Tuesday, October 27, 2009

'An Audacious Scheme to Violate the Law'

Color me shocked to discover the far-left Working Families Party isn't exactly abiding by the law. Next thing you know we'll discover ACORN is run by shady characters.
The labor-backed Working Families Party has engaged in "an audacious scheme to violate the law" to help the party's favored political candidates get elected, a sweeping new lawsuit charges.

The first-of-its-kind suit says the WFP created a political outfit, Data and Field Services, that it is using to "circumvent state election and local campaign finance laws."

The way the scheme works, according the suit, is that the WFP gets involved in local races, backing its favored candidates, who in turn hire DFS for vital campaign services, such as phone banking, polling and get-out-the-vote efforts.

But under the plan, the WFP-endorsed candidates pay only "a nominal sum, well below fair market value," for those services -- giving those candidates a major, unfair advantage over their opponents, whose spending is limited by law.

"This is a case about an audacious scheme to violate the law by using corporate subterfuge to hijack our local election process," says the suit, which was filed in Staten Island.

"It goes to the very heart of our local democracy and undermines the fairness and integrity of our local elections."

The suit, filed on behalf of five aggrieved Staten Island voters, highlights the relationship between the City Council campaign of Debi Rose, a WFP-backed candidate, and DFS.

The court papers provide a case study for how the WFP, which has been increasing its influence, operates.

Two WFP candidates, Bill de Blasio and John Liu, are expected next week to be elected as public advocate and comptroller, respectively, and the party scored recent wins in a number of key council races.

The lawsuit charges that he Rose campaign -- which bested incumbent Democratic Councilman Ken Mitchell in the primary last month -- paid a mere $19,000 to DFS in that contest.

The real value of the campaign services in a council race is at least $100,000, according to the legal papers.

DFS provided aid to Rose's campaign, including polling, phone banking and petitioning in the primary, according to court papers.

"Something doesn't fit. Somebody's cooking the books," attorney Randy Mastro said.

"It would appear DFS was created as a corporate veil to shield the WFP, [which is] funneling campaign contributions to candidates they support."

Since corporations are limited to giving political candidates $5,000 worth of services or cash in a calendar year, the discounted DFS rates are tantamount to in-kind political contributions that never get reported, the suit says.
How clever. It's almost as if the left didn't have faith in the public to vote for them so they have to discover ways to steal elections.

By the way, did someone mention ACORN?
A new lawsuit against the Working Families Party also hits another target -- the scandal-tarnished group ACORN, which shares office space with the party.

Pointing to a string of probes that ACORN is facing and news reports about the two groups sharing a Nevins Street address in Brooklyn, the suit seeks to flush out the overlap.

Critics of the two groups have long complained they work hand in glove -- and have found compelling evidence in Brooklyn.

"Another organization that helped found and remains closely [allied] with the WFP is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, commonly known as ACORN," reads a petition filed in the case, charging that "ACORN not only shares office space with the WFP . . . but Bertha Lewis, the executive director of New York ACORN, is also a state co-chair of the WFP."

The suit goes on to say the WFP "has remained closely" tethered to the group.

The court papers cite an exclusive Post story about hidden cameras at the Nevins Street offices capturing ACORN workers counseling a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp on how to buy a home and keep authorities from catching on.
Imagine my surprise to discover Lewis is the state co-chair of the WFP.

Community organizer Barack Obama was unavailable for comment.

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