Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Caged Bird Sings

To borrow from the title of Maya Angelou's great book. Only in this case, the bird singing is Anita Moncrief, a former ACORN employee. Oh, yes - she's singing like a canary in this intriguing article from the Wall Street Journal the other day,
An Acorn Whistleblower Testifies in Court
, The group's ties to Obama are extensive.

Can I just say from the outset, no freakin' DUH??? Like we didn't already know this! Now, there is testimony to back up what we have been screaming from the top of our lungs: ACORN and Obama ARE CONNECTED. What does it take already? According to the article:
Acorn, the liberal "community organizing" group that claims it will deploy 15,000 get-out-the-vote workers on Election Day, can't stay out of the news.

The FBI is investigating its voter registration efforts in several states, amid allegations that almost a third of the 1.3 million cards it turned in are invalid. And yesterday, a former employee of Acorn testified in a Pennsylvania state court that the group's quality-control efforts were "minimal or nonexistent" and largely window dressing. Anita MonCrief also says that Acorn was given lists of potential donors by several Democratic presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama, to troll for contributions.

Glad to hear the FBI is getting involved in this now - I sure hope it isn't too little, too late.

But you know that Obama is going to try and WORM (What Obama Really Meant) his way out of this, or just flat out lie, what has become his standard MO:
The Obama campaign denies it "has any ties" to Acorn, but Mr. Obama's ties are extensive. In 1992 he headed a registration effort for Project Vote, an Acorn partner at the time. He did so well that he was made a top trainer for Acorn's Chicago conferences. In 1995, he represented Acorn in a key case upholding the constitutionality of the new Motor Voter Act -- the first law passed by the Clinton administration -- which created the mandated, nationwide postcard voter registration system that Acorn workers are using to flood election offices with bogus registrations.

Ms. MonCrief testified that in November 2007 Project Vote development director Karyn Gillette told her she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists. Ms. MonCrief also testified she was given a spreadsheet to use in cultivating Obama donors who had maxed out on donations to the candidate, but who could contribute to voter registration efforts. Project Vote calls the allegation "absolutely false."

Huh - which one are you going to believe, Ms. Moncrief, or Ms. Gillette. Now wait, befoer you answer that question, consider this: Secretary of State in Ohio, Jennifer Brunner, and Karyn Gillette, have a major connection to each other. Yep - sure do. Turns out, according to Brunner's husband, Rick, they even worked out of Gillette's office. The plot thickens:
She (Moncrief) says that when she had trouble with what appeared to be duplicate names on the list, Ms. Gillette told her she would talk with the Obama campaign and get a better version. Ms. MonCrief has given me copies of the donor lists she says were obtained from other Democratic campaigns, as well as the 2004 DNC donor lists.

How pissed off are you right now? ACORN and Obama, along with OTHER Democratic campaigns, were sharing mailing lists. Privacy? What privacy? Get this:
In her testimony, Ms. MonCrief says she was upset by Acorn's "Muscle for Money" program, which she said intimidated businesses Acorn opposed into paying "protection" money in the form of grants. Acorn's Brian Kettering says the group only wants to change corporate behavior: "Acorn is proud of its corporate campaigns to stop abuses of working families."

"Muscle for Money"??? Is this for real?? Well, holy crapydoo - that sure explains a whole helluva lot about how the Obama campaign and its minions have been operating, doesn't it??

Here is the sad tale of Ms. Moncrief and ACORN, in the interest of full disclosure:
Ms. MonCrief, 29, never expected to testify in a case brought by the state's Republican Party seeking the local Acorn affiliate's voter registration lists. An idealistic graduate of the University of Alabama, she joined Project Vote in 2005 because she thought it was empowering poor people. A strategic consultant for Acorn and a development associate with its Project Vote voter registration affiliate, Ms. MonCrief sat in on policy-making meetings with the national staff. She was fired early this year over personal expenses she had put on the group's credit card.

She says she became disillusioned because she saw that Acorn was run as the personal fiefdom of Wade Rathke, who founded the group in 1970 and ran it until he stepped down to take over its international operations this summer. Mr. Rathke's departure as head of Acorn came after revelations he'd employed his brother Dale for a decade while keeping from almost all of Acorn's board members the fact that Dale had embezzled over $1 million from the group a decade ago. (The embezzlement was confirmed to me by an Acorn official.)

INTERNATIONAL??? Oh, dear. That is scary as all get out. Anyway, I guess Obama was inspired by Rathke to be Ruler of the Universe, commander of all he sees. And taking something that doesn't belong to him? Well, heckfire, that seems to be Obama's MO, too - caucuses, votes, whatever...

Then there is the vindictiveness Obama has demonstrated time and time again:
"Anyone who questioned what was going on was viewed as the enemy," Ms. MonCrief told me. "Just like the mob, no one leaves Acorn happily." She believes the organization does some good but hopes its current leadership is replaced. She may not be alone.

