Anita MonCrief's blog

Organizing for Freedom: American Majority and The New Leaders Project



Yesterday, in a bold move that directly addresses the need for unity and a true bottom up leadership approach to the problems facing America, American Majority and American Majority Action unveiled  an ambitious plan to take back America.

"On the heels of an historic mid-term election, and amid speculation about the future of the Tea Party movement, American Majority along with local Tea Party leaders from across the nation, announced today the launch of The New Leaders Project and the drive to identify 10,000 new, credible candidates in advance of the 2011 and 2012 elections.

American Majority believes that this project, when combined with policy education and grassroots infrastructure development, is the surest way to sustain Tea Party momentum across the nation.

This first of its kind national effort will seek to have 1,000 local Tea Party leaders sign onto The New Leaders Project, committing themselves and their groups to identifying 10 new leaders in their local community to run primarily for state or local office in 2012.  Representatives from Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Virginia, Arkansas, and Ohio on hand at a press conference this morning to be the first signers of The New Leaders Pledge."

American Majority president Ned Ryun delivered a powerful statement about the overall mission of the The New Leader Project:

"At American Majority, we have believed since the Tea Party movement began that in order for it to remain a potent force for real and lasting change, it must grow from the ground up.

American Majority, and the Tea Party movement, are not interested in change for one or two election cycles. It is interested in generational change, but for that to happen, the work must begin as locally as possible.

Today, we are here to send a message – that 2010 was just the beginning.

The next cycle begins now. This year’s elections were just the opening salvo in the long war that will determine who will control America’s future: the American people or a ruling class of elite incumbent politicians who have driven this nation down the road to statism for too long.

The future of our Republic, our democratic process, the free enterprise system and the power of the individual are all dependent on activated citizens committed to accountability."

According to Ryun, over 80% of incumbents at the federal level won -  and over 1,000 state legislators were not even challenged in the 2010 general election. The New Leaders Project takes a page directly from the Left's playbook. Groups like ACORN, SEIU and even Obama's Organizing for America have long realized that all politics is local.

Over the past four decades the left has systematically installed handpicked politicians like Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagairosa and the ethically challenged Congresswoman Maxine Waters across the country. As noted earlier this year in regards to California, corrupt local politicians can easily become a national problems as they seek higher office.

Not surprisingly, mainstream media outlets like Politico have completely ignored the true significance of this initiative and choose to instead use it as another opportunity to bash Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell:

"No more Christine O’Donnell’s or Sharron Angle’s.

That is the implicit goal of a million-dollar program intended to build a farm team of tea party candidates that was announced Tuesday morning by a pair of linked non-profit groups called American Majority and American Majority Action."

A Tea Party leader tried to set the record straight about the goals of the New Leader project:

“Voters will have the ability to not choose (between) the lesser of two evils, but to champion a genuine candidate who believes like we believe; that is detached from the political class, because they didn’t come from the political class,” said Chris Littleton, co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council..."

The question remains if our traditional two party system is ready for this new movement. American Majority aims to take the movement away from DC centric orgranizations and place it back in the hands of the local leaders. Power brokers and pay for play politics are not as easy once people realize that change can happen outside of Washington, DC.


Anita MonCrief is the National Spokesperson for American Majority and the Editor-in-Chief of a new website, Emerging Corruption. She is also known as the ACORN/Project Vote Whistleblower. MonCrief attended the University of Alabama where she majored in political science and history. She has worked with the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative; (ABA CEELI), the International Crisis Group, the Grameen Foundation and American Rights at Work. She also partnered with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on their mission to Macedonia as an election observer In 2005, MonCrief joined the Strategic Writing and Research Department of ACORN Political Operations and its affiliate Project Vote. In 2008, MonCrief came forward, first as a confidential source of The New York Times and, after The New York Times backed away, publicly, to expose the damage that ACORN has done to the impoverished and marginalized communities, as well as its rampant voter fraud. She also began to blog and write about corruption within the ACORN/Project Vote network of corporations. In June 2009, Project Vote/ACORN filed a lawsuit against MonCrief in an attempt to silence her. MonCrief has appeared on numerous radio and television programs including, The Laura Ingraham Show, The O’Reilly Factor, The Sean Hannity Radio show and Fox News programs. In March 2010, the ACORN/Project Vote lawsuit was dismissed. MonCrief is a regular contributor to Big Government, Hot Air, NetRight Daily, RedState, and other Conservative news websites. MonCrief and her family live in the Washington, DC metro area. You can follow Anita here on Twitter.




Casa de Maryland: How to use tax dollars to skirt immigration laws

Tuesday, September 14th is primary day here in Maryland. Campaign signs litter roadways and volunteers greet commuters as they idle at traffic lights in Prince George's County. One hot button issue that should be on the mind of Maryland voters is immigration. As the number of illegal immigrants continue to rise in Maryland and the economy further spirals downward, voters in Maryland face tough decisions.

Adding to the immigration debate is an organization that has caused outrage and controversy over its mission and programs. CASA de Maryland, also know as the Central American Solidarity Association deserves national attention for it's programs that target day laborers in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The Background

From Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

“CASA was founded in 1985 in the basement of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church by concerned U.S. citizens and Central American immigrants. It has since expanded its scope. It is affiliate organization of the National Council of La Raza. It has received funding from a variety of sources, including a two-year grant funding operations in Baltimore from George Soros' Open Society Institute. CASA of Maryland is also a founding member of the National Capital Immigration Coalition ("NCIC") which promotes "comprehensive immigration reform".[5] Other funding sources include the Annie E. Casey Foundation and United Way. They are a member of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. CASA also has received $1.5 million from CITGO, the state-owned Venezuelan petroleum products corporation.

CASA operates five day labor centers throughout the state, with public and private funding, three in Montgomery County, where its efforts have been the center of controversy. There is both significant support, and significant opposition, to their efforts to provide central sites where contractors can pick up day-laborers…."

Judicial Watch has documents here on the day labor centers.

To be clear, a Soros, and Chavez funded organization with ties to the radical La Raza receives millions in taxpayer dollars while Maryland faces severe budget shortfalls,

“House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell, R-Calvert/St. Mary's, offered an amendment Wednesday that would strip $200,000 allocated to Casa de Maryland Inc. from the state's capital budget.

The amendment failed, 47-89.”

A Washington Examiner articles notes that Casa de Maryland recently formed a political organization called Casa in Action and currently receives a significant majority of its funding from the state.

“CASA will receive nearly $2.1 million this fiscal year from local governments, including $1.3 million from Montgomery County, and another $32,000 in federal money, according to Kim Propeack, the group's director of community organizing and political action. CASA in Action has raised $45,000 thus far from members paying $9 annual dues, she added.”

While students languish in underfunded schools that are one step above a daycare or prison, Maryland's Democrat Governor Martin O'Malley partnered with the group to open a multicultural center inside of a restored mansion.

“Governor Martin O'Malley recently joined CASA at the launching of a three-year $30 million campaign to restore the George Oakley Totten, Jr. designed historic Langley Park mansion in Langley Park, Maryland, to be converted into a multicultural center. The center will offer English lessons, legal assistance, job placement”

What other programs have suffered while Casa de Maryland enjoys the seemingly endless largess of state lawmakers? According to the Center for Budget and Policy:

In late 2007 and 2008, some ten states enacted tax increases, closed loopholes, restricted tax credits, or implemented other revenue-raising measures. Major packages were enacted in Maryland, Michigan,and New York.

Other states that have capped or reduced funding for programs that serve people who have disabilities or are elderly include California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia

Maryland cut professional development for principals and educators, as well as health clinics, gifted and talented summer centers, and math and science initiatives.

Some states, such as Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, have implemented cuts to localities, leading to local concerns about reductions in funding for policing, child care assistance, meals for the elderly, hospice care, services for veterans and seniors, and other services.

Other states cutting higher education operating funding and financial aid include Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland..

The Immigration debate

Casa de Maryland discourages local police enforcement of immigration laws and advocates for driver's licenses for illegal aliens – contentious issues in the current political climate. Local point to the fact that crimes in Silver Spring, Maryland and gang activity are on the rise.

Wikipedia notes that tensions ran high in 2006 when “Gustavo Torres, the Executive Director of CASA, remarked to a reporter for the local Gazette newspaper that CASA was determined to track the leadership of a local unit of Minuteman Project, and take the following actions: 'We are going to target the Minutemen in a specific way... we are going picket their houses, and the schools of their kids, and go to their work. If they are going to do this to us, we are going to respond in the same way, to let people know their neighbors are extremists, that they are anti-immigrant.”

