Obama an ACORN trainer? What does hired mean?

Barack Obama’s Fight the Smears website claims he was never hired to be a trainer for ACORN.

However, evidence is pointing the other way. Here is what the Obama website says:

The truth is that Barack was never a community organizer or trainer for ACORN, and he was never employed by ACORN in any other capacity.

However, conservative Cleveland Leader has uncovered an article saying otherwise.

Let’s take a look at a quote from a 2004 article – Case Study: Chicago- The Barack Obama Campaign – written by Toni Foulkes, a Chicago ACORN Leader, which was published in the journal Social Policy. Did we mention that Social Policy recently pulled this particular article from their website, while leaving links to all other articles up?

“Obama took the case, known as ACORN vs. Edgar (the name of the Republican governor at the time) and we won. Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5,000 of them).

Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for State Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends.

Not only does Foulkes boast of Obama’s ACORN leadership training, but also makes it clear that Obama’s post-law school organizing of “Project VOTE” in 1992 was undertaken in direct partnership with ACORN. The tie between Project VOTE and ACORN is also something that Obama and others have attempted to disprove in recent weeks as ACORN has come under fire for allegations of voter registration fraud.

This lengthy Chicago Reader article contains this description of Obama’s activities.

Another strong supporter of Obama’s work–as an organizer, as a lawyer, and now as a candidate–is Madeline Talbott, lead organizer of the feisty ACORN community organization, a group that’s a thorn in the side of most elected officials. “I can’t repeat what most ACORN members think and say about politicians. But Barack has proven himself among our members. He is committed to organizing, to building a democracy. Above all else, he is a good listener, and we accept and respect him as a kindred spirit, a fellow organizer.”

Obama continues his organizing work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons on the south side. Conducting a session in a New Horizons classroom, Obama, tall and thin, looks very much like an Ivy League graduate student. Dressed casually prep, his tie loosened and his top shirt button unfastened, he leads eight black women from the Grand Boulevard community through a discussion of “what folks should know” about who in Chicago has power and why they have it. It’s one of his favorite topics, and the class bubbles with suggestions about how “they” got to be high and mighty.

Sure sounds like he was a trainer.

Project Vote

Obama’s website also claims that ACORN was not a part of Project Vote. The Social Policy article suggests that ACORN was involved.

It occured in reading this that Obama’s camp might come back and say he volunteered his time to ACORN, that he was never “hired” as in for money. So far, I have seen no answer from the Obama camp. If anyone reading sees a response, let me know.

Obama’s website does not address a related matter. In 1996, he did ask for help from the socialist New Party for “voter education and voter registration” efforts.

Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.

It is hard to comprehend that he wouldn’t ask ACORN to help out with Project Vote since voter registration is what ACORN is known for.

And at least now, Project Vote is a part of ACORN. See this Sweetness and Light post for details on the relationship between Project Vote and ACORN.

ACORN Obama

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit points out that the Obama campaign has altered the Fightthesmears website to make a play much in the way I suggested they might.

  • Ted

    Rezko, Wright, Raines, Ayers … and now Acorn!!! This is over the top. Obama’s a fraud and should not be allowed anywhere near the White House.

  • Legolas

    Of course the Obama campaign doesn’t want to emphasize the linkages, but I really don’t see what the big deal is – I think they should just come clean and be straightforward about what the relationships are. McCain has attended and spoken at ACORN meetings, so its not like he can argue they’re some sort of wingnut organization nobody should be affiliated with.

  • Lynn David

    Why does providing your services for free in apparent good faith for an organization which has been defrauded by its own workers make one the bad guy? Obama’s activism and training was derived from another organization (H… S… something?), which doesn’t now pop into my mind. He continued as a trainer himself with that organization and I suppose through it provided his services as a trainer for ACORN.

    But like I said, you’ll see the all the sinister you want to see to placate your own desires.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Lynn David – Then why not say so from the start?

  • Lynn David

    Warren, as far as I have read…. he has. That is from my memory about some biographies I have read, some not written by Obama.

    It’s just that others have started construing wrongdoing by the very word, ACORN. Guilt by association. Being gay, I’ve run into that problem in my past, being construed to be something I’m not, a pedophile. All I know is that acorns fall from my oak trees in the back yard.

  • mary

    Warren,

    Because the American people are easily duped into mob mentality and it is easier to avoid a fight sometimes than tell the truth. That’s why.

    I am not an Obama fan. But his campaign is being run by very sharp people and they know what battles to fight. This one is not going to win or lose the WH. I’d advise the same thing – walk away – move on to other items on the list.

    I too worked for ACORN (in a round about way) and thought it had much to offer.

    No matter how you slice it, someone else will always be sure to talk about how you failed to inform yourself.

  • mary

    ACORN did help many real people get into homes. Those were good 30 year fixed home loans at a lower than average interest rate.

  • Lynn David

    Mary is right, and evidently there were a lot of republicans backing ACORN also:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/13/acorn-mccain-and-gop-used_n_134284.html

    On Monday, the Democratic-leaning group ACORN, which has been painted as a criminal enterprise by the GOP for its voter registration and housing policy efforts, pushed back against its critics by producing a photo of John McCain attending its March 2006 rally.

    It was a reminder that, for all their electoral histrionics, Republicans have aligned themselves with ACORN in the past.

    Indeed, in addition to the McCain photo, there is a host of examples of prominent McCain surrogates attending ACORN events, signing ACORN legislation, or complimenting the group’s efforts.

    More republicans at the link…. yes, it’s the Huffington Post.

  • Richard Archer

    I know weak not week and evident not eveidence, spell check failed me. But like Justice Marshall mispelled the Gulph of Mexico, stuff happens.

  • Richard Archer

    1. I am a Republican and have been elected as County Chairman in the past and I have not and never will have anything to do with ACORN. Like the Partisan Press and both Political Parties, I too have always known about their illegal activities since the late 1970’s. They have continually violated the LAW and lied on their applications and statements for continued legal status as a non-profit non-political organization, thus defrauding the Federal and State governments of Tax Revenue. Just because some week kneed cowardly RHINOs kowtow to ACORN doesn’t mean Republicans are responsible for ACORN or dirty like Obama who gives them $800,000.00 and secures millions for them from the Federal and State governments. Like a circumstantial evident conviction for murder alone each dishonest and criminal tie that Obama has doesn’t convict but dozens of these lies about these evil relationships do add up to a conviction. He is guilty of being a Socialist that wants to change our government, morals and cultural arrangement. Kill the babies, and you get a second chance it they breathe in spite of the abortion, destroy the Christian ethic of marriage, family and morality by imposing homosexual controls, this change will destroy America. Obama is bad for you and me and America.


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