DOJ defends election fraud

March 1, 2014

The Obama administration, yet again, is taking steps to defend election fraud:

Justice Department lawyer Bradley Heard was in court today trying to stop Kansas from ensuring that only citizens register to vote. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, relying on a United States Supreme Court opinion of last year, asked the federal Election Assistance Commission to permit him to ensure that only citizens were registering to vote.

The Obama administration has been utterly consistent on this issue. They are always against any measures to protect the integrity of elections. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to draw an inference from that.


More non-existent election fraud

May 10, 2013

Remember, election fraud never, ever happens. Pay no attention to stuff like this:

A jury in South Bend, Indiana has found that fraud put President Obama and Hillary Clinton on the presidential primary ballot in Indiana in the 2008 election. Two Democratic political operatives were convicted Thursday night in the illegal scheme after only three hours of deliberations. They were found guilty on all counts.


Election fraud never, ever happens

February 19, 2013

Don’t worry. No matter how often this happens, it’s always an isolated incident:

Richardson claimed she had submitted an absentee ballot, but was afraid her vote would not count so she also voted in person. She also said she voted in the name of her granddaughter and yet another person.

“There was absolutely no intent on my part to commit any voter fraud,” she insisted.

The culprit in this case, was a veteran poll worker. But don’t worry, I’m sure she kept her jobs as an election fraudster and as a poll worker separate.


Yes Virginia, there is election fraud

October 8, 2012

The Democrats consistently defend election fraud against any kind of reform, like voter identification or purging ineligible persons from the voting rolls. Their reason for doing so is transparent, but they need to put forward a story for the gullible (a.k.a. the press). Their story is twofold: anti-fraud measures are racist, and there’s no fraud anyway.

The former argument is risible, but what about the latter? They keep telling us that there’s no fraud anywhere, and when fraud does pop up, it’s always passed off as an isolated incident. Is that plausible? With the government controlling so much today, the amount at stake is enormous. People spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the outcome of elections. Is it really plausible that no one would try to stuff the ballot box, especially when it is so laughably easy to do?

The truth is, we aren’t finding fraud because we aren’t looking. Democrats generally quash any effort for the government to look, but now private groups are picking up the slack. And yes, it turns out that if you look, you find fraud.

True the Vote looked at elections in New York and Florida and easily uncovered dozens of instances of fraud. Not enough to change the outcome of an election? Perhaps not, but this is just what a private organization with limited resources was able to uncover when it first started looking. Furthermore, they could only look for violations in one category (ineligible voters). For example, wrong-person voting becomes impossible to detect as soon as the fraudster walks away.

Moreover, there are major examples in which fraud did change the outcome of an election. In the 2004 Washington gubernatorial race, the Democrat won by 129 votes (after weeks of shady recounts), in which 1482 people voted illegally. Nearly all those of those were felons, who overwhelmingly vote Democrat. And then there’s the 2008 Minnesota Senate race, in which the Democrat won by 312 votes, with 1099 illegal votes from felons. That one is particularly notable, because it gave Democrats the 60th vote they needed to jam through Obamacare.

As Obamacare destroys our country over the next two decades (the CBO projects an economic collapse by 2035), remember that it only passed because the Democrats cheated.


More election fraud

June 11, 2012

A very cursory review of Florida election records found dozens of non-citizens on the voter rolls, some of whom appear to have voted. Naturally, Florida is putting a stop to the review.


Democrats: don’t investigate election fraud, or else

October 23, 2010

The citizens’ group in Texas that uncovered a major election fraud operation is being sued by the Texas Democratic Party.


Troy voter fraud swayed election

October 20, 2009

More developments in the election fraud scandal in Troy, New York:

Thirty-eight forged or fraudulent ballots have been thrown out — enough votes, an election official admits, to likely have tipped the city council and county elections in November to the Democrats. . .

A special prosecutor is investigating the case and criminal charges are possible. New York State Supreme Court Judge Michael Lynch ruled that there were “significant election law violations that have compromised the rights of numerous voters and the integrity of the election process.”

Note that the Working Families Party, the organization responsible for the fraud, is linked to ACORN.


DOJ lied about mortgage fraud crackdown

August 17, 2013

Does Eric Holder’s Justice Department tell the truth about anything?

The Justice Department and FBI have quietly acknowledged they grossly overstated the scope of a mortgage fraud crackdown, which the administration heralded with much fanfare a few weeks before last year’s presidential election.

According to a memo circulated by the FBI and a correction posted online by the Justice Department, the number of defendants, the number of victims and the size of the losses are, in reality, a fraction of what officials claimed last October.

In the long run, I think that the Democrats are making a big mistake by identifying the Justice Department with political chicanery. Some day the DOJ might need that reputation they’re ruining.


Defending voter fraud

September 12, 2012

The career staff of the Department of Justice Voting Section recommended that South Carolina’s voter ID law be cleared, but they were overruled by political appointees.

Furthermore, the DOJ has been stalling the ensuing litigation by filing absurd motions, like objecting to South Carolina submitting its brief in 12-point font instead of 13-point font. I am not making this up. This is presumably an effort to run out the clock until after the election, since the South Carolina law cannot go into effect without the approval of either the DOJ or a court.


SEIU ballot fraud

November 21, 2009

The National Union of Healthcare Workers is alleging that the SEIU engaged in illegal tactics — including intimidation and ballot tampering — in an election in which workers were choosing which of the two unions would represent them. If true, and the allegations seem solid, this shows that the SEIU will not only use illegal tactics against (evil capitalist) businesses, but also against other labor unions.

More here.


More ACORN voter fraud

September 30, 2009

Although it moonlights as a facilitator for child prostitution and human trafficking rings, ACORN’s bread-and-butter is election fraud. Today we have two new ACORN election fraud scandals. One is in Las Vegas, where ACORN illegally paid cash incentives for voter registrations, and the other is in Troy, New York, where an ACORN subsidiary forged dozens of absentee ballots.


Iran’s fake election

June 16, 2009

The latest evidence that Iran’s election was fake, if we needed any more (Sullivan’s graph being pretty conclusive):

Speed of Iran vote count called suspicious

CAIRO (AP) — How do you count almost 40 million handwritten paper ballots in a matter of hours and declare a winner? That’s a key question in Iran’s disputed presidential election. International polling experts and Iran analysts said the speed of the vote count, coupled with a lack of detailed election data normally released by officials, was fueling suspicion around President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s landslide victory.

(Via Instapundit.) (Previous post.)


Iran’s fake election

June 13, 2009

Opinion polls before the Iranian election gave Mir Hussein Moussavi a clear lead over incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, putting Ahmadinejad on the defensive and fueling speculation that Moussavi might win outright in the first round. But, when they conducted the election, Ahmadinejad won in the first round, by an astounding 30 points. Moussavi even lost in his own home town.

Iranian polling is hardly reliable. If Ahmedinejad had squeeked by, no one could have said for certain that the election was a fraud. So why give him such an implausible margin of victory?

