Obama’s ACORN: A Leftist Social Reform Group
Obama’s most questionable tie is to a leftist organization called ACORN. His connection to this group begins with a woman named Madeleine Talbot. She embraced Obama and taught him the ropes. He remained a part of this group’s training cadre. Obama taught leadership conferences for the group while working for Miner, Barnhill & Galland. His connections don’t end there. Obama actively sought and received the endorsement by ACORN for his local campaigns. He has now done the same in his bid for the USA presidency.
According to its web site ACORN (an acronym for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), is the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. At first glance, this organization seems to be benign. This is not true since it uses very aggressive tactics to get its work done.
Some recent reports about their activities include the following things. They have disrupted and blocked activities within the Chicago City Council during living wage discussions. In Baltimore, MD, they burst into the scene of a private law dinner. They bussed four loads of protesters to the site of a mayor’s house, where they spewed profanities at the mayor and his family. And these are just the ones we know about. Their thuggery is over the line by far.
These are not their only questionable actions. In the past they have been tied to illegal voter registration in at least three states. These three states are Washington, Missouri, and North Carolina.
In Missouri, the voter fraud case was tied to at least one campaign, the senate campaign of Claire McCaskill.
In 2004, the Washington state Secretary of State described ACORN’s illegal activity as the “largest case of voter fraud in the state’s history”.
They were fined $25,000 and promised to instruct their paid canvassers on the state election requirements. In 2005, according to the complaint filed with Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, the voter fraud involved the registration of homeless people. ACORN agrees they break the law but said “no one told us”. In 2006, in Kansas City, MO, five low-level operatives were charged with voter fraud. Four pleaded guilty, with the fifth person released because it came out that an ACORN worker had stolen her identity.
This is just the first layer of radicalism. According to Sol Stern’s 2003 City Journal article, “ACORN’s Nutty Regime for Cities,” this group is the key modern successor of the 1960 ‘s “New Left” with a 1960’s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism to match. While ACORN still uses the old tactics of the National Welfare Reform Organization to get things done, the targets and strategy have changed. They prefer to fly under the radar, taken their tactics to liberal urban areas like Chicago and now here in Kansas. Their national goals are municipal “living” wage laws, targeting big companies like Costco, rolling back welfare reform, and regulating banks.
ACORN drives companies like Costco from urban areas that actually need jobs. Their opposition to welfare reform tends to keep the people in poverty in these areas, while causing family breakdown. The worst of their tactics is the regulation of banks. They protest “predatory lending,” putting pressure on banks to make large donations to them to finance their “non-partisan motor voter drives.” Stern says that these tactics tend to be “undisguised authoritarian socialism.”
Don’t let its tactics fool you though. According to Kurtz, “ACORN is a savvy and exceedingly effective player.” They prefer to take over the system from within rather than overthrowing the system from without. Stern calls this a political version of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In Chicago, where the largest organization exists, an ACORN member won a seat on the Board of Alderman as candidate of the leftist New Party.
Obama in his pre-law days was a community organizer. He was supposed to teach the residents to press for improvements in places like their parks which were eyesores back in his day. Part of Obama’s employment was to organize demonstrations, much in the same way groups like ACORN do. Some of Obama’s claims, in his book Dreams from My Father, about his actions to remove asbestos are false. It was actually a woman named Hazel Johnson who discovered the asbestos problem and who led the removal efforts.
Once again, Madeleine Talbot, Obama’s ACORN mentor, reappears on our radar screens. It turns out Talbot was in some sense responsible for the attempted unsuccessful coup of the Chicago City Council meeting on the living wage issue in 1997. Two hundred ACORN supporters were present. While the actions did disrupt the meeting, six members were arrested that night, charged with “mob action and disorderly conduct.” Among those six was Talbot, Obama’s ACORN mentor.
Does it mean Obama used these tactics? I highly doubt it since he would have been above those tactics in order to protect his political future. He wouldn’t have wanted to break the law with such aggressive behavior. I do believe by this time Obama was well aware of their tactics and understood them, maybe even teaching them in his leadership conferences.
It seems that in reality that Obama is ACORN’s way to overthrow the system from the inside. This jives with his words such as “I am for hope and change, I am for a new Washington, D.C.” While Axelrod coined the term “Hope and Change,” ACORN is fully behind Obama’s opportunity to overthrow our government, if you will, from the inside. They are not alone in their quest for this because it seems that the Service Employee’s International Union is one of ACORN’s strange bedfellows.
The extent of his ties is often dismissed. They are however covered in another article found in the journal Social Policy entitled “Case Study: Chicago – The Barack Obama Campaign” by Tom Foulkes. In this article, Foulkes claims that ACORN specifically sought out Obama’s representation in the “motor voter case,” remembering him from his pre-law days and his work with Talbot. He also trained many of the new volunteers and employees in Leadership Training Conferences even as he was working as a law professional.
This is only the beginning of his continued use and cooperation on the part of ACORN. Obama used them as volunteer “thugs” for his first bid for the Illinois state senate in 1996 and again in his failed 2000 bid for Congress. Obama doesn’t forget his old friends, many of his newly trained volunteers, and used them again in his 2004 successful bid for the United States Senate. By this time ACORN and Obama were like old friends.
ACORN as well as other groups were the recipients of foundation money from both the Woods Fund and Joyce Foundation. Why is this important? Obama sat on both boards. Through his board positions, he was able to assist in the funneling of many millions of dollars in grant money to various ultra-liberal organizations like Chicago’s ACORN. It may not be illegal but it gives me pause.
It would be illegal for Obama to funnel money to his main “get out the vote” volunteers in his position on those boards. So it would seem, at least on the exterior, that ACORN probably did observe the “rule of law” in its non-partisan efforts. It claims that its get-out-the-vote drives are segregated from its political arm. I am certain that much grant money has been received from these two foundations. And I am left with a nagging question. Where does ACORN get the money for its never-empty war chest? Could it be they receive funding from someone like George Soros, who has poured millions into presidential campaigns like Obama and even Howard Dean, according to a blog piece at No Quarter, “Hitler and the New Democratic Party.”
According to Kurtz in his NRO article, while these questions about funding and partisanship are important, what is more troubling are Obama’s ties to ACORN, “arguably the most politically, radical, large-scale activist group in this country.” ACORN sneaked its first political insider on the Board of Alderman in Chicago as a “New Party” candidate elected to that board. As ACORN has managed to sneak its operatives within the system legally through elections, one would think that Obama is able to do the same. Why do we know this? Because Obama has trained many of their current leaders.
The LA Times returned to that same Chicago neighborhood where Obama worked as a community organizer to take a look at the same neighborhood. What they found was a real disappointment. They found one of those parks that Obama “helped” restore to its natural beauty is now overrun by drug dealers and thugs again. It seems nothing changed for very long in the old Obama stomping grounds.
The best finish to this article is Stanley Kurtz’s own words. “The community organizer may generate feel-good moments and best selling books, but I suspect that a Costco as the seed bed of a larger shopping complex would have done far more to save the neighborhood where Obama worked to organize in the progressive fashion.” Unfortunately, Chicago ACORN is blocking that effort.