Infiltrating the Obama Administration: A Book Preview for "Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers" (Part 3 in a Series)

(continued from Part 2)

It should come as no surprise that on the campaign trail, President Obama refused to be interviewed about Saul Alinsky, the community organizing guru who wrote Rules for Radicals, a how-to guide for destroying American capitalism and democracy.

Presumably Obama, who taught courses on Alinsky’s brutal, sometimes violent organizing techniques, declined to speak to reporters about the late guru. He must have realized that such an interview would throw an unwanted spotlight on Alinsky’s radicalism, and by extension, his own. Such counterproductive publicity would also have undermined the candidate’s efforts to reinvent himself as a moderate. Alinsky’s adherents now dominate the modern Democratic Party establishment. Apart from President Obama himself, they include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Federal Communications Commission diversity chief Mark Lloyd, Obama’s ex-green jobs czar Van Jones, former DNC trainer Heather Booth, Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to name just a few. “Who the hell isn’t [an Alinskyite] in this administration?” asks conservative author David Horowitz.

And President Obama hasn’t been the only longtime ACORN operative working in the White House. There’s also the low-profile Patrick Gaspard who, until recently, was White House political affairs director, one of the titles Karl Rove held in President Bush’s White House.

In a move that ought to disturb anyone who cares about the integrity of the democratic process, earlier this year Gaspard took over the reins of the Democratic National Committee as its executive director–just in time to begin initial preparations for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

Gaspard hails from the same world of radical left-wing community organizing that made Barack Obama who he is today. Gaspard is an expert in the harsh, street-smart organizing tactics taught by Alinsky. He’s the hatchet man Obama sent to New York over a year ago to strong-arm then-Gov. David Paterson into dropping his reelection campaign. As executive director running the DNC’s day-to-day operations, Gaspard will oversee Organizing for America, a project of the DNC supposedly modeled on Alinskyite organizing principles.

Former Obama White House political director Patrick Gaspard is now ACORN's man at the DNC

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haitian parents, not much is known about this Rasputin-like power behind the throne. Gaspard studiously avoids publicity and is reluctant to talk to journalists. Look him up on Nexis and you will find virtually nothing about this influential radical leader. But his colleagues hold him in high esteem. “Patrick is the best political mind of his generation in New York and maybe the nation,” according to Kevin Sheekey, a lieutenant of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “I wouldn’t dispute that,” added David Axelrod, at the time a senior advisor in the Obama White House.

Gaspard came to the White House from ACORN’s favorite labor organization, Service Employees International Union. (SEIU Locals 100 and 880 were, until recently, official affiliates of ACORN.) He had been executive vice president for political and legislative affairs for SEIU Local 1199 United Healthcare Workers East, which claims to be the largest union local on the planet, “representing more than 300,000 members and retirees in New York, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts.”

Evidence suggests that before he joined the Obama administration, Gaspard was ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis’ political director in New York. How do we actually know Gaspard, who goes to extraordinary lengths to shun the public spotlight and scarcely appears in Nexis searches, was Lewis’ right hand man?

Because Gaspard’s employment with ACORN was acknowledged by no less an authority than ACORN founder Wade Rathke himself.

Rathke wrote May 16, 2009, at his blog: “Tell me that 1199’s former political director, Patrick Gaspard (who was ACORN New York’s political director before that) didn’t reach out from the White House and help make that happen, and I’ll tell you to take some remedial classes in ‘politics 101.'”

ACORN founder Wade Rathke

The “before that” time period Rathke is referring to is 2003, when Gaspard was executive vice president for political and legislative affairs for Service Employees International Union Local 1199 (United Healthcare Workers East). It’s also worth noting that of all the entries in Bertha Lewis’ rolodex, a copy of which this writer gained possession of in 2009, the entry for Gaspard is the most extensive.

