The Left seeks fundamental structural change to our entire form of government. In keeping with their amoral, means-justifies-ends philosophy, they will register any voters, dead or alive, legal or illegal, who will then vote as many times as possible, in order to establish a “permanent progressive majority.” As two New York Democrats recently caught in a vote fraud scandal told police, “voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections…”
Politicians of both parties are not above engaging in vote fraud. But this kind of corruption is relegated to individual campaigns or areas where corrupt political establishments have been able to develop unchallenged. It is not a systematic component of overall national strategy, as it is with the Left.
This strategy has been under development for decades. They have constructed an entire industry devoted to this task and pursue a multifaceted strategy to accomplish it:
1. Swamp election officials with overwhelming numbers of registrations at the last possible minute, a huge proportion of which are deliberately fraudulent, in order to create systematic chaos. This accomplishes numerous goals:
- Makes verification of registrations difficult, given the small size and limited budgets of state and local election offices.
- Provides multiple opportunities for vote fraud.
- Throws the entire voting process into question, providing pretext for lawsuits where concessions may be obtained from election officials.
- When election officials challenge registrations, they are accused of “voter suppression.” This in turn serves complementary goals:
- … Charge of “voter suppression” reinforces the Left’s narrative about America as an oppressive, “racist” country.
- … Publicity and lawsuits intimidate election officials, who settle on terms favorable to the Left.
2. Activists sue state authorities for “voter suppression,” creating further chaos and pressuring them to become de facto taxpayer-funded voter registration operations;
3. Eric Holder’s Justice Department tacitly supports voter intimidation tactics, sues states and backs private lawsuits, and resists reform as “voter suppression.”
4. Leftist echo chamber discredits allegations of vote fraud, supports “suppression” theme, and promotes advantageous legislation.
The ultimate goal is a systematized, taxpayer-funded voting machinery that will guarantee maximum participation from the Left’s voting demographic while undermining the ability to manage elections and prevent fraud.
The ACORN Swamping Method
Key to understanding the Left’s vote-fraud strategy is the community organizing group ACORN. ACORN has become synonymous with corruption, complicity in the subprime mortgage crisis and especially vote fraud.
ACORN and its voter registration arm, Project Vote, hire marginal and unskilled workers at very low rates and use incentive bonuses or quotas to encourage them to collect as many voter registrations as possible. The resulting flood of registrations are fraught with duplicates, errors and omissions, and a large number are overtly fraudulent, including names like “Donald Duck,” “Mickey Mouse,” “Tony Romo” of the Dallas Cowboys, etc. According to Matthew Vadum, the senior editor at Capital Research Center, a total of 400,000 bogus ACORN registrations were thrown out in 2008 alone.
ACORN was supposedly disbanded in 2010 but resurrected itself under a slew of new names. Former ACORN President Bertha Lewis bragged that they created “…18 bulletproof community-organizing Frankensteins…” These are reproduced in the table below. Most of these groups occupy former ACORN offices, many with the same staff.
ACORN is directly connected to Obama and the Democratic Party. Counsel to The Advance Group, a strategic planning company, is Michael Gaspard, Patrick Gaspard’s brother. Patrick is currently the DNC’s executive director and President Obama’s former political director. He has worked for ACORN, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Working Families Party, a descendant of the ACORN-founded New Party which Barack Obama joined in 1996. Obama has bragged of “fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career.”
ACORN’s former deputy regional director, Amy Busefink was convicted in 2010 of vote fraud stemming from a 2008 Nevada case. Judicial Watch found that, “while under criminal indictment in Nevada… [Busefink] managed an online program for Project Vote’s 2010 Colorado campaign, the ultimate goal of which is to allow people without a driver’s license or state identification to register to vote online.” Busefink is now national field director for Project Vote.
Zach Polett (courtesy Anita MonCrief)
This kind of duplicitous activity reflects a deliberate methodology. ACORN is a criminal organization.
