Syndicated

Former DoJ officials ask Mukasey why DoJ is not enforcing HAVA

A number of former DoJ officials have sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasy asking why the DoJ is not enforcing the law and correcting the record regarding a previous letter sent by another set of former attorneys. The key passages seem to be:

As these cases show, in more than four decades of operation, the Civil Rights Division has never hesitated to fulfill its responsibilities by filing lawsuits to enforce federal voting rights laws that govern access to the polls and the administration of elections even on the very eve of Election Day. Against this backdrop, the Division’s recent failure to act in the case filed by a private party against the Ohio Secretary of State in which two federal courts, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, have specifically found that the Secretary of State is not complying with the verification requirements of Section 303 of HAVA, is difficult to fathom. Its similar lack of action in Wisconsin, where the state election board has also admitted that it is not complying with this provision of HAVA, is equally perplexing. This appears to be a dereliction of the Department’s obligations to enforce federal law.

Full letter after jump

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By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

OH Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, linked to ACORN; how many more Dem SoSs?

Yesterday, a very important piece of information popped. The fundraising consultant for the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, is the Director of Development for Project Vote, Karyn Gillette.

It is easy to see how Brunner's strategy of turning of HAVA checks (and then suing to keep them off) melds nicely with ACORN/Project Vote's strategy to flood the voter rolls with fake people.

This suggests that Brunner is probably a creature of ACORN in some form. One wonders how many more Democratic Secretaries of State were backed by ACORN.

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

Who fraudulently voted Christina Garcia?

An example of how you can steal votes with absentee ballots

The Des Moines Register offers an example of a dementia patient voting by absentee ballot:

Reports that an 87-year-old Council Bluffs woman was allegedly pressured to vote absentee by a Democratic campaign volunteer raise suspicions that some people who have diminished mental capacity are being targeted, a Republican official said Wednesday.

The allegation by Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, refers to claims by Angela Murphy-Hayes, who said her 87-year-old mother, a dementia patient, was coerced to cast a ballot about two weeks ago.

Must read election day blog, Election Journal originally broke the story with this video and testimony which involves Democratic field staffers coercing the vote out of Mrs. Garcia:

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

Does Time know what either "fact" or "check" mean?

A brief diversion into history

Since the indictment and conviction of Ted Stevens, Time ran a series on indicted Senators. One that they discussed was John Smith from OH 1803-1809. They describe him as a "Republican" from Ohio.

That's funny.

First of all, his party affiliation, as described by the Congressional Bioguide as "Democratic Republican". Any person who knows anything about American political history knows that this was the predecessor to the modern Democratic Party.

Second of all, there wasn't actually a Republican Party at the time. It was founded, depending on your story, in either Ripon, Wisconsin or Jackson, MI in 1854.

The point isn't a partisan one. The point is that the reporters, editors, and fact-checkers seem to be sloppy about their facts and historical illiterates.

Not a good sign in a leading American magazine.

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

Is Obama connected to the ACORN-Rathke embezzlement scandal?

Some coincidences are just too rich that you have to start drawing conclusions. Here are four facts that suggest that there might be a line between them:

  • Dale Rathke embezzled money from ACORN totalling about $950k. Apparently, commitments have been made to return about $210k, for a total of $740k still missing.
  • Barack Obama's campaign paid ACORN, via a political consulting affiliate, $830k, but ACORN says that they only received $80, leaving $750k unaccounted for.
  • Dale Rathke embezzled this money in the period of 1999-2000, when Barack Obama was running for US Congress with the backing of SEIU Local 880 and ACORN. SEIU Local 880 is basically ACORN controlled. Rathke even filed the LM-2 form with the Department of Labor in 2000, signing it as "Treasurer", which I have previously written about.
  • Obama, ACORN, SEIU 880, and Rep. Danny Davis, appeared to act together in a number of local political engagements.

Here's my question: Did SEIU Local 880 and/or ACORN use some or all of that embezzled money to fund operations for Obama's Congressional race in 1999 and 2000?

Details and sourcing after the jump.

