Monday, August 23, 2010

1: Obama Accounting: Black Funding & Lawsuit Settlements

Here is the key to the Obama Presidency. It unlocks the black war chest of booty, money hidden behind the illusory veil of transparency. Obama's agenda, spoken in his own words, during the campaign (AP, 2007):

"...Law is a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power- and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness of their condition."

Early in law, Barack Hussein Obama learned how to use the "letter of the law", much like his Democratic Party mentor, William Jefferson Clinton, notorious for the "it depends on what you mean by IS" defense in the Monica Lewinski investigation at the time of his Impeachment Trial. Obama embellished his legal reputation in 1988 as THE Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama actually was one of 80 first year student-editors.

Obama's tale of reaching through the loopholes of the law for the money which he and his administration would earmark for Afro-Americans and other ethnic supporters may have unexpected and ironic consequences.

Obama's career impulse as black advocate began before social organizing, law school, then politics. In 1981 he gave a speech at Los Angeles, CA Occidental College demanding "divestment" (disinvestment) of American college money in South Africa, during the anti-apartheid movement. Here Obama first met his corporate foe, General Motors (GM). As a result of "disinvestment" economic sanctions, GM, the largest employer of black South Africans, was forced to leave South Africa. In 1977, Rev. Leon Sullivan, a black American preacher, formulated the Sullivan Rules, which forbade US companies from doing business in apartheid South Africa. Ironically, Obama, Sullivan, and others reversed the fortunes of black South African GM employees and contributed to the destabilization of South Africa.

Obama left Occidental for Columbia University in NYC and majored in political science with a specialty in international relations. He worked for Business International Corp, then NY Public Interest Group. Obama left for Chicago in 1985 to become Director of Developing Communities Project, a Catholic Church based, community organizing non-profit, akin to ACORN (Association for Community Organizing Reform Now).

Obama cultivated community organizing connections with ACORN, for which he worked, in housing, mortagage and banking access, and voter registration drives. Obama maintained his Chicago community organizing connections.

After he left for Harvard Law School in 1988, Obama worked summers for Chicago law firms. Recruited by Judson Miner, Obama returned to Chicago in 1991 to work in civil rights at the 13-member civil rights law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill, and Galland, until 2004, when Obama entered Illinois politics. Obama also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School during this time. Obama's law license became inactive in 2002.

At Miner, Obama mainly researched, wrote, and "worked behind the scenes" in black lawsuits. In 1991 Obama represented community organizers and black voters trying to force a redrawing of city ward boundaries to increase black and ethnic poitical influence based on the 1990 Census. In 1992 Obama worked for IL (Illinois) Project Vote, registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered AfroAmericans. In 1995 Obama sued on behalf of ACORN in the Motor Voters case against the State of Illinois for failing to implement federal law to make voter registration easier. Obama left this case to run for State Representative in Illinois.

Recently, ACORN employees and associates have "whisleblown" on Project Vote funding. ACORN felt pressured to use nonpartisan funds obtained from government through the efforts of Obama to bring in the vote for Obama and Democratic Party candidates. Missouri and Nevada ACORN are under investigation for voter fraud. ACORN has lost funding for these and other irregularities.

However, ACORN and related community organizers continue to receive money through the Obama/Holder Department of Justice, in federal and state lawsuit settlement and "settlement-plus" special funds.

Ironically, Obama may have caught himself in his own snare, in later Obama-sponsored legislation: the 2006 Coburn-Obama Transparency Act (S-2590), its 2008 sequel Strengthening Transparency & Accountability in Federal Spending, and the Deceptive Practices & Voter Intimidation Prevention Act, to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections.

(More on the Department of Justice lawsusit "settlement-plus" packages in the next blog in this series.)

Photograph from The Washington Post, the Obama vs. McCain Campaign, May 18, 2008.
Other references, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston (Globe).com, The Washington Examiner.

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