The Cloward Piven Strategy
ACORN is the face of vote fraud, but its intellectual foundation is the Cloward Piven Strategy. Sociology professors Richard Cloward (Columbia University) and Frances Fox Piven (CUNY) were founding members of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Cloward died in 2001 but Piven lives on.
It became known as the “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” and is credited with expanding welfare rolls 151 percent between 1965 and 1974 and bringing New York City to the brink of bankruptcy in 1975.
The Issue is Never the Issue
The Left’s solution to everything is socialism, although they are usually careful not to name it, instead identifying issues that seemingly only their policies can redress. But “the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution” as David Horowitz has explained. The “issues” are mere distractions.
Cloward and Piven initially claimed to be agitating for a “guaranteed national income.” Such a policy is plainly unsustainable; however, it would institutionalize their strategy, creating an enormous, permanent drag on the whole economy precipitating an even larger crash later on. Cloward and Piven’s true goal was to find any instrument to institutionalize their orchestrated anarchy, and poor people were the tool.
Wade Rathke, a veteran of those early efforts, was mentored by Cloward and Piven. Rathke and other radicals created a new organization, ACORN,and sought ways to further extend the Strategy.
White House ACORN photo: Bill Clinton center; Wade Rathke third to his left; Zach Polett in lower left-hand corner. Courtesy Anita MonCrief
Meanwhile, Cloward and Piven had not been idle. In 1982 they created the Human Service Employees Registration and Voter Education Fund (Human SERVE) to build political momentum for a law that would turn state motor vehicle and welfare agencies into low-income voter registration offices.
Motor Voter Signing Ceremony – Cloward in light grey suit, Piven in green. Source: the White House
The NVRA requires motor vehicle, military recruiting, public assistance and other state and local offices to offer voter-registration services.
The NVRA has become a beacon for vote fraud. Its minimal verification requirements opened the door to ACORN-style massive voter registration fraud, and in the confusion provide blanket opportunities for vote fraud.
Voter ID laws have become critically important. According to a Pew report, approximately 24 million or 12.5 percent of voter registrations nationally are either invalid or inaccurate, including about 1.8 million deceased individuals, and 2.75 million with multiple-state registrations.
And while the NRVA has provisions for purging the rolls in Section 8, they require a complex, process spanning multiple election cycles. In some cases, the NRVA replaced better mechanisms already in use. Many states have simply not followed these procedures with any regularity. The Left ignores all this, focusing on enforcing NRVA’s Section 7.
Section 7 Lawsuits
While capitalizing on the vote fraud swamping strategy enabled by the NVRA, ACORN, Project Vote and others sue states that don’t aggressively execute the voter registration activities required by Section 7 of the law. The narrative is always “voter suppression,” and settlements have forced state agencies to become de facto low income voter registration drives.
Not only must states develop, maintain and execute plans for assuring comprehensive registration, they are forced to report regularly to ACORN lawyers. A 2009 settlement between ACORN and Missouri’s Department of Social Services is illustrative. DSS must:
- Create an NVRA State Coordinator position
- Designate an NVRA Site Coordinator for Family Support Division offices
- Keep detailed records of client visits and registration activities
- Immediately send a letter offering registration to any individual who “may not have been given the opportunity to register…”
- Report detailed compliance data to plaintiff lawyers every month.
- State coordinator’s performance measured by NVRA compliance
- ACORN will receive $450,000 in settlement.
In these settlements, ACORN effectively assumes an executive role over state agencies. Notably, there is no corollary requirement to ascertain the legality of registrations or to clean up the rolls.
Project Vote formed agreements with Colorado in 2008 and 2010. According to Judicial Watch, after Project Vote’s involvement “the percentage of invalid voter registration forms from Colorado public assistance agencies was four times the national average.”
Though largely unnoticed until now, this litigation tactic has been used since the 1980s, when Human SERVE’s legal allies sued state authorities for settlements creating localized versions of Motor Voter.
While capitalizing on the vote swamping strategy enabled by Motor Voter, ACORN and Project Vote picked up the torch for SERVE, which closed its doors in 2000. Frances Fox Piven serves today on Project Vote’s Board of Directors. Significantly, President Obama has named the voter registration initiative of his reelection effort “Project Vote.”
