Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama, ACORN & Ayers

Since I was receiving some whining from the Right about how nothing is ever posted here about ACORN or Ayers, I decided to do an entry dedicated to the FACTS about William Ayers and ACORN. As always, I will inject opinion as I see fit, but with sources that you can either choose to ignore or read and educate yourself on the situation.

William Ayers:

Let's start with William Ayers, a 1960's former anti-war terrorist. He is well known for his radical past as well as his current work in education reform. What do we know about William Ayers? We know plenty. So let's start with a quick synopsis of his early life that led him to the terrorist acts he planned and went through with. This sums it up from Wikipedia.

Ayers became involved in the New Left and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).[7] He rose to national prominence as an SDS leader in 1968 and 1969. As head of an SDS regional group, the "Jesse James Gang", Ayers made decisive contributions to the Weatherman orientation toward militancy.[5]The group Ayers headed in Detroit, Michigan became one of the earliest gatherings of what became the Weatherman.

Between the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the June 1969 SDS convention, Ayers became a prominent leader of the group, which arose as a result of a schism in SDS.[5]"During that time his infatuation with street fighting grew and he developed a language of confrontational militancy that became more and more pronounced over the year [1969]", disaffected former Weatherman member Cathy Wilkerson wrote in 2001. Ayers had previously become a roommate of Terry Robbins, a fellow militant, Wilkerson wrote. Robbins would later be killed while making a bomb.[8]

In June 1969, the Weatherman took control of the SDS at its national convention, where Ayers was elected Education Secretary.[5] Later in 1969, Ayers participated in planting a bomb at a statue dedicated to riot police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket Riot confrontation between labor supporters and the police.[9] The blast broke almost 100 windows and blew pieces of the statue onto the nearby Kennedy Expressway.[10] (The statue was rebuilt and unveiled on May 4, 1970, and blown up again by other Weathermen on October 6, 1970.[11][10] Rebuilding it yet again, the city posted a 24-hour police guard to prevent another blast.[10]) Ayers participated in the Days of Rage riot in Chicago in October 1969, and in December was at the "War Council" meeting in Flint, Michigan. Larry Grathwohl, an FBI informant in the Weatherman group from the fall of 1969 to the spring of 1970, thought that "Ayers, along with Bernardine Dohrn, probably had the most authority within the Weatherman".[12]

I will be the first to admit that what Ayers participated in was not only wrong, but terribly and horrifically wrong. He has even stated that if he had it to do all over again he would likely oppose the Vietnam war in similar ways. However, he's 60 years old now and realizes the hypothetical would never come to pass. Here's a quote by him I found interesting:

"I've thought about this a lot. Being almost 60, it's impossible to not have lots and lots of regrets about lots and lots of things, but the question of did we do something that was horrendous, awful? ... I don't think so. I think what we did was to respond to a situation that was unconscionable."

Obama's "ties" to William Ayers:

There is nothing that can sum this up better than Wikipedia. They've cited sources for all of the events and happenings between Obama and Ayers. I believe, if you chose to read the below and actually follow the sources, you would see that John McCain(and Anti-Socialism)'s attempt to link Obama to a former Terrorist is quite laughable. Read the below, if you dare to have your mind changed.

Bill Ayers and Barack Obama at one time lived in the same neighborhood in the city of Chicago, and both had worked on education reform in the state of Illinois. The two met "at a luncheon meeting about school reform."[41] Obama was named to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Project Board of Directors to oversee the distribution of grants in Chicago. Later in 1995, Ayers hosted "a coffee" for "Mr. Obama's first run for office."[42] The two served on the board of a community anti-poverty group, the Woods Fund of Chicago, between 2000 and 2002, during which time the board met twelve times.[42]

In April 2001, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama's re-election fund to the Illinois State Senate.[41] Since 2002, there has been little linking Obama and Ayers.[42] The senator said in September 2008 that he hadn't "seen him in a year-and-a-half."[43] In February 2008, Obama spokesman Bill Burton released a statement from the senator about the relationship between the two: "Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous."[41] CNN's review of project records found nothing to suggest anything inappropriate in the non-profit projects in which the two men were involved.[44]

Internal reviews by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The New Republic "have said that their reporting doesn't support the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship".[45]

I suppose the conservatives of the world will claim "media bias" on all of the internal reviews so that they can continue to slander Obama's name by using the term "terrorist" and "Obama" in the same sentence. Once again, in my opinion, the Republican party shows that they have to lie to get ahead in a campaign. I find it disgusting and shameful, to quote Larry's new favorite term. Obama did not have a "close relationship" with Ayers so there is no need to compare the two ever again. That being said, let's move on to the next "scandal" involving Barack Obama.


As I did before, let's go over what ACORN is and then we'll see how Obama ties into the latest voter fraud "scandal."

ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now. It is a community-based organization that advocates for low and moderate income families by working on neighborhood safety, health care and other social issues. ACORN was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke and Gary Delgado. Maud Hurde is now the president and has been since 1990.

