Archive for October 2nd, 2008

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Obama Campaign’s Connection to ACORN and CSI

October 2, 2008

Here is the complete story from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/election/s_584284.html

For a candidate who claims to be practicing ‘new’ politics, his FEC reports look an awful lot like the ‘old-style’ Chicago politics of yesterday. – RNC statement, 8/21/08.

It appears that Internet based information sites are not the only venues who have been tracking the goings on between Obama, CSI and ACORN. Recently the New York Times reported a mild suggestion of conspiracy between ACORN staff, employees of CCI (Citizens Consulting, Inc. – yet another 1024 resident) and Tides Foundation (the guy who paid off the ACORN embezzeler’s / founder’s brother’s debt off), to not talk about the Rathke ACORN embezzlement affair. It was spotted in the
Pittsburgh Tribune Review Wednesday in an Op-Ed titled: “Tides of ‘transparency’”, and subtitled appropriately: “keep your yaps shut.”

“..is quite an irony for a bunch of leftists who have been known to yap at others for their lack of transparency.”

In today’s issue of the Tribune-Review there is a headline:

GOP: CAMPAIGN TRIED TO HIDE TIES WITH ACORN

(Obama to amend spending report)

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat’s campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports.

I have to admit, that as the research was being compiled for yesterday’s questions on this subject, I thought that these “infractions” were so glaring that someone else, this time someone in the MSM, had to have also seen them.

This questionable Obama behavior was spotted by a reporter with a powerful Rolodex – the type found only in major press rooms. The reporter interviewed Jeff Robinson of CSI, the Obama campaign, the RNC and the then Obama campaign again, after the RNC. Numerous quotes from other entities, such as the FEC and watchdog groups are included. It is a must read today.

The reporter, David M. Brown, was quite generous in his fair treatment of this subject, but one of the people he interviewed was not so gentle. In the article the RNC says:

“Barack Obama’s failure to accurately report his campaign’s financial records is an incredibly suspicious situation that appears to be an attempt to hide his campaign’s interaction with a left-wing organization previously convicted of voter fraud. For a candidate who claims to be practicing ‘new’ politics, his FEC reports look an awful lot like the ‘old-style’ Chicago politics of yesterday.”

Then, after reading this statement from the story, I have to agree with the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics spokesperson who said this:

“It’s rare that people don’t file any amended reports.“

In my opinion, you can’t accidentally type STAGE, LIGHTING AND SOUND when the bill from your vendor obviously says”Get-Out-The-Vote Organizing.” And then, on ten additional, separate occasions, make the same type of mistake on separate forms, followed by ADVANCE WORK entered when the bill says Get-Out-The-Vote Organizing or POLLINING when the bill says Get-Out-The-Vote Organizing. This, in my opinion, is noteworthy because it sounds like a pattern of lots and lots of amendments to the FEC reports.

So, this is the house that ACORN built. Does Obama have a room?

An Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. — a subsidiary of ACORN — worked in “get-out-the-vote” projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary.

The Obama campaign can amend their reports all they want. But, had observers not discovered this obfuscation, then the lies would have continued to the end of the campaign, as they sprayed tens of millions of innocent donor dollars through various groups to fund the ACORN-Obama grass-roots campaign, under the radar of the press and public.

It does not matter so much who or how many may claim to have been “blind” to these activities. It is my opinion that the Obama campaign knew they were misleading the public and that they have no intention of offering transparency unless pressed and challenged. And I challenge all seekers of justice to continue to challenge him every day.

ACORN/CSI:
An August 22, 2008 article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that Obama had to ammend his report to reflect the donation to CSI. The fact remains that Barack Obama donated money to an organization known for committing voter fraud. The article states:

A Trib analysis of campaign finance reports showed Obama paid CSI for services that stood out as unusual. For example, CSI received payments of $63,000 and $75,000 for advance work. Excluding the large payments to CSI, the average amount the Obama campaign spent with other organizations was $558.82 per check on more than 1,200 entries classified as advance work.

Citizens Services Inc. is headquartered at the same address as ACORN’s national headquarters in New Orleans. Citizens Services was established in December 2004 to “assist persons and organizations who advance the interests of low- and moderate-income people,” according to paperwork filed in Louisiana. In a 2006 ACORN publication, Citizen Services Inc. is described as “ACORN’s campaign services entity.”

When Obama was a “community organizer” he donated his legal services to these people. The original BAIL OUT bill contained millions for ACORN! When the Republicans objected, the earmark was removed.

