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Friday, September 28, 2012

GOP Voter Registration Fraud

GOP Fraud in Florida and North Carolina and Three Other Swing States and California.


Firm owned by notorious GOP operative Nathan Sproul, accused of destroying Democratic registration forms in years past, hired 'at request of RNC', still operating in several key swing states.

The Republican Party of Florida's top recipient of 2012 expenditures, a firm by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was just fired on Tuesday night, after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in by the group to the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections.

The firm appears to be another shell company of Nathan Sproul, a longtime, notorious Republican operative, hired year after year by GOP Presidential campaigns, despite being accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in a number of states over several past elections.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Strategic Allied Consulting has been paid some $667,000 this year by the FL GOP, presumably to run its voter registration campaigns in the state. That number, however, does not account for another identical payment made in August. The Palm Beach Post is reporting tonight that the firm received "more than $1.3 million" from the Republican Party of Florida "to register new voters."

The firm is not only tied to the FL GOP, but also to the Mitt Romney Campaign, which hired Sproul as a political consultant late last year, despite years of fraud allegations against his organizations in multiple states.

Moreover, the firm is also reportedly operating similar voter registration operations on behalf of the Republican Party, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a number of key battleground states this year, including North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado.   Strategic Allied has recently taken steps to hide their ownership by Sproul's notorious firm, Sproul & Associates.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Susan Bucher confirmed late this evening that she turned over 106 suspicious voter registration applications to the Florida State Attorney during a meeting yesterday afternoon in Palm Beach, after the "questionable" applications were submitted to her office by a worker for Strategic Allied.

The forms were said to all have similar signatures, changed addresses and party affiliations, and other defects which appear to have all been done by the same hand.

The case emerging in Florida tonight mirrors a similar incident reported earlier this year when more than a thousand fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in to the Sacramento County, CA Registrar of Voters by a group hired by that state's Republican Party.

But that's not the only similar case, as a massive GOP voter registration scheme, which appears to involve the upper-echelons of the national party, begins to emerge.

 'Questionable' registrations in Palm Beach

The Palm Beach Post reports tonight that Bucher turned the "questionable" applications over to FL State Attorney Peter Antonacci and Chief Assistant State Attorney Paul Zacks during a meeting on Monday in "an abundance of caution" after her staff "had questions about similar-looking signatures, missing information and wrong addresses on the forms."

The paper reports that "some of the applications she questioned were for new voter registrations while others were for address or party affiliation changes or requests for new voter cards."

According to the FL Election Code, the alteration of a "voter registration application...without the other person's knowledge and consent" is a third degree felony, punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Similarly, the willful submission of "any false voter registration information" is also a third degree felony. 

The Post reports that "The 106 applications flagged by Bucher were part of a batch of 304 turned in Sept. 5 by the contractor, using the Republican Party of Florida’s identification number."

As of tonight, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) says they have fired the firm, which they claim they had hired at the request of the Republican National Party.

"When we learned today about the instances of potential voter registration fraud that occurred in Palm Beach County," RPOF Director Mike Grissom said, "we immediately informed the Republican National Committee that we were terminating the contract with the voter registration vendor we hired at their request because there is no place for voter registration fraud in Florida."

Strategic Allied Consulting, which has only a single-page, generic website has been advertising for paid registration workers on "Craigslist, Monster Jobs, Jobs Indeed, Conservative Jobs, etc.,". 
Late last month, Greg Flynn at the North Carolina blog BlueNC reported on some of their job listings seeking workers in that swing-state, which Obama narrowly won in 2008, offering to pay anywhere from $11 to $13 per hour.

"WANT TO HELP REPUBLICANS WIN IN NC?," reads one ad, "We are currently hiring self-motivated people to contact voters for the election.   No experience needed!   We are paying $13/per hour for this program."

"Are you interested in helping Mitt Romney win North Carolina?," reads another, "I am with the North Carolina Republican Party working with Voter Registration Projects and am looking for team members to help expand Republican voter registration."

"Republican Voter Registration Captains Needed," begins another, requesting applicants submit resumes to John Bria of Strategic Allied Consulting. "Help GOP candidates win in November and become an integral part a [sic] presidential campaign."

"Employees will go to high traffic areas, identify conservative voters, ensure that their voter registration is up to date, and then report back at night with their data and the voter registration forms that they collected."

Curiously, that's exactly what is seen in a rather breathtaking viral video we reported on this morning revealing a young voter registration worker in Colorado Springs, CO (El Paso County), asking a potential registrant, "Would you vote for Romney or Obama?" before she would offer a voter registration form.   While the worker, when pressed, reluctantly admitted, "we're out here in support of Romney," she then claimed to be working for the El Paso County Clerk's office.

