Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Is What

The destruction of a
Republic looks like.

Some use anarchy as a tool for revolutionary change.  The condition of anarchy is like a vacuum where something rushes in to fill the void.  They work to break down the existing government with rioting and killing, looting and terrorism.  Tragically, those living in such chaos, under the pretense of "security", often go to those they think are  best equipped to put an end to it and beg them to restore order.  And who is best to put an end to the chaos?  The very people who started it in the first place.  The anarchists who first created the problem now have a government created and run by them where they have total power.  Any resemblance of the existence of a Republic is lost and replaced with an oligarchy, placing power in the hands of a few at the expense of liberty.

NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE.

 





video

FRANCES FOX PIVEN: "I teach at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. I am here because I am so enthusiastic about the possibilities of this sit-in, over the marches that are occurring over postal worker issues, the sister demonstrations that are starting in Chicago and Los Angeles, and maybe in Boston. I think we desperately need a popular uprising in the United States. None of us know. I study movements. None of us know the exact formula for when those movements erupt, but it could be. And if that is true, then these people who are here are really wonderful. I would do anything to help them."



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hypocrisy. How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways.

Benjamin Franklin once said,

Half the truth is often a great lie.


#1
For someone who criticizes his opponent every chance he gets for being a lobbyist, Kirk Adams seems to readily surround HIMSELF with plenty of them.  There are at least seven members of his own Campaign Finance Committee who are currently registered as lobbyists in Arizona.  People like

Kevin DeMenna, Joseph Abate, Jim Norton, Wendy Briggs, John Mangum, Don Isaacson, and John Kaites.

We hope they don't have plans to ever run for political office.  Or, at least not against Mr. Adams. 


#2
According to Kirk Adams' legislature bio, he was Chairman of the Arizona Leadership Council for the lobbying organization called the National Federation of Independent Business.  Yes, he was a lobbyist himself.

His bio also states that he served as the small business representative on the Governor’s Task Force for the Health Care System from 2002-2004.  This might explain all of the lobbyist and health care special interest group donations he received for his legislative campaigns.  Unfortunately for Mr. Adams, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association has chosen this time to enthusiastically endorse his opponent, Matt Salmon.

In a University of Phoenix  article from October 2011 it says,

Adams, who studied business administration at the University, began to interact with the government in his advocacy role, occasionally meeting with the Arizona State Legislature and testifying on bills that would affect small businesses. “I quickly realized that I knew a lot more about small business than most of the legislature.”


#3
A couple of weeks ago, Jon Kyl organized a fundraiser for Kirk Adams at the #3 location in Washington DC for lobbyists with special guest, John "I-don't-know-if-he-supports-me-or-not" McCain. 

What's even MORE interesting about this event is the letter that accompanied the invitation.   



- 53% of voters polled said they wouldn't vote for a former lobbyist?  So, why would they vote for Adams?

- 76% had a favorable opinion of Senator Kyl?  The same Senator Kyl who was a lobbyist with Jennings Strouss prior to his political career?


#4
As if the last fundraiser wasn't duplicitous enough, Mr. Adams is holding yet ANOTHER fundraiser this Friday, March 30th, sponsored by VeridusA LOBBYING GROUP.  Who works for Veridus?  Wendy Briggs, one of Kirk Adams' Finance Committee members.  Ms. Briggs isn't just ANY lobbyist...she is Arizona's top female lobbyist!

 Since Mr. Adams seems to be SO averse to lobbyists, we would like to inform him of his options.

1.  He can stop recruiting them to be a part of his campaign.

2.  He can stop holding fundraisers with them.

3.  He can give back the 20% plus in donations they have made to his campaign.

4.  He can stop being a hypocrite.

At some point, one would have to ask themselves, if Mr. Adams is so quick to have us believe that his words have merit while his actions and associations tell a different story,
what will he be like if thrown in with the sharks in Washington DC?

Does he have so little to stand on that he has to resort to these kinds of deflection tactics?

Adlai Stevenson once said,

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would 
cut down a redwood tree,
then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.

Mr. Adams...get off your stump.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kirk Adams... And His Little Friend, Too

We've already exposed the fact that Kirk Adams:

1.  Donated to a PAC which then made donations to liberal Democrats throughout the Country.

2.  Has members on his Campaign Finance Committee who donated to liberal Democrats.


We know he obviously has the blessing of Jon Kyl.


But, what about people like Jeff Flake or John McCain?  They seem to be awfully silent with an endorsement.  Why?

After all, Jeff Flake's former staffer, Chad Heywood, is Kirk Adams' Campaign Manager.  Even a novice in politics can recognize that doesn't just "happen".  Discussions take place in advance of these political shifts.  Especially when it has to do with who would be a good "replacement".   Adams donated $500 to Jeff Flake's US Senate campaign in October 2011.