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Palin to Treat Biden Like a Moose

October 2, 2008

Allahpundit notes:

It restores the “pitbull in lipstick” image that the Couric interviews dissolved, it increases the chance of a golden Biden jackass moment by getting under his skin, and it keeps the spotlight off of her own answers. The debate’s supposed to be “about” Palin; to the extent she can make it about Biden or, better still, about Biden’s disagreements with Obama, it’s a victory even if she spends half her time tapdancing on policy.

Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight’s showdown…

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. … Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”…

From her debate playbook, as described by McCain officials:

—Throw Biden’s own words back at him…

—Highlight past Biden foreign-policy positions as a way to undermine his core strength…

—Highlight places where Biden and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) have differed, including primary-season statements about Obama’s readiness to lead and his positions on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Unleash the beast!

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ACORN Corruption – Lawsuit Filed by Board Over Embezzlement

October 2, 2008

In August, two members of an ACORN interim management committee — Washington, D.C., board member Marcel Reid and Minnesota board member Karen Inman — filed suit in New Orleans seeking access to financial records and to remove Rathke from all ACORN-affiliated groups. They said a June 20 board resolution directed Rathke to step aside from any activities having to do with ACORN.

Rathke’s wife said his new employer, ACORN International, is a separate group with separate offices.

Here is what happenned:

The imbroglio dates to 1999 and 2000, when the nonprofit was calling for local increases in the minimum wage and trying to unionize hospitality workers in New Orleans. Dale Rathke, the founder’s brother, was serving as comptroller through a related organization called Citizens Consulting Inc., and Lewis said he abused his authority by using the group’s credit cards to buy things that were unrelated to its work.

A co-worker alerted Wade Rathke, who consulted with a few of ACORN’s national leaders. When the group’s longtime accountants at the New Orleans firm Duplantier, Hrapmann Hogan & Maher conducted an audit and found that $948,507 had been stolen, the Rathke family set up a formal repayment schedule. Dale Rathke was removed as comptroller at CCI, but he stayed on as a consultant at ACORN.

Lewis said the 51-member board did not know about the apparent theft until an ACORN financial supporter heard about it this spring and raised questions about whether its contributions had been misappropriated.

National board members were furious at the disclosure, and they have asked for a full airing of how the money was stolen and why it was kept secret from group for so long.

Dale Rathke resigned in early June. Wade Rathke also resigned from his position as chief organizer but remains with an affiliated group, New Orleans-based ACORN International, which does human rights work overseas.

The Rathke family repaid about $214,000 starting in 2001 through a loan taken out by CCI, and a California donor, Drummond Pike, recently stepped in and repaid the remaining debt.

Corruption All Over The Place
Wade Rathke told board members in June that he did not try to cover up his brother’s misdeeds. He asserted that he and other managers thought the repayment plan represented the best course of action because it would keep the incident out of the press, where it could provide fodder for political opponents at a time when ACORN had much work to accomplish, according to minutes of the meeting, which were available at Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Rathke’s wife, Beth Butler, executive director of ACORN New Orleans, disputed the account of some board members that the family kept the embezzlement hush-hush. She said ACORN’s national executive committee and regional leaders knew what was going on, and its national executives took steps make sure CCI modernized its accounting controls.

– AP

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ACORN Embezzlement Payoff Discovered

October 2, 2008

http://theunionlabelblog.com/2008/08/17/source-of-acorn-embezzlement-payoff-discovered/

You may recall the news that the brother of the chief of the group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) stole $1 million dollars from the organization? Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade, embezzled the money in 2000.

Well, now it has been determined who tried to secretly pay off the theft so that no one would get in trouble. It appears that Drummond Pike of the Tides Foundation a purveyor of leftist tropes, slipped ACORN the cool mil so that Wade Rathke could keep his little bro out of jail.

As the New York Times reports, the Tides Foundation has since 2000 provided over $400 million dollars to various far left organizations and causes. The Tides Foundation has said that none of their money went to ACORN and that Pike was on a “leave of absence” from their board.

ACORN did its level best to keep everything secret and off the books, too. They way they tried to paper over the theft and pay back is worthy of the best cloak-and-dagger book plot.

That agreement was carried on the books of an affiliate, Citizens Consulting Inc., as a loan to an officer. Sometime in June, Mr. Pike bought the loan from the affiliate, according to e-mail messages between senior executives at Acorn that were provided to a reporter by Acorn employees, who requested anonymity because they feared losing their jobs.

But e-mail messages among Acorn’s senior executives discuss how to keep Mr. Pike’s identity secret, even as they acknowledge that some of the foundations and philanthropic advisers that have supported Acorn and its affiliates know that he bought the note.

