Category Archives: Acorn

The Obama-Ayers Education Story: Funding Left-Wing Radicalism In Education

by: Dan McLaughlin

Today’s must-read: after months of investigation, in which he had to weather all manner of stonewalling and intimidation by the Obama camp, Stanley Kurtz finally has the story, in today’s Wall Street Journal, of Barack Obama’s involvement in unrepentant former terrorist Bill Ayers’ project to spread left-wing politics under the guise of ‘education’ in Chicago schools. Here’s a flavor of Ayers’ project:

CAC translated Mr. Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama’s early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC’s in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.

CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children’s education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama’s alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber’s objections.

And of Obama’s involvement in the activities of a group whose board he chaired:

Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit….Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC’s first year. He also served on the board’s governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.

Kurtz’s conclusion:

The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn’t guilt by association; it’s guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle.

Kurtz makes some references in the article to the Obama camp’s pushback, and discusses it (including reprinting the Obama campaign’s full response) here, including completing the connection of the dots in Obama’s involvement in setting up and funding Ayers’ activities:

In the first year, 1995, Obama headed the board, which made fiscal decisions, and Ayers co-chaired the Collaborative, which set education policy. During that first year, Obama’s formal responsibilities mandated close cooperation and coordination with the Collaborative. As board chair and president of the CAC corporation, Obama was authorized to "delegate to the Collaborative the development of collaborative projects and programs . . . to obtain assistance of the Collaborative in the development of requests for proposals . . . and to seek advice from the Collaborative regarding the programmatic aspects of grant proposals." All this clearly involves significant consultation between the board, headed by Obama, and the Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers.     Read More..

Obama website lies about ACORN ties Campaign tries to distance senator from group convicted of voter fraud

By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign is misleading the public regarding the presidential candidate’s ties to a radical leftist organization that has admitted to major financial improprieties and has been convicted in numerous, massive voter fraud scandals.

Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign on Friday stepped up its efforts to draw attention to Obama’s alleged relationship with ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, holding a conference call in which McCain spokesman Rick Davis accused Obama of making "very inconsistent remarks about what his relationship with this organization is."

In response to the increased focus on ACORN, the Obama campaign last week claimed on its "Fight the Smears" website the presidential candidate was "never an ACORN community organizer; ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee; ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992."

But these blanket statements are false and misleading.

In 1992, Obama was director of Project Vote in Chicago, which helped register 150,000 voters on the city’s South Side. Obama’s successful work was credited in multiple media reports with helping to elect Democratic Senator Carol Moseley Braun.

Obama’s campaign claims ACORN was "not part of" Project Vote, but the organization’s incorporation papers, obtained by WND, show Project Vote is a trademark name whose parent company is registered at the same New Orleans address in which ACORN and multiple ACORN affiliates are housed.

Obama himself previously connected Project Vote to ACORN.

"I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drives in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work," Obama was quoted on his own campaign website as saying at an ACORN meeting, according to a post by official Obama website blogger Sam Graham-Felsen.

Clarifying the role of ACORN in Project Vote, Obama Spokesman Ben LaBolt told the New York Times this weekend Project Vote and ACORN were not as intertwined in 1992 as they are today, when a significant part of Project Vote’s revenues flow to ACORN and various of its affiliates as payment for services.

But LaBolt’s statement, which admits Project Vote and ACORN was intertwined on some level while Obama was director directly contradicts the Obama campaign’s "Fact Check" claim that ACORN was "not part" of Project Vote.

In a misleading statement, Obama’s site claims "ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee," but it fails to mention Obama was an unpaid ACORN trainer, as WND first reported in August.    Read More..

1 VOTER, 72 REGISTRATIONS

By JEANE MacINTOSH

‘ACORN PAID ME IN CASH & CIGS’

CLEVELAND – A man at the center of a voter-registration scandal told The Post yesterday he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive ACORN activists in exchange for registering an astonishing 72 times, in apparent violation of Ohio laws.

"Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they’ll give me a dollar to sign up," said Freddie Johnson, 19, who filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of the left-leaning Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

"The ACORN people are everywhere, looking to sign people up. I tell them I am already registered. The girl said, ‘You are?’ I say, ‘Yup,’ and then they say, ‘Can you just sign up again?’ " he said.

Johnson used the same information on all of his registration cards, and officials say they usually catch and toss out duplicate registrations. But the practice sparks fear that some multiple registrants could provide different information and vote more than once by absentee ballot.

ACORN is under investigation in Ohio and at least eight other states – including Missouri, where the FBI said it’s planning to look into potential voter fraud – for over-the-top efforts to get as many names as possible on the voter rolls regardless of whether a person is registered or eligible.

Read More..

What does Obama know about ACORN fraud?

by Ed Morrissey

Investors Business Daily asks what Barack Obama knows about the epidemic of voter fraud in ACORN, and it’s not an unfair question.   Not only has Obama publicly endorsed ACORN, he has paid them at least $800,000 for their services, an amount that he didn’t immediately disclose until pressed.  ACORN has responded in kind, with their voter-registration efforts that have resulted in criminal investigations in more than a dozen states:

For starters, Obama paid ACORN, which has endorsed him for president, $800,000 to register new voters, payments his campaign failed to accurately report. (They were disguised in his FEC disclosure as payments to a front group called Citizen Services Inc. for “advance work.”)

What’s more, Obama worked as executive director of ACORN’s voter-registration arm, Project Vote, in 1992. Joined by two other community organizers on Chicago’s South Side, Obama conducted the voter-registration drive that helped elect Carol Moseley-Braun to the Senate that year.

The next year, 1993, Obama joined the civil-rights law firm Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, where he sued the state of Illinois on behalf of ACORN to implement the federal “Motor Voter” law, which the GOP governor at the time refused to do. Then-Gov. Jim Edgar argued, presciently, that the Clinton law would invite voter fraud.

Obama downplays his ties to ACORN, and his campaign denies coordinating with ACORN to register voters.

For a man with a short track record, Barack Obama spends a lot of time disassociating himself from political partners.  He spent most of the campaign misrepresenting his years-long working relationship with William Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist of the Weather Underground and a man who still wants the overthrow of the capitalist economic system in the US.  Now he wants to hide his work over two decades with an organization that should be looking at the business end of a federal RICO prosecution.  Read More..