(Adams also donated $500 to Ben Quayle's campaign in September 2011 and who, in turn, glowingly endorsed Adams for Congress.  You know, the weasel  guy we said we would remind you about because he has decided to run for Congress against Rep. Schweikert in a district of which he doesn't even reside?  Well, we're taking the opportunity to remind you again.....)



And McCain?  At the very least, one would think he might have an interest in who he would be working closely with in Washington.  John McCain was happy to receive Kirk Adams' endorsement for reelection in 2010.  McCain even put Mr. Adams' glowing endorsement on his Facebook page in March 2010:

 U.S. Senator John McCain’s re-election campaign today announced that 35 current and former Arizona state legislators, including House Speaker Kirk Adams, have endorsed Senator John McCain for re-election to the United States Senate.

“There is no greater champion for Arizona than Senator John McCain,” said House Speaker Kirk Adams. “No one is working harder than Senator McCain to fight the liberal agenda in Washington, and to promote low-tax, pro-growth policies that will get Arizona’s economy back on track. Arizona needs John McCain in the U.S. Senate so he can continue his strong advocacy for our great state, and fight for the conservative principles to which he has devoted his entire career.”

“I am pleased and honored to have the support of Speaker Adams and so many fine Republican leaders,” said Senator John McCain.
Two months later, Adams donated $700 to the FRIENDS OF JOHN MCCAIN PAC.


Is Adams trying to distance himself from McFlake?  Surely he knows that those names tend to leave a bad taste in people's mouths and can't afford to risk losing their potential votes.  He also must be aware of the need to distance himself from the appearance of collusion.

However, it appears that while McCain hasn't FORMALLY endorsed Adams, he has been a financial supporter of Adams since at least the end of last year.

Gilbert Watch uncovered a video which exposes an interesting timeline of events.

It points out that on December 28, 2011, McCain's COUNTRY FIRST PAC donated $5000 to Kirk Adams for Congress. 

The COUNTRY FIRST PAC recruits big name and big money donors such as Jason LeVecke who contributed upwards of $15,000 in 2009.  Remember LeVecke?  He is the Carl's Jr Franchiser.  He also spoke at an Employers for Immigration Reform breakfast with Flake in 2007 as well as was part of the lawsuit against AZ over E-verify along with Maricopa County Board of Supervisors candidate, Steve Chucri, President of the Arizona Restaurant Association.  The LeVecke family also donated $20,000 to the FRIENDS OF JOHN MCCAIN PAC in the 2010 election cycle.  The same year Adams made his $700 donation.

Two weeks after the $5000 campaign infusion from the COUNTRY FIRST PAC, Adams spoke at a Red Mountain Tea Party event and was asked if John McCain endorsed him.

Adams' scripted response?  "John McCain has not endorsed my candidacy."

Recognizing the need to be more to the point, the question was changed to ask, "Is John McCain SUPPORTING you?

His response?

"You know what?  I don't know.  I hope he is."

And then, very politically savvy Adams, bridged the response to say, "I want the support of EVERYBODY in the state and in my district."


Is Adams receiving so many $5000 checks that he overlooked the contribution that came from McCain's PAC?

On March 15th, Kirk Adams held a $1000 per plate fundraiser at the Bistro Bis in the Hotel George in Washington DC with "special guest"... John McCain.

A little tidbit about Bistro Bis...It is the #3 Washington restaurant for politicians and lobbyists (wait, LOBBYISTS?).  

Now, one would THINK that a big money fundraiser with a special guest like John McCain would be something the Adams campaign would want to brag about.  He has pictures of himself with Jon Kyl on his campaign sites.  One would also think that Mr. Adams would have already sent out an email blast along with a new campaign video and pictures touting the event and his big money  name supporters.  After all, his campaign sends out emails every other time some no-name person who we're supposed to know and care about, endorses Adams.

Oh, wait.  We aren't supposed to KNOW about this fundraiser.  Because, Adams doesn't KNOW if McCain "supports" him or not.  He just HOPES he does...

Of course, McCain's COUNTRY FIRST PAC also donated $5000 to Jeff Flake in June 2011.  Shortly after he announced his run for US Senate.

You do the math.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The 99% SPRING - April 2012

Remember how Obama described the  Saul Alinsky Gamaliel organization?

In Chicago, the Developing Communities Project and other community organizations have pooled resources to form cooperative think tanks like the Gamaliel Foundation. These provide both a formal setting where experienced organizers can rework old models to fit new realities and a healthy environment for the recruitment and training of new organizers.


