JW Probe: Special WH Access For Obama-Tied, Anti-Gun Groups Against Voter ID Laws
A radical leftwing group that’s led a damaging boycott against corporations that support gun rights and voter identification laws has special access to the Obama White House and strong ties to top Democrats, according to internal documents obtained in the course of a Judicial Watch investigation.
The JW probe initially focused on a nonprofit (Color of Change) that claims to “strengthen Black America’s political voice” but uncovered an intricate brew of like-minded groups that have joined forces to push their common agenda against voter ID measures and gun rights, including “stand your ground” laws. The groups, all tax-exempt nonprofits, wield tremendous power because they have alarming access to the Obama White House and strong ties to top Democratic figures connected to the president, JW found.
Here is a sample of what these community organizations are about, straight from Color of Change’s website (incidentally, the group was founded by Obama pal Van Jones, whose radical, racist history got him booted as “Green Czar”): “For years, the right wing has been trying to stop Black people, other people of color, young people, and the elderly from voting — and now some of America’s biggest companies are helping them do it. These companies have helped pass discriminatory voter ID legislation by funding a right wing policy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).”
ALEC is an influential conservative organization of state legislators and private companies that helps craft laws that often get enacted nationwide. An example is Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows victims of violence to use deadly force when attacked outside their homes. The measure, adopted in two dozen states, has come under fire from the left after a black Florida teenager was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer this year. Color of Change has led a successful corporate boycott campaign against ALEC for its support of stand your ground laws.
Joining Color of Change in its mission and at White House visits are the equally radical leftist groups New Organization Institute, which called for the national demonstrations to “end economic segregation” and social injustice in the U.S. (Occupy Wall Street), and the League of Young Voters, which claims to help low-income communities of color have an impact on elections and federal policy. The Ruckus Society, which provides “direct action” training for protestors, is also part of the syndicate and so is the founder of a national hip-hop movement, Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur.
The White House welcomed representatives from the groups at least twice in 2011, according to records obtained by JW. On February 18 James Rucker, Color of Change’s executive director, had a one-on-one meeting with Miti Sathe, the Assistant Director of Youth Outreach in the Office of Public Engagement. On April 12 Rucker and representatives from the other organizations met with Kalpen Modi, the Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement.
JW found that Color of Change isn’t the only group with deep ties to the president. The New Organization Institute is, not only run by Obama campaign operatives, it also shares office space in Washington D.C. with Democratic Gain, a nonprofit whose leadership consists almost entirely of Democratic Party, union, and Obama campaign veterans. Among those listed as directors at the New Organization Institute are Obama campaign agents such as Judith Freeman and Zack Exley, who also helped run Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s failed presidential campaign. This colocation certainly raises questions about the ties between the Democratic Party, the president and the New Organizing Institute.