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  1. #901  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Actually further comment is necessary. The article is pretty pointless.

    1. Joe is a plumber. If there's any relevance to his not being licensed, the "journalist" doesn't explain it.

    2. Joe has said that he's "looking to buy" the business. He didn't claim that there was any specific deal in place.

    3. Commercial databases are extremely inaccurate when it comes to small businesses because they don't have access to real information, such as tax returns or financial statements. They actually make up sales figures using formulas based on industry, employee count, geographic location, and yellow page advertising. Sometimes, they even just call up the office and ask them their sales. Drawing conclusions about a specific business's tax burden based on such data is stupid.

    4. The only real info we have on the income of Joe's employer is what he said to Obama - that it makes $270K to $280K per year. If he was lying, a commercial database is not evidence of it.

    5. Joe's current personal income is also not the issue. He had asked Obama about the impact on the business taxes.

    6. The relevant issue is what impact the different tax plans will have on Joe's employer. The tax expert consulted by USA Today drew a conclusion based on the belief that the business makes $100K. That belief was contradicted by Joe himself.

    7. Oh, and one more thing. Joe is a plumber. So far, I've found no evidence that Peter Eisler is licensed as a journalist in Ohio or elsewhere.
    Touche' - seriously, good points Sam. I'm sure we'll know very soon how much is true about Joe the Plumber and how much of it is not. I think he is a shill...but admit, you've made some good points and perhaps he is just some poor ba$tard that had a serious concern about Obama's tax plans.
  2. #902  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    I agree. A lot could go wrong in the final days. And as much as I don't want to believe the Bradley effect may come into play - it still might.
    Ironic thing is that the Bradley effect didn't seem to have affected Bradley (found while chasing a rabbit)...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/willia..._b_135592.html
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  3. #903  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Ironic thing is that the Bradley effect didn't seem to have affected Bradley (found while chasing a rabbit)...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/willia..._b_135592.html
    I would hope they are right!
  4. #904  
    There have been many prominent conservative columnists who've written critical pieces about McShame (as well as about Palin.)

    But in what can only be described as extraordinary -- D Brooks -- a very respected conservative -- in effect endorses Obama:

    Thinking About Obama
    By DAVID BROOKS

    We’ve been watching Barack Obama for two years now, and in all that time there hasn’t been a moment in which he has publicly lost his self-control. This has been a period of tumult, combat, exhaustion and crisis. And yet there hasn’t been a moment when he has displayed rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, bitterness, tears, ecstasy, self-pity or impulsiveness.

    Some candidates are motivated by something they lack. For L.B.J., it was respect. For Bill Clinton, it was adoration...

    ...other candidates are propelled by what some psychologists call self-efficacy, the placid assumption that they can handle whatever the future throws at them. Candidates in this mold, most heroically F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan, are driven upward by a desire to realize some capacity in their nature. They rise with an unshakable serenity that is inexplicable to their critics and infuriating to their foes.

    Obama has the biography of the first group but the personality of the second. He grew up with an absent father and a peripatetic mother. “I learned long ago to distrust my childhood,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.” This is supposed to produce a politician with gaping personal needs and hidden wounds.

    But over the past two years, Obama has never shown evidence of that. Instead, he has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day.

    There has never been a moment when, at least in public, he seems gripped by inner turmoil...

    ...Through some deep, bottom-up process, he has developed strategies for equanimity, and now he’s become a homeostasis machine.

    When Bob Schieffer asked him tough questions during the debate Wednesday night, he would step back and describe the broader situation. When John McCain would hit him with some critique — even about fetuses being left to die on a table — he would smile in amusement at the political game they were playing. At every challenging moment, his instinct was to self-remove and establish an observer’s perspective.

    Through the debate, he was reassuring and self-composed. McCain, an experienced old hand, would blink furiously over the tension of the moment, but Obama didn’t reveal even unconscious signs of nervousness...

    ...Over the past two years, he has been the subject of nearly unparalleled public worship, but far from getting drunk on it, he has become less grandiloquent as the campaign has gone along.