Then look at plan for the 99% SPRING and see if the tactic looks familiar.  From the "pooled resources" to the individual stories used to personalize the issue.  Then look to see which groups are behind the training program.

99% Spring Action Training

Event sponsor: MoveOn.org
320 West Pasadena Avenue #16
PHOENIX, AZ 85013
Central and Camelback
Tuesday, April 10th, 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM
video

What will the training include?
The training will provide an opportunity to bring our movement together so that we can equip ourselves with the skills we need to take direct action this spring. Right after we are trained, we will apply what we learned by taking action against the banking industry and Wall Street with actions all across the country. The training will focus on three key areas:

  • The economy. We will tell the story of our current economy: how we got here, who is responsible and what we can do about it. We will talk about what a new economic vision could look like that represents the values of the 99%.
  • Non-violent direct action. Knowing our movement history will help us tell the current story of the 99%. There is no better way to take action then by learning what social justice movements have done in the past. We have a rich history to draw from that can guide us as we take action this spring.
  • Take action. We'll learn how to take action by developing and preparing for tactics that will help build our movement's power. We will then use this information to take action on our own campaigns to win change.

 
The following organizations have called for a 99% Spring: Jobs With Justice, United Auto Workers, National Peoples Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn.org Civic Action, New Organizing Institute, Movement Strategy Center, The Other 98%, Service Employees International Union, Rebuild the Dream, UNITE-HERE (Endorsed Parraz for US Senate in 2010), Greenpeace, Institute for Policy Studies, PICO National Network (ALINSKY'S IAF), New Bottom Line, United Steel Workers, Working Families Party (COMMUNIST PARTY), Communications Workers of America, United States Student Association, Rainforest Action Network, American Federation of Teachers, Leadership Center for the Common Good, UNITY, National Guestworker Alliance, 350.org, The Ruckus Society, Citizen Engagement Lab, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Right to the City Alliance, Pushback Network, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Progressive Democrats of America, Change to Win, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Campaign for America’s Future, Fuse Washington, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Citizen Action of New York, Engage, United Electrical Workers Union, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Alliance for a Just Society, The Partnership for Working Families, United Students Against Sweatshops, Presente.org

FIND A LOCAL TRAINING MEETING NEAR YOU.

WE ARE ALL BREITBART NOW.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Adams And His Lobbyist Infatuation

The Adams campaign recently sent out an email blasting his opponent, Matt Salmon.
Let's take a moment to break it down.

"It is clear that the facts show Mr. Salmon is just a run of the mill lobbyist, seeking special interest influence. While one source had it wrong, all of the evidence clearly proves the underlying point: Matt Salmon is a Washington lobbyist with a record of seeking influence from Democrats."

Mr. Adams seems to enjoy criticizing Mr. Salmon about lobbying while being completely content accepting campaign donations from lobbyists.  Oh yeah, and those who have a "special interest".  Especially when they were received while he ran for a small legislative district.  Now, it's not to say that some of the names listed below who donated to Adams' legislature campaign may have also donated at one time to Matt Salmon's Congressional run.  More to the point, it displays blatant hypocrisy and attempt to mislead people into believing that Adams is squeeky clean when it comes to lobbyists and special interest groups.

LOBBYISTS
Barry Arrons, Stan Barnes, Todd Baughman, John Coughlin, Marcus Dell'Artino, Kevin DeMenna, Barry Dill, Thomas Dorn, Meghaen Duger, Michael Gardner, Suzanne Gilstrap, Jeffery Gray, Preston Michael, Karen Michael, Ryan Harper, Trish Hart, Don and Marie Isaacson, Jason Isaak, Lisa James, John Kaites, Jonathan Kaprosy, Larry Landry, Tawnya Ledbetter, Courtney Levinus, Kelsey Lundy, Barbara Meaney, Jaime Molera, James Norton, Ron Ober, Marcus Osborn, Elizabeth Piatt, Julie Krees, Jeffery Sandquist, Kathryn Senseman, Nicholas Simonetta, Susan Stevens, Shelly Tunis, Stephen Wilson

ATTORNEYS
Joseph Abate, Steve Barclay, David Bixby, JT Braddock, Mark Briggs, Wendy Briggs, Arthur Chapa, Susan Charlton, David Childers, Charles Cohen, Michael and Carol Curtis, Christopher Dahm, Robert Dalager, Kurt Davis, Chris and Janna Day, Debbie Frydenlund, George Gallinger, John Haas, Hugh Hallman, Norman Hall, Kathy Hancock, Greggory Harris, Stephen Hart, Stephen Hartman, Chris and Julie Herstam, Donald Hughes, Gretchen Jacobs, Allan Kasen, Kimberly Knox, Jay Kramer, John Lasota, Steven Lindley, Michael Low, John and Dede Mangum, John Moody, Roger Morris, John Munger, Edwardo Novak, Kevin Malley, Paul Orome, Keith Overholt, Steve Patience, William Petsas, Frank Placenti, Stephen Roman, Augustus Shaw, Kent Stevens,  Steven Twist, Thomas Ziemba.


GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Susan Anable, Elizabeth Baskett- AZ Hospital and Healthcare Assoc, Charles Bassett - BCBS, Kathi Tees Bernanek - BCBS, Jason Bezozo - AZ Hospital and Healthcare Assoc, Michael Colletto - Professional Firefighters of AZ, Jeff Dodson - Boeing, Meghaen Dugar - AZ Association of Realtors
Barbara Fanning - AZ Hospital and Healthcare Assoc, Thomas Farley - AZ Assoc. of Realtors
James Hamilton, Andrew Jacobs - Policy relations, Mark Lewis - Robinson Comm, Larry Lucero - Tucson Electric, Mitchell Menlove - Greenberg-Traurig, Samantha Omey - Honeywell, Genevra Richardson , Christopher Smith, Christian Stumpf, Brian Tassinari, Penny Taylor, Peter Wertheim, Michael Williams

HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY
James Abbott, Karen Abraham, Joel Ackerman, Jo Adkins, Adda Alexander, Thomas Babu, Robert Badal, James Badge, Kathryn Baker, Jon Bartlett, Betsey Bayless, Michael Blaire, Richard Boals, Kathy Bollinger, Mark Bratland, James Brutlag, Kathryn Busby, Jeff Buehrle, Anne Carlsson, Marshall Castle, Al Charlesworth (KIDS CARE), Diana Chrisagis, Lindsey Clyde, Thomas Czyz, Mary Dahlen, Thomas Dameron, Gail Bass Derscheid, Tom Determan, Mark Eltawil, Arthur Epstein, Alois Falkenstein, Peter Fine, David Finn, Paul Friedlan, Phil Friedlan, Sandra Gibson, Terri Gieske, Sean Graham, Gary Greene, James Greenwood, Gerald Hamilton, Annette Hanian, Michael Hanley, Richard Hannon, Larkin Hicks, Jack Hostetler, William Hughson, Joyce Humston, Alan Immerman, George Johnson, Michael Johnson, Steven Kantor, maury Kessler, Dennis Kilpatrick, Lori Klein, Thomas Koelbl, Dawn Knudsen, Rebecca Kuhn, Neha LaCorte, Michael Lamb, David Landrith, Laurie Lange, Marty Laurel, Alvin Levin, Gary Limon, Jake Logan, CM London, Elizabeth Maynard, Robert Maynard, Craig McCoy, Stacey Meier, Andrew Nava, Susan Navran, Eric Novack, Edward Oxford, Kathleen Pagels, Christopher Parot, Robert Pinkert, James Purdy, George Randolph, Anna Raneses, Susan Reckell, David Rockwell, Javier Rodriguez, Kathy Scott, Richard Seebold, Mike Shea, Debra Smith, Robert Spurny, Shannon Steinhauser, Tracy Sullivan, Dan Weinman, Warren Whitney, Tom Wilson, Serge Wright, John Rivers

PACS
Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn PAC
Healthy Government Committee PAC (Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Arizona)
Ophthalmologists PAC
Southwest Ambulance EMS Employee PAC
United Emergency Med. Professionals of AZ


"What’s more, Mr. Salmon seems to have put his lobbying career ahead of his conservative principles. While he had a conservative record when he served in Congress back in the 1990′s, his record in the decade since he left the House tells another story."

When Kirk Adams was IN the legislature, he was one of only three Republicans who teamed up with known leftists on a "guest worker" bill in 2008.  The bill was introduced by:  


Senator Arzberger (D), Senator Aguirre (D), Senator Jake Flake (R), Senator Hale (D), Senator Landrum Taylor (D), Senator R Miranda (D) (wasn't he recently accused of defrauding a non-profit organization and tax evasion?). Senator Pesquiera (D), Rep. Bradley (D), Rep. J Burns (R), Rep. M Garcia (D), Rep Konopnicki (R), Rep. Pancrazi (D), Rep. Ulmer (D), Senator Garcia (D), Senator McCune-Davis (D), Senator Rios (D), Rep. Ableser (D), Rep. Adams (R), Rep. Alvarez (D), Rep. Brown (D), Rep. Campbell Chad (D), Rep Gallardo (D), Rep. Lopes, Rep. Lopez (D), Rep. Lujan (D), Rep. McGuire (D), Rep. Meza (D), Rep. Rios P (D), Rep. Sinema (D)

Just HOW left are many of these fellow sponsors?  Here are just a few...