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First, the math, starting with the Rathke. According to the NYT, Rathke embezzled about $950k via a loan to an ACORN affiliate, Citizens Consulting Inc.:

The amount Dale Rathke embezzled, $948,607.50, was carried as a loan on the books of Citizens Consulting Inc., which provides bookkeeping, accounting and other financial management services to Acorn and many of its affiliated entities.

However, some money has been returned:

Instead, she said, the Rathke family has paid Acorn $30,000 a year in restitution since 2001, or a total of $210,000.

Net missing: $738,607.50. Eventually, this gap was filled, again via the NYT:

Ms. Kingsley also found that the Acorn Fund, a health care benefits fund, had advanced “a large amount of money” to Acorn, adding that it appeared that the money was used to cover “the cash shortfall caused by the embezzlement.”

Second, math on Obama. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Obama paid Citizens Services Inc, an ACORN affiliate, $832,598.29:

According to FEC records, the Obama campaign paid Citizens Services Inc. $832,598.29, from Feb. 25 to May 17.

However, accoridng to CBS, both the Obama campaign and ACORN state that ACORN only got about $80k of that.

Obama's presidential campaign was endorsed by ACORN's political action committee. And Obama campaign officials acknowledged paying a group affiliated with ACORN more than $800,000 to conduct get-out-the-vote operations during the Democratic primaries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas. The campaign said $80,000 of that money went directly to ACORN.

Now, if you have a fully staffed organization, $80k is still a lot of GOTV you bought in a state. And $832k is a hugely silly amount of GOTV.

Note also that Texas is covered by SEIU 100, which we have previously shown is basically coterminus with ACORN, founded by Wade Rathke, then the Chief Organizer of ACORN. And SEIU 880 is basically an ACORN organization, which we noted in the same place. SEIU was strongly behind Obama in the primaries, so you can imagine how some of these resources went to monies controlled by the Rathke's at these SEIU-ACORN nexuses. (nexi?)

Net: $752,598.29. Although, it is not clear that the CBS story is providing exact numbers. This number is only $20k higher than the hole in ACORN's budget.

Note also that the hole was carried in Citizens Consulting, Inc., while the payments went to Citizens Services, Inc. Labor Pains, in a discussion of SEIU Local 880, describes Citizens Consulting, Inc., as "a legal and lobbying firm run by ACORN founder Wade Rathke".

Pittsburg Tribune Review reporter Salena Zito describes the relationship between ACORN and CSI as:

Money flows back and forth between ACORN, Citizens Services Inc., Project Vote and Communities Voting Together. ACORN posts job ads for Citizens Services and Project Vote. Communities Voting Together contributed $60,000 to Citizens Services Inc., for example, in November 2005, according to a posting on CampaignMoney.com. Project Vote has hired ACORN and CSI as its highest paid contractors, paying ACORN $4,649,037 in 2006 and CSI $779,016 in 2006, according to Terry of the Consumers Rights League.

Basically, CCI is the political consulting wing while CSI is the accounting and legal wing. The New Orleans Time Picayune describes Dale Rathke as the "comptroller" of CSI.

Now the dates. That same Times Picayune story says:

The imbroglio dates to 1999 and 2000, when the nonprofit was calling for local increases in the minimum wage and trying to unionize hospitality workers in New Orleans. Dale Rathke, the founder's brother, was serving as comptroller through a related organization called Citizens Consulting Inc., and Lewis said he abused his authority by using the group's credit cards to buy things that were unrelated to its work.

But we don't know what the spending was for. In 1999 and 2000, Barack Obama was running for US Congress against Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL). Obama's FEC filings started 8/04/1999, with a March 2000 primary.  It would be interesting to know what those expenditures on Rathke credit cards are and whether they were in Chicago. Again, Rathke was also responsible for, at least, the filings of SEIU 880 in Chicago, which we can see from the 2000 LM-2 filings. I have been told but not able to confirm that Rathke was acting in his capacity through CCI.

