Tribune-Review: The company Obama keeps

posted at 8:25 am on August 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

No, this isn’t another post about William Ayers, but instead about a group of what the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review calls “left-wing nuts” in its editorial this morning.  The editors chastise Barack Obama for his late revision of campaign finance documents that show extensive connections to ACORN, the GOTV group that faces criminal charges in connection to voter fraud in various areas of the country.  They warn Pennsylvania voters that the nuts don’t fall far from the tree, either:

This is the same ACORN tainted by indictments alleging voter fraud in various parts of the United States. Given Obama’s long, deep ties with the radical reverends, unapologetic bomb-throwers and unscrupulous ward-heelers in his home base of Chicago, he might not have seen anything wrong with being in bed with ACORN.

The public would be wise to heed the words of Jim Terry, spokesman for the libertarian-leaning Consumers Rights League in Washington, D.C. It looks as if ACORN is continuing to use its “convoluted Enron-style accounting” for Obama’s political gain, Mr. Terry says.

The ACORN discrepancy is another reminder that Obama seems to be most comfortable with left-wing nuts.

Originally, the Obama campaign’s federal filings showed ACORN’s subsidiary, Citizens Services, only did polling and advance work on campaign events.  Later, the campaign had to amend its reports to show that ACORN did GOTV work for them as well, adding $800,000 in payments to the group that has garnered a reputation for fraud.  In 12 states, including Missouri, Washington, and Ohio, ACORN’s workers have allegedly forged voter registration applications and signatures on petitions for ballot initiatives.

Earlier this summer, the New York Times reported on another scandal at ACORN:

The brother, Dale Rathke, embezzled nearly $1 million from Acorn and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000, Acorn officials said, but a small group of executives decided to keep the information from almost all of the group’s board members and not to alert law enforcement.

Dale Rathke remained on Acorn’s payroll until a month ago, when disclosure of his theft by foundations and other donors forced the organization to dismiss him.

“We thought it best at the time to protect the organization, as well as to get the funds back into the organization, to deal with it in-house,” said Maude Hurd, president of Acorn. “It was a judgment call at the time, and looking back, people can agree or disagree with it, but we did what we thought was right.”

The amount Dale Rathke embezzled, $948,607.50, was carried as a loan on the books of Citizens Consulting Inc., which provides bookkeeping, accounting and other financial management services to Acorn and many of its affiliated entities.

What kind of organization has someone on the payroll who embezzled a million dollars?  The kind of organization that keeps secrets on criminal activities from its board.  And here’s the really interesting part of this story — the same subsidiary that buried Rathke’s theft provides bookkeeping services to political campaigns, as well as keeps ACORN’s books.

Can we say, “Enron”?  I knew we could!

ACORN’s long record of shady operations has been long known.  Why would a supposed reformer hire ACORN as a partner for a campaign that promises to end business as usual?  As the song goes, you can tell a a man who boozes by the company he chooses — and you can tell volumes about a politician comfortable with the likes of ACORN, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, and William Ayers.


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Obama helped train ACORN organizers in the 90s IIRC.

ninjapirate on August 26, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Wow, I’m shocked.
Somebody call the censors.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Marine_Bio on August 26, 2008 at 8:31 AM

Um uh Hello I’m Barry O’Bama, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of my inner circle so we can get to know each other:

This is my soulmate and Children’s bodyguard Mich’al O’bama. Michal is doing far better after his recent gender assignment surgery than I would have ever expected, and it is important to recognize the bravery this former all-pro NFL linebacker has shown in making peace with his er um her gender issues.

My spiritual adviser is Pastor Jeremi-uh uh moving on I am sure many of you remember when I first started down the path to this day allow me to introduce you to my good friend and elder statesman of the democratio party here in chicago William Ayer-uh uh uh

I think I know why he stammers so now.

sven10077 on August 26, 2008 at 8:32 AM

You know, I was looking into the Post Gazette and I noticed this ad in the classifieds:

WANTED: Editor. Must be willing to take orders from listen to the constituents and subscribers who demand request left leaning balanced news and opinions. Membership in the Democratic Party a must encouraged. Articles on current religious figures must be done in a positive manner.

JP1986UM on August 26, 2008 at 8:39 AM

McCain, the RNC, or some 527 needs to get a fact sheet pullled together with all relevant information provided in an understandable format. There’s clearly something here, but it’s hard to sift through all that’s floating around. It’s like trying to sort out the Watergate morass as those hearings were conducted.

The connections to Obama need to be direct or, at least, clearly understandable.

