On July 24, in the county seat of Greenville, NC, the Pitt County Board of Elections gave the green light to a revised plan for early voting which will include two Sundays. The Board voted as such even though the majority of people and groups who turned out for a hearing on the plan opposed any voting at all on Sunday. It was disclosed in that hearing that the request for Sunday voting came not from voters themselves but from two political organizations – “Organizing for America” (OFA) and the Democratic Party. Both a local representative of OAF and Betsy Leech of the Democratic Party made a request to the Board for a 2-Sunday addition to early voting so that members of black churches can conveniently take advantage of church buses and vote en mass after service.
I wrote an Opinion Letter for my local paper where I took a stand criticizing the decision by the Board to approve Sunday voting and in that letter I equated “Organizing for America” with ACORN. I was informed that my Opinion Letter would have to be revised to remove that reference to ACORN in order to be published. I told the publisher that if he felt it necessary to remove it, then I would have no problem with his decision. After all, as I explained to him, the reference was included more out of cynicism rather than factual journalism. I really just wanted to make the point, as written in that letter:
“Those in favor of Sunday voting claimed that Monday thru Saturday were not sufficient enough. They said that without Sunday voting, they would be disenfranchised, even though there wasn’t even an early voting period at all in Pitt County prior to 2000. Opponents talked about the extent of the early voting period, the additional cost to taxpayers, the burden to poll workers (4 straight weeks without a day off), and the hostility of the plan to religious concerns.
The bottom line is that the plan advances the interests of a political party and not the interests of the majority of voters. Furthermore, the existing early-voting period, which provides extended hours at convenient locations for 2 1/2 weeks and allows 60 days for anyone to submit an absentee ballot, is an inclusive, neutral accommodation for ALL voters. It is more than enough of an opportunity to get out and vote. It is more than accommodating. Anyone who is truly committed to exercising their right to vote will do so and will find the time and opportunity.
The Board ignored the legitimate concerns of the majority who opposed Sunday voting and instead endorsed a political agenda.”
But that being said, there was a reason that I did make that particular reference to ACORN and I believe my cynicism is not completely unfounded. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain why I felt justified.
The research I had done on “Organizing for America” after the hearing in front of the Pitt County Board of Elections on July 24 highlighted some connections with ACORN. Tenuous connections? Maybe. Suspicious connections? Maybe. Of course, I’m not in a position to conclude which is most likely. After all, with Obama, you’ll never be able to cut through all the layers of deception and corruption in order to find the truth. We learned that first hand when he threw “transparency” out the window in his blind ambition to pass the healthcare bill.
Following the hearing, I immediately went to my computer. I wanted to find out exactly what this organization “Organizing for America” was all about. When it was clear that this organization joined with the Pitt County Democratic Party to push for Sunday voting, I wanted to find out the connection. I indeed found the connection and in doing so, it became very clear that the “community organizing” themes of ACORN are also evident in OFA and in its voter-registration arm, “Project Vote.” In fact, in doing the research I had to walk away from the documents many times because the distinctions between OFA and PV were so blurred that I was getting too confused.
“ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA” AND “PROJECT VOTE”
Before Obama even took office in 2009, he announced that his election campaign, “Obama for America” (2008) was switching its name to “Organizing for America” (OFA). According to the research, the president’s re-election campaign was formally launched and filed with the FEC in April 2011. It includes the affiliate organization “Project Vote,” a 2012 voter-initiative project Both OFA and PV operate out of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
OFA was an outgrowth of the president’s 2008 election campaign. It was/is referred to and organized as “Obama’s permanent campaign.” It was created because the White House cannot legally use the 13 million email addresses that the campaign compiled in 2008. OFA was organized to operate under the DNC so that the DNC can do the “dirty work.” So, to that end, the political party set this “grassroots movement” up as a DNC ‘project’ to continue to promote and proselytize on behalf of Barack Obama’s behalf between elections. The countless emails that fill the inboxes of Americans all over the country with the sender name President Barack Obama, for example, are the work of “Organizing for America.” The promotion of the healthcare bill with certain demographics is also the work of OFA.
“Organizing for America” is not subject to IRS nonprofit regulations because it has no independent legal status outside the DNC. DNC financial filings disclose little about its structure and day-to-day operations. The party’s spending on the project is not separately accounted for in public disclosures, so its actual scope is difficult to determine. And it’s probably safe to say that OFA likes it that way.