The site Help Save Maryland warns citizens that Casa de Maryland encourages illegal immigration and provides links to a case study on the Langley Park mansion project and a disturbing pamphlet that instructs immigrants in what to do in case of immigration raids.

Did tax dollars pay for this document? The Department of Labor's website shows that OSHA gave a grant of $200,000 to Casa de Maryland, and $225,000 to an affiliate group. The money was described as being for:

The grantee will provide training for high-risk Latino workers in the construction, building and grounds maintenance, agricultural, and warehouse industries in Maryland. Training will be offered through local community colleges and employment centers. Training will include a train-the-trainer module. The training and/or materials will be offered in English and Spanish. Click pictures to enlarge.

The Obligatory ACORN Connection

Politics as Usual

Major players behind Casa de Maryland include Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Perez. Perez, a former member of Casa de Maryland's board, worked on O’Malley’s 2006 campaign, Obama's presidential campaign, and was a member of Obama's transition team. Byron York describes Perez's work with the DOJ:

"Of all the transformations that have taken place in the Obama administration, perhaps none is so radical as that within the Civil Rights Division. Under Perez, it is bigger, richer and more aggressive than ever, with a far more expansive view of its authority than at any time in recent history.

Perez is playing a leading role in the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona's new immigration law. He is promising a huge increase in prosecution of alleged hate crimes."

Readers may remember that Perez was also actively involved in the dismissal of charges in the DOJ case again the New Black Panther Party and has been accused of lying under oath about the case.

It appears that Casa de Maryland has friends in high places.

As Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley prepares to face off with former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the general election, one has to wonder what win for either side would mean for Casa de Maryland. If O'Malley is elected, the group should anticipate more funding but with two of Ehrlich's former staff members on record supporting the group, one has to wonder if this will be yet another case of different party-same political corruption.

Cross-posted at Emerging

Suspicious Fire, Massive Voter Registration Fraud Plague County with ACORN-tied State Representative

An article posted at the site Texas GOP Vote highlights the close connection between Representative Kristin Thibuat and ACORN:

"The Republican Party of Texas today unveiled a new website, The site documents Democrat state Rep. Kristi Thibaut’s sordid past and her involvement with the notorious leftwing organization ACORN. Thibaut is the incumbent in House District 133.”

House District 133 encompasses Harris County, Texas the site of massive ACORN-like voter registration fraud and where a mysterious fire destroyed most of the voting machines in the county last week.

"Another blow has been dealt to voters in Harris County, Texas just days after the Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez released a 72 page PowerPoint on voting irregularities from a local group similar to the infamous ACORN.

'The integrity of the voting rolls in Harris County, Texas, appears to be under an organized and systematic attack by the group operating under the name Houston Votes,” Vasquez said at a 2 p.m. press conference at his office, where he also released copies of applications in some of the most egregious cases.'

[Friday], voters are waking up with the news that the Harris County Election Technology Center was the site of a massive three-alarm fire early this morning."

As the site points out, Thibaut, actively worked for ACORN for a number of years, and was even a paid lobbyist for the group. Screen shot below. Click to enlarge.

By the way, yes, there was money flowing back and forth between Thibaut and ACORN

A meeting was held yesterday in Harris County regarding purchasing new voting machines or other options regarding the upcoming elections.

Considering the current political climate and the impending sense of doom that most Democrats are experiencing a situation is emerging it Harris County Texas and it reeks of corruption. Will voters have a chance to have their voices heard or are political players stacking the deck?

Cross-posted at my new site Emerging Corruption

Facts Obama Doesn't Want You to Connect

Cross-Posted from my new site Emerging Corruption.

What really happened during the 2008 elections? Recent information regarding the primary caucuses paints the picture of a campaign that would stop at nothing to win. A campaign that was willing to strong arm candidates and volunteers in order to meet its goal. The documentary We Will Not Be Silenced delves into the Obama 2008 Campaign.

“We believe The Democratic National Committee (DNC) made a grave error by depriving American voters of their choice of Hillary Clinton as Democratic nominee. Senator Clinton, by all accounts, except caucuses, won the Primary Election and, therefore, should be the 2008 Democratic Nominee. That didn't happen, due largely to illegitimate and illegal acts. We have interviews of many accounts from caucus states recounting threats, intimidation, lies, stolen documents, falsified documents, busing in voters in exchange for paying for "dinners," etc. There are at least 2000 complaints, in Texas alone, of irregularities directed towards the Obama Campaign, that have lead to a very fractured and broken Democratic Party.”

In July, the 2007 2nd Quarter Obama Donor List was revealed and tied back to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and its sister organization Project Vote. On Friday, August 13th a three-judge panel of the United States Court of appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a funding ban on ACORN stemming from Congressional action:

"Congress cut off ACORN’s federal funding last year in response to allegations the group engaged in voter registration fraud and embezzlement and violated the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities."

A clear picture of Obama and his desire to win has emerged and the public is now aware of strong arm tactics and illicit coordination with groups like ACORN. Will an imminent FEC complaint reveal that ACORN/Project Vote used tax-exemept grants and funds to run a partisan voter registration drive to get Obama elected?

Project Vote's 2007-2008 Development Plan lays out a plan to raise over $20 million dollars through a program that including targeting maxed-out presidential donors. The plan-- unaltered since June of 2007 -- can be found here.

What is particularly interesting about the plan is that Sandy Newman is mentioned several times including in a the section below.

"Establish a 'Finance Committee' who will serve as the financial voice of PV. Put together a small group of PV core funders and/or supporters who can solicit new donors and/or connect PV staff to donors or the appropriate contacts. Points: Sandy, Zach, Jeff, Slater, and Karyn"

As a Development Associate with Project Vote, I attended meetings with Sandy Newman, Zach Polett, and Karyn Gillette at Newman's offices in downtown Washington, DC. As a founder of the organization, Newman was extremely involved in Project Vote's finances despite having left the leadership staff in the early nineties. Newman is mentioned on Obama's website as a friend, and mentor. Click to enlarge.

According to Ballotpedia:

“Project Vote (or Voting for America, Inc.[1]) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. According to its website, Project Vote provides "professional training, management, evaluation and technical services on a broad continuum of key issues related to voter engagement and participation in low-income and minority communities." It was founded in 1982 by Sandy Newman and its current executive director is Michael Slater, who has worked for Project Vote since 2004.”

The problem with lying is that it often becomes hard to keep those lies straight. Project Vote's own website states that it has been around since 1982 and several of its grant application reference this year, but Project Vote and Obama both maintain that he worked for a different organization that was started around 1994. This organization, they claim, of course, was never affiliated with ACORN. The screen shot below was taken last year of Project Vote's website.

Interestingly, Project Vote's own tax returns repeat this lie as seen in the screen shot below:

Maybe Michael Slater of Project Vote can explain why their website says one thing but their tax returns say another.

Back to Sandy Newman. In 2007, Newman did reach out to potential funders and penned a memo to interested parties in the voter registration/participation community. Newman stressed the importance of the work that ACORN/Project Vote and how important the 2008 elections were.

“Together with the voters added to and remaining on the rolls because of the registration drives conducted over the last two cycles, voters galvanized by these three kinds of programs (even before counting voter turnout work) would exceed the 2004 presidential margin in nine states! They would also have an important impact (whomever they may choose to support) on other elections up and down the ballot, from US House and Senate races, Governor and Secretary of State through state legislature and races at the bottom of the ballot”

Newman also urged funders to give even if the reasons may have been to influence the outcome of the election. Newman gently suggested other ways of giving.

“They may also believe that reducing such distortions is likely to yield policies more in keeping with the interests of those whose representation in the electoral process has been inadequate. The fact that a donor may hold such a belief, or even that it may motivate giving decisions, does not cause a charitable contribution to be improper, provided that the donor intends that the actual work supported remain strictly non-partisan – that is, the work supported may not provide support or opposition to any candidate or party.”

As the chart below reveals, ACORN/Project Vote's voter registration drive was not targeted at registering voters as it was at winning for Democrats. A number of their political plans and ACORN's own endorsements of the likes of Obama and Donna Edwards made it clear whose side they were on.

In 2008, it was revealed that the Obama Campaign had given over $800,000 to an ACORN affiliate, Citizens Service Inc,

"The Ohio primary was March 4. According to FEC records, the Obama campaign paid Citizens Services Inc. $832,598.29, from Feb. 25 to May 17.

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

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

Project Vote's own 2009 tax returns reveal that it gave a similar amount to CSI.

Here is the explanation:

Ballotpedia quotes from a New York Times article that references the Elizabeth Kingsley report gives insight into who Project Vote was paying at CSI.