BuckeyeSam on August 26, 2008 at 8:40 AM

BHO threatens the Pittsburg paper in 5,4,3,2…

unseen on August 26, 2008 at 8:41 AM

The problem with this argument is that it is only useful if the intended audience is receptive. Most conservatives nod their head at this because fighting corruption SHOULD be fundamental to conservatism. Liberals seem to shake their heads as if this is a distraction from the topic at hand. I wonder what it would take to convince them that Obama is a corrupt government official? Considering the cheers Teddy K. got at the Dem convention I suspect they’d have to catch Barry with a dead hooker and a basement full of cocaine before anyone would suspect he’s a sham.

blankminde on August 26, 2008 at 8:41 AM

I knew it! Obama is Rove in disguise!

Browncoatone on August 26, 2008 at 8:42 AM

This just keeps getting better. Friends with a terrorist. His Preacher screams obscenities and anti-American, anti-white sermons. Now, ties to a group that’s committed voter fraud and embezzlment.

Does he have any reputable friends?

tre on August 26, 2008 at 8:42 AM

McCain, the RNC, or some 527 needs to get a fact sheet pullled together with all relevant information provided in an understandable format. There’s clearly something here, but it’s hard to sift through all that’s floating around. It’s like trying to sort out the Watergate morass as those hearings were conducted.

The connections to Obama need to be direct or, at least, clearly understandable.

BuckeyeSam on August 26, 2008 at 8:40 AM

What part are you having trouble understanding? To me it is as clear as a sunny day. corruption with a Capital C

unseen on August 26, 2008 at 8:44 AM

The Libs scream bloody murder if someone is stopped from voting at the polls, but if your vote is cancelled out by voter fraud they just shrug it off.

trubble on August 26, 2008 at 8:44 AM

It’s just so very exciting that we cn use the Democratic convention to learn more about the candidate.

I love it when a plan comes together!

NeighborhoodCatLady on August 26, 2008 at 8:45 AM

McCain, the RNC, or some 527 needs to get a fact sheet pullled together with all relevant information provided in an understandable format. There’s clearly something here, but it’s hard to sift through all that’s floating around. It’s like trying to sort out the Watergate morass as those hearings were conducted.

The connections to Obama need to be direct or, at least, clearly understandable.

BuckeyeSam on August 26, 2008 at 8:40 AM

They may have commercials ready and waiting for the general campaign, when everyone gets back from vacation, and starts watching the new fall TV season.

They did a pretty good job of puncturing the Messiah’s balloon with the celebrity ads, and planting doubts about Obama’s readiness to be president.

Now they’ve shifted to mischief-making with the ads featuring Clinton and her supporters.

Wethal on August 26, 2008 at 8:46 AM

blankminde on August 26, 2008 at 8:41 AM

All democrates are not liberals. True the majority of the party leadership are but the rank and file are not. that is the problem with the democratic party. The liberals have taken over, same goes for the rep leadership.

unseen on August 26, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Does he have any reputable friends?
tre on August 26, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Scarlett Johannsen is hot. Does that count?

blankminde on August 26, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Rezko is to be sentenced a week before the election. I imaigine an ad will be ready for that, too. Just need to fill in the time he gets.

Wethal on August 26, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Rezko is to be sentenced a week before the election. I imaigine an ad will be ready for that, too. Just need to fill in the time he gets.

Wethal on August 26, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Would be great if Rezko is the oct surprise in exchange for a smaller sentence.

unseen on August 26, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Hiding evidence of a crime is called misprison of a felony and is a crime itself. Unless Rathke paid off the others, then they could part of a conspiracy to commit embezzlement, or at least aiding and abetting after the fact. Can you say RICO investigation of ACORN?

rbj on August 26, 2008 at 8:52 AM

unseen on August 26, 2008 at 8:47 AM

I think 90% of America would be conservative if they had any idea what conservatism actually is. The GOP hasn’t exactly been frontrunning people that are great examples lately, and it takes people years to recover from a college education in the evils of democracy and capitalism. Democrats (party leadership at least) have been more socialist than liberal lately. I imagine that at their cores, liberals and conservatives could be two functioning sides of the same coin, but radicals on both sides have made that nearly impossible.

blankminde on August 26, 2008 at 8:52 AM

Would be great if Rezko is the oct surprise in exchange for a smaller sentence.

unseen on August 26, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Agreed. I keep worrying that somehow it will be put off. The judge and prosecutor would, it is to be hoped, be beyond pressure, but the defense attorney? Well, he could have a partner who could sit in for him if he suddently took ill.

Rezko? Might be persuaded by Obama (through very indirect channels) to have a “heart spell” before the sentencing.

Don’t know how Rezko feels about Obama. If Obama left him twisting in the wind, he might feel no loyalty, and just save his own skin.

Wethal on August 26, 2008 at 8:55 AM

I think 90% of America would be conservative if they had any idea what conservatism actually is.

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime

If you want to scare people into voting Republican, just run the video of the Communist Party rallies for Obama.

If you want to show people why voting Republican for life, just explain your position on the issues that matter to them.