In fact, as we reported, the El Paso County Republican Party Chairman has since admitted the young lady was working for the party.   Following publication of our story, we were informed by a tipster that the young lady was actually hired by a third-party contractor, though we have not yet been able to either confirm that point, or identify the name of the contractor.

BlueNC reports, however, that, in addition to FEC campaign filings showing the NC Republican Party paid some $333,000 to Strategic Allied Consulting for services in that state in July, "There is evidence that similar operations are being conducted in Colorado, Florida and Virginia on behalf of the Republican Party."

Was the young worker in Colorado Springs hired by Strategic Allied Consulting for her work with the local GOP? 

The techniques described in the NC help wanted ads sound very familiar to what was seen on video tape in CO.
At BlueNC, Flynn reports  "The company was set up in Virginia in June 2012 and filings with the Virginia Secretary of State reveal no identifying information other than that of a corporate filing service."   He adds: 

"There is no evidence of business registration in either North Carolina, Colorado, or Florida (or Arizona)," where Sproul's Sproul and Associates is based.

At the time of BlueNC's report, the domain was registered to Sproul and Associates in Tempe, Arizona.  The day after they published their report, the domain name registration was quickly changed to "private", but not before Flynn was able to grab a screen shot confirming the ownership of the domain.

The Notorious Nathan Sproul
We've reported on Sproul many times over the years, as the GOP operative, and former chair of the Arizona GOP and the state's Christian Coalition, pops up again and again in each Presidential Election year.   He is hired over and over by the Republican Party, despite years of fraud allegations in multiple states against his 
organizations, which are said to have routinely changed or entirely destroyed Democratic voter registrations.

He operates as Sproul & Associates as well as Lincoln Strategy Group, among other names, including now, apparently, Strategic Allied Consulting.

And this year, after being hired by the Bush/Cheney campaign in '04 and the McCain/Palin campaign in '08, Sproul was "quietly" hired by the Romney campaign as a political consultant late last year, according to a June report from Lee Fang at the non-partisan Republic Report.

Late last year, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign began paying Nathan Sproul, a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms and manipulating ballot initiatives.    Sproul, who changed his firm’s name from Sproul and Associates to Lincoln Strategies, has received over $70,000 from Romney’s campaign.

 Republic Report reviewed disclosures from the Federal Elections Commission. Sproul’s Lincoln Strategy Group has received about $71,391 in payments for “field consulting” and “rent & utilities” by the Romney for President Inc. committee from November 30th through March 2nd of this year.

Fang then goes on to highlight what he describes as some of Sproul's "greatest hits" asdetailed by ThinkProgress while reporting on Sproul's Lincoln Strategies astroturf work for a so-called "Clean Coal" industry campaign in 2009.

- In Oregon and Nevada, Lincoln Strategies - then known as Sproul and Associates - was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms.    The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work.    [CNN, 10/14/04; KGW News, 10/13/04;   East Valley Tribune, 09/07/06]

- In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Lincoln Strategies - then known as Sproul and Associates - found their names absent from the voter registration rolls.   [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/29/04]

- During the 2006 midterm elections, Wal-Mart banned Lincoln Strategies for partisan voter registration efforts in Tennessee.   The Republican National Committee had hired the firm.  [Associated Press, 08/24/06]

- In Arizona, Lincoln Strategies employed a variety of deceptive tactics - including systematically lying about the bill - to push a ballot initiative to eviscerate the state's clean elections law.  [Salon, 10/21/04]

- Lincoln Strategies, then employed by the Republican Party, was behind efforts to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in states such as Arizona.  [American Prospect, 06/25/04]

Despite all of those years of allegations, the McCain campaign went on to hire Sproul in 2008, according to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, who reported at the time.

John McCain's campaign has directed $175,000 to the firm of a Republican operative accused of massive voter registration fraud in several states.

According to campaign finance records, a joint committee of the McCain-Palin campaign, the RNC and the California Republican Party, made a $175,000 payment to the group Lincoln Strategy in June for purposes of "registering voters."   The managing partner of that firm is Nathan Sproul, a renowned GOP operative who has been investigated on multiple occasions for suppressing Democratic voter turnout, throwing away registration forms and even spearheading efforts to get Ralph Nader on ballots to hinder the Democratic ticket.

 That Sproul would come under the employment umbrella of the McCain campaign --- the Republican National Committee has also separately paid Lincoln Strategy at least $37,000 for voter registration efforts this cycle --- is not terribly surprising.    Sproul, who has donated nearly $30,000 to McCain's campaign, has been in the good graces of GOP officials for the past decade despite charges of ethical and potentially legal wrongdoing.