"An example would be Zach Pollett, formerly Project Vote’s executive director and also ACORN's political director, until July, when he relinquished the former title. Mr. Pollett continues to work as a consultant for Project Vote through another Acorn affiliate"

As evidence continues to mount against Obama and ACORN it remains to be seen how long Obama's Teflon will last. While the public was distracted by ACORN's antics like registering Mickey Mouse to vote, the group implemented a strategic plan in battleground states to produce the right margin of victory for Democrats. ACORN's own 2008 Get Out the Vote plan illustrates how this was done. Click to enlarge.

ACORN's impact in shaping American politics has become clearer since Obama took office. Considering the number of corrupt politicians holding office, that ACORN effect should not be surprising, nevertheless, the actual numbers are quite startling.

When you break those numbers down by battleground state, the true threat of ACORN and its friends becomes even clearer.

With his ineffective leadership, lies to the American people and an imploding economy, the commander-in-chief is starting to resemble yet another corrupt politician from ACORN- a usurper intent on making deals and passing agendas that push America closer to ACORN's socialist utopia.

Why Georgia's 12th CD Should be on Everyone's Mind

When Howard Dean implemented his "50 State Strategy" most, including some in his own party, considered his plan to be unworkable and more importantly "unwinnable". After the resounding sweep of the Democrats in 2006 and Obama in 2008, the RNC has only feebly attempted to replicate this strategy.

From Wikipedia:

"As chairman of the party, Dean created and employed the '50 State Strategy' that attempted to make Democrats competitive in normally conservative states often dismissed in the past as 'solid red.' The success of the strategy became apparent after the 2006 midterm elections, where Democrats took back the House and picked up seats in the Senate from normally Republican states such as Missouri and Montana. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama used 'The 50 state strategy' as the backbone of his candidacy."

As the November 2010 mid-term elections rapidly approaches it  is now even more important to focus on every race, every state, and every primary. Blogger Melissa Clouthier describes the problem in the Republican party:

"The Republicans conceding in between elections as well as races, themselves, has been a tremendous source of irritation. It is one thing to microtarget and write off a district because it’s 'unwinnable'. The problem is that too many areas were written off that could, in this election, be won. And now, with no foundation there, it makes the task of winning more difficult. Texas isn’t the only place this has happened. In fact, this is a problem nationwide for Republicans. With a lack of organization and get out the vote effort and the lack of relationship building, many potentially winnable races will be lost simply because there is no there, there. It’s been conceded."

Clouthier's article includes a review of a primary race in a solidly red state of Georgia. In Georgia's 12th Congressional district candidate Ray McKinney is running a tight primary race against former fire chief Carl Smith, Jr. McKinney, a former supporter of Smith, has run a solid campaign while Smith has been embroiled in a number of ethical situations reminiscent of Democrat candidates. This is where the problem lies, as the Tea Party activists have become more politically savvy, every candidate must be held to a higher standard. To ensure a government that is free of corruption, the people must be willing to expose those within their own party whose actions are not aligned with our values.

According to the Savannah Business Journal:

"On June 9, Thunderbolt Town Council terminated Smith’s $52,000 a year position as Thunderbolt’s Fire Chief. The reasons behind the termination have publicly varied – officially it's financial reasons, unofficially Smith took too much time off to campaign, and to Smith it’s all politically motivated..."

According to local reports, Smith was advised by former congressional candidate Wayne Mosley, members of the 12th District executive board, and Ray McKinney, that to avoid appearance of conflict of interest, he should resign as Fire Chief to run for Congress. Obviously Smith declined that advice and now there are allegations by concerned citizens in the district that not only was Smith an absentee fire chief but that he may have violated the Hatch Act.

Part of the 50 page watchdog report states:

" The Hatch Act of 1939 was introduced to prevent corruption in government and elections. Its main provision prevents federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. However, it also applies to employees of state and local governments.....

Currently in Georgia’s 12th congressional district, a public official who has applied for and received federal funds in his capacity as chief of the Thunderbolt Fire Department is in violation of the Hatch Act."

The report alleges that Smith, in his role as Fire Chief, used his office, uniform, and vehicle to campaign for public office in violation of the Hatch Act. Evidence included screen shots of Smith's website which show him in various official uniforms on his campaign website and in fund raising letters like the ones below.

The report also includes information on the Federal funds that Smith had either applied or lobbied for in his capacity as Thunderbolt Fire Chief.

As the report points out, politicians in others states have been found in violation of the Hatch act for amounts less than shown above and in one instance, the state of Utah must either forfeit federal funds or force a state senator to resign.

Ray McKinney's camp is taking this primary seriously and according to the Savannah Business Journal, has raised $100,000 already. McKinney, who I met at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in April, and again in DC over dinner, has been endorsed by local Tea Party groups and One Nation PAC,  has been praised by the NRA and has a plan to clean up the Gulf oil spill.

Character counts in selecting elected officials and Republicans must be willing to recognize the early signs of susceptibility to corruption within our ranks. When representatives go across the aisle on votes like Cap and Trade or Wall Street reform, voters are left wondering what happened. That's why every race counts. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, operated under the idea that “all politics is local.” As seen in other districts like California's 37th Congressional district where Star Parker is running to unseat Representative Laura Richardson, a corrupt local politician can became a national problem with the outcome of one election.

If Republicans introduce their own problem candidate into the November 2010 election, they run the risk of handing that district over to a Democrat who will capitalize on Smith's current troubles.

Smith's ethical issues only highlight McKinney as the viable candidate and a costly run-off will distract from the main goal for putting the Democrat candidate on the defensive. If Republicans unite in GA-12, McKinney is the best choice for a sustainable conservative majority. To donate or find out more information about McKinney, go here. Every race, every state.

Did Jack McConnell Lie About ACORN During His Confirmation Hearing?

The ACORN apologists over at Media Matters were hard at work last week as they took time to once again whitewash or ignore the truth in order to protect ACORN. Even though Media Matters claims that my article titled “Radical Judicial Nominee Jack McConnell’s Disturbing ACORN Connections" is "nothing new" and the connections I drew in the article "between ACORN and progressives" are "even weaker than previous conservative attacks," Media Matters apparently felt a need to try to refute it. Why write about "nothing new"?

Unfortunately for Media Matters, its arguments only work as long as its readers are content with ignoring key facts about ACORN and its role in politics, elections and government itself.

As stated in my previous article posted at many websites, including, there are several disturbing connections involving Jack McConnell, the lead paint litigation, and ACORN. Keeping in mind that this is the same “news organization” that still insists that ACORN's alter ego Project Vote was totally separate from ACORN when Barack Obama worked for them, I will let ACORN's own words explain its involvement in the Sherwin-Williams California case. The excerpt below is from page 59 of an ACORN report available here (click to enlarge).

Why would Media Matters ignore ACORN's own words? For the same reason it tries to dismiss my article as a conservative attempt to use ACORN as the “boogeyman.” By omitting the fact that I worked for ACORN and testified against ACORN/Project Vote in 2008, Media Matters hopes to downplay the significance of my knowledge of ACORN's inner workings and its relationships with others.

In fact, while in the DC office of ACORN/Project Vote I worked on projects that allowed me to discover that among the donors to Project Vote was the private law firm involved in the California lead paint case.

Court documents show that the petitioners, California counties and cities, had not only hired Jack McConnell’s firm, Motley Rice, but also "Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy" (and others) to represent them against the paint companies (interestingly, the Santa Clara County counsel who initiated the lead paint case was appointed by the Obama administration to the Justice Department last year).

Not only did Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy give over $10,000 to ACORN's Project Vote,  they were ACORN's own attorneys. The connection between Motley Rice, ACORN and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy is crystal clear in a reference here from page 31 of a 2006 report by ACORN.

"Amy Schur, directing this effort, was vigilant, and having dogged them all year, has constructed a legal strategy with ALERT and the Cachet firm [sic Cotchett] that has now brought the cities of San Diego and Los Angeles into the lawsuit."

ACORN founder Wade Rathke mentions donor/attorney Naill McCarthy by name and also explains the lead paint litigation strategy in his book Citizen Wealth.

Wade goes on to explain how organizations like ACORN use litigation to gain power.

To recap for the Media Matters readers who may be used to having their news filtered:

  1. ACORN staged a NATIONWIDE campaign against paint company Sherwin Williams.
  2. ACORN turned down settlements to clean up the damage because it wanted money.
  3. ACORN and its attorneys were in the final stages of given ACORN a seat in the negotiation process in the California case.
  4. Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy represented ACORN in similar cases against Household Finance and Wells Fargo.

