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The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Topic: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. (Read 44096 times)
The electoral process
Reply #150 on:
February 15, 2010, 10:10:35 AM »
"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781
Reply #151 on:
February 16, 2010, 12:17:21 PM »
Much as I hate to cite the Washington/Mooney Times, they are the only ones keeping this in the public eye.
EDITORIAL: Walpin-gate gets rusty
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Lawyers learn early that if they are in danger of losing a case, their best strategy is to delay it. With the help of a friendly judge, that seems to be the Obama administration's strategy in the case of fired AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin. It is past time for the case to move forward.
Mr. Walpin was fired in June after releasing two reports critical of close allies of President Obama's. As a senator, Mr. Obama was a leading co-sponsor of a 2008 law requiring that inspectors general receive 30 days' notice before being fired and that Congress receive a formal justification for any dismissal. As president, Mr. Obama gave Mr. Walpin no notice and offered Congress no reason for the firing other than a vague claim that he didn't have "the fullest confidence" in Mr. Walpin.
Mr. Walpin originally filed suit in July demanding reinstatement to his job. The suit still languishes, seven months later, without the benefit of a single preliminary hearing. First the Obama administration asked for an extension of the ordinary time period to respond to the suit. Then, rather than addressing the merits of the case, the administration made a motion to dismiss without a hearing or trial. Mr. Walpin countermoved on Dec. 16 for summary judgment in his favor. One week later, the administration filed another motion to delay. Briefs went back and forth on that motion for another month, but Federal District Judge Richard W. Roberts has ruled on nothing.
Finally, noting that a scheduling hearing should by law be held no later than 90 days after the defense's first "notice of appearance" and that 90 days expired on Dec. 15, Mr. Walpin on Feb. 3 filed a motion demanding a scheduling conference. Still no answer from the judge. However, on Friday, the administration moved to block all legal discovery on the numerous outstanding motions. Through all these delays, the Obama administration wards off the day when Mr. Walpin can use the legal discovery process to unearth documents or other evidence that might embarrass the White House.
Everything thus far calls attention to dirty tricks by the Obama team. The administration cited an ethical complaint against Mr. Walpin of which he was fully exonerated and suggested that the fired IG was losing mental capacity, which he quite clearly is not. Meanwhile, several of Mr. Walpin's major contentions against Obama allies have been shown to have real substance.
This scandal is about the role of inspectors general to be independent watchdogs on behalf of the public. By firing Mr. Walpin without cause, Mr. Obama undermined the whole system of inspectors general and thus the ideal of honest governance.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud (ACORN et al), corruption etc.
Reply #152 on:
February 16, 2010, 01:57:20 PM »
Thanks for spotting this. The Pravda lap dogs continue to not bark c.f. AC Doyle "Hound of the Baskervilles"
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud (ACORN et al), corruption etc.
Reply #153 on:
February 25, 2010, 06:28:19 PM »
As predicted by Glenn Beck, ACORN has changed its names so that we cannot track it without considerable effort.
Oversight Committee Walpin Report
Reply #154 on:
March 02, 2010, 11:51:53 AM »
Issa-Grassley Release New Documents Exposing Politicization of Inspector General Firing
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 05:14
WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released an updated supplement to a report released last November investigating the firing of Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General (IG) for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Walpin’s investigation found significant wrongdoing and allegations of sexual misconduct by President Obama’s good friend and Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson.
“Rather than diminishing the appearance that politics played a role in the removal of Gerald Walpin, these new documents reinforce that appearance,” the updated report says. “The new documents make the President’s initial explanation that he merely ‘lost confidence’ in the Inspector General seems even less credible.”
Specifically, new documents obtained by Issa-Grassley demonstrate that:
1. Lawrence Brown was actively seeking a Presidential appointment as the U.S. Attorney at the same time he was negotiating a lenient settlement agreement with Kevin Johnson, excluding the Inspector General from the negotiations, and filing a complaint against Walpin with the Integrity Committee; and
2. Lawrence Brown and Matthew Jacobs, Kevin Johnson’s attorney, frequently exchanged informal emails about Walpin, which do not suggest an appropriately arm’s length negotiating relationship.
3. An internal memo that reveals that the White House considered issues in deciding to remove Walpin that it did not disclose in the official notice to Congress.
“Throughout our investigation of Mr. Walpin’s removal, the White House has repeatedly communicated that the President was not motivated by inappropriate political reasons,” Issa said. “The fact is Gerald Walpin led an aggressive investigation of a political ally of President Obama that successfully recovered taxpayer dollars. While firing an investigator who uncovered the abuse of funds by a political ally might be considered an act of ‘political courage’ in Chicago politics, for most Americans it raises troubling questions.”
The 62 page report released last year by Issa and Grassley detailed how prominent allies of the President were able to effectuate Walpin’s removal absent a thorough White House review. The report further described how the White House Counsel’s Office withheld information from Congress and misled investigators after Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley questioned the President’s methods and motives for removing Walpin. This controversy has also raised questions surrounding the role of former Michelle Obama Chief of Staff and current CNCS Senior Advisor Jackie Norris and her previously undisclosed meeting then CNCS Board Chairman Alan Solomont, now the President’s Ambassador to Spain.
CLICK HERE to Read the Updated Supplement to the Initial Report
CLICK HERE to View the Exhibits
CLICK HERE to View Appendix 1
CLICK HERE to View Appendix 2
CLICK HERE to View Appendix 3
CLICK HERE to View Section 1 - Appendix 4
CLICK HERE to View Section 2 - Appendix 4
CLICK HERE to View Section 3 - Appendix 4
CLICK HERE to View Section 4 - Appendix 4
CLICK HERE to View Section 5 - Appendix 4
CLICK HERE to View Section 6 - Appendix 4
CLICK HERE to View Section 7 - Appendix 4
A piece of good news
Reply #155 on:
March 03, 2010, 08:30:22 AM »
Good follow through on that BBG. No doubt the MSM will be all over this
Speaking of corruption, , ,
Representative Charles B. Rangel Says He Is Stepping Down Temporarily as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman
Caught in a swirl of ethics inquiries, Representative Charles
B. Rangel said on Wednesday that he would temporarily step
aside as leader of the House Ways and Means Committee.
IOUs for SEIU's
Reply #156 on:
March 11, 2010, 11:44:30 AM »
Ten Years of Union "Ugly" in California
Matt Welch | March 11, 2010
So, who have been the top two political donors in California over the past decade, accounting for around one-third of all political donations during the period when the Golden State went from the envy of the world to the laughingstock of the nation? According to the L.A. Times,
--The California Teachers Assoc., which spent $211.8 million.
--The California State Council of Service Employees, $107.4 million.
We've seen what the teachers unions have done to public education out west. But what is the California State Council of Service Employees? It's the state version of the national Services Employee International Union, the labor juggernaut headed up by the Obama White House's most frequent visitor, Andy Stern. More than 350,000 of its members are California state employees. Which may help explain why Obama put Stern on a conference call with the Schwarzenegger administration to discuss how the state wouldn't get stimulus money if it followed through on the governor's meek threats to maybe fire a couple of state employees. Gee, I wonder what Stern is going to recommend in his new role as a member of the administration's fancy new deficit-reduction panel?
Never forget: When confronted last year with his wretched impact on California governance, Stern said: "Democracy is an ugly thing at times." Now he's poised to inflict that ugly on the rest of the country as well. Good thing that President Obama, in the words of spokesman Robert Gibbs yesterday, has been so busy "reducing the undue influence of special interests and their lobbyists over government."
Reply #157 on:
March 12, 2010, 10:37:51 AM »
Income Redistribution: You Paid for It
Executive salaries reach $500,000, hourly fees top $600, and millions of your dollars are propping it all up. Welcome to the underworld of the environmental industry. According to Richard Pollock of Pajamas Media, "environmental activist groups have surreptitiously received at least $37 million from the federal government for questionable 'attorney fees'" related to lawsuits that "had nothing to do with environmental protection or improvement."
Since 2000, nine national environmental groups have filed the astounding number of 3,300 lawsuits, most based on "alleged procedural failings of federal agencies" rather than "substance or science." Not only has Uncle Sam doled out the millions, but Washington has "neither tracked nor accounted for" any of the outgo. Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen, who helped uncover the fraud, says the $37 million is just the "tip of the iceberg," estimating the actual number is in the hundreds of millions.
Interestingly, according to the Washington Examiner, compensation for the top 10 paid environmental executives ranges from $308,000 to $496,000. Pajamas Media notes that of the $3.4 million that environmental PACs have given in federal campaign contributions since 2000, approximately 87 percent was to Democrats. Coincidence? We think not.
Eco-activists aren't the only ones greening themselves with your money. It seems Wake Forest University is using a $71,623 federal "we must rescue the economy now" stimu-less grant to study the effects of cocaine on a specific neurotransmitter in addicted monkeys. The economic benefit? Apparently a job "saved." For the record, we believe taxpayer dollars already fund too much monkey business in Washington; there's certainly no need to fund it anywhere else.
Reply #158 on:
March 18, 2010, 08:20:17 AM »
Obama's hypocrisy on the environment exposed
Is the Obama administration sacrificing America's ecosystem for two Congressional votes?
Something's fishy in the state of California, and it stinks of political corruption most foul. The water supply to the San Joaquin valley was shut off on December 2008 and remains off today, destroying thousands of lives and livelihoods of the farmers, small business owners and their employees who live and work in the valley. Additionally, it has crippled our domestic crop production, of which about 12% was grown in this area.
This tremendous sacrifice was absolutely necessary, at least according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Obama administration. A valuable endangered species, the Delta Smelt, was being threatened by the diversion of water into the valley. Local salmon and steelhead were threatened, as well.
The overwhelming menace to the Pacific ecosystem was so extreme that no amount of pleading from California politicians such as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger or Senator Dianne Feinstein could persuade Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, or President Obama to turn the water back on. On this, they had to take a principled stand. What courage these brave men possessed to steadfastly defend such a sensitive moral and ethical issue. Our natural resources and environmental sanctity must rightly outweigh the lives of 40,000 citizens and 12% of the nation's food supply.
Uh well, not quite. Apparently, the Obama administration values something even more than all the endangered species, American lives, and food shortages combined. That would be the two ObamaCare "yes" votes miraculously garnered from two previously undecided Democrat congressmen, Reps. Costa and Cardoza, whose districts are coincidentally affected by the government-imposed drought. This announcement on March 16 coincided (again, coincidentally) with the US Department of Interior's announcement that they have had a change of heart, and now will turn the water back on.
I guess the environment is not that important an issue in Obama's agenda, after all. Not today, anyway. At least not until there is a need to use it as a weapon to forcibly extract more of our freedoms. Maybe tomorrow.
Page Printed from:
at March 18, 2010 - 08:18:47 AM CDT
Invoke or Revoke Immunity
Reply #159 on:
April 05, 2010, 05:27:32 PM »
Panel: Justice stonewalling on Panthers
President Obama or Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should declare publicly whether executive privilege has been invoked in the Justice Department's refusal to release documents showing why voter-intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party were dismissed, says the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Declaring an impasse in negotiations between the commission and the department, Commission Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds said the Justice Department has "repeatedly refused" to provide any basic information regarding the case, instead asserting "vague and generalized privileges" that do not apply.
"The actual basis for the department's continued refusal to cooperate with the commission remains unclear," Mr. Reynolds said in a letter last week to Mr. Holder. "For example, has the president invoked executive privilege over the materials that the commission is seeking? If that is the case, the president or the attorney general must so state.
"The department's continued refusal to provide the requested information will lead to a conflict of interest, whereby the target of the subpoena — the department — can evade its statutory obligation to the commission by refusing to respond to or enforce the commission's subpoena," he said.
Mr. Reynolds asked Mr. Holder to respond by April 12 on whether he intends to cooperate in the inquiry "as is required by law," whether he would direct his subordinates to do so, and if he intends to allow Justice Department employees to respond to the commission's subpoenas to testify.
He said the department had "rebuffed each offer made by the commission" to meet to discuss and resolve the issues.
Justice Department officials did not respond to e-mails from The Washington Times seeking comment on the commission's letter.
In January, the department refused to turn over documents sought by the commission to explain why a civil complaint was dismissed against members of the New Black Panther Party who disrupted a Philadelphia polling place in the November 2008 elections.
In a 38-page response, the department objected to "each and every" question and document request submitted by the commission, saying the subpoenas violated privacy and privilege concerns, and were burdensome, vague and ambiguous.
The department also said the requested information was protected by the attorney-client privilege or were not subject to disclosure because they included attorney or law-enforcement work products. It also refused to release any information about an investigation of the New Black Panther Party case by its Office of Professional Responsibility, saying the review was privileged information or was covered by the Privacy Act.
In an accompanying letter, Joseph H. Hunt, director of the Justice Department's Federal Programs Branch, which oversees litigation matters, said the department was "constrained by the need to protect against disclosures that would harm its deliberative processes or that otherwise would undermine its ability to carry out its mission."
Also in January, the Justice Department refused to release e-mails and other documents sought under an open-records request by The Times in the New Black Panther Party case, despite acknowledging that 69 documents, totaling 135 pages, were responsive to the request.
The Times had sought copies of e-mails between officials in the Civil Rights Division and the Office of the Associate Attorney General regarding the litigation strategy, drafts of court filings and briefing materials related to the case.
The commission issued subpoenas on Dec. 9 demanding records showing why a civil complaint against the New Black Panther Party and three of its members was dismissed after a federal judge in Philadelphia ordered default judgments in the case. The New Black Panther Party members had refused to respond to the charges or to appear in court.