Just like the mob.

And here is some information I think Joe the Plumber could certainly use given what the Obama camp and its minions in Ohio have done to him:
Last August two of Acorn's eight dissident board members, Marcel Reed and Karen Inman, filed suit demanding access to financial records of Citizens Consulting Inc., the umbrella group through which most of Acorn's money flows. Ms. Inman told a news conference this month Mr. Rathke still exercises power over CCI and Acorn against the board's wishes. Bertha Lewis, the interim head of Acorn, told me Mr. Rathke has no ties to Acorn and that the dissident board members were "obsessed" and "confused."

According to public records, the IRS filed three tax liens totaling almost $1 million against Acorn this spring. Also this spring, CCI was paid $832,000 by the Obama campaign for get-out-the-vote efforts in key primary states. In filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Obama campaign listed the payments as "staging, sound, lighting," only correcting the filings after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revealed their true nature.

"Acorn needs a full forensic audit," Ms. MonCrief says, though she doesn't think that's likely. "Everyone wants to paper things over until later," she says. "But it may be too late to reform Acorn then." She strongly supports Barack Obama and hopes his allies can be helpful in cleaning up the group "after the heat of the election is gone."

Let's see - a private citizen has his fairly insignificant lien posted all over the airwaves, but ACORN's $1 million lien?? Um, not so much.

Naturally, this is all a blatant attempt by right-wing loonies to cast aspersions on this fine organization right before an election:
Acorn's Mr. Kettering says the GOP lawsuit "is designed to suppress legitimate voters," and he says Ms. MonCrief isn't credible, given that she was fired for cause. Ms. MonCrief admits that she left after she began paying back some $3,000 in personal expenses she charged on an Acorn credit card. "I was very sorry, and I was paying it back," she says, but "suddenly Acorn decided that . . . I had to go. Since then I have gotten warnings to 'back off' from people at Acorn."

Acorn insists it operates with strict quality controls, turning in, as required by law, all registration forms "even if the name on them was Donald Duck," as Wade Rathke told me two years ago. Acorn whistleblowers tell a different story.

Oh, you knew it was coming - this is ALL about voter suppression, not voter fraud! Racists!!! Ahem.

Oh, but it isn't just Ms. Moncrief who feels compelled to finally tell the truth:
"There's no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances," says Nate Toler, who worked until 2006 as the head organizer of an Acorn campaign against Wal-Mart in California. And Ms. MonCrief says it is longstanding practice to blame bogus registrations on lower-level employees who then often face criminal charges, a practice she says Acorn internally calls "throwing folks under the bus."

Gregory Hall, a former Acorn employee, says he was told on his very first day in 2006 to engage in deceptive fund-raising tactics. Mr. Hall has founded a group called Speaking Truth to Power to push for a full airing of Acorn's problems "so the group can heal itself from within."

Well, I'll be damned. Seems that ACORN has a bit of a history in shenanigans. What I particularly love is how they Higher-Ups blame EVERYTHING on the underlings. Just what we can look forward to with an Obama presidency, I predict!

Oh, and do I even have to add this? You coulda guessed it:
To date, Mr. Obama has declined to criticize Acorn, telling reporters this month he is happy with his own get-out-the-vote efforts and that "we don't need Acorn's help." That may be true. But there is no denying his ties with Acorn helped turbocharge his political career.

Seriously? You aren't counting on all of those fraudulent votes for you in OH, CA, IN, TX, FL, NC, and the list goes on, at LEAST 15 states (16, if you include SC, which is already investigating ACORN)? Yeah, okay. Well, you may claim you don't need ACORN, and ACORN may claim it is "non-partisan," but judging from the video below, I think you are both lying - again:

(H/T to NQW for the video.) Hopefully, more whistle blowers will come forward. Probably not in time to save this election from ACORN's influence, but at the very least, to save more of our taxpaying dollars from going to these bozos in the future. Our vote is precious, and not to be trifled with by those who seek to distort it. We must stand up to these kinds of influences, and we sure as hell should not be paying for it.

And one more time, because of all of the documented fraudulent activities of ACORN, if you see something suspicious at your polling place, you can call: 866-976-VOTE to report it.


j bird said...

Hilary knows Wade and supports ACORN. Also Wade no longer is in charge of ACORN.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Wade was the chief organizer until THIS YEAR. Whether he is still in that position or not does not diminish the impact he has had on how this organization has run for the past 38 yrs.

The thing abt those of us who supported Hillary is that we do not walk in lock-step. I don't care if she supports them or not - they are engaging in fraudulent activities, using taxpaying dollars to do so. That is unacceptable to ME.

Thanks for your comment.