    When Bill Clinton campaigned, he tried to seduce his audiences. But at Obama rallies, the candidate is the wooed not the wooer. He doesn’t seem to need the audience’s love. But they need his. The audiences hunger for his affection, while he is calm, appreciative and didactic.

    He doesn’t have F.D.R.’s joyful nature or Reagan’s happy outlook, but he is analytical. That’s why this William Ayers business doesn’t stick...

    ...it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem...

    ...over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters. Far from a celebrity fad, he is self-contained, self-controlled and maybe even a little dull.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  5. #905  
    I'm somewhat surprised that nobody as posted this yet - but Colin Powell endorsed Obama this morning on Meet the Press and he gave a well thought out rationale for his decision http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27265369/

    "I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain's campaign, such as the campaign's attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

    "I think that's inappropriate. I understand what politics is about -- I know how you can go after one another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far, and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for," he said.
  6. #906  
    I think both the Brooks piece and the Powell endorsement were very well thought out and presented, and summarize much of what I have found impressive about Obama. If you have the chance to watch the Powell segment on Meet the Press, I'd highly recommend it. It wasn't a political piece, in which Powell hammered McCain, but rather a very thought out assessment of the relative strengths of the candidates.
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

    Treo600 --> Treo650-->PPC6700-->Treo700P-->Treo755P-->Treo800W --> Touch Pro-->Palm Pre --> EVO 4G
  7. #907  
    .....and yet, the polls are tightening. Obviously fear and demagoguery is alive and well in the right-wing of the Republican party and will be so long as the tactics work http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/
  8. #908  
    With polls counting so much and things changing every day, those who vote early are missing out with having their voice heard on issues that come up after they vote.
  9. #909  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    With polls counting so much and things changing every day, those who vote early are missing out with having their voice heard on issues that come up after they vote.
    yup -- I suspect that there are lots of folks who feel that way in 2008 --

    after they had voted for junior in 2004 ...
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  10. #910  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    yup -- I suspect that there are lots of folks who feel that way in 2008 --

    after they had voted for junior in 2004 ...
    2004? Why didn't they feel that way after they voted for that bozo in 2000?

    In any event, from David Brooks to Christopher Buckley to Michael Smerconish to Colin Powell … these defections are telling. It appears the Republican party will be forced to reinvent itself and move to the center if they lose this election. The party of intolerance, bigotry, and unbridled corporate greed will be no more. I am starting to feel very good about America's chances at reclaiming itself. I am starting to believe that voter turnout will be unprecedented and the politics of hate and divisiveness will be run out of town. The polls may be closer than we think...but on the upside, they may not reveal the hordes of new voters that will turn out to reclaim our country.
    Last edited by moderateinny; 10/19/2008 at 02:11 PM.
  11. #911  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    With polls counting so much and things changing every day, those who vote early are missing out with having their voice heard on issues that come up after they vote.
    Wow! Smacks of desperation. Why don't you just say, "Please. Wait. The McCain campaign will figure something out. Just give them more time!"


    --$150 million last month in small donations from individuals, many of whom making first time political contributions

    --Colin Powell endorses Obama and points out the RNC's latest campaign slurs as part of the reason

    I'd get prepared to be disappointed in a couple weeks if I were you. Take heart though. As big a mess as 8 years of Republicans have made, it will take more than 4 years to clean it up and you can hang them on the Dems in 2012.
  12. #912  
    Watched Meet The Press earlier, and I have to say that most of Colin Powell's reasoning parallels the same reasons I'm considering the same choice. Granted, I'm not a Republican, so I don't have that baggage to overcome. The only thing holding me back from fully committing so far was something brought up during the last portion of the show. How is Obama going to take on his own party? Or in the words of Brokaw, "How would you like to be a Democratic president facing an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, most of whom are very liberal and have been waiting now to get their due piece, as they see it?"
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  13. #913  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Watched Meet The Press earlier, and I have to say that most of Colin Powell's reasoning parallels the same reasons I'm considering the same choice. Granted, I'm not a Republican, so I don't have that baggage to overcome. The only thing holding me back from fully committing so far was something brought up during the last portion of the show. How is Obama going to take on his own party? Or in the words of Brokaw, "How would you like to be a Democratic president facing an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, most of whom are very liberal and have been waiting now to get their due piece, as they see it?"
    I understand your concern - I share the concern over fiscal responsibility to some degree. However, I think Obama is a very smart guy and will have the foresight to know that he cannot let Pelosi and Reid put him in a position of inheriting a GOP house and senate at the mid-term elections if he lets Nancy and Harry run wild. If he does let them run the table, then thankfully we can send him a nice loud message by handing the (hopefully reinvented and reborn) Republican party both houses.