The Justice Department's Voting Rights Section was in the final stages of seeking the judgments when Loretta King, serving as acting assistant attorney general, ordered a delay. The delay came after she met with Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the department's No. 3 political appointee, who approved the dismissal, according to interviews with department officials who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
A civil complaint was filed by the Voting Rights Section in January 2009 in Philadelphia against the party after two of its members in black berets, black combat boots, black shirts and black jackets purportedly intimidated voters with racial insults, slurs and a nightstick. A third party member was accused of managing, directing and endorsing their behavior. The incident was captured on videotape.
Four months later, the Justice Department dropped the charges, saying "the facts and the law did not support pursuing" them.
Among the documents being sought by the commission are those regarding any communications between Mrs. King, Mr. Perrelli and Mr. Holder about the case.
The civil complaint accused Minister King Samir Shabazz, head of the Philadelphia chapter, and Jerry Jackson, a Philadelphia party member, of intimidating voters at the polling place. A third party member, Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, a lawyer and D.C. resident, was accused of directing and endorsing their behavior.
The party members have not been available for comment. The department obtained an injunction against Mr. Samir Shabazz that prohibits him from brandishing a weapon outside a polling place until 2012.
DOJ Atty Resigns Over Black Panther Case
Reply #160 on:
May 19, 2010, 06:36:03 PM »
DOJ Voting Rights attorney resigns over Black Panthers stonewalling
By: J.P. Freire
Associate Commentary Editor
05/18/10 6:40 PM EDT
A trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Section has resigned, citing concerns about the government’s refusal to prosecute a case involving voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party. A letter of resignation obtained by The Washington Examiner from a former Justice Department employee makes clear DOJ has refused to allow attorneys in the Voting Rights Section to testify before the congressionally-chartered bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, despite subpoenas that could result in their being held in contempt.
In his letter of resignation, J. Christian Adams said:
On the other hand, the events surrounding the dismissal of United States v. New Black Panther Party, et al., after the trial team sought and obtained an entry of default, has subjected me, Mr. Christopher Coates, and potentially at some point, all members of the team, to a subpoena from the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The subpoena is based on an explicit federal statute and seeks answers about why the case was dismissed.
I have incurred significant personal expense in retaining a number of separate attorneys and firms regarding this subpoena in order to protect my interests and advise me about my personal legal obligation to comply with the subpoena. Over the last few months, one of my attorneys has had multiple communications with Federal Programs regarding the subpoena. My attorney suggested to them that the Department should file a motion in district court to quash the subpoena and thereby resolve conclusively any question about my obligation to comply.
Months ago, my attorney advised the Department that a motion to quash would be welcome, and that I would assert no objection to the motion. Further, my attorney has explicitly sought to ascertain whether Executive Privilege has been invoked regarding the decisions of individuals not in the Voting Section to order the dismissal of the case. If Executive Privilege has been asserted, or will be, obviously I would not comply with the subpoena. These options would provide some conclusive legal certainly about the extent of my obligation to comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to a federal statute. Instead, we have been ordered not to comply with the subpoena, citing a federal regulation (emphasis mine).
Adams also cites his knowledge of the criminal character and “violent tendencies of” members of the New Black Panther Party, saying:
As you also know, the defendants in the New Black Panther lawsuit have become increasingly belligerent in their rhetoric toward the attorneys who brought the case. (See eg., April 23, 2010 statement of Malik Zulu Shabazz,http://www.newblackpanther.com/usccrphony case statement.pdf, describing the “phony case” brought by “the modern day racist lynch mob seeking to hang what [we] think .are [our] modern slaves.”) Their grievances toward us generally echo the assertions that the facts and law did not support the lawsuit against them, ab initio. Knowing intimately the criminal character and violent tendencies of the members of New Black Panther Party, it is my profound hope that these assertions are tempered.
This follows the departure of another attorney, who before transferring to South Carolina, read a statement to a surprised “goodbye luncheon” about his opposition to the way the case is handled (see here). More updates to follow. The document is below:
J. Christian Adams resignation letter 051910
Read more at the Washington Examiner:
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud (ACORN et al), corruption etc.
Reply #161 on:
May 19, 2010, 07:22:43 PM »
Good to see progress here.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud (ACORN et al), corruption etc.
Reply #162 on:
May 19, 2010, 08:07:43 PM »
Excellent follow up on this BBG. Thank you.
morris making sense of elections
Reply #163 on:
May 20, 2010, 03:33:29 PM »
By Dick Morris 05.19.2010 The message of the May 18th primaries is that it is open season on incumbents. In Pennsylvania, Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa) lost decisively to Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa)in his primary contest while Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) limped into the runoff in the Democratic primary by 44-42 over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. There can be little doubt that Lincoln will lose the runoff having scored so far under 50% of the vote. The fact is that 56% of the Democrats in Arkansas decided to vote against Lincoln.
Both Specter and Lincoln are now reaping the harvest of their votes for health care, a fate soon to be shared by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.), Michael Bennet (D Col.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). And the liability of incumbency was also vividly on display a week ago when long time Democratic incumbent Congressman Alan Mollohan (D-W Va.) was upended in his primary contest.
Lest the Democrats take comfort in their new standard bearers in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, it is obvious that Sestak and Halter will be easier to defeat than their far better known incumbent rivals would have been. The new Senator from Pennsylvania will be Republican nominee Pat Toomey and from Arkansas it will be Congressman John Boozman (R-Ark.).
With the defeat of Specter, the likely demise of Lincoln, and the recent loss of Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), the new Senate class of 2011 will have at least 14 new members…with more to come.
Democrats are taking satisfaction from their victory in Pennsylvania 12 where they held onto the seat of deceased Congressman John Murtha. But the obvious reason for their success is that Democratic turnout was boosted by a ferocious statewide Senate primary which drew out 1,050,000 voters while the Republican contest — never seriously contested 00 brought a paltry 800,000 to the polls. With no statewide reason to vote, local PA-12 Republicans stayed home while their Democratic neighbors flocked to the polls to vote against Specter (a joy not to be missed).
The Democratic victory in PA-12 also underscores a more fundamental point which is that incumbency is a huge liability in 2010. It is simply better to come from nowhere to run this year than to seek to keep a seat in this totally discredited Congress.
Rand Paul´s success in Kentucky in toppling establishment Senate candidate Trey Grayson in the Republican primary — along with the Bennett defeat in Utah — shows that this anti-politician sentiment cuts across party lines.
The harsh verdict on incumbents stems not so much from party preferences as from revulsion at the legislative process itself. The by-product of violating Bismark´s maxim that the public should never see sausage being made or a law being passed is that those who do the latter in full public view are doomed to end their legislative careers in defeat. The unseemly bargaining, machinations, and overt buying and selling of votes that characterized the health care debate of 2009-2010 has left so sour a taste in voter mouths that they understandably dismiss those incumbents from office whenever they can.
The fact that President Obama let the Congress write the two thousand page bill in public and that Reid and Pelosi negotiated for votes in front of the media, has amplified voter anger at Congress. Watching the deals being hatched and votes switching proved too much for the electorate to stomach. Now it is expressing its discontent with the legislative shenanigans it has had to watch.
This year is not just an anti-Democrat year. It is an anti-incumbent year.
SEIU Thugs Bussed In
Reply #164 on:
May 24, 2010, 09:36:09 AM »
Perhaps it's time to add "SEIU" to this forums' header.
Not mentioned herein is that DC police escorted this mob to the house in question, while the Montgomery County police that held jurisdiction refused to respond to the reports of the 14 year old boy cowering inside because the "didn't want to escalate things." Profiles in cowardice all the way around.
What's really behind SEIU's Bank of America protests?
By Nina EastonMay 19, 2010: 6:15 AM ET
(FORTUNE) -- Every journalist loves a peaceful protest-whether it makes news, shakes up a political season, or holds out the possibility of altering history. Then there are the ones that show up on your curb--literally.
Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that -- in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action -- makes his family fair game.
Waving signs denouncing bank "greed," hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer's steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer's teenage son Jack -- alone in the house -- locked himself in the bathroom. "When are they going to leave?" Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.
Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly "outed" him, and slipped through his front door.
"Excuse me," Baer told his accusers, "I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened."
When is a protest not a protest?
Now this event would accurately be called a "protest" if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be "mob." Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might "incite" these trespassers.
What's interesting is that SEIU, the nation's second largest union, craves respectability. Just-retired president Andy Stern is an Obama friend and regular White House visitor. He sits on the President's Fiscal Responsibility Commission. He hobnobs with those greedy Wall Street CEOs -- executives much higher-ranking than my neighbor Baer -- at Davos. His union spent $70 million getting Democrats elected in 2008.
In the business community, though, SEIU has a reputation for strong-arm tactics against management, prompting some companies to file suit.
Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives -- with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it's any executive -- and they're on the front stoop. After Baer's house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500).
Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that's not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.
When I asked Stephen Lerner, SEIU's point-person on Wall Street reform, about these tactics, he accused me of getting "emotional." Lerner was more comfortable sticking to his talking points: "Millions of people are losing their homes, and they have gone to the banks, which are turning a deaf ear."
Okay, fine, then why not continue SEIU protests at bank offices and shareholder meetings-as the union has been doing for more than a year? Lerner insists, "People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing."
Other reasons why SEIU might protest
Bank of America officials dispute Lerner's assertion about the "damage they are doing," citing the success of workout programs to help distressed homeowners, praise received from community groups, the bank's support of financial reform legislation, and the little-noticed fact that Bank of America exited the subprime lending business in 2001.
SEIU has said it wants to organize bank tellers and call centers -- and its critics point out that a great way to worsen employee morale, thereby making workers more susceptible to union calls, is to batter a bank's image through protest. (SEIU officials say their anti-Wall Street campaign has nothing to do with their organizing efforts.) Complicating this picture is the fact that BofA is the union's lender of choice -- and SEIU, suffering financially, owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees. Bank of America declined comment on the loans.
But SEIU's intentions, and BofA's lender record, are ripe subjects to debate in Congress, on air, at shareholder hearings. Not in Greg Baer's front yard.
Why the media wasn't invited
Sunday's onslaught wasn't designed for mainstream media consumption. There were no reporters from organizations like the Washington Post, no local camera crews who might have aired criticism of this private-home invasion. With the media covering the conservative Tea Party protesters, the behavior of individual activists has drawn withering scrutiny.
Instead, a friendly Huffington Post blogger showed up, narrowcasting coverage to the union's leftist base. The rest of the message these protesters brought was personal-aimed at frightening Baer and his family, not influencing a broader public.
Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He's not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.
In the 1990s, the Baers' former bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton, denounced the "politics of personal destruction." Today politicians and their voters of all stripes grieve the ugly bitterness that permeates our policy debates. Now, with populist rage providing a useful cover, it appears we've crossed into a new era: The politics of personal intimidation.
Saint Consulting Group
Reply #165 on:
June 07, 2010, 02:19:32 PM »
I've long thought about founding a company I'd call "Counterpro" that could be hired out to counter protest the events the far left often stages. Sounds like this company has taken that concept several steps further, utilizing union henchmen along the way.
Rival Chains Secretly Fund Opposition to Wal-Mart
By ANN ZIMMERMAN
MUNDELEIN, Ill.—Robert Brownson long believed that his proposed development here, with its 200,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter, was being held hostage by nearby homeowners.
He had seen them protesting at city hall, and they had filed a lawsuit to stop the project.
What he didn't know was that the locals were getting a lot of help. A grocery chain with nine stores in the area had hired Saint Consulting Group to secretly run the antidevelopment campaign. Saint is a specialist at fighting proposed Wal-Marts, and it uses tactics it describes as "black arts."
As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown into the largest grocery seller in the U.S., similar battles have played out in hundreds of towns like Mundelein. Local activists and union groups have been the public face of much of the resistance. But in scores of cases, large supermarket chains including Supervalu Inc., Safeway Inc. and Ahold NV have retained Saint Consulting to block Wal-Mart, according to hundreds of pages of Saint documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with former employees.
Saint has jokingly called its staff the "Wal-Mart killers." P. Michael Saint, the company's founder, declines to discuss specific clients or campaigns. When read a partial list of the company's supermarket clients, he responds that "if those names are true, I would say I was proud that some of the largest, most sophisticated companies were so pleased with our success and discretion that they hired us over the years."
Supermarkets that have funded campaigns to stop Wal-Mart are concerned about having to match the retailing giant's low prices lest they lose market share. Although they have managed to stop some projects, they haven't put much of a dent in Wal-Mart's growth in the U.S., where it has more than 2,700 supercenters—large stores that sell groceries and general merchandise. Last year, 51% of Wal-Mart's $258 billion in U.S. revenue came from grocery sales.
In many cases, the pitched battles have more than doubled the amount of time it takes Wal-Mart to open a store, says a person close to the company. And the fights generate negative publicity for the retailer.
A Wal-Mart spokesman declined to comment on activities Saint has undertaken on behalf of its competitors.
In Mundelein, a town of 35,000 about 20 miles northwest of Chicago, it was Supervalu, a national grocer based in Eden Prairie, Minn., that hired Saint to work behind the scenes, according to Saint documents. Supervalu's objective was to block Wal-Mart from competing with its nine Jewel-Osco supermarkets located within three to ten miles of the proposed shopping center, the documents indicate.
City officials say the effort stalled the development for three years and cost Mundelein millions in lost property and sales taxes.