In Fang's report, he goes on to note that  "Even former Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), during a hearing on voter fraud, admitted that 'the difference between ACORN and Sproul is that ACORN doesn't throw away or change registration documents after they have been filled out.'"

GOP Voter Registration Fraud Epidemic Continues

The GOP is pioneering new ways for Mitt to get votes.   Fraud is only fraud if you get caught as Mitt is fond of saying.
While Republicans had long been critical of fraudulent voter registration efforts they inaccurately attributed to ACORN, the non-partisan, four-decade old community organizing group (which has since been forced into bankruptcy as a result of the years-long GOP effort to mischaracterize them and their work) there is no 
evidence, to our knowledge, that any of its tens of thousands of registration workers ever screened out potential registrants from one party or another before allowing them to register, as seen in CO.

Neither is there evidence that any of their workers ever changed party affiliations on registration forms, as is being alleged tonight in Palm Beach County, or destroyed Democratic forms, as has been alleged over the years, as noted by Republican Rep. Cannon.

Moreover, it should be noted that of the handful of ACORN registration workers who submitted fraudulent applications over the years, almost all of those workers were turned into officials by ACORN themselves.   The group checked all applications for validity before turning them in, flagged those which appeared to be 
fraudulent, and then turned them in to officials, along with the names of the workers who had defrauded them.

Contrast that with the disturbing activities of Sproul & Associates, Lincoln Strategies and now Sproul's Strategic Allied Consulting, along with what was admitted to by the Republican Party today in Colorado, and revealed by a number of recent cases of massive registration fraud by the Republican Party in California. (For the record, ACORN was never hired to do registration work by the Democratic Party, despite inaccurate Republican claims to the contrary.)

In 2006, GOP voter registration firms in California were reported by the LA Times to have turned in thousands of invalid registration forms, as well as fraudulent signatures on petitions in San Bernardino County.   In one instance,  "About 4,800 of more than 5,600 signatures submitted [by John Burkett Petition Management] were found to be invalid and were tossed out by election officials," the paper reported.

In 2008, at the height of that year's GOP/Fox "News" ACORN "voter fraud" scam, a group calling itself Young Political Majors (YPM) was hired by the CA Republican Party to do voter registration.   The firm was reportedly paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP.    YPM was subsequently found to have been changing thousands of voter registration forms from Democratic to Republican.   The group's CEO, Mark Anthony Jacoby, was eventually arrested  before he later pleaded guilty to voter registration fraud.

And, earlier this year, in 2012, the Sacramento Republican Party was found to have hired Momentum Political Services, a firm headed up by a woman described as a "professional con-artist".   The group allegedly turned in thousands of fraudulent voter registrations as part of a $50,000 bounty scheme seeking Republican registrations, as paid for by the GOP in the district of Republican Congressman Dan Lungren.

All the while, Republicans were loudly accusing Democrats of committing  "voter fraud"  requiring polling place Photo ID restrictions to stop it, even though there are just 10 known cases of in-person impersonation --- the only type of voter fraud that can possibly be deterred by Photo ID --- out of hundreds of millions of votes cast in all 50 states since 2000, according to a recent exhaustive report by the non-partisan investigative news consortium, News21.

Perhaps it's a case of projection.   Perhaps the GOP knows about the fraud that they are carrying out, so they presume that Democrats must be doing something similar.   Nonetheless, when it comes to voter registration fraud, Republicans are the champs, hands down.    And it remains to be seen how wide and how high this story will go.   This one may have legs.    Rest assured ACVDN will report the story.

As to actual voter fraud, it's Republicans --- and very high profile ones at that, including Mitt Romney himself --- who are winning that contest as well.   


9/27/12, 12:50 pm.   Republican National Committee fires Strategic Allied Consulting after NC fires group, more fraudulent registrations found in other FL counties, including dead voters registered as new voters.

The Republican National Committee  Fires its National VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM for fraud.    After Florida and North Carolina GOP fire Romney-tied group, so does RNC, as dead voters reportedly found registered as new voters in Florida;   RNC paid firm $3 million over 2 months in 5 states, tried to hide ownership to notorious operative Nathan Sproul.

Republicans Dispute Polls, Claim Romney is 14 points Ahead Everywhere

LSD Mormon Members Gather to Fast for Romney,  Help is on the way.

Mormons seem to think that fellow believer Mitt Romney, now slumping in the polls, needs a little divine intervention for his performance at the upcoming Oct. 3 presidential debate.   If the "Lords of Kobol"  fail to rescue Romney the  "Godhead"  will be displeased and the human race may suffer.   Kolob is a star or planet described in Mormon scripture.  Reference to Kolob is found in the Book of Abraham, a work published by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.    Kolob is the heavenly body nearest to the throne of God.   While the Book of Abraham refers to Kolob as a  "star",  it also refers to planets as stars, and therefore, some LDS commentators consider Kolob to be a planet.