Don't be fooled by the misspelling in the ACORN report, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy is the same law firm that successfully represented ACORN in the Wells Fargo case.

“Wells Fargo Financial, Inc., the consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, and the law firms of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy (Burlingame, Calif.) and Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. (Madison, Wisc.) said they have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit.....

In the proposed settlement, Wells Fargo Financial commits to continue for three years several improvements it had already put into practice, which have further strengthened its nonprime real estate-secured lending practices, and to implement other practices to benefit its customers. It also agrees to enact a default relief program, earmarking $2.4 million to provide relief to qualifying class members whose loans have become delinquent by more than 60 days. Qualifying class members who submit claims may also be entitled to cash payments, which will be determined using a formula to disburse up to $4.4 million.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a party to the lawsuit, had alleged that Wells Fargo Financial failed to adequately disclose points and prepayment penalties and had inaccurately reported loan balances on some of its California customers to credit reporting agencies."

ACORN involvement in the lead paint issue was tremendous. Besides releasing reports and, staging protests (both national and international), ACORN even dedicated a separate website to the cause.

ACORN demonstrations included:

A reasonable person would say that given ACORN's relationship with former Rhode Island Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse and current United States Senator (an enthusiastic supporter of Jack McConnell's nomination), and its work with Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy on settlements, does raise the question as whether Motley Rice's agreement with DuPont paint deserves more scrutiny.

"It's odd and I think unlawful that the Attorney General, in a sense, appropriated the DuPont settlement moneys for his own purposes. It's curious part of the money went to his alma mater, another part w[ent] to pay off a pledge made by Motley Rice to a Boston hospital, then the rest of the money went to the Children's Health Forum, which is not based in Rhode Island at all."

The fact that ACORN Advisory Committee member and long time ACORN ally Henry Cisneros is on the board of the Children's Health Forum could be considered a coincidence to the folks over at Media Matters, but what if I were to tell you that the Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa was on the advisory committee of the Children's Health Forum?

In 2009 Cisneros was honored for his commitment to ACORN while Villaraigosa engaged in crisis PR for the group. Side note:  Villaraigosa is also board members of the Institute for America's Future, a group that goes out of its way to protect ACORN interests.

Either Jack McConnell’s law firm Motley Rice was totally oblivious to the FACT that Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy were in the FINAL stages of securing ACORN a seat next to them  at the negotiating table or McConnell lied during his confirmation hearing (see transcript below)

SEN. KYL: I understand. My five minutes is up. It's kind of hard to have continuity in questioning when we have this kind of limitation. I understood the point you were originally trying to make, but if I can -- and I have a couple more minutes' worth of questions just as a follow up to this.

My point really was not only, is it right to seek this as a movement, but whether you actually encourage these lawsuits in other states -- you or your law firm -- did you?

MR. MCCONNELL: No, Senator, we did not.

SEN. KYL: Are you aware of any role by the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now -- that's ACORN -- in how those cases might have come to be filed?

MR. MCCONNELL: No, neither I nor my firm have had any relationship with ACORN.

President Clinton said that his answer depended upon what the meaning of the word is is. McConnell might say that it depends upon what a relationship is. Apparently McConnell did not want to acknowledge any kind of relationship to ACORN by the time his confirmation hearing was held. Still, McConnell, his firm and ACORN are all connected. McConnell's key role in the lead paint litigation in Rhode Island, where ACORN had a significant presence, and his law firm's subsequent participation in the California lead paint case on the side of ACORN and its California law firm contradict his unqualified assurance that neither he nor his firm "had any relationship with ACORN."

To quote from ACORN Report shown in the screen shots above:

p. 38: "Luck would have it that the major CA lawsuit against the paint industry is being handled by the same law firm handling our Wells Fargo case [Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy]--and they want to work together on the lead case. Over the last month we have been able to convince several major CA cities and school districts to join the lawsuit. In a potentially important precedent for our role in these types of cases, we are in the final stages of negotiating a seat for ALERT (ACORN Law for Education, Representation & Training) on the legal team for the case, which puts us at the table--and in the settlement negotiations."

P. 59: December 2006--"ACORN gets 2 cities and 2 school districts in CA to join a lawsuit against paint companies"



Key ACORN leaders gather in DC to help plan America's future

Last week's America's Future Now Conference, hosted by the Campaign for America's future, attracted progressive groups from around the country, including MoveOn, SEIU, ACORN's Project Vote and politicians such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Barbara Lee.

Despite ongoing investigations by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and voter fraud allegations in several states, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN continues to maintain its innocence regarding the undercover videos that led to the “dissolution” of the national group. Prominent politicians like Pelosi and Lee have been willing to lend their credibility to ACORN and other radical organizations by ignoring details like the FBI documents released last week by Judicial Watch.

The documents include handwritten notes from FBI investigators interviewing canvassers working with Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate. Among the highlights from the FBI handwritten notes:

Tom Fitton, president of Judaical Watch raised significant points when he stated:

“These documents show the need for a national criminal investigation by the Obama Justice Department into ACORN. Is Attorney General Holder doing nothing because of Obama’s close connections to ACORN and Project Vote? The information in these new documents has national implications that cry out for further investigation.”

Lawmakers like Representative Donna Edwards who attended the conference have never worried about their connections to ACORN in the past and (considering the speakers listed below) most are willing to turn a blind eye to its transgressions.

This may explain why, when most Americans were beginning their work week, ACORN leaders like Zach Polett were welcomed at a conference called America's Future Now.

Amid numerous reports of its demise, ACORN sent various top leaders to Washington, DC last week. That statement may bring to mind ACORN's CEO Bertha Lewis.

However, ACORN's true leaders have always prided themselves on remaining behind the scenes. Zach Polett, pictured below, is the former Executive Director of Project Vote, former head of ACORN Political Operations and a founding member of ACORN. Polett in his own words, was also once the supervisor of Barack Obama when he worked at Project Vote in the 1990's

Joining Polett last week were ACORN leader, Steve Kest (picture below) and Project Vote Executive Director Michael Slater. If one can imagine the America's Future Now conference like a high school reunion, the ACORN leaders were obviously the football team.

Efforts were made to protect the already "victimized" ACORN from any unwanted scrutiny (more on that later) but it is interesting to note that facts mean little to radical liberals and their “progressive” friends. Hundreds of pages of notes, testimony and evidence exist that suggest that ACORN is a criminal organization set up in a manner that is subversive and harmful, but lawmakers, and apparently the FBI are content to ignore critical facts in fear of where a full investigation would lead.

The fact of the matter is Barack Obama is a liar who has used his position to cover up the very criminal activity that got him elected president. In May of 2009, Bill O'Reilly began to delve into the ACORN/Obama story but stopped short after my statement that ACORN operated as an “unofficial arm of the Democratic Party.” O'Reilly chose to form a truce with the White House after pressure from the administration about Fox's anti-Obama stance and the mainstream media continue to ignore the true story.

Not surprisingly, my testimony in Pennsylvania in 2008 mirrors the FBI notes released last week, and it has been over a year since Heather Heidelbaugh presented testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Yet, instead of investigating, top House Democrats wait for more “credible evidence.” Among the evidence ignored by House Democrats are:

  • Project Vote receives donor lists from other Democratic and labor union sources: John Kerry campaign, [Hilary] Clinton campaign, Barack Obama campaign, Democratic National Committee, America Coming Together (“ACT”) (p.3)
  • Project Vote development plan was to ‘approach maxed out presidential donors’, and ‘allegedly use the funds for voter registration drives’ (pp.3-4)
  • ACORN ‘employees’ were paid through Project Vote for partisan campaign activities telling voters … “don’t vote for Albert Win (sic) or vote for this person” (p. 4)
  • There were no divisions between the staff of ACORN and Project Vote, and persons working for one entity actually perform work for either or both organizations (p. 4)
  • The Obama campaign’s donor list was part of the evidence admitted into the hearing on the injunction in October 2008 (p. 5)

ACORN's work has been critical to the Democrats to secure and maintain their majority in Congress. My blog posts have noted this repeatedly, but here is ACORN in its own words from page 46 of a 2006 report describing how they will leverage power with the new Democratic controlled Congress (available here). Click to enlarge.

After two full days of speakers and workshops, the attendees gathered for an awards ceremony on Tuesday night. Awardees included the leftist liberal donor Peter Lewis of Progressive Insurance Company and this reporter arrived early to the event. After inquiring about a ticket for the dinner, I decided to give the VIPs a chance to gather their tickets while I walked around.

Judging from the amount of protection that ACORN received at the America's Future Now conference, it is obvious that other liberal groups consider ACORN's work to still be critical to passing the radical agenda.

