Operatives of the radical left-wing ideology of ACORN appear to be working with the Obama administration on a strategy to tilt the 2012 elections in favor of Democrats, according to award-winning investigative reporter Matthew Vadum. ACORN leaders have made multiple visits to the Obama White House and the Department of Justice, new evidence shows.
Their goal is to get the government to spend more money on registering welfare recipients and the poor, who are typically Democratic voters, said Vadum, author of the explosive new book “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”
Obama long ago endorsed the strategy of using welfare recipients to expand the size and scope of government.
“All our people must know that politics and voting affects their lives directly,” he said in 1992. “If we’re registering people in public housing, for an example, we talk about aid cuts and who’s responsible.”
Obama’s Department of Justice has come under fire for refusing to enforce Section 8 of the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA), also known as the Motor-Voter law. Section 8 requires states to remove the names of ineligible felons, the dead, and non-residents from voter rolls. At the same time DOJ has been vigorously enforcing Section 7 which compels states to register voters at welfare offices.
In his book Vadum writes that Section 7 of NVRA amounts to a huge taxpayer subsidy for Democratic candidates. Sanford Newman, founder of ACORN affiliate Project Vote, has acknowledged his group’s work helps the Left almost exclusively.
“While our work is nonpartisan, it is realistic to assume that upward of 90 percent of the people we register on unemployment and other social service distribution lines will oppose politicians who have supported cuts in the programs on which they rely,” he said. “They are likely to vote Democratic in most instances.”
ACORN leaders are pressuring the government to drop pending investigations of massive voter fraud across the nation, said Vadum, a senior editor at
Capital Research Center, a think tank that studies left-wing advocacy groups and their funders. His book is the product of nearly three years of research and hundreds of interviews.
So far this year five ACORN leaders visited the White House. One of those ACORN leaders, former ACORN attorney Estelle H. Rogers, is now director of advocacy at ACORN-affiliated Project Vote.
Project Vote is the affiliate of the ACORN network that Obama worked for in 1992 when he led a voter mobilization campaign in Illinois that helped to elect the radical Carol Moseley Braun as a U.S. senator. Obama went on to train ACORN activists and represent ACORN in court as the group’s lawyer.
Project Vote’s official position is that voter fraud is a myth that Republicans created to deprive Democrats of their votes. The group demonizes anyone who thinks voter ID requirements are good public policy and lobbies for policies that make voter fraud easier to perpetrate.
Rogers visited the Obama White House on March 2, 2011, according to the White House visitors’ database. She met with Shasti Conrad, senior aide to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Carson previously served as chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality serving under green jobs czar Van Jones, the self-described communist forced out for signing a 9/11 “truther” petition that blamed President George W. Bush for the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act also show that Rogers wrote T. Christian Herren, chief of the Voting Section in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, recommending three candidates for positions at the DOJ.
“I want to heartily recommend two candidates to you,” Rogers wrote in a Feb. 23, 2010, email to DOJ’s Herren. DOJ redacted the names of the candidates. Rogers followed up on April 20, 2010, writing, “I look forward to continuing to work with you, Chris. And please let me know if you need any more feedback regarding hires.”
Rogers wrote another email to Herren on Dec. 7, 2010. “I’d still love to talk for real, but in the meantime, the main reason I called is that you have an applicant for the [REDACTED] position [REDACTED] qualifies … beautifully for your position, and I hope you will give her every consideration. [REDACTED] So she would be a great fit, and I recommend her without reservation. Please let me know if I can tell you more. And give me a call if you possibly can.”
Documents released by Judicial Watch also show that Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli met with “civil rights groups” on March 17, 2011, to talk about Section 7 of NVRA. The groups at the progressive pow-wow were Project Vote, Demos, Brennan Center for Justice, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, American Association of People with Disabilities, League of Women Voters, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Rogers has been collaborating with the Obama administration since before Inauguration Day in January 2009. She filed what Project Vote called a “voting rights agenda” submission with the Obama-Biden presidential transition team in 2008.
That agenda includes lawsuits filed recently in several states by Project Vote and the groups it is aligned with. The litigation is calculated to intimidate state officials into not investigating claims of rampant voter fraud.
“The lawsuits are coming out of nowhere in multiple states and they are coming fast,” said Anita MonCrief, a former Project Vote employee.
“This is part of a coordinated effort,” she said. “These groups are very well-funded, and they have lawyers doing pro bono work.”
Rogers hinted at the litigation attack in a July 13, 2010, email to Herren and DOJ political appointee Julie Fernandes. Rogers indicated that she would be bringing Project Vote election counsel Niyati Shah to a meeting at DOJ.
Shah “will be working on a lot of the litigation we’ll be telling you about.”
Rogers said Nicole Kovite Zeitler, director of Project Vote’s welfare voter registration project, would also be in attendance.
As reported in Vadum’s book, former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams said Fernandes told department lawyers that the agency had no interest in enforcing Section 8 of NVRA because, she said, it “doesn’t have anything to do with increasing minority turnout.”
Incidentally, Barack Obama wasn’t the first leftist to come up with the idea of registering welfare recipients to vote themselves greater benefits at the expense of taxpayers. The idea was put forward in the mid 1960s by communist sympathizers Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. The Marxist duo said “massive numbers of new voters” had to be registered in order to bring “fundamental change” to the nation. Cloward and Piven helped to write the Motor-Voter law. Even today Piven is a member of Project Vote’s board of directors.
Four other ACORN operatives visited the Obama White House on March 22, 2011, for a meeting with White House policy assistant David Pope. They are Brian Kettenring, Darlene D. Battle, Steven Fletcher, and Leigh Dingerson.
From 1995 to 2009 Kettenring served as deputy director of national operations for ACORN.
Battle ran ACORN in Philadelphia and is now executive director of Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice, one of two dozen new ACORN front groups that have popped up around the nation. ACORN, the shell corporation that ruled ACORN’s network of 370 affiliated groups, filed bankruptcy in November 2010 after ordering its state chapters to incorporate themselves separately in order to carry on ACORN’s work.
Fletcher is the former top organizer for ACORN in Minnesota. He is now executive director of Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (MNNOC), a new ACORN front group.
Dingerson worked as a community organizer with ACORN between 1978 and 1982.