ACORN files for bankruptcy

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Where’s the world’s smallest violin when you need it?
American Thinker Blog

Angle Files Voter Intimidation Complaint With DOJ Over Reid E-Mails

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In the final hours of Election Day, a lawyer for GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging voter intimidation took place on behalf of the campaign of her opponent Sen. Harry Reid (D), Politico reports.

The complaint relates to an e-mail exchange between an unnamed Reid campaign staffer and the casino chain Harrah’s, which was reported in a story published by the National Review. The National Review reported that the e-mails showed that “Executives at the casino giant Harrah’s pushed company employees to vote early in an all-out effort to help the Harry Reid campaign.”

Angle lawyer Cleta Mitchell — co-chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association -said the e-mails showed “union intimidation tactics.” Reid’s campaign countered that the e-mails don’t show anything against the law and mentioned that the conservative blogger who wrote the story told Fox News that she didn’t think “anything either illegal or unethical was done here.”

“This ‘report’ by a right-wing blogger who’s literally been embedded within the Angle campaign has no credibility on its face,” Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele told Politico. “That being said, given Sen. Reid’s work to strengthen the state’s top industry, it should come as no surprise that casino employees support his reelection.”

The chain of e-mails, which can be read here, show that company vice president of public policy and communications Marybel Batjer wrote that another official received a message from the Reid campaign.

“She asked me to reach out to you to PLEASE do whatever we need to do to get the supervisors to know that there is NOTHING more important then (sic) to get employees out to vote,” Batjer wrote to a number of Harrah’s employees. “Waking up to a defeat of Harry Reid Nov 3rd will be devastating for our industry’s future. I know everyone is working hard, but somehow the effort is not getting through the ranks.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman told TPMMuckraker that DOJ was reviewing the letter but declined further comment.

This isn’t the first time that Angle has accused Reid of tinkering with the election, but the Nevada Secretary of State said one of her previous charges had no merit. Angle’s former PAC actually funded a group that later charged that Reid was benefiting from voter fraud.







TPMMuckraker

ACORN Files For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Two years after becoming perhaps the most vocally maligned organization in the country, ACORN announced today it is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The community organizing group has been in the process of dissolving for the better part of the year. In March, it announced it was folding as a national entity.

ACORN, which as part of its mission did voter registration drives in minority areas, became the target of conservative ire during the 2008 presidential campaign, accused of massive organized voter fraud. Opposition to the group reached a fever pitch after young conservative activist James O’Keefe released highly edited videos he claimed proved the group was engaging in illegal activity. Congress voted overwhelmingly last September to defund the group, and it’s been withering ever since.

“The ongoing political onslaught caused irreparable harm,” ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said in a statement. “This effort was a clear attempt to cast a shadow over the historic 2008 Presidential election, and set up a far right counter offense. Through those attacks we re-tooled and re-organized. Then again came the right-wing media blitz. This time of edited videos that misrepresented our mission, and consequently misled the public. The pressure and cost of defending ourselves in multiple investigations as a result of the falsified videos has eroded our organization. As a result we will be filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy by close of business today.”

Those who claim there exists an organized, widespread voter fraud conspiracy continue to cite ACORN as proof, alleging that it still operates through a web of front groups.







TPMMuckraker

Freddie Repossesses Its Files

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had already suspended all their work with David Stern. But now they’ve officially severed all relations with him and Freddie has taken their files away.

Freddie Mac took the rare step of removing loan files after an internal review raised “concerns about some of the practices at the Stern firm,” a Freddie spokeswoman said.

“We have begun taking possessions of all files on Freddie Mac mortgages simply to protect our interest in those loans as well as those of the borrowers,” the Freddie spokeswoman said. A Fannie spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

Fannie and Freddie said they will move those files to other law firms in the state but that they hadn’t yet identified where they would be redistributed. The firms said they had notified Florida’s attorney general about the decision to remove the files and that the Stern firm had cooperated with the action.

Let’s see. It’s November 2. On October 4, 29 days ago, the former assistant of the woman who oversaw Stern’s robosigner division testified that 1) Stern’s firm would routinely reclassified Freddie Mac loans as something else when Freddie came onsite for an audit to hide those files from the firm, and 2) sometime in August Stern packed up an eighteen wheeler full of documents and took them to an unspecified office in Orlando.

I can’t imagine why Freddie would want to take possession of its files, can you?

Problem is, it may well be far too late to prevent Stern from tampering with Freddie’s documents. Though it’s nice of them to start worrying about protecting the interests of their homeowners.

Related posts:

  1. Fannie and Freddie Near a Deal with Title Industry
  2. What Did David Stern Do with the Truck of Documents He Removed from His Office?
  3. Fidelity National’s Role in the Cover-Up

Emptywheel

From the ‘probably not’ files

November 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Could ballot design save the Democrats?







Ezra Klein

DOJ Files Brief In Favor Of Tenn. Mosque

October 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Department of Justice today filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where opponents of a new mosque are trying to stop its construction. In the brief, the DOJ declares that Islam is a religion and therefore entitled to freedom of expression.

