in, people stop doing bad things. Or at least run from them. To not do so is stupid - see McCain, running away from Keating, when told an investigation was starting.
"Those of you who insist that Palin was pursuing a vendetta against Wooten are not looking at this analytically."
Nope, I am. Those who are defending it are doing so with only partisan motives.
"It seems the consensus here..." in the comments?
You kidder. How can we take you more lightly?
Why no posts about McCain working with ACORN? Does that make McCain a radical?
I seriously doubt this organization did a complete 360 like he wants to say they did. The liberal illuminati are good for having associates, then not having them around any longer. Once they're committed of a crime, the elitist don't have understand where it came from, and immediately distance themselves. Same song and dance.