Mr. Brownson, who has developed shopping centers in 15 states over 25 years, says he learned about Saint's involvement only recently when someone phoned him and spilled the news. "A huge national company conducts a dirty tricks campaign for its own goals, and a city and a developer become collateral damage," he complains.
Supervalu didn't return calls for comment. Mr. Saint declines to discuss the situation in Mundelein. In general, he says, "developers always say the world is coming to an end because the project that would have made them millions wasn't approved."
Mr. Saint, a former newspaper reporter and political press secretary, founded his firm 26 years ago. It specializes in using political-campaign tactics—petition drives, phone banks, websites—to build support for or against controversial projects, from oil refineries and shopping centers to quarries and landfills. Over the years, it has conducted about 1,500 campaigns in 44 states. Mr. Saint says about 500 have involved trying to block a development, and most of those have been clandestine.
For the typical anti-Wal-Mart assignment, a Saint manager will drop into town using an assumed name to create or take control of local opposition, according to former Saint employees. They flood local politicians with calls, using multiple phones to make it appear that the calls are coming from different people, the former employees say.
They hire lawyers and traffic experts to help derail the project or stall it as long as possible, in hopes that the developer will pull the plug or Wal-Mart will find another location.
"Usually, clients in defense campaigns do not want their identities disclosed because it opens them up to adverse publicity and the potential for lawsuits," Mr. Saint wrote in a book published by his firm.
Mr. Saint says he "encouraged" his employees not to use their real names in campaigns in order to protect the client's identity and "to protect our employees, who have been followed, threatened and harassed by the opposition."
Safeway, a national chain based in Pleasanton, Calif., retained Saint to thwart Wal-Mart Supercenters in more than 30 towns in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in recent years, according to a Saint project list and interviews with former employees. Former Saint employees say much of the work consisted of training Safeway's unionized workers to fight land-use battles, including how to speak at public hearings.
Former Saint workers say the union sometimes pays a portion of Saint's fees. "The work we've funded Saint to do to preserve our market share and our jobs is within our First Amendment rights," says Jill Cashen, spokeswoman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Safeway declined to comment.
In Pennsylvania, Saint's work roster in August 2007 listed 53 projects, almost all directed at stopping Wal-Mart on behalf of client Giant Food Stores, owned by Amsterdam-based supermarket company Ahold. Saint documents from 2007 say it had lost one battle in Pennsylvania, defeated 13 projects and delayed the remaining ones from four months to four years.
In 2005, Giant Foods hired Saint to stop a proposed Wal-Mart in North Cornwall, Pa., a town of 6,000, a Saint report indicates. Saint planned to charge Giant $7,500 to $10,000 a month for legal services, mailings, phone banks and 60 hours a month of Saint staff time, according to a preliminary budget.
Locally, there was strong opposition from a citizens group that wanted to preserve the proposed site as farmland and was concerned about traffic. Nevertheless, Wal-Mart received conditional approval.
Before construction began, with support from Saint, the opponents filed suit, claiming that when the land was rezoned for commercial use three years earlier, neighbors had not been properly notified.
One member of the citizens group, Kip Kelly, says a woman he assumed was from a labor group or anti-Wal-Mart coalition had offered to fund the effort. Former Saint employees say the woman was a Saint operative and that Giant was paying the group's legal bills through Saint. Tracy Cadzow, the lawyer who represented the group, says she had no idea that the grocer was behind the effort. "This is new information to me," she says.
As the suit dragged on, Giant abruptly changed its game plan, according to two former Saint employees. Giant had decided it wanted to erect a supermarket directly across from the Wal-Mart location, according to former Saint workers and Saint documents. Giant needed Saint to switch sides in the political battle over commercial zoning, the former employees say.
Saint workers were directed to withdraw support for the anti-Wal-Mart group, called Citizens for Responsible Growth, according to the former Saint workers. "We had to kill a community group we started, and I was told to stop paying the attorney," says a former Saint employee.
Town officials reapproved commercial zoning for the land, this time giving proper notification to homeowners, which rendered the lawsuit moot.
Giant and its parent company, Ahold, did not return calls seeking comment.
Asked about the situation, Mr. Saint said his company is an advocate for its clients but doesn't determine overall strategy. "If it's legal to perform a service, we'll do it," he said.
Mr. Saint says there is nothing illegal about a company trying to derail a competitor's project. Companies have legal protection under the First Amendment for using a government or legal process to thwart competition, even if they do so secretly, he says.
The protection is known as the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, which grew out of several U.S. Supreme Court cases. Some legal experts say that, under the doctrine, a company has to reasonably expect it can win a lawsuit or a zoning battle—it cannot just use the process to interfere with a competitor's business.
"If a company routinely files suits and does it to delay a competitor, there is a pattern exception to the Supreme Court decisions," says Timothy Muris, former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and a law professor at George Mason University. "If a competitor in this instance is spending millions [of dollars] to repeatedly sue, it is hard to believe they are doing so because they care about zoning."
Former Saint employees say that the goal of many legal or political challenges was merely to delay projects.
"That may be the result," responds Mr. Saint. "But our goal is always to kill Wal-Mart."
In Mundelein, where Supervalu wanted to protect its Jewel-Osco stores from Wal-Mart, Saint first focused on a vote on the 100-acre development by the city's Plan Commission, scheduled for May 2007, Saint documents indicate. Saint's Chicago-based regional director, Jay Vincent, who drives a Honda CRV with the license plates BLKOPS 1, assigned the job to a project manager, Saint documents indicate. That manager, who is a baseball fan, borrowed an alias for each of his assignments from a major leaguer. For the Mundelein job, he took the name of a former catcher for the Minnesota Twins, Greg Olson.
"For this project, delay is a substantial weapon," the project manager wrote in a report. He sent a flyer to neighbors of the proposed development that outlined purported evils of a neighborhood Wal-Mart, including increased police calls and more traffic. The flyer listed his alias and an email address, according to several residents.
Tom Budwick, a retired crane operator in Mundelein, responded. The project manager told him that a Wal-Mart built behind his own parents' home had prevented them from selling it and having a comfortable retirement, Mr. Budwick recalls.
Several former colleagues of the baseball-loving project manager say he frequently told that story, which is false, in connection with Wal-Mart projects.
Mr. Budwick says the project manager told him that the fight in Mundelein would be lengthy and expensive, but it would cost the residents nothing because he was involved in politics and had sympathetic donors willing to fund their campaign.
"I didn't know where the money was coming from, and I didn't want to know," says John Abraham, a landscape-company owner whose large home abuts the development site.
The project manager arranged for a lawyer, William Graft, who had experience fighting land-use battles, to represent neighbors who opposed the development, according to Saint documents. Although the public hearing on the development was packed with opponents, according to city trustee Ed Sullivan, the city's board of trustees approved the project in July 2007.
Mr. Graft filed suit on behalf of four local residents with properties adjacent to the proposed development, appealing the board's decision and claiming their rights had been violated. He sent monthly bills ranging from $20,000 to $55,000 to the project manager, who forwarded them to Saint, according to copies of the bills viewed by the Journal. Mr. Graft confirms that Saint paid those bills.
The suit remained in court for two and a half years—until March 26 of this year, when a judge ruled in favor of the city, saying its decision to approve the development was not "capricious, irrational or arbitrary."
The development is still in limbo. The plaintiffs have asked the judge to reconsider his decision. The developer, Mr. Brownson, says he and his partners have spent more than $3 million on legal fees, expert testimony and other expenses. He lost almost all the tenants he had lined up three years ago, including Kohl's and Petsmart, according to documents he provided the city. All except Wal-Mart.
City Administrator John Labaido says the village and school district have lost an estimated $6 million a year in sales and property-tax revenue.
"It is disheartening to hear that a corporate competitor was behind this whole thing," he says.
—Dionne Searcey contributed to this article.
Write to Ann Zimmerman at
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #166 on:
June 07, 2010, 05:32:25 PM »
BBG:"I've long thought about founding a company...to counter protest the events the far left often stages.
This could go under grateful but I'll go with 'electoral process' - inspired by your protest company, Crafty's story of this mother's activism and JDN's post of the less than perfect conservatism of the Reagan administration.
My mom also took an activism in politics. A few memories come to mind. She and a stationwagon full of activists drove MSP to DC to protest the Reagan's selection of Sanda Day O'Connor for the Supreme Court. They thought Reagan wanted to appoint a woman so badly that he forgot to appoint a conservative. (They were right.) It wasn't successful but maybe helped set the stage for others to derail the Harriet Meirs mistake two decades later. They joined forces previously with Phyllis Schlaffley to help stop the equal rights amendment. Her view was that women already had special rights and that equal rights - being treated the same as a man - was a step down. While people were trying to open doors for more women into more fields my mom had earned her degree in aeronautical engineering from the institute of technology in the 1940s. Asked why there were no other women in her class picture she said no others applied.
My daughter completed her Catholic confirmation this spring with a ceremony at the great Cathedral in St. Paul. As we left I commented that I had never been to the cathedral before. I asked what family members had been there before and my mom said 'only to picket'. Apparently the Catholic Church was a big proponent of unilateral disarmament (sound familiar). She and her cronies printed up 'peace through strength' signs and tried to get their smiling faces with a different viewpoint on the news.
These were volunteers, BBG, but hired protesters were always one of ACORN's trademarks. Not taxpayer money, because they have the "firewall" lol.They had plenty of throw around money. In liberal parts of Minneapolis they always had activists with signs on all the major street corners for the elections. Turns out they were paid people from elsewhere but projected an enthused electorate.
Am I Not my Landlords Keeper?
Reply #167 on:
June 08, 2010, 10:46:39 AM »
Well here's a string of coincidences that would likely generate a lot more ink were a Republican involved.
The ties that bind. Remember Rahm Emanuel's rent-free D.C. apartment? The owner: A BP adviser
June 7, 2010 | 3:34 pm
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here's a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation's capital. And Chicago.
We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama's 2007-08 campaign.
Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.
Shortly after Obama's happy inaugural, eyebrows rose slightly upon word that, as a House member, Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg.
For an ordinary American, that would likely raise some obvious tax liability questions. But like Emanuel, the guy overseeing the Internal Revenue Service now is another Obama insider, Tim Geithner, who had his own outstanding tax problems but skated through confirmation anyway by the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Remember this was all before the letters BP stood for Huge Mess. Even before the Obama administration gave BP a safety award.
Now follow these standard Washington links if you can:
Greenberg's consulting firm was a prime architect of BP's recent rebranding drive as a green petroleum company, down to green signs and the slogan "Beyond Petroleum."
Greenberg's company is also closely tied to a sister Democratic outfit -- GCS, named for the last initials of Greenberg, James Carville, another Clinton advisor, and Bob Shrum, John Kerry's 2004 campaign manager.
According to published reports, GCS received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political polling contracts in recent years from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Probably just a crazy coincidence. But you'll never guess who was the chairman of that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensing those huge polling contracts to his kindly rent-free landlord.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Reply #168 on:
July 13, 2010, 09:51:40 PM »
Senator From Stir
Posted 07:04 PM ET
Elections: A new study says Minnesota's freshman senator squeaked out a recount victory with illegal votes cast by convicted felons. Is this why Democrats are trying so hard to have all felons vote?
An 18-month study conducted by Minnesota Majority, a conservative watchdog group, has found that at least 341 felons in largely Democratic Minneapolis-St. Paul voted illegally in the 2008 Minnesota Senate race. This was the campaign that culminated with a six-month recount that gave the victory to former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Al Franken over incumbent Republican Norm Coleman.
The final recount vote in the race showed Franken beating Coleman by a scant 312 votes, with the illegal votes cast by felons possibly being Franken's margin of victory. Critics are already saying this is a partisan attempt to rewrite history.
Dan McGrath, Minnesota Majority's executive director, says the evidence is irrefutable.
"We took the voting lists and matched them with conviction lists and then went back to the records and found the roster lists," McGrath said, "where voters sign in before walking to the voting booth, and matched them by hand."
The Minnesota recount was conducted under the auspices of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who has extensive ties to the Acorn organization that's been under repeated investigation for vote fraud and was endorsed by the community activist group in 2006.
In the legendary Florida 2000 vote, around 5,000 convicts voted illegally, about 80% of whom were registered Democrats. If the more than 600,000 felons in Florida had been able to vote legally, it's likely Al Gore would have been elected president.
In the 2004 gubernatorial race in Washington, the Seattle Times identified 129 felons in King and Pierce counties alone who were recorded as having voted in the Nov. 2 election. In that election, Democrat Christine Gregoire was found, after three recounts, to have beaten Republican Dino Rossi by a margin of 129 votes.
Democrats want and have pushed for convicted felons to vote. As then-Sen. Hillary Clinton put it a few years back in joining Sen. John Kerry and the usual suspects in introducing the Count Every Vote Act: "Felons who have repaid their debt to society" need not and should not be further punished.
A bill, H.R. 3335, introduced by Rep. John Conyers, Michigan Democrat, would allow convicted felons not now in jail, including those in "residential community treatment centers" as well as those on probation or parole, to vote. The bill would let Conyers' wife, a former Detroit City Council member who pleaded guilty to felony charges of bribery, vote after she completes her sentence.
The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Alcee Hastings, a disgraced former federal judge who was removed for corruption and perjury. Other co-sponsors include the ethically challenged Charlie Rangel, who's been accused of tax fraud, and Barney Frank, whose partner was alleged to have run a prostitution ring out of his apartment.