ACORN says that it is non-partisan but I'm pretty sure they have been aligned with the policies of the Democrats for quite some time. I suppose having a view on policy and being non-partisan CAN go hand in hand...but generally "the poor" are democrats so it is likely ACORN, being advocates for the poor are a progressive organization despite the "non-partisan" claim.

ACORN's primary issues they fund raise for are actions against predatory lending, helping the poor establish affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, education reform and gun control. They have had many successful and unsuccessful campaigns within each category.

House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner (pronounced Bainer) called for ACORN to be barred from receiving federal monies, and for a ban on ACORN contracting with candidates for federal office. He said, "ACORN spent decades promoting the housing policies that brought America's economy to the brink, and similarly over the years has committed fraud on our system of elections"

In contrast, John Atlas writes an editorial that ACORN has "accumulated many enemies" and has been "subjected to vicious attacks from business lobbyists, conservative politicians, and right-wing media." This same source says that the Bush administration has harassed ACORN with accusations of voter fraud. In a report released on October 2008, the United States Department of Justice Inspector General found that former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was wrongfully fired by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalas after Iglesias declined to indict over alleged voter fraud at an ACORN affiliate in New Mexico, citing insufficient evidence.

I'm not a big fan of a non-partisan group being partisan. But ACORN is an excellent organization and the good they have done far outshines any bad. In fact, I could not find any evidence of ACORN being indicted for voter fraud or any other misgivings.

John McCain and ACORN:

Yes, even John McCain has his own ties to ACORN. We might as well get those out of the way first. In October 2008, the McCain campaign released a web-based ad suggesting ACORN was partly responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. ACORN pushed back on this accusation via its website, calling the spot "a smear ad". On October 13, ACORN released a picture of Senator McCain attending an ACORN immigration forum to Politico. Wow, let's string McCain up for having ties to ACORN why don't we?

Obama and the ACORN "scandal:"

Let's get some truths about Obama's ties to ACORN out of the way first.

"Discredited Republican voter-suppression guru Ken Blackwell is attacking Barack Obama with naked lies about his supposed connection to ACORN.

• 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.

In his capacity as an attorney, Barack represented ACORN in a successful lawsuit alongside the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Illinois to force state compliance with a federal voting access law. For his work helping enforce the law, called “Motor Voter,” Barack received the IVI-IPO Legal Eagle Award in 1995.

Ken Blackwell is best known today for disenfranchising Democratic voters in his dual role as Ohio Secretary of State and chair of George Bush’s Ohio campaign in 2004. To see him shed crocodile tears for the integrity of the vote while making accusations about Barack and ACORN with absolutely no basis in fact is disturbing. Blackwell’s attacks against ACORN and community organizers continue a vile Republican pattern of mockery and viciousness against this noble profession. Community organizers are the very individuals Republicans should be celebrating for helping people to help themselves rather than depending on the government.

In an October 14 article, the Associated Press reported that "Obama and two other lawyers represented ACORN [the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now] in 1995 in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois to make voter registration easier." Similarly, during the October 14 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, investigative correspondent Drew Griffin stated that "[a]s an attorney, [Obama] represented the ACORN group in a motor voter case in the state of Illinois, a case that he won." But neither the AP nor Griffin pointed out that the Department of Justice, the League of Women Voters of Illinois, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) joined with ACORN as plaintiffs in the suit."

I find this important because every report we seem to be seeing does not list the actual facts of this case. Instead they make it appear that Obama is a champion for ACORN, when in fact he was representing other organizations as well...including our own Department of Justice! Media Bias? Perhaps... The bottom line is, his ties to ACORN are over exaggerated, overplayed and Fox News is desperate to tie Obama to anything that will bring him down. Thankfully, most Americans feel the smear campaign is one reason NOT to vote for John McCain. Most Americans may not be as stupid as I once thought.

Here's some quotes from Reagan Democrats I think you will all enjoy.

A focus group showing a hard-hitting, no-holds barred anti-Obama attack ad from a 527 that has yet to air, to a group of midwestern Reagan Democrats. The results:

"Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart.
Yes, the spot worked. Yes, they believed the charges against Obama. Yes, they actually think he's too liberal, consorts with bad people and WON'T BE A GOOD PRESIDENT...but they STILL don't give a f***. They said right out, "He won't do anything better than McCain" but they're STILL voting for Obama.

The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:

54 year-old white male, voted Kerry '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, hunter, Nascar fan...hard for Obama said: "I'm gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He's gonna be a bad president. But I won't ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President."

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."

I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized...this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy...."


Well, as we approach the end of this entry I've come the conclusion that my conservative friends have forced me to make a very wise decision. That wise decision involved actual research (not blog research or Fox News research) and brain power to come to the conclusion that Obama's ties with William Ayers and ACORN are nothing more than innocent encounters for Obama and should not, and do not, represent his world view or policy decisions. Bring on the critics....these "scandals" are DEAD.


Jack said...

excellent job RedWing!!!
and even though you used Wiki, you included the sources of the facts! excellent indeed :)
that is all any of us can do, read the FACTS, sift out the filth and hope for the best.

Larry said...

