Obama’s Hidden ACORN

Barack Hussein Obama the “community organizer” has never traveled far from the local tree he fell from.

While he is a skilled candidate, Barack Obama’s ability to surprise, stun and sweep over the vaunted Clinton Machine to capture the Democratic nomination was rooted in his background as a community organizer. He’s now turning those skills to the general election, writes John Fund at the Political Diary.

Should Mr. Obama be elected, he would become not just the head of the Democratic Party but also the inspiration for a large number of liberal groups. Some of them would no doubt lobby him to hand out taxpayer grants and contracts for their nonpolitical “community” efforts.

Mr. Obama has extensive connections with the granddaddy of activist groups, Acorn (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which has gotten millions in government grants for its low-income housing programs. In 1992, Acorn hired Mr. Obama to run a voter registration effort. He later became a trainer for the group, as well as its lawyer in election law cases.

Acorn’s political arm has endorsed Mr. Obama while its “voter education” arm has pledged to spend $35 million to register people this fall — despite a history of vote fraud scandals that have led to guilty pleas by many Acorn employees.

The housing bill now before Congress would set up a slush fund for community organizations such as Acorn. But Acorn has gone quiet in its lobbying for the bill this week with the news that one of its employees — the brother of Acorn founder Wade Rathke — had stolen nearly $1 million from the group. Mr. Rathke decided not to alert law enforcement or the organization’s board, and kept his brother employed at Acorn until last month.

“Is this the kind of group we want getting taxpayer money?” asks Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)

“What if Barack Obama’s most important radical connection has been hiding in plain sight all along?” asks Stanley Kurtz at National Review.

Obama has had an intimate and long-term association with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn), the largest radical group in America.

Sol Stern at City Journal writes:

Community organizing among the urban poor has been an honorable American tradition since Jane Addams’s famous Hull House dramatically uplifted the late-nineteenth-century Chicago slums, but ACORN and Addams are on different planets philosophically.

Hull House and its many successors emphasized self-empowerment: the poor, they thought, could take control of their lives and communities through education, hard work, and personal responsibility. Not ACORN. It promotes a 1960s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism, central planning, victimology, and government handouts to the poor. As a result, not only does it harm the poor it claims to serve; it is also a serious threat to the urban future. (LC Emphasis)

ACORN’s bedrock assumption remains the ultra-Left’s familiar anti-capitalist redistributionism.

“We are the majority, forged from all the minorities,” reads the group’s “People’s Platform,” whose prose Orwell would have derided as pure commissar-speak. “We will continue our fight . . . until we have shared the wealth, until we have won our freedom. (LC Emphasis)

The theory, explains Stern, was that an impossibly overburdened welfare system would force “a radical reconstruction of America’s unjust capitalist economy.” Instead of a socialist utopia, however, we got the culture of dependency and family breakdown that ate away at America’s inner cities — until welfare reform began to turn the tide.

In August 2006 Steven Malanga wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

The movement is not always what it appears to be. Though Acorn touts living-wage laws as a way to lift the working poor into the middle class, the vast body of academic work on wage laws shows that they end up hurting the poor by forcing businesses to eliminate some low-wage jobs. Acorn’s own leadership understands this principle perfectly. When California regulators sued Acorn for not paying its own workers the minimum wage, Acorn argued that this would endanger its mission—because it would have to hire fewer workers. (LC Emphasis)

According to ACORN, Obama trained its Chicago members in leadership seminars, in turn, ACORN volunteers worked on his campaigns. Obama also sat on the boards of the Woods Fund and Joyce Foundation, both of which poured money into ACORN’s coffers.

ACORN head Maude Hurd gushes that Obama is the candidate who “best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about” — like ensuring their massive pipeline to your hard-earned money.

St. Louis County Election officials claim hundreds of fraudulent voter address changes have been turned in by ACORN, a group that’s been criticized for its voter sign-up work in Missouri. Election Board employees estimate hundreds of fraudulent address changes were submitted.

The address changes included forged signatures and are among questionable or fraudulent voter registration cards submitted to the county within the past couple of months.

County officials told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that most of the suspicious registrations and address changes were submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Similar fraudulent voter registration cards have turned up this month in St. Louis city and this week in Kansas City, as well as other states, including Ohio.

The cases are often similar. Voter registration cards were forged for a dead person, had false signatures and change of addresses or incorrect and missing personal information, Goeke said.

Eight workers for a get-out-the-vote effort in St. Louis city and county have pleaded guilty to federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards for the 2006 election, authorities said today.

The workers were employed by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), gathering voter registrations. U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said they submitted cards with false addresses and names, and forged signatures.

D.C. Dateline writes:

But back in Chicago, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is more important than Iraq or Washington. ACORN and its associated Midwest Academy, both founded in the 1970s, continue to train and mobilize activists throughout the country, often using them to manipulate public opinion through “direct action.” It’s sometimes a code for illegal activities.

Prior to law school, Barack Obama worked as an organizer for their affiliates in New York and Chicago. He always has been an ACORN person — meeting and working with them to advance their causes. Through his membership on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago and his friendship with Teresa Heinz Kerry, Obama has helped ensure that they remain funded well.

Since he graduated from law school, Obama’s work with ACORN and the Midwest Academy has ranged from training and fundraising, to legal representation and promoting their work.

Barack Hussein Obama’s “Hidden ACORN” is slowly getting exposed. Indeed!

See Our Update Obama’s Rotten ACORN

See This Updated Story by Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online: Inside Obama’s Acorn.

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