My article from today’s issue of FrontPage Magazine:
ACORN Crooks on the March for Obamacare
By Matthew Vadum
A corrupt union ringleader who orchestrated massive campaigns involving identity fraud in furtherance of voter fraud and who covered up a million-dollar embezzlement involving pension funds will soon have unfettered access to confidential information on thousands of people seeking health insurance.
The union thug is disgraced ACORN founder Wade Rathke whose shady union will soon be helping people enroll in Obamacare exchanges.
Rathke’s labor vehicle, United Labor Unions (ULU) Local 100 in New Orleans, announced on its Facebook page Sept. 15 that it was gearing up “to do mass enrollment and help navigate people into the marketplaces in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas under the Affordable Care Act!”
“Local 100′s role as a Navigator, suggest[s] the program is less about health care and more about building a new progressive infrastructure,” says longtime ACORN-watcher Mike Flynn of Breitbart.com.
The fact that Wade Rathke, a disreputable, radical left-wing community organizer, is allowed anywhere near the enrollment process ought to give all Americans pause. The only reason Rathke hasn’t been federally investigated for racketeering is because his allies control the federal law enforcement apparatus. President Obama pretends he has no connection to ACORN and Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t care what laws have been broken because he approves of ACORN’s goals.
Of course, ACORN and the labor movement go way back. In 1979, ACORN created the United Labor Unions, which it used to organize low-wage, fast-food, and home healthcare workers in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.
Yes, that’s President Obama’s former employer, ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
ACORN is the nonprofit group that knowingly hired felons convicted of identity theft to work on voter registration drives, giving them custody of sensitive voter information.
As I showed in my ACORN/Obama expose, Subversion Inc., ACORN is also infamous for hiring felons without bothering to do background checks, storming hospital emergency rooms and city council chambers, using voter fraud to turn graveyards across the nation into Democratic electoral strongholds, using mob violence against bank executives and other shakedown targets, and for ruthlessly exploiting its own employees and going to court to seek an exemption from minimum wage laws.
The 400,000-member organization, which filed for bankruptcy almost three years ago, was the nation’s preeminent Saul Alinsky-inspired street protest group — and the creepiest by far.
Dale Rathke, younger brother of Wade Rathke, stole a bit over $948,000 from ACORN in 1999 and 2000. Some of the money came from pension funds. Wade covered up the theft until it was discovered in mid-2008 at which point ACORN’s national board fired him and stifled an internal investigation into the crimes. With the richly deserved adverse publicity, grants from foundations began to dry up. ACORN filed bankruptcy on Election Day 2010.
The undercover videos shot by James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles in 2009 that showed ACORN employees giving helpful advice on how to lie to the government, commit tax fraud, and trick banks into providing loans for brothels, helped kill off the group. That year Congress, which had given ACORN about $79 million in grants over the years, approved a law removing ACORN from the public teat.
It’s not that easy to get booted out of SEIU, America’s preeminent radical union, but somehow the ACORN-controlled Local 100 managed to do it.
As an SEIU official told me in October 2009, Local 100, which affiliated with SEIU in the mid 1980s, had its charter revoked by SEIU headquarters in September 2009. The bargaining unit was “not financially viable” and “simply couldn’t meet requirements to be a stand alone union,” she said without elaborating.
Given who’s running ULU, it is a foregone conclusion that ULU activists will abuse the sensitive financial, medical, and demographic information they take from vulnerable Americans, using the data for community organizing and partisan political advantage. That’s how Rathke operated over the 38 years that he headed ACORN.
Among the other left-wing organizations riding the Obamacare navigator gravy train are the Democrat-friendly groups Planned Parenthood, National Urban League, and Virginia Poverty Law Center Inc.
Many left-wing groups have not signed contracts with HHS or received government grants to enroll new patients but have nonetheless pledged to help promote the exchanges being created under Obamacare. Each recognized “Champion of Coverage” group vows to promote enrollment by emailing its members, hanging posters or giving out fact sheets and brochures, holding a conference call, or promoting enrollment in other ways.
Among the Champions of Coverage are Americans United for Change, Enroll America, Families USA, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), NAACP, MomsRising, Service Employees International Union, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, and Young Invincibles (Center for Community Change).
Enrollment will be a dangerous free-for-all because Obamacare “navigators” are barely regulated at all.
By the way, the only reason there are any “navigators” is to help the Left, as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has more or less admitted. Imposing rules would only interfere with community organizers’ ability to wreak havoc and spread the gospel of so-called social justice.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican office holder who is painfully aware of ACORN’s antics over the years, warns that the Obamacare navigator program, like all of Obamacare, is deeply flawed.
“‘Navigator’ is a crafty name, but in reality, there are very few restrictions on who they are, and what exactly they are supposed to be doing,” Jindal says. “‘Navigators’ are supposed to be hired to help consumers understand the law and the insurance coverage provisions in the new health exchanges. Sounds like a job for a rocket scientist.”
“The ‘navigators’ are prohibited from having financial ties to an insurance company, but other than that there are few constraints. Union organizers and community activists are among the types that are allowed to be hired as ‘navigators’, and having prior experience working in the health care field doesn’t seem to necessarily be a pre-requisite for the job. I wonder what percentage of these ‘navigators’ will be partisan Democrats?”
The navigators will have to undertake a mere 20 hours of online training, “which will apparently make them experts on the 1,000 page ObamaCare bill.”
These community organizers will have access to “social security numbers and tax information” and HHS isn’t even planning on running background checks before sending them out into the field.
“Besides the obvious identity theft concerns, this is a frightening development in light of the political activities and invasion of privacy, which the IRS and others have engaged in during the Obama presidency,” Jindal writes.
But as we’ve learned in the Obama era, this kind of craziness is par for the course with community organizers.
HHS Secretary Sebelius previewed the Obamacare navigators program as she supplicated before racial arsonist Rev. Al Sharpton’s radical left-wing National Action Network (NAN) at its convention in the nation’s capital in April 2012. She urged activists to get into the trenches and fight for the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and to play Santa Claus, letting their neighbors know that the law gives them access to mountains of taxpayer-funded freebies.
“In our country what we know is health care inequality [has been] one of the most persistent forms of injustice but over the past three years, as Rev. Sharpton reminded us, we have begun to turn the tide,” Sebelius said. “Now is not the time to turn back.”
“We know that the best way to keep moving in the right direction is to get people the facts. Right now there are a lot of people who are benefiting from this law who don’t even know that’s why they are benefiting.”
“We need your help,” said the former Kansas governor, herself an accomplished shakedown artist.
Just last week President Obama picked up this statist narrative, declaring that his Soviet-style government health care scheme was all about civil rights. He expounded the ugly, neo-Marxist view that every American has the right to extract free medical care from taxpayers and unwilling providers.
“In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick,” Obama bloviated. “In the United States, health care is not a privilege for the fortunate few, it is a right.”
Translation: No individual American will go broke because of Obamacare. Instead, the whole country will go broke.
And Wade Rathke’s ULU Local 100 will be at the forefront, helping to throw dirt on America’s coffin.