Finally, any review of Chicago political history from the period between Obama's election to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and the primary run in 2000, will tell you that Obama was part of a network consisting of the New Party, Rep. Danny Davis, SEIU, and ACORN. For example, in April 1999, the State Chair of ACORN ran for city council seat in Chicago. ACORN's political update said at the time:

CHICAGO, IL—Illinois ACORN state chair Ted Thomas led a field of 12 candidates in the race for 15th ward alderman on the Windy City’s southside in the February 23 municipal election. He faces the second-place finisher in a spring run-off. Endorsed by Congressman Danny Davis, the SEIU State Council, State Senator Barack Obama and the Chicago Sun-Times, Thomas is running on his record as chair of the community-labor Chicago Jobs & Living Wage Campaign that won Living Wage ordinances in Chicago and Cook County last summer after two years of opposition by Mayor Daley.

National Review's Stanley Kurtz has shown that Obama was a member of and was endorsed by the New Party, which he describes as  "the New Party functioned as the electoral arm of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)."

So is there a connection between the nearly identically sized hole in the ACORN accounts and the peg of Obama's investment in ACORN? We can identify the money, the means (ACORN-SEIU-Dale Rathke-CCI), the timing, and the motive. We don't know if it happened. And we don't know what happened to the $750k that never made it to ACORN.

It sure would be neat if some reporter asked the questions, starting with the credit card records from Rathke in 1999, wouldn't it?

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

The Obama-Frank defense cuts create an opening

McCain can ride these differences

My friend and colleague, Pat Ottenhoff, had an interesting analysis of Virginia back in June that could be on the money:

Major federal contractors set up shop in Northern Virginia and, in turn, subcontracted work to technology firms that hired accountants and lawyers. The young professionals who work at those firms in Tysons Corner, Reston and Ashburn are part of Obama’s core constituency. But the ideology and lifeblood of many of these firms is rooted in continued defense spending — one part of the Bush legacy that McCain would be sure to continue. In an election in which Republicans’ Iraq policy will hurt McCain in almost every state, his bullish foreign policy could actually help him in some quarters of Virginia.

Let's forgive Pat for missing the economic crisis and improvement in Iraq and focus on the basic economic point for a moment. When Barney Frank said that he would cut defense spending by 25%, both resonating with an image of Barack Obama and particular statements, an opportunity was created.

State Jobs Money
Florida 723,000 $52b
Virginia 245,000 $56b
 North Carolina 416,000 $23b
Pennsylvania  60,000  $8b
Missouri 159,000  

Significant defense cuts have the opportunity to creat massive economic dislocations for people and communities. And they know it. Just look at the terror in Northern Virginia over BRAC. John McCain's campaign figured this out. This is basic paycheck issue for a lot of hard-working people. Suddenly, Barack Obama's "radicalism" means something to real people. Let's look at some numbers.

The key thing to realize hereis that you can cut ads in these states and people will get it. Imagine scripts like these:

Barack Obama doesn't just endanger our national security wtih his untested ideas, he  endangers [state]'s economic security.  In [state], that means [jobs] jobs. And it just starts there. When you remove those jobs from [state] everyone suffers from even lower house prices to the damage done to small businesses.

These can be supplemented with statements by local politians who, inevitably, fell over themselves to talk about BRAC and the damage that removing even one office at one military base, or even civilian office, would do to the community.

This is an issue that, when tied with Joe the Plumber and whatever crazy ACORN or whatever else stuff pops over the weekend can resonate with John McCain's underlying message. These are real issues. Barack Obama is talking about "change", while John McCain is talking about what's in your pocket-book. That's something that people understand and that we need to nail the last 5 days of the campaign.

 

Cross-posted from The Next Right

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

The Obama-Frank defense cuts create an opening

My friend and colleague, Pat Ottenhoff, had an interesting analysis of Virginia back in June that could be on the money:

Major federal contractors set up shop in Northern Virginia and, in turn, subcontracted work to technology firms that hired accountants and lawyers. The young professionals who work at those firms in Tysons Corner, Reston and Ashburn are part of Obama’s core constituency. But the ideology and lifeblood of many of these firms is rooted in continued defense spending — one part of the Bush legacy that McCain would be sure to continue. In an election in which Republicans’ Iraq policy will hurt McCain in almost every state, his bullish foreign policy could actually help him in some quarters of Virginia.

Let's forgive Pat for missing the economic crisis and improvement in Iraq and focus on the basic economic point for a moment. When Barney Frank said that he would cut defense spending by 25%, both resonating with an image of Barack Obama and particular statements, an opportunity was created.