Piven also has many other connections to Obama. She was a founding member of Progressives for Obama. Her Democratic Socialists of America bragged that it was responsible for the success of Obama’s “ground game” in 2008. Piven was one of 130 founding members of the radical left Campaign for America’s Future. Many CAF members also sit on the board of the Apollo Alliance, the executor of Obama’s “Green” jobs initiative.
DOJ and ACORN Team Up for 2012
Judicial Watch obtained several documents showing coordination between DOJ, Project Vote and the White House.[i] In one email, Project Vote demanded action on NVRA cases. Less than a month later, DOJ sued Rhode Island for NVRA noncompliance. Similarly, DOJ’s Louisiana NVRA suit followed Project Vote’s by a few months. Project Vote is promoting prospective employees for DOJ’s Voting Rights section.
The VRA outlawed poll taxes and literacy tests for voting. Section 5 requires certain states and other political subdivisions to obtain “preclearance,” or permission, from either DOJ or the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, on any change affecting voting. Currently, preclearance states covered in whole or in part include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia. Set in 1982 to expire in 2007, Congress extended the VRA for another 25 years in 2006.
The VRA has come into sharp focus this year as the Holder administration has used VRA preclearance requirements to stall or prevent voter ID laws from being enacted. Non-preclearance states have faced stiff court challenges from other leftist groups.
Alabama – Alabama’s new photo ID law has a 2014 effective date. Alabama has not yet applied for pre-clearance.
South Carolina – DOJ denied pre-clearance for new ID law in December 2011. State filed for reconsideration.
Texas – DOJ denied pre-clearance for new ID law. Texas filed suit with three-judge panel seeking pre-clearance; DOJ asked court to postpone trial.
The Wisconsin case is an example of independent groups working to sabotage reform efforts. In a suit brought by the League of Women Voters, the NAACP and others, the judge found ID laws “unconstitutional to the extent they serve as a condition for voting at the polls.” This was a bizarre ruling. Wisconsin’s Constitution clearly allows mechanisms to establish voter eligibility.
Despite the Left’s best efforts, voter ID laws have been proposed this year in 32 states.
A Personal Testimony
J. Christian Adams is a former DOJ election lawyer who worked on the Philadelphia Black Panther voter intimidation case. He resigned in protest of Eric Holder’s race-based application of the law. According to Adams’ new book, Injustice, Eric Holder became directly involved in the Black Panther case. Mr. Adams agreed to be interviewed for this report. Some highlights:
- DOJ is engaged in a massive campaign to force states to… become aggressive voter registration offices…
- DOJ announced they would not enforce Section 8 because it won’t increase turnout.
- States are infested with dead voters on the rolls.
- Investigations into eight states with widespread voter roll problems… were spiked
- Because of Motor Voter, voter rolls in many states seeing influx of illegal aliens.
- Data show that illegal aliens are participating in American elections.
- DOJ is using [VRA] Sec. 5 to stop voter integrity initiatives.
- Every one of Holder’s 113 new attorney hires is a far-left radical.
Famed civil rights attorney Bartle Bull was a poll watcher at that Philadelphia location when the Black Panthers appeared. He testified in the case, calling it “the most blatant form of voter intimidation” he had ever seen.
ACORN’s swamping method is now being replicated all over the country, especially in swing states or those with critical elections like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recall vote. Even local communities are affected. For example, the Wake County (Raleigh/Durham) registrar described a swamping effort conducted by North Carolina’s Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).
While these organizations are nominally independent, closer inspection often reveals interlocking directorates and/or shared staff. Many are supported directly or indirectly by George Soros foundations. The chart below, compiled by North Carolina Civitas Institute, includes many organizations that worked with ACORN there.
