JUNE 01, 2012
ACORN Offshoot Sues Massachusetts for Failing to Register Welfare Recipients
Think ACORN is defunct and no longer able to exert its corrupt influence in the 2012 presidential election campaign? Think again. Splintered across the country, into dozens of difficult to track state organizations, the ACORN network is now working hand-in-hand with the Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) to register voters for Obama’s “Food Stamp Army” to help him retain power in November.
In fact, according to The Associated Press, one of the ACORN offshoots, New England United 4 Justice (NEU4J), recently sued the State of Massachusetts to address the “problem” of registering to vote at welfare and DMV offices:
Massachusetts citizen and community groups are suing the state for allegedly failing to offer recipients of public assistance help in registering to vote.
The suit was filed in federal court on Tuesday (May 15) by the regional office of the NAACP, the group New England United for Justice and Bethzaida Delgado, a Massachusetts woman who said she was repeatedly denied voter registration services.
The suit alleges that Secretary of State William Galvin’s office and the state Department of Transitional Assistance violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by failing to offer registration opportunities to the poor.
(If you’re a student of leftist agitprop, you can read the ACORN front group complaint here.)
Just like the other ACORN “Frankensteins,” as former ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis calls them, NEU4J would like you to believe that they are a brand new organization, completely separate from the disgraced “community organization” that was forced to file bankruptcy. Not true, as our Corruption Chronicles blogger Irene Garcia reports:
NEU4J is the reincarnation of ACORN in New England, according to a Judicial Watch analysis of records. Its president, Maude Hurd, was previously the national president of ACORN and a board member at ACORN Housing. Its executive director is Noemi Ramos, who was ACORN Boston’s head organizer, and its vice president is former ACORN Massachusetts President Sandra Ramgeet. Much like ACORN, NEU4J promotes social justice by representing low and moderate income families.
Now let me put this lawsuit in the context of a larger campaign by the Obama gang’s two-pronged strategy to steal the elections by manipulating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
Step 1: Use the full weight of the Obama DOJ to enforce Section 7 of the NVRA, which instructs public assistance agencies to register low-income voters, widely considered a key voting demographic for the Obama campaign.
Step 2: Ignore Section 8 of the NVRA, which requires the states to take reasonable steps to ensure that the voting rolls are accurate (by doing simple things, such as removing dead people from the rolls).
And how does the ACORN network fit into this plan?
Judicial Watch has uncovered documents showing that the Obama DOJ is now working with ACORN-front Project Vote, Barack Obama’s former employer, to boost registration numbers for welfare recipients across the country.
For example, according to internal DOJ email correspondence obtained by Judicial Watch, “civil rights groups” – led by former ACORN attorney and current Project Vote Director of Advocacy Estelle Rogers – met with Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli on March 17, 2011, specifically to discuss Section 7 of National Voting Rights Act.
Following the meeting, Rogers and the “undersigned voting rights groups” that met with Perrelli sent detailed recommendations to the associate attorney general for strengthening compliance with the NVRA. Forwarded to Perrelli by Rogers, the recommendations stated “we are grateful that you have invited us to continue this dialogue on the Department’s [DOJ’s] role in providing guidance to states, and we would be happy to supply any additional information you need.”
Project Vote and the Obama DOJ have also filed copycat lawsuits using the NVRA to attack states that are not registering enough (in their minds) public assistance voters.
ACORN’s new state organizations are in on the scheme and are using their resources to contribute to this effort. According to a JW investigation, after ACORN pressured the State of Colorado to boost registration numbers for welfare recipients, the percentage of invalid voter registration forms from Colorado public assistance agencies jumped to four times the national average!
(And if you want to know why this coordinated strategy between the Obama DOJ, ACORN, its partner Project Vote, and the dozens of ACORN offshoots nationwide is so dangerous to free and fair elections this fall, please read our special report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.”)
ACORN and Project Vote were responsible for massive voter registration fraud in the 2008 election cycle (the one that elected former Project Vote executive director, Barack Obama). So to have these groups working with the DOJ on election law is like having the Mafia running the FBI.
If you’ve been reading my updates over the last few months, you know that Judicial Watch has devised a strategy to counter the Obama gang’s scurrilous campaign to re-elect Obama by hook or by crook. We call it our “2012 Election Integrity Project.” And one of the most critical areas of focus for Judicial Watch is dirty voter registration rolls.
