Diary

MI Morning Update: The Obama/ACORN connection

24 Days Until Election Day

October 11, 2008

MORNING UPDATE:

OBAMA CAMPAIGN PAYS ACORN OVER $800,000…the Obama campaign has made at least $800,000 in contributions to ACORN to fund their voter registration and GOTV effort which is under investigation for fraud. In Oakland County election officials found more than 33,000 duplicate registrations, about two-thirds of new applications since August. In some cases, the same name was registered scores of times and in different jurisdictions, and ACORN canvassers submitted most of those applications.

WHAT THE PARTY HAS DONE NATIONWIDE… REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE — under National Chairman Mike Duncan, who has served on the campaigns of five presidents going back to Richard Nixon, builds a formidable ground game despite the environment. The tale of the tape: 352 offices, with 14 more in the process of being opened; 456 staff on payroll, with 71 more in the process of being hired; 8,616 telephone lines; over 1.5 million donors this year, 600,000 of whom are whom are new donors; and raised $66 million last month.

DOOR-TO-DOOR EFFORTS STATEWIDE…as candidates for Congress, State House, County Commission and Supreme Court are out in force this weekend knocking on doors and delivering literature, putting up signs and asking for voter’s support.  Please join one of the campaign efforts near you…stop in any of the Victory Centers listed below and help us with the final push towards election day!

GRASSROOTS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED…as we reorganize Victory Centers and Call Centers around the state, volunteers continue to make calls, knock on doors and make contributions to fight for Republican candidates up and down the ticket.  Please check this link for a Victory Center near you.  We need you now, more than ever.

MICHIGAN YOUTH EFFORT GROWS…COLLEGE REPUBLICANS STATEWIDE JUMP IN …our Michigan Youth Counts effort, designed to stop the "brain drain" this weekend were in Battle Creek making phone calls, knocking on doors with local candidates for State Representative.  For more information please contract Program Director Anthony Markwort at: [email protected]

PRINCIPLES OF SOUND PUBLIC POLICY…it’s in times like this, that we have to go back and review our core principles and think about what kind of society we really want.  No one has compiled those principles in a better essay than my friend Larry Reed of the Mackinac Center…read them here.

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THE REST OF THE STORY:

No further commentary today.

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.

 

 

Obama’s Staff Slips Up With Muslim Outreach

By SUSAN SCHMIDT

The Obama campaign said it was a mistake for an outreach coordinator to join a meeting last month attended by leaders of two controversial Muslim groups as it seeks votes from large Muslim populations in swing states. Minha Husaini, newly named as head of the campaign’s outreach coordinator to Muslims, attended a discussion session Sept. 15 with about 30 Muslim leaders and community members in suburban Washington, the Obama campaign confirmed. Participants included leaders of the Council of American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society, which have been cited by the government in the past for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In August, the campaign’s previous coordinator, Mazen Asbahi, resigned over a similar issue, pointing up one kind of challenge facing the campaign: pursuing the votes of the Muslim community while not perpetuating any misunderstandings about Sen. Barack Obama’s religion. Sen. Obama is a Christian. Mr. Asbahi, who also attended the meeting now entangling Ms. Husaini, resigned after questions arose about his brief tenure on the board of an Islamic investment fund along with a controversial Illinois imam. At the time, campaign officials said he was stepping down because he didn’t want to become a distraction for the campaign.

 

Obama’s Magic

By Kimberley Strassel

And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world’s most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity! (And hold your applause until the end, please.)

To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don’t pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It’s called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don’t. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.

For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he’ll do it by raising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation’s biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It’s simple, really. He has a wand.

 

McCain Camp Drives Obama-ACORN Connection
McCain’s campaign is taking new steps to link Obama to the controversial ACORN group

FOXNews.com
Friday, October 10, 2008

John McCain’s campaign is using Barack Obama’s ties to a controversial low-income advocacy group to escalate his criticism of the Democratic nominee’s character and judgment. The McCain campaign released a Web video and rolled out surrogates Friday to question Obama’s connection to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which is the subject of at least 11 investigations.

The group’s Las Vegas office was raided Tuesday by state authorities investigating claims of voter fraud, and a federal judge on Thursday ordered Ohio’s secretary of state to verify voter registrations — partly out of concern that groups like ACORN were not eradicating fraudulent forms. "Given ACORN’s recent efforts to engage in voter fraud and to disrupt our political system, Obama’s affiliation with this group raises serious questions about his judgment and ability to lead this nation," the McCain campaign said in a lengthy memo.

 

Obama fundraiser Rezko, convicted of fraud, spills beans

Oct 11, 3:47 AM (ET)
By MIKE ROBINSON

CHICAGO (AP) – Jailed political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who helped launch Barack Obama on his political career, is whispering secrets to federal prosecutors about corruption in Illinois and the political fallout could be explosive.

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration faces multiple federal investigations over how it handed out jobs and money with advice from Rezko, is considered the most vulnerable.

Rezko also was friendly with Obama – offering him a job when he finished law school, funding his earliest political campaigns and purchasing a lot next to his house. But based on the known facts, charges so far and testimony at Rezko’s trial, there’s no indication there’ll be an October surprise that could hurt the Democratic presidential nominee – even though Rezko says prosecutors are pressing him for dirt about Obama.