If we are serious about the adage that crime does not pay, it shouldn't pay at the ballot box either. The thought that a sitting U.S. senator might owe his seat to the fraudulent voting of convicted felons should give everyone pause.
Electoral process, voter fraud: Al Franken's election count
Reply #169 on:
July 14, 2010, 11:35:16 AM »
BBG, Thanks for a great followup on that story. People may forget that Norm Coleman won that contest prior to the false and uneven recount and some may not realize that the tampered result changed the governing power in Washington, not just changed the occupant of that seat.
Bringing forward a link from a previous page, I think this documentary by the Twin Cities ABC affiliate was the definitive record of that re-count, especially the part where the ACORN and Move-on-dot-org endorsed secretary of state said he couldn't comment on their findings because he didn't bring his reading glasses to the interview! This story was buried even by that station after it aired.
Back to BBG's post, how is it that we can find known fraud greater than the margin of so-called victory and, if not overturn the result, at least PROSECUTE THE CRIMES. Knowingly tampering with our electoral process at the ballot box seems to me to be a form of treason.
How to Steal Elections
Reply #170 on:
July 14, 2010, 12:11:29 PM »
A little more detail for you, Doug:
Democrat Voter Fraud is Far More Widespread Than You Think
By Fred Dardick Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Last week I wrote an article titled How Obama Used an Army of Thugs to Steal the 2008 Democratic Primary that introduced the conservative community to the movie “We Will Not Be Silenced”, made by Democrat activist Gigi Gaston two years ago. Her video documented widespread voter fraud committed by Obama supporters during the 2008 Democratic primary election to secure the nomination for Obama over the popular vote winner Hillary Clinton.
The story went viral and 24 hours later Fox News asked Gaston to appear on the Sunday morning program Fox and Friends. For the first time many Americans saw for themselves first hand accounts from Democrats who personally witnessed “the disenfranchising of American citizens by the Democratic Party and the Obama Campaign.”
As explained on the We Will Not Be Silenced website, “‘Change’ from Chicago encouraged and created an army to steal caucus packets, falsify documents, change results, allow unregistered people to vote, scare and intimidate Hillary supporters, stalk them, threaten them, lock them out of their polling places, silence their voices and stop their right to vote.”
Because of the program and other recent events concerning voter intimidation, including the Black Panther incident in Philadelphia and testimony from J. Christian Adams on the Department of Justice’s unwillingness to pursue voter related crimes committed by African Americans, people around the country are finally waking up to the fact that Democrat voter fraud is a far, far bigger problem than anyone had ever realized.
Some conservatives have mistakenly interpreted these events as only affecting Democratic primaries and aren’t concerned about the possibility of vote theft in a general election.
But they would be wrong.
While the voter fraud documented in Gaston’s film primarily involves Democratic caucuses, the bigger story here isn’t a single primary, but the bag of tricks that Democrats use to influence elections of all kinds.
Earlier in the week Fox News ran a story showing how illegal votes by felons in Minnesota were enough for Democrat Al Franken to beat Republican candidate Norm Coleman and claim the Senate seat.
Millions had voted in the Minnesota election, but at the end of the day all it took was 341 criminals to disenfranchise an entire state.
How to Steal an Election
What we are seeing is the transplantation of Chicago politics to communities throughout the nation that are completely unprepared for the level of fraud and intimidation that can be generated by thousands of unethical Democrats, including private citizens, local, state, and federal officials, and politicians, convinced that breaking the law is okay as long as the “right” candidate wins.
On July 6, American Thinker published an article by Lee Cary about an interview with a Chicago political machine insider. It contained the following warning:
“In Chicago, the Precinct Captains watch to see who votes and who doesn’t. Then, at the end of the day, others will cast votes for those who haven’t shown up to vote, all under the direction of the Precinct Captain. If the actual voter shows up later, they’re given someone else’s card. The Republican poll watchers don’t stop this. Hell, most of them are actually Democrats.”
The Democrat Voter Fraud Playbook is as follows:
ACORN registers the names, legitimate or not.
Black Panther, SEIU and other “community organizer” groups intimidate people, especially minorities, from voting Republican.
Voter lists remain unscrubbed of felons, dead people, and illegal immigrants.
On Election Day, precinct workers submit any unused ballots for Democrat candidates.
Democrat officials and politicians pretend like nothing happened.
It’s as easy as that to steal an election.
An Army of Republican Poll Watchers Will Be Needed this November
The voter fraud stories so far are just the tip of a very large iceberg. No one really knows the full extent of the problem and the Democratic Party is counting on Americans to shrug it off as just another conservative conspiracy theory.
But take it from a lifelong Chicagoan, it’s not just Bosnia that needs election observers to keep voter fraud in check.
The dropping of voter intimidation charges by Department of Justice political appointees against billy club wielding Black Panthers sends the message to the Democrat community that mass voter fraud can continue without fear of legal reprisal.
Justice officials know full well that if they were to start digging around this Pandora’s Box of fraud, many influential Democratic organizations (especially ACORN) and politicians will be implicated. So they go straight to Step #5 from above and pretend like there’s nothing to see.
While the problem may be substantial, there is one way Republicans can fight back: Keep a close eye on voting locations. Election fraud only works if citizens remain ignorant to the problem and unwilling to become involved in the voting process.
Considering the importance of the upcoming November elections, an army of Republican poll watchers, especially in minority neighborhoods which are often treated like never ending vote generating machines by unscrupulous Democrat politicians, will be needed to prevent liberals from once again stuffing ballot boxes and gaming the system.
All this fight needs is the mud , , ,
Reply #171 on:
July 17, 2010, 10:25:59 AM »
WhisleBlower Files FEC Complaint: ACORN-Obama Campaign Illegal Coordination
Reply #172 on:
July 28, 2010, 10:46:59 AM »
Candidate Obama lied in a Presidential debate about his (illegal) relationship with ACORN.
Anita Monchief released ACORN's version of the Obama Donor list that is more complete than anything the FEC or public had:
Obama has denied this is the list. She has put it out now for the public to judge.
The purpose of Obama giving the secret list to ACORN was for them to work the list again and get around the laws regarding maxed-out presidential donors for additional contributions.
She went to the New York Times MONTHS before the election with the list. They wouldn't report anything they found to be "game changing" so close to the election. Now she is filling a formal FEC complaint:
"As a confidential source for the New York Times, I turned this document over to reporter Stephanie Strom months before the 2008 presidential elections and though the list includes information more complete than what the Obama campaign turned over to the Federal Election Commission, the NYT decided to bury the story."
"Strom and I used pseudonymous e-mail addresses while communicating and in 2008, Strom wrote:"
“I’m calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a rightwing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else…”
After this weeks revelations about the efforts of the liberal media to cover-up or spike stories damaging to Obama, Strom’s next words are even more telling:
“What’s happened is that the campaign has answered some of my questions on the record — but when I sought on-the-record answers to my questions about the meeting and about the list, the campaign insisted on speaking only on background. When I asked why, I got the barrage I described earlier. Clearly, I’ve hit a nerve with what you’ve told me. The campaign knows that having the allegations of meeting attributed to ‘former employees’ — and there are more than one of you talking — and having an anonymous denial of the meeting makes it harder for me to get it into the paper.”
In 2008 the liberal media provided the cover needed for Obama to get elected, but two years later, questions remain about his relationship with ACORN and it has been clear that Obama has lied repeatedly to the American people. Its time to get Obama and ACORN on the record about what really happened with the donor lists in 2007 and 2008.
The release of the Obama donor list to the public will be followed by a formal complaint to the FEC, which both Obama and ACORN will have to respond to – on-the-record.
In 2009, the Democrat controlled Judiciary Committee heard testimony from attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, who read my 2008 testimony against ACORN into Congressional record. Evidence, and sworn testimony were among the facts ignored by the members of the committee:
“Based on the testimony, Project Vote, ACORN and other ACORN affiliated entities illegally coordinated activities with the Obama presidential campaign, converting the expenditures by Project Vote, ACORN and ACORN affiliated entities to illegal, excessive corporate contributions to the Obama presidential campaign, in violation of federal law.”
Video from the final 2008 debate, ACORN answer at the 2 minute mark, but watch it all for context and see: Lie, lie, lie.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #173 on:
July 28, 2010, 11:29:56 AM »
This lady has some courage.
Being a whistleblower against a President, especially this one, is sure to bring heat on her life.
The left will make her pay for this, personally, financially, emotionally, and in every possible to make her suffer.
Many criticize whistleblowers for doing it for money. I don't know the circumstances of why this person is doing it.
But as long as they are telling the truth they deserve to make money. Otherwise no one will come forward and have their life ruined for ideology alone. (or very rare).
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #174 on:
July 28, 2010, 02:11:40 PM »
CCP, I don't know anything about her either but I also suspect she will be known (and attacked) soon. I know that on Obama's statements he is more false than true on every point. This will spill over to media issues quickly because so far nine out of nine hits searching 'Google News' with her name point to blog or opinion sites, not network, wire or newspaper coverage.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #175 on:
August 08, 2010, 10:08:54 AM »
I am on my mom's apple computer and don't know how to do cut and paste on it, but in today's WSJ's Political Diary it says it looks like absentee ballots were used in the city of Bell CA's very lightly voted election to push through the changes necessary for the mayor to make $800k and the police chief to make nearly $500k.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #176 on:
August 10, 2010, 03:32:26 AM »
Since there's nothing here that mentions Bush or Cheney, I'm guessing the Press and News Media can't find anything news worthy to investigate or to uncover like connections to corruption at the highest levels of government.
But I place it here in the raw just in case.
Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 03:49:09 AM by prentice crawford
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #177 on:
August 17, 2010, 09:31:47 AM »
Very good work here.
Citizen Fraud Investigators
Reply #178 on:
September 26, 2010, 09:04:47 AM »
Citizen groups unmasking Dem voter fraud
We do the job because the government and media lackeys will not. Massive alleged voter fraud is uncovered by a group of concerned citizens down in Texas. The culprit? The Democrats and Barack Obama's favorite "union" - the thugs at the Service Employees International Union.
A group of people took it upon themselves to work at polling places in 2008 and observed - and were shocked - by what they perceived to be voter fraud. Their next step was to create a citizen-based grassroots group to collect publicly available voting data and analyze what they found (with the help of donated computers and volunteer helpers). They admit they did not know what they were doing at first but where there is a will there is a way.
Reports Fox News (the unlackey network):
"The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them" Engelbrecht said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. "Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic . . .
"But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking."
"Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address," Engelbrecht said. "We then decided to look at who was registering the voters."
Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state's office and the Harris County district attorney.
Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Steve Caddle, who also works for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.
Minnesota also has a citizens group that had enough of being abused and took matters in their own hands to reveal that the Minnesota Senate race that gave us the hapless fool Al Franken was also rent with voter fraud that powered his victory over Norm Coleman. Secretary of States are supposed to monitor elections to ensure honesty in voting.
But with George Soros and the shadowy Democracy Alliance working to elect friendly to fraud Secretary of States across the nation, how likely are we to have truly honest elections? Thankfully, in the freshest expression of democracy in many years, we have citizens stepping up to the plate and hitting some homers.
Page Printed from:
at September 26, 2010 - 09:02:03 AM CDT
From where's the money?
Reply #179 on:
October 11, 2010, 05:52:20 PM »
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #180 on:
October 11, 2010, 07:59:21 PM »
The Obama White House has been an echo chamber for the Soros-funded Center for American Progress from Day One — from bashing Fox News, attacking talk radio, and pimping “media justice” and the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine, to crusading for the government health care takeover using Astroturfed doctors and taxpayer-funded operatives installed in the health care bureaucracy.
Team Obama has gotten away with its left-wing myna bird routine. Until now.
Mimicking the Center for American Progress attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Soros suck-up-in-chief himself accused Republicans last week of benefiting from “money from foreign corporations” — which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into political ads. Democrat clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the Chamber. Endangered Democrat candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line. From here in my home state of Colorado:
Democrats are swinging hard at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for potentially spending foreign money to support Republican campaigns across the country, including Ken Buck in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race.
The chamber has spent more than $400,000 in Colorado on ads attacking Sen. Michael Bennet, according to campaign-finance records.
Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid called on Buck’s campaign to reject the chamber’s help and disavow the ads allegedly made with “tainted foreign money.”
“Why won’t Ken Buck stand up against the practices of these shady special interests orchestrating attacks on his behalf?” Kincaid said.
It’s triple-snort-worthy to see the party that cries “RAAACISM” whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-U.S. campaign cash. Guess we are all “nativists” now, eh, President Obama?
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #181 on:
October 11, 2010, 10:18:27 PM »
BO was given a free pass on massive amounts of foreign donations entering his campaign, yet the claims here are so vacuous that even Pravda on the Hudson (POTH=NY Times) is saying there is no basis in fact here.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #182 on:
October 12, 2010, 10:04:01 AM »
Yeah, WaPo had an editorial today to the same effect.
Mail Union's Ballot in the Mail
Reply #183 on:
October 12, 2010, 12:13:22 PM »
Add "incompetence" to the thread head:
Postal Union Election Delayed After Ballots Lost in the Mail
Published October 07, 2010 | FoxNews.com
The American Postal Workers Union has extended its internal election after thousands of ballots appeared to have gotten lost . . . in the mail.
The union's election committee was supposed to be counting those ballots this week in downtown Washington, D.C., following a tradition mail-in election. But the union announced that only about 39,000 ballots were turned in -- and that "a large number of union members had not received their ballots."
As Federal News Radio first reported, the union has responded by extending the deadline to Oct. 14.
