Posts Tagged ‘Citizens Services ACORN’

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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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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