 

The Class War Before Palin

By DAVID BROOKS

Modern conservatism began as a movement of dissident intellectuals. Richard Weaver wrote a book called, "Ideas Have Consequences." Russell Kirk placed Edmund Burke in an American context. William F. Buckley famously said he’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard. But he didn’t believe those were the only two options. His entire life was a celebration of urbane values, sophistication and the rigorous and constant application of intellect. Driven by a need to engage elite opinion, conservatives tried to build an intellectual counterestablishment with think tanks and magazines. They disdained the ideas of the liberal professoriate, but they did not disdain the idea of a cultivated mind.

Ronald Reagan was no intellectual, but he had an earnest faith in ideas and he spent decades working through them. He was rooted in the Midwest, but he also loved Hollywood. And for a time, it seemed the Republican Party would be a broad coalition – small-town values with coastal reach. In 1976, in a close election, Gerald Ford won the entire West Coast along with northeastern states like New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine. In 1984, Reagan won every state but Minnesota.

 

Anger Is Crowd’s Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally

By Michael D. Shear and Perry Bacon Jr.
Friday, October 10, 2008; A04

WAUKESHA, Wis., Oct. 9 — There were shouts of "Nobama" and "Socialist" at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin. "It is absolutely vital that you take it to Obama, that you hit him where it hits, there’s a soft spot," said James T. Harris, a local radio talk show host, who urged the Republican nominee to use Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., and others against him.

"We have the good Reverend Wright. We have [the Rev. Michael L.] Pfleger. We have all of these shady characters that have surrounded him," Harris bellowed. "We have corruption here in Wisconsin and voting across the nation. I am begging you, sir. I am begging you. Take it to him." The crowd of thousands roared its approval. In recent days, a campaign that embraced the mantra of "Country First" but is flagging in the polls and scrambling for a way to close the gap as the nation’s economy slides into shambles has found itself at the center of an outpouring of raw emotion rare in a presidential race.

"There’s 26 days and people are looking at the very serious possibility that there’s a chance that Obama might get in, and they don’t like that," said Ian Eltrich, 28, as he filed out of the crowded sports complex.

 

Dodd and Countrywide
The Senator should take the witness stand

The Wall Street Journal

Former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld was under oath Monday when he was grilled on Capitol Hill about his role in the current financial meltdown. But if Members really want to understand the credit mania, they should also call Chris Dodd.

The Connecticut Senator has been out front denouncing the "companies that form the foundation of our financial markets," for "their insatiable appetite for risk." He has also decried "reckless, careless and sometimes unscrupulous actors in the mortgage lending industry" and he has proclaimed that "American taxpayers deserve to know how we arrived at this moment." To that end, we propose he take the stand — under oath.

Former Countrywide Financial loan officer Robert Feinberg says Mr. Dodd knowingly saved thousands of dollars on his refinancing of two properties in 2003 as part of a special program the California mortgage company had for the influential. He also says he has internal company documents that prove Mr. Dodd knew he was getting preferential treatment as a friend of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide’s then-CEO.

 

Paulson: Uncle Sam wants stock

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, emerging from a meeting with central bankers from across the world, said that the U.S. government will buy stock in troubled banks rather than simply buying up toxic mortgage-backed assets.

The rescue/bailout package passed by Congress recently gives the Treasury the authority to buy shares of banks. By purchasing shares, Paulson hopes to increase capital available to banks. Because banks lend out a multiple of the amount of capital they hold, by increasing a bank’s capital, the treasury can broadly increase what it lends. Purchasing $7 billion worth of stock, for example, could mean $70 billion worth of lending. And taxpayers would then own shares of the bank, purchased at a deep discount relative to a year ago. (Or even two weeks ago.) When the banks recover, the treasury could see a hefty profit, in a best-case scenario.

The bankers "finalized an aggressive action plan" to deal with the global crisis, said Paulson. "Never has it been more important to find collective solutions."

 

The Government Is Contributing to the Panic
It’s time to let markets do their messy work.

By JONATHAN MACEY

Despite all the hard work and good intentions on the part of our public officials, when economists and historians look back on the current financial crisis they are likely to conclude that government intervention prolonged and deepened it. In particular, officials at the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Treasury Department are to blame for publicly losing confidence in the very economic system they are supposed to protect.

The Fed, the Treasury and the SEC appear to be in a state of panic. A crisis mentality led the custodians of the U.S. capital markets publicly to jettison their lifelong commitments to the capital markets in favor of a series of short-term regulatory quick fixes. Even more troubling, for the past several months the doyens of U.S. fiscal and monetary policy have ignored the most fundamental principle of central banking, which is that the primary responsibility of central bankers is to promote stability and to maintain confidence in the capital markets. Our central bankers appear to have suddenly lost confidence both in their own abilities and in the standard tools of fiscal and monetary policy.

 

Economist: Michigan facing cuts next year
State looks to end fiscal year with slight surplus

Kathy Barks Hoffman
October 10, 2008

Michigan is doing better than many other states at staying in the black, but a state economist says budget cuts are likely next year. House Fiscal Agency director Mitchell Bean says the state should have a slight surplus to carry over from the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

But Bean said Thursday he’s "reasonably certain" budget cuts will be needed in 2009. "Given the current state of affairs, pretty much everyone believes we’re going to have to lower our (revenue) estimates in January," he said. Both Bean and Senate Fiscal Agency senior economist Jay Wortley say the turmoil on Wall Street, troubles in the auto industry and the high number of home foreclosures could cause state income, sales and business tax revenues to come in lower than expected.