What happened next can only be described as roaches reacting to sunlight. After smiling for the camera, a stunned Zach Polett of ACORN reacted by scurrying across the room to find Michael Slater of Project Vote while Steve Kest of ACORN attempted to duck into another room with a piano in it. The group chatting so animatedly just a few minutes ago closed ranks (probably to hide other radicals from the lens of my camera).

Inside the awards event Representative Donna Edwards and ACORN insiders discussed plans for America's future, but in the hall I was denied entry to the event after words from Michael Slater to the event staff . Though it had been confirmed minutes early that there were seats available I was told that tables had just been removed. When I decided to wait in hopes of getting a seat, a staffer named Alex Lawson came rushing out with Tommy Christopher from Mediaite.

Apparently, an everyday American is no longer allowed to ask questions or attend conferences with names like America's Future Now. The ACORN leaders inside had complained of pictures being taken and I was grilled (while Mediaite videotaped the incident). ACORN could no longer ignore my statements against them so Lawson was sent to remove me from the event. Lawson accused me of working for Andrew Breitbart (which has been revealed to be a Democrat talking point) and refused to sell me a ticket to an event at which public officials, progressive organizations and ACORN celebrated their success in taking America to the far left.

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that ACORN has not disbanded but merely reformed. One has to wonder what else ACORN and its friends are hiding. SEIU, MoveOn, Media Matters and the Center for Community change have all jumped to ACORN's defense and by discounting the mounting evidence against ACORN, it appears that ACORN is "to big to fail." The implications of admitting that ACORN is a corruption, socialist organization could implicate dozens of funders, allies, partners and politicians.

Who else was hiding behind the liberal wall at the America's Future Now conference? Could it have been Jeffrey Robinson of Citizen Services Inc, the ACORN affiliate that was contracted by the Obama campaign for "get out the vote" activities.

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

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

The same leaders who covered up an embezzlement scandal, ran a massive voter registration drive riddled with fraud and coordinated with the Obama campaign to violate Federal election law are still in place. A glance at Zach Polett's friend list illustrates this point, from Heather Booth to Tom Matzzie of MoveOn, Polett's friends have been instrumental in the Democrat party for decades.


The one lesson I took away from the America's Future Now conference after being turned away is that America is in peril. The left is on a collision course with the Constitution and our freedoms. Among the handouts I picked out was a booklet that laid out the plan for a "Democratic and Socialist Future." I will share more about this booklet later but it's important to see that the past two years have shown Americans the political lives of ACORN and exposed the depth of deception Democrats will sink in order to protect their "vote making" machine.

Obama has lied repeatedly about his background,  and his ties to ACORN. It's time to go after the leaders behind ACORN, and the politicians who are shredding the Constitution for them.

You can follow Anita on her blog or on Twitter.


OFA and the DNC: ACORN 2.0

If elections were like football games, this would be your two minute warning.  All of the passion, energy and renewed interest in politics that propelled the tea party movement of 2009 opens the door to a new level of involvement. As patriot groups around the country prepare for the November 2010 elections, a quiet force has been building behind the scenes.

Investigative reporter Carol Greenberg's work inside Obama's Organizing for America has already helped expose the OFA's connection to ACORN and its network of top Democrat party insiders. Greenberg's latest article explains the OFA plan to deploy rapid response teams to Ohio ahead of the elections.

Any liberal discussion of Ohio includes the sentiment that “Ohio is ground zero for the left.” Long a playground for groups like ACORN, they conducted voter experiments, filed lawsuits against the state and their voter fraud shenanigans led to a civil RICO suit brought by the Buckeye Institute. ACORN's settlement of the case required that it surrender its business license in the state.

Unfortunately for conservatives, the awareness of ACORN's network of organizations and mob like behavior come at a time when he same political workeasily be done by Obama's permanent campaign. A campaign that was absorbed into the Democratic National Committee after it ceased being Obama for America.

Obama's ACORN cronies designed a system that could be substantial from any number of leftist organizations, including the DNC.

“Apparently, ACORN and Project Vote were 'smack dab' in the middle of another one of Obama’s voter registration drives. According to ACORN reports, ACORN was Catalist’s first client. Let me be clear, the ACORN VBASE, is the archetype of the Obama campaign. ACORN’s technology combined with union money elected a president.”

Draft slides of a 2006 Project Vote PowerPoint show that Project Vote's method could produce the desired results to sway an election.


Critics of Project Vote and ACORN underestimate their effectiveness in contacting voters to move them on an issue or to the polls.

Other slides detail their plans to turn this Voter Mobilization Network over to the leftist friends (including the DNC).

The left may scoff at whether this connection exists, but Karyn Gillette, then development director of Project Vote, also gave me a copy of the 2004 DNC donor list to work from. Karyn Gillette came to Project Vote from Ohio where she was employed by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

“According to a court filing in Ohio alleging ACORN violated state Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, 'Project Vote, regularly advises Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (hereinafter “Secretary Brunner”) on election strategy, and recently issuing a news release claiming credit for Secretary Brunner’s directive restricting challenges to suspected unlawful voter registrations.'

"Maurice Thompson, the attorney handling the Ohio RICO action, told me late yesterday, 'Evidence of collusion amongst ACORN, Project Vote, the Obama Campaign and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner comes as no surprise to us -- these supposedly separate entities appear to have been co-mingling funds, trading political tips, and helping each other gain power for years now.'"

Here is a screen shot of the email Gillette sent to email addresses containing the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Though a number of news outlets like the New York Times had copies of the DNC donor list,  it was never made public, until today.

Click here to view the DNC major donor list ACORN used to fundraise for its voter registration drives.

The OFA's organizing machine can track millions of calls and mobilize countless volunteers and it would behoove the right to take notice. Twitter and Facebook may spread the message and connect folks but there is a serious need for some good old fashion grassroots door knocking. If conservatives are going to win in November there must be a combination of new and old organizing. In 2004 Ohio surprised the nation by going red for Bush. As many others have noted, there was initially a

...lack of outreach among African American communities. Karl Rove proved in 2004 with black voters in Ohio that persons should not assume that African Americans will consistently vote progressive."

Organizing for America has stopped the game clock with the unveiling of Vote 2010. November is the goal and they have the ball. Kickoff events are scheduled around the country for June 5th. Inviting emails with subjects like “What are you doing Saturday?” are making the rounds.

Conservatives, what are you doing this Saturday? If you want to win in November, it should be attending one of those kickoff parties. OFA, it's the new ACORN. Learn who they are and how they operate. Click here to find an event near you or to sign up for their updates. If the OFA can continue to organize to pass Obama's agenda and maintain the Congressional majorities, and all of the momentum of the past year and a half will be lost.


Radical Judicial Nominee Jack McConnell's Disturbing ACORN Connections

“If you make a mess, you have to help clean it up”, John "Jack" McConnell said in his opening statement in a case that would have lasting and costly effects. From the looks of things McConnell and his friends may need a mop because there is a trail of corruption originating from Rhode Island that has spread to DC and polluted the country. McConnell's nomination for the Rhode Island's federal court reeks of backroom deals and paybacks.

“President Barack Obama nominated Jack McConnell in March for a spot on the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island. He was recommended by the state's two senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.”

The Heritage Foundation explains McConnell's background:

“Another of McConnell 's claims to fame is the lead paint litigation in Rhode Island and Wisconsin. In Rhode Island, McConnell's law firm shopped a lawsuit against the former makers of lead paint to Whitehouse, when the latter was that state's Attorney General. Whitehouse's successor ratified a decision that Whitehouse made and contracted out the state's power to sue in the public interest to McConnell's law firm. In the lawsuit, which McConnell considers one of his most significant, the state sought an order directing the companies to abate lead pigment in all buildings in Rhode Island that were accessible to children on the ground that the buildings were a 'public nuisance.'

The Rhode Island Supreme Court recognized that lead poisoning was a serious public health problem, but declined to play the role of the legislature and create a new cause of action to address it, as McConnell 's lawsuit wanted it to do."

Have angry mob, will travel

Naturally, when there is an opportunity to exploit the situation, attack business, and make some money, ACORN is not far behind. As so called leaders in the 'social justice' movement, ACORN was active in lead paint initiative early on. Whether it was state and local grants or lucrative partnerships, ACORN was ready to sign on. In the case of Rhode Island, ACORN formed an alliance with an organization called the Childhood Lead Action Project (CLAP). CLAP was instrumental in pushing the litigation in Ohio and joined with ACORN to file an amicus brief on behalf of McConnell's case.