    On a cabinet and advisory level, my belief is that Obama will embrace the very best from both parties and guys like Buffet will help him stand tough against the tax and spend liberal policies of the old Democratic party. Besides that...there is no treasure left to deplete and the financial system has already been socialized. How much worse can it get? And when considering the alternative - where Phil Gramm is likely to play a key role in McCain's economic strategy - I just don't see any choice. I think these are some of the reasons why those fiscal conservatives who are able to put country before party are betting on Obama.
  14. #914  
    ACORN - its ties to Obama and that the Obama campaign gave it something do like $800,000, along with the controversy concerning the illegal registrations being done by ACORN - any comments from the "left" on this?

    As for Obama, he has no history at all of working across the isle - so why would he start now? He has NEVER voted against the party line either.
  15. #915  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    ACORN - its ties to Obama and that the Obama campaign gave it something do like $800,000, along with the controversy concerning the illegal registrations being done by ACORN - any comments from the "left" on this?...
    Ben -- this is known as a sleight of hand --the GOP wants you and other suspicious righties to watch this spurious issue for when they lose.

    The victim of the "illegal" registrations is not voters, not McShame, not even Obama -- the victim is Acorn.

    Instead of working hard to walk the streets to get 25 people to register to vote, lazy workers are instead completing their shifts by creating bogus registrations and turning those bogus sheets into Acorn, and getting paid.

    It is my understanding that even if Acorn learns that sheets are dubious, and identifies them as dubious, they are still COMPELLED to turn them in.

    Almost no one believes that the bogus people on the sheets are going to show up to vote -- unless of course you believe in the tooth fairy and mickey mouse.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  16. #916  
    Ben's lying again. The truth about the $800k from Obama's campaign -

    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/797/

    The statement
    McCain
    In 1992, Barack Obama directed "Project Vote -- an arm of ACORN that also encouraged voter registration."

    John McCain on Friday, October 10th, 2008 in a memo on campaign Web site
    Project Vote not "an arm of ACORN"
    -
    False

    John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee have launched efforts to connect Barack Obama and the community organizing group ACORN.

    ACORN was founded in 1970; its acronym stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. ACORN's agenda includes left-leaning causes such as voter registration drives for low-income groups, initiatives to increase the minimum wage and programs offering help to victims of predatory lending.

    By all indications, ACORN operates within the American political mainstream, though clearly it favors the left side of the ideological spectrum. Its voter registration efforts tend to focus on the low-income, minorities and youth, all traditional Democratic constituencies. Obama received an endorsement from the group's political action committee in February 2008 when the Democratic primary was in full swing. But that's not to say Republicans never support ACORN's efforts: McCain himself appeared at a 2006 rally in favor of immigration reform, sponsored in part by ACORN.

    The primary allegation against ACORN is that its voter registration drives result in many phony registrations. ACORN itself admits that some of its workers, in their attempts to meet registration goals, have turned in registration forms for people who do not exist or don't live in the geographic area. (Notorious examples include Mickey Mouse and the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.) ACORN says the problems are isolated, and that it works with officials to correct them. They claim to have registered 1.3-million people to vote, so a small number of irregularities are to be expected. (For more on ACORN and the controversy surrounding its voter registration drives, read the St. Petersburg Times story here.) Several states are investigating the group's voter registration efforts.

