A longtime ACORN operative is about to take 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.
The activist in question is Patrick Gaspard. He currently holds the title of White House political affairs director, the same title Karl Rove held in President Bush’s administration.
Gaspard comes from the same world of radical left-wing community organizing that shaped Barack Obama. Gaspard is well schooled in the brutal, street-smart organizing tactics taught by the late Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. 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 Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine will remain as general chairman of the DNC.)
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haitian parents, very little is known about this Rasputin-like power behind the throne. Gaspard shuns publicity and is extremely reluctant to speak to the media on the record. Look him up on Nexis and you will find virtually nothing about this otherwise influential counselor to the leader of the free world.
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, 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.”
Gaspard was previously revealed to be political director for ACORN’s New York branch. Although the source of this information, ACORN founder Wade Rathke, has since feigned senility and claimed he was mistaken, other evidence points to Gaspard’s involvement with the nation’s most notorious activist group.
ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis’s Rolodex contains an extensive entry for Gaspard, the most detailed entry of the hundreds of individuals listed. A letter published in 2001 by the Nation magazine was co-authored by Lewis and Gaspard. Gaspard indicated in the letter he was working for the socialist Working Families Party at the time, a New York political party created by Lewis and ACORN. ACORN noted on its website 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.” ACORN and the party share office space in Brooklyn.
Internal ACORN documents show that Gaspard gave ACORN $40,000 from 2007 through 2009. That’s a huge tithe for someone who made $111,894 in 2007 and who has a wife and two children. The $111,894 figure comes from SEIU 1199’s tax return.
As previously reported, the state of Nevada is preparing for the trial of ACORN which is currently scheduled for April 25. ACORN, the nonprofit entity that controls an empire of activism, in charged with conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Voter fraud, sometimes called electoral fraud, is a blanket term encompassing a host of election-related improprieties. State officials said previously that bankruptcy would not prevent them from moving forward with the case.
ACORN executive Amy Adele Busefink was given a two-year suspended prison term earlier this month for her role in the conspiracy. The case involved a scheme to provide illegal financial bonuses to voter registration canvassers for exceeding their daily quotas. Nevada law forbids the practice on the theory that such bonuses provide an incentive for canvassers to file bogus registrations.
Across America state chapters of ACORN, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, have been incorporating themselves separately in order to carry on ACORN’s work. ACORN is reorganizing and will reemerge again soon under a new name, according to ACORN historian and housing activist John Atlas, who wrote the 2010 book “Seeds of Change.”
Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy with a special focus on left-wing advocacy groups. An award-winning investigative reporter, Vadum’s book on ACORN and its infiltration of the Obama administration will be published in mid-2011.