A Textbook Case: Houston Votes
In July 2010, a newly-formed voter registration group named Houston Votes (HV) announced it intended to register 100,000 Houston, Texas area voters in a few months. Catherine Engelbrecht, Leader of True the Vote (TTV) and King Street Patriots (KSP), was skeptical. Her group checked about 1,000 HV registrations. The number of erroneous registrations submitted by HV and Democracia—a group targeting unregistered Hispanics—was, she said, “off the charts.”
They brought their results to Harris County Registrar, Leo Vasquez, who reviewed HV registrations. He found that of 25,640 submitted, only 7,193 were “apparently new voters.” On August 24, Vasquez held an unprecedented press conference, announcing:
Evidence shows that the Houston Votes and Texans Together organization is conspiring in a pattern of falsification of government documents, suborning of perjury and a deliberate effort to over-burden our processing system with thousands of duplicate and incomplete voter registration applications.
He raised concerns that HV was, like ACORN, paying employees based on the number of applications they turned in, and cited specific examples of problematic registrations:
3,531 No match for SSN or driver’s license number
1,597 Multiple apps for the same person
1,014 Pre-existing voters
1,030 Incomplete apps
129 Ineligible felons
1,133 No ID
1,323 Filed past deadline
Three days later, a massive warehouse fire destroyed Harris County’s 10,000 voting machines. The fire’s timing bred suspicions, fed almost exclusively by the Left, which sought through innuendo to implicate KSP. A Huffington Post headline two days later was typical: “Possible Arson and the Right’s Texas Voter Suppression Effort.” This theme was repeated ad nauseam in the liberal media echo chamber. The Houston Fire Department later cited “an unspecified electrical short” as the cause, an explanation that satisfied no one.[iv]
Maria Isabel, One of Houston Votes’ “non-partisan” Leaders
HV dismissed mistakes with the familiar ACORN refrain, blaming a few low-level employees who were fired when errors were discovered. However, Vasquez specifically cited 180 erroneous registrations turned in by Directors Sean Caddle and Neil Hudelson—more errors than usually submitted in total by traditional voter registration drives.
HV boasted their group was “non-partisan” but an attentive blogger quickly proved otherwise. One of the people training volunteers for Houston Votes was Maria Isabel, an Obama operative made famous by the photo of her office sporting a poster of Che Guevara.
BarackObama.com advertised HV’s “volunteer” deputy training. Participating groups included, Atascocita Texas for Obama, Houston For Obama, Houston Obama Leadership Team, Houston Women For Obama, and other similar groups.
HV Directors Hudelson and Caddle were quickly discovered to be long-time Democratic activists. At last notice they had returned to Caddle’s home state of New Jersey, working for Democratic Jersey City Council-at-Large candidate Sue Mack. She lost.
America Votes specifically targeted Texas in its 2010 Redistricting Control Project. With 38 electoral votes, Texas is only exceeded by California’s 55. Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in Texas, not coincidentally home to the second largest illegal immigrant population in the U.S.
The Advisory Board of HV’s parent organization, Texans Together Education Fund, included a number of prominent left-wing Democrats. One was Grande Dame of Texas politics, Sissy Farenthold, who worked with the radical left Institute for Policy Studies in the 1980s. Another was Democrat Kristi Thibaut, a state legislator trying to hold her District 133 seat. She had worked for ACORN and was under investigation by the Texas Ethics Commission. Yet another was Sue Schechter, running for Harris County Clerk. Not only was HV extremely partisan, but plainly the Texas arm of Soros’s project.
America Votes failed in 2010. Republican control of the Texas state house increased by 44 seats in a nationwide sweep that brought Republican control to statehouses not seen since 1928. America Votes is targeting Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2012.
But the Left still wasn’t finished in Texas. The Texas Democratic Party sued the Harris County Registrar’s office, the Registrar and other employees.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee illegally campaigning at Houston poll during early voting in 2010. Credit: Warner Todd Huston
Because Texas is a preclearance state, redistricting maps must be approved. This year’s maps were challenged in court by Latino groups. This delayed the primary, neutralizing any impact Texas may have had on the Republican presidential primary process.