One Kolob-day corresponds to 1000 earth-years, with similarities to 2 Peter 3:8 which says "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years".   Additional, similar information about Kolob is found in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, constituting manuscripts in the handwriting of Smith and his scrbes.   Mormon cosmology teaches the existence of other "gods" such as is exhibited in the concept of the Godhead being three, separate, distinct beings.   That is enough background to allow you to understand this Mormon fast in support of Mitt Romney's failing presidential run.

They've been circulating a request via email that sympathetic Latter-day Saints join them in forgoing food ,water and sex on Sunday in a collective effort to support Mitt Romney.

"I am asking you to join me and my family ... by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney that he will be blessed in the debates, which will be held Oct. 3rd,"  says an email posted early Wednesday (Sept. 26) by The Student Review, an off-campus paper for Brigham Young University students.   This off campus newspaper is in no way 
connected with the Church which remains neutral in all political matters.    "I know that seems like such a small thing but I believe 'from small things, great things can come about.' "

The email went on: "I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles."    "We hope to contact the mystical aliens from outer space who will come to Romney's aid, give him wisdon during the debates and gift him with the white horse to ride as he saves and converts America".

Others in the email chain have suggested putting Romney's name on the "temple prayer roll," which is typically reserved for those who are sick.   "If Romney were not sick he would surly be doing better in the polls."

McKay Coppins, a political reporter for BuzzFeed, also reported the fasting effort, saying that "sources who have received it said it has reached Latter-day Saints in Utah, California, Nevada and Colorado at least."

When asked if the email could be a bogus attempt by someone hoping to embarrass the LDS Church, both Coppins and the Review editor said they are personally familiar with several of the email recipients, who are sincere in their desire to help the Republican nominee.  They also agreed it would be impossible to embarrass the LDS  Church.

Obama Surge:    Romney 47 percent remarks                 spark GOP Backlash

The American people may be starting to figure out that what Romney said in the secret tape is what other Republicans have been saying behind closed doors for quite some time, but never had it recorded and viewed by more than 8 million people all over the world.

Mitt Romney may have started out selling himself to American voters as a capable business manager, but as a campaigner-in-chief, his skills are coming up short.

Romney’s initial campaign message was supposed to be a referendum on President Obama with a focus on the economy.     However, a series of verbal blunders beginning with statements like, “I like being able to fire people,”  and   “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs”  reached a pinnacle last week when Mother Jones released a video of Romney calling 47 percent of the America population government-dependent parasites, who will never be “convinced”  to  “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Romney topped that off by adding that his job was  “not to worry about those people.”

The Romney tapes, secretly recorded in May at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., not only set-off a decline in Mr. Romney’s poll numbers in key swing states, it has people like conservative radio mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh declaring the Romney candidacy the disaster that signifies the beginning of the end for the Republican Party.

Limbaugh may be correct.   But Romney is only part of the problem.

The American people may be starting to figure out that what Romney said in the secret tape is what other Republicans have been saying behind closed doors for quite some time, but never had it recorded and viewed by more than eight million people all over the world.

If you look at the direction the GOP has been driving America, the secret Romney tapes should have been little more than confirmation of an agenda that is about nothing but putting more money into the pockets of the wealthy.

“The most obvious way that Republicans have robbed from the middle to give to the rich has been the changes they wrought in the tax code — reducing income taxes for the wealthy in the Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts, and cutting the tax rate on capital gains to less than half the rate on the top income of upper-middle-class employees,” according to the Washington Post.

As cover for their greed and anti-working-class snobbery, conservatives have used diversions to stir up the electorate.   They have used misleading advertising, right-wing radio, and bloggers to create division between blacks and whites, rich and poor, taxpayers and non-taxpayers, and women’s constitutional rights to control 
their own bodies.

To further advance their cause, they have brought unprecedented obstructionism to governing and participated in calling the president of the United States a socialist, a foreigner, a Muslim, as if all Muslims were bad, and shown little respect for the office of the presidency.

Romney may be the messenger, but the fault really lies in the message.

The American people don’t want their Medicare turned into a voucher system.   They don’t want to give rich people more tax breaks;  they don’t want to breathe filthy air and drink polluted water,  and they don’t like the idea of old men in Washington telling women that the government is going to force doctors to put vaginal probes into their bodies against their will and the thought of outlawing birth control.

In short, the America people really don’t like the Tea Party Republican agenda, and they are just now beginning to figure that out, thanks to the Romney tapes.