In truth, this matters only as a signal. The Iranian president has only the power that is permitted him by the mullahs and the “supreme guide.” A reformer (if indeed Moussavi is one, which is hardly clear) as president could not have undermined the mullahs’ agenda in any meaningful way. I think the mullahs are sending a signal that they like the job Ahmadinejad is doing and they don’t care what their people or the world think.

(Via Instapundit, and Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Daniel Pipes makes the case that this is actually for the best:

While my heart goes out to the many Iranians who desperately want the vile Ahmadinejad out of power, my head tells me it’s best that he remain in office. When Mohammed Khatami was president, his sweet words lulled many people into complacency, even as the nuclear weapons program developed on his watch. If the patterns remain unchanged, better to have a bellicose, apocalyptic, in-your-face Ahmadinejad who scares the world than a sweet-talking Mousavi who again lulls it to sleep, even as thousands of centrifuges whir away.

(Via the Corner.)

UPDATE: Rich Lowry coins a useful phrase to describe what we’ve seen: the mullahs over-stole the election. Sounds about right.

Also Max Boot agrees with Pipes. (Via Instapundit.)


Voter fraud convictions in Ohio

May 4, 2009

Three out-of-state Obama staffers pled guilty to voting illegally in Ohio.  One said it was all a misunderstanding, but they admitted to having received a letter from the county before election day that explained the law.

(Via Volokh.)


Preventing voter fraud is racist

October 30, 2008

According to the Rendell administration, preventing voter fraud is racist:

The head of the [Luzerne] county bureau of elections hasn’t encountered any suspected voter registration fraud, but allegations in other parts of Pennsylvania have sparked a lawsuit and a verbal exchange between a state official and the Republican Party.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party filed a lawsuit to assure the vote count is accurate – a move that Gov. Ed Rendell’s press secretary described as a “Jim Crow attitude.”

Playing the race card is probably just his reflex response, but if we take him seriously, he seems to be saying that preventing voter fraud hurts blacks.  So isn’t he saying that blacks are likely to commit voter fraud?  Doesn’t that make him the racist? (Answer: Of course not, he’s a Democrat.)

(Via Hot Air.)


Staggering fraud

October 25, 2008

ACORN claimed to have registered 1.3 million voters this year, but it is now revealed that the real number is about a third of that:

On Oct. 6, the community organizing group Acorn and an affiliated charity called Project Vote announced with jubilation that they had registered 1.3 million new voters. But it turns out the claim was a wild exaggeration, and the real number of newly registered voters nationwide is closer to 450,000, Project Vote’s executive director, Michael Slater, said in an interview.

The remainder are registered voters who were changing their address and roughly 400,000 that were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors, Mr. Slater acknowledged.

In registration drives, it is common for a percentage of newly registered voters to be disqualified for various reasons, although experts say the percentage is higher when groups pay workers to gather registrations. But the disclosure on Thursday that 30 percent of Acorn’s registrations were faulty was described by Republicans as further proof of what they said was Acorn’s effort to tilt the election unfairly.

One-third new registrations (as far as we know), one-third address changes, one-third fraud.

(Via Instapundit.)


ACORN raises the bar for voter fraud

October 14, 2008

ACORN has outdone itself in Indiana. They recently submitted 5000 new voter registrations in Lake County. Every single one of them that the county has checked, 2100 so far, was fraudulent. Unfortunately for the county, the law requires that they continue to check the remaining 2900.

When confronted with their fraud, ACORN’s lawyer says it’s partly the government’s fault:

BONUS: In their five-and-a-half minute story, CNN didn’t manage to mention whether ACORN has any ideological or party preferences. I don’t want to bash them too much — after all, they did run the story — but come on. Not only does this organization work to advance the Democratic party, it is actually paid by the Obama campaign.

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Jim Hoft has a convenient compilation of ACORN’s fraud across 12 states.  (Via Instapundit.)


More ACORN fraud

October 9, 2008

This time in Missouri. (Via Instapundit.)

The Democrats should really think again about whether winning elections is more important than the integrity of the system. We’re headed for a complete breakdown of public confidence in the democratic process. Is that really what they want? An unelected government will lose any moral authority it ever had. A minimalistic government might survive that, but the Democrats want to use the government to carry out grand feats of social engineering. Doing so without the acquiescence of the people will be very hard, or very dangerous.


Because I guess we had too much confidence in our elections

October 2, 2008

The Democrat in charge of Ohio elections turns election monitors away from the polls.

BONUS: She also permits same-day registration, in violation of Ohio law, based on the theory that “casting your vote” does not constitute “voting.” I am not making this up.

(Via Instapundit.)


Crook hires crook

November 30, 2013

Terry McAuliffe, the ethically-challenged but never-yet-indicted Democrat just elected governor of Virginia, has named a criminal to his cabinet:

The name Levar Stoney may not ring a bell to many in Wisconsin, but the new Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia and former Deputy Campaign Manager for Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has some scandalous history in Wisconsin.

In 2004, Levar Stoney was involved in covering up and lying for five Democratic campaign operatives who slashed the tires of 25 vans rented by the Republican Party for get out the vote efforts.

It’s interesting that, despite all the Democratic bleating about voter suppression (in particular, how any measure whatsoever to inhibit election fraud constitutes voter suppression), it’s the Democrats who actually practice it.


Coming soon to Turkey

May 31, 2011

Claire Berlinski reports that it looks like major election fraud is in the offing in Turkey.


Good riddance

March 24, 2010

Hannah Giles is dancing on ACORN’s grave. I think she’s earned it.

I don’t doubt that this is just a tactical retreat, and they’re planning to re-emerge under a new name, one that’s not associated with election fraud, child prostitution, and human trafficking. Still, the good guys won this round.


Smoking gun

July 19, 2009

The illegal Honduran referendum to allow presidential re-election never took place, but investigators searching the presidential palace after Manuel Zelaya’s ouster have found what would have been its official results. Unsurprisingly, the referendum passed by a wide margin, at least in the one polling place that is being reported. This is popping up in multiple press outlets now, so the story sounds legit.

One common argument among those who would like to see the would-be tyrant restored to office is that he is unpopular, so restoring him to power would be temporary and not make much difference. That argument is inoperative now; Zelaya’s preparations for election fraud make his unpopularity moot. (Setting aside the fact that Zelaya cannot constitutionally be restored to office.)

(Via Instapundit.) (Previous post.)


More ACORN criminal activity

February 21, 2009

ACORN’s criminal activities are branching out from election fraud to breaking and entering.  With a Baltimore TV news crew in attendance, they “reclaimed” a foreclosed home, which is to say that they broke into the home and put a new lock on it.  That home, as it turns out, had already been resold to someone else, who will be contacting the police.

(Via Hot Air.)

UPDATE: Arrested.