Workers now have until close of business Thursday to ask for a new ballot. It's unclear whether the mail mix-up will become an eleventh-hour campaign issue.
The union of postal clerks is separate from the National Association of Letter Carriers, which comprises postal workers who deliver the mail.
BO's foreign money can of worms
Reply #184 on:
October 22, 2010, 02:20:55 PM »
Return to the Article
October 19, 2010
Obama's foreign money can of worms
The Democrats, including President Obama, have embarked on a disastrous
campaign impugning the US Chamber of Commerce as a source of nefarious
foreign money corrupting our campaigns. Not only has the accusation
failed to resonate, it has opened a door that Democrats would prefer
remain closed. And because Washington Post writer Marc A. Thiessen has
taken up the question, it will be impossible to contain the very valid
...one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees
International Union (SEIU), ... is spending lavishly to elect Democrats.
The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada
. According to SEIU's 2008 constitution
<http://www.seiu.org/images/pdfs/Con.BylawsFinal3.4.9.pdf> , dues
include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU
International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in
nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals -- almost 10 times
the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.
Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU's anti-Republican
campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, "The Service
Employees International Union, one of the nation's fastest-growing labor
unions, acknowledges that it can't be certain that foreign nationals
88.html> to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor
Democrats." The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from
foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources
and Skills Development
membership/index2009.shtml> , the United Steel, Paper and Forestry,
Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has
280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has
more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers'
International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000.
How much do these foreign union members send to the United States? If
the constitutions of their unions are anything like SEIU's, it could be
tens of millions of dollars. Is any of that money being used to help
elect Democrats this November?
Unions have another source of foreign cash: dues from illegal
immigrants. In an April 2007 speech, uncovered by the conservative Web
site RedState, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina boasts how
his union's rolls are loaded with illegal immigrants
Medina declares proudly: "SEIU is the largest union of immigrant workers
in the country, and a number of them are undocumented."
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 29, 2008; A02
Sen. Barack Obama
presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable
prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on
how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a
contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.
Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign
has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent
potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its
accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its
books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.
The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the
campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal
Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of
(READ MORE: Murkowski embraces outsider status with write-in campaign)
In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for
Obama's accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance
filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake
names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted
conservative bloggers to further test Obama's finance vetting by giving
money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore
and cannot be traced to a donor.
Election Fraud Uncovered by Patriotic Citizens … Who Promptly Get Sued
Reply #185 on:
October 23, 2010, 12:46:20 PM »
Election Fraud Uncovered by Patriotic Citizens … Who Promptly Get Sued
Election watchers True the Vote have found disturbing amounts of fraud in Harris County, Texas. Rather than support their important work, the Texas Democratic Party (among others) is suing them. (And don't forget to join PJM's voter-fraud watch!)
October 23, 2010 - by Hans A. von Spakovsky
Talk about denial! A group of liberal activists is making the media rounds, assuring reporters and editors that election fraud is a fairy tale. Nothing serious, they assert, nothing to see here. Too bad for them that citizens in Houston, energized by the Tea Party movement, have formed a group called True the Vote. Their hard work has demonstrated that, in some parts of the country at least, our election system is still infested with problems.
True the Vote is composed entirely of volunteers — hundreds of them. They have pored over election records in Harris County, Texas, looking for signs of fraud. And they have found plenty. Indeed, their initial research into only a very small portion of the voter registration records has led them to ask the U.S. Justice Department’s Voting Section to conduct a federal investigation.
In a letter asking for an official inquiry, True the Vote discusses potential widespread forgery in voter application forms. For instance, it seems from the applications that someone suspiciously signs the letter “J” with a quirky “3” inside the loop. The “3” shows up in multiple signatures for different voters with the names Jenard, Jamark, Jamarcus, and Jones.
True the Vote reports that at least four noncitizens have been registered to vote in Harris County. The group provided Justice with the actual voter registration forms where applicants marked “NO” to the question: “Are you a U.S. Citizen?” The group also provided the voter registration numbers of these confessed noncitizens. Yes, astonishingly, Harris County registered them to vote anyway. They are now on the rolls and able to participate in the upcoming midterm elections.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 was supposed to stop this from happening. But this federal legislation is only as good as the Justice Department’s willingness to enforce it. If Harris County is registering noncitizens, then it is violating numerous provisions of federal law, including those that prohibit the registration of foreigners to vote in federal elections.
True the Vote uncovered other types of fraud as well. The group forwarded to DOJ seven voter registration forms with applicant names different from the signature name. For example: Ta’mackayn Harrison’s application was signed by “Bra Kelly.” Jason King’s was signed by “Jemma Noel.” Yet Harris County inexplicably approved all of these applications. Jason King, aka Jemma Noel, is now on the voter rolls in Houston.
The citizens group also found multiple registrations for individual voters. For example, True the Vote provided the Justice Department government documents showing that at least four persons, including Jose Gomez and Victor Nickerson, had registered to vote multiple times successfully.
These problems were found by True the Vote in just a small sampling of the county’s voter registration list. How many other, similar problems would turn up in a comprehensive review? Don’t forget: every vote counts. Which also means that every legitimate vote cancelled out by a fraudulent vote should be a concern to anyone interested in fair elections and protecting the right to vote.
This sort of thing can happen only when election officials flout Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires them to clean up their voter registration lists. But this Department of Justice seems to have no interest in enforcing these laws. In testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, DOJ whistleblowers Christopher Coates and J. Christian Adams revealed that Obama Justice Department political appointee Julie Fernandes instructed the Voting Section that no such cases were to be brought. That directive gives free rein to voter registration fraud. Bogus registrants can now cast a fraudulent vote with confidence that the election police are asleep.
For years, the far left has insisted that voter fraud really doesn’t exist, or at least that claims about it are overblown. In so doing, the left has willfully blinded itself to the truth. But the arrival of True the Vote is helping expose the lies of these election fraud deniers.
Its “Army of Davids” approach brings to bear hundreds of volunteers to spend hundreds of hours examining documents and searching for patterns, like the mysterious “3” that afflicts so many letter “J’s” in Houston, or finding vacant lots at the registered addresses of multiple voters. Moreover, it means hundreds will serve as election judges and poll watchers on election day. True the Vote is the election fraud denier’s worst nightmare, because the group is helping prove definitively that fraud is real and too often overlooked by election officials.
Houston has an ACORN-like group, Houston Votes, that harvests thousands of suspect voter registration forms. If some of the fraud uncovered by True the Vote was done by deputy registers working for Houston Votes, they should be prosecuted. And it won’t be too hard to figure out — every deputy registrar that roams the community must be approved by the clerk in Harris County and is issued an identification number. Bogus applications can, and will, be traced back to the particular registrars.
Of course, this may explain why True the Vote has been hit with a lawsuit by the Texas Democratic Party, an ethics complaint by Texans for Public Justice, and another lawsuit (for defamation) by Houston Votes and the Houston lawyer behind the voter registration drive that turned in multiple problematic registration forms (Harris County estimated over 7,000). That same organization has also sued Harris County — claiming the county is barred from correcting the voter registration problems!
So has the Eric Holder-run Justice Department acted on the evidence of electoral fraud gift-wrapped, tied in a bow, and delivered to them? No. He and his partisan retinue in the Civil Rights Division have instead reportedly opened up an investigation of True the Vote!
When early voting started in Texas, liberal blogs ran scandalous headlines that True the Vote had been targeted by the Department of Justice, and related that Justice officials have started interviewing voters about the behavior of poll watchers — something confirmed by a Justice spokesman. This is curious because it seems, through leaks, to inject the DOJ into the election directly. It is all the more curious given internal DOJ limits on election-eve actions. The DOJ’s own election crimes manual, Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses, states:
Another limitation [on election investigations] affects voter interviews. Election fraud cases often depend on the testimony of individual voters whose votes were co-opted in one way or another. But in most cases voters should not be interviewed or other voter-related investigation done, until after the election is over. Such overt investigative steps may chill legitimate voting activities. They are also likely to be perceived by voters and candidates as an intrusion into the election.
The leaking of the information about DOJ’s investigation to a friendly liberal blog was even stranger, and more ethically suspect. And what a contrast between how quickly Justice announced it was investigating complaints made by the Texas Democratic Party about poll watchers, and DOJ’s complete silence about True the Vote’s request for an investigation of the voter registration fraud discovered in Harris County.
Hopefully, True the Vote will not be deterred from its investigation of registration fraud by the seemingly coordinated attempts to intimidate it by the Justice Department, the Texas Democratic Party, and Houston Votes. Fortunately, the Liberty Institute has agreed to defend True the Vote from the specious claims being made against it.
Voter fraud practitioners should have something to worry about. True the Vote may be coming to a town near you soon. Though it is focused on Harris County for 2010, it plans to go national in 2011. The model it has developed is robust, effective — and to the chagrin of the wrongdoers — completely legal. After the congressional midterms, it will hold a nationwide summit of other citizens ready to start election integrity operations in the rest of the nation.
The country could use such dedication in 2012. The Obama Justice Department has demonstrated a shocking willingness to ignore laws protecting the security and integrity of elections. That should comes as no surprise given both the increasingly partisan approach to law enforcement undertaken by this Department under Eric Holder’s leadership, and the dogged determination of Holder’s ideological comrades who deny that voter fraud occurs, or that common sense measures like voter ID are needed.
In the great American tradition of self-reliance, citizen watchdogs across the country may stand watch in 2012. If the government proves incapable of protecting electoral integrity, the people can.
Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation (
) and a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.
POTH on vote fraud
Reply #186 on:
October 27, 2010, 01:00:57 PM »
Fraudulent Voting Re-emerges as a Partisan IssueBy IAN URBINA
Published: October 26, 2010
WASHINGTON — In 2006, conservative activists repeatedly claimed that the problem of people casting fraudulent votes was so widespread that it was corrupting the political process and possibly costing their candidates victories.
This Milwaukee sign was criticized as intended intimidation.
The accusations turned out to be largely false, but they led to a heated debate, with voting rights groups claiming that the accusations were crippling voter registration drives and reducing turnout.
That debate is flaring anew.
Tea Party members have started challenging voter registration applications and have announced plans to question individual voters at the polls whom they suspect of being ineligible.
In response, liberal groups and voting rights advocates are sounding an alarm, claiming that such strategies are scare tactics intended to suppress minority and poor voters.
In St. Paul, organizers from the Tea Party and related groups announced this week that they were offering a $500 reward for anyone who turned in someone who was successfully prosecuted for voter fraud.
The group is also organizing volunteer “surveillance squads” to photograph and videotape what it suspects are irregularities, and in some cases to follow buses that take voters to the polls.
In Milwaukee last week, several community groups protested the posting of large billboards throughout the city that show pictures of people behind jail bars under the words “We Voted Illegally.” The protesters said the posters — it was not clear who paid for them — were intended to intimidate people from voting.
In Houston, a Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots recently accused a voter registration group, Houston Votes, of turning in voter registration applications with incorrect information.
Voting rights advocates say they are worried.
“Private efforts to police the polls create a real risk of vote suppression, regardless of their intent,” said Wendy R. Weiser, director of the Voting Rights and Elections Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. “People need to know that any form of discrimination, intimidation or challenge to voters without adequate basis is illegal or improper.”
Voter fraud and voter-registration fraud are, of course, different.
While many states have voter registration records riddled with names of dead people, out-of-date addresses and other erroneous information, there is little evidence that such errors lead to fraudulent votes, many experts note.
A report by the public-integrity section of the Justice Department found that from October 2002 to September 2005, the department charged 95 people with “election fraud”; 55 were convicted.
Among those, fewer than 20 people were convicted of casting fraudulent ballots, and only 5 were convicted of registration fraud. Most of the rest were charged with other voting violations, including a scheme meant to help Republicans by blocking the phone lines used by two voting groups that were arranging rides to get voters to the polls.
Even so, the fear of stolen votes remains, as does the fear of missing votes — particularly in light of a decrease, compared with 2006, in voter-registration applications in swing states.
About 43 percent fewer new voters have registered in Wisconsin this year than in 2006, while in Indiana, the decrease has been about 35 percent. Significant drops have also been seen in Ohio (25 percent), North Carolina (28 percent), Florida (27 percent) and Maryland (21 percent), according to state election data collected by the Brennan Center.
Voting experts say several factors explain the trend.
Voter enthusiasm is low now, and fewer groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, are engaged in drives to sign people up. Acorn collected about 550,000 voter-registration applications across the country in 2006, mostly from low-income and minority Americans, and 1.3 million in 2008.
But in March, the organization closed down after accusations by two conservative activists that low-level Acorn employees had advised them on how to hide prostitution activities and avoid taxes. The group was also battered by conservatives for having submitted some voter registration cards with incorrect, duplicate or false information.
Page 2 of 2)
The housing crisis may also have dampened voter registration. More than three million properties were foreclosed this year, a 30 percent increase from 2008, and people who have been forced out of their homes may be not be able establish residency to vote.
Many states have also enacted laws in recent years that make registration drives more difficult, with stricter reporting and filing deadlines for voter registration groups.
“It has been an uphill fight in a lot of states to register people this year,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters.
Ms. MacNamara said the group’s Georgia chapter faced an additional burden because of a new state law requiring voters to prove citizenship. The chapter does not have a copier machine, so the expense of duplicating documents like birth certificates or driver’s licenses falls to unpaid volunteers.
