Democrats have a belated Halloween prepared for Republicans this fall. Carl Rove, the Bush White House – and indeed ordinary voters like you and me – weren’t supposed to know what hit us. The Democratic machine is back, it’s running on tax-exempt, unreported money, and it intends to “spindle, fold and mutilate” its way to election victory this fall.
Republicans have foolishly assumed they are fighting an election campaign against Sens. Kerry and Edwards. While they focus on exposing this prospective presidential team’s personal and leadership flaws, their Senate flip-flops and leftist voting records, the real campaign battle is already well under way just beneath the choppy election surface.
It is a brilliant campaign, because it gives the Democratic Party “plausible deniability.” The dirty work is all being done by the left’s “campaign finance reform” byproduct: Big-bucks, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) “public charities” and their incestuous 527 nonprofit offspring. The illegal coordination forbidden by the new “campaign finance reform” takes place during private cell-phone conversations, within encrypted e-mails, and on password-protected websites.
Here’s how the new game is being played.
Voter registration drives are considered nonpartisan, and as such are permissible activities for 501(c)(3) nonprofits – like the ones funded by Theresa Heinz Kerry. The assumption is that most nonprofits cover a wide swath politically in their membership, that potential voters of all persuasions will be asked to register, and that more voter participation is a good thing. Here’s why these assumptions are all wrong:
Ms. Barson, a 27-year-old official at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, wanted to track down potential voters motivated by support for abortion rights. She asked Mr. O’Brien, a techie from a new liberal turnout machine called America Coming Together, to summon names and addresses of Democratic and independent women aged 18 to 30. Republicans wouldn’t be worth the time.
Within seconds, her quarry popped up: 812 Concord-area women, their addresses marked with dots on a street map that Mr. O’Brien, a Democratic activist, printed out. Then it was up to Planned Parenthood – and a host of affiliated liberal organizations working with ACT to divide up terrain – to reach the voters, assess their political inclinations and cajole supporters to vote on Nov. 2.
– “In Fallout From Campaign Law, Liberal Groups Work Together,” by John Harwood, Wall Street Journal, A1, July 27, 2004.
Where does Planned Parenthood get its money? Here’s the answer from their website:
Q. Are donations to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England tax deductible?
A. Yes, all donations to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) are tax deductible according to IRS standards. If you’d like to make a donation to PPNNE, please click here to make a secure online gift, or here to learn about other ways to give.
Is this your idea of nonpartisan activity by a public charity?
This political incest is the brainchild of Democratic “campaign finance reform” advocates, now housed at America Coming Together. The group claims an address book of 20 million.
ACT opened for business in August 2003. In addition, nearly three dozen organizations kicked in $50,000 apiece and signed on as its partner in an umbrella coalition called America Votes. They represent the party’s most loyal constituencies: labor, environmentalists, feminists, teachers and African-Americans … More than 20 donors have given $1 million or more each.
– John Harwood, Wall Street Journal
Here’s the founder’s list from the America Votes website:
America Coming Together (ACT)
American Federation of Teachers
Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Clean Water Action
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund
League of Conservation Voters
MoveOn.org Voter Fund
Moving America Forward
NAACP National Voter Fund
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Education Association
Partnership for America’s Families
People for the American Way
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Voices for Working Families
Cecile Richards, a veteran labor and political organizer, serves as the president of America Votes. Before joining America Votes, she served as deputy chief of staff to U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
ACT used its Soros’ contributions to purchase voter lists and high-powered political-demographic software. Member organizations make their mailing lists available, which are “scrubbed” of anyone who has wandered off the Democratic reservation. Activists recruit not everyone on the organization’s list – only likely Democratic voters.
The participating nonprofit’s goal is to register only Democrats from among their membership as voters. Unlike previous registration drives you may be familiar with, the affiliate organizations are keeping names, mailing and e-mail addresses – as well as drivers licenses numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information gathered during the registration process. Finally, each new voter is asked to sign a “Voter Pledge Card” indicating support for the organization’s dearest, most leftist idea – and promising to vote on Nov. 2.
Now suppose these new voter registrations are held back until the last day of a state’s registration deadline. During the interim (say the first half of this year) the organization – and ACT – have an exclusive pipeline through which to pump their favorite distortions and political agenda – all without anyone being aware. These new voters will never show up on the lists that Republicans purchase for their direct mailings near election time. When the registration deadline hits and the organization drops off tens of thousands of new voter registration forms on the secretary of state’s desk, how will the staff have time to verify the information?
The left has laid the groundwork for the largest campaign of voter fraud and intimidation in history, by gathering and holding personal information and using a standardized “Voter Pledge Card” that their telephone banks can hammer voters with on Election Day.
What can you do? E-mail me with your suggestions. I’ll consolidate them with my own in next week’s column.