ACORN Obama Axis Update

Further thoughts and links.

ACORN is a “community organizer” master-reseller whose “downstream” contractors are regularly convicted for voter fraud. The fraud is habitual and formulaic, not accidental and creative. ACORN engages otherwise hard-to-employ individuals to register cartoon characters, dogs and dead people as voters.

ACORN is at least as good as Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition at using the race card to shake down businesses (Banks, in ACORN’s victim-industry niche.) for cash and to force loans to be made to people who can’t pay the money back. The Chicago based inventor of this tactic, ACORN executive Madeline Talbott, calls it “affirmative action” for loans. I’d call it predatory thuggery perpetrated on both borrower and lender.

All this is well known. So is it fair to connect any of this to Barack Obama? If you think the company a man keeps over decades, for whom he expresses great fondness and to whom he substantially contributes money is a connection, then the answer must be “Yes.”

I’m not saying Obama directly participated in ACORN’s protection rackets or voter fraud. I am saying he knows about it (how could he not?), and therefore tolerates it. I’m saying he shares ACORN’s radical socialist philosophy. I’m pointing out that he worked for ACORN and funded ACORN. I’m contending the attempt to use the bailout bill to funnel money to ACORN was no coincidence, nor was a similar provision in the $300 billion mortgage bailout bill passed in July.

I’m giving the evidence that Obama’s campaign paid $800,000 to Citizens Services Inc., an ACORN captive corporation, between Feb and May 2008 – and grossly misrepresented the purpose of the payments in the FEC filing. I’m saying Obama wanted to hide the ACORN connection.

Since Obama has argued that his executive experience is proven by the fact that he runs the campaign, an $800K decision can’t be blamed on staff.

FEC reports show that from February-May 2008, Obama paid $832,598.29 to CSI.

The payments were for:

$310,441.20 25-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$160,689.40 27-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$98,451.20 29-FEB-08 TRAVEL/LODGING
$18,417.00 28-MAR-08 POLLING
$63,000.00 29-APR-08 ADVANCE WORK
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$75,000.00 17-MAY-08 ADVANCE WORK
$13,176.20 17-MAY-08 PER DIEM

Interesting services and payments for a nonprofit that supposedly does simple canvassing work on behalf of low-income people. And now, the Obama campaign is going to wave its magic wand and change those services to get-out-the-vote work? What the…?

For your information: The New Orleans building that houses CSI also houses multiple chapters of ACORN and the SEIU– as well as the 527 group Communities Voting Together.

And for your information: A tipster points to shady business by CSI -detected by Maryland Democrat Al Wynn, of all people. His team, which filed an FEC complaint over the matter, linked several suspicious outfits used by his primary opponent to one address: 1024 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. That’s the address of CSI and ACORN.

…There is at least one other example of suspiciously large payments to Citizens Services, Inc. that call into question what kind of work this non-partisan, non-profit is doing.

See here, where liberal group Ohio Citizen Action notes a $907,808 payment to Citizens Services for canvassing and $590,526.10 for “campaign consulting.”

I’m saying Obama knows about this:

Another pre-2007 ACORN document instructs its staff:

Undocumented income is a feature that allows ACORN Housing counselors to capture the applicant(s) total household income. Primarily observed in minority and immigrant communities, this type of income is not reported to the IRS and is also known as under-the-table.

… and is OK with it.

I’m saying that the presence among his advisers of Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both disgraced CEO’s of Fannie Mae, who both got multi-million dollar golden parachutes, is at least bad judgment and very likely continued political collusion. Fannie was a prime conduit between people who took loans they couldn’t pay and the likes of Bear-Stearns. Fannie worked hand in glove with ACORN. Obama still works hand in glove with Fannie’s detritus. Jim Johnson was head of his VP search committee until the Fannie connection surfaced.

If someone will argue that a politician raised up by the hard-left Chicago machine, of which ACORN is an integral part, is not aware of these connections; that person might also have to grant that the politician couldn’t possibly be considered for any higher office than Drain Commissioner.

Documentation and more info at the sites below.


I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. — Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007

NY Post

ACORN’s political arm endorsed Obama in February and has ramped up efforts to register voters across the country. Meanwhile, completely ignored by the mainstream commentariat and clean-election crusaders, the Obama campaign has admitted failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called “Citizen Services, Inc.” for “advance work.”

Jim Terry, an official of the Consumer Rights League, a watchdog group that monitors ACORN, noted: “ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama’s political gain.”

NY Post

… Obama spent many years cultivating ties with, working with – and even funding – the very folks who pushed for the risky lending that underlies the current mess.

That is, “community organizer” groups like ACORN.

ACORN is especially noteworthy, not only because of its prominence in the drive to relax mortgage requirements, but also because of its shady tactics.

And its links to Obama.

Various ACORN chapters across the country, led by folks like Chicago’s Madeline Talbott, staged in-your-face protests in bank lobbies and filed complaints meant to hold up mergers sought by targeted banking firms.