A one time partnership on a case of mutual interest can be overlooked but ACORN and the Childhood Lead Action Project teamed up on a number of projects including

Rhode Island Diesel Pollution Initiative

The National Low Income Housing Coalition

The Fund for Community Progress

The Childhood Lead Action Project presented Jack McConnell with the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award and McConnell's firm Motley & Rice LLC. donated funds to CLAP.

Steal from the rich and give to the liberal rich.

With ACORN organizing protests across the country against McConnell's target Sherwin-Williams, the “advocacy group” was able to maintain leverage over negotiations and even described their motives to a gathering of staff in December of 2006:

“As an outgrowth of the neighborhood lead-based campaigns in recent years, the profile of our lead work leaped forward targeting giant paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams. Legal settlements in Rhode Island most notably gave us encouragement that some level of victory was possible in finally winning remediation for the impacts of lead paint.

The initial gamut of the company and others was to attempt to force us to tread water with the trade association, but meetings won through early actions produced nothing. Amy Schur, directing this effort, was vigilant, and having dogged them all year, has constructed a legal strategy with ALERT and the Cachet firm that has now brought the cities of San Diego and Los Angeles into the lawsuit.”

Read more on page 31 of the ACORN 2006 YEYB Report.

ACORN insiders go on to describe how the organization is more concerned about using the lawsuits to force a monetary settlement for the organization than for removing lead paint (emphasis mine):

“We knew going into this campaign that we faced a particular challenge in the current environment. They can settle with ACORN, but still haven’t gotten rid of their biggest problem – the city and state lawsuits.

Over the last 6 months our primary strategy has been to demonstrate to Sherwin-Williams that ACORN has the capacity to compound their legal problems, primarily by getting more cities and states to sue. While right now there is a chance that the company’s legal problems will grow significantly, ACORN’s work could almost ensure that this would be the case. So, deal with ACORN to take out that factor, and they might hope to beat back the worst of what could come.

Sherwin-Williams hasn’t wanted to deal, so we now either give up or make good on our threat. The problem is, while we can get more state lawsuits moving, and these very well may lead to the homes in our neighborhoods being made lead safe, securing the final victory is in the hands of the AG’s and how do we benefit organizationally?

Luck would have it that the major CA lawsuit against the paint industry is being handled by the same law firm handling our Wells Fargo case – and they want to work together on the lead case. Over the last month we have been able to convince several major CA cities and school districts to join the lawsuit. In a potentially important precedent for our role in these types of cases, we are in the final stages of negotiating a seat for ALERT (ACORN Law for Education, Representation & Training) on the legal team for the case, which puts us at the table - and in the settlement negotiations.”

ACORN's above statement raises questions as to whether McConnell was candid to Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas when Cornyn “a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked John McConnell Jr. if it was appropriate for a lawyer to solicit a school board as a client in a lead paint lawsuit even if the district is not sure its schools contain lead paint.”

Written Questions from Sen. John Cornyn and Written Answers from Nominee John McConnell Jr.

16. Attached as Exhibit A is an August 2, 2000 memorandum from a Texas plaintiffs' law firm to Texas school board members lobbying the school board to join a lead based paint remediation lawsuit that was headed by Ness Motley, predecessor to Motley Rice LLC and your firm at the time.

a. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a lawyer to solicit a school board as a client in a lead-based paint remediation lawsuit if the district is not aware whether district school buildings have lead-based paint and is not aware of any past remediation costs?

Response: No.

b. Do you believe that it is appropriate for a lawyer, in soliciting a school board as a client in a lead-based paint remediation lawsuit, to assure the district that if it recovers funds for lead-based paint remediation, those funds do not have to be spent on lead-based paint remediation, but may be placed in the general maintenance and operations fund and used for any appropriate purpose?

Response: No.

c. Did you or any attorneys with your firm help prepare the attached memorandum or the resolution attached thereto? If so, please identify who helped in the preparation.

Response: I have never seen the memo that is Attachment A and know nothing about the circumstances of the preparation or distribution of this document. I made diligent inquiry of members of my firm and they advised that they also did not have any involvement with this memo.

Amazingly the ACORN idea of targeting school districts for potential clients in lead paint litigation was used by Motley Rice, though no one cal recall doing so. More interestingly, according to court documents, Motley Rice was also involved in the California lead paint case ACORN was working on.

How much is that AG in the window?

While its no secret that McConnell is a top donor to the Democrats, it should be noted that McConnell's firm Motley Rice has given tens of thousands to Senator Whitehouse.

However, the question is whether he worked with ACORN on the lead paint lawsuit. In addition to the connection through CLAP, ACORN and McConnell's share one powerful friend. United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recommended McConnell for the Rhode Island federal court vacancy and he and McConnell have a long friendship

In 1999 Sheldon Whitehouse was attorney general of Rhode Island when he first:

“ initiated a lawsuit against the lead paint industry that ended in a mistrial; the state later won a second lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers Sherwin Williams Co., Millennium Holdings and NL Industries that found them responsible for creating a public nuisance.[4] However, this decision was unanimously overturned by the Rhode Island Supreme Court on July 1, 2008. The Court found that it is the responsibility of the property owners to abate and mitigate lead hazards (as specified by Rhode Island statute).”

ACORN and its coalition partners had tried a number of strategies before relying on the “all politics is local” mantra and employing the skills of politicians like Whitehouse who obviously had aspirations for higher office. ACORN's strategy was clear and state attorney generals were a key component of the plan. ACORN stated it would:

Work to find a second large law firm willing to develop a partnership along the lines of the one being negotiated in CA and get several more state AG’s (or cities) to work with us on a lawsuit strategy.

On page 258 of the same report ACORN finished its tale of corporate shakedowns by declaring "we plan on nothing less than a Rhode-Island style win!"

Whitehouse and McConnell worked closely on the Rhode Island lead paint case while the attorney general continued to curry favor with ACORN. In March of 2007 Senator Whitehouse proudly attended an ACORN rally in Washington DC where an ACORN leader stated:

"We need things for the needy and not the greedy,' said New York ACORN President Pat Boone at the rally. 'Congress must act now to appropriate $450 billion and fully fund these vital domestic programs, rejecting outrageous and unnecessary tax breaks for wealthy individuals.”

Whitehouse was also instrumental in using the Alberto Gonzalez scandal to politically align the stars for ACORN affiliate Project Vote. A mere two months before Project Vote released – to much fanfare and finger pointing at the right – its report Caging Democracy: A 50-Year History of Partisan Challenges to Minority Voters, Whitehouse paved the way with a provocative letter to the Department of Justice.

Reliable ACORN Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) “asked the Justice Department to investigate the alleged 'caging' of predominantly African American voters in Jacksonville, Florida by the RNC in 2004.” Rhode Island and Massachusetts are liberal testing grounds for what Project Vote called its “experiments.” Groups like ACORN pushed fusion voting, living wages and lead paint campaigns through areas filled with ACORN friendly politicians.

In 2008 Senator Whitehouse again delivered for ACORN by introducing a bill aimed at fulfilling Project Vote's action items on voter caging:

Voter Participation – ACORN is committed to helping all citizens exercise their rights to participate in the electoral process by registering people to vote. This election year, ACORN is committed to ensuring that citizens be able to register and cast their votes without fear of harassment and intimidation from dirty political tricks such as voter caging. Prohibiting voter caging, which a New York Times editorial this week called “a little known but pernicious technique,” is the goal of bills introduced in the Senate by Sheldon Whitehouse (S. 2305) and in the House by John Conyers (H.R. 2305). ACORN members will be lobbying their representatives to sign on in support of the bills.

The recommendation of McConnell by Whitehouse, a notorious member of the ACORN 7, "Chicago style politics." As James R. Copeland explained:

“But you’d have to be paying close attention to know about two of the president’s craziest choices for the federal district courts, Wisconsin’s Louis Butler and Rhode Island’s Jack McConnell.

President Obama nominated Butler last year, but the Senate returned Butler’s nomination without action after it passed through the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote; the president resubmitted the nomination on January 20 of this year.

...In 2005, Butler authored a split opinion for the court in Thomas v. Mallet, which permitted lawsuits against the manufacturers of paint that may have contained lead, even absent proof that any individual manufacturer’s paint had been used by the person or persons filing the lawsuit.

This expanded Wisconsin law to embrace the theory of “market-share liability,” a doctrine accepted in California regarding litigation against manufacturers of the anti-morning-sickness drug diethylstilbestrol but overwhelmingly rejected in other jurisdictions and contexts thereafter.”

Recently Obama's Environmental Protection agency passed new restrictions modeled after the Rhode Island and Wisconsin cases:

A new federal rule aimed at reducing exposure to toxic lead-paint chips and dust requires renovators to be trained and certified in EPA-approved methods of containing and cleaning up work areas.

