Social & Domestic Issues

ACORN and The Working Families Party: Another Connection

The mere mention of ACORN rightfully sends distasteful chills up and down the spines of informed voters, particularly in light of recently released videos of ACORN employees advising undercover conservative activists on the most efficient means to acquire a loan to operate a brothel, trick the IRS, and conceal a prostitution ring composed of adolescent immigrant girls. While it is well past due for ACORN’s scandalous anatomy and agenda to be fully revealed, many close relatives of the radical entity remain comfortably concealed behind a deceptive grassroots, progressive façade whose crafty mission statements are clearly designed to charm struggling middle-class workers.

The Working Families Party (WFP), a political party in New York and Connecticut that was founded in 1998 and is currently expanding into Oregon, South Carolina, and Delaware, most certainly merits immediate attention. Their website (www.workingfamiliesparty.org) boasts that over 1600 politicians were eager for a WFP endorsement in 2009, and much of their rise to fame has emerged from fusion voting, whereby candidates are simultaneously endorsed by multiple parties. The WFP discloses that it was “Formed by a grassroots coalition of community organizations, neighborhood activists, and labor unions” hoping to construct “…a society that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.” Their stand on the issues? The WFP champions universal health care, diminishing our carbon footprint and combating climate change, relaxing immigrant ID regulations, alleviating penalties for first-time drug offenders, repealing income tax cuts for the wealthy, tax rate increases for those earning over $250,000/year, and a progressive property tax as percentage of income. In addition, the party staunchly supports gay marriage and opposes the death penalty. In other words, the WFP is a far-left, wealth redistribution advocacy conglomerate that is no friend to the free market or ambitious incentive it births, but rather a loyal proponent of big-government’s equalizing wand. These, my friends, are Mark Levin’s Statists at their best.

New York Executive Director of ACORN, Steven Kest, was the dominant muscle in the WFP’s formation. Chief ACORN organizer, Bertha Lewis, is the WFP’s Co-Chair. The WFP and ACORN are both housed at 2 Nevins Street, Brooklyn, NY. Fascinating coincidences, no? The Service Employees International Union (SEIU)/Local 1199 contributes heavily to the WFP’s annual budget, followed closely by the teachers unions. The WFP is an offshoot of the radical, far-left New Party; Dan Cantor is the Executive Director of the WFP and former New Party’s national organizer. President Barack Obama accepted the New Party endorsement in 1996 and the WFP and ACORN endorsements in 2008. According to discoverthenetworks.org, “Generally, WFP candidates conceal their extremism beneath a veneer of populist rhetoric, promoting bread-and-butter issues designed to appeal to union workers and other blue-collar voters…” Sound familiar? What was that about hope and change again?

Despite the fact that the WFP website claims to endorse “Democrats or (occasionally) Republicans,” their allegiance to big-government, tax-and-spend Democrat ideology is strikingly apparent, and an overwhelming majority of their endorsed candidates are cross-listed as Democrats. In fact, party co-founder Bob Master revealed to the Albany Times Union in 1998 that, “We’re very clear that we are not abandoning the Democratic Party.” Regardless, there are some Republicans to watch out for.

In 2004 in Westchester, incumbent State Sen. Nick Spano ran concurrently on the Republican and WFP lines. Republican James Maisano accepted the 2009 WFP endorsement in Westchester County legislature, and Diedre “Dede” Scozzafava, the 2009 Republican selection for New York’s 23rd Congressional district, has had the backing of the WFP on past occasions. Scozzafava is a decidedly social liberal whose husband — a union official and organizer — has made numerous contributions to the WFP since 2002. Her campaign reps uphold that “at the moment,” she will be running on solely the Independent and Republican ballots. I’d pay close attention to that listing when you enter the voting booths. Finally, Democrat turned Republican turned Independent Michael Bloomberg has sought out both a 2005 and 2009 WFP endorsement. He didn’t achieve either, but his desire for them should hoist red flags with respect to both his ideology and intentions. In fact, Bloomberg’s 2009 race against Thompson for the WFP endorsement was alarmingly close, with participants citing a margin of two votes. According to the Working Families Party Communications Department, over 900 candidates are running on the WFP line in 2009, more than fifty of which also have Republican nominations.

Bottom line: Republicans need to diligently investigate the ballot line acceptances of all candidates they intend to support. You just might be surprised to discover the ACORN-friendly, socialist-leaning WFP endorsing the very small-government, opportunity-enriching candidate you thought had your back.

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