CRC senior editor Matthew Vadum has an interesting article in FrontPage magazine today about how the offspring of the now-defunct ACORN network is now running scams in Ferguson, Missouri.
Ferguson’s Rent-A-Mobs Exposed
By Matthew Vadum
ACORN’s successor group in Missouri has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to generate civil unrest in Ferguson, the troubled St. Louis suburb where black youth Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer last August.
We know this because some of the protesters haven’t been paid and, now, they are demanding what they were promised. They held a sit-in at the offices of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and posted a demand letter online.
MORE is the rebranded Missouri branch of the former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010. That ACORN state chapter reconstituted itself in December 2009 as MORE under orders from ACORN’s national headquarters. President Obama used to work for ACORN and he represented it in court as a lawyer. (See my previous article on MORE.)
MORE has been active in the Ferguson protests and in efforts to free jailed demonstrators so they can continue vandalizing businesses, intimidating perceived adversaries, setting fires, throwing projectiles and human waste at cops, and engaging in the Left’s usual modes of so-called nonviolent protest. MORE believes that protesters should be given a blank check to inflict whatever harm they wish on the community in pursuit of social justice.
The unpaid rent-a-mob operatives complain that MORE stiffed them the same way ACORN did to hired protesters throughout its 40 years of radical left-wing rabble-rousing. The ACORN network’s leadership was always predominantly white while its foot soldiers were mostly non-white, a fact that caused tension within the criminal community organizing outfit.
Blogger Kristinn Taylor reported at St. Louis-based blogger Jim Hoft’s website, Gateway Pundit, that “[b]lack activists held a sit-in at the office of MORE … on Thursday to press their claim that groups led by whites have collected tens of thousands of dollars in donations off of the Black Lives Matter movement without paying the Black participants their fair share.”
One of the angry protesters can be observed threatening MORE executive director Jeff Ordower, a bald white man, in a video posted to the Twitter account of @search4swag on May 14 with the hashtag #CutTheCheck.
“We gonna just f*** you up,” she said to Ordower from across a boardroom-style table.
Ordower, an outspoken vote fraud apologist, previously ran Missouri ACORN and oversaw ACORN’s Midwest operations. He was also an SEIU organizer in Texas.
Local Right to Work
A new strategy for protecting workers is provoking controversy and gaining ground [PDF here]
By Brent Yessin and Steven J. Allen
Summary: In Kentucky and elsewhere, advocates for the rights of working men and women—including the right not to join a union or pay dues to a union if you don’t want to—are trying a new strategy: Laws that secure this right for a city or county, rather than an entire state. The courts have not yet ruled definitively on this strategy, which is not favored by the National Right to Work Committee, one of the most prominent champions of Right to Work efforts. This issue of Labor Watch examines the progress that has been made on the ground, as well as the legal and strategic disputes this approach raises.
“I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” – Abraham Lincoln
Bowling Green seems like an unlikely spot for the beginning of a revolution. Yet Bowling Green, seat of Warren County, Kentucky, is where a revolution has been sparked against the forced collection of union dues.
With the recent additions of Michigan and Wisconsin to the roster, 25 states now have Right to Work laws—laws that protect workers from being forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.
All those states have laws that apply statewide. The significance of what’s happening in Bowling Green, and across Kentucky, and perhaps soon in other states is that Right to Work protections are being extended at the local level, county by county. (more…)
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
In public policy, one the major sources of error is taxonomy.
Taxonomy (or systematics): Classification into categories based on presumed relationships
But how valid are the presumptions?
In biology, we could classify living things into “things that fly” (bats and birds and bumblebees) and “things that don’t” (elephants and dolphins and apple trees).
It’s a perfectly logical system of classification… and scientifically worthless.
But in the world of public policy, nonsensical classification systems are used all the time. The meaning of many classifications is simply changed whenever (more…)
ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos was forced to admit that he failed to disclose a major conflict of interest –$75,000 in donations to the embattled Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation– to viewers while covering Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Bear in mind that just two weeks before on the “Daily Show,” he said, “Everybody knows that when donors give that money, what you get is access and the influence that comes with that access.”