Our investigations team analyzed voter registration data to determine which states have the dirtiest voter registration lists. According to this investigation, some of the worst offenders are Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, California, and Colorado.
We have notified election officials in these states that if they fail to clean up voter rolls in accordance with the law, Judicial Watch is prepared to file lawsuits to force them to do it. (Judicial Watch lawyers are preparing lawsuits as I write this.)
It is no exaggeration to say that our 2012 Election Integrity Project is among the most important programs we’ve ever initiated. And for this reason you can expect to hear additional updates in this space very soon.
JW Opposes Raced-Based Admission Policies in Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Brief
On June 29, 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that city officials in New Haven, Connecticut, violated the rights of white firefighters when they discarded the results of a promotions test because minority firefighters performed poorly on the test.
“No individual should face workplace discrimination based on race,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion.
But what about students applying to a university? Can they lawfully face discrimination based on race? The University of Texas at Austin says “yes.” The Supreme Court will weigh in on the issue during its next term, which begins in October.
In the meantime, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Abigail Noel Fisher, the plaintiff that is seeking review by the High Court of her challenge to this racial spoils system.
Our amicus brief, filed jointly with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF), supports Fisher’s claim that race-based admission policies of the University of Texas at Austin violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ms. Fisher, who is white, maintains she suffered discrimination when she applied to the university and was denied admission in 2008.
We challenge the very basis of racial favoritism that is the basis of the “diversity” craze that is nothing more than reverse racism. According to the amicus curiae brief (filed on May 29, 2012):
Human race and ethnicity are inherent ambiguous social constructs that have no validity in science. Invoking race and ethnicity to promote diversity relies on racial and ethnic stereotyping of individuals’ viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences. Admission policies, such as the policy enacted by the University, which seek to classify applicants by crude, inherently ambiguous, and unsound racial and ethnic categories to promote diversity, but which instead promote racial and ethnic stereotyping, can never be narrowly tailored to promote a compelling government interest, and therefore cannot survive strict scrutiny.
Judicial Watch used the controversy surrounding Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she is Native American to highlight the folly of taking into account an applicant’s race or ethnicity in pursuit of student diversity:
Based on nothing more than “family lore” and “high cheek bones,” Ms. Warren claimed, perhaps quite sincerely, that she was 1/32nd Cherokee and therefore a Native American and a minority.
Under the University’s policy, an applicant who similarly identified herself as an “American Indian” based on “family lore” and “high cheekbones” would gain a “plus” factor toward admission…Imagine a freshman class at the University comprised of 6,715 Elizabeth Warrens, all identical but for the difference in the race or ethnicity of a single great great-great grandparent. How much additional diversity would the University have achieved by taking the race and ethnicity of these students into account in the admissions process?
The answer: None. In fact, permit me to show by example just how useless these classifications can be when attempting to foster so-called diversity.
As we note in our brief, the University of Texas at Austin admission policy “lumps together” two of the most populous countries in the world, China and India, each with over 1 billion people – and a variety of languages, cultures, and religions – under one race category, “Asian.” “The term ‘Asian’ as anything other than a geographic reference is largely meaningless,” we argue.
And we conclude: “To fulfill the promise of the Equal Protection Clause, the Court should find that race and ethnicity can never be narrowly tailored to promote diversity in admissions policies and therefore cannot survive strict scrutiny,” as the law requires.
Since 2005, the University of Texas at Austin has used race in its admissions process, purportedly to achieve greater diversity in its student body. Applicants to the University are currently required to complete and submit a standardized “Apply Texas” application, which requires applicants to identify themselves by race and state whether they are of “Hispanic or Latino” ethnicity.
The admissions policies of the University of Texas at Austin are clearly at odds with the Constitution and promote racial theories that have no basis in science. It’s time for the Supreme Court to put an end to this unlawful practice.
And when it does, the High Court will be fixing a mistake it made nine years ago.
You may recall in 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that race-based admissions policies at the University of Michigan School of Law were constitutional. This decision will now be subjected to fresh scrutiny when the current Supreme Court considers the Fisher case.
Incidentally, Justice Kagan recused herself from hearing the Fisher lawsuit because of her involvement with this case when she served as Obama’s Solicitor General, depriving the defenders of the racial spoils system a presumably sympathetic vote.
