ACORN

Fox News' Bream Has Ties To Jerry Falwell

Just yesterday we noted that the Right's primary talking point in opposing President Bush's first judicial nominee, David Hamilton, is that he has ties to ACORN. Of course, as we pointed out, said ties consist entirely of a one-month stint as a fund-raiser for the organization some thirty years ago.

But apparently that is still enough to damn Hamilton in the eyes of the Right, as they continue to repeat it:

Hamilton is being touted as a moderate, but Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice disagrees. "He's just your classic, liberal judicial activist on issues like abortion, criminal issues such as suppression of evidence and sex offenders, separation of church and state issues," he says ... n addition, Hamilton has had some off-duty activities that have come to Levey's attention. "The guy has had a leadership role in the Indiana Chapter of the ACLU, and we know how the ACLU feels about religion," Levey adds. "He even did fundraising for the ultra, ultra liberal group ACORN, so none of this is surprising."

As we pointed out yesterday, this assertion was first put forth by Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network and has now made its way into press, with Fox News citing it during a segment on Hamilton's nomination yesterday.

Media Matters has posted the clip which features Long, as well as our president, Kathryn Kolbert, during which Fox News reporter Shannon Bream segues into a quote from Long by noting that "critics say Hamilton has ties to the liberal activist group ACORN:"

Interestingly, Shannon Bream is a graduate of Liberty University, so maybe we should mention that she has ties to Jerry Falwell ... ties that are, incidentally, far more substantial than Hamilton's supposed "ties" to ACORN.

Robertson Calls on Republicans to Show Some Backbone and Filibuster Every One of Obama's Judicial Nominees

Via Media Matters comes this video of Pat Robertson calling on Republicans in the Senate to “filibuster every single one” of President Obama’s judicial nominees:

It’s one thing to get somebody elected to the legislature for a couple of years, the House of Representatives for four years, or the Senate for six years. But somebody who goes into a federal appeals court is there for life and I think it’s time for Republicans gave Democrats a dose of their own medicine. They were reckless in the way the filibustered perfectly legitimate, highly qualified judicial candidates, some of the most blatant examples of partisanship.   Well, it’s time for the Republicans to do the same thing and they ought to filibuster every single one.  But to put somebody who is an activist for ACORN, who’s an ACLU activist, who has a history of ultra-left wing decisions – the Republicans are going to need backbone, now’s the time to show it:

The Great and Powerful ACORN

When President Barack Obama announced his nomination of David Hamilton to a seat on the United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network was first out of the gate to blast the nomination because Hamilton reportedly had ties to the ACLU as well as the Right’s favorite bogeyman, ACORN:

Hamilton has a history as a hard-left political activist, and his choice signals that Obama does intend to push extreme liberals onto the bench and politicize the courts as we've never seen before.

Hamilton was a fundraiser for ACORN (nice ACORN payback, Mr. President) and served as vice president for litigation and a board member of the Indiana ACLU.

Hamilton’s purported ties to ACORN immediately worked its way into right-wing commentary on the nomination, being highlighted by Newbusters, Powerline, Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, and the Family Research Counciltwice, which complained that ACORN was getting it very own judge.

The idea that President Obama’s nomination of Hamilton was “payback” to ACORN quickly became the right-wing talking point of the day, with people claiming that he was “a big shot at ACORN” and leading to posts like this one written by Matthew Vadum at “The American Spectator” entitled “ACORN's Federal Judge”:

Giving the term judicial activism new meaning, President Obama has nominated an ACORN loyalist to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Chicago Tribune reports … The Judicial Confirmation Network notes that Hamilton previously worked as a fundraiser for ACORN, the radical direct-action group that not only resurrects the dead and gets them to the polls every election but also shakes down banks and pressures them to make home loans to people who can't afford to pay them back.

In nearly every instance, Hamilton’s ties to ACORN can be tracked back to Long and the Judicial Confirmation Network yet, oddly, when the group issued its own release on his nomination, it made no mention of his work with ACORN.

Now we know why:

Wendy Long, counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network, labeled Judge Hamilton a "hard-left political activist," noting his work with the Indiana ACLU and suggesting he had an affiliation with the community organizing group ACORN.