Stimulus package funds ACORN

January 27, 2009

The infamous election fraud organization gets its first payoff in the stimulus package, with a share of $4.19 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities.”

UPDATE: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.


Media bias and the polls

October 18, 2008

Obama concedes that media bias matters, in a backwards sort of way:

“I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls,” Obama told me. “If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me, right? Because the way I’m portrayed 24/7 is as a freak! I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal. Who wants somebody like that?”

He could be right. If there were no Fox News, every major media outlet would be in the tank for Obama. That could well be worth 2-3 points. Of course, for Obama to complain about media bias is a little like Richard Daley (the elder) complaining about election fraud.

But just for fun, let’s take Obama’s estimate at face value and do a back-of-the-envelope calculation. (Don’t take any of this too seriously!)

The Groseclose-Milyo media-bias study scored Fox News at 39.7, where higher is more liberal and the center (i.e., the average voter) is 50.06. Thus, each point of Fox News bias results in a quarter of a point in the polls (by Obama’s estimate).

So, let’s compute how much it benefits Obama to be favored by nearly every other media outlet. To do the calculation, we need to have estimates of the relative influence of the various outlets. Since this is just a back-of-the-envelope calculation, let me make some very conservative assumptions (er, conservative in the sense of cautious; that is, assumptions unfavorable to my case) that also turn out to make the calculation easy.

First, let’s suppose that every outlet in the Groseclose-Milyo study other than Fox News has equal influence. This is a cautious assumption, since most would agree that the farthest left outlets (e.g., New York Times, CBS, Washington Post) are some of the most influential. The composite score of all non-Fox outlets is then simply the average, 63.9.

Second, let’s suppose that Fox News has one-quarter the influence of every other news outlet combined. (That is, assume that Fox News itself has about 20% of the influence of the entire mainstream media. In my dreams!) That means that each point of non-Fox bias is worth four times each point of Fox bias, which works out to about one point in the polls. Thus, 13.8 points of non-Fox bias translates to about 14 points in the polls.

That is pretty close to the 15-point estimate that Newsweek’s Evan Thomas gave for how much media bias was helping Kerry in 2004. If Obama is right that Fox News is costing him 2.5 points (a big if!), and if there exists a linear relationship between media bias and poll results, and if media bias hasn’t lessened since the study was conducted (unlikely!), then Thomas’s 15 points has to be an underestimate, given our cautious assumptions.

The latest RCP poll average has Obama up by 6.3 points.


Zimbabwe vote rigging in action

July 5, 2008

A film smuggled out of the country shows Zimbabwean vote-rigging in process.  In the film, a Mugabe crony watches carefully as people prepare their postal ballot.

There’s a lesson for us here as well.  The secret ballot is the fundamental instrument of democracy, and the moves to vote-by-mail in several states endanger it.  Absentee ballots are already the tool of choice for election fraud in the United States.


Unmitigated gall

December 21, 2013

John Podesta — a senior Democratic party functionary who ran the Clinton administration and the Obama transition and was re-hired this month by the Obama White House — says that the Republican party is “a cult worthy of Jonestown” (and that’s why Obama should rule by executive fiat).

The unmitigated gall of this guy to liken the Republicans to Jim Jones’s death cult. Jim Jones was a Democratic party power broker.

He had close ties to the Democratic Party in San Francisco, committing voter fraud to help get George Moscone elected mayor and Harvey Milk elected supervisor. (Whether Jones’s fraud was decisive can’t be known, since the Democratic district attorney terminated the investigation without any charges against Jones’s people and destroyed the election records.) Moscone rewarded Jones by appointing him the chairman of the San Francisco housing convention. Jones did not give up the position until after moving to Guyana. (He resigned by shortwave radio.)

During the 1976 presidential campaign, Jones met personally with VP candidate Walter Mondale and First-lady-to-be Rosalynn Carter. Mondale later wrote, as Jones moved his movement to Guyana, that “Knowing of your congregation’s deep involvement in the major social and constitutional issues of our country is a great inspiration to me.”

At a dinner honoring Jones at his “People’s Temple”, Willie Brown — long-time Democratic speaker of the California Assembly — likened Jones to a combination of Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein, and Mao Tse-Tung (two out of four ain’t bad!). Also in attendance at the dinner was California governor (then and again today) Jerry Brown, and lieutenant governor Mervyn Dymally. Dianne Feinstein (current Senator from California) also accepted Jones’s hospitality.

Jones’s cult was a peculiar one, as it had nothing to do with religion. He preached that “those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought to enlightenment — socialism”. When he slaughtered his cult, he directed that all his assets (millions of dollars), be given to the Soviet Union:

Dear Comrade Timofeyev,
The following is a letter of instructions regarding all of our assets that we want to leave to the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Enclosed in this letter are letters which instruct the banks to send the cashiers checks to you. I am doing this on behalf of Peoples Temple because we, as communists, want our money to be of benefit for help to oppressed peoples all over the world, or in any way that your decision-making body sees fit.

Jones was a Democratic communist, and his work for the Democratic party still reverberates in California politics today. He was, in short, the exact opposite of a Republican. Podesta has apologized for the comparison, as he should. But the rest of us should take the opportunity to remember how the Democratic party embraced the monster.


Rule of law >> democracy

August 17, 2013

There is a pernicious notion that the essential quality of the American system of government is democracy. This is a very basic misunderstanding, and one that seems to be ingrained early. In my case I picked it up as a child, so early than I’m not even sure when.

But it’s nonsense. Democracy, also sometimes called more forthrightly “majority rule”, is the idea that 51% of the people have the right to impose their will on the other 49%. We know instinctively that this is wrong.

ASIDE: I’m considering democracy under its narrow meaning here. It’s true that democracy (or “liberal democracy”) sometimes is used to refer to whole collection of ideas, not just majority rule. But in that case I am arguing that using “democracy” as an umbrella term is inapt.

The essence of the American system is liberty. Democracy is but a means to an end. As Heinlein’s Jubal Harshaw put it (paraphrasing): democracy is a poor system; the only thing to be said in its favor is the other systems are worse. Since haven’t figured out a realistic way for society to survive without government, putting its management into as broad hands as possible impedes it becoming a tyranny.

Impedes, but does not prevent. Democracy is just one mechanism we use to protect our liberty; others are the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, and a bill of rights. Democracy is probably the least important of these.

The most important is the rule of law. Friedrich Hayek explains it this way (in his brilliant sixth chapter of the Road to Serfdom):

Nothing distinguishes more clearly conditions in a free country from those in a country under arbitrary government than the observance in the former of the great principles known as the Rule of Law. Stripped of all technicalities, this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand — rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one’s individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge. . .

While every law restricts individual freedom to some extent by altering the means which people may use in the pursuit of their aims, under the Rule of Law the government is prevented from stultifying individual efforts by ad hoc action.

The rule of law says that people can live their lives, run their businesses, raise their families, in a system whose rules are known to them in advance. The government will not interfere capriciously.