KSP organized approximately 1,000 poll watchers for the 2010 elections. This outraged the Left, unused to having its inner city monopoly threatened. Texans Together Education Fund sued the King Street Patriots, True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht and her husband. On the first day of early voting, the Texas Democrat Party also filed a suit, a move characterized by KSP’s legal team as a naked effort to intimidate KSP-trained poll watchers.
Throughout the 2010 electoral cycle, the Left hurled accusations of “voter suppression” and “voter intimidation” at Catherine Engelbrecht, TTV, KSP and the volunteer poll watchers they trained. This narrative was promoted uncritically by the local press. Blogger Ann “Babe” Huggett, writing for EmergingCorruption.com, reported:
- ABC Channel 13 quoted Democrats suing KSP that KSP leaders could see jail time for voter intimidation. ABC’s own video, however, shows otherwise.
- Channel 26 reporter Isiah Carey asked repeatedly if the King Street Patriots hadn’t created a hostile environment. KSP offered witness testimony that it was “the other side” doing the intimidating.
- New Black Panther leader, Quanell X, threatened that his men would “protect” people from the TTV-trained poll watchers.
- Emails from communist Van Jones’ Color of Change circulated through liberal circles, charging poll-watcher voter intimidation.
- Local radio station Magic 102.1 FM repeated bogus charges about assaults on black voters… including spitting and physical assault… on black grandmothers.
But it was actually poll judges, poll workers and Quanell X’s Houston Black Panther group, who did much of the intimidating. Assistant County Attorney Douglas Ray disclosed after an investigation that Harris County poll workers and election judges had committed the violations blamed on KSP. He was silent on the Panthers.
Poll Watchers submitted 763 incident reports, detailing over 3,000 violations, to Harris County. These included intimidation, harassment and illegal voter assistance conducted by poll judges and workers. To date there has been no response from the County. Three poll watchers were willing to be identified by name and spoke to reporters at a KSP press conference. KSP invited the Justice Department to witness what was happening. Justice never responded.
True the Vote and the Wisconsin Recall
Union groups used the swarming method earlier this year in a recall petition of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. They reportedly submitted one million petitions, needing only 540,208. The Democrat-controlled Government Accountability Board (GAB), responsible for verifying petitions, flatly refused to do so.
In an astonishing, heroic effort, True the Vote joined an effort called Verify the Recall and developed a method to verify recall petitions online. They built a nationwide network of 14,000 volunteers almost overnight, who checked 92 percent of the petitions in 22 days. The findings were stunning:
819,233 records (not 1 million)
534,685 verified legitimate (65 percent)
In addition to numerous bogus “Donald Duck” petitions, signers included:
- 29 Wisconsin judges—one who later issued a restraining order against Walker’s Voter ID law.
- A deputy DA, 19 attorneys and dozens of other DA employees. Some had been working on a heavily criticized “secret” John Doe investigation of Governor Walker at the time.
- 25 Gannett News journalists
- Several members of WTMJ-4 news staff
- School board members
- Four University of Wisconsin regents and the university’s chief spokesman.
- A Democratic activist charged with seven felony ID theft counts and two of felony vote fraud. He signed up family members and neighbors, including a deceased man, without their knowledge or consent.
The GAB refused to consider VTR’s work and certified 900,000 petitions, but it was clear that Walker opponents had committed extensive vote fraud. The fraud would have gone undetected if not for the work of TTV.”
Leftwing “Reform” Efforts
Universal Voter Registration (UVR)
Cloward and Piven saw the NVRA as an intermediate goal. They made that clear in their book. The flurry of lawsuits and systemic fraud generated by the NVRA all build momentum to find a permanent solution. And the Left had the answer before they started: Universal Voter Registration.
UVR calls for automatically registering voters listed on various state and federal databases. Leftist groups argue it will solve all voter registration problems, but the left created most of them. UVR would create more:
- UVR undermines the Constitution.
- UVR facilitates illegal alien voting
- Homeowners with more than one property create duplicates.