"After college as a young man, he served one month as a canvasser for ACORN, helping them raise money door to door.

Hamilton graduated from college in 1979.  

I knew that ACORN was influential, but I had no idea it was so powerful that the President of the United States was obligated to pay it back by giving a federal judgeship to someone who worked for it for one whole month some thirty years ago.

Right Has No Intention of Relenting in Confirmation Battles

The New York Times reports today that President Obama is set to make his first judicial nomination in the coming days:

President Obama is expected to name his first candidate to an appeals court seat this week, officials said, choosing David F. Hamilton, a highly regarded federal trial court judge from Indiana, for the appeals court in Chicago.

The article says that Hamilton has the support of both of Indiana's senators and that the administration is hoping his nomination will serve “as a kind of signal” that it wants to move beyond the bruising and nasty confirmation fights of the past:

The administration official said the White House was hoping to reduce the partisan contentiousness of judicial confirmation battles of recent years.

“We would like to put the history of the confirmation wars behind us,” the official said.

Considering this immediate response from Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network, it looks like those on the right have no intention of allowing that to happen:

It's interesting that this is what Obama and the New York Times call a "moderate": Hamilton is a history as a hard-left political activist, and his choice signals that Obama does intend to push extreme liberals onto the bench and politicize the courts as we've never seen before.

Hamilton was a fundraiser for ACORN (nice ACORN payback, Mr. President) and served as vice president for litigation and a board member of the Indiana ACLU. In 1994, when President Clinton nominated him to the district court, the ABA rated him as ‘not qualified,’ apparently of his almost purely political (as opposed to legal and judicial) experience.

Interestingly, he is also the brother-in-law of perhaps the hardest left radical Obama appointee to the Department of Justice, Dawn Johnsen.

Beginning to notice a pattern here?

Indeed we are noticing a pattern here - in fact, it is a pattern that we've been noting for a while in which the Judicial Confirmation Network, a group founded to ensure that President Bush's judges were confirmed, is now leading the fight to make sure President Obama's judges aren't.

Sean Hannity Asks the Tough Questions about So-Called “Winner” of Presidential Election

In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s historic election, the McCain campaign and RNC led a coordinated campaign to cast the integrity of the vote into doubt. They claimed ACORN was engaging in massive voter fraud. They claimed that Obama was receiving illegal foreign contributions. They claimed that the “liberal media” was skewing the polls in favor of Democrats.

In other words, they were writing themselves an insurance policy in the event of a contested election or narrow loss. But it wasn’t even close.

As a result, the anticipated barrage of conspiracy theories and false charges never materialized. Yet not everyone could just let it go.

Here’s the current poll on Hannity.com:

(h/t: Bob Geiger)

Sean Hannity Asks the Tough Questions about So-Called “Winner” of Presidential Election

In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s historic election, the McCain campaign and RNC led a coordinated campaign to cast the integrity of the vote into doubt. They claimed ACORN was engaging in massive voter fraud. They claimed that Obama was receiving illegal foreign contributions. They claimed that the “liberal media” was skewing the polls in favor of Democrats.

In other words, they were writing themselves an insurance policy in the event of a contested election or narrow loss. But it wasn’t even close.

As a result, the anticipated barrage of conspiracy theories and false charges never materialized. Yet not everyone could just let it go.

Here’s the current poll on Hannity.com:

(h/t: Bob Geiger)

McCain-Palin Pit Bulls Turn Feral

There's a long history in American politics of exploiting divisions and fanning bigotry to win elections. In recent decades those strategies were honed by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. Now the torch has passed to Steve Schmidt, and he’s done just about everything possible to fan the flames.

Schmidt’s tactics and the right-wing echo chamber have convinced millions of Americans that the nation is about to elect someone who hates America and “pals around with terrorists.” Just take a look at this video of supporters outside a Palin rally:

In recent weeks, the right wing has grown even more frenzied as McCain and his allies pushed the ACORN voter fraud hoax. Not only is Obama a Manchurian candidate, the thinking goes, but his evildoer comrades at ACORN are trying to steal the election. It’s little wonder that some people are going berserk.