State Jobs Money
Florida 723,000 $52b
Virginia 245,000 $56b
 North Carolina 416,000 $23b
Pennsylvania  60,000  $8b
Missouri 159,000  

Significant defense cuts have the opportunity to creat massive economic dislocations for people and communities. And they know it. Just look at the terror in Northern Virginia over BRAC. John McCain's campaign figured this out. This is basic paycheck issue for a lot of hard-working people. Suddenly, Barack Obama's "radicalism" means something to real people. Let's look at some numbers.

The key thing to realize hereis that you can cut ads in these states and people will get it. Imagine scripts like these:

Barack Obama doesn't just endanger our national security wtih his untested ideas, he  endangers [state]'s economic security.  In [state], that means [jobs] jobs. And it just starts there. When you remove those jobs from [state] everyone suffers from even lower house prices to the damage done to small businesses.

These can be supplemented with statements by local politians who, inevitably, fell over themselves to talk about BRAC and the damage that removing even one office at one military base, or even civilian office, would do to the community.

This is an issue that, when tied with Joe the Plumber and whatever crazy ACORN or whatever else stuff pops over the weekend can resonate with John McCain's underlying message. These are real issues. Barack Obama is talking about "change", while John McCain is talking about what's in your pocket-book. That's something that people understand and that we need to nail the last 5 days of the campaign.

 

 

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

Rokey is all alone with the military ballots he won't count

Obama, Virginia Board of Elections, and Virginia AG call for them to be counted

Today, the Fairfax Times reports that Rokey Suleman still is not counting those military ballots we have been telling you about:

"It kills me to not count those votes," Suleman said. "As much as I hate the law, I can't ignore it."

Rokey must know something we don't know. And something that the State Board of Elections doesn't know, because they have told him the votes should be counted. And Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell. And even Barack Obama's campaign thinks the votes should be counted.

Only little Rokey Suleman thinks that he is following the law. And in his moment of bravery, he is throwing our soldiers under the bus.

How about you tell Rokey what the law actually is? And ask him why he refuses to implement the law as interpreted by the Attorney General and the State Board of Elections.

Rokey Suleman
Fairfax County General Registrar
703-222-0776
Rokey.Suleman@fairfaxcounty.gov

And join a Facebook group to send him a message.

By Soren Dayton, ago
Syndicated

AK Democrats defend Sarah Palin on pipeline

They even attack AP for getting story wrong

The Juneau Empire notes that Alaska Democrats are defending Sarah Palin on the pipeline and demonstrates how poor a job the AP is doing:

Alaska legislators are criticizing a story on Gov. Sarah Palin by The Associated Press that challenged Palin's top accomplishment as governor - jump-starting progress on a natural gas pipeline.

"I thought it was a pretty shoddy reporting job, honestly," said Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, among many Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama who are coming to Palin's defense.

Note that the AP reporters that wrote on this probably don't understand what exactly happened:

The AP reporters said seeking an independent pipeline ultimately favored TransCanada and excluded the producers, which was why the process was flawed.

This was the point indeed. The reason was that if the incumbent producers controlled the pipeline, then they wouldn't sell access to anyone but themselves (extraction is way more profitable than shipping the stuff), and that would not spur development. By having a third-party own the pipeline means that there incentive is to ship as much as possible. Again, that was the point:

Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, Senate minority leader, called the story "way off base."

"We just wanted the attributes of an independently operated pipeline company, one that would protect the interests of Alaska," he said.

The Legislature spent much of the summer in special session, considering and rejecting those arguments, Therriault and Wielechowski said.

"The producers having complete control of the oil pipeline has cost the state of Alaska billions of dollars over the years; that's a fact. We've had less exploration and less drilling on the North Slope because the smaller independents have been squeezed out and because they can't pay exorbitant tariffs," Wielechowski said.

The AP story quoted only two legislators, Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, both in the minority who voted against the TransCanada deal.

In other words, the AP reporters got owned by probably corrupt Republicans in bed with the incumbent actors in the oil industry. I think that we've heard that story before. Right Ben and Ted?

By Soren Dayton, ago