In the American system of government, laws are made, interpreted, and carried out by three distinct branches. The laws are changed only with difficulty (by the legislature), they are interpreted consistently (by a judicial system bound by precedent), and they are “faithfully executed” (by the executive).

Alas, this system has gone off the rails. When the legislative and executive powers are in the same hands, the potential for capricious interference increases dramatically. Once the Constitution was interpreted under the nondelegation doctrine (which dates back at least to 1689), which provided that the legislative power could not be delegated. However, in 1928 the Supreme Court ruled in Hampton v. United States that legislative power could be delegated, provided the law provided an “intelligible principle” to guide the executive branch.

The intelligible principle needn’t be particularly detailed either. Laws have almost never been struck down due to unconstitutional delegation, and in 1989 the Supreme Court made the low standard explicit in Mistretta v. United States, stating:

Congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power under broad general directives. Accordingly, this Court has deemed it “constitutionally sufficient” if Congress clearly delineates the general policy, the public agency which is to apply it, and the boundaries of this delegated authority.

Today, Congress “delineates the general policy”, while executive-branch bureaucrats make all the rules that govern our lives. That it does so capriciously cannot be denied. For example, when the EPA decides that carbon dioxide is dangerous, it gains the power to shut down coal-fired power plants, and anyone who invested money under the old rules is simply out of luck. And the EPA did so on its own; there was no legislative action, indeed, Congress considered the question and chose not to act.

Very recently, however, the problem has gotten much worse. President Obama has now arrogated for himself the power to decline to carry out portions of the law he doesn’t want to carry out, even in the absence of any delegation of power to do so. This is in direct violation of the Constitution’s provision that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

He has done so by refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (justified by his claim that it was unconstitutional, which the Supreme Court later backed), refusing to enforce immigration law for certain classes of illegal immigrants (justified by prosecutorial discretion), and declining to carry out certain provisions of Obamacare (justified by nothing whatsoever).

To be clear: some or all of these may well be good policy. That is entirely beside the point; they are not the law. Under the rule of law, the government is “bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand,” regardless of how the executive might judge their wisdom from moment to moment.

Today we have democracy (mostly), but without the rule of law, democracy merely gives us an elected tyrant.

POSTSCRIPT: A number of people have written elegantly on the dangerous implications of Obama’s arrogation of the power to ignore the law: Michael McConnell, John Yoo, and George Will. Andrew Klavan has recently written about the problems with democracy in another context.

UPDATE: Another example, Obama is unilaterally changing drug laws. Again, I agree as a matter of policy, but that’s not the point. He should push for the law to be changed, but he won’t do that. Respecting the rule of law would require political effort.


“People’s Rights Amendment” versus the press

May 2, 2012

The execrable “People’s Rights Amendment” proposed by so-called liberals such as Nancy Pelosi would not literally repeal the First Amendment rights to speech, religion, and the press. It would only repeal those rights for those people who organize their activities as a corporation — which is to say, nearly every church, newspaper, and activist group.

Eugene Volokh takes a look at what would happen to our press if the amendment were to be enacted:

First, any media organization that wants to be free would thus have to give up the benefits of the corporate form, and will have to organized as a partnership. This will make it much harder for those media organizations to raise operating capital, dealing with changes in ownership as partners die or leave, and the like.

Second, those media organizations that choose to organize as a corporation would have huge practical competitive benefits over organizations that choose to organize as partnerships. As a result, the normal competitive process will . . . give corporate-owned large media organizations the overwhelming majority of the market share.

In the end there would be a tiny free press, and nearly the entire media would be corporate. Thus, the government would be free to censor essentially the entire media.

And no one should doubt that it would, given the opportunity. Citizens United, the case the spawned this horrible idea, was specifically a case in which the government wanted to censor a movie for its political content. In arguing the case, the Obama administration specifically claimed also to have the power to ban other media, such as books and pamphlets.

More generally, what’s going on here is an effort to take the next big step toward totalitarianism. Our constitution limits the power of the federal government in two ways: First, there are positive restraints: the doctrine of enumerated powers says the government has only those powers that are explicitly granted to it. Second, there are negative restraints: some powers that are explicitly denied to it.

The framers of the Constitution originally thought that negative restraints were unnecessary given its system of positive restraints. For example, the Constitution didn’t grant the government the power to censor the press, so it couldn’t. However, they ultimately decided to include a set of negative restraints in the Bill of Rights as well.

It’s good that they did, because the positive restraints are now largely obsolete. Since Wickard v. Filburn, the power to regulate interstate commerce has been nearly all-inclusive. If the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare, there will remain no meaningful positive limitation on the government’s power. At the same time, other safeguards such as the separation of powers are breaking down. Even free elections (a flimsy defense for minority rights in any case) are threatened by the Democrats’ insistence on making fraud as easy as possible.

The negative restraints — which the framers considered nearly redundant — are virtually all we have left. So it’s not too surprising to see the totalitarians like Nancy Pelosi beginning to work on undermining them.


Democrats take dirty tricks to a new level

February 1, 2012

It takes a lot of context to fully appreciate this story, so I’m going to pull a long quote from Power Line:

A few years ago, as part of its strategy of facilitating voter fraud as a means of winning close elections, the Democratic Party undertook a campaign to secure as many Secretary of State offices in swing states as possible. From those perches, the Democrats would be in a position to oversee elections and enforce (or decline to enforce) election laws. That strategy has been quite successful, but the Democrats suffered a setback in Iowa in 2010 when conservative Republican Matt Schultz won an upset victory in the Secretary of State race. Since then, Iowa Democrats have targeted Schultz.

That targeting has taken a sinister turn–a criminal one, in fact–as the Des Moines Register reports:

A Des Moines man has been arrested after police say he used, or tried to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in a scheme to falsely implicate Schultz in perceived unethical behavior in office. . .

Edwards is a former Obama staffer who directed “new media operations” for Obama in five states during the 2008 primaries. Thereafter, he was Obama’s Director of New Media for the State of Iowa. In the Democratic Party’s lexicon, “new media” apparently includes identity theft.

Edwards now works for LINK Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm with extraordinarily close ties to Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin.

POSTSCRIPT: For a media failure angle on the story, Newsbusters notes that the Des Moines Register sat on the fact Edwards worked for a prominent Democratic consulting firm until it could safely report that he had been fired.


Chavez’s endgame

December 22, 2010

Hugo Chavez is not a democrat. After failing to seize power by military coup 1992, he has seized power within the political system. Alas, the framers of Venezuela’s constitution lacked the foresight of a James Madison, and provided a means for Chavez to become a dictator within the system. History shows that such clauses usually get used eventually.

But Chavez cannot work within the system indefinitely. His economic program is essentially communist: he nationalizes industries, imposes price controls, and levies confiscatory taxes. Naturally, the Venezuelan economy has gone into an awful death spiral. (Without oil revenues, Venezuela would have cratered long ago, but the oil industry is now crumbling.)