David. Lujan served in the House until 2010 when he tried to run for Attorney General but lost in the primary election.  He was recently appointed to replace Kyrsten Sinema who left to run for US Congress.  His voting record for this year can be found here.

Steve. Gallardo is Randy Parraz's eyes and ears in the legislature.  He personally canvassed in LD18 to help elect Jerry Lewis.  He is an open borders advocate who has ties to organizations like the AFL-CIO and the Occupy Phoenix movement.






Robert. Meza's platforms are the typical drumbeat of the left...his legislative efforts focus on social issues like health care, immigration, and equality.  He has co-sponsored legislation to repeal SB1070, the DREAM Act as well as denouncing Joe Arpaio. 

Chad. Campbell was actively involved with the recall effort against Russell Pearce.  He is also a member of the faculty for the Center for Progressive Leadership training organization. 

Kyrsten. Sinema has been connected to the Communist Party USA.  She is a member of the faculty for the Center for Progressive Leadership training which was attended by people like Raquel Teran and Lilia Alvarez (The alleged wife of Randy Parraz who is running for one of the open Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seats).

Sinema

Teran with Congressman Flake and other immigration leaders

Lilia Alvarez

Phil. Lopes was the coordinator for the Arizona Progressive Democrats of America. One video of former Rep. Lopes shows him speaking at a Tucson Progressives Conference in April 2011. He says,

We want to try to move the Democratic agenda in our
Progressive, Liberal direction. We have

   Worked with Moveon.org on their event supporting the Wisconsin workers
  Peace Fair/Parade honoring Cesar Chavez
With Moveon.org, we did a protest of Bank of America
   Co hosted with the Arizona Advocacy Network to save Arizona Clean Elections

  Participated in events related to the Senator Pearce recall
  
This was a video of Rep. Lopes at a recent Progressive Democrats of Arizona Caucus in January 2012. Also in attendance were Fred Barlam (with Randy Parraz's group Citizens for a Better Arizona and donor to Jerry Lewis), Carolyn Cooper (also with Parraz's group), and Todd Landfried (Spokesman for Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform and Jerry Lewis supporter).

He offered advice to those in attendance. He said, 
How do we energize, motivate our 800 plus members? There's one thing we can all do relatively easily and that is when you have a parade of candidates coming up here, think about the issues that are important to Progressives. Think about Medicare for all. Think about publicly financed elections. Think about clean energy and clean air and think about getting out of Afghanistan....the better question should be
'WILL YOU VOTE FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL...SINGLE PAYER?'
DEMAND AN ANSWER!

 "When Matt Salmon was President of Comptel, the Comptel PAC donated to liberal democrats like Henry Waxman and Ed Markey. And, Salmon personally contributed to liberals like Ed Pastor and Joe Baca as recently as the 2010 election. These are the facts, and they are not in dispute."

We wonder when Mr. Adams will stop running from the facts and finally admit that he really doesn't have an issue with lobbyists or special interest groups and apparently, he doesn't really have an issue with people who donate to Democrats. 

This includes the contributions made to Democrats by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America PAC which he donated to through the Adams' Agency as well as the donations made to Democrats by those on his  own campaign finance committee.

PAC donations:
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)  Senate
Steny Hoyer (D-MD) US House
Jessie Jackson Jr (D-IL) US Congress
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) US Congress
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) US Congress
Michael Bennet (D-CO) Senate
James Clyburn (D-SC) US Congress
Barney Frank (D-MA) US Congress
Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) US Congress
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Senate
John Conyers (D-MI) US Congress
Christopher Dodd (D-CT) Senate
Charlie Rangel (D-NY) US Congress

Campaign Finance Committee Democrat Donations: 
Joseph Abate -  Giffords '06 $500, '08 $250, Arizona Democrat Executive Committee '06 $300, '07 $600, '08 $300, '09 $300, '10 $300 Pastor '05 $1000 Kirkpatrick '07 $250, '08 $250
Jim Norton - Kirkpatrick (D) '08 $500, '09 $500
Kelly Norton - Giffords '05 $2000, '06 1000 Pastor '10 $2400
Stan Barnes - Giffords '05 $1000, '07 $500, '09 $500, Kirkpatrick '08 $500, '07 $500, '09 $500, '10 $500, Democrat Executive Committee $3000
Wendy Briggs - Kirkpatrick '09 $250, '10 $500 Mitchell '10 $500 Giffords '10 $250
Don Isaacson - Giffords '06 $250, '08 $250, '09 $500 Pastor '06 $250
Michael Rappoport - Giffords '06 $250, '07 $250, '08 $500, Udall Colorado (D) $500
Jordan Rose - Giffords '10 $1000


 Do we really want to send a clone of McCain , Kyl and Flake to Washington?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alinksy's Affiliate: Gamaliel

One of the affiliates of Alinsky's IAF is a group called Gamaliel.