No, there is more to it than you have written. This article by the NYT shows that the money he gave to that "affiliate" was not properly recorded to the FEC. I believe that Obama says what he wants at any given time to appeal to whatever he wants to appeal with.

He even says "“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,” Mr. Obama said, according to a post Mr. Graham-Felsen made in February.

These 2 videos are proof he doesn't know what is going on or says what he wants at any given time. Now McCain has a reason, he is old, Obama does not, except when convenient.

Obama flip flop

Obama Liar

You see, I wouldn't have a problem with Obama if you guys didn't worship him and say he is perfect. I am voting against Obama. I am not voting for McCain. This is why I don't say anything good about McCain in my posts. I feel Obama is more evil than McCain.

suebeehonee said...

Thank you Redwing for clarifying this matter. I have been nudged by our Uncle about this for some time and I am eager to bring him facts. I think he will be particularly interested to hear that Obama was an 8 year old child at the time of the terrorist act because he tells me that Obama was a part of this act of terrorism in the 60's. POOF! Gone away is his theory!

Jack said...

so glad you stayed...somehow knew you would:)
I watched the video links you provided...uhhh what does the Patriot Act and Jerimiah Wright have to do with ACORN?? just curious. OR were you compelled to pull these beaten horses out because you knew the ACORN and Ayers accusations were in fact IN CORRECT as we have been stating all week??
and for your videos...the one with the Turkish guy, he shows a sound byte of Obama then made his OWN assumption of what was actually said without playing the entire context of what Obama said. For example Obama never said he disowned Rev. Wright then said he did as the video implied. He said he could not disown him and then said he disowned the REV'S WORDS!! AS IN I DONT AGREE WITH HIM.
that is NOT a flip flop.
but thanx for sharing and reminding me once again why the entire undertone of the McCain campaign irritates me.
I do NOT care about Ayers, ACORN, Wright...I care about the money I need to feed my kids, pay my mortgage and heat my home :)
but I do want to add, if you have any 'proof' of the contrary in accordance with the actual topic posted, I am interested in reading it/seeing it.

Larry said...

Jack, if you read my comment, which clearly you did not, I was saying how Obama will say whatever he wants when it is convenient to him and I BACKED IT UP...

FYI, that Turkish guy, well you need to watch all his videos. He is PRO Obama, just one of the few that are fair. You see, you still can't admit it if Obama says something and takes it back. Maybe 10 years from now, you will reflect this ignorance of yours. Now, that Turkish guy, that video was NOT about Wright as you goofed up and said, that one was the black guy who called Obama a liar, which is true, he is a liar.

Larry said...

FYI, here is another LINK from the RNC, but has quotes of Obama's about Acorn.

Bill said...

I've got to admit I myself have wondered about some of the obvious discrepancies with regard to Obama's past (the whole birth certificate thing being one of them). I've long harbored notions that he was being crammed down our throats and he came out of nowhere - a real dark horse, so to speak. :-)
All I kept thinking while I was watching a video of an Illuminati Films representative trying to "expose" Obama's unwillingness to present papers confirming his citizenship was what a mess it would make of things if it actually could be determined that he wasn't a natural born citizen. I mean, how would that work? Would Biden then elevate to the Presidential slot and choose a running mate for himself at this late date? Would the election continue as-is with Obama stepping down after it was all over? How would they handle it? Are there rules that cover an eventuality of this type?I've also got to admit I'm really tickled at the sight of all these Republicans running so scared they're peeing themselves...
I had another thought the other day (gotta stop that thinking stuff, it makes my thinker hurt). I came to the realization that people treat their political affiliation in much the same way they treat their pro sports team affiliation. A Yankees fan, for example, will root for the Yankees regardless of whether they're in first place or last place. The idea of jumping teams is abhorrent, regardless of their level of success or whether or not a "better" team should come along. There's a loyalty there that transcends any and all logical considerations.So it is with politics. There's a knee-jerk mindlessness to the Republican mind that leaves me incredulous. Obviously I'm generalizing with that last statement, but you get the idea. I firmly believe a Democrat would have an easier time voting for a Republican than vice-versa. Quite honestly it amazes me that anyone could vote Republican after the incredibly effective job they've done over the past couple of decades destroying the country for their own gain. The abysmal performances of George W. Bush and the neocons should, by rights, have been enough to cause the implosion of the Republican party and preclude them getting any votes ever again. Yet they continue with their more-of-the-same agenda.What amazes me even more is that I can drive through some of the poorer sections of this city/county/state and see McCain signs on people's property. How any of these people could even entertain the notion of voting for a man who is so far removed from the lives they lead and so clearly not in their best interests is beyond me. But vote for him they will. I just don't get it.
As H.L. Mencken once said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." That I DO get, and with all my heart I hate the fact that it's true.

RedWing said...

Well Bill, it's a good thing Obama DID provide his birth certificate, thus proving his citizenship.

On your other point you are correct. A democrat will vote for a republican but it is much rarer for the vice versa to happen. The reasoning is simple. Republicans do not like change. The very definition of conservative is someone who resists change or is bigoted. The definition of the word liberal is acceptance of change and without bigotry.

You need but the definition of the word to determine the reasoning.