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The organization that brought Barack Obama to Chicago as a “community organizer” is ready to launch a new voter registration drive. Voters have reason for concern, since the organization often hires ACORN members to perform its registrations, its activities have been investigated by the FBI, and its board members include one of the originators of the Cloward-Piven strategy.
Voting For America, “an affiliate of the voting rights nonprofit Project Vote,” plans to “help” more than 50,000 students in seven states register to vote. The Sierra Club has contracted VFA to perform the drive on its behalf.
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The group has targeted such battleground states as Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Oregon. Each state has high-profile elections looming in November.
Executive director Michael Slater said Project Vote created VFA this year “as a means of making the systems, strategies, and tools we’ve developed available to other organizations.”
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Among the “services” VFA “will contribute” are “legal services,” presumably when its registration cards are challenged in court. Their history assures they will be.
The FBI investigated Project Vote and ACORN as part of its inquiry into the massive registration of non-existent voters. Judicial Watch obtained handwritten notes FBI officers took during interviews with the staff. (The two work in close tandem.)
One interviewee told the FBI, “Project Vote will pay” six dollars per voting card, “fake or not.” Why would the group want fraudulent cards? Thankfully, the interrogators literally spelled their reasons out, in longhand (and I quote):
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- To cause confusion on election day to keep polls open longer.
- To allow people who can’t vote to vote.
- To allow to vote multiple times.
According to an insider, the Democratic Party and Barack Obama colluded in the group’s efforts. Former Project Vote employee Anita Moncrief testified under oath that both the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign had furnished Project Vote with maxed-out donor lists, so they could fund its vote drives. It seems both organizations understood this as Democratic advocacy by other means. Upon the revelation, Project Vote sued Moncrief for $5 million, but its case was thrown out of court.
The Democrats had good reason to believe ACORN/Project Vote was doing partisan bidding. The head of Project Vote’s 2004 efforts in Florida noted in writing that all PV’s efforts aimed to “defeat George W. Bush and other Republicans by increasing Democrat turnout in a close election…and…catalyze the construction of permanent progressive political infrastructure that will help redirect Florida politics in a more progressive, Democratic direction.”
If any group should know how to build a permanent political army for the Left, it is Project Vote’s Board of Directors.
Board of Radicals
One of VFA’s directors is Frances Fox Piven. She is best known as the second half of the Cloward-Piven strategy, the effort to flood welfare rolls until the system collapsed — and a new, socialist future took its place . Project Vote and ACORN have adapted the strategy to the voting rolls, and not all its beneficiaries are eligible.
Other board members include:
- Craig Kaplan, counsel to the law firm of Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky, & Lieberman. “Boudin” is Leonard B. Boudin, a Communist Party USA strategist who represented Daniel Ellsberg during The Pentagon Papers trial. His daughter, Kathy Boudin, served hard time for robbery and felony murder after she and other members of the Weather Underground knocked off a Brinks truck in 1981. The law firm acted as a Communist Party legal asset. It became the official legal representative of the Cuban government, defended Alger Hiss, and turned down the Rosenbergs over a scheduling conflict. Kaplan formerly served as counsel to the Voter Protection Project of America’s Families United. The Liberation News Service described it as one of “a host of advocacy and civil-rights groups, which often act in parallel with Democrats when it comes to expanding ballot access.” It added this “racial-justice advocacy group” had “set up a ‘voter protection project’ to ensure that its new registrants make it onto the rolls…Penda D. Hair, the project director, said her goal was to recruit 6,000 lawyers in 20 states who could challenge registrars when they reject applications improperly.” Kaplan was one of them.
- J. Philip Thompson, who wrote the book Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities, and the Call for a Deep Democracy. It features an entire section on the use of the use of “patronage” as a tool of “mobilization.” Thompson noted “black mayors have sought to develop political capacity in poor black communities by supporting community and labor patronage…None of these organizations is strong enough individually to determine the outcome of an election, but together they may” (pp. 67, 69). Lending credence to Moncrief’s claims, he added, “Officials can come to rely on non-profits to undertake voter registration” (p. 64). In his judgment, “centralized” government best concentrated such organizations’ power.
- Renee Brereton. After spending 19 years with the Alinskyite Catholic Campaign for Human Development, she became an organizer with the Gamaliel Foundation, a Soros-funded member of the Religious Left that promoted Open Borders and the Obama health care plan. Sociology Professor David Walls has written that the Gamaliel Foundation’s methods of organization were “indebted, in greater or lesser degree, to [Saul] Alinsky.” Founded in 1968 to assist Chicago’s impoverished black community, the Gamaliel Foundation became “reoriented to focus on community organizing” in 1986. Walls names it as one of three Alinsky-inspired organizations, “most of whose leaders got their start with” Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.
- Frank Askin, a national board member and general counsel of the ACLU.
- Margaret Groarke, a co-author of Piven’s and co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.
- David O. Stevens, who recently asked readers of The Huffington Post, “What would you change in the Constitution?” (His pick? Abolishing the Electoral College, an integral part of the Founders’ vision to give small states and rural populations a greater voice. Stewart would prefer to disenfranchise these minorities.)
The board’s radicalism may have been what attracted a young Barack Obama to begin his life, not in the corporate world, but on the fraud-riddled extreme Left.
Obama’s Personal Ties
Vernon Jarrett, the father-in-law of Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, quoted Obama’s assessment of his work with Project Vote in the pages of the Chicago Sun-Times. Obama said to meet his goals, his canvassers:
“must average 10,000 rather than 7,000 every week,” says Barack Obama, the program’s executive director…”There’s a lot of talk about `black power’ among the young but so little action.”
Obama remains tied to Project Vote. The group’s public relations are handled by Marilyn Katz, an Obama/Jarrett family friend who handled “security” for SDS at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (She designed the nail-studded golfballs thrown at police.) In late 2008, she said, “I would probably reject violence as a useful form of revolution.” Probably?
Project Vote continues to testify before Congress on issues of registration and “underrepresented” communities (the dead and the non-existent, one presumes), despite its long history of dubious practices. PV still offers recommendations for Congress to enact. For instance, it suggests: “No onerous restrictions should be placed on community-based voter registration drives, which serve an important role in encouraging participation among underrepresented populations.”
Project Vote helped fuel the smashing electoral triumph of its most popular alumnus. Journalist Lynn Sweet noted “Project Vote/ACORN” targeted “states Obama needs to win” just before the 2008 election. Is this new effort the midterm version?
That’s the question voters — and law enforcement officials — should be asking themselves.
Photo Credit: marcn Creative Commons