Written by Tom Fitton
American citizens took to the polls on Tuesday and voted for the status quo. The Senate will remain in Democratic hands. Republicans maintain control the House. And Barack Obama will be in the White House for another four years.
In terms of our 2012 Election Integrity Project, it looks like Romney’s failure to get out the vote made it unnecessary for the Obama machine to outright “steal” the election. Our work in that area will only increase – our voter rolls are a mess, too many states have no voter ID requirement, and the “President and all his men” are hostile to election integrity.
While Judicial Watch would have had to play “wait and see” with a Romney administration with respect to how it adhered to the rule of law and its constitutional mandates, we know exactly what to expect from Obama’s second term — corruption, secrecy and scandal, only in greater supply.
We can expect more secrecy, more unconstitutional czar appointments, and more wasteful taxpayer funded bailouts. We can expect more Solyndras and other green energy boondoggles and more illegal alien amnesty policies. We can expect more election fraud and more taxpayer support flowing to corrupt leftist groups like ACORN and Project Vote. We predict the ever greater expansion of raw government power but less respect for both the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.
And if you don’t believe me, just listen to the words of one Obama aide, who bragged to The Washington Post that bypassing our U.S. Constitution, Congress and the will of the American people will be the “new normal” in a second Obama term.
[Obama] also plans to be more aggressive in taking actions that do not require congressional approval, as he has done during the past year with an initiative that the White House has branded “We Can’t Wait.” Among them have been programs to hire veterans, assist homeowners in refinancing their mortgages and give waivers to states seeking to boost education standards.
“He does think that’s going to be the new normal,” another White House aide said.
Reuter’s put it this way: “Obama – now unfettered by not having to face voters again – is in position to pursue an ambitious agenda that could leave his mark on government for a generation or longer, including a move to revamp the nation’s immigration laws.”
Now that is a frightening thought. Without another election facing him, the president clearly feels unrestrained. Remember when the hot mike caught Obama telling a Russian official that he would be more flexible after his last election? We’re about to see what he meant by “flexibility” in more ways than one.
In fact, take a moment and click here to see the programs that have been initiated under this “We Can’t Wait Initiative” referenced by The Washington Post. You will see that one “success story” listed is the unconstitutional appointment of radical leftist Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). That will give you some idea of the types of power grabs that will be justified under this initiative.
In sifting through the numbers from Election Day, it is obvious for anyone to see that we have an extremely divided electorate. We are essentially a 50. The numbers show that Obama has no mandate for his corrupt socialism. Not to understate Obama’s victory, but a hundred thousand votes here and a hundred thousand votes there in a few swing states would have resulted in a Romney presidency.
Voters may be divided on our nation’s leadership, but not on our nation’s core values.
Judicial Watch, in partnership with Breitbart.com, commissioned an election night survey of voters (conducted by the respected firm, Public Opinion Strategies). The voter survey showed near unanimity on some key Judicial Watch areas of concern. Here are some of the highlights:
A large majority of likely respondents (65%) “strongly support” voters being required to show an official ID when voting. The issue cuts across party lines, with 94% of Republicans, 59% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 76% of overall voters believing that IDs should be required.
A majority of voters (61%) favor laws requiring local law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of people they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally. 43% strongly favor such laws, while only 23% strongly oppose. Interestingly, 40% of Hispanics support this Arizona-style enforcement approach to illegal immigration, which is 13% more Hispanics than supported Romney! This seems to undermine the politically-correct crazy talk by some that conservatives should now embrace amnesty to appeal to the “Hispanic” vote.
Corruption in the federal government is a serious concern among voters, with 85% saying they are “concerned” and 53% saying they are “very concerned.” When asked if they agree or disagree with the statement, “The larger the size of government, the more opportunities it creates for corruption,” 71% strongly agree. Asked which party they felt could do a better job of “cleaning up corruption in Washington,” 37% chose Democrats, 34% chose Republicans.
Asked if they or any member of their immediate family is currently receiving government benefits, such as unemployment, school lunches, food stamps, Medicaid, or other public assistance, 76% said “no.” Of the 23% said who “yes,” 9% said “self,” 10% said “other,” and 4% said “self and other.” Of the 23% of voters who reported receiving benefits, 46% who said “yes” voted for Romney and 51% for Obama.
Let me just take a break from the data for a moment to make a point. The numbers regarding public assistance tell us that voters receiving government assistance are not solid supporters of the President, since he won them by just a little over two points, similar to what he got nationally. It may mean, however, that Romney’s “47%” statement hurt him with younger voters between the ages of 25 and 44, 36% of who said they receive government assistance.