OFA is a unique creature. It is creepy. It’s not a permanent political apparatus and is not intended to be. It’s goal is to serve only one man – Barack Obama. It’s a permanent personal apparatus built around one man, meant to reinforce his cult of personality. It is meant to identify his unique racial status with those of the demographic he identifies with. It is a “unique opportunity” to milk his ascension for all its worth. As a representative of ACORN wrote in 2009: “ACORN’s grassroots leadership believes we are experiencing a once-in-a-generation opportunity and must not squander this moment.” OFA is the machinery put in place to make sure the DNC doesn’t squander this moment – the election of a man like Obama. There has never been any intention of making the group a permanent component of the Democratic Party. OFA has precious little to do with any permanent goals of the DNC. And “Project Vote” is its affiliate organization — its voter registration arm.
“Project Vote,” a Washington, DC-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was organized to increase the votes of marginalized and under-represented voters (ie, minority voters, college-age voters, senior citizens, and gays/lesbians). In August 2011, President Obama’s re-election campaign announced “Project Vote” as a campaign-within-a-campaign that is aimed at increasing registration and participation among his “Democratic base constituencies.” Obama and his representatives have declared that the goal is it to expand the electorate. As one official noted: “That’s how we won in 2008, and we think that’s the path to victory again in 2012…. Project Vote will drive our campaign strategy – from paid media, to digital outreach, to grassroots organizing and voter registration efforts – to communicate with and engage key demographic groups, such as African Americans, Youth, Latinos, LGBT, and others.”
Many refer to “Project Vote” as “ACORN’S sister organization” because ACORN tactics are clearly associated with it. Others refer to “Project Vote” as “ACORN’S close 501(c)(3)-affiliate.” And still others who have been following ACORN’s voter fraud allegations and convictions call Project Vote “the branch of ACORN that’s most notorious for voter fraud.” Even Obama himself acknowledged: “Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”
Project Vote lists its field director as Amy Busefink. Ms. Busefink is a former ACORN worker who was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit voter-fraud (in compensating people for the registration of voters). Furthermore, one of the leaders of “Project Vote” is also a national director at “Organizing for America.” The groups clearly share commonality and shared resources, even if only in knowledge, contacts, and expertise.
In fact, ACORN tactics have been associated with both “Project Vote” and “Organizing for America.”
In Virginia, the OFA improperly entered a high school, posing as a school official, and collected social security numbers. In a separate instance, in a voter drive, they are under investigation for registering Democrats but failing to submit the registration forms of those who checked the box labeled “republican.” (147 registration forms).
Carol Greenberg, an undercover investigative journalist, worked with OFA. She was trained to enter voter data. She said that she received an email alerting her to an “OFA Training Seminar” which informed her that there was to be a 4-hour session on community organizing – “the President’s way.” Of course we all know that Obama helped train ACORN leaders. At the bottom of the email were the words “Project of the DNC.” [Note that Obama continues to deny that he had any connections with ACORN, but the truth is that when he ran "Project Vote" voter drives, he worked closely with ACORN and acknowledged how grateful he was for their help].
According to research by Matthew Vadum, which he published, “Organizing for America” is a phony grassroots campaign run by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that is charged with duplicating the community organizing techniques that Obama learned from the teachings of his fellow Chicagoan, Saul Alinsky. As Vadum has written, the Democrats recognize that the days when political parties could rest easy between elections are long gone and they must apply constant pressure and must send out a constant message, and so, OFA is the campaign apparatus dedicated to that task. It is solely dedicated to singing the praises of the Obama administration, blaming others for failures, and enhancing the support of key demographics. Furthermore, he has concluded that there is “no wall of separation” between Project Vote and ACORN (“Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now”) and that “with respect to registration and mobilization campaigns, ACORN and Project Vote work together to the point where it is a difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference. They share staff, office space, and money.”
“ORGANIZING FOR OBAMA” OR “ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA”: WHICH IS IT? (THE FORMER IS MORE LIKELY)
Groups such as OFA, PV, and ACORN exist because of the perception that the United States is a nation rife with racism and injustice. And who is it that perpetuates that myth? None other than our president. He talks about hardworking individuals paying “their fair share” (ie, paying more in taxes) so that those at the bottom can be further relieved of the consequences of their life choices. He is the first to jump to conclusions when there is an incident involving a white policeman and a black suspect. He is the first to perpetuate stereotypes when a black teen is killed under suspicious circumstances. He is the first to suggest that schools still treat black students differently than other students. In fact, on July 26, he issued an Executive Order entitled “President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.” This EO will establish a government panel to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.” In other words, schools will have to discipline black students less, or discipline other types of students more. According to the EO: “African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline.” In order to pander to his constituency, he pretends that he doesn’t understand the reason for the high rate of discipline among black students. He claims to be part of that community yet doesn’t seem to understand the real world. According to Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, “A disproportionate share of crimes are committed by African Americans, and they are disproportionately likely to misbehave in school because more than 7 out of 10 African Americans (72.5%) are born out of wedlock – versus fewer than 3 out of 10 whites… Although you won’t see it mentioned in the Executive Order, there is an obvious connection between the percentage of children born out of wedlock and how each group is doing educationally, economically, criminally.” What this will mean is that whites and Asians will get suspended for things that blacks don’t get suspended for in an attempt to level out the degree of punishment among ethnic groups. This is the mentality behind the groping at airports by the TSA. Homeland Security knows it just needs to profile one particular group but because that will set the ACLU into a frenzy, TSA must frisk, grope, and scan Miss America, little Johnny, and granny.