    The McCain campaign issued numerous charges about Obama's connection to ACORN in an Oct. 10, 2008, memo. For other charges, read our full story. Here, we'll look at the allegation that in 1992, Obama directed Project Vote, "an arm of ACORN that also encouraged voter registration."

    This year, Project Vote and ACORN worked together on a nationwide voter registration drive aimed at low-income, minority and youth voters. They have worked together on other initiatives with left-leaning groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women. But Project Vote and ACORN are separate organizations with different histories.

    ACORN was founded in 1970 in Little Rock, Ark., as an outgrowth of the National Welfare Rights Organization. Project Vote was launched more than a decade later in Washington, D.C.

    Michael Slater, the current executive director of Project Vote, said the two organizations are separate. And in 1992, the two groups didn't really work together, he said. They began partnerships on voter registration after Project Vote went through a reorganization in 1994, according to Slater.

    We also didn't find any evidence to indicate the two organizations had a relationship during the 1992 Illinois drive. A detailed article about Project Vote in Chicago magazine didn't mention ACORN. ACORN itself says Obama didn't work for them during that time.

    The 1992 voter registration drive came at an early point in Obama's political career. He had graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991. He had returned to Chicago, where he spent his early 20s working as a community organizer, and was working on the book that would become his memoir Dreams from my Father. Obama started directing the Project Vote voter registration drive in April 1992, and ran it the rest of the year until Election Day. Bill Clinton carried Illinois that November, and Democrat Carol Moseley Braun won one of the state's Senate seats, becoming the first African-American woman to serve as a U.S. senator.

    People in Chicago seem to have credited at least a bit of those victories to Obama's registration drive, which reportedly brought 150,000 new voters to the rolls. Chicago magazine called his initiative "one of the most important local stories" of the campaign season. Crain's Chicago Business named him to its annual "40 under 40" list and wrote that he had "galvanized Chicago's political community, as no seasoned politico had before."

    Is it possible that ACORN and Project Vote were going about the same business in Illinois in 1992? Sure. Both groups have the stated goal of getting people to register to vote, especially low-income, minority and young voters.

    But we find no evidence that Obama's 1992 work was for ACORN. We rate McCain's claim False.
  17. #917  
    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2...cusations.html

    ACORN Accusations
    October 18, 2008
    McCain makes exaggerated claims of "voter fraud." Obama soft-pedals his connections.
    Summary
    The McCain-Palin campaign accuses ACORN, a community activist group that operates nationwide, of perpetrating "massive voter fraud." It says Obama has “long and deep” ties to the group. We find both claims to be exaggerated. But we also find Obama has understated the extent of his work with the group.
    • Neither ACORN nor its employees have been found guilty of, or even charged with, casting fraudulent votes. What a McCain-Palin Web ad calls "voter fraud" is actually voter registration fraud. Several ACORN canvassers have been found guilty of faking registration forms and others are being investigated. But the evidence that has surfaced so far shows they faked forms to get paid for work they didn’t do, not to stuff ballot boxes.

    • Obama’s path has intersected with ACORN on several occasions – more often than he allowed in the final debate.

    Analysis
    We've received scores of e-mails asking us about Obama's connection to the community activist group Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, or ACORN. A McCain-Palin ad released on the Web accuses Obama of having ties to the organization, which it says engages in "intimidation tactics," "massive voter fraud" and "pressuring banks to issue risky loans."

    Destroying Democracy?

    The McCain ad accuses ACORN of "massive voter fraud." In the final presidential debate, John McCain added that ACORN "is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." Sounds scary, but is it true?

    McCain-Palin Web Ad: "ACORN"


    McCain: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

    Announcer: Who is Barack Obama? A man with "a political baptism performed at warp speed." Vast ambition. After college, he moved to Chicago. Became a community organizer. There, Obama met Madeleine Talbot, part of the Chicago branch of ACORN. He was so impressive that he was asked to train the ACORN staff.