Most of the new barriers to registration are likely to hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Historically, these registration drives have focused on voters in poorer areas and minority communities, which tend to vote Democratic.
The Obama administration has tried to take steps to lessen the dependence on independent voter registration groups, while also broadening voter participation among poorer and minority voters.
In June, the Justice Department released new guidelines for the “motor voter” law, emphasizing that all public-assistance applicants must be given the opportunity to register to vote, and that state employees must offer to help them.
Still, independent voter registration groups say that they still play an important role, and that scare tactics are making their work harder.
“There is an intentional effort here to suppress participation,” said Jim George, a lawyer for the Texans Together Education Fund, the parent organization of Houston Votes.
Houston Votes, whose registration drive has mostly focused on Latino neighborhoods, did find at least one paid canvasser submitting fraudulent applications, Mr. George said, and that person was immediately fired. He added that the groups’ financing for voter registration work had dried up because of insinuations by the King Street Patriots that Houston Votes was tied to the New Black Panther Party.
“Houston Votes has nothing whatsoever to do with the Black Panthers,” Mr. George said. “But you make a claim like that, and funding dries up, even if the claim isn’t true.”
Mr. George explained that during a meeting, the King Street Patriots had shown a picture of the Houston Votes office and stated its address before adding that this was the new location of the Black Panthers.
Hiram Sasser, a lawyer for the Liberty Institute who represents the King Street Patriots, denied the claim but when presented a video of the incident, he said that his client had actually made a mistake and did not realize the office was tied to Houston Votes.
Leo Vasquez, the Republican tax assessor-collector and voter registrar in Harris County, Tex., which includes Houston, said that of about 25,640 registration applications submitted by Houston Votes, about 5,500 had problems.
The Texas Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Vasquez, accusing him and the voter registration office of illegally rejecting voter applications.
The fight occurs against the backdrop of a contest for governor in which a large turnout in Harris County would be vital to the effort by the Democratic candidate, Bill White, to defeat Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican.
Reply #187 on:
October 27, 2010, 09:24:16 PM »
Nevada voting machines automatically checking Harry Reid's name; voting machine technicians are SEIU members
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
10/26/10 6:12 PM EDT
Clark County is where three quarters of Nevada's residents and live and where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's son Rory is a county commissioner. Rory is also a Democratic candidate for governor.
Since early voting started, there have been credible reports that voting machines in Clark County, Nevada are automatically checking Harry Reid's name on the ballot:
Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid's name was already checked.
Ferrara said she wasn't alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.
"Something's not right," Ferrara said. "One person that's a fluke. Two, that's strange. But several within a five minute period of time -- that's wrong."
Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said there is no voter fraud, although the issues do come up because the touch-screens are sensitive. For that reason, a person may not want to have their fingers linger too long on the screen after they make a selection at any time.
Now there's absolutely no independently verified evidence of chicanery with the voting machines (yet), but it is worth noting that the voting machine technicians in Clark County are members of the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU spent $63 million in elections in 2008 and is planning on spending $44 million more this election cycle -- nearly all of that on Democrats. White House political director Patrick Gaspard is formerly the SEIU's top lobbyist, and former SEIU president Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House last year.
Just in Nevada, the SEIU has given a lot to groups that are heavily vested in the state -- in just one prominent example, the SEIU gave $500,000 to the Patriot Majority PAC, which has spent $1.3 million against Reid's opponent Sharron Angle. They've and have dropped large sums directly on candidates:
Joe Heck (R)
Dina Titus (D)
Sharron E. Angle (R)
Now the county voting technicians aren't unique here -- many of Clark County's employees are also represented by the SEIU. But it is worth mentioning, the SEIU is hyperpoliticized and has seen its fair share of corruption. (It certainly seems more questionable than Diebold, the voting machine manufacturer with Republican ties that was at the center of many conspiracy theories on the left during the Bush administration.)
Unions increasingly have a major financial stake in election outcomes, both as a matter of their own election expenditures, and as a function of what they stand to gain if their legislative agenda is enacted. Should they really be responsible for tabulating the votes? That's certainly something voters ought to think long and hard about.
Below is Clark County's SEIU contract -- On Page 75, in Appendix A, voting machine technicians are listed as positions represented by SEIU.
Read more at the Washington Examiner:
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #188 on:
October 28, 2010, 09:22:03 AM »
"In St. Paul, organizers from the Tea Party and related groups announced this week that they were offering a $500 reward for anyone who turned in someone who was successfully prosecuted for voter fraud.
The group is also organizing volunteer “surveillance squads” to photograph and videotape what it suspects are irregularities, and in some cases to follow buses that take voters to the polls."
For one thing it is a slap in the face to the elected MN Sec of State from moveon.org that private groups need to advertise that vote fraud is a felony, and a call to action for citizens that the camcorder capability in your cell phone is strong weapon for law enforcement and deterrence - be ready to use it. Volunteer to be an election judge and everyone be as aware as you can of everything happening around you when you go to vote.
For years they have been saying, what could be wrong with making it easier to vote.
Numbers of prosecuted cases may be low, but numbers of false votes cast all too often exceed the margin of victory.
Jimmy Carter to the rescue- don't hold your breath
Reply #189 on:
October 28, 2010, 02:21:28 PM »
Oh where oh where is our beloved Jimmy Carter the savior from and investigator from and of voter fraud of the century?
In NJ it is so easy to vote. Apply on line get ballot in mail and send in.
Does it get to where it is supposed to go and get counted. Nobody knows.
Who in there right mind doesn't think voter fraud isn't rampant especially in a union goon/organized crime state like Jersey?
Reply #190 on:
October 31, 2010, 09:59:07 AM »
Over the past few days, thousands of Democratic-leaning voters nationwide — including the young people, minorities and unmarried women who were a crucial part of Barack Obama’s 2008 coalition and whom the party is desperate to rouse again on Tuesday — received a message in their mailboxes that effectively said: we’re keeping an eye on you. The mailers are the handiwork of Hal Malchow, a political consultant who is acting on a theory that first intrigued him four years ago. Before the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial primary, three political scientists isolated a group of voters and mailed them copies of their voting histories, listing the elections in which they participated and those they missed. Included were their neighbors’ voting histories, too, along with a warning: after the polls closed, everyone would get an updated set.
After the primary, the academics examined the voter rolls and were startled by the potency of peer pressure as a motivational tool. The mailer was 10 times better at turning nonvoters into voters than the typical piece of pre-election mail whose effectiveness has ever been measured. Malchow, a 58-year-old former Mississippi securities lawyer who managed Al Gore’s first Senate campaign and went on to start a direct-mail firm, read the academics’ study and wanted to put the device to work. But he had trouble persuading his firm’s clients — which over the years have included the Democratic National Committee and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. — to incorporate such a tactic into their get-out-the-vote programs. All feared a backlash from citizens who might regard the mailer as a threat from someone seeking their vote.
Then, as New Jersey prepared to elect its governor last fall, Malchow experimented with less ominous language, an idea he adopted from the Fordham political scientist Costas Panagopoulos. He removed all mention of neighbors and offered instead an expression of gratitude for having voted in the past — while still making it clear that recipients’ voting habits would continue to be monitored. “We hope to be able to thank you in the future for being the kind of citizen who makes our democracy work,” read the letter to more than 11,000 New Jerseyites.
Malchow found that the softer tone, while less effective than the original mailer,increased turnout among recipients by 2.5 percentage points. The D.N.C. ran a similar experiment during the special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District this spring, with a letter from Senator Bob Casey telling voters that “our records indicate that you voted in the 2008 election” and thanking them for their “good citizenship.” By employing the device on a larger scale, for dozens of candidates and independent groups this fall, Malchow aims to deliver votesthat would otherwise be lost to Democrats.
An increasingly influential cadre of Democratic strategists is finding new ideas in the same place Malchow did: behavioral-science experiments that treat campaigns as their laboratories and voters as unwitting guinea pigs. The growing use of experimental methods — Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, calls them “prescription drug trials for democracy” — is convulsing a profession where hunches and instinct have long ruled. Already, experimental findings have upended a lot of folk wisdom about how votes are won. The most effective direct mail might not be the most eye-catching in the mailbox but the least conspicuous. It is better to have an anonymous, chatty volunteer remind voters it’s Election Day than a recorded message from Bill Clinton or Jay-Z. The most winnable voters may be soft supporters of the opposition, not the voters who polls say are undecided. (“Undecided” may just be another word for “unlikely to vote.”)
Most of the activity on the left revolves around the Analyst Institute, a firm quietly founded in 2007 by A.F.L.-C.I.O. officials and liberal allies, whichseeks to establish a set of empirically proven “best practices” for interacting with voters. The group’s executive director, a behavioral scientist named Todd Rogers, has managed dozens of experiments around the country this year. Their lessons have shaped how Democrats are approaching and cajoling the voters they think are on their side but who haven’t yet shown that they will act on their beliefs on Election Day.
Nearly all of the Analyst Institute’s research is private, shared only among the participating groups. The institute’s Web site is almost comically empty, and the group’s name — two abstract nouns, cryptically conjoined — evokes a C.I.A. front. There seem to be two types of political operatives in Washington: those who think Rogers is a genius transforming their field and those who have never heard of him.
The experimental movement in politics began a decade ago, when the Yale political scientists Alan Gerber and Donald Green conducted a study testing the relative effectiveness of basic political tools. As the 1998 elections approached, Gerber and Green partnered with the League of Women Voters to split 30,000 New Haven voters into four groups. Some received an oversize postcard encouraging them to vote, others the same message via a phone call or in-person visit. One control group received no contact whatsoever. After the election, Gerber and Green examined Connecticut records to see who actually voted. The in-person canvass yielded turnout 9.8 percent higher than for voters who were not contacted. Each piece of mail led to a turnout increase of only 0.6 percent. Telephone calls, Gerber and Green concluded, had no effect at all.
The findings were published in 2000 and quickly circulated among campaign operatives, who saw academics assailing many of their business models. A turf battle began within the political-consulting community: direct-mail vendors happily cited the Gerber-Green findings to argue candidates would waste money on phone calls.
Hal Malchow — who had previously approached the Democratic National Committee to propose using experimental controls to measure mail to voters but was repeatedly rebuffed — thought the Gerber-Green study was “the most important event in politics for a long time,” he says. “Eighty percent of what we’ve done in the past doesn’t work.” As the mail vendor for the A.F.L.-C.I.O., Malchow found a natural partner for his ideas in Mike Podhorzer, the organization’s deputy political director. Podhorzer saw Gerber and Green, who see themselves as researchers and not partisan advocates, as kindred spirits in a worldwide battle for knowledge between two camps he thought of as “gurus” versus “data.” As he says, “Until you get into a more rigorous approach, you are essentially left with what we had, which is that everything you did in a winning campaign was a good idea and everything that you did in a losing campaign was a bad idea.”
Podhorzer and Malchow began trying to adapt the Gerber-Green methods to the particular challenges faced by the A.F.L.-C.I.O., which regularly runs one of the largest independent campaign operations, almost always on behalf of Democrats. “Finding out the day after the election that Treatment A was the best is of limited value to an organization like ours,” Podhorzer says. “We’re actually trying to win the election.”
During the 2004 campaign, Podhorzer wanted to gauge voter reactions to his organization’s election messages in near-real time. A good poll shows how the electorate has moved over time, but it cannot isolate the effect of any individual appeal — and certainly not that of a single mailed leaflet, one of labor’s favorite tools for reaching member households. Focus groups offer a rich impression of how certain voters respond to that leaflet, but only the instant reaction of someone being paid $100 to have one. A focus group cannot say anything about whether a typical voter will even notice the brochure if it shows up in the mail wedged between a birthday card and a water bill.
Experiments provided a solution. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. planned to mail members monthly in 2004, and Podhorzer set out to design a “continuous feedback loop” testing different messages with small samples and then sending the most influential ones to a much larger target audience. As he examined the results, Podhorzer became even more frustrated with conventional polling. Asked if they would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who favored shipping jobs overseas — a typical way of auditioning a promising line — voters across the board would tell pollsters that it made them “less likely.” But a draft leaflet about Bush’s policies had little impact on autoworkers who received it; they already knew what the union wanted them to think about the subject. Construction workers, however, didn’t know as much, and their minds changed. Experiments allowed Podhorzer to see which voters actually moved, not just count those who said they might.
Democrats have not been alone in experimenting with data-driven politics. As Dave Carney, once George H. W. Bush’s White House political director, prepared to guide the 2006 re-election campaign of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, he invited Gerber and Green to conduct their experiments from within the campaign’s war room. Perry had spent more than $25 million to win a full term in 2002, much of it on broadcast advertising, and Carney thought a rigorous experimental regime could help “assure donors that we’re using their money as best as possible — spend it different, spend less of it.” Gerber and Green asked two political scientists who had informally advised George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election, James Gimpel and Daron Shaw, to collaborate on the project. Carney invited the quartet he called “our four eggheads” to impose experimental controls on nearly every aspect of campaign operations.
Perry won easy re-election in 2006, and their findings profoundly altered his 2010 tactics. Perry’s primary campaign this year sent out no direct voter-contact mail, made no paid phone calls, printed no lawn signs, visited no editorial boards and purchased no newspaper ads. His broadcast advertising strategy was informed by a 2006 experiment that isolated 18 TV media markets and 80 radio stations and randomly assigned each a different start date and volume for ad buys from a $2 million budget earmarked for the experiment. Public-opinion changes from the ads were then monitored with tracking polls. Carney estimates that the research saved Perry $3 million in this year’s primary campaign, and he still beat Kay Bailey Hutchison by 20 points. On Tuesday, the value of Perry’s unusually empirical approach to electioneering will be tested again, this time in a tough race against the Democratic nominee, Bill White, the former mayor of Houston.
