A Judicial Watch investigation has found that the leftwing nonprofit under scrutiny for trying to register animals, dead people, infants and felons to vote was founded by Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and a top Democratic strategist with deep union ties.
Documents uncovered by Judicial Watch reveal heavy hitters in the Democratic Party are deeply involved with the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, Voter Participation Center (VPC), which claims to be nonpartisan. The group was created in 2004 under a different name (Women’s Voices, Women Vote—WVWV) to register “hard to find, highly mobile voters” and amplify the voices of unmarried women and historically underrepresented groups.
Clinton’s chief of staff, John Podesta, helped launch the WVWV prior to the 2004 presidential election and later served on the board, according to information uncovered in the course of JW’s probe. The organization, which officially changed its name to VPC in 2011, is registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a political advocacy group under the direction of Amy Young, a top Democratic strategist with deep roots to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL –CIO) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Young has also served as director of the Ohio Democratic Party.
The group changed its name from WVWV to VPC to reflect an expanded focus that goes beyond its original emphasis on unmarried women. This includes the entire “Rising American Electorate” which means people of color and 18-29 years olds. The VPC touts its effectiveness in registering a disproportionate number of African Americans and Hispanics to vote and in contacting, registering and mobilizing individuals who were otherwise unlikely to cast ballots.
But its questionable tactics to undermine the electoral process have caused concerns in several states, including New Mexico, Florida, Wisconsin and Virginia. VPC forms are deceiving and appear to be official when they are not, according to a news report that links a picture of the mailer. The VPC has also defended the famously corrupt Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) during its various scandals. Read all about ACORN in this special Judicial Watch report.
Most recently the VPC has been embroiled in a major controversy in Virginia, where the State Board of Elections has received hundreds of complaints about its unscrupulous mailers, which a local newspaper says have gone out to the deceased, animals, children and felons, among others. The state’s attorney general has been asked to investigate and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has confirmed that “there’s clearly a problem” because the VPC mailers have created “mass voter confusion.”
The VPC says it mailed nearly 200,000 third-party registration forms to Virginia addresses in June, which resulted in 15,026 new voters being registered as of July 18, according to a local news report. The deputy secretary of Virginia’s State Board of Elections (Justin Riemer) confirms that the VPC has sent forms to deceased infants, out-of-state family members and non-U.S. citizens, among others.