Samhain on August 26, 2008 at 8:56 AM

What kind of organization has someone on the payroll who embezzled a million dollars? The kind of organization that keeps secrets on criminal activities from its board. And here’s the really interesting part of this story — the same subsidiary that buried Rathke’s theft provides bookkeeping services to political campaigns, as well as keeps ACORN’s books.

I’ve never understood how the Rathkes and ACORN got away with this in the first place. Can someone explain to me how it’s legal to sweep a crime under the rug and handle it internally with the embezzler escaping prosecution?

Where is the justice department on this (ahem)?

Buy Danish on August 26, 2008 at 8:58 AM

Wasn’t Obama a community organizer for ACORN? It’s on his resume, the only thing there so it’s easy to spot … LOL

tarpon on August 26, 2008 at 9:03 AM

So, is Obama going to file a complaint with the doj and ask them to start a criminal investigation against the Tribune-Review?

Blake on August 26, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Considering the cheers Teddy K. got at the Dem convention I suspect they’d have to catch Barry with a dead hooker and a basement full of cocaine before anyone would suspect he’s a sham.

You jes’ made my day.

franksalterego on August 26, 2008 at 9:07 AM

globallabor.blogspot.com/2008/04/who-sent-obama.html

Steve Diamond, attorney, has an outstanding critique of the biographical development that produced “Obama”.

[The Ayers/Obama affiliation is three generation; two generations factual being Bill's father and himself, Diamond explicates. The third generation, yet to play out in America's future, is given a fictional "wholesome" setting according to Barack's lie "our children go to school together." The obvious "I was only 8 years old" Barack excuse distancing himself from Bill exposes Obama's own self destruction, manufacturing incompatible whole cloth new clothes for himself: Emperor BarriO, Weltkaiser.]

maverick muse on August 26, 2008 at 9:10 AM

the same subsidiary that buried Rathke’s theft provides bookkeeping services to political campaigns, as well as keeps ACORN’s books.

any idea of which political compaigns?

RiteWingFascist on August 26, 2008 at 9:10 AM

just another “Distraction” ….

Beckham on August 26, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Behind the Annenberg Gate:
Inside the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Records

Steve Diamond, globallabor.blogspot.com/

maverick muse on August 26, 2008 at 9:20 AM

But Michelle and his kids were so nice last night.

Akzed on August 26, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Given Obama’s long, deep ties with the radical reverends, unapologetic bomb-throwers and unscrupulous ward-heelers in his home base of Chicago, he might not have seen anything wrong with being in bed with ACORN.

The wording is interesting, as this seems to be one of the biggest problems with Obama. He has a history of such associations. What was that about judgment, Barry?

Connie on August 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Obama is going to have big problems in Western PA much like he did against Hillary – he even lost it all including Allegheny County against her.

The only thing that might save him in PA is heavy ACORN cheating in Philadelphia. The Trib seems to launching a preemptive strike on those shenanigans. Hopefully someone keeps an eye on things.

forest on August 26, 2008 at 9:33 AM

The good news: Rathke embezzled a million bucks from ACORN, diverting money that otherwise would go to GOTV efforts. The bad news: ACORN and other groups are going to outstrip all previous efforts at vote fraud this November.

Vashta.Nerada on August 26, 2008 at 9:40 AM

forest on August 26, 2008 at 9:33 AM

He could also have trouble in the Philly suburbs. A lot of Jewish voters who might doubt Obama’s and Biden’s support of Israel, espeically given Biden’s love of Iran. Also there’s money in the burbs. Obama’s tax plans might hit too many above or moving towards his line for “rich” people.

Obama needs Fast Eddy Rendell’s Pa machine. Wonder how hard Rendell will work for Obama since it’s clear Rendell will never get a job in the Obama administration (nor will Mrs. Rendell get on SCOTUS).

Wethal on August 26, 2008 at 9:41 AM

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime

He’ll sit out at the lake and drink beer all day.

Sefton on August 26, 2008 at 9:43 AM

blankminde on August 26, 2008 at 8:52 AM

We are already at 60%. Give it time :)

Dawnsblood on August 26, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Someone help me out here: doesn’t ACORN get federal money? If so, in what way are they allowed to work with political campaigns?

If I’m wrong, someone please tell me. If I’m right, our “nation of laws” is in worse shape than I fear.

Of course it’s racist to question such an upstanding organization with such an exceptional record of probity.

MrScribbler on August 26, 2008 at 9:56 AM

I recently left a job with a major national mortgage lender, and let me tell you, these ACORN people are scary. They are systematically shaking down every major bank and mortgage company in America for hundreds of thousands of dollars, mostly with threats of protests and even physical violence against the management and directors of the companies. They are demanding that lenders basically fogive mortgage debt for “their” people (many of whom are identified during their voter registration drives). They are socialist, anti-capitalist extremists. I’ve seen them up close and personal. The thought that we might have an Administration with any ties to this organization is very, very frightening to me.

rockmom on August 26, 2008 at 9:59 AM

McCain, the RNC, or some 527 needs to get a fact sheet pullled together

McCoot would consider it “negative”. It’d have to be a 527. The RNC are bumblers of the 1st magnitude.