Stephanopoulos said the gifts “were a matter of public record … [but] in hindsight, “I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation. I apologize.” The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove mocked the former Clinton White House aide’s mea culpa as “a passive-aggressive non-apology.” Stephanopoulos has since recused himself as moderator of ABC’s February GOP debate in New Hampshire but stubbornly refuses to refrain from covering the 2016 presidential election, a fact that has some Republican lawmakers urging their colleagues to refuse to give interviews to the news network.
The anchor’s bias was obvious in an April 26 interview with Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer. When the author said there was a “troubling pattern” between donations to the foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s actions as secretary of state, the hyper-partisan Stephanopoulos slapped him down hard. “We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action,” the disingenuous anchor said. Of course a book by an investigative reporter isn’t a formal indictment. It’s not like Schweizer has subpoena-issuing powers.
Remember that Stephanopoulos is the guy who threw a life line to Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential debate on April 16, 2008. He asked then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.):
I want to give Senator [Hillary] Clinton a chance to respond, but first a follow-up on this issue, the general theme of patriotism in your relationships. A gentleman named William Ayers — he was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that, and, in fact, on 9-11, he was quoted in The New York Times saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” An early organizing meeting for your state Senate campaign was held at his house, and your campaign has said you are friendly. Can you explain that relationship for the voters, and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?
It was quite a loaded question and I doubt that Stephanopoulos’s motivation in asking it was journalistic curiosity.
Recent Capital Research Center publications about the Clinton Foundation:
The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation: Pay no attention to the First Family behind the curtain, by Jonathan M. Hanen, Foundation Watch, September 2014
The Clinton Foundation: A cauldron of conflicts and cronyism, by Barbara Joanna Lucas, Foundation Watch, May 2015
Over at PhilanthropyDaily.com, I have a new piece arguing that, much as the New York Times would like to claim Pope Francis for their team, he doesn’t approach the poor the way that they do:
Do individual human beings matter? They do to Pope Francis, who recently had 150 of Rome’s homeless persons receive a tour of the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel.
Particular men and women, so some folks tell us, aren’t that important, because if you really want to “change the world” and help people, you must turn your gaze from the people you see in front of you and contemplate instead social structures/societal forces/the root causes of poverty.
This kind of thinking is common in places like the New York Times editorial pages, which seem to think Pope Francis shares their philosophy. But I’d say the pope’s treatment of those homeless persons shows that his approach to changing the world and helping others is entirely different.
… the Times and others who deal in disembodied social forces usually condescend to those they would help by treating the poor as powerless victims of social inequities — as persons who have nothing and can do nothing for themselves or for anyone else. Yet the Pope said the opposite. He did not speak abstractly about the poor; he spoke to every single one of these struggling persons. And he didn’t say, “I denounce the sinful structures of our globalized economic system that victimize the class to which you belong and deprive your class of material riches.” No, Pope Francis said that he, a world leader who lives amid palaces, lacks something that only they, in their dignity, could provide him: “I’m in need of prayers by people like you,” he explained.
For the whole article, go here.
For a while yesterday, many on the Left were jubilant at the shooting (falsely reported, it turned out) of George Zimmerman, a Latino who, one day in 2012, dared defend himself as his head was being bashed against the concrete in a (mistaken) gay-bashing by a doped-up teenager. As the evidence showed, he was quite reasonable in his belief that he was shooting the teenager before the teenager could kill him.
In Baltimore over the weekend, the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince held a concert in which he sang of victims of police brutality like Michael Brown, who was not actually the victim of police brutality but who assaulted a convenience store clerk half his size, then went after a police officer, trying to take the officer’s gun and presumably kill him with it. The officer killed him first—a shooting that even the Obama administration was forced to admit was fully justified.