    What did ACORN in Chicago engage in? Bullying banks. Intimidation tactics. Disruption of business. ACORN forced banks to issue risky home loans. The same types of loans that caused the financial crisis we're in today.

    No wonder Obama's campaign is trying to distance him from the group, saying, "Barack Obama Never Organized with ACORN." But Obama's ties to ACORN run long and deep. He taught classes for ACORN. They even endorsed him for President.

    But now ACORN is in trouble.

    Reporter: There are at least 11 investigations across the country involving thousands of potentially fraudulent ACORN forms.

    Announcer: Massive voter fraud. And the Obama campaign paid more than $800,000 to an ACORN front for get out the vote efforts.

    Pressuring banks to issue risky loans. Nationwide voter fraud. Barack Obama. Bad judgment. Blind ambition. Too risky for America.

    There's no evidence of any such democracy-destroying fraud. Here's what is true:
    In recent years, ACORN employees have been investigated multiple times for voter registration fraud. ACORN workers have been convicted of submitting false voter registration forms in Colorado Springs in 2005, Kansas City, Mo., in 2006 and King County, Wash., in 2007. ACORN's Las Vegas office was raided by a state criminal investigator on Oct. 7, 2008. ACORN workers are also the subjects of ongoing investigations in Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. The Indiana investigation started in early October and may involve thousands of fraudulent registration forms.

    On Oct. 16 The Associated Press quoted two "senior law enforcement" officials as saying that the FBI is investigating ACORN seeking "any evidence of a coordinated national scam." The following day the Obama campaign's lawyer, Robert Bauer, sent a seven-page letter to the attorney general claiming that federal law enforcement officials were being improperly used to help McCain by suppressing the vote through "unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud." He asked that the investigation be transferred to the special prosecutor investigating the U.S. attorney firing scandal. The McCain campaign issued a statement in which spokesman Ben Porritt called Bauer's letter "outrageous" and "absurd" and a "heavy handed tactic of attempting to criminalize political discourse."

    But so far ACORN itself has not been officially charged with any fraud.
    Aside from the heated charges and counter-charges, no evidence has yet surfaced to show that the ACORN employees who submitted fraudulent registration forms intended to pave the way for illegal voting. Rather, they were trying to get paid by ACORN for doing no work. Dan Satterberg, the Republican prosecuting attorney in King County, Wash., where the largest ACORN case to date was prosecuted, said that the indicted ACORN employees were shirking responsibility, not plotting election fraud.
    Satterberg: [A] joint federal and state investigation has determined that this
    scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.


    Instead, the defendants cheated their employer, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or ACORN), to get paid for work they did not actually perform. ACORN's lax oversight of their own voter registration drive permitted this to happen. ... It was hardly a sophisticated plan: The defendants simply realized that making up names was easier than actually canvassing the streets looking for unregistered voters. ...

    [It] appears that the employees of ACORN were not performing the work that they were being paid for, and to some extent, ACORN is a victim of employee theft.
    The $8-an-hour employees were charged with providing false information on voter registration forms, and in one case with making a false statement to a public official. Five of the seven who were charged pleaded guilty. ACORN was fined for exercising insufficient oversight, but it was not charged with masterminding any kind of deliberate fraud.

    ACORN pays canvassers by the hour, not by the form, but it does ask them to meet certain registration goals. In ACORN's Las Vegas office, one employee who admitted to submitting fraudulent
    registrations said that she did so because she found ACORN's requirement of 20 registrations per day to be too steep to meet, according to an affidavit by a Nevada state criminal investigator. Local news reports at the time also said that some of the ACORN offices under investigation paid bonuses for each registration, or a higher hourly rate to those who brought in more applications. ACORN's deputy political director, Kevin Whelan, denies that this is ACORN policy.

    What ACORN Says

    In its defense, ACORN says that only a few of its 13,000 paid canvassers turned in any faked forms. "[T]here are always some people who want to get paid without really doing the job, or who aim to defraud their employer," the group said in an Oct. 10 statement on its Web site. "Any large department store will have some workers who shoplift."