At the same time, crime in Venezuela has skyrocketed. At 233 murders per 100k inhabitants, Caracas’s murder rate is the worst in the world, only slightly below Baghdad at the height of Iraq’s sectarian violence. (Chavez responded by barring the media from reporting crime.)

Consequently, Chavez’s popularity has plummeted. In legislative elections, the opposition won a popular majority, but due to the way that Chavez has rigged the electoral system, they barely earned a third of the seats. Still, a third is enough to block Chavez from ruling by decree, and with Chavez’s approval ratings in the cellar, his re-election looks iffy (in a fair election).

So it looks like this is the time for Chavez to hop off the democratic wagon. The new Venezuelan legislature doesn’t take office until January, and the lame duck legislature has given Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months. (The pretext for the move had something to do with a flood.) That will put Chavez in absolute control of the government until shortly before the next presidential election is scheduled.

Chavez gloated over the irrelevance of the incoming opposition:

“They will not be able to create even one law, the little Yankees,” said Chavez, who brands his opponents as stooges of an imperialist U.S. government. “Let’s see how they are going to make laws now.”

During his time as dictator, Chavez means to make opposition to his rule impossible. The Council on Foreign Relations has an enlightening brief on Chavez’s agenda. (Via Ron Radosh.) It includes:

  • Media and Telecommunications. The modification of the Media Responsibility Law and the Telecommunications Law place severe restrictions on the Internet, centralizing access under the control of a government server. They re-categorize the airwaves as a “public good” and set in place harsh penalties for arcane and obtuse violations of the law. The laws require TV stations to re-apply for their licenses and for the owners to be in the country (a clear reference to Globovision, whose owner, Dr. Guillermo Zuloaga, is in political exile in the United States).
  • Electoral Reform. The reform of the Political Party Law establishes the crime of electoral fraud. Fraud would be committed if a politician changed parties, voted against legislation that was “ideologically represented” by their “electoral offer” (on file when they registered their candidacy with the National Electoral Council), or if they make common cause with ideas or people who are not ideologically akin to their electoral offer. Sanctions are the expulsion from parliament and inability to run for public office for up to eight years. This law is meant to protect against individuals or political parties turning against Chavez, as happened with the opposition parties of PODEMOS (We Can) and PPT (Fatherland for All).
  • Economy and Governance. Chavez is pushing through a block of five laws: Popular Power, Planning and Popular Power, Communes, Social Control, and the law of Development and Support of the Communal Economy. These laws establish the commune as the lowest level of Venezuelan economy and government. They set in place the Popular Power, which is responsible to the Revolutionary leadership (Chavez) for all governing (eliminating the municipalities and regional government’s constitutional mandate). To facilitate the creation of this new governance model, the Assembly is approving the Law of the System for Transferring the Responsibilities of the States and Municipalities to the Popular Power.

ASIDE: The “electoral reform” that criminalizes legislators voting incorrectly is a marvelous idea. I expect we will see it adopted by tyrants everywhere.

In addition, Chavez is taking control of the banks and universities. In short, Chavez is taking complete control of Venezuela from top to bottom. The next time he seeks to institute a police state, he won’t have to backtrack. The next election will be a farce. Nothing short of a revolution will evict him from office now.


Prediction

November 1, 2010

My final prediction for today’s election: In the House, Republicans will win a lot of new seats and take control of the chamber. (I don’t follow the House enough to guess a specific number, but with a 12-point advantage on the generic ballot, it’s not going to be close.) In the Senate, Republicans will keep all their seats, and win Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, for a net gain of eight. Dino Rossi (the Republican) will lead narrowly in Washington on election night, but Washington’s Democratic fraud machine will ultimately carry Murray to victory.

UPDATE: Pretty close. The biggest surprises were Colorado (which I expected to win), Pennsylvania (which was closer than I expected), and Illinois (which I expected to be closer). In the House, we did indeed win big. Although I didn’t have the guts to say it, I was expected 60-65 pick-ups, and it appears as though that estimate was maybe a hair low.


DOJ won’t enforce Motor Voter law

September 8, 2010

It’s hard to read this and come to any conclusion other than the Democrats support voter fraud:

The “Motor Voter” law was passed in 1993 to promote greater voter registration in the United States. . . A lesser-known provision also obliged the states to ensure that no ineligible voters were on the rolls — including dead people, felons, and people who had moved. Our current Department of Justice is anxious to encourage the obligations to get everyone registered, but explicitly unwilling to enforce federal law requiring states to remove the dead or ineligible from the rolls.

In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.

The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:

We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.

Jaws dropped around the room. It is one thing to silently adopt a lawless policy of refusing to enforce a provision of federal law designed to bring integrity to elections. It is quite another to announce the lawlessness to a room full of people who have sworn an oath to fairly enforce the law.

Fortunately, the law provides a private cause of action, so individuals can do what the Justice Department refuses to do.


A ray of hope regarding Iran

May 3, 2010

A couple of months ago, I heard an interview with Israeli ambassador Michael Oren in which he suggested that, in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent election, the Iranian people would blame their leaders and not the west for any hardships they faced from sanctions in response to Iran’s nuclear program. This Telegraph story seems to confirm that theory.

Of course, this doesn’t help us unless we can get sanctions in place. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be any prospect of Russian cooperation on sanctions, what with President Obama giving them everything they want without it.

(Via the Corner.)


Ortega overthrows Nicaraguan constitution, again

October 27, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Last week, President Ortega inadvertently provided the best defense yet of the Honduran decision this summer to remove Manuel Zelaya from the presidency. Nicaragua has a one-term limit for presidents, and Mr. Ortega’s term expires in 2011. However, the Nicaraguan doesn’t want to leave, and so he asked the Sandinista-controlled Supreme Court to overturn the constitutional ban on his re-election.

Last week the court’s constitutional panel obliged him. The Nicaraguan press reported that the vote was held before three opposition judges could reach the chamber in time for the session. Three alternative judges, all Sandinistas, took their place and the court gave Mr. Ortega the green light. Mr. Ortega has decreed that the ruling cannot be appealed.

This is classic strong-man stuff on Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela model. Mr. Ortega’s approval rating is in the low-30% range and he’d have a hard time winning a fair election against a united opposition. But he controls the nation’s electoral council, and in the 2008 municipal races—the most important elected checks on the president—the council refused to provide a transparent accounting of the vote tally. It also blocked international and local observers, and the vote was marred by claims of widespread fraud.

(Via Instapundit.)

It wasn’t hard to see this coming. The amazing thing was that Honduras dodged this bullet.


Hoyt blows another one

October 8, 2009

Clark Hoyt, the NYT’s ombudsman, dedicates his latest column to defending his paper’s treatment (and, largely, non-treatment) of the ACORN scandal. It’s standard fare from Hoyt so I won’t bother unpacking it. But, he does make one outright error:

Conservatives have accused Acorn of voter fraud, but it has actually been charged with fraudulent registration, not stuffing ballot boxes. Prosecutors have said that Acorn workers were not trying to influence elections but were trying to get paid for work they didn’t do by writing fake names on registration forms.