- The many state & federal lists will create duplicates
- Because so many lists exist with little or no cross-checking these duplicates are likely to go uncorrected.
UVR would institutionalize the crisis strategy, and provide countless opportunities for vote fraud.
National Popular Vote
The National Popular Vote bill seeks to effectively abolish the Electoral College by enacting state laws that give all electors from those states that have passed the bill to the winner of the national popular vote. Direct elections would become universal when enough state legislatures have passed legislation to make up a majority of the electoral vote (270 of 538). Eight states and the District of Columbus, totaling 132 electoral votes, have passed NPV laws. The Electoral College was created to ensure that less populous states would not be overlooked in presidential elections. If successful, this effort will make vast swaths of our nation completely irrelevant to presidential candidates, as they would then focus all their efforts on large population centers.
Project Vote disingenuously argues that rights should be restored to former felons. Almost every state has provisions to restore voting rights to former felons. ProCon.org claims about 5.2 million felons are “disenfranchised.” But only current prisoners have no recourse—about 1.4 million. They exaggerate the problem for unclear reasons. The “wise Latina,” Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, favors felon voting.
Same Day Voting
Same-day voter registration in Ohio led to ACORN’s permanent expulsion from that state. Then-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, an alumna of George Soros’s Secretary of State Project (see below), announced a “Golden Week” for same day registration and voting. ACORN submitted thousands of bogus registrations, including the notorious case where one man was paid to register 73 times.
Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold proposed a nationwide same-day voting law in 2009, but his state’s experience with it has been disastrous. An investigation into the 2004 elections by the Milwaukee Police concluded the only way to prevent widespread fraud is to discontinue same-day voting. A 2011 study found errors in one-third of same-day voter registrations in Milwaukee County.
Nine states currently have same day voting laws.
Secretary of State Project
The Soros funded Secretary of State Project seeks to elect leftist Democrats to that critical post. SoS Project-backed Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie demonstrated the value of this program when comedian Al Franken eked out a victory in his 2008 U.S. Senate race amidst numerous, well-documented allegations of vote fraud.
The SoS Project did poorly in 2010, however. Ritchie was one of only two SoS-backed candidates to survive the Republican tidal wave.
The project’s website, secstateproject.org, is no longer operational. There is a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/secstateproject. It does not appear to get much traffic. This may reflect a temporary lull in activity, or Soros and his minions have moved to more promising initiatives.
What Is To Be Done?
The 2012 election may be the most important election in American history. American citizens acting in the best interest of our country must be the bulwark against fraud. There are many things people can do, suitable to their time and resource constraints. Here is a list of options:
- Volunteer with True the Vote (www.truethevote.org) and join your state’s affiliate. True the Vote is conducting training all over the country. Find your state affiliate.
- Bookmark Protect Your Vote! (www.protectyourvote.us). This website provides state-by-state information about voting laws, vote fraud risk, and updated information about voter ID efforts.
- Judicial Watch has done more than any other organization to expose the activities of this corrupt administration and Justice Department under Eric Holder. Sign up for email alerts at www.judicialwatch.org.
- Read, print and distribute the Patriot’s Handbook. This free resource contains a wealth of information on how people can participate at any level.
The National Voter Registration Act was crafted specifically to bring calculated chaos to our elections, open the door to vote fraud and force states to become de facto voter registration drives heavily favorable to one political party. Similarly, Attorney General Eric Holder and his allies have abused the Voting Rights Act, turning preclearance into a political weapon to sabotage voter integrity efforts. The results are a voting system vulnerable to systemic fraud.
Our most fundamental right as Americans, to determine the size, scope and indeed the very nature of our nation, is being threatened. This must not stand.
James Simpson is a former Office of Management and Budget (White House budget office) economist and budget analyst. He is currently a businessman and freelance writer. Best known for his exposé on the Cloward Piven Strategy of manufactured crisis, his writings have been published in American Thinker, The New Media Journal, Washington Times, FrontPage Magazine, Whistleblower, DefenseWatch, Soldier of Fortune and others. His blog is Truth and Consequences. Email James.