After Bush’s 2004 re-election, Podhorzer invited other scientific-minded progressive operatives to A.F.L.-C.I.O. headquarters to share their research.Very few members would be recognizable to cable-news viewers; the group almost entirely bypassed the brand-name consultants whom campaigns like to unveil in press releases. “It’s not the big names on the door,” says Maren Hesla, who directed Emily’s List’s Women Vote! campaign. “It’s all the — God love them — geeky guys who don’t talk to clients but do the work and write the programs.”
The unofficial society called itself the Analyst Group, and it grew by word of mouth. By the time Democrats reclaimed Congress in 2006, as many as 60 people showed up for the regular lunches. In 2007, Podhorzer and his Analyst Group circle established the Analyst Institute, designed to operate with a scholarly sensibility but with the privacy of a for-profit consulting firm. Podhorzer became chairman and looked for an executive director. Gerber suggested Todd Rogers, on whose dissertation committee he had served.
Rogers, who had just turned 30, was a former college-lacrosse player from the Philadelphia suburbs who earned a joint degree in organizational behavior and psychology in connection with Harvard Business School after performing studies that examined the way individuals managed their queues on services like Netflix. Rogers argued that this type of research — on how time delays alter preferences — could help policy makers shape policy design on issues like carbon taxes, which involve balancing your ideal preferences (watching documentaries, having a smaller carbon footprint) with your actual choices (watching action movies, buying an S.U.V.).
Shortly before Pennsylvania’s April 2008 presidential primary, Rogers scripted a phone call that went out to 19,411 Democratic households in the state. The disembodied call-center voice said it had three questions. Around what time do you expect you will head to the polls on Tuesday? Where do you expect you will be coming from when you head to the polls on Tuesday? What do you think you will be doing before you head out to the polls?
Rogers did not care what voters’ answers were to the questions, only whether they had any. He was testing a psychological concept known as “implementation intentions,” which suggests that people are more likely to perform an action if they have already visualized doing it. The subject was on a long list of psychology concepts that Rogers took to Washington. Many had been demonstrated only in situations outside politics or examined by psychologists only in laboratory settings. Enamored of the psychologist Robert Cialdini and the behavioral economist Richard Thaler, Rogers thought their research methods could be applied to elections. And Rogers saw the advantages of doing academic-style work outside the academy: he faced no financing restrictions or the need to navigate a university’s human-subjects review board.
This June, two years after the Pennsylvania experiment, Rogers traveled to Pittsburgh to pre–sent the findings at a Carnegie Mellon behavioral-science conference. Before a room of professors and graduate students, Rogers explained that asking people about their voting plans increased turnout by 4 percentage points. A closer look, however, showed the effects were unevenly distributed. The self-predictive phone calls had little impact on multiple-voter households. But for those living alone, the effect was tremendous: turnout jumped by nearly 10 percentage points. The reason, Rogers surmised, was that making plans is a collaborative activity; spouses and roommates already talk through issues like child care as a condition of voting. For those who live alone, rehearsing their Election Day routine with a stranger helped them make a plan.
Once done, Rogers took a seat next to Richard Thaler, who draped a paternal arm across his back. In 2006, Thaler welcomed Rogers into the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists, a secretive group that helped Democrats apply academic research to policy making and advised party leaders, including Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, on election-year tactics. Two years later, Thaler — a University of Chicago colleague of Obama’s — helped to bring many consortium members together, including Rogers, to informally advise Obama’s presidential campaign.
By that fall, Rogers’s implementation-intention device had become a standard campaign tool for many left-leaning groups, along with scripts declaring things like “turnout is going to be high today.” Rogers’s experiments have shown that voters respond better to everyone-is-doing-it messages emphasizing high turnout than don’t-be-part-of-the-problem appeals describing how few Americans vote.
Rogers spends a lot of time trying to convince activists that the central premise of randomized experiments — deciding not to contact a control group of voters — will not torpedo their short-term priority of winning elections. Meanwhile, a new Democratic establishment has brought the data-driven crowd in from the outside. Since Obama’s election, operatives with Analyst Group ties have moved into key party jobs and now attend meetings as representatives of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
While political experiments have proved successful at isolating what gets people to vote, they have been less useful at finding out how voters decide among candidates. Partly for that reason, while the Analyst Institute’s findings and sensibility inform how permanent institutions like unions operate, they have yet to transform candidate’s campaigns, where most money is spent in the least targetable way possible: on broadcast TV time. Rogers has been designing experiments to assess Internet advertising, whose effectiveness has been traditionally gauged by click-throughs and sign-ups that do little to measure the ads’ impact on more-passive viewers. For a study Rogers oversaw during Minnesota’s 2008 Senate campaign, an independent group bought Yahoo! banner ads introducing an issue invisible from the campaign dialogue elsewhere: an obscure vote by the Republican Norm Coleman against financing a rural antidrug program. Through polling, Rogers discovered that those who saw the ads were more likely than others to believe that Coleman could have done “more to stop meth use.”
But experimental politicking is not always so provocative. Indeed, groups following Analyst Institute findings often end up abandoning their flashiest tools for more staid ones. The America Votes coalition has dropped get-out-the-vote robocalls. Rock the Vote has found e-mail and text messages arriving from unexciting senders like “Election Center” often do better than those with livelier “from” lines. Malchow has discovered that voters pay less attention to the glossy four-color brochures designed to “cut through” mailbox clutter than they do to spare envelopes evoking a letter from the tax man or a jury-duty summons. “People want information, they don’t want advertising,” Malchow says. “When they see our fingerprints on this stuff, they believe it less.”
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #191 on:
November 01, 2010, 06:11:55 PM »
D.C. hacking raises questions about future of online voting
November 1, 2010 By Sean Greene
For the upcoming election, Washington, D.C., was preparing to allow some voters to send their ballots in over the Internet. It's a good thing election officials tested the system first.
Just two days after the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics opened the application for the public to experiment with this fall, the system was hacked. Unbeknownst to D.C. officials, a team of computer scientists from the University of Michigan took control of the website and changed the code to make it play the school's fight song.
The fight-song gag was the part of the hacking that elections officials discovered themselves. More troubling is what they didn't notice.
That was revealed at a recent D.C. Council committee hearing, where J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan professor who led the hacking effort in order to demonstrate the system's security flaws, testified that his team had in fact wrested complete control over the elections board's server. Halderman produced 937 pages of names, addresses and PIN numbers of test voters who had signed up to try out the system. Had it been a real election, Halderman said, he could have changed the votes on ballots or revealed voters' supposedly secret choices on the Internet. Additionally, Halderman's crew wasn't the only one rooting around in the D.C. system. They noticed other attacks occurring, originating in China and Iran.
In response, the elections board decided to shelve the idea of having voters submit ballots online. Eligible voters in the military and others living overseas can still use the system to receive blank ballots, rather than waiting for them in the mail. But they'll have to print the ballots out and mail them back to Washington.
While the D.C. episode was a setback for voting over the Internet, elections experts disagree on what it means for the future. Some say the District's experience demonstrates what computer scientists have been saying for years -- that the Internet in its current state cannot allow for secure online voting. Others, including D.C.'s top elections official, still see potential in online voting. In fact, the state of Arizona and eight counties in West Virginia aren't giving up plans to go ahead with their own online voting experiments on November 2.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #192 on:
November 01, 2010, 06:16:45 PM »
But think of the time and energy the dems could save by letting China and Iran hack the vote. No more need for the unions and Acorn.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #193 on:
November 01, 2010, 10:42:55 PM »
Nice find Freki. I wonder why I haven't read about it in the POTH?
New BPs in TX
Reply #194 on:
November 03, 2010, 06:25:04 AM »
Pasting here GM's post from the 2010 election thread:
BREAKING VIDEO: New Black Panthers Commit Outrageous Violations of Texas Voting Law
They spoke with election officials inside polling places. After these discussions, white poll watchers were either denied admittance or ejected. White election judges were also removed, under threat of calling the police for trumped-up complaints.
Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc.
Reply #195 on:
November 03, 2010, 08:09:08 AM »
"I do believe the decisions made need to be reexamined and maybe some arrests made"
Do you believe there is the slightest chance of that actually happening? The BO DOJ actually undid a successful prosecution brought by the Bush DOJ against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia wherein the acts in question were fully caught on video (go back in this thread to find all this)
As has already been covered, the current DOJ believes that the voting rights laws are not for the benefit of white people-- but the larger point is that the very legitimacy of the electoral process in many parts of America is under serious attack.
The electoral process, 380,000 vote double count in Minneapolis
Reply #196 on:
November 03, 2010, 10:53:03 AM »
"Doug: Keep us posted on that please!"
No worries. The error that allowed Hennepin County (Mpls and S and W suburbs), a county larger than 8 states, to be counted twice and not noticed was due to a computer glitch. The R candidate for Gov was down 12 points while this was discovered, now losing by less than 1/2% going into automatic recount - to be overseen by re-elected MN Sec State Mark Ritchie of moveon.org roots. An overcount of 380,000 went unnoticed, but everything else is fine, we are assured.
Prior to this election, Dems had super-majorities in both houses held in check by a somewhat moderate R Governor (Tim Pawlenty). Interestingly, all the statewide races were won by Dems, but the precincts outside of ACORN and Urban League vote count control swung so far the other way the R's took both the state House and State Senate for the first time since party designations were put on the ballot.
Ignorant, Unprincipled, or Incompetent? I
Reply #197 on:
November 11, 2010, 12:10:55 PM »
Not much of a fan of the American Spectator--listening to Emmett Tyrrell warble makes me bilious--but this piece is a comprehensive indictment of Eric Holder and his DOJ.
By Quin Hillyer from the November 2010 issue
Under attorney general Eric Holder, the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) is dangerously politicized, radically leftist, racialist, lawless, and at times corrupt. The good news is that it's also often incompetent. This means the Holderites can bungle their leftist lawlessness so badly that even the most reticent of judges are obliged to smack them down.
The abuses by the Holderites are legion. They range from DOJ's infamous abandonment of the already-won voter-intimidation case against several New Black Panthers to multi-faceted assaults on traditional standards of voting rights and obligations; from a growing list of lawsuits deliberately destructive of border security and citizenship laws to outrageously race-based bullying tactics; from efforts to undermine military discipline and state sovereignty on homosexual-related issues to the dangerous obsession with terrorists' "rights" to the detriment of national security; and, finally, to the selection of judges openly contemptuous of the existing law-all while dedicated to a vision of judge-imposed "universal justice" based not on the text of American statutes but instead on the reigning cultural standards of coastal and international elites. While doing all this, the Holderites operate the least transparent DOJ in decades, treat congressmen and independent agencies with contempt, and claim breathtakingly spurious "privileges" against disclosure of public information.
This isn't law enforcement and it isn't justice, but instead is subversive of both.
The politically moderate blogger and law professor Ann Althouse, who voted for Barack Obama, wrote a reaction to a November 2009 Holder testimony before the Senate that could stand as a far broader condemnation of his qualities. Holder, she wrote, "is utterly pathetic here. Either he knows damned well what he's doing and he's lying or he's outrageously unqualified for his job."
The New Black Panther case, which concerns the attempts of two club-wielding gang members to intimidate voters outside voting stations in Philadelphia in the 2008 election, provides a perfect window into the modus operandi of the Holder Justice Department, one which has far wider implications than just the question of whether two crackpot thugs deserved to receive stiff sanctions for clear, unambiguous attempts at voter intimidation. How clear? Consider the words of Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project. He told me on September 17 that he had not delved deeply into the case, but had seen the videos and was generally aware of the controversy: "I thought that that definitely raised very serious questions about what was going on. I think that if people were doing the same things while wearing white robes and hoods, most other people would be outraged by it -- certainly very concerned about the propriety of it."
Well, of course. Yet all along, the question asked by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which conducted an in-depth study of the matter, was a bigger one: whether case was indicative of a broad policy change at DOJ. Whistle-blowing attorney J. Christian Adams told the commission it was, and he was backed to the hilt on September 24 by his former Justice Department colleague (and onetime ACLU stalwart) Christopher Coates in riveting testimony to the commission -- and, long before that, backed in general terms by at least three other former DOJ officials.
What Adams, Coates, and the others say, and back up with a fair amount of strong circumstantial evidence combined with firsthand experience, is twofold. Their first charge is that the Holderites have consciously adopted a practice of refusing to enforce civil rights laws when the perpetrators are black (or maybe Latino) and the victims are white (or Asian). It's a charge certainly in keeping with Holder's own words to the Washington Post in 1996 that a black man's "race defines him more particularly than anything else. Black people have a common cause that requires attending to." Mr. Holder elaborated: "It really says that…I am not the tall U.S. Attorney, I am not the thin U.S. Attorney. I am the black U.S. Attorney.… There's a common cause that bonds the black U.S. Attorney with the black criminal or the black doctor with the black homeless person."