President Obama has also issued an Execute Order on June 15 in which he announced that the United States will stop deporting hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants who have been educated here in the country (high school diploma or GED) and will give them work permits. Our chief law enforcement officer has announced that he will enforce federal laws selectively. Legal American citizens cannot break federal law or they will be punished, without a doubt. Just ask anyone who earns enough money and has made an error on their tax return. Ask any farmer who has inadvertently failed to make necessary filings with the EPA.
We have a President who, for the first time since the Civil Rights era, highlights raceand pits races against one another. By many accounts, he has set race relations way back. He also pits the poor against the middle class and the wealthy. Not in a very long time has the government encouraged the less fortunate to take note of what others have rather than encourage them to do more for themselves. But apparently, his “community organizing” training must have taught him that pitting groups of people against each other is good policy. Maybe it was Bill Ayers who taught him that, or Saul Alinsky, or even Reverend Wright. Obama is a smart man and blindly and fatally ambitious, and so he would not pursue such a nationally harmful social policy if it did not translate into political support. Never mind the history we’ve built over the years of national unity.
Of course the message of racism and injustice is a self-serving message. He is the one who benefits most from it because of the work of such groups as OFA and PV. He fuels the vicious cycle with his words and his policies. For example, OFA and PV use their outlets to emphasize universal healthcare. Why do they do this? Why was universal healthcare such an important issue for ACORN? According to an internal ACORN memorandum that Michele Malkin uncovered in August 2008, the reason is clear. That memo read: “Over our 38 years, health care organizing has never been a major focus either nationally or locally for us. But increasingly, our offices around the country are doing work on health care to build ACORN Power.” The memo explains how the organization could then “parlay political victory on government-run health care to move our ACORN agenda forward… or parts of it that we might not otherwise be able to pull off.” In other words, the objective of ACORN in pushing universal healthcare – a socialist program, a program that ensures the poor an entitlement – is to piggyback the political power it will bring to improve their political longevity and power. What will the next socialist program be? Surely the race-based programs that Obama and Eric Holder have pursued will consolidate votes, right ? Surely the forced redistribution of wealth will be another attractive scheme.
In 2010, there was a big push to show that ACORN was going away. News outlets such as the NY Times, Politico, and others ran stories announcing its demise. After all, ACORN officials had been convicted of massive voter registration and election fraud. But most believe it was merely just ‘smoke and mirrors.’ As one commentator wrote: “In an age of lawlessness, rules for some out of government favor, and special privileges for special classes, racketeers and criminals need only change their suit and their hat and live another day to rob, steal, cheat, and engage in human trafficking… ”
But then other organizations, with strikingly similar themes and tactics arose…. “Project Vote” and “Organizing for America,” and others. They use the same message of disenfranchisement and inequality that ACORN used and they organize communities in the same manner, using the same tactics. ACORN is a Marxist/socialist organization that protests and demonizes capitalism. They offer hope and change to minority groups, most of which are in poverty, by suggesting they can rise out of their poverty by demanding “their fair share” of the nation’s wealth. Of course, the underlying message is that they must work together en masse to exert the political power they need to effect such “hope and change.” There can be no doubt that this game-plan is still alive and well. Obama is their champion because, for all intents and purposes, he is “one of them.” He comes from their communities, he’s worked in their communities, and he himself is a minority. He shares the same color skin.
This is not to suggest that ACORN targets see the office of the presidency as one open to affirmative action, but an African-American finally sitting in the office of the presidency is indeed a historic event. It is a testament to our racial indifference. But the office of the presidency, now in 2012, also faces another historic opportunity – to look beyond race, to look beyond a “Saul Alinsky” type power play, and to look beyond “one’s fair share of the nation’s wealth” to save the nation from a crisis that threatens its security, its integrity, and its longevity as “the land of the free.”