As for the candidate himself, what came out in the secret tapes solidifies suspicions that Romney is essentially a snob.   He has also publicly changed is positions on the issues so many times that even Republicans don’t know exactly what he stands for.   And when he finally does take a stand, it’s to insult nearly half the U.S. population behind closed doors.

One woman summed it up nicely in Bloomberg.   “If I have to choose between the two, I prefer Barack over Mitt,” said Stephanie Martin, a 41-year-old insurance agent in Glasgow, Virginia, who describes herself as a libertarian.    “I think Mitt Romney is just so out of touch. It’s mostly a protest against him and the Republican 
establishment;   it’s not that I think Obama has done such a great job.”

So the Romney plan to win the White House by bashing Obama alone appears to be backfiring.

But there is still a chance for Mitt Romney.  It is our responsibility to tell you that Romney still has a chance or we might depress the vote.   There is very little support for a loser candidate once the public becomes aware of the status of the race.   Therefore we will tell you Romney still has a chance and the TV Networks and Cable Outlets will not call the election until all the polls are closed.  Would you waste your time and gas driving to cast a ballot if you knew your vote would change nothing?

Despite the fact that the polls are shifting against him, the GOP has a contingency plan, which is to cheat their way into power through voter suppression.

As the election draws closer, efforts to stop people from voting have become so blatant and so aggressive, it can only be seen as a last-ditch, desperate attempt by Republicans to take power they haven’t earned by winning-over voters with their message alone.

Who would have ever thought that in 2012, preventing voter suppression would be one of the most important issues in an American election?

Paul Ryan calls Social Security a ‘Welfare Transfer System’

Now that Rep. Paul Ryan has hit the national stage, his Ayn Rand-style views have come into the spotlight. 

Among them is his assertion that Social Security is a “welfare transfer system.”

In a 2005 speech, Ryan said, “When you look at the fight that we’re in here in Capitol Hill, it’s a tough fight…. That is why there is no more fight that is more obvious between the differences of these two conflicts than Social Security. Social Security right now is a collectivist system, it’s a welfare transfer system .” 

There appears to be no change in Ryan’s position on Social Security from his 2005 speech.   His budget plan, which Mitt Romney has thrown his support behind, promises deep cuts to entitlements, particularly Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.   Now it is clear why.

Like his running mate, Republican GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, Ryan is fundamentally against government assistance for anyone.   This is part of the Tea Party vision that has its basis in a survival of the fittest approach.   It also suggests that millions of people who are currently low income can, through sheer 
determination, become wealthy enough for complete independence. And if they fail to achieve that, it must be their own fault.

The concept does not take into account those who are disabled, children, or the elderly.    Moreover, it discounts all who are weak or vulnerable in society.

Radical right-wing fundamentalists agree with Romney and Ryan and look at government assistance for the population as "socialism" and "welfare."

Ryan added,  “This is where I’m talking about health care, as well—from a third party or socialist-based system to an individually owned, individually prefunded, individually directed system.”

By using harsh terms like “socialist” and “welfare,”  Ryan stirs deep emotions from people who are frightened by those words, or view them as an example of something that is unfair.

However, there is a massive hole in the Romney-Ryan anti-entitlement argument because they believe in the “welfare transfer system” for the rich, in the form of corporate welfare, tax loopholes, and tax rebates.

If Ryan and Romney went on the campaign trail and told voters that their real plan was to transfer more wealth to millionaires and pay for it by completely ending Social Security, Medicare, and all other entitlement programs, there is a good chance few but the super-rich would vote for him.

So instead, Ryan and Romney are using the national debt as an excuse to sell their plan.   All they have to do is use strong intimidating phrases, and convince the American public that the only way to solve the national debt issue is to cut their entitlement benefits.

As Bill Clinton so aptly pointed out at the DNC earlier this month, the math just doesn’t add up.   And quite frankly, it shouldn’t take a mathematician to realize that if you want to reduce debt, you don’t 
start out by cutting tax revenue.

This is about ideology, not balancing the budget.

Clinton said that Romney and Ryan “want to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place. 

They want to cut taxes for high-income Americans, even more than President Bush did.   They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts… And they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor 
children.    As another president once said, there they go again.”

Romney and Ryan believe that the government should collect taxes from American workers, but provide no safety net in return.    They believe that corporations and wealthy individuals should pay little or no taxes as a reward for their great success.    It is then up to the wealthy to decide if they want to share their wealth with the 
working class by giving them jobs.

That is how a two-class society works, and that is what Romney and Ryan want for America.

While it may be sold to the electorate with dramatic or misleading wording, this is not a secret plan for anyone who bothers to read the Romney-Ryan economic plan posted on their campaign website.