Now back to the data points:
In terms of government transparency, the majority of voters (48%) said they expected the new administration to be no different from the current administration, with 29% saying they expected it to be more transparent.
A combined total of 57% of voters said they considered the economy and jobs to be the top issues when casting their votes (44% the economy, 13% jobs). 17% said they considered health care to be the most important issue. And none of the social issues scored above 5%.
The news media did not fare well with voters in the JW survey. Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “The press is more likely to favor one candidate for office over another at the expense of their journalistic objectivity,” 77% of the voters agreed and only 19% disagreed. A full 57% strongly agreed with the statement.
Overall, the Judicial Watch/Breitbart/Public Opinion Strategies poll reflected an electorate strongly supportive of protecting both the integrity of the country’s electoral process and our national sovereignty. In both cases, they overwhelmingly disagree with the directions in which the Obama Administration has gone. The 85% of Americans who cite corruption in the federal government as a major concern, along with the 71% who ‘strongly agree’ that a larger government tends to be more corrupt, should give the President pause as to where he seems intent upon leading the country.
(Public Opinion Strategies interviewed 800 voters nationwide. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.45%. Results with cross tabs are also available.)
But here’s the real headline from Election Day and JW’s survey: Your Judicial Watch is needed now more than ever! We have a Congress hopelessly divided along partisan lines and with virtually no public confidence, a reckless and radical president who does not care a whit about the rule of law and a Justice Department that is politicized and complicit in the outright violation of the law. This, my friends, is the perfect storm for corruption and abuse of power. And it must be confronted aggressively and immediately.
Judicial Watch is uniquely positioned to do this work. We are up to the task. I know many of you are disappointed in the outcome of the election. But you also support Judicial Watch (which takes no sides in election battles), so you know that we are obligated to police our government and work to protect our constitutional system no matter who is in office.
Last week I told you our new movie “District of Corruption” scored the second highest per-screen average at the box office on its opening weekend. The film, distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures, averaged $7,374 over three theaters, finishing behind one other debut film, vaunted film festival favorite, “The Loneliest Planet.”
And based on this success, I’m happy to report that we’re now bringing the film to the southwest. Tonight, the film will open in Phoenix, Arizona at the AMC Desert Ridge 18. Additional cities are under consideration, and you can track the progress of the film here.
(As I mentioned last week, we opened in Texas, Florida and Ohio on October 26th. In addition to the Phoenix theater, the film also continues to screen at the AMC Lennox Town Center 24 in Columbus, OH.)
“District of Corruption” puts the spotlight on Judicial Watch’s battle against government scandal, secrecy and corruption through the last three presidential administrations, with specific emphasis on the current scandals of the Obama administration, including Operation Fast and Furious, illegal alien amnesty, election integrity, crony capitalism and bailouts, and Solyndra (see trailer here).
The film is written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, the writer/director of “Occupy Unmasked” and the Sarah Palin film “The Undefeated,” and produced in association with Constant Motion Entertainment. Rocky Mountain Pictures, which distributed the documentary sensation, “Obama 2016″ is distributing the film. (And Movie to Movement, the grassroots group that helped turn out box-office-busting numbers of moviegoers for “Obama 2016,” is helping to drive turnout.)
We are extremely proud of this film. And, as I say, it is a must-watch for anyone who wants to know what we’re up against over the next four years with Barack Obama in the White House. Believe me, the problems are only going to get worse in a second Obama administration.
Our film comprehensively exposes the Obama administration’s “greatest hits,” including: Operation Fast and Furious; crony capitalism; Solyndra and other “green energy initative;” federal bailouts and earmarks; ACORN and voter fraud; illegal alien amnesty as well as new attacks on government transparency and accountability. And it also discusses some of the warning signs on the horizon, such as election fraud.
(The film is a companion piece to my New York Times best-selling book, The Corruption Chronicles, Obama’s Big Secrecy, Big Corruption, and Big Government, which was released in July by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions.)
As you know, Judicial Watch has filed 950 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and more than 90 lawsuits against the Obama administration on issues ranging from Obamacare to the continued funding of the criminal ACORN network; from tracking Wall Street bailout money to the unconstitutional use of czars; and to the attacks on the integrity of our nation’s elections.
The number of FOIAs is likely going to shoot through the roof as we continue to keep tabs on the inner workings of the Obama administration.