On election night 2008, Obama had this to say: “This victory alone is not the change we seek… It is only the chance for us to make that change.” We couldn’t have appreciated the significance of that statement at the time. After all, he had no record to run on and the details of his life have been sealed from public scrutiny. His Senate record is one that can be summed up in one word – “Present.” Now we know what kind of change Obama sought and continues to seek – the fundamental transformation of America. We have a taste of that change and it isn’t compatible with the American spirit of liberty, ambition, and resourcefulness. It hasn’t worked and it isn’t working. It won’t work without destroying the fundamental institutions that protect the rights and interests of free men. Americans won’t tolerate the downgrade. They won’t embrace the notion of socialist policies and redistribution. They understand what surely lies at the end of that road – the redistribution of poverty and mediocrity.
Americans need to look beyond the distorted messages of “Organizing for America” and “Project Vote” and their distorted statistics and distorted sense of fairness. President Obama’s policies are not working. For the sake of redistributing our nation’s wealth and opportunities from those who have “earned success” to others less fortunate – without that one little “proviso” (which is “hard work and sacrifice !”) – our current administration has institutionalized punishment as its policy towards those who are successful. Success is taxed, berated, underappreciated, regulated, and then taxed some more. After all, Obama has to find some way to pay for the campaign promises he makes. He has to find some way to make a success story out of his unconstitutional, liberty-killing healthcare scheme.
Obama’s policies are causing people to question what our nation stands for. Do we intend to excel, which means competition and reward must be honored, or do we sink to the depths of despair so that the success of some won’t offend other’s notion of fairness? Do we intend to continue punishing success so that businesses cannot grow and create jobs? Or do we want to push individual self-improvement policies so that more people can contribute meaningfully, feel the sense of pride in earned success, and not become fastened to the government teet? Do we intend to trust ourselves to run our own lives and affairs or do we think a group of political elites in Washington DC can do a better job? Are we willing to use our liberties wisely and responsibly and respectfully, or must government continue to promulgate laws to regulate our every move?
Obama’s policies and rhetoric are dividing us along racial and social lines. He is causing us to point fingers at one another and question the worth of every individual. He is creating classifications such as liberal vs. rightwing extremist, black vs. white, minority vs. non-minority (classifications on job applications are getting more and more numerous and detailed), rich vs. poor, educated vs. uneducated, legal vs. illegal, entitled vs. not entitled, taxpayer vs. non-taxpayer, taxpayer vs. freeloader, contributor vs. taker, “personally responsible” vs. dependent, “those who are part of the problem” vs. “those who are part of the solution,” and the “haves” vs. the “have-nots.” There are extremes. People are no longer just fellow Americans. They come with labels now. And depending on those labels, we discriminate. At least that’s what the government accuses us of. But the fact is that every choice involves a discrimination of some sort.
Our president’s policies are also dividing us along ideological lines. He is a progressive-thinker. There is no doubt about it. He believes in government socialist policies and relaxed social norms. Either you believe in big government or limited government. Either you believe in government-controlled healthcare or you don’t. Either you believe the Constitution should be taken literally or you believe it has lost its relevance and therefore can be interpreted willy nilly. Either you believe that government should regulate the economy to ensure artificial results (government picking winners and losers) or you believe in the free market economy (competition determining winners and losers). Either you believe that the government should respect state laws (such as marriage, healthcare, voting integrity) or you believe that the government should require a “one size fits all” approach. Either you believe in gay marriage or you don’t. Either you believe in the sanctity of human life or you think the right to be free of an unwanted pregnancy at any time before delivery is more important. Either you believe in amnesty for illegal immigrants or you don’t. Either you believe in a fair tax scheme or you believe that only those who make “enough” should be forced to contribute to the funding of the country. Either you see an inherent unfairness in half of Americans paying income tax to provide the revenue to fund the government while the other half pay nothing or you don’t. Either you believe Joe Biden’s statement that it is the patriotic duty of the wealthy to pay even higher rates of taxation or you see an inherent unfairness in the government confiscation of a person’s wealth and property. Either you respect the contributions to this nation by the wealthy or you hate them and blame them for all our country’s ills. Either you believe in personal responsibility or you believe the government should relieve you of the consequences of your actions and decisions. Either you believe it is the job of parents to raise their children and make decisions on their behalf or you believe that’s government’s job. Either you believe in the forced government redistribution of wealth or you believe that the government’s job is to protect an individual’s life, liberty, and property so that he can enjoy the fruits of his own labor. If you support Obama, you must support his progressive policies. And if you support his progressive policies, then you willingly agree to abandon or erode the noble principles on which our great country was founded.
In the ambitious quest for votes above the nation’s best interests, politics has become a game of extremes rather than common interests and solutions. We’ve become a nation of deep ideological differences. A house divided cannot exist.
And the integrity of the house – OUR house – is what is at stake in this election. Our nation’s soul shouldn’t be for sale because of the opportunity to capitalize on the election of a man that doesn’t look and think like the presidents before him.