Barack Obama not only worked for a subsidiary of Gamaliel in Chicago (1985-1988) but he also had close ties with a member of their board, John McKnight.   The two were close enough that McKnight wrote a letter of recommendation for Obama's Harvard application.  He also was mentioned in Obama's book, only not by name, but rather as an “older man who had been active in the civil rights efforts in Chicago in the sixties”. 

While at Harvard, Obama took advanced training courses at the Industrial Areas Foundation.  Before leaving Harvard, Obama wrote a piece titled "After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois".  In the writing, he states: 

 In Chicago, the Developing Communities Project and other community organizations have pooled resources to form cooperative think tanks like the Gamaliel Foundation. These provide both a formal setting where experienced organizers can rework old models to fit new realities and a healthy environment for the recruitment and training of new organizers.


He then went on to discuss POWER and where to get it:

 Nowhere is the promise of organizing more apparent than in the traditional black churches. Possessing tremendous financial resources, membership and — most importantly — values and biblical traditions that call for empowerment and liberation, the black church is clearly a slumbering giant in the political and economic landscape of cities like Chicago. A fierce independence among black pastors and a preference for more traditional approaches to social involvement (supporting candidates for office, providing shelters for the homeless) have prevented the black church from bringing its full weight to bear on the political, social and economic arenas of the city.

Over the past few years, however, more and more young and forward-thinking pastors have begun to look at community organizations such as the Developing Communities Project in the far south side and GREAT in the Grand Boulevard area as a powerful tool for living the social gospel, one which can educate and empower entire congregations and not just serve as a platform for a few prophetic leaders. Should a mere 50 prominent black churches, out of the thousands that exist in cities like Chicago, decide to collaborate with a trained organizing staff, enormous positive changes could be wrought in the education, housing, employment and spirit of inner-city black communities, changes that would send powerful ripples throughout the city.


  While campaigning in 2008, Obama said that at the feet of his mentor McKnight, he received
“the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.”


There was a Gamaliel event for the 10th Anniversary of the National Leadership Assembly in December 2005.  Speakers at the event included Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jim Wallis and Wade Rathke (ACORN).

Fox News Journalist and commentator, Juan Williams, knows about Gamaliel.  He praised them at a roundtable discussion a month after the 2008 election.

video


A major issue of the Gamaliel organization is immigration.  This is one example of a Gamaliel event on immigration reform and abolishing the 287g program.  The 287g authorizes the Federal Government to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, pursuant to a memorandum of agreement, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn US Immigration and Customs (ICE) officers.
video

 "We ask our political leaders to seek reasonable solutions such as a just and humane immigration reform.  We should FIX the broken immigration system with a path to citizenship (Jeff Flake's STRIVE Act). 
video

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform activists got their way.  Obama has shut down the program.  No new agencies have signed up since August 2010.  Yet, the same federal government (and some "Republicans") is claiming that states have no power to enforce immigration laws because it is specifically a  "federal" issue.

Because it's not about what is best for the security of our country.

It's about POWER.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Obama's 2008 Campaign. The Strategy

A video was discovered that included a panel of people who discussed the strategy of the Obama campaign in 2008 shortly after the election.  It took place at the Elizabeth Sacklee Center (feminist organization) in February 2009.

One member of the panel was a man named Andrew Golis.  He started a website called talkingpointsmemo.com and was one of the creators behind the "causes" application for Facebook.  Other career highlights include being a staff organizer for the Howard Dean campaign as well as founding the Harvard Progressive Advocacy Group.  He left working with TPM in October 2009 to work for Yahoo news.  In March 2011, he joined Frontline, an affiliate of PBS.   His comments start about 10 minutes into the discussion.  Towards the end, there is a question and answer period where Andrew makes the following comment:

"Obama's narrative, even though he uses community organizing, his career is actually paradoxically kind of a rejection of that as a real tool for progress.  He basically became a very savvy, cynical politician because he understood that other stuff didn't work.  This is a man who redistricted his own state senate district in Chicago so that he would have on the one hand, rich white people, and on the other hand, poor black people.  Because he knew that black people could be his voting base and white people could be his money base.  He SPECIFICALLY redistricted his district because he understood he had to appeal to upper class, educated white people like us who would buy into his shtick."

video


Another member of the panel is Daniel May.  He worked for ACORN around the time of the election.  Previous to that, he worked in Los Angeles for the IAF.  Specifically, he worked with immigrant congregations to promote their issues.  His statements on the tactics of Alinsky and how they relate to Obama were interesting and certainly sounded familiar.