President Obama is not a socialist.    He is called a socialist by his rivals because they believe that such labels are an effective way to advance their cause, and get people to vote against their own self-interests.

Why else would people vote for someone who plans make their lives a deeper struggle?




Register and Vote


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Amherst Co. Democratic Headquarters is OPEN



The Obama/Kaine/Schmookler campaign office in Amherst County is officially open as of 6pm, September 26, 2012.

The hard work of electing our candidates to office has been underway for quite some time but now we have an official office where you can drop by and visit with us.   Need a yard sign or button or want to donate a few hours of labor, come on down and see us.

This is Magnolia Braxton and she is a super member of the Amherst County Democrats.    As you read thru ACVDN and look at the photos from events all over the county you will spot Mrs. Braxton.    The amazing thing is she is also extremely active at her church as well as helping us.    We salute our high energy, super lady.

The work will be non stop between Now and thirty minutes after the voting ends.    You might not be as energetic as Mrs Braxton but any time you can spare will be appreciated.

Organizing for America - Virginia is located at 4133 South Amherst Highway, Madison Heights In the OLD Anderson's Market Location.  We're Between Sheetz and WalMart, Right behind the new Ice Cream Stand!  Look for the Signs.

Come join your neighbors in Amherst County at open our brand new OFA-Virginia Office! Stop by and meet the staff, meet fellow supporters, and learn about the neighborhood teams in the county as we continue our work for President Barack Obama, Tim Kaine & Andy Schmookler. 

To celebrate the opening there was a potluck dinner and a good social time enjoyed by all.   ABC TV - 13 covered the opening as well as Amherst County Virginia Democratic News.   There are lots of great pictures from the Grand Opening for you to enjoy.

The pot luck dinner was eaten by the huge crowd that came out for the event.

If you missed the opening celebration don't dispair.   Our Business Hours are 10am - 9pm, 7 Days a Week and you are welcome any time you have a desire to participate.   Here's our phone number, 540-330-5672.


NBA  versus  NFL ?

Guess Which One… (Even if you aren’t a sports fan this is very interesting!)

36 Have been accused of spousal abuse
7 Have been arrested for fraud
19 Have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 REPEAT 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drunk driving IN THE LAST YEAR

Can you guess which organization this is?
Give up yet?

it’s the 535 members of the United States Congress,  The same group of people who crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

Don't let anybody tell you that your vote doesn't count.

A Tale of Two Speeches

Obama sounded like a president. Romney sounded confused.  Bill Clinton knew up front that Romney would blow it.   The only ones who think Romney has his act together are old white men who feel life has shorted the sheets on their beds.  Romney's ambition is much greater than his talent.

An odd thing happened Tuesday: Both presidential candidates gave major speeches on foreign policy, a rarity in an election dominated almost entirely by domestic issues.

This much was revealed by the competing addresses:   Barack Obama’s, to the U.N. General Assembly, was a speech worthy of a president; Mitt Romney’s, at the Clinton Global Initiative, was the pep talk of a provincial banker who’s perplexed that the rest of the world just doesn’t get with the program.

Romney’s premise was that, for all  “our passion for charity,” foreign aid doesn’t work: The money often gets funneled to corrupt governments, and even when it doesn’t, the poor countries stay poor.    Better, he said, to focus on boosting private investment and promoting free enterprise.

In one sense, the point is obvious, so much so that I can’t think of a single senior Obama official who would 
disagree.   Romney implicitly acknowledged this when he noted that “82 percent of the resources that flow to 
developing nations come from the private sector, not the government sector,” up from 30 percent several decades ago. 

The major flaw in Romney’s speech is that it presents foreign aid and private investment as either/or 
propositions, when in fact they serve two distinct functions.

Even Romney acknowledged that foreign aid has two “quite legitimate” objectives: humanitarian assistance and the promotion of U.S. security interests. Though Romney didn’t say so, the former often abets the latter. For instance, in 2004, international polls showed that Muslims’ support for Osama Bin Laden sharply declined after the United States helped victims of the tsunami in Indonesia, whose population is mostly Muslim.

It is true that, over the long haul, foreign aid can go only so far.   The major obstacles in many countries, especially in the Middle East, are the lack of jobs for young men and the absence of institutions to lure and sustain private investment.

Romney’s proposal is to link foreign aid and private investment, but it’s not at all clear how this would work. 

Here is how he described his plan in the Clinton Global Initiative speech:

To foster work and enterprise in the Middle East and other developing countries, I will initiate something I’ll call Prosperity Pacts. Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment and trade and entrepreneurship and entrepreneurialism in developing countries.   And in exchange for removing those barriers and opening markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law and property rights.