McCain, Palin, Schmidt, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of them have created something very powerful, but very ugly, and it’s grown too big for them to control. Here is just some of what happens when you train your pit bulls to fear and hate and attack, and then they get loose:

Obama lawn sign replaced by rebel flag

Obama sign burned on black family's front lawn

Anti-Obama Fury Spills Over Into Down-Ticket Contests: "Bomb Obama"

Death threat, vandalism hit ACORN after McCain comments

ACORN Deluged with Threatening and Racist Voicemails and Emails

Obama Called a Socialist and 'Un-American'

McCain supporters heckle early voters

Dead bear covered with Obama signs found at school

People For the American Way is tracking such incidents around the nation. If something happens in your community that people should know about, please get in touch.

McCain-Palin Pit Bulls Turn Feral

There's a long history in American politics of exploiting divisions and fanning bigotry to win elections. In recent decades those strategies were honed by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. Now the torch has passed to Steve Schmidt, and he’s done just about everything possible to fan the flames.

Schmidt’s tactics and the right-wing echo chamber have convinced millions of Americans that the nation is about to elect someone who hates America and “pals around with terrorists.” Just take a look at this video of supporters outside a Palin rally:

In recent weeks, the right wing has grown even more frenzied as McCain and his allies pushed the ACORN voter fraud hoax. Not only is Obama a Manchurian candidate, the thinking goes, but his evildoer comrades at ACORN are trying to steal the election. It’s little wonder that some people are going berserk.

McCain, Palin, Schmidt, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of them have created something very powerful, but very ugly, and it’s grown too big for them to control. Here is just some of what happens when you train your pit bulls to fear and hate and attack, and then they get loose:

Obama lawn sign replaced by rebel flag

Obama sign burned on black family's front lawn

Anti-Obama Fury Spills Over Into Down-Ticket Contests: "Bomb Obama"

Death threat, vandalism hit ACORN after McCain comments

ACORN Deluged with Threatening and Racist Voicemails and Emails

Obama Called a Socialist and 'Un-American'

McCain supporters heckle early voters

Dead bear covered with Obama signs found at school

People For the American Way is tracking such incidents around the nation. If something happens in your community that people should know about, please get in touch.

A Logical Fallacy For All Season

One of the Right’s standard reasons for opposing gay marriage is that it somehow harms “traditional” marriage, as if gay couples making a commitment to one another de-legitimizes the commitment that straight couples have made to one another.

Now, via Rick Scarborough, it seems as if that sort of tortured logic is working it way into all of their arguments … or at least the ones concerning ACORN and “voter fraud”:

Every American should be demanding that full disclosure be made of the methods and tactics used by ACORN. Record numbers of registrations have been recorded by ACORN, and American’s have a right to be assured that their vote not be canceled out by an ineligible voter … Every corrupted record is a cancellation of one vote of a legitimate voter who played by the rules.

Scarborough never bothers to explain how an illegitimate voter registration manages to “cancel out” someone else’s vote, but the Right seems committed to screaming “voter fraud” at every opportunity, so that is what they are going to do.

Of course, as Chris Hayes points out, none of this is true anyway:

Just to get this out of the way: in the real world, there is no such thing as voter fraud. There will be roughly as many fraudulent votes cast in this election as there were stockpiles of biological weapons in Iraq. That is to say, none. (See Dahlia Lithwick for more on this). But what about all those duplicate and obviously fake voter registration cards submitted by ACORN? you ask. They were required by law to submit them. (See Rick Hertzberg for more on this). In order to prevent tampering, state law in many places requires groups like ACORN to submit all the forms they collect, whether obviously erroneous or not.

Hate You Can Believe In: ACORN Deluged with Threatening and Racist Voicemails and Emails

It’s bad enough that the employees of ACORN have had to endure days of baseless and outlandish attacks by John McCain and the RNC. But after McCain outrageously claimed before a national audience on Wednesday night that ACORN was “maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy,” the group came under attack, literally. In the following days, ACORN’s Boston and Seattle offices were vandalized and at least one employee received a death threat.