Edwards Mistrial is No Vindication
Facing six felony counts and a possible prison sentence, former North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards spent the week squirming in his seat as a North Carolina jury continued to contemplate his fate. Ultimately, the judge was forced to declare a mistrial on five of the six counts.
As reported by Yahoo!News:
John Edwards appeared thankful outside the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday, after the jury in his corruption trial said that it could not agree on a verdict for five of six counts, forcing U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles to declare a mistrial.
The one count the 12-member jury agreed on–count three–was related to $725,000 given to Edwards by Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, a wealthy Texas heiress. The jury found Edwards not guilty of that count.
It is unclear whether the Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) will seek to retry the case.
John Edwards conducted an illicit affair with campaign employee Rielle Hunter that resulted in the birth of their daughter, Francis Quinn Hunter. Reports of his affair and “love child” emerged during Edwards’ pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. He immediately dismissed them as “tabloid trash” even after reporters from the National Enquirer trapped Edwards in the basement of the Beverly Hilton hotel during one of his late-night liaisons with Ms. Hunter.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Edwards reportedly persuaded his former political aide Andrew Young to claim that he was the father of the child, and not Edwards. According to ABC News, Young stated in an interview that Edwards asked him to: “Get a doctor to fake the DNA results… and to steal a diaper from the baby so he could secretly do a DNA test to find out if this [was] indeed his child.”
The ruse failed and Edwards was forced to admit to the whole sordid mess. The focus then shifted to whether Edwards unlawfully diverted campaign funds to hide the affair.
Edwards denies the claim, but according to witness testimony Hunter and Young received nearly a million dollars in “hush” payments from philanthropist Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Texas billionaire Fred Baron, two campaign donors who did not want to see the scandal derail Edwards’ pursuit of the White House.
Some political pundits have expressed support for the argument made by Edwards’ legal team that these “gift payments” to Ms. Hunter were not technically campaign contributions and are therefore not subject to campaign finance law. But our friend Hans Von Spakovsky over at the Heritage Foundation exposes this dubious line of reasoning in an excellent article he published on May 18.
According to Hans, the money paid to Edwards’ mistress was “dishonest, dishonorable, and illegal:”
Federal law…prohibits the conversion of campaign funds to any personal use (2 U.S.C. §439a). Most important, FEC regulations state that the payment of a personal expense by any person other than the candidate is considered a contribution to the candidate, unless the payment would have been made irrespective of the candidacy (11 CFR 113.1). As the FEC said in a prior advisory opinion (AO 2008-17), the key question is, “Would the third party pay the expense if the candidate was not running for Federal office?”
The testimony of government witnesses makes it pretty clear that the payments by these donors would not have been made if Edwards had not been running for office. Edwards is a multimillionaire; he could easily have afforded to make the payments (including legally obligated child support) out of his personal funds. But such personal payments would have blown up his candidacy and made it impossible to hide what he clearly wanted to keep hidden. The payments by his maxed-out campaign contributors were clearly intended to “influence” the 2008 presidential election by keeping Edwards in the race and protecting his reputation.
I believe that the jury could have easily found that the payments made to Ms. Hunter represented illegal campaign contributions. Edwards’ decision to cheat on his then cancer-stricken wife, the late Elizabeth Edwards, was shameless. His lies about the relationship and the payments suggest that he knew that the scheme crossed the legal line. But the government (the Obama DOJ) couldn’t prove its case.
There may be some sensible reasons for the DOJ not to retry Edwards. One concern I have is that if Edwards remains unprosecuted, other corrupt politicians may try to use the “Edwards loophole” to get unreported cash gifts to help their campaigns. In the meantime, we should thank our lucky stars that the despicable Edwards did not make it to the presidency. Interestingly, if the affair had been public sooner, Edwards may have dropped out of the 2008 race sooner – which could have then resulted in Hillary Clinton’s getting the votes she needed to defeat Obama’s nomination bid. Ironically, the chief beneficiary of Edwards’s criminal scheme may be sitting in the Oval Office right now.
I will be speaking at CPAC in Chicago on Friday, June 8, 2012, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Judicial Watch will have a booth, and you are invited to stop by and say hello if you are in town.
Until next week…