"Obama comes from a very particular organizing tradition.  And it was founded by this guy, Saul Alinsky, in the 1940s.  He founded an organization called the Industrial Areas Foundation that then spun off a number of different groups including a network called Gamaliel which is the group that I worked for.  And there are some very explicit principles with this kind of organizing." 
Obama wrote an article while at Harvard called "Why Organize?"  In the article, Obama mentions a woman who asked him "I cannot understand why someone would go to college, get a degree and then become a community organizer."  Obama noted in his book, Dreams From My Father, "I thought back on that conversation more than once during my time I organized for the Developing Communities Project (Gamaliel affiliate) based in Chicago's South Side...it NEEDS to be done and not enough folks are doing it."


video

"What was it Obama thought needed to be done?  There's a couple of key principles in the way that the IAF organizes. First is that you don't organize around an issue, you organize for POWER.  So this is sort of the central radicalism of the kind of organizing that shaped Obama.  This is what makes it different from the civil rights tradition or what makes it different from the labor organizing tradition, although it's closer to them...
The process of organizing begins with these series of conversations.  Obama goes out and does these 'interviews' to find out what is in their self-interest and then, through those conversations, he needs to figure out what is the agenda we're going to work on.  But, he doesn't start with the issue.  So he comes to figure out, ok, we're going to work on asbestos by a series of conversations he does in these churches in the South Side.  He comes to think about job training because the conversation he'd had with people who were not employed. 
From Obama's book, his character "Marty" gave Obama a long list of people to interview.  Marty said, 'Find out their self-interest.  That's why people get involved in organizing because they think they can get something out of it.'  Obama said, 'Once I found an issue that people cared about, I could take them into action.  With enough actions, I could start to build POWER.  Issues.  Action.  Power.  Self-interest.  I liked these concepts.  They bespoke a certain hard-headedness.  A worldly lack of sentiment.  Politics, not religion.' "


video

"The particular kind of organizing that Obama comes out of is radically non ideological.  It's not about justice, I mean, it IS about justice, but the training that the IAF does and that he did wasn't training around 'what does justice mean?  What does equality mean?'  It was training around 'what is POWER' and how do we build it? 
The focus on individual stories being the center, the engine of the organizing process is something that Obama used all through the campaign.  Now other folks have done this, but I don't think in the same way that Obama did.  So, at the convention, before he spoke, there were these 4 people who gave these 7 or 8 minute speeches and they were just folks who had stories to tell about what was going on in their lives.  And the infomercial, I mean, the majority of the infomercial, Obama isn't even talking!  It's these everyday folks who are telling these stories.  All of that stuff is part of the practices that were ingrained in him as a young organizer."


video

"Another place where I think you really see the influence of organizing was in the particular slogans that became the centerpiece of the campaign.  I just want to point out one which was 'Yes we can'.  So, 'Yes we can' was based on 'Si Se Puede!'  'Si seUFW working for Saul Alinsky and the CSO and Obama, he knows this history.  He knows this tradition.  But the interesting thing about Yes we can is that it sort of embodies that idea that what we're going to do is build POWER that can then act on all sorts of issues.  It's not like 'Yes we can do...blank!'.  'Yes we can' implies there's all these things we can do.  But the particular irony of the way Obama used it was that it had a very specific, unstated conclusion to the phrase.  'Yes we CAN elect a black man who's named Barack Hussein Obama'.  And this view was almost a blasphemous use of the phrase.  Alinsky's super hero was this guy, John Lewis and head of the CIO (later became the AFL-CIO).  So Alinsky thought about organizing the same way Lewis thought about organizing which is that you organize people in a workplace to get POWER so that you can get concessions from management.  So the way that Alinsky thought about organizing is that you organize people to get concessions from government.  You do not organize to move the agenda of somebody in office.  You organize to PRESSURE that person who IS in office." 
video


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jeremiah Wright On The "Haves" And "Have nots"

Remember our entry about the Alinsky model of the "haves", the "have nots" and "have some, want a little more"?

Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's mentor for 20 years in Chicago knows all about it too.

Regarding healthcare for all (keep in mind, this was in 2005):

The only way for that to happen is for the "haves" and "have mores" to stop HOARDING what they got and start SHARING what they got with the "have nots"!  We're talking about a REVOLUTION!
video


Bill Ayers talked about a "revolution" to overturn the "haves" from the "have nots" as well:
I mean, I think the people who practice white supremacy
and who benefit from it are going to have to be stopped.
And I think that's a huge undertaking and I think it takes a revolution.