All this secrecy is alarming. It should be stressed that this was done to hide the theft from authorities to shield the criminal brother of founder Rathke as well as to hide a potentially embarrassing situation from becoming public knowledge.

And these are the sorts of crooks and cover-up artists that imagine they should be the ones running the economy as well as the rest of the country! They are also the ones closest to Barack Obama and the people he WILL be bringing into government should he win the White House.

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More Pre-game Armchair Quarterbacking

October 2, 2008

This time from Jennifer Rubin of Pajamas via RCP:

First, she needs to take it to her opponent on what is supposed to be Joe Biden’s greatest strength: foreign policy. She’s no Henry Kissinger but she can remind viewers that Biden championed the unworkable Iraq partition idea and opposed the surge. But it is in Biden’s criticism of Barack Obama that she might really score points. Biden after all inveighed against Obama’s vote to cut off funding for the troops in Iraq and was critical of his promise to meet unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Between Biden and Obama they have supported just about every bad national security idea (e.g., opposition to Kyl-Lieberman, endless talks with Iran, opposition to FISA) in the last eight years. Palin can make that point.

Second, she should use Biden’s “higher taxes are patriotic” to do what McCain didn’t do enough of in his own debate: hone in on the dangers of a tax increase during a recession and suggest that if Obama is really bent on all that domestic spending many more people than the “rich” will get a tax hike. Why, with the Fed and Treasury madly trying to pump liquidity into the private sector, would Obama suck it back out with a tax hike? It’s illogical and bad economics.

Third, she needs to pin the “insider” label back on the Obama-Biden ticket. There are plenty of earmarks to point to — both by Biden and by Obama (nearly a billion in just the few years he has been there). But the real looming issue is why neither of them set about blowing the whistle on the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fiasco in the making. It was the Obama-Biden duo and their Democratic allies who took gobs of money from Freddie and Fannie and then blocked any meaningful reform. If all else fails, Palin should give viewers directions to view this film detailing the willful indifference, and indeed obstructionism, of the Democrats. Or she can quote Bill Clinton for the proposition that the Democrats have a lot to answer for. In short, she needs to use the platform of the debate to tie the Obama-Biden ticket to their Congressional colleagues and, in turn, to the debacle of Congressional mismanagement and malfeasance.

Fourth, she can talk with authority on energy policy. Why do the Democrats oppose domestic drilling and why aren’t we developing resources at home rather than importing oil, which for the foreseeable future will be a vital part of our energy supply? And yes, it is probably a good idea to bring up that clean coal gaffe.

And, finally, on a stylistic level Palin needs to get into the weeds and show some familiarity, not just with catchphrases, but with the particulars of McCain’s own program. As for her lack of foreign policy experience, she should be frank: all she has to offer is judgment, belief in a foreign policy based on the principles enunciated by Ronald Reagan, and a determination to take whatever measures are needed to prevail in the war on terror. (She might even use her newness to the national scene to her advantage: “I’m new at this Joe but I fail to see why Osama bin Laden should be given habeas corpus rights when not even the Nazis at Nuremberg got those protections.”)

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Ifill’s Cousin Finds Palin Offensive

October 2, 2008

Tim Graham at Newsbusters notes:

Here are more signs Sarah Palin could face an uphill battle with PBS host Gwen Ifill. Professor Sherrilyn Ifill of the University of Maryland Law School, whom Gwen Ifill has lauded as “my brilliant baby cousin,” has written that black women are not buying Sarah Palin’s “false claims to feminism” and is portrayed as too perfect: “when women who are privileged present as though they have it all together, it’s offensive to black women.”

I am sure the whole family is unbiased.

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What I Would Like to See Tonight

October 2, 2008

Everyone, their mother, and their racist preacher has an opinion as to what is going to go down tonight and what should go down tonight. Many on our side and pretty much every one on their side that Sarah is going to mess up. They also said that before her speech in Minnesota and we know how that went (awesome). Expectations are low, but here are some things I’d like to see

 

          at the open of the debate, Sarah pulls out a galley copy of the Age of Obama and congratulates Ifill on her book and say “it’s might good to clean my ass with.” She then turns to Biden and pulls out his book and says, “Yours ain’t bad the morning after a big Moose dinner.”

          No matter what she is asked, preface the answer by saying how hard it is to be the first attractive woman running for national office

          Talk about energy, energy, energy (Barack is a sexist) energy, energy, energy

          Call First Dude on stage and have him challenge Joe Biden to a drinking contest. Joe Biden accepts and it gets awesome