Oh really? What about the case of Darnell Nash of Ohio? ACORN helped to register him nine times under various names, and last August he pled guilty to casting a fraudulent ballot. There’s also the case in Troy, New York, where an ACORN-linked organization forged dozens of absentee ballots.

That’s two one documented cases, but even setting those aside, Hoyt’s contention is laughable. In 2008, ACORN submitted hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations. We’re supposed to believe that none of those were intended to become actual votes? Please.

UPDATE (11/23): Contrary to reports, Nash was not convicted of casting a fraudulent ballot. He was charged with doing so, but plea bargained it to fraudulent registration.


The ACORN scandal

September 15, 2009

(I’m late in reporting this story, because I didn’t have the time to give it the treatment it deserves. And my how the story has grown in the meantime.)

ACORN, the community-organizing and voter-fraud organization, has long been savaged for its various criminal activities. On September 9, they hoped they had gotten in front of their bad reputation when they turned in eleven of their workers for forging voter registrations. This, they argued, was proof that ACORN could police itself:

“Over the last five years thousands of dedicated people have worked or volunteered with Florida ACORN. . . Fortunately, our quality control managers and the systems we developed ensured their ability to spot the isolated wrongdoing by these 11 workers who tried to pass off phony forms instead of doing their work.”

The very next day, James O’Keefe went public with the results of his hidden camera investigation. (Transcript here.) O’Keefe went to an ACORN office in Baltimore posing as a pimp. He brought along Hannah Giles who posed as a prostitute. They spun a tail of various criminal activities, including fraud, child prostitution, and human trafficking. ACORN was all too happy to help. For example, the ACORN consultant suggested that Hannah list her occupation as “performance artist”, she recommended that they understate their income to the IRS, and she gave them advice on how to conceal their underage prostitutes (imported from El Salvador) from the authorities.

ACORN denied everything:

A spokesman for ACORN, Scott Levenson, when asked to comment on the videotape, said: “The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at gotcha journalism. This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the full video before commenting further.”

ACORN’s denial proved premature. First, it rang hollow when ACORN quickly fired the staffers. Then, O’Keefe released his second hidden camera investigation, in which he and Giles told the same story at an ACORN office in DC. (Transcript here.) Again, the staffers were happy to help. ACORN quickly fired those staffers as well.

Desperate to get in front of the scandal, ACORN issued a statement accusing Fox News of racism. (ACORN erroneously gave Fox credit/blame for O’Keefe’s work, presumably because Fox News is unpopular among its base of support.) That’s right, ACORN abets trafficking in underage prostitutes, and Fox News is somehow racist for reporting the scandal. The small consolation for ACORN is that most of the media was not so “racist”, and ignored the whole affair. At first.

ACORN still had its supporters. The state attorney in Baltimore issued an amazing statement indicating that it had no plans to prosecute ACORN, but it would investigate criminal wrongdoing by O’Keefe! (It seems that hidden microphones are illegal under Maryland law, but the state attorney had not previously prosecuted journalists for hidden camera investigations.) It’s not surprising to learn that Patricia Jessamy, the state attorney in question, is a Democrat who served on a steering committee for the Obama campaign.

But the Census Bureau, which had a controversial deal with ACORN to assist in the census, had heard enough. Citing “worsening negative perceptions” (I’d say so!), it cancelled its deal with ACORN.

ACORN continued to try to defend itself. It issued a statement threatening legal action against Fox News. That is almost certainly a bluff (and a clumsy one), because — aside from having no case — the last thing ACORN wants is for someone to have the opportunity for discovery. The statement also said:

“This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen.”

This turned out to be a lie, at the very least in regards to New York, as we learned when O’Keefe released his third video. In the third video, O’Keefe and Giles told the same story (fraud, underage prostitution, human trafficking) at an ACORN office in New York, and again received their assistance.

That was finally too much for Congress. The Senate voted 83-7 to cut off funding for ACORN and the House is due to consider similar action shortly. (Among the seven who voted with ACORN was Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey. His father must be rolling in his grave. Roland Burris (D-IL), who is only in the Senate because Democratic leaders quashed proposals for a special election, is another.) Meanwhile, the Brooklyn DA’s office says they will be taking a look, and ACORN may be vulnerable under RICO as well. (It’s hard to imagine Eric Holder approving an investigation of ACORN though.)

The question now is, what happens next?

UPDATE: What happens next is a fourth video.


How to steal a seat

January 6, 2009

Once the shenanigans begin, you know you’ve seen this movie before. Somehow, some way, the Minnesota Democrats are going to end up with the seat. The similarity to Washington 2004 is striking. “Found” ballots, improperly handled absentee ballots, and — of course — lots of Democratic precincts with more ballots than voters. Plus, Minnesota has invented a new trick, “missing” ballots that no one can produce at all, and are nevertheless counted. The Wall Street Journal goes though the latest embarrassment to our democratic system.

In Washington State, the state Supreme Court ruled, essentially, that it is impossible to overturn a corrupt election. Specifically, it ruled that it could not overturn the results of an election unless the plaintiff could produce specific individuals who had voted illegally. The mere fact that the election was clearly fraudulent (since many Democratic precincts had more ballots than voters) was not enough.

Plus, it’s worth remembering that Minnesota makes no effort to prevent illegal voting. ACORN submitted countless fraudulent voter registrations, and we are to believe that none of those, not even a few hundred, turned into fraudulent votes?

UPDATE: Power Line says the comparison to Washington 2004 is unfair.


The gift that keeps on giving

December 23, 2008

I refer, of course, to Dan Rather and his faked documents about George Bush’s National Guard service. Dan Rather is trying to promote the idea that the documents were never proven to be false, and NPR is happy to be of service in his endeavor. (Via LGF.)

It’s complete nonsense. The documents were shown to be bogus in a variety of ways, most obviously by the typography, but also by formatting and content. Although it has been suggested that typewriters existed that could have produced documents somewhat like the Rather memos (this is disputed), and Killian (the purported author) might even have had access to such a machine, it beggars belief that Killian would have used such a machine to produce a typeset-quality memo to file that no one was ever supposed to see. (Never mind that Killian’s family asserts he never wrote such memos in the first place.)

But even if we suppose that Killian might have used such a machine capable of kerning and superscripts, it has never been plausibly suggested that he would have (or even could have) used it in a manner that precisely matched Microsoft Word’s default settings:

rather-memo-animate

Neither let us suppose that suppose that Rather (the hero of NPR’s story) was an innocent dupe in the affair. For example, Rather endorsed CBS’s claim that the documents were obtained from an unimpeachable source (pdf, pages 164-166). In fact, as Rather well knew, the documents were obtained from a man named Bill Burkett, who is (to put it delicately) a nutcase.