…The EPA estimates that its new rule will add $8 to $167 to the cost of the average interior remodeling job, but contractors say the expense to homeowners will be much greater. "The EPA has grossly underestimated the costs to comply on any job. I can see my labor costs go up by thousands of dollars."

It appears as though ACORN and the “environmental justice” movement secured a major victory despite losing the court cases because the main goal was not a local victory. ACORN and other organizations wanted to impose national restrictions totaling billions and by using small states like Rhode Island ACORN was able to secure a temporary victory whose momentum could be used to enact national changes.

From little ACORN attorneys powerful politicians grow

If federal judgeships are for sale, "'the massive campaign contributions...approaching $700,000 over the past two decades'—by McConnell and his wife to [Senator Jack] Reed, [Senator Sheldon] Whitehouse, and an array of other Democrats" might entitle him to one. But judgeships should not be for sale and it is apparent that McConnell would be a "liberal judicial activist" and rule based on his personal empathy and political views instead of follow the law.

McConnell's involvement in lead paint cases in Ohio, Wisconsin and California without any overt mention of ACORN's work raises several red flags. What is McConnell hiding and has he been truly honest about his connections to ACORN. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time an ACORN lawyer with powerful friends was able to get a job he wasn't qualified for.


You can follow Anita on her blog or on Twitter.

Obama, ACORN and Stealth Socialism: Dire Domestic Threat

As an ex-ACORN insider and ex-radical who used Democrat donor lists to raise money for ACORN alter-ego Project Vote and designed the ACORN 2005, 2006 and 2007 Political Operations Year End PowerPoint presentations, I know that President Obama (for whom I now regretfully admit I proudly voted) was an ACORN guy for many years and realize that he became the instrument for the implementation of its stealth socialism agenda.

National Journal rated Obama the most "liberal" United States Senator, even more "liberal" than avowed socialist Bernard Sanders of Vermont (for whom then Senator Obama campaigned), because he earned it.

In her sensational New York Times no. 1 bestseller, "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies," published in 2009, intrepid Michelle Malkin generously gave me "special thanks" for daring to expose ACORN corruption and wrote about it and the New York Times cover up of the Obama/ACORN relationship in detail at pages 244-49. (Since that material was added after the manuscript had been sent to the printer, I did not make the index.)

Stealth socialism in vogue

It's not surprising that on May 3, 2010 Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliot released "The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists" and on May 15, 2010 former Speaker Newt Gingrich released a book titled "To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular Socialist Machine." Of course they are right about Obama's radical ties and "secular socialist machine." (I'm looking forward to Laura Ingraham's "The Obama Diaries," out on or about July 13, 2010, but I bet President Obama isn't.)

Even though on October 21, 2008 The New York Times killed the Obama/ACORN expose on which I been reporter Stephanie Strom's source and I decided to blow the whistle myself and appeared on Laura Ingraham's radio show before the end of the month, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News apparently did not learn about it until March of 2009 (the month in which attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, for whom I voluntarily became a witness in the Pennsylvania ACORN, testified before a Congressional committee about ACORN voter registration fraud and the New York Times cover up), it was inevitable that the truth about Obama, ACORN and "stealth socialism" finally would become generally known as the socialist agenda was implemented. After all, the idea was for Obama to deliver as President on that "fundamental change" that he promised as a presidential hopeful.

After an appealing generality becomes an examinable specific and the cost calculations are done, putting lipstick on a pig doesn't fool nearly as many people. For example, Obamacare is a massive wealth redistribution program and--no surprise--not long after it was enacted, an Obama Administration official acknowledged it and we learned that Obamacare would be much more expensive than it had been officially estimated before it was passed.

Defining stealth socialism

Graham L. Strachan explained the "stealth socialism" path this way:

"Why did the Western media persist in calling the social system in the Communist bloc ‘Communism’ instead of Socialism? They did it to manufacture a false reality: to protect the reputation of another form of Socialism which existed in the ‘Democratic Socialism’, socialism by stealth, socialism achieved through the ‘permeation’ of existing political institutions by members of organisation such as the Fabian Society, in order to influence the policies adopted by those institutions towards socialism.

"Democratic Socialism itself was based on a lie: that Socialism could be implemented peacefully through the ballot box. The implication was that if the voters didn’t like it they could vote it out again. That was a hoax. Since Socialism does not permit private ownership of property, it cannot be ‘democratic’ in the sense of allowing a choice of political Parties. This is not a matter of ideology, but of logistics. It would be impossible to have a two Party system of genuine democracy, for example, under which the state nationalised all property including business when the Socialists were voted into power, then sold it all back to the people again when they were voted out. The intention of Democratic Socialism was (and still is) to be democratic just long enough to gain power. Then it will declare the ‘end of history’ and entrench itself forever, enforcing its politically correct speech and thought on everybody, and being just as tyrannical as its Marxist revolutionary counterparts."

How to make a socialist the ACORN way

As an ACORN insider my indoctrination as a socialist was a slow but steady progression from radical liberalism to embracing the stealth socialist methods that had made ACORN a powerful force in American electoral politics. Two years ago, in the mist of a heated presidential election year, I noticed a Facebook page of Socialism 2008. The graffiti-like picture beckoned young Socialists to Chicago, Illinois on June 19th, 2008.  I RSVPed for the event on Facebook without fully understanding what had just taken place. The line between radical, liberal Democrat and socialist was almost invisible at this point.

Working for ACORN/Project Vote facilitated my crossing the “socialist”threshold and I had become what insiders termed "one of the true believers.” True believers were instrumental in the survival of ACORN and the process of making an employee a true believer began on the very first day.

Inside ACORN offices across the country, young, idealistic liberals were being ingrained with the Saul Alinsky style of Organizing. Alinsky's Rules for Radicals was never mentioned by name, but Alinsky's tactics were used on employees and ACORN members.

ACORN's strategy of stealth socialism was aimed at gaining power through duplicity and somewhat assimilating into society. Alinsky, the "father of community organizing," taught that the path to power necessitated the use of people who would serve as pawns.

"Organizing for power was Alinsky's political end, not political party influence. When he asked his new students why they wanted to organize, they would invariably respond with 'selfless bromides about wanting to help others,' according to Ryan Lizza writing in The New Republic. Alinsky would then "scream back at them that there was a one-word answer: "You want to organize for power!'"

Saul Alinsky almost single-handedly invented the modern art of community organizing...

He was a master teacher of others, and left a legion of trained disciples and organizations, including Obama and Clinton."

Every ACORN employee was given a copy of the ACORN Organizing Model, bylaws and various information on running campaigns, but the real education was in how ACORN operated behind the scenes. Like Alinsky, ACORN openly organized to build power, but ACORN's ace in the hole was the black community.

Community organizers became the “information police” for minorities in dozens of cities. As the official representative for its members, ACORN was able to frame the debate in ways that aligned with its People's Platform.  The platform is based on the socialist idea of sharing the wealth. Members were asked, even coerced, to attend rallies and protests for issues ACORN had decided would lead to power.

As students exited schools with a “liberal arts” education and a desire to help, ACORN stood ready with the social justice flag in one hand and a cigarette lighter and American flag in the other. Attending such events like Socialism 2008 was the culmination of two years of looking the other way and accepting a little bad in order to save the “movement.” Some leave ACORN at this point but the ones who stay are trusted just a little more.

The Road from radical terrorists to professors and community organizers

With greater access comes greater understanding of the true subversive nature of ACORN. As stated last summer in my article "Liberal Fallout Zones":

"Poverty is big business and a predicate for class warfare intended to perpetuate political power in the masters of that big business. In the current climate special interest groups are writing bills and influencing votes amid a huge liberal spending binge."

That spending binge is more like a bender now because ACORN, recognizing the past mistakes of other radical groups like Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society decided the best way to gain power as was to pass unnoticed in mainstream America. Radicals like Frances Fox Piven and her husband Richard A. Cloward retreated into the world of Academia where they penned papers on Socialism peppered with Alinsky tactics and a new name:

The Cloward-Piven strategy

On May 2, 1966, Columbia's Professor of Social Work Richard A. Cloward, and his then research associate Frances Fox Piven, wrote a pivotal article in The Nation, articulating "a strategy to end poverty."

In what became known as the Cloward-Piven strategy, the article argued a revolutionary approach to mobilizing the poor in the form of class warfare against capitalist forces viewed as exploiting labor and oppressing the poor.

David Horowitz, a long-time student of leftist political movements in the United States, characterized the Cloward-Piven strategy as seeking "to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse."