For his part, Stephen K. Bannon is the award-winning filmmaker behind critically acclaimed documentaries and feature films such as: “In The Face of Evil, Still Point in a Turning World,” “The Undefeated,” and The Tea Party Trilogy: “Generation Zero,” “Fire From the Heartland,” and “Battle for America.” Again, I’m biased, but I believe this is his best film yet. It is fast-paced and entertaining, but also highly educational.
If you’re in Columbus or Phoenix, please see the film this weekend. If you have friends in those cities, please encourage them to see it, too.
On November 2, 2012, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia against the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). JW is asking the court to force HUD to comply with our April 4, 2012, FOIA request for documents relating to possible collusion between the Obama administration and the city of St. Paul, MN, in withdrawing a “disparate impact” appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. HUD has refused all JW FOIA requests for public records, even after JW paid in advance for the information.
This case is complicated but, at its heart, goes to serious scandal and legal issues, so hang with me.
First off, let’s try to define “disparate impact theory.” As I understand it, this theory argues that certain practices can be considered discriminatory if they have a disproportionate adverse impact on a minority group, irrespective of any intentional bias. So if a bank has a neutral policy on credit that disproportionately affects minority customers, the liberal world view is the policy is discriminatory per se, even if there is no intended racial bias.
Now this particular disparate impact case arose out of a lawsuit by a St. Paul minority contractor claiming that the city’s aggressive enforcement of city housing code against rental units reduced the availability of low-income rentals, especially for African American tenants. The Eighth Circuit found in the contractor’s favor, after which the city appealed to the Supreme Court.
And here’s where it gets a bit fishy.
The Department of Justice intervened, apparently persuading St. Paul to take the unusual step of withdrawing its case from the Supreme Court docket. On February 13, the Wall Street Journal published an article explaining that various federal officials had asked the City of St. Paul to withdraw its petition for certiorari in a controversy that had already been slated for argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now why would they do that?
Many federal agencies, especially now that they are run by radical appointees of President Obama, rely on the “disparate impact theory” to secure out-of-court settlements in the consumer lending and family housing arena and they were reluctant to risk a change in the legal landscape.
They were afraid that the “disparate impact theory” might either: 1) harden into law as used by the landlords who had won at the state level or 2) be eviscerated entirely.
So the next day, the parties to the case titled Magner v. Gallagher withdrew their case by mutual consent. And the evidence suggests they did so at the behest of the Obama administration.
Judicial Watch separately obtained documents under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, showing that St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing arranged a meeting between the notorious chief of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Tom Perez, and Mayor Chris Coleman a week before the city’s withdrawal from the case. Following Perez’s visit, the city withdrew its case and thanked DOJ and officials at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for their involvement.
On April 4, Judicial Watch sent a FOIA request to the U.S. Departments of Justice and Housing & Urban Development. Here’s what we’re after:
All communications with or about St. Paul, Minnesota, its residents, landlords, low-income properties or employees, specifically those exchanges:
- relating to the city’s recent petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the petition’s withdrawal in February 2012;
- regarding “disparate impact” theory or analysis in the housing, landlord-tenant, or mortgage arena;
- involving any member of the U.S. Senate’s Democratic Policy & Communications Committee, the House Democratic Caucus, or the White House, and their respective staffs; and,
- involving third parties such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Thomas Goldstein, or Walter Mondale and their respective staffs;
All invoices for travel, food, lodging, communications, or entertainment expenses incurred in connection with any “disparate impact” lawsuit against St. Paul, Minnesota.
In filing its FOIA request, Judicial Watch requested a waiver of both search and duplication fees, citing its role as a member of the news media and public interest in the case. On June 11, 2012, HUD denied Judicial Watch’s waiver request, informing JW that it would be required to pay a $1,024.43 fee before HUD would release any records.
On June 21, 2012, JW appealed HUD’s denial of a waiver request. On July 23, HUD denied JW’s appeal, and on July 31, JW paid the waiver fee in full.
That’s right we made the decision to pay the Obama administration so the public could benefit from the disclosure of records about this important issue. And yet, we still have no documents.
It is quite apparent the Obama administration improperly and successfully pressured St. Paul city officials to take the rare action of withdrawing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration and its liberal activist allies are desperate to protect their ability to use an extreme theory on race discrimination in lawsuits in order to shakedown businesses and reward allies. The liberal media won’t investigate this and Congress is AWOL. We’re happy to provide the leadership in exposing this dressed-up race baiting, abuse of public office and subversion of law.
Until next week...
Until next week…
Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.