    ACORN also says it cannot simply discard suspicious forms on its own, but is required by law in most states to submit
    to local election officials all the forms its canvassers bring in. ACORN's Whelan told us that its own legal counsel strongly advises that the group do the same in states that don't explicitly require it, because "only election officials are legally able to determine the validity of a voter registration application." But ACORN says that it first flags all suspicious registrations. Staffers call the phone numbers written on completed registration forms to make sure they're valid and also take note of incomplete or duplicate forms. The group says that it alerts election officials to forms that look fishy when it sends them in.

    However, it's not clear whether or not those procedures were followed in Nevada prior to a highly publicized raid by state officials on Oct. 7. According to an affidavit by Colin Hayes, a criminal investigator for the secretary of state's office, a probe began July 2 after the county registrar reported receiving a number of suspicious registration forms from ACORN. Hayes did not state whether or not those suspicious forms had been flagged by ACORN before being turned in. Later, during a July 18 meeting, ACORN's lawyer told local and state officials that the group had identified a number of suspicious registrations and "would be willing to provide such information" for further investigation. On Aug. 7, at the request of the county registrar, ACORN supplied copies of documents related to 33 ACORN workers who had been fired for "suspicious" voter registration activities.

    Investigator Hayes followed up, confirmed that many registrations were faked, and found a former ACORN worker who confessed to faking most of her forms. After obtaining a warrant based on the affidavit, state officials seized records and computers. Secretary of State Ross Miller was quoted as saying the faked forms included names from the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

    While ACORN says that such raids are part of "a systematic partisan agenda of voter suppression," it is worth noting that in this case, Secretary of State Miller is a Democrat.