From Mumia Abu-Jamal to the perpetrators of the Tawana Brawley, Duke lacrosse, and University of Virginia fraternity hoaxes… Why, so often, do people on the Left glorify liars and criminals? Why do they so often direct their anger and hatred at the victims?
It’s a pattern we’ve seen (more…)
The Clinton Foundation: A cauldron of conflicts and cronyism
By Barbara Joanna Lucas, Foundation Watch, May 2015 (PDF here)
Summary: The former first family’s philanthropy has always been a vehicle to promote the careers of the Clintons. It does some good things that help people but in recent years it has functioned more like an unofficial campaign headquarters for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid. And if there is one thing the Clintons are good at, it’s getting paid. The Clintons said the charity would not accept donations from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State. They must have been crossing their fingers behind their backs because it was recently revealed that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department. Making matters worse, Hillary Clinton’s cavalier approach to U.S. national security has also spilled over into her family’s foundation – and a new book called “the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy” is to be published this month. The Clinton Foundation may soon dominate news cycles, but not the way the Clintons wanted.
The Obama White House has had little to say about Hillary Clinton’s egregious violation of her agreement with the Obama administration, even though it is President Barack Obama who should be offended most by the broken pledge.
Before Obama even took office, the Clinton Foundation’s chairman of the board, Bruce Lindsey, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Dec. 12, 2008 with Valerie Jarrett, then co-chair of President-elect Obama’s transition team. The document provided that “During any service by Senator Clinton as Secretary of State, the Foundation will publish annually the names of all new contributors.” We now know that the foundation cast aside its promise to make timely disclosure of donations it took in from foreign sources.
And in recent days Reuters discovered that the Clinton Foundation filed incorrect Form 990 disclosures with the IRS. All nonprofits have to file the document once a year, after which it becomes publicly available. As a result of Reuters reporting, the Clinton Foundation admitted that its IRS filings from 2010 through 2012 and those of its Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) from 2012 and 2013 are not accurate. The foundation does not rule out the possibility of revisiting its IRS filings going back 15 years.
According to Reuters, “[f]or three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.” It’s suspicious to say the least.
Shortly after the recent revelations of foreign money pouring into the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation came reports of the e-mail flap. Are the matters linked? Well, the public cannot know if the potential conflicts regarding foreign donors and State Department business would be spelled out in the 30,000 e-mails that were deleted. It’s possible Hillary Clinton was telling the truth when she said all of those deleted e-mail messages were about weddings and yoga. But with the e-mails gone, it’s unknowable, while Hillary is asking us to trust and not verify.
The memorandum further asserted that the State Department would review any paid speeches by the secretary’s husband. The Obama transition team at the time said in a statement, “We believe the agreement with the Clinton Foundation meets our goals of transparency and goes above and beyond in preventing conflicts.”
The agreement itself may have met those goals—if only the foundation had abided by it.
While Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, the governments of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Australia, Norway, Algeria, and the Dominican Republic all lavished millions of dollars on the Clinton Foundation. While acting coy when questioned about most of these, the Clinton Foundation has admitted it should have sought approval from the State Department before accepting $500,000 from the government of Algeria. Whoops.
For the entirety of the Clinton Foundation’s existence, foreign donors made up one-third of all donors giving more than $1 million and made up more than half of donors who gave $5 million or more (Washington Post, February 18, 2015).
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
Last week, Hillary Clinton, whom today’s elites see as the Leader for the Future, spoke at Columbia University, where they once considered fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as the Leader for the Future.
As Jonah Goldberg wrote in his book Liberal Fascism:
Perhaps no elite institution in America was more accommodating to Fascism than Columbia University. In 1926 it established Casa Italiana, a center for the study of Italian culture and a lecture venue for prominent Italian scholars. It was Fascism’s “veritable home in America” and a “schoolhouse for budding Fascist ideologues,” according to John Patrick Diggins. Mussolini himself had contributed some ornate Baroque furniture to Casa Italiana and had sent Columbia’s president, Nicholas Murray Butler, a signed photo thanking him for his “most valuable contribution” to the promotion of understanding between Fascist Italy and the United States.
