Archive for the ‘meeting’ Category

Obama Meets Clinton in Chicago Amid Talk of Cabinet Post

November 14, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has met with his former rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and is considering her as a possible candidate for secretary of state, Democratic officials said. 

Clinton was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the top U.S. diplomat in an Obama administration. The talk resumed Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort. 

A Democratic official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said the two met Thursday afternoon in Obama’s Chicago office. 

Clinton’s motorcade — she receives Secret Service protection as a former first lady — was seen leaving the office complex shortly before Obama left for the day. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines would say only “Senator Clinton had no public schedule yesterday,” and referred questions to the Obama transition team, which said it had no comment. 

From Fox News

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http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/11/13/officials-obama-
considering-hillary-clinton-secretary-state/

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Kremlin Says ‘Early’ Meeting Needed Between Medvedev, Obama

November 8, 2008

A Bush administration plan for setting up a missile shield close to Russia’s borders has been a sore point with the Kremlin and has served as another dent in its battered relationship with the U.S.  Now Russia’s Medvedev wants to set up an early meeting with Barack Obama….

From the Associated Press

-elect Obama spoke to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday as the future American leader had another round of phone calls with counterparts in other nations.

A Kremlin statement said Obama and Medvedev “expressed the determination to create constructive and positive interaction for the good of global stability and development” and agreed that their countries had a common responsibility to address “serious problems of a global nature.”

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev greets the audience as ...
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev greets the audience as he arrives for his annual state of the nation address in the Kremlin in Moscow, November 5, 2008.REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin

To that end, according to the Kremlin statement, Medvedev and Obama believe an “early bilateral meeting” should be arranged.

Obama’s office did not issue a statement describing the call.

A Bush administration plan for setting up a missile shield close to Russia’s borders has been a sore point with the Kremlin and has served as another dent in its battered relationship with the U.S.

On Wednesday, the day after Obama’s election, Medvedev threatened to move short-range missiles to Russia’s borders with NATO allies even as the U.S. offered new proposals on nuclear arms reductions as well as missile defense. Allowing Russian observers at planned missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic were among them, U.S. officials said.

During the presidential campaign, Obama expressed skepticism about the system, saying that it would require much more vigorous testing to ensure it would work and justify the billions of dollars it would cost.

Obama foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough said Saturday that Obama had “a good conversation” with Polish President Lech Kaczynski about the American-Polish alliance but that Obama had made no commitment on the missile shield plan.

“His position is as it was throughout the campaign, that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable,” McDonough said.

That was in contrast to a statement issued by the Polish president. Kaczynski said Obama “emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership of Poland and the United States and expressed hope in the continuation of political and military cooperation between our countries. He also said that the missile defense project would continue.”

President Bush wanted construction of a European missile shield — installations would be in Poland and the Czech Republic — to begin before he left office in January with a completion date of 2012. Experts in the Defense Department believe more interceptor testing is required, according to reports over the summer. Additional tests could delay the program for years.

Obama’s office had no comment on a statement from Khaled Mashaal, leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, that he is ready to talk to Obama “with an open mind.” The exiled militant leader told Sky News from Damascus, Syria, that the election of an American president with African roots is “a big change.”

The Bush administration has boycotted Hamas, as has most of the international community, because Hamas refuses to renounce violence or recognize Israel.

ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle

October 17, 2008

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS – ACORN, the national activist group dogged by a high-profile voter registration fraud scandal, has another bruising item on its agenda when its board of directors meets here this weekend.

Leaders of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are locked in a legal dispute stemming from allegations that the brother of the group’s founder misappropriated nearly $1 million of the nonprofit’s money several years ago.

The embezzlement case, a recent revelation to some board members, has spawned a lawsuit and set off a power struggle inside ACORN at a time when the liberal group’s voter registration practices are the subject of fraud investigations and fodder for presidential campaign attacks.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s interim chief organizer, called the lawsuit “a distraction from us marshaling our forces to deal with the Republican right-wing attacks” over ACORN’s voter registration.

The lawsuit filed in August by two board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.

Instead of reporting the allegations to law enforcement authorities, a small group of ACORN executives allowed the Rathke family to repay the misappropriated money, according to the lawsuit brought by board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid.

Wade Rathke is seen in a Tuesday Feb. 26, 2002 file photo, in ... 
Wade Rathke is seen in a Tuesday Feb. 26, 2002 file photo, in New Orleans. A lawsuit filed in August by two ACORN board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.(AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

Inman and Reid said the agreement, which called for the stolen money to be carried on the books of an ACORN affiliate as a loan to an officer, was kept a secret from the full 51-member board until earlier this year.

“We need to find out what happened, when it happened and make sure that ACORN is viable,” Inman said during a press briefing about the dispute Thursday in New Orleans. Inman also says she wants an independent audit of ACORN’s books.

Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, defended the decision to keep his brother’s actions an “internal matter” and resolve it with “private restitution.” Reporting the case to law enforcement could have left the group at risk of financial ruin, Rathke said.

“One choice would have been to go that way, but then we wouldn’t have been able to collect that money,” he said.

No working phone number for Dale Rathke could be found and a request by The Associated Press to contact him through his brother wasn’t immediately answered.

Lewis said the group’s board recently hired attorneys to explore whether Dale Rathke’s actions warrant a criminal investigation or could be the subject of a civil case.

“Remember, we just found this out in June,” she said.

Rathke said he took responsibility for his brother’s “mistakes” by resigning, while Inman says he was fired. Rathke blames a “small group of dissidents” for the turmoil that has followed his departure.

“I wish they would have kept the internal affairs of the organization internally,” he said.

Inman and Reid filed suit for access to ACORN financial records that staff members allegedly refused to give them.

During their meeting this weekend, board members are expected to discuss the lawsuit and explore ways to resolve it. A state judge presiding over the case has asked for a transcript of the board’s discussion.

Lewis said Inman and Reid don’t speak for the entire board and didn’t have authority to file suit on the board’s behalf.

“As you can well imagine, any organization that just fired its founder after 38 years would have internal issues,” she said.

Wade Rathke says he stepped down as ACORN’s chief organizer in June, but remains chief organizer for ACORN International. A spokesman for ACORN said the two organizations are separate entities, although they have shared office space in New Orleans.

Rathke shrugged off the board members’ lawsuit, calling it a “minor matter,” and expressed confidence that the voting registration controversy won’t consume the group.

“ACORN is a big organization now, and they’re big enough to weather this,” he said.


Above: Just a reminder: the FBI is investigating ACORN…..

Related:
ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081017/ap_on_re_us/acorn_missing_money_1