By Bud White on October 10, 2008 at 8:20 AM in ACORN, Annenberg Chicago Challenge, Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, CAC, Chicago politics, Corruption, Democratic Platform, Domestic Terrorist, Housing & Housing Crisis, Larry Johnson, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., Rev. Michael Pfleger, Saul Alinsky, Voter Fraud, Woods Fund
(Image from Audacity of Hypocrisy)
Before ACORN became a household name, Larry Johnson and Eastan McNeal reported that the Obama campaign has been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to a shady ACORN shell corporation called Citizens Services, Inc. New information, including the photo above, proves that Obama’s past denials of his relationship with ACORN are not the truth.
According to the Leftist Dissent Magazine, the nebulous term, “community organizing,” has shaped Barack Obama:
Although he didn’t make community organizing a lifetime career—he left Chicago to attend Harvard Law School—Obama often says that his organizing experience has shaped his approach to politics.
Since embarking on a political career, Obama hasn’t forgotten the lessons that he learned on the streets of Chicago.
Although Obama claims to never have been associated with ACORN, except when he was retained as their attorney, his community organizing experience is indistinguishable from ACORN’s mission:
In 1985, at age 23, Obama was hired by the Developing Communities Project, a coalition of churches on Chicago’s South Side, to help empower residents to win improved playgrounds, after-school programs, job training, housing, and other concerns affecting a neighborhood hurt by large-scale layoffs from the nearby steel mills and neglect by banks, retail stores, and the local government.
ACORN’s mission is to force governments and businesses, by threat of lawsuits and harassment, to support their agenda of obtaining the maximum services from government, coercing corporations to finance their projects, and forcing banks to approve high-risk loans. Additionally, ACORN works on voter registration issues and is suspected in mass voter fraud. This should be of special concern to the supporters of Hillary Clinton, many of whom witnessed caucus fraud during the primary season.
Stanley Kurtz details that ACORN may be at fault for much of the housing crisis we are now experiencing. Kurtz writes:
While the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act did call on banks to increase lending in poor and minority neighborhoods, its exact requirements were vague, and therefore open to a good deal of regulatory interpretation. Banks merger or expansion plans were rarely held up under CRA until the late 1980s, when ACORN perfected its technique of filing CRA complaints in tandem with the sort of intimidation tactics perfected by that original “community organizer” (and Obama idol), Saul Alinsky.
Kurtz states that Obama, in his position on the board of the Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) — both with domestic terrorist and Obama benefactor Bill Ayers — funneled large sums of money to ACORN:
as a director at Chicago’s Woods Fund, Obama was successfully pushing for a major expansion of assistance to Acorn, and sending still more money Acorn’s way from his post as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Through both funding and personal-leadership training, Obama supported Acorn. And Acorn, far more than we’ve recognized up to now, had a major role in precipitating the subprime crisis.
It’s become apparent that ACORN is serving as Obama’s red-shirted shock troops for voter “outreach,” a euphemism for the mass voter registration fraud witnessed up to this point in the election. ACORN will do for voting integrity what they did for mortgage lending.
According to Obama’s “Fight the Smears” Web Site, he was never an organizer for ACORN:
Regardless of what the Web site says, Obama’s ties to ACORN go much further than simply writing the group large checks from CAC in his role as Bill Ayers’ toady. Although “Fight the Smears” says that Obama was not an organizer for ACORN, he was an attorney for an ACORN’s voter registration project.
However, in May of this year, Stanley Kurtz discovered that Obama and ACORN have a much closer connection:
While most press accounts imply that Obama just happened to be at the sort of public-interest law firm that would take Acorn’s “motor voter” case, Foulkes claims that Acorn specifically sought out Obama’s representation in the motor voter case, remembering Obama from the days when he worked with Talbot. And while many reports speak of Obama’s post-law school role organizing “Project VOTE” in 1992, Foulkes makes it clear that this project was undertaken in direct partnership with Acorn. Foulkes then stresses Obama’s yearly service as a key figure in Acorn’s leadership-training seminars.
Further, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, elaborates that Obama was an attorney for ACORN, trained ACORN activists, and dispensed funds to ACORN:
In 1995, then GOP Gov. Jim Edgar refused to implement the federal “Motor Voter” law. Allowing voters to register using only a postcard and blocking the state from culling voter rolls, he argued, could invite fraud. Mr. Obama sued on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and won. Acorn later invited Mr. Obama to help train its staff; Mr. Obama would also sit on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago, which frequently gave this group grants.