 Jim Wallis in the same video made the claim:

"A reminder of what the word of God is saying to us...
no one reminds us better than Dr. Jeremiah Wright."
video

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tom Perez: Assistant Attorney General With The Department Of Justice

We mentioned a quote of Mr. Perez at an Advancing Justice Conference in a previous entry that said, "The State of California today is America tomorrow, and I embrace that."

This sparked an interest in finding out what other statements were made during that same conference.  As you read through some of his other remarks, take note of how many times he mentions the words "transformation", "progress" and "restoration". (Our commentary will be in RED)

(Our) mission is to insure that people do not confront discrimination on the basis of citizenship or immigration status. 


I also want to bring greetings on behalf of the President because this has been a wonderful run for the last nine months or so.  I could not feel more honored to serve this President, Barack Obama, whose vision of "ONE AMERICA" is a vision that we all embrace. 


I'm here to deliver one very critical message...the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice is open for business!


I firmly believe that the civil rights division is the MORAL COMPASS OF OUR NATION.


The work of the civil rights division is to ensure that we TRANSFORM shadows into sunshine so that everybody has an opportunity to realize their heights and best hopes.


We have the opportunity with the President's budget, adopted by Congress, to add 100 new people and those new people will enable us to not only carry out the vision of restoration, but to also implement our TRANSFORMATION because we must continue to ensure that we have the resources to attack the long standing civil rights challenges that have been around forever....

The first case that I did a press release on was a case involving a racist from Oregon who mailed a noose to the head of the NAACP in Ohio in an effort to intimidate him from being an activist in his community.  The more things change, the more things stay the same....


As I was thinking about restoration and transformation, I reflected on what does "advancing justice in the 21st century" mean?  I came up with seven principles that I'd like to discuss with you.


1.  Recognizing that many of the challenges of the 20th century persist with all too great vigor in the 21st century.
.....remember that promise of section 203  which is to ensure that EVERYBODY has access to the ballot is a promise that we can carry out.  (regardless of citizenship status...see his first comment above)

2.  Advancing justice for all.
....making sure that "shadows" are eliminated in their entirety.


3.  There are no buffet lines.
...we can't pick and choose which laws we will enforce.


4.  Use ALL of the tools in our arsenal to advance civil rights.
....must use the tools of outrage so we can explain the laws to prevent things from happening.  Ensuring that we use tools such as regulation and executive order.  (in an effort to circumvent the Constitution)   Litigation cannot be the only tool.    Working with employers so we can explain the law in order to prevent things from occurring.  Working with our non-profit partners to ensure the advancement of justice.  Again, tools that work very well....

5.  Taking partnerships to a new level.
If we are going to successfully complete the census program and ensure that EVERY person in the United States is counted, we must take that partnership to new levels.  We can NOT afford NOT to. 

We must partner with other government agencies.  If we are going to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to live in community settings and not be forced to continue to live in institutions, we must not only work with the DOJ, but we need the help of the Department of Health and Human Services because THEY'RE the money people!  They can bring money to the table!  They can bring expertise to the table.  (The DEPARTMENTS are the money people???  I thought it was the TAXPAYERS!  This is pretty clear evidence that our DOJ is working closely with other departments in order to bring about "change" because they know they are otherwise Constitutionally bound.  Has Congress figured out they are irrelevant yet?)

We need to work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development because you know what?  THEY can bring money to the table!  If we're going to make progress in the many areas of immigration, we need to work with, and HAVE worked with, our partners at the Department of Homeland security.

We're going to make progress in the employment area to address the glass ceiling, we must work with our colleagues at the Equal Employment Commission and our colleagues at the Department of Labor.  If we're going to make progress on human trafficking, we must build those partnerships with the Department of Labor, with the Department of State, and with everyone in government who is involved.  We must work with State governments as well.  I'm proud to be serving with the Attorney General of Illinois (Lisa Madigan)  on a task force addressing lending discrimination.  The mortgage crisis and foreclosure crisis affects everyone in this country but it disproportionally touches communities of color.

6.  Reject the false choices and search for "win-win" solutions to challenges.
....All too frequently, in times of greatest human stress, we have been confronted by those who say "we can either promote our national security, OR protect our civil rights or civil liberties."  (This was the debate during the Senator Pearce recall election.  It's clear, especially after the recall election, which "Republicans" sided with the opinion of the leftist DOJ)  As we move forward on immigration reform, COMPREHENSIVE immigration reform, (It is particularly alarming to see that he emphasized the term "Comprehensive".  The same term that people like Jeff Flake has always liked to use) as the President has outlined, it's about searching for a "win-win" and rejecting those false dichotomies. (Their definition of "win-win" means silencing those with opposing viewpoints by equating them to bigots, extremists and racists) 

7.  Persistence.
...I am absolutely confident that this civil rights division can implement our ambitious agenda of restoration and transformation.