Archive for the ‘Philadelphia’ Category

Palin Asks For More Info On ACORN Alleged Voter Fraud

October 19, 2008

LANCASTER – Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said here yesterday that more needs to be known about the links between Democrat Barack Obama and ACORN, the community-activist group now being investigated by the FBI in connection with voter-registration fraud.

At an outdoor, morning rally at a minor-league ballpark, the Alaska governor told about 6,000 wind-chilled supporters that Obama, as a lawyer, had represented the group once in the 1990s and that his campaign had hired an ACORN-related group earlier this year for get-out-the-vote activities.

U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah ...

“Wouldn’t that be a lot of baggage to drag into the Oval Office?” Palin asked.

“On Election Day, we have to choose between a candidate [Obama] who won’t disavow a group committing voter-registration fraud and a leader [John McCain] who will not tolerate it,” she said.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has acknowledged that some of its workers, many of whom are paid on the basis of how many voters they register, may have turned in fraudulent registrations.

The law in many states, Pennsylvania included, requires that a group submit all the registration cards it collects, even the dubious ones. And ACORN officials say they have segregated questionable cards to make them easier for state officials to review.

At the rally, Palin defended the amount of attention she and McCain have given to such matters, which Democrats say are meant to distract voters from more pressing concerns, such as the economy.

An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, ... 
An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. A Nevada secretary of state’s office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“It is not mud-slinging….

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Forth Woth Star-Telegram
 ACORN volunteer Ed Washington gives an Arlington resident information about voting.   Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison

Above: ACORN volunteer Ed Washington gives an Arlington resident information about voting. Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison

FORT WORTH — Derrick Richardson knows he has a very important job: Get voters to the polls Nov. 4.

As a field organizer with ACORN, he’s calling and visiting local voters to make sure they cast a ballot in this year’s presidential election.

His efforts are being duplicated across the country by workers with the nonpartisan group that works to help low-income people, many of whom traditionally lean Democrat. But claims of voter registration fraud in several states are bringing national scrutiny to their work that’s also spilling over into the presidential campaign.

Calls for state and federal investigations — including by the FBI — went out recently after workers in some states turned in registration lists that included Mickey Mouse and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Workers with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now say that by law they must turn in all registration forms and let election officials weed out the good from the bad.

“We take it for what it is,” Richardson, 51, said of the scrutiny. “It’s sad it’s occurring, but we can’t let it stop what we are doing.”

Critics of ACORN say that the group is tied to Democrat Barack Obama and that the bogus registrations were submitted intentionally. They note that workers are paid based on the number of registration forms they submit.

“They [ACORN] are a hyper-partisan group whose flaunting of election law is cause for grave concern both nationally and in Texas,” said Hans Klingler, spokesman for the Texas Republican Party. “Voter fraud is real and pervasive.”

A political analyst said much of the controversy around ACORN is politics as usual.

“Republicans are picking up any rock on the ground and throwing it in Obama’s direction hoping for a hit,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

At issue

County officials in several states have reported finding fake voter registration applications, many turned in by canvassers for ACORN. Group organizers, who tout registering 1.3 million new voters in 21 states, say they’ve fired workers known to have turned in false information.

The FBI is investigating to determine whether there was a coordinated national fraud effort, and at least one racketeering lawsuit against the group has been filed in Ohio, similar to one filed in 2004 that was dropped after the election. In the past few days, at least two ACORN offices — in Boston and Seattle — have been vandalized or robbed, and an ACORN community organizer in Cleveland received a death threat.

Accusations of stolen votes have a long history in presidential elections. In the 2000 recount debacle, Republicans said that illegal ballots were cast. Democrats said that legal ballots were thrown out. In 2004, when Ohio gave the presidency to George W. Bush, Democrats said that long lines and malfunctioning machines in that state led to an inaccurate count.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a Republican lawsuit in Ohio that could have made it easier to challenge newly registered voters.

But in this contest, involving the first African-American in American history with a real chance at becoming president, the vitriol is particularly pointed.

Republicans point out that Obama has conducted two training sessions for ACORN and served on a team of lawyers that represented it in 1995. His campaign paid $832,000 this year to a consulting firm affiliated with ACORN for a get-out-the-vote effort.

“We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy,” Republican John McCain said during the last debate.

But ACORN officials say they are disappointed in the attacks and note that McCain spoke at a 2006 immigration rally that ACORN co-sponsored. They say a small percentage of fraud is expected with such a massive voter registration drive, which used 13,000 workers, and they note that they called many of the questionable forms to the attention of election officials.

Obama’s staff dismisses GOP talk about ACORN as a political move.


A Brilliant Fraud: Obama and The Reverend, No Deal

March 23, 2008

 By Charles Krauthammer

 Charles Krauthammer

The Washington Post

Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A17

The beauty of a speech is that you don’t just give the answers, you provide your own questions. “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which“controversial” remarks?

Wright’s assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented HIV “as a means of genocide against people of color”? Wright’s claim that America was morally responsible for Sept. 11 — “chickens coming home to roost” — because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?) .
What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?

Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: “There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?”

But that is not the question. The question is why didn’t he leave that church? Why didn’t he leave — why doesn’t he leave even today — a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) “God damn America”? Obama’s 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.

(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there’s Wright, but at the other “end of the spectrum” there’s Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, “who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.” But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?

“I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother.” What exactly was Grandma’s offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus’s time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.

Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one’s time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?

(b) White guilt. Obama’s purpose in the speech was to put Wright’s outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, “We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country,” and then he proceeds to do precisely that. What lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.

This contextual analysis of Wright’s venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It’s the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.

But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness?
This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?

The Origin of Obama’s Pastor Problem

March 20, 2008

TIME Magazine
March 20, 2008

The speech he delivered at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia was an artfully reasoned treatise on race and rancor in America, the most memorable speech delivered by any candidate in this campaign and one that has earned Obama comparisons to Lincoln, Kennedy and King. But that doesn’t mean it will succeed in its more prosaic mission of appealing to voters who have their doubts about Obama and his preacher. It left unanswered a crucial question: What attracted Obama to Wright in the first place?

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