Unless the banks agreed to ACORN’s terms – which many (understandably) did.

Talbott & Co. generally wanted them to ease down-payment requirements and ignore weak credit histories. And their intimidating tactics often necessitated police action, as at a ’97 protest at Pulaski Bank & Trust in Arkansas, where activists blocked drive-through lanes.

The movement’s biggest victory, of course, came when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up the riskier loans – providing fresh incentive for banks to make even more of them.

No need to recount where all that led.

Meanwhile, Obama was right there by ACORN’s side all along.

“I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career,” he told the group last November.

Indeed, in the early ’90s, Obama was recruited by Talbott herself to run training sessions for ACORN activists.

ACORN also got funding from two charities, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, when Obama served on their boards, and from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – the radical “education reform” outfit Obama ran from ’95 to ’99.

Ironically, the group stood to be a key beneficiary of the goodies Democrats were loading into Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s rescue plan – including one demand that 20 percent of any profits the feds make from reselling mortgage securities go to fund groups like ACORN.

No Quarter USA

Obama claimed he has no ties to “a group he did some legal work for” back in 1995. Let’s look into that claim.

* In 1995, Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar balked at implementing the federal motor voter law out of concern that letting people register via postcard and blocking the state from pruning voter rolls might invite vote fraud. A young lawyer named Barak Obama, a community organizer himself, sued on behalf of ACORN and won. ACORN later invited Obama to train its staff on voter registration drives.

* In 1996 Obama ran for Illinois State Senate and ACORN became his precinct organization, identifying and turning out the vote.

* When Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago, the Fund frequently gave ACORN grants to fund its agenda and voter registration activities.

* In 2004 ACORN operates as Obama’s precinct organization in his run for the U.S. Senate.

* In 2007 ACORN’s national political arm endorsed Obama for president, and its “nonpartisan” voter registration affiliate starts registering hundreds of thousands of voters for Obama.

* Obama claims he has no ties to “a group he once did some legal work for.”

* In July 2008 the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, along with NoQuarter researchers, exposes the lie by uncovering $832,598.29 that the Obama campaign funneled through a front company called Citizens Services, Inc.

* ACORN, which receives partial taxpayer funding, used those funds to conduct solicitations for contributions to and raised over $800,000 for Obama in Philadelphia alone.

And some new evidence of fraud just in from North Carolina:

RNC rips group registering voters
Ray Gronberg
Durham Herald-Sun – Sep 20, 2008
requires registration

Durham County Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe wants state officials to check about 80 voter registration forms for possible fraud.

The forms came from a group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The group is more commonly known by its acronym, ACORN.

…Ashe’s move this week came after elections officials discovered that ACORN workers had registered a 14-year-old, claiming the youth was born in 1989. The minimum voting age is 18.

They also knew of “less than half a dozen” people who, after receiving a formal notice from the board telling them they’d registered, got in touch with officials to say they’d never filled out a registration form, Ashe said.

In addition, election workers also noticed that ACORN-submitted registration forms so far have included up to 125 duplicate names. It appeared that ACORN registrars — who are paid and subject to a per-shift quota — were using the same names repeatedly, Ashe said.

…Ashe said the group has ignored his advice against hoarding registration forms and using highlighters to mark them. It’s given election workers up to 1,200 forms in one stack and by using highlighters has caused the elections staff “a lot of extra work.”

The more things stay the same, the more things don’t represent “change.”

See also:
Consumers Rights League
Check out James Terry’s testimony.

Check out the fraud map.

The Real ACORN
Check out The Ghost of Rathke lingers
ACORN is suing itself and Wade Rathke is still involved with ACORN.

Update: 6:23PM 1-Oct-08Stryker, Rockfeller, Detroit Schools funding story linked to ACORN consulting firm
What this portends, I do not know. But it isn’t anything positive.

2 thoughts on “ACORN Obama Axis Update”

  1. A few corrections: (1) If you follow the link given for the Ohio Citizen Action memo, you’ll see that it was written in January 2007, and the section referred to is about the 2006 election, not 2008. (2) The canvassing amount mentioned in the memo is $589,740, not $907,808. (3) Ohio Citizen Action is non-partisan and non-ideological, so it is inaccurate to call it “liberal.” People of all persuasions are members.

  2. Thanks for the note, Paul.(1) The elipsis in the paragraph preceding the link was intended to note a break from the headline mentioning 2008. It could have been clearer, but does not change the point about CSI – a pattern of behavior.(2) From the link, emphasis mine:3. Proponents had enough money for a strong television buy, but instead spent it all on get-out-the-vote activities, which they believed would benefit all Democratic candidates. These expenditures included “robocalls” ($345,735), mailings ($529,950), and get-out-the-vote canvassing ($907,808 to Citizens Services, part of New Orleans-based Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — ACORN. See footnote).(3) “Liberal” is a characterization by the author of the quote. Noting the Sierra Club ad at Ohio Citizen Action’s home page, promotion of Phil Donohue on the news page and the profiles on the Alumni page, I’d tend to agree.