In a press release, the U.S. attorney for the middle district of Tennessee, Jerry E. Martin, acknowledged that the lawsuit is a “local matter,” but that the DOJ wants to “vigorously support” the decision of local authorities to grant the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro building permits.

The center, which has been operating in Murfreesboro for decades, has outgrown its current facility and is building a larger community center and mosque just outside the city.

Opponents of the mosque, who have sued the planning commission and other county officials, have argued that it shouldn’t have been granted a religious use permit because, according to them, Islam isn’t really a religion.

“To suggest that Islam is not a religion is quite simply ridiculous. Each branch of the federal government has independently recognized Islam as one of the major religions of the world,” Martin said in the press release.

The brief painstakingly cites proof, from the Oxford English Dictionary, Supreme Court rulings, presidential proclamations by Clinton and George W. Bush and the writings of Thomas Jefferson, that Islam has long been recognized as a major world religion.

In the brief, the DOJ argues that the lawsuit implicates two federal civil rights statutes, the Religious Land Use Act and the Church Arson Prevention Act, which fall under the DOJ’s purview.

Read the DOJ’s brief here:

DOJ’s Amicus Brief Support In Favor Of Mosque In Murfreesboro, Tenn.









TPMMuckraker

Turkey files war crimes charges against Israel for defending itself against the jihad flotilla

October 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

How trumped-up are these accusations? Above is video of the people on the flotilla chanting a genocidal battle cry against the Jews — “Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return” — that recalls Muhammad’s massacre of the Jews at the oasis of Khaibar. They were peaceful “activists”? Sell me a bridge.

“Turks accuse Israel of war crimes at int’l court,” by Arthur Max for Associated Press, October 14 (thanks to JCB):

AMSTERDAM - Turkish lawyers representing pro-Palestinian activists filed a complaint Thursday with the International Criminal Court accusing Israel of committing war crimes in May when its troops raided a boat trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza….

A delegation representing some 300 activists and a Turkish nongovernment organization submitted the complaint to the prosecutor’s office in The Hague seeking an investigation into the May 31 raid.

Nine Turkish citizens, including 19-year-old Furkan Dogan who had dual U.S.-Turkish nationality, were killed during the melee after Israeli troops rappelled from helicopters onto the deck of the ship Mavi Marmara before dawn.

“I have confidence the international court and the prosecutor will take this case,” said Ahmet Dogan, Furkan’s father.

Israel has said its troops fired live ammunition only after they were attacked by activists with clubs and metal bars and they felt their lives were in danger.

Attorney Ugur Sevgili said the victims want Israel investigated for torture, inhuman treatment, the taking of hostages and other violations of the Geneva war crimes convention.

“We demanded from the prosecutor to initiate an investigation and prosecute the perpetrators of this crime,” Sevgili said. “We didn’t mention any Israeli soldiers or any Israeli politicians. We just told them that we believe war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed.”…

Jihad Watch

DOJ Files Appeal Defending The Defense Of Marriage Act

October 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Justice Department today filed an appeal of the federal court decision that ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as heterosexual, unconstitutional.

The notice of appeal says little, other than that the federal government is appealing the ruling.

The appeal comes the same day as a federal judge in California ordered the military to halt all discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The DOJ says it is reviewing the injunction and has not said how it will respond.

In July, Judge Joseph Tauro, of U.S. District Court in Boston ruled parts of DOMA unconstitutional in two separate cases challenging the law: Gill v. Office of Personnel Management; and Massachusetts v. Health and Human Services.

“In the wake of DOMA, it is only sexual orientation that differentiates a married couple entitled to federal marriage-based benefits from one not so entitled. And this court can conceive of no way in which such a difference might be relevant to the provision of the benefits at issue,” Tauro wrote in the Gill ruling.

The DOJ is appealing both cases.









TPMMuckraker

The Murkowski files

September 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Scott

Lisa Murkowski is waging a write-in campaign to maintain her Senate seat. In her quest to maintain the gift her father dutifully bestowed on her she now opposes the duly nominated Republican candidate as well as the Democratic candidate. The latest poll in the race suggests that here it could be close, though some appropriate adjustment has to be made to discount Murkowski’s number for the problem created by having to write in a vote for her.

Last week Murkowski’s colleagues in the Senate Republican Conference voted on two questions. The first was whether to replace Murkowski as vice chairman of the conference. A vote occurred on that question, and she was replaced by Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming. The second was whether to accept the decision of the Republicans on the Senate Energy Committee to strip her of her ranking status. The senators voted to table this question.

Rich Lowry explains that technically the Senators didn’t vote on the second question, but effectively acted to leave Murkowski in place. So who thought that was a good idea? Rich reports: “We know DeMint voted against Murkowski. Amazingly, though, we’ve gotten only Inhofe and Sessions (via the Politico) on the record against Murkowski on the committee question. The others either say they support her retaining the committee position, or won’t say.” NR has collected responses as best it could for the Murkowski files.




Power Line

The O’Donnell Files

September 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

An authoritative review.





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