Cloward and Piven argued a "guaranteed annual income" should be established as an entitlement for the poor, a right the poor could assert and demand to be paid."

Other radicals like ACORN founder Wade Rathke and former Project Vote executive director, Zach Polett formed organizations and began implementing their socialist agenda while using the poor and minority communities as a defense if anyone dared question their actions. According to its website, ACORN planted its seed in American politics long ago and continues to play an “insider's game” to maintain it.

“Finally, ACORN® began playing the insiders' game in American politics. Congressional lobbying is practiced by ACORN® staff. Leaders and members became a central part of the insiders' games, too. Members elected to office or serving on APACs acquired experience and skill applying power from the inside of the political process. Instead of confronting opponents in actions (something ACORN® will never stop doing), members could trade and negotiate from inside positions of power. ACORN®'s work on the savings and loan bailout provided effective means of developing and applying power for low- and moderate- income people. ACORN® members won appointment to the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to help determine the management of the billions of dollars of assets the government seized. The payoff to these activities came, and still comes, when substantial numbers of ACORN® members developed the ability to move inside the political sphere that has for so long been closed to low- and moderate-income people.”

Wade Rathke and Zach Polett learned the path to power quickly and utilized their influence to pass the 1996 National Voter Registration Act  (the "Motor Voter" bill). Polett, seated below to the far left in a dark suit and tie, had officially brought the Arkansas based ACORN to Washington.

Interestingly, on the same page with their tales of insider dealing,  ACORN discusses how the network of unions, non-profits and corporations were created for the express purpose of pushing ACORN's socialist agenda.

“The national lobbying arm of ACORN® is only one example of the diversification within ACORN® that was basic to its success. The ACORN® Housing Corporation worked to create affordable housing in conjunction with banks and state and local government. The United Labor Unions, now Locals 100 and 880 of the Service Employees International Union, became labor organizing arms of ACORN® which organize people where they work. ACORN® Services, Inc. and the canvassing operations enhanced ACORN®'s ability to create the financial resources needed to grow. The Arkansas Institute for Social Justice became the means for developing leadership skills and political talents among the ACORN® members. What was once a relatively simple organization of community groups has became a diversified system of institutions capable of applying specialized skills to solving the kinds of problems ACORN® encounters in its work.”

Along came a socialist

In late 2006 the atmosphere in the office changed and it appeared that the senior staff were energized. Efforts to function as a real office were implemented. Project Vote began using a donor database instead of a box and attempts were made to reconcile the accounting records. In anticipation of what ACORN began calling a “once in a generation opportunity.” John Podesta from the Center for American Progress gave a speech called “Preparing for Power: The Next Cycle?" in December of that year.

After two years with ACORN I understood how they operated and took the close relationship with the Democrat party for granted. The relationship between Democrats and ACORN was that the party needed ACORN to retain their seats and ACORN needed them to pass their agenda items. ACORN's belief that indeed, all politics is local, allowed them to place people strategically in positions that would allow a run for higher office.

In 2007 when Zach Polett bragged about supervising Barack Obama and that “ACORN produces leaders,” his purpose was to energize the employees so that we would go out there and deliver. ACORN's voter registration goals and budget were unmatched and the stakes were high.

When Obama's campaign called the Project Vote offices in late 2007, I could barely contain my excitement as I relayed the information to my supervisors. After receiving the Obama 2007 2nd quarter donor list from Karyn Gillette, I had another look away moment. Were we violating FEC rules by targeting Obama's maxed out donors? Did I really want Obama to win this way? Believing that the bigger goal was helping people by implementing the ACORN agenda, I put my doubts aside and worked on pulling donors from the list (which included ALL Obama donors, not just the bigger donors required to be reported to the Federal Elections Commission).

From October 2005 until 2008, I did fundraising work with ACORN and used political donor lists. All Democrat: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Democratic National Committee. When I appeared as a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" last year, I said that ACORN had served for years as an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party, but Bill O'Reilly didn't discuss that with me. Ignoring it is exactly what the stealth socialists want.

I once asked Marcel Reid, former ACORN national board member and President of DC ACORN, how it was possible for ACORN to push its agenda and she replied “We never use the word Socialism.” ACORN's appeal was to simply implement a Socialist agenda without ever saying the word. When Wade Rathke was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Kelly asked Rathke whether he would describe himself as a socialist, and Wade answered no. Kelly proceeded to point out that the ACORN People's Platform sounded socialism. Rathke weakly tried to defend ACORN against the Socialist label by pretending the "share the wealth" philosophy was not in the ACORN Platform. You can watch the video here.

Eventually Rathke conceded that the share the wealth language was indeed present, but cited some language about the right to be rich and free.

The People's Platform (or ACORN's socialist wish list)

ACORN People's Platform can be found " href="">here and it defines what rich and free meant, and it certainly is not capitalism!

"Our riches shall be the blooming of our communities, the bounty of a sure livelihood, the beauty of homes for our families with sickness driven from the door, the benefit of our taxes rather than their burden, and the best of our energy, land, and natural resources for all people.

"Our freedom is the force of democracy, not the farce of federal fat and personal profit. In our freedom, only the people shall rule. Corporations shall have their role; producing jobs, providing products, paying taxes. No more, no less. They shall obey our wishes, respond to our needs, serve our communities. Our country shall be the citizens' wealth and our wealth shall build our country.

"Government shall have its role: public servant to our good, fast follower to our sure steps. No more, no less. Our government shall shout with the public voice and no longer to a private whisper. In our government, the common concerns shall be the collective cause."


Marcel Reid's explanation described "stealth socialism." Aggressive tactics like ACORN's protests and rallies were to gain the credibility that would allow the acceptance of a radical socialist agenda. While Reid was president of DC ACORN they proposed a plan to redistribute wealth in the Washington, DC metro area. This plan was proudly presented to the organization at the 2006 ACORN Year End, Year Beginning meeting in New Orleans. The excerpt below is from page 191 of the 2006 ACORN YEYB Annual Report (click to enlarge).

DC ACORN readily admits that "this proposal would essentially be a redistribution of wealth across the board," but stealth socialism is so effective that even conservative watchdogs have been fooled by the ever changing names of the ACORN empire.

Obama's agenda mirrors the ACORN People's Platform as evidenced by a review of the healthcare and energy sections of  the platform. On healthcare, the ACORN's socialist people's platform wants to "require the federal government to provide for the health care needs of recent immigrants. ACORN's position on Energy shows shades of Cap and Trade with goals like:

Prevent any single corporation or conglomerate from owning major interest in more than one of the following resources: oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, and coal; or more than one of the following categories: source, refinery, shipping, or outlet."

Pay no attention to the white liberal behind the curtain

The "Liberals" who elected Obama President may have a "tower of Babel" moment as gay rights, civil rights, immigration rights, environmental extremists, pro-choicers and all the other special interests that supported the Obama presidential campaign strive to push America further to the left and shed all inhibitions. As with ACORN itself, it seems impossible that the coalition that put Obama in the White House and gave Democrats huge majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives will continue to work smoothly together now that Obama and the Congressional Democrats are in control and America is learning what Obama really meant by the seductive-sounding "hope and change." ACORN needed the cloak of stealth socialism to maintain its hold on the poor. ACORN's image is synonymous with blacks and other minorities and the race card has become the last bastion of its "hope."

During its greatest crisis, ACORN replaced its white leader with a black woman in order to hide behind Bertha Lewis's skin color. What they didn't want the public to see were the white liberal leaders behind the scenes who have been staying in Executive suites and partying in the mountains.

ACORN Political Operations Retreat November 2007 (among the pictured are senior staff Patrick Winogrond, Jessica Angus, Nathan Henderson-James, Kimberly Olson, Amy Busefink and Johanna Sharrard)

Restoring the balance

Stealth socialism allowed ACORN to set the stage for Obama's "regime" as they called it internally. Wade Rathke was willing to fall on his sword in 2008 to protect Obama, and to attain what nearly 40 years organizing the country towards socialism promised. After the embezzlement scandal, ACORN board members and staff assembled at meetings across the country and as insiders revealed, and I testified about, "fighting Capitalism" was listed as one of the things "great about ACORN."

Obama has shown himself to be unrelenting in his quest to pass healthcare, take over American industries and weaken our national security. America can't afford to be fooled by increasingly obvious tactics of the Far Left. It's time for the great majority of Americans to turn the tables back on the Far Left by getting involved and organized and voting out incumbents who vote against the traditional American way. We need a morning in America, but it's always darkest before the dawn.

You can follow Anita on her blog or on Twitter.



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