Kurtz lays the collapse of the mortgage giants squarely at the feet of ACORN:
Up to now, conventional wisdom on the financial meltdown has relegated ACORN and the CRA to bit parts. The real problem, we’ve been told, lay with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, however, ACORN is at the base of the whole mess. ACORN used CRA and Democratic sympathizers to entangle Fannie and Freddie and the entire financial system in a disastrous disregard of the most basic financial standards. And Barack Obama cut his teeth as an organizer and politician backing up ACORN’s economic madness every step of the way.
In a prescient article from 1998, entitled Capitalist Wealth Underwrites Assaults on Middle America’s Values, Robert Holland reports that ACORN received funding from Fannie Mae and other banks and that ACORN then pressured the federal government to force banks to make high-risk loans:
Corporate leaders may be dispensing this aid in the belief it will curry favor with radical groups, or they may calculate that regulation will favor their business’ interests over competitors. Some of the giving, however, just seems spectacularly misguided: For example, Bank America, Chase Manhattan, and Fannie Mae contributed $315,000 to ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), an outfit that threatens financial institutions with federal sanctions if they fail to issue high-risk loans at bargain rates to borrowers of ACORN’s choosing.
Matthew Weaver originally uncovered this photograph of Obama and The Rev. Michael L. Pfleger protesting payday loans in January 2000.
The caption from NBC 5 photograph does not detail who sponsored the protest. It’s striking, however, that one of ACORN’s primary missions is protesting payday loans. And the yellow signs are ubiquitous in nearly all photographs of ACORN from this period:
The caption reads: “ACORN members demand fair lending, not predatory lending! This march was part of ACORN’s National Convention in Philadelphia, Summer 2000.”
The protest in Chicago attended by Obama and The Rev. Pfleger was likely an ACORN-related event, and significant enough for Pfleger to list the protest on his Curriculum Vitae:
What’s interesting about Pfleger’s CV, in addition to the prominence placed on the lending protest, are the other two actions. In a period of one month, Pfleger was actively attempting to ban Indian bidis cigarettes (with Obama) and coordinating efforts with Rev. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
But Obama’s ties with Pfleger did not end with fighting payday loans and exotic cigarettes, Pfleger is close to Farrakhan and Obama attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March:
Obama was apparently at Farrakhan’s Million Man March, although his precise attitude toward the march is in dispute
Regardless of Obama’s proximity to Farrakhan, he continues to embrace the resurgent far-Left.
Dissent reports that Obama employs Marshall Ganz of Harvard to lead “Camp Obama,” a Saul Alinsky-inspired, ACORN-like retreat for the training of Obama organizers:
Obama enlisted Marshall Ganz, a Harvard professor who is one of the country’s leading organizing theorists and practitioners, to help train organizers and volunteers as a key component of his presidential campaign. Ganz was instrumental in shaping the volunteer training experience.
Many Obama campaign volunteers went through several days of intense training sessions called “Camp Obama.” The sessions were led by Ganz and other experienced organizers
Ganz is a respected organizer and academic with long-term associations with ACORN. He was also a member of the Howard Dean campaign.
In an article last year on Talking Points Memo, Ganz notes that recent elections have been remarkably close and that organizing will decide this year’s election. Using Alinsky as his model, he proposes a grass-roots campaign to win in 2008.
Barack Obama, a man we know little truth about, was forced onto the Democratic Party by far-Left activists and obsequious Party elders. ACORN is engaged in fraudulent voter registration on behalf of Obama, and the leader of “Camp Obama” tells us clearly that this election will be about organizing. Obama’s close relationship with ACORN, as documented by Kurtz,
a bit of digging into Obama’s years in the Illinois State Senate indicates strong concern with Acorn’s signature issues, as well as meetings with Acorn and the introduction by Obama of Acorn-friendly legislation on the living wage and banking practices. You begin to wonder whether, in his Springfield days, Obama might have best been characterized as “the Senator from Acorn.”
This is a frightening thought when you consider that ACORN is much to blame for the housing crisis we’re now experiencing. And it’s not surprising that the Obama campaign’s strong-arm tactics, inspired by Alinsky and perfected by ACORN, have made the Democratic Party foreign to so many of its loyal base.