Gaspard’s ties to ACORN, SEIU, and Lewis go back at least to 1989, when he volunteered for the David Dinkins mayoral campaign in New York City. In 2003, he became acting field director for Howard Dean’s presidential bid. He was national field director in 2004 for America Coming Together, a now-defunct get-out-the-vote operation that received a $775,000 fine for campaign finance abuses. In 2006, Gaspard was acting political director for SEIU International. In 2008, Gaspard worked as national political director for the Obama campaign followed by a stint as associate personnel director for the Obama-Biden transition team.

As the old Washington saying goes, politics is personnel. Who knows how many administration offi cials were put in place by Gaspard with direct input from ACORN’s Bertha Lewis? It boggles the mind. Gaspard also worked for New York’s Working Families Party, an appendage of ACORN. Lewis is a co-founder of that party –which endorsed Obama in 2008– and has close ties to Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who pointedly refused to have the House Judiciary subcommittee he chaired in the previous Congress investigate ACORN.

As news of Gaspard’s involvement with ACORN spread, Rathke changed his blog entry. Where he had written that Gaspard worked for New York ACORN, he inserted two new sentences: “This line used to contain a reference to Patrick Gaspard working for NY ACORN. This is untrue, he never worked for ACORN.”

But Rathke wasn’t able to shove all evidence tying Gaspard to ACORN down the memory hole. If Gaspard isn’t tied to ACORN, why did he sign a letter to the editor of the Nation magazine (dated July 2, 2001) on behalf of the Working Families Party of New York? (Lewis signed the letter on behalf of ACORN and the Working Families Party.)

The party is part of ACORN, according to ACORN’s website, which in 2009 confirmed that in 1998, “ACORN members spearhead[ed] formation of the Working Families Party, the first community-labor party with official ballot status in New York state in more than 50 years.”

Internal ACORN documents obtained by this writer show Gaspard gave ACORN $40,000 before he joined the Obama administration. While Gaspard worked as an executive vice president of SEIU Local 1199, he gave ACORN $15,000 in 2007 and $25,000 in 2008. That’s an awfully large tithe for someone who made $111,894 in 2007 and who has a wife and two children. The $111,894 figure comes from an SEIU 1199 tax return. (If salary and deferred benefits are combined, the total is $151,869.)

Given Gaspard’s longstanding links to ACORN, it’s not at all surprising that Scott Levenson, a lobbyist and spokesman for ACORN, dropped by the White House to visit with his former co-worker. The purpose of the meeting was not disclosed. Another New Yorker in the Obama administration, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, has close ties to ACORN. Before taking office, Donovan was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s housing development commissioner. He worked closely with ACORN for five years on several projects.

ACORN's man at HUD, Shaun Donovan

“Perhaps no administration official has had more interaction with ACORN than” Donovan, according to the New York Times. Reinforcing the newspaper’s point, ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis praised the HUD secretary. “We grew to respect him, and he grew to respect us,” she said. Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, reported Lewis admitted “ACORN has friends in high places for the first time in a long time.” Lewis acknowledged “that she has particularly good relationships with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and with Patrick Gaspard, the White House political director.”

This writer filed a Freedom of Information Act request with HUD last year seeking all correspondence between Secretary Donovan and ACORN. Instead of the maximum 45 days allowed, HUD responded eight months later. The letter said no such records of correspondence between ACORN and Donovan exist.

That’s hard to believe.

(This article is excerpted from “Subversion Inc.: A new book reveals how Obama’s ACORN friends are still ripping off American taxpayers,” by Matthew Vadum which was published in the May 2011 issue of Townhall magazine and is republished here with permission. Copyright 2011 by Matthew Vadum.)

An award-winning investigative journalist, Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. Vadum is author of the new book Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books), from which this piece is adapted. Of the book Andrew Breitbart says, “For too long the institutional left has been allowed to operate under cover of darkness because the Democrat-media complex refuses to hold them accountable. But these radicals who have been sticking it to Americans for decades scatter like cockroaches under the harsh spotlight of Matthew Vadum’s great new book, Subversion Inc.


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