    Whelan told us that ACORN's national management staff trains local directors and travels extensively to supervise offices, but the 2007 Washington state prosecution makes it clear that quality control is lacking in at least some outposts. Prosecutor Satterberg wrote: "We believe that ACORN’s internal quality control procedures were not just deficient but entirely non-existent when it came to the latter stages of their operation in Tacoma." He fined the group $25,000 for failing to exercise sufficient oversight.
    How Common Is Fraud?
    Election fraud does exist, but hasn't been shown to be widespread. The New York Times reported in 2007 that a five-year crackdown on such fraud by the Bush administration's Justice Department had produced 70 convictions at the federal level, including 40 campaign workers or government workers convicted of vote-buying, intimidation or ballot forgery, and 23 cases of multiple voting or voting by ineligible voters. But the Times described these as unconnected incidents and said the Justice Department had turned up no evidence of "any organized effort to skew federal elections."
    Bush administration officials have pushed hard to find such evidence, too hard in one case, according to an investigation by the Department of Justice's internal watchdogs, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Their report into the firing of nine United States attorneys concluded that the "real reason" for the firing of New Mexico's U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was "complaints about Iglesias’s handling of voter fraud and public corruption matters." The complaints included gripes by state Republican Party officials who believed that widespread fraud by Democrats had prevented George Bush from winning the state in the 2000 presidential election. Iglesias launched a task force that worked with the FBI but found that "there was insufficient evidence in any of the cases the Task Force reviewed to support criminal prosecution by the [U.S. Attorney's Office] or state authorities," according to the report of the OIG and OPR. These included cases involving ACORN workers. Republicans charged that Iglesias was showing insufficient rigor in prosecuting the cases.
    ACORN and the Housing Crisis
    The McCain ad says that ACORN in Chicago engaged in "bullying banks. Intimidation tactics. Disruption of business" and "forced banks to issue risky home loans." In support of these statements, the McCain campaign cites conservative opinion pieces, including a column by Mona Charen posted by the National Review Online, titled "Guilty Party: ACORN, Obama and the Mortgage Mess."
    It is true that ACORN has led demonstrations on a number of issues nationwide – predatory lending, immigration reform, neighborhood violence, utilities shut-offs, minimum wage increases. Sometimes the group's tactics are confrontational, veering into civil disobedience. For instance, in the late 1980s, ACORN activists in a number of cities, including Chicago, seized abandoned houses and encouraged "squatting" by homeless people, in an attempt to force local governments to salvage abandoned properties and convert them into low-income housing. The targets of ACORN's protests sometimes describe the activists as intractable or even aggressive. Other ACORN protests are less confrontational; Sen. McCain himself spoke at an ACORN rally on illegal immigration in 2006.
    It stretches the facts, however, to say that ACORN "forced" banks to make risky loans, though it has certainly applied pressure on banks to make loans to minority and low-income borrowers. ACORN also has worked directly with banks in a joint effort to increase such lending. In Chicago these efforts date back at least to 1992, after a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston showed that minorities in that city were two to three times as likely to be denied mortgage loans as white applicants, and that high-income minorities were more likely to be turned down than low-income whites. Chicago ACORN then started a mortgage assistance program, in cooperation with five local banks, to help minority and low-income borrowers get mortgage loans.
    The mortgages that ACORN worked out with the banks did have lower underwriting standards than were customary. They allowed a higher percentage of a family's income to go to debt repayment, and counted rent and utility payments, not just credit card payments, as evidence of ability to pay back a loan. The loans were also more forgiving of past credit problems, as long as the recipient was making a proven effort to address them. But ACORN provided loan deals only to people who went through counseling on budget and credit issues. In 1992, First Nationwide Bank Vice President Neal Halleran told the Chicago Tribune: "Transaction by transaction, [loans from the ACORN program] would appear to be performing no worse than our portfolio overall." According to the Tribune, First Nationwide had contacted ACORN to initiate the lending program.
    Obama: Burying ACORNs
    The ad says that "Obama's ties to ACORN run long and deep" – that he "taught classes" for the group, paid a "front" $800,000 for get-out-the-vote efforts, and was endorsed by ACORN for president. That last one's true – ACORN's political action committee did offer an Obama endorsement. It's also true that Obama has worked with the group in the past. In 1995, Obama helped represent ACORN in a successful lawsuit to require the state of Illinois to offer "motor voter" registration at DMV offices. Obama has said that this is his only association with ACORN, but that's not the case – he has had other, though less direct, interactions with the organization. After law school, Obama directed a Chicago registration drive for Project Vote, which works closely with ACORN. And when Obama was on the board of directors of the Woods Fund, the foundation gave grants of $75,000 in 2001 and $70,000 in 2002 to ACORN's Chicago office. The McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee cite an additional grant of $45,000 in 2000. The Woods Fund has not responded to our calls about their 2000 grants.

    The Obama campaign also paid Citizens Services Inc., a group affiliated with ACORN, more than $800,000 for get-out-the-vote (not voter registration) efforts during the primary election. The nature of CSI's services was initially misrepresented on the Obama campaign's disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, which the campaign describes as an oversight. The Obama campaign says it has not been involved with ACORN during the general election.

    As for "teaching classes" for the group, the McCain campaign cites a March 2008 Newsday article, which says that ACORN organizer Madeleine Talbot "initially considered Obama a competitor
    " when both were working to get asbestos insulation removed from a Chicago housing project, but that "she became so impressed with his work that she invited him to help train her staff." Newsday does not say whether Obama accepted the invitation. An article by Chicago alderman Toni Foulkes says that "we [ACORN] have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year" between 1992 and 2004, when the article was written. The Obama campaign says that Obama participated in two, one-hour trainings in a volunteer capacity. Foulkes could not be reached for comment.

    Neither ACORN's Chicago office nor CSI has been accused of voter registration irregularities.
    by Jess Henig, with Ronald Lampard
    Sources
    Helling, Dave. "False voter registrations allegedly submitted; Four who have been indicted had worked as registration recruiters for ACORN group." Kansas City Star, 2 Nov. 2006.

    Associated Press. "Pierce County to pull 230 names off voter list," 3 Feb. 2008.

    Griffin, Drew and Kathleen Johnston. "Thousands of voter registration forms faked, officials say." CNN, 10 Oct. 2008.

    Jordan, Lara Jakes. "Officials: FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud." Associated Press, 16 Oct. 2008.