And for nearly two weeks, ACORN offices across the nation have been subjected to an onslaught of racist and threatening voicemails and emails. We have secured copies of some of the most disturbing and offensive messages and have reproduced them below in order to show the very real consequences of the Right Wing’s overheated and misplaced “voter fraud” rhetoric.

Warning: the emails and voicemails below are highly explicit and have only been edited to remove personally identifying information. Please also note that, where relevant, the proper authorities have been notified.

Voicemail #1:  

“Hi, I was just calling to let you all know that Barack Obama needs to get hung. He's a fucking nigger, and he's a piece of shit. You guys are fraudulent, and you need to go to hell. All the niggers on oak trees. They're gonna get all hung honeys, they're gonna get assassinated, they're gonna get killed.”

Email #1: This email was received by the Cleveland office. The subject line was the name of a senior staffer who had recently appeared on TV to defend the group.

According to McClatchy, the email was traced back to a Facebook account featuring a McCain-Palin sign.

Email #2:

Voicemail #2:

"You liberal idiots. Dumb shits. Welfare bums. You guys just fucking come to our country, consume every natural resource there is, and make a lot of babies. That's all you guys do. And then suck up the welfare and expect everyone else to pay for your hospital bills for your kids. I just say let your kids die. That's the best move. Just let your children die. Forget about paying for hospital bills for them. I'm not gonna do it. You guys are lowlifes. And I hope you all die."

Hate You Can Believe In: ACORN Deluged with Threatening and Racist Voicemails and Emails

It’s bad enough that the employees of ACORN have had to endure days of baseless and outlandish attacks by John McCain and the RNC. But after McCain outrageously claimed before a national audience on Wednesday night that ACORN was “maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy,” the group came under attack, literally. In the following days, ACORN’s Boston and Seattle offices were vandalized and at least one employee received a death threat.

And for nearly two weeks, ACORN offices across the nation have been subjected to an onslaught of racist and threatening voicemails and emails. We have secured copies of some of the most disturbing and offensive messages and have reproduced them below in order to show the very real consequences of the Right Wing’s overheated and misplaced “voter fraud” rhetoric.

Warning: the emails and voicemails below are highly explicit and have only been edited to remove personally identifying information. Please also note that, where relevant, the proper authorities have been notified.

Voicemail #1:  

“Hi, I was just calling to let you all know that Barack Obama needs to get hung. He's a fucking nigger, and he's a piece of shit. You guys are fraudulent, and you need to go to hell. All the niggers on oak trees. They're gonna get all hung honeys, they're gonna get assassinated, they're gonna get killed.”

Email #1: This email was received by the Cleveland office. The subject line was the name of a senior staffer who had recently appeared on TV to defend the group.

According to McClatchy, the email was traced back to a Facebook account featuring a McCain-Palin sign.

Email #2:

Voicemail #2:

"You liberal idiots. Dumb shits. Welfare bums. You guys just fucking come to our country, consume every natural resource there is, and make a lot of babies. That's all you guys do. And then suck up the welfare and expect everyone else to pay for your hospital bills for your kids. I just say let your kids die. That's the best move. Just let your children die. Forget about paying for hospital bills for them. I'm not gonna do it. You guys are lowlifes. And I hope you all die."

Anti-Immigrant Activist Is Running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut

The Connecticut Jewish Ledger presses Paul Streitz, the co-founder of a Minuteman-like group called Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control, about his restrictionist views:

If he were alive during the late 1800s or early 1900s, said Paul Streitz, he would have barred Eastern European Jews from entering this country, even if they were fleeing pogroms.

More recently, he said, in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, the United States should have never admitted the thousands of Jews who sought to leave the Soviet Union and, later, the former Soviet Union. "We're not their savior," he added. "They should have settled things in their own country."

As for the Jews who tried desperately to escape from Hitler's Europe, the co-director of Connecticut Citizens for Immigrant Control said he would have allowed in those refugees but under one condition: that they return, at some point, to their native land.

Lest anyone think that Streitz is anti-Semitic, the Darien activist, a 63-year-old marketing professional, would have also closed the nation's doors to Irish fleeing the potato famine and other groups, European, Asian or African, trying to escape the dire poverty of their lands.