Here’s the mystery:   Why does Romney think the leaders of such countries want our advice on liberty, law, and property rights, much less that they would view this advice as the reward for opening up their markets to U.S. companies?   The proposition is especially doubtful, given that other powers, for instance China, are willing to invest without regard to a country’s commitment to political pluralism or the rule of law.

Romney’s underlying point has some validity:   that as a country opens itself up to the world, it not only imports goods and services; it also, over time, tends to absorb (though often fitfully and unevenly) the values and ideas from these other parts of the world as well.   But he doesn’t seem to recognize that this subtler 
transaction cannot be imposed as part of the deal; it takes time to emerge, and does so, if at all, with local twists and flavors that can’t be anticipated and might not be to our advantage.

The unstated premise of Romney’s plan is that the leaders and people in these countries want to be like us, to the point where they’d even drop their trade barriers in exchange for America’s instruction.

George W. Bush based his “freedom agenda,” in early 2004, on a similar assumption: that democracy is the natural state of mankind and that it blossoms spontaneously once a dictatorship is toppled. Bush saw elections as freedom’s vehicle, while Romney sees capitalism as the agent.   Either way, the two share the notion that the transference is direct and immediate, like a lightning bolt.

President Obama’s U.N. speech harbors no such illusions. At first glance, Obama may seem to share Bush’s premise, declaring that “freedom and self-determination” are “not simply American values or Western values” but “universal values” and that “government of the people, by the people, and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.”

But Obama also realizes that this road is often laced with “turmoil”; that “transitions to a new political order” produce “convulsions”; that “true democracy, real democracy is hard work.”   The road doesn’t “end with the casting of a ballot.”   Rulers will be tempted, in crises, to crack down on dissidents or to “rally the people around perceived enemies” rather than focus “on the painstaking work of reform.”

Speaking of the anti-Muslim video that sparked violence in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere, Obama said he recognizes that not all countries share the American concept of freedom of speech.   But, he added, in the era of cell phones and the Internet, “the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.”

Besides, he noted to spirited applause, “There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents … no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.”

The real conflict going on in the world, especially in the Middle East, he said, is between those who want to angle onto the road to democracy and those who want to blow it up—“a choice,” Obama put it, “between the promise of the future or the prisons of the past.” 

This was no “apology” for American values; it was a realistic assertion of their power and appeal.   It was in fact an invitation—a demand—for the world’s leaders, especially those facing militant challenges within their own borders, to step up and choose sides, to set a course.

“No government or company, no school or NGO will be confident working in a country where its people are endangered,” Obama said.   “For partnerships to be effective, our citizens must be secure and our efforts must be welcome.”

This is a simple fact, not a threat, and it’s a far more potent incentive than the dangled carrots of Romney’s Prosperity Pacts. Obama added, “America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future.”   He said nothing about what other countries had to do to earn our largesse.   He certainly said nothing about teaching them how to run their economies.   There is no such agenda because Obama seems to know that there can’t be, that disparate countries—with disparate societies and political systems—can find common ground in common battles. 

Romney’s speech, at its best moments, was a sidebar to a broader statement about the nature, scope, and prospects of today’s global crises. Obama’s speech was that statement.

For some dam fool reason Republicans think that if they can get someone elected then that person magically becomes smart enough to hold that office.  

 Republicans Are Masters of Voter Suppression

The GOP is supposed to pretend that its 2012 strategy doesn't include the systematic disenfranchisement of lower-income blacks and Latinos.   But in June, Mike Turzai, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania House, blew his party's cover by blurting out:   "Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state 
of Pennsylvania?   Done."

The liberal press was jubilant.    It was as if Koch Enterprises had acknowledged global warming.

Since at least 2008, when minority voters gave Barack Obama his victory margin -- the president won only 43 percent of the white vote -- Republicans have increasingly relied on voter suppression to counterbalance the steady shrinkage of America's white majority.

Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer (currently under indictment for stealing party funds) stated in a deposition released in July that a 2009 party meeting included discussion of "voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting."

In December, Paul Schurick, a top aide to former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, was convicted of election fraud for using automated phone calls to suppress the African-American vote during Mr. Ehrlich's unsuccessful 2010 bid. 

"The first and most desired outcome is voter suppression," stated one consultant's memo entered into evidence. 

It described a "Schurick Doctrine" to "promote confusion, emotionalism and frustration among African-American 

Most of the disenfranchisement is less obviously crude and presented to the public as hygienic electoral reform.    But the pathogens it seeks to remove are African-Americans, Latinos and other lower-income folks who resist voting Republican.   You've probably heard something about it, but Mr. Turzai's gaffe invites us to review, with open eyes, how this racket actually works.   It's an obscenity no longer hiding in plain sight.

