After I reported that Los Angeles NOW president Shelly Mandell endorsed Sarah Palin, I became curious about other prominent Clinton supporters who were crossing Democratic party lines and voting for McCain. One of the more striking endorsers is Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a member of the Democratic Platform Committee.
More digging led me to the PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass) and Just Say No Deal. These are people who worked for Hillary Clinton during the primaries but who have decided not to support Barack Obama in the general election.
One such Hillary supporter is Diane Mantouvalos. Ms. Mantouvalos manages the Just Say No Deal website and related activities. In speaking with her, she outlined some of her reasons she was not going to support Barack Obama.
In ideological terms, Ms. Mantouvalos sees the ascendance of Obama as a move from the center toward the far left. She said, “I do not believe Obama will abandon 20 years of socialist mentoring and govern from the center.” Centrist Democrats such as herself find John McCain more appealing than the liberal Obama.
Regarding the primary campaign, Ms. Mantouvalos pointed out that Obama ran a campaign that led to the Clinton camp filing complaints with state officials. For instance, here is a letter signed by Lyn Utrecht, Clinton campaign lawyer to the Nevada state Democratic party chair detailing multiple unethical tactics during the Nevada caucus.
The letter begins:
Dear Chair Derby:
I write on behalf of Hillary Clinton for President (”the Committee”) in regard to the January 19, 2008 Nevada Democratic Caucus. The Committee is aware of a letter addressed to you today from the Obama for America campaign requesting an inquiry into the conduct of the caucuses. The Committee shares the Obama campaign’s concern that full participation in the democratic process may have been compromised by the substantial number of irregularities occurring at the caucuses, and we fully support a complete inquiry by the Nevada State Democratic Party (the ”Party”) into all caucus improprieties.
This letter is not intended as a response to the Obama campaign’s letter. However, in the interest of a complete record, and in contrast to the alleged minor procedural problems noted by the Obama campaign, the Committee wishes to bring to your attention information we have received evidencing a premeditated and predesigned plan by the Obama campaign to engage in systematic corruption of the Party’s caucus procedures. Compounding this blatant distortion of the caucus rules was an egregious effort by the Obama campaign to manipulate the voter registration process in its own favor, thereby disenfranchising countless voters. Finally, the Committee has received a vast number of reliable reports of voter suppression and intimidation by the Obama campaign or its allies.
Ms. Mantouvalos says there is reason to believe that those allies were sometimes people involved with ACORN.
She noted that the FEC is investigating the $832,598.29 Obama paid to ACORN affiliate, Citizen Services, Inc., for various voter services. She said eyewitnesses saw Obama supporters bussed in to caucus locations from outside the area and that ACORN was often involved in the organizing.
In fact, acting on another tip, I looked for announcements calling for ACORN help in the OBAMA campaign. Here is a February 21, 2008 blog post from Writes Like She Talks which contains a call from ACORN for volunteers to work in the OBAMA campaign. None of this proves ACORN perpetrated any of the abuses listed by Utrecht but it does indicate that supposedly non-partisan ACORN has been involved in the OBAMA campaign.
GOTV for Obama! Ohio ACORN is doing a Get Out The Vote project with the OBAMA Campaign. Ohio ACORN is hiring canvassers to go door to door encouraging voters to vote for Barak Obama.
ACORN is hiring in Cleveland (216)431-3905 , Columbus (614)425-9491, Cincinnati (513)221-1737, for Dayton (call Cincinnati), and for Toledo call Cleveland. Or email [email protected] and your inquiry will be routed to the appropriate person in each of these cities. Intake and training will be held daily at local ACORN offices. Canvass begins on Wednesday Feb. 27th and will work through election day. Please, only persons wishing to work all or most of these days (Saturday and Sunday included) should inquire.
Please do not contact the Obama campaign directly regarding this post as they are not the organization doing the hiring and it will only distract their staff and volunteers from the other important work they are doing on behalf of Senator Obama.
Furthermore, Newsmax is reporting that a total of 4 whistleblowers have come forward to claim that federal money given to ACORN’s housing affiliate has ended up supporting the voting initiatives. My understanding is that two new affidavits from former ACORN insiders will go up on the website of the Consumers Rights League today or tomorrow. What is at issue is whether taxpayer money has gone toward partisan political campaigning. There are many loose ends.
The number of states where ACORN is under investigation is now in the double-digits. Ms. Mantouvalos is concerned that what happened in the primaries may happen in some form in the election. One hopes that John Fund is not correct when he worries that election day may again turn into election month. However, if Ms. Mantouvalos and Ms. Utrecht’s concerns are accurate, we may indeed be in for painful process of sorting out who voted and how often they voted.
UPDATE: Another Ohio blog has the same email linking ACORN with the Obama campaign. Gateway Pundit has this link also with lots more on ACORN.