What about Valerie Jarret? Befriender of Barry and Michelle, fundraiser, joint buddies with Rezko and 0bama, yadda-yadda-yadda? Never see aught but puff-pieces and kisses for her from the LSM…

GeneSmith on August 26, 2008 at 10:24 AM

So I was thinking about doing a youtube ad with clips of the “God D@mn America!!!” and Mr. Domestic Terrorist telling us how he wishes he did more while showing the photo of him standing on Old Glory with the ending going something like:

Barrack Obama:

All the wrong friends
In all the wrong places

But then I realized that reason that the kid gloves have been on Obama so far might be that the Rightside is waiting for his nomination to be official rather than assummed. Wouldn’t do to throw this kind of opportunity away when the Dem’s have so nicely handed it to them.

Browncoatone on August 26, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Well, let me try and think positively about this:

Mr Obama associates with a diverse range of people including those that are commonly considered to be pariahs and those whose opinions, motivations and actions have been considered antisocial to the point of criminality. The fact that he has been able to engage in meaningful communication with these people, who are otherwise sidelined, ignored or opposed, shows that he is his own man, an independent thinker with the ability to step outside the unhelpfully rigid lines of mainstream political thinking.

A sarcasm tag is possibly in order, but I haven’t decided yet.

Nonetheless I think it is right that attention is given to those who might later influence his thinking. No country is ruled by one man; even tyrants are usually smart enough to seek advisors. It is good that a prospective president is capable of corresponding with fools, vile people and criminals since it is they who will inevitably be the focus of much of his presidential work. However, ever ruler also needs wise and trusted advisors with diverse experience.

Who are Mr Obama’s wise counsellors? Where are they? What is their experience?

These questions are, perhaps, even more important than knowing which bad people Mr Obama is mixing with.

YiZhangZhe on August 26, 2008 at 10:52 AM

They warn Pennsylvania voters that the nuts don’t fall far from the tree, either

Great turn of a phrase, Ed…

What kind of organization has someone on the payroll who embezzled a million dollars? The kind of organization that keeps secrets on criminal activities from its board. And here’s the really interesting part of this story — the same subsidiary that buried Rathke’s theft provides bookkeeping services to political campaigns, as well as keeps ACORN’s books.

If this were a right leaning organization, a judicial witch hunt would already be underway. And, the MSM would be all over it…

But, can the Obamessiah grant absolution to all for their past sins, and clean up their characters, simply by association???

Yes they can

RocketmanBob on August 26, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Be careful, it is illegal in Chicago to mention Rezko and Obama in the same sentance.

Oh oh, I better get over to Indiana pronto.

Mr. Joe on August 26, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Samhain on August 26, 2008 at 8:56 AM

I’ve talked politics with a fair number of blacks. A lot of them tell me that they are much more aligned with the position of the Republican party, but they couldn’t face their family if they had to admit that they didn’t vote for the Democrat.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 11:30 AM

catch Barry with a dead hooker and a basement full of cocaine before anyone would suspect he’s a sham.

The hooker wasn’t dead, but they didn’t turn on Marion Barry.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Speaking of the hometown media, what ever became of the Chicago newspapers? Earlier this year a group of Chicago journalists momentarily grabbed the media spotlight – including these two posts at Hot Air – with their articles about Obama’s Rezko connection.

This is reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1991-1992. There was barely a World Wide Web then – most people argued on Usenet – but those newsgroups carried posts from Arkansas newspapers warning the nation what sort of politicians Bill and Hillary were.

If the Web had been as prominent then as it is now, it’s just possible that Clinton would have lost the election.

So where are the Chicago media now? Are they still writing about Obama?

Paul_in_NJ on August 26, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Bump please? Two Huckster headlines are kinda too much, right?

funky chicken on August 26, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Tribune-Review: The company Obama keeps

Come on folks, these people are just Oblahblah’s old friends, chums, neighbors. Even though William Ayers children are in their twenties, the kids go to school with one another! /Sarcasm

byteshredder on August 26, 2008 at 12:19 PM

This make perfect sense…

Why should Democrats only engage at voter fraud at their convention and in arranging their primaries?

Damiano on August 26, 2008 at 12:36 PM

This is too darn complicated. Focus on Hope and Change. Hope and Change. Hop n Chge. Ho’n Ch. Hocnge…zzz…wha?!

emerson7 on August 26, 2008 at 1:22 PM

The Trib-Review has one of the most reliably conservative editorial pages of any paper in the nation. I read that paper every day.

rightwingprof on August 26, 2008 at 2:55 PM