Secretary Clinton spoke at Columbia’s 18th annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum, named for former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, a Leader for the Future as of 1993, who broke New York City so badly—who came so close to turning it into a left-wing calamity like Detroit or Baltimore—that the voters elected Rudy Giuliani mayor and kept the mayor’s office out of Democratic Party hands for 20 years.
In her speech, Secretary Clinton suggested, as she has previously, that, as president, she would wage war on the First Amendment. “We must urgently begin to rebuild the bonds of trust and respect among Americans. Between police and citizens, yes, but also across society. Restoring trust in our politics, our press, our markets.”
Did you notice? In the middle of a speech that was said to be about criminal justice reform, (more…)
The Elizabeth Warren Cheering Squad
Progressive groups push to send the anti-capitalist politician to the White House
By Jonathan M. Hanen, Organization Trends, May 2015 (PDF here)
Summary: A coalition of Progressive, pro-Democrat nonprofits is trying to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has become a kind of folk hero to leftists, as an alternative to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest. The ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party, MoveOn, and Howard Dean’s PAC, Democracy for America, are promoting her potential candidacy relentlessly, while other nonprofits like Americans for Financial Reform and Progressive Change Campaign Committee beat the drum for Warren’s radical policy ideas aimed at crushing Wall Street. Whether Warren runs or not, her looming presence is sure to push the Democratic Party even farther to port.
In recent months, it seems as if every day the populist left-wing politician Elizabeth Warren has said “no” to her party’s Progressive wing, which desperately wants her to challenge the allegedly inevitable presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But the Progressives keep on asking, begging, and pleading with the former law professor to declare her candidacy. “We think the stakes are so high that we want to push to get her in this race,” said T. Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America. Of MoveOn.org Civic Action’s effort to draft Warren, executive director Anna Galland said, “The top objective of our campaign that we have been explicit about from the beginning is that this is an earnest effort to get her into the race.”
Warren’s reluctance to enter the race may be grounded in self-preservation. She is aware of the power and ruthlessness of the Clinton machine. Clinton’s “command of the Democratic machinery, from fundraising to grass-roots organizing, is so extensive that almost everyone else is understandably intimidated about even testing their talents against her,” Dan Balz observed in the Washington Post (Nov. 8, 2014).
The Democrats have a weak farm team, Balz adds. “The party’s national bench is so thin that Democrats count themselves lucky to have her available in 2016. If she were to decide not to run, the Democrats would have trouble identifying a field of candidates as extensive as Republicans are likely to put up in the coming presidential race.”
With that said, Warren’s wholly speculative candidacy has been going gangbusters. Democracy for America, MoveOn, and the ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party of New York have been raising money, carrying out polls, hosting events, opening offices, and hiring employees in key states “with the express purpose of showing Warren that an infrastructure exists should she discover her presidential aspirations.”
Political Unions and Democrats’ Dark Money
By Thomas Garvey
Under federal laws, a 501(c)(4) group must primarily operate in service to the public welfare. These groups are allowed to participate in politics so long as that does not form their primary work. In the wake of the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party nonprofit groups, the Left is loudly denouncing the Tea Party groups as mere fronts for the powerful conservative machine, which “repeatedly violate the rules … with impunity” and receives nonprofit status with “near blanket approval,” as the Huffington Post puts it. To prove their point they list the largest of conservative (c)(4) groups and unleash diatribes against them, ignoring the fact that the targeted groups were small and the so-called blanket approval actually applied only to “progressive” groups. In fact, not a single liberal group was called by the left to testify in recent congressional hearings—strong evidence that they weren’t treated harshly enough to make a good sob story on TV.
While haranguing conservatives for their attempts to exercise their constitutional rights, the Left has overlooked their own “dark money” nonprofits. (more…)