Moreover, let’s not suppose that the whole affair resulted simply from overzealous pursuit of a big story; it was clearly an attempt to influence the election. CBS agreed to Burkett’s demand to coordinate the story with John Kerry’s campaign. (See also the Thornburgh report pages 64-65.)

POSTSCRIPT: The Rathergate affair transpired before I started this blog, so I want to thank Rather for reviving it and giving me a chance to play. NPR, on the other hand, should be ashamed of themselves.


Minnesota starts to smell

November 7, 2008

It begins:

Hot off the press, the first apparent evidence of fraud. Last night at around 7:30, a precinct in Mountain Iron, St. Louis County, mysteriously updated its vote total to add 100 new votes–all 100 for Barack Obama and Al Franken.

Mountain Iron uses optical scanning, so the Coleman campaign asked for a copy of the tape documenting the ballots cast on election night. St. Louis County responded by providing a tape that includes the newly-added 100 votes, and is dated November 2–the Sunday before the election. St. Louis County reportedly denies being able to produce the genuine tape from election night, even though Minnesota law, as I understand it, requires that tape to be signed by the election judges and publicly displayed.

UPDATE: Power Line (the link above) now has a partial explanation for the Mountain Iron discrepancy, but it has yet to be verified, and the genuine tape still hasn’t been produced.  They need to produce the tape; it’s as simple as that.


More on Obama fundraising website

October 26, 2008

The Obama campaign is starting to face some questions about why its website has disabled all the basic protections against fraud. It makes their website very friendly to illegal and fraudulent contributions. Setting aside credit card fraud and foreign contributions, its easy to break up large donations into many small ones and they’ll be accepted. When combined with his refusal to release the names of his donors, it makes it look deliberate.

Obama’s defense is “the other guy does it too.” That’s not much of a defense, especially when the other guy actually doesn’t do it too.

When you couple this with Obama’s record fundraising, raising more in a month than McCain is spending overall, you can’t help wondering how much his haul is illegal. That’s the sort of question the media would ordinarily be eager to investigate.

(Previous post.)

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports:

Sen. Barack Obama’s record-breaking $150 million fundraising performance in September has for the first time prompted questions about whether presidential candidates should be permitted to collect huge sums of money through faceless credit card transactions over the Internet.

Lawyers for both the Republican and Democratic parties have asked the Federal Election Commission to examine the issue, pointing to dozens of examples of what they say are lax screening procedures by the presidential campaigns that permitted donors using false names or stolen credit cards to make contributions. . .

While the potentially fraudulent or excessive contributions represent about 1 percent of Obama’s staggering haul, the security challenge is one of several major campaign-finance-related questions raised by the Democrat’s fundraising juggernaut.

Concerns about anonymous donations seeping into the campaign began to surface last month, mainly on conservative blogs. Some bloggers described their own attempts to display the flaws in Obama’s fundraising program, donating under such obviously phony names as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and reported that the credit card transactions were permitted.

Obama officials said it should be obvious that it is as much in their campaign’s interest as it is in the public’s interest for fake contributions to be turned back, and said they have taken pains to establish a barrier to prevent them. Over the course of the campaign, they said, a number of additional safeguards have been added to bulk up the security of their system.

Perhaps a good “additional safeguard” would be to reactivate the standard precautions that they disabled.  And the 1% figure was provided by the Obama campaign, with no evidence (reported by the Post) to back up the figure.

(Via Instapundit.)


Obama: investigate ACORN investigation

October 17, 2008

Obama calls for an ACORN-related investigation. Not, not into ACORN’s criminal activity, of course, but into press leaks about the investigation. I am not making this up:

Robert Bauer, general counsel to the Obama campaign, wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey a day after the Associated Press, citing unidentified law enforcement officials, reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating ACORN. The name is short for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. . .

Bauer said the news leaks are part of a coordinated effort by McCain’s presidential campaign and Republicans. They are “fomenting specious vote-fraud allegations and there are disturbing indications of official involvement or collusion,” Bauer said.

“It is apparent,” he wrote, that law enforcement officials are serving “improper political objectives” that could inhibit voter participation in the Nov. 4 election. The aim is to “suppress the vote and to unduly influence investigations and prosecutions,” Bauer wrote.

That’s right, the real villains here are the investigators, not the people perpetrating vote fraud.

Tomorrow, when the media picks up Obama’s talking points, we will be treated to the spectacle of the media complaining about press leaks. Press leaks are good, you see, only when they hurt Republicans. Leaks that hurt Democrats are very bad. (See Armitage-Plame affair.)

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Perhaps I’m mis-reading this. Another article says that Obama’s gripe is not with the press leaks, but with the very existence of the investigation:

Tensions began to escalate Thursday with disclosures that the FBI is investigating ACORN and the possibility that it’s engaged in a vote-fraud scheme.

On Friday, Obama’s legal counsel, Robert Bauer, wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey, charging that the inquiry is politically motivated and that it risks repeating the 2007 scandal over the Bush administration’s politicization of the Justice Department.

Bauer asked Mukasey to broaden a special prosecutor’s investigation to examine the origin of the ACORN inquiry.

(Via Instapundit.)

Now that’s chutzpah! ACORN submits thousands (at least) of bogus voter registrations, and it’s the investigation that’s improper.

Also, it’s pretty rich for Obama to complain about politicization of the Justice Department when his campaign asked Democrats in Missouri law enforcement to prosecute his critics.


Supreme Court sides with Brunner

October 17, 2008

Breaking news: the Supreme Court has issued a stay of an Appeals Court ruling requiring that Ohio verify 200,000 voter registrations with mismatched information.  Few details yet.

(Previous post.)


Brunner puts ACORN to shame

October 16, 2008

ACORN has been unseated as the champion facilitator of voter fraud. The new champion is Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio Secretary of State. Brunner, a Democrat, has been widely called the most partisan official in the State of Ohio. Recently Brunner has been fighting a court order forcing her to verify the information on new voter registrations, but the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled against her.

One thing we’ve now learned is how many new registrations with mismatched information her office has been sitting on: over 200 thousand. We have no way of knowing how many of these registrations are legitimate, but if even 10% are fraudulent (and the number is almost certain much higher than that) we’re talking about 20 thousand voter registrations that Brunner has been trying to shield from examination.

For reference, the 2004 election was decided in Ohio by 118,457 votes; quite a bit less than the number of potentially fraudulent registrations Brunner has been try to jam onto the rolls.

(Via the Corner.)

AFTERTHOUGHT: Brunner, as one would expect, protests that this order will potentially disenfranchise many voters; forcing them to use provisional ballots if her office is unable to verify that they are legitimate voters.  But her concern over disenfranchisement is very selective.  Last month, Brunner threw out thousands of Republican absentee ballot requests on a technicality.  In that case, she was concerned that accepting the forms could lead to voter fraud.