Voter ID

This is the preeminent tool. Attorney General Eric Holder has correctly likened voter ID laws, which have passed in 33 states, to poll taxes.   Their popularity derives from their reasonableness. Why shouldn't we prevent imposters from committing electoral identity theft?    Because it solves a nonexistent problem.

New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice has calculated that the incidence of individual voter fraud is equivalent to the incidence of individual Americans getting struck by lightning. Even the lawyers defending Pennsylvania's voter ID law stipulated in court that the state knew of no incidents of in-person fraud.

What voter ID laws are useful for is reducing voter participation by you know who.   Requiring an unexpired government ID, a bank statement or a utility bill works well.   Requiring an unexpired government photo ID, such as a driver's license or a passport, is better, because about 25 percent of African-Americans and 16 percent of Latinos don't have any -- as against 11 percent of the general population.

The nine states with the strictest photo ID requirements are mostly rural, which means the government offices where such ID can be obtained are likelier to be far away and to keep irregular hours. The Woodville, Miss., office is open only on the second Thursday of every month.   Wisconsin's Sauk City office is open only on the 
fifth Wednesday of every month, and since eight months in 2012 don't even have a fifth Wednesday, the office will open its doors only four days this year.

Voter registration

Before you vote, you have to register.   Five states now require proof of citizenship with an unexpired passport (something fewer than one-third of Americans possess) or a birth certificate or a naturalization certificate (to which about 7 percent lack easy access).   Since acquiring these documents can easily cost as much as $100, this requirement has the virtue of weeding out both legal immigrants and the native-born poor.   The ostensible target is undocumented immigrants, but they have even less incentive to commit voter fraud than American citizens do:   In addition to steep fines and imprisonment, they'd risk deportation.

Another tactic, favored in Texas and Florida, is to target nonprofit groups that conduct voter-registration drives (the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).   This is achieved by imposing onerous new training, registration and/or liability burdens on the groups' volunteers.   The proportion of African-American and Latino voters who register through third-party drives is about twice what it is for whites.

Closing the polls

Since lower-income voters more often work early in the morning or late at night, Republicans tend to favor shorter polling hours.   They justify this with feigned concern about taxing the stamina of (often elderly) volunteers.

A similarly motivated opposition has mobilized against early voting arrangements that let people vote on weekends.   Sunday voting is a particular target.   The stated reason is that it's impious.   (Glenn Beck: "This is an affront to God.")    The actual reason is that Sunday voting allows black churches to provide "souls to polls" 
transport after services. Ohio and Florida have eliminated it.


States have to update their voter lists, right?   Federal law requires certain safeguards, such as notifying those found ineligible so they can dispute erroneous removals.   But many such formalities go unobserved, especially if you purge close enough to Election Day.

A variation on purging is caging, wherein nonforwardable letters are sent to voters in African-American neighborhoods.   Whichever letters get returned unopened occasion instant purges.   The Republican National Committee got caught doing this in the 1980s, and now the party is not allowed to under a consent decree.   But 
considerable evidence suggests the GOP has quietly resumed the practice anyway.


Automated phone calls are used to discourage people from going to the polls.   Before the failed June vote to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a robocall said anyone who signed the recall petition to recall him needn't vote (which wasn't true).   Maryland's Mr. Schurick put out a robocall in 2010 assuring voters in African-
American neighborhoods that his candidate's Democratic opponent, Gov. Martin O'Malley, was well ahead (and thus unlikely to need more votes).

The GOP has other, similarly repulsive schemes afoot, but these are the most egregious.   As for the Republican nominee:   Don't hold your breath waiting for Mitt Romney to condemn something his party sees as essential to victory.

The GOP is now Officially a Hate Group.

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Oh snap.

Poor Paul Ryan of the Serious Budget Ryans knows that he hitched his wagon to a burnt out star.   (“Burnt out” is too kind, actually, since Mitt Romney was never a star in the first place.)

Paul Ryan knows he is screwed—so much so that he is calling Mitt Romney “The Stench”, in front of God and everybody:

Paul Ryan has gone rogue.   He is unleashed, unchained, off the hook.

“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday.

Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.

Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”

Hilarious though it may be, Paul Ryan is living in a glass house and throwing stones. Just this weekend, Paul Ryan got booed by a bunch of old folks when he promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Stones and broken glass notwithstanding, the wheels have come off the Romney campaign—so much so that Paul Ryan is throwing forests full of shade on Mitt3PO.

It’s a damn Mittastrophe.

This will not be proven to be correct for several more months.

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