Streitz, who spent some time with the Minuteman at the border, is also a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. He is most famous for attacking McDonald’s for employing too many Mexican immigrants:

The co-founder of an anti-immigration group in Connecticut demanded Wednesday that government officials investigate the "disproportionate" hiring of "Hispanics" at McDonald's restaurants after presenting what he had privately described to group members as his "MexDonald's" study. …

Streitz said the survey had observed 1,183 employees at McDonald's restaurants whom his group classified, based on "personal observations," as either white, African-American, Hispanic, or Asian.

You can read more of his views on this web site, where he writes that, “Mexico has declared war on the United States. The Mexicans call it Reconquista. They say they are reconquering Aztlan.”

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ACORN Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/02/2010, 5:45pm
The Sam Adams Alliance released a reported today entitled "The Early Adopters: Reading the Tea Leaves" which analyzes the issues motivating Tea Party leaders. It turns out that the man who killed an anti-choice protester in Michigan last year was motivated primarily by the fact that his mother did not approve of the man's signs. What do you know? Despite all the right-wing claims, an investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office found that ACORN broke no laws in the infamous "pimp/prostitute" sting video. A judge has ruled that SunTrust... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/17/2010, 6:00pm
TPM: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Rolls Back Non-Discrimination Protections For Gay State Workers. Sarah Posner: Conservative Activist Says Tea Party Movement Needs "Reverence to God." Andrew Sullivan: "May The Judgement Not Be Too Heavy Upon Us." Sam Stein: McCain Challenger: Birther Questions Are Legit In Days Of Identity Theft. Eric Boehlert: James O'Keefe and the myth of the ACORN pimp. TFN: How the Far Right ‘Guides’ Voters with Lies. Finally, David Frum weighs in on The Mount Vernon Statement: Conservatives... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/02/2010, 1:24pm
Daily Kos commissioned the non-partisan independent pollster Research 2000 to survey over 2,000 self-identified Republicans and find out where they stood on a range of issues, including impeachment, terrorism, ACORN, and succession. Some of the results are predictable, but others are simply amazing:  Should openly gay men and women be allowed to serve in the military? Yes 26 No 55 Not Sure 19 Should same sex couples be allowed to marry? Yes 7 No 77 Not Sure 16 Should gay couples receive any state or federal benefits? Yes 11 No 68 Not Sure 21 Should openly gay men and women be... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/26/2010, 5:43pm
Think Progress: Fox News Devastated Over Arrest Of ACORN Pimp, Says The Story Probably Needs ‘A Lot Of Context’. Raw Story: GOP sends fundraising letter disguised as ‘Census’ form. Media Matters: History profs: Beck's documentary smearing progressives is a "complete lie"; Beck's living in "alternative universe." Bilerico: Uganda's 'Kill The Gays' Bill Goes XXX?? Box Turtle Bulletin: Pugno’s illogical complaint about documents. Finally, what kind of parent complains about a dictionary ... and what kind... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/26/2010, 3:53pm
MassResistance will be hosting a fundraising banquet in early March where right-wing "journalist" James O'Keefe is scheduled to be a featured guest speaker: James O'Keefe is an investigative journalist and filmmaker. He came to national prominence in 2009 when he filmed and produced an investigative report that helped expose corruption within ACORN -- including ACORN employees providing individuals they believed to be involved in an international under-age prostitution scheme with advice on how to break the law. Congress voted to defund ACORN shortly after the videos were released... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 12/28/2009, 3:42pm
Somehow the right-wing ACORN "sting" operation has made it into Concerned Women for America's list of cultural high points and cultural low points for 2009: MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/22/2009, 5:55pm
As we look back at 2009 and prepare for the year ahead, we are doing some end-of-the-year fund-raising and so I thought I'd take a look back at some of the posts that ranked among my personal favorite from the last year. Here is just the first installment, in no particular order: Robinson's Participation in Inauguration Might Cause God to Destroy Washington DC Alan Colmes Talks To Wingers So You Don't Have To Worst. Book Burning. Ever. The Great and Powerful ACORN Janet Porter Reveals The Coming American Genocide Does Anyone Understand the Meaning of "... MORE