No wonder the Obama administration rushed, just a month after taking office, to file a brief effectively on behalf of the city of New Haven, Connecticut, to defend its refusal to promote, on purely racial grounds, white firefighters who had by objective standards earned the higher positions. On the same day, the Holder Justice Department ordered Dayton, Ohio, to hire a specific number of black policemen and firemen-a racial quota, pure and simple. In an Alabama-based case in September, meanwhile, a federal judge ridiculed DOJ's clumsy attempt to dismiss a challenge to the controversial Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act -- which requires certain jurisdictions, and only those jurisdictions, to secure "pre-clearance" from the department for any change in voting procedures, even as small as moving a polling place from a school gym to the same school's cafeteria. Federal district judge John Bates wrote that the Holderites were "unable to articulate any reason" for one of its positions, and that they could "point to no authority" for another contention. He blasted them for "fishing expeditions," and wrote that a conclusion in their favor "would be absurd."
Nothing, though, was more absurd than the Section 5 ruling by Loretta King-one of the chief racialists at DOJ and one of the major crusaders in favor of dropping the Black Panther case -- that a black-majority town in North Carolina would not be allowed to hold nonpartisan municipal elections. Even though the majority of black precincts in this majority-black town wanted no party affiliations on the label, Ms. King decided, in effect, that the black townies in Kinston, N.C., were too stupid to know their own interests. If voters don't know which candidates are Democrats, she ruled, black voters would be unable to elect their "candidates of choice" -- who, by her definition, could only be Democrats.
Sixth Sense: Seeing Dead People…Voting
THE SECOND CHARGE made by Adams, Coates, and others is that DOJ voting rights official Julie Fernandes said in a section-wide meeting that the department would not enforce laws requiring removal of dead people and felons from voting rolls because those laws do nothing to help (Democratic) turnout.
Sure enough, the department dropped a long-running case against Missouri for the state's failure to do just that. Not only that, but Adams-after resigning in protest from DOJ-took private action in September to sue (or threaten suits against) 16 states when DOJ itself would not do its job on this front. Adams explained at Pajamas Media:
South Dakota, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Indiana report in excess of a dozen counties with more registered voters than living people old enough to vote. Having more voters than living humans tells you something is wrong. In West Virginia, one county reported 113% of the voting age population was registered to vote....Ponce de Leon wasted his time looking for the fountain of youth in Florida-he should have gone to Maryland, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, or Tennessee. These states report that they didn' t remove a single dead voter from 2006 to 2008. Some of the dead registered voters were resurrected on election day and cast ballots.
These are obvious signs of major violations, yet DOJ -- completely in line with the alleged statements from Fernandes -- refused to do its duty to enforce the law.
It also coincides with other indications that DOJ is bizarrely eager to help felons, a notoriously Democratic constituency, vote, while showing an extreme lack of enthusiasm for assuring the votes of military personnel, who, polls show, more often vote for Republicans. As the Washington Times editorialized on July 28 and several times thereafter, the department failed in numerous ways to ensure full implementation of a 2009 law mandating that states mail overseas military ballots at least 45 days before Election Day -- in order to ensure time for delivery both ways, to and from often extremely remote locales.
Eric Eversole, director of the Military Voter Protection Project and a former DOJ Voting Section attorney, warned of the problem in September, telling me: "Some of the attorneys in the section are openly hostile to the military and, at the very least, are unsympathetic to the sacrifices of our service members."
So angry about all this is Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the military voting law's co-author, that he called for congressional hearings on the matter, placed a lasting "hold" on the nomination of close Holder friend James Cole to be deputy attorney general, and wrote Holder a scathing September 16 letter that accused Holder and company of "a shameful failure to honor the heroic service of those who defend America."
Indeed, the department failed for more than a year to update its website to reflect the new law protecting military voters -- but it spent what must have been an immense amount of taxpayer-supported staff time building a 2,314-word web page telling felons how to recover their voting privileges. Yet the department enjoys no statutory authority to deal with felon voting at all. Who needs the law when you can bolster the numbers of a key Democratic constituency?
Undermining National Security
OF COURSE, this Justice Department has shown its disdain for military and security considerations in numerous other ways as well. The first came on the Don't Ask/Don't Tell (DADT) rule on homosexuals in the military. Whatever one's views of the wisdom of the policy, it remains the law of the land and DOJ is obliged to defend it. But Edward Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has written at great length explaining how the Holderites were derelict on this. "It [DOJ] failed to seek Supreme Court review of a rogue Ninth Circuit ruling that subjected DADT to heightened scrutiny," he told me. "And when trial on DADT took place, DOJ called no witnesses and failed to offer any serious defense of DADT. The district judge's ruling against DADT relied heavily on DOJ's failings."
Those failings perhaps pale in comparison to the outright defiance of security concerns with regard to the trials of terrorist detainees. Holder's decidedly premature announcement that the 9/11 conspirators detained in Guantanamo Bay, including the mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would be tried in New York City has actually slowed the course of justice.
Former terrorist prosecutor Andrew McCarthy quite arguably has been the most eloquent expositor of this thesis. "From a legal standpoint, it makes no sense to try the al Qaeda quintet in civilian court," he wrote in the November 22, 2009, New York Daily News. "Eleven months ago, these men were prepared to plead guilty in their military commission and proceed to execution. Yet the Obama administration pulled the plug on that commission. This was a transparent sop to the left, which wants to judicialize war-fighting and is repulsed by the intelligence-centric, prevention-first counterterrorism strategy that has protected us for eight years from a reprise of the 9/11 atrocities. Now, our enemies will be given a full-blown civilian trial with all the rights of the American citizens they are sworn to kill. They will get a year or more to sift through our national defense secrets."
Ignorant, Unprincipled, or Incompetent? II
Reply #198 on:
November 11, 2010, 12:11:16 PM »
All of this was made more problematic when the Justice Department was forced, after much stonewalling, to acknowledge just how many of the new Holder team had done legal work for the detainees. At least nine had done so, and at least another five worked for firms that did significant detainee defense work. They include Jennifer Daskal, who was known as a particularly fervid defender of those detainees. They include Eric Columbus, who worked for the detainee in the landmark case of Boumediene v. Bush and who now is senior counsel for the deputy attorney general. This gives him at least some supervisory authority over both the Criminal and National Security divisions at DOJ-the very divisions involved with deciding how to handle the convincingly accused terrorists.
Moreover, as first reported by the Washington Times on November 22, 2009, "Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, No. 3 official in the Justice Department, had to recuse himself on at least 13 active detainee cases and at least 26 cases listed as either closed or mooted," presumably because of his former law firm's efforts on their behalf. To further quote the Washington Times:
The extent of the recusals raises questions about whether the attorney general has enough unbiased advisers around him to have made good judgments about how to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other detainees. He certainly did seem terribly ill-informed when asked basic questions at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday about how Miranda rights for detainees would be treated in civil courts and if any enemy combatant from a foreign battlefield had ever been tried in American civil courts. Columnist Charles Krauthammer justly called Mr. Holder's responses "utterly incoherent." If the incoherence stems from an inherent bias among President Obama's appointees at the Justice Department, senators and the American public have the right to know it.
Illegal Alien Nation
MANY PEOPLE SEE illegal immigration as a national security issue, too. As with DADT and with an even worse sabotage of the Defense of Marriage Act by declaring that the act is not "rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing," the Obama administration on immigration has gone far beyond its obvious right to pursue its favored policy objectives through the legislative process; instead, it has used the power of the Justice Department to make a mockery of legitimate legislative enactments.
"It is one thing, and totally appropriate, to pick policy priorities that are in line with the administration you serve," said Robert Driscoll, another former DOJ attorney, who has represented famed Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio against Obama administration harassment. "Are particular investigations or prosecutions being undertaken or avoided to advance the president's political allies? Unfortunately, there are too many examples even beyond Black Panthers that raise questions.… All of these cases raise concern that the ‘political' influence at DOJ, which has always been reflected in the priorities and policy choices of any attorney general, has begun to influence the front-line decision-making regarding individual cases and investigations."
So it was that the Holder DOJ has taken the position that (to quote a Washington Times editorial) "Sheriff Arpaio should not set up a phone tip line to search for immigration violators, and he is not allowed to tell the public about federal immigration enforcement policies even if he is merely disputing demonstrable falsehoods told about him; yet the Justice Department can set up an anonymous tip line to gather evidence against the sheriff." Even though a 2008 investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency found that the sheriff and ICE officials had an "excellent" working relationship, DOJ is now suing Arpaio for supposedly discriminating against Hispanic inmates. The DOJ lawsuit looked even more absurd when, in late September, an audit from the U.S. Marshals Service gave Arpaio's treatment of inmates the highest grades possible in every single category-including for prevention of, yes, discrimination against detainees.
So it was that DOJ also has sued Maricopa County Community Colleges for requiring that non-citizens produce "green cards" to prove they are here legally. Since such visiting workers are by law supposed to carry the cards with them at all times anyway, it defies belief to think it's illegal for an employer to ask to see it.
And so it was, most infamously, that DOJ sued the state of Arizona to block its law that merely provides for the state's police officers to apply and enforce already existing federal law. Kris Kobach, yet another former DOJ official, actually drafted the law in question. He argues, quite convincingly, that "lawsuits are being used to stop those who stand in the way of President Obama's political agenda, which is to allow illegal aliens who have not violated other criminal law (other than their immigration crimes) to remain unlawfully present in the United States."
Abuses of Power
WHAT KOBACH DESCRIBES, and what ample evidence attests to, is a serious misuse of power under the false color of law. The New Black Panther case is almost a perfect microcosm of this Holderite habit -- in multiple ways. It featured political interference in a case already won. It featured officials dropping a case without even reading the briefs. The two lawyers acting in political-appointee capacity who were most directly involved in dropping the case have both been sanctioned by courts for ethical breaches. Both have been believably accused, under sworn testimony by a highly respected witness, of consciously refusing to enforce civil rights laws to benefit white people.
The department's press secretary told lies about the case, saying no political appointees were involved even as she e-mailed back and forth with a key political appointee as the case's point person. The department's head gave false testimony under oath at least twice, flagrantly misleadingly telling Congress that the maximum allowable penalty was imposed on the Panthers and falsely telling the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that no political appointees contributed to the decisions. The Holderites stonewalled to the press by denying Freedom of Information Act requests; DOJ claimed "privileges" from disclosing public information without naming some of the privileges and without coming close to justifying others; and DOJ ignored lawful subpoenas by the Civil Rights Commission that by law it was bound to honor. When leading congressmen of impeccable reputation again and again wrote Holder for answers, he arrogantly shunted their letters to underlings to answer -- and the underlings told howling falsehoods in their replies. Worst of all, Holder's team directly and knowingly abused at least two award-winning career DOJ attorneys by transferring one three states away and forcing the other to bear personal legal expenses because the Holderites would neither allow him to respond to a lawful subpoena nor provide legal defense for him to avoid it.
And those are just the highlights, or rather lowlights, of a massive abuse of justice, all on behalf of an otherwise limited-location example of voter intimidation by two convicted violent felons who liked to pose with dangerous weapons and talk hateful, racist tommyrot about "killing crackas" and needing to "kill they babies."
By February 15 of this year, even Martin Peretz, editor in chief of the liberal New Republic and staunch Al Gore supporter, had seen enough of Eric Holder's embarrassing and abusive tenure, for multiple reasons. "Poor Eric Holder," Peretz wrote as the lead sentence of his blog, The Spine, that day. "The fact is that he is none too smart…and none too versed in constitutional issues."
And none too honest, either. But profoundly dangerous to the cause of equal justice.
Quin Hillyer is a senior editorial writer at the Washington Times and senior editor of The American Spectator.
Reply #199 on:
November 12, 2010, 12:34:51 PM »
The Unresolved House Races, Part Three
By Jim Geraghty
Posted on November 10, 2010 3:11 PM
As optimistic as the Ellmers and Buerkle campaigns seem, the developments described by the campaign of Republican Joe Walsh in Illinois’s 8th district are pretty alarming, as they try to hold on to a lead over incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean.
“We are in the fight of our lives as we count ballots in Cook County,” says Nick Provenzano, the campaign manager for Walsh who is now signing his messages, “Spokesman for Congressman-elect Joe Walsh, Illinois’ 8th District.”
Provenzano offers a description of an exceptionally odd ballot-counting process: “On Election Night, there were six precincts that were still not counted at 1 a.m. We discovered that they had problems in the polling place and were moved to nearby Elgin, Illinois to count the ballots. At some point in the middle of the night all six precincts – representing thousands of votes — had been moved to Cicero, Illinois for ‘safe keeping’ . . . . We immediately dispatched legal counsel to ensure the chain of custody was not compromised and we have been chasing ballots ever since. On Friday evening, the Bean campaign approached the Cook County Clerk’s Office, requested and received a list of all outstanding absentee ballots with name, address, and phone numbers. As alarming as that was, they also asked for and were provided an exact image of a blank absentee ballot.”
“Identifying potential mischief, the Illinois GOP dispatched volunteers to track down these voters to ensure no foul play was occurring with these outstanding ballots,” Provenzano continues. “What they found was alarming. They documented their findings on affidavits and they were submitted to law enforcement for review.”
The affidavits describe one voter who had not lived at the listed address in the past 15 years; a voter who a caregiver said “could not respond to questions because of dementia,” and a group of ballots sent to a Clearbrook home for the mentally disabled in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
“We continue to have a lead over Rep. Bean as the Cook County absentee ballots continue to trickle in,” Provenzano says. “The deadline/postmark date for ballots to be valid was November 1st. Therefore, it would be alarming to have large amounts of ballots arrive in the mail over the next few days. How long should it take the U.S. Postal Service to deliver a ballot from suburban Schaumburg to Chicago? It has been nine days since the deadline has come and gone. If large amounts of ballots do arrive nine days later, we’ll let you know and together we can alert America to what is happening here in Cook County.”
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