    CNN. "Obama camp calls for special prosecutor in fraud investigation," 18 Oct 2008.

    Bliss, Jeff. "Obama Lawyer Asks for Probe Into Vote-Fraud Claims (Update1)." Bloomberg News, 17 Oct 2008.

    Bauer, Robert. Letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey, 17 Oct 2008.

    McCain-Palin 2008. "Statement On Obama Campaign's Letter To Justice Department On Voter Fraud," 17 Oct 2008.

    Falcone, Michael. "Acorn Replies to Questions About Role With Voters." New York Times, 14 Oct. 2008.

    ACORN. "Voter Registration Performance Verification Procedures," Accessed 17 Oct. 2008.

    Haynes, Colin. "Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant." Office of the Secretary of State, Nevada, Oct. 2008.

    U.S. Inspector General. "An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006." U.S. Department of Justice, Sep. 2008.

    Lipton, Eric and Ian Urbina. "In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud." New York Times, 12 Apr. 2007.

    Munnell, Alicia H., et al. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data." American Economic Review, Mar. 1996.

    Allen, J. Linn. "Banks, activists tailor loans to communities." Chicago Tribute, 1 Sep. 1992.

    Ringham, Bob. "The Loan Rangers." Chicago Sun-Times, 23 Sep. 1993.

    Vogrin, Bill. "Voice for the needy keeps low profile." Colorado Springs Gazette, 18 Apr. 2005.

    Duncombe, Ted. "Drive Gains to Legally Place Homeless in Abandoned Buildings." Associated Press, 1 Dec. 1987.

    Brown, David. "Obama to amend report on $800,000 in spending." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 22 Aug. 2008.

    Tayler, Etta and Keith Herbert. "Chicago Streets Obama's Teacher." Newsday, 2 Mar. 2008.

    Foulkes, Toni. "Case Study: Chicago -- The Barack Obama Campaign." Social Policy, Winter 2003/Spring 2004.

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    FactCheck.org's staff, not the Annenberg Center, is responsible for this material.
  18. #918  
    It stretches the facts, however, to say that ACORN "forced" banks to make risky loans, though it has certainly applied pressure on banks to make loans to minority and low-income borrowers.
    That's absolutely false. Factcheck.org is worse than DailyKos because they hide their bias behind lots of research.

    Every time we had a major merger in the banking industry since the early 90s, ACORN would try to block it on the grounds that it was bad for the local neighborhoods. The banks would invariably have to negotiate with ACORN, and ultimately commit to X billions of dollars in lending to low-income neighborhoods. ACORN was so influential that the banks would have in effect have to get their approval, along with those of the various regulators.

    And it's just plain retarded to cite one quote from one bank in 1992 saying that the sub-prime loans were performing well. We know they performed fine until several years ago.


    And mod, you state that Ben is lying, but that article seems to have nothing to do with his claims. And the other article seems to support the $800K claim. (Factcheck.org calls Citizens Services an "affiliate," but its source says they're a "subsidiary.") His claim that Obama has no history of working across party lines is false.
  19. #919  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    Touche' - seriously, good points Sam. I'm sure we'll know very soon how much is true about Joe the Plumber and how much of it is not. I think he is a shill...but admit, you've made some good points and perhaps he is just some poor ba$tard that had a serious concern about Obama's tax plans.
    I still haven't seen any indication that he was a shill. Or that he's actually related to Keating. The original source of the Keating claim seems to be a fake blog.

    The left did a good job of taking him down though. That'll teach him.
  20. #920  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    I still haven't seen any indication that he was a shill. Or that he's actually related to Keating. The original source of the Keating claim seems to be a fake blog.

    The left did a good job of taking him down though. That'll teach him.
    I believe the Keating connection turned out to be a coincidence of name similarity (no relation).

    I also don't think he's a shill -- but I do think McShame is an ***** to be using him -- in as much as "Joe" will benefit far more from Obama than McShame...

    (he was only checked out by the press because McShame used him as the center piece of his debate)
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)

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