Obama lies about ACORN connections

October 14, 2008

While researching my last post, an interesting sponsored link popped up on Google:

Obama-ACORN Lies Debunked
Get the Facts Now. Barack Obama
Never Organized with ACORN.
Obama.FightTheSmears.com

Here’s what they say:

  • Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
  • Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.
  • Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.

Obviously, this contradicts a lot that’s been written in the conservative blogosphere. Who’s right? Well, “fact” one depends on your definition of “ACORN community organizer” so that’s hard to dispute. Regarding the other two, ABC News’s Jake Tapper has the story. After an earlier version was shown to be untrue, “fact” two was carefully phrased to be literally, but very narrowly, truthful:

As reports pile up of voter registration fraud connected to ACORN — the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, a group that advocates for low-income voters – the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has sought to downplay his past ties with the group.

But in their efforts to do, Obama campaign officials found themselves forced last week to correct an erroneous assertion made on the campaign’s “Fight the Smears” webpage that “Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.”

That wasn’t true.

In fact, ACORN spokesman Lewis Goldberg told the New York Times that Obama conducted two unpaid leadership training sessions for ACORN’s Chicago affiliate in the late 1990s.

The “Fight the Smears” website now asserts, “Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.”

Key word: hired.

Goldberg told the Times that Obama’s work for ACORN was unpaid.

So Obama did work for ACORN, but he worked for free. That hardly refutes the “smear” allegation that Obama has ties to ACORN. Tapper goes on to explain that “fact” three isn’t true either.

Moreover, it is undisputed that Obama and ACORN have close ties today. In this election cycle, the Obama campaign paid ACORN over $800,000 for its efforts on behalf of the campaign.

UPDATE: The Cleveland Leader has screen grabs.


Nevada raids ACORN offices

October 7, 2008

This should be interesting.

UPDATE: It appears that the government has a damning case.  According to the affidavit, ACORN was hiring criminals on work-release from a state prison to commit identity theft.  (Via the Corner.)


Rasmussen: Rossi leads by six

September 13, 2008

Rasmussen reports:

Republican challenger Dino Rossi has pulled ahead of Governor Christine Gregoire for the first time since February in Washington’s gubernatorial election. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Rossi leading the incumbent 52% to 46%.

(Via the Corner.)

Rossi will have to win handily to put his election out of reach of the King County fraud machine.


Obama to encourage 527s

September 9, 2008

Another of Obama’s high principles is now shown as a fraud:

There’s been a spurt of 527 activity on behalf of Sen. John McCain, but Barack Obama campaign has suddenly gone silent on the subject.

That’s because, after a year of telling donors not to contribute to 527 groups, of encouraging strategists not to form them and of suggesting that outside messaging efforts would not be welcome in Obama’s Democratic Party, Obama’s strategists have changed their approach.

An Obama adviser privy to the campaign’s internal thinking on the matter says that,with less than two months before the election and with the realization that Republicans have achieved financial parity with Democrats, they hope that Democratic allies — what another campaign aide termed “the cavalry” — will come to Obama’s aid.

The Obama campaign can’t ask donors to form outside groups; it can only communicate, through the public and the media, with body language, tells and hints.

The upshot: Obama’s campaign will no longer object to independent efforts that hammer John McCain, just as, in their mind, the McCain campaign has not objected to those efforts targeted at Obama. “I assume with their 527s stirring, some [Democratic] ones will as well,” another senior campaign official said.

(Via Hot Air.)

Is there anything left of Obama’s supposedly high principles?  His claim not to take money from lobbyists always was a fraud.  He’s reneged on his pledge to accept public financing.  Now he’s encouraging 527s to attack McCain.  Barack Obama is an ordinary politician, except with much less experience.


“Changing the rules of politics in Michigan to help Democrats”

July 29, 2008

How to steal a state:

This November, voters in Michigan may be asked to consider a lengthy ballot initiative to revise the state’s constitution. Proposed by a group called Reform Michigan Government Now, the initiative’s ostensible purpose is to restore efficiency and accountability to Michigan government. A look at the fine print, and a recently disclosed strategy document, reveals something altogether different: A stealth campaign to restructure all three branches of government, including the state judiciary, for partisan advantage. . .

Buried in the text of the 19,500-word ballot initiative are provisions designed to shift partisan control of every branch of Michigan government, including the state courts. Among other things, the initiative would eliminate two seats on the Michigan supreme court and several more seats on the state Courts of Appeals. The constitutional revisions would also cut the size of the Michigan legislature, rewrite the standards for legislative districting, and adopt controversial election reforms, such as no-excuse absentee voting, which has the potential to increase voter fraud within the state. In all, the initiative would rewrite over two dozen provisions in the Michigan state constitution.

Proponents proclaim the ballot initiative is a bipartisan effort to improve Michigan government, but a recently disclosed strategy document revealed a more partisan agenda. According to a PowerPoint presentation drafted by political consultants working for initiative proponents, the ballot initiative’s primary virtue is its potential to hand control of Michigan government over to the Democratic party for at least a decade.

The presentation was delivered to a union leadership conference this past spring. A graduate student intern at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan-based free-market think tank, discovered the slides on the United Auto Workers Region 1-C website. This discovery revealed a breathtakingly cynical stealth campaign to rewrite the state constitution. As the title slide explains, the plan’s true purpose is “Changing the rules of politics in Michigan to help Democrats.”

Reform Michigan Government Now presents itself as a bipartisan good government initiative that seeks to make government more accountable and efficient. Yet according to the presentation, the real problem facing Michigan is not bloated or inefficient government, but the Democratic Party’s failure to control the state legislature and governor’s office.

In order to ensure pro-Democrat redistricting in 2011-12, the presentation explains, the Democratic party will need to control all three branches of government: the governor’s office, state legislature and the judiciary. According to one slide, control of the supreme court is the “most important,” as the court “can overturn redistricting” done by the political branches. It seems judicial oversight is a particular concern because the traditional state redistricting criteria, such as keeping communities together, are “systematically biased against Democrats.”

Most distressing, and revealing, is how the Reform Michigan Government Now plan “reforms” the state judiciary. Specifically, the ballot initiative selectively alters the composition of Michigan state courts at every level — trial courts, appellate courts, and the supreme court — each by a different standard. The only unifying theme is that each reform will increase the proportion of Democrat-appointed judges.

As in many states, Michigan’s supreme court justices are subject to re-election, giving court critics ample opportunity to seek change through traditional political means. But, the presentation explains, defeating incumbent justices would be costly and difficult. So, rather than promote candidates for the Court who would rubber stamp a pro-Democrat redistricting effort, and seek to have them elected fair and square, initiative proponents want to seize partisan control of the Court in one fell swoop by eliminating two seats and removing two Republican appointees from the Court. This is no accident, as the presentation makes clear when describing the relevant plank in the proposal: “Reduce the number of Supreme Court justices from seven to five; two GOP justices eliminated” (emphasis added).

(Via the Volokh Conspiracy.)