Wendy Button, speechwriter for Obama, supports McCain

As far as I can tell, this is just out this morning. This Daily Beast revelation will be a real test for the MSM; will reporters give this the coverage that Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter received for her comments about Sarah Palin?
Her account starts this way:

So Long, Democrats
by Wendy Button
Wendy Button is a writer in Washington, DC. She has written for Senators John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Mayor Tom Menino of Boston as well as other national and international leaders. She received her MFA in writing from Bennington College and is currently writing the CNN Heroes Award Show to air Thanksgiving night.
A speechwriter for Obama, Edwards, and Clinton on why she’s voting McCain.
Since I started writing speeches more than ten years ago, I have always believed in the Democratic Party. Not anymore. Not after the election of 2008. This transformation has been swift and complete and since I’m a woman writing in the election of 2008, “very emotional.”
When I entered this campaign, it was at the 2006 Edwards staff Christmas party. My nametag read “Millie Worker.” When former Senator John Edwards read it, he laughed and said, “That makes you like my parent.” He went on to say, “Would you please come down to Chapel Hill so we can talk about what’s coming up.” I sat in John and Elizabeth’s living room for two and half hours. I left North Carolina, energized about politics for the first time in months.
I didn’t hear from anyone for three weeks.
When I finally received the official offer, it was the kind of political offer that said, “Go away.” That happens. It’s their campaign and I just assumed that I had been pushed out. The problem was that I had canceled a number of freelance writing jobs because I had assumed that when John said, “Start right away” I would. I needed a job right away and so I took the one in front of me with Senator Barack Obama.
When we first met, Obama and I had a nice conversation about speeches and writing, and at the end of the meeting I handed him a pocket-sized bottle of Grey Poupon mustard so he wouldn’t have to ask staff if it was okay to put it on his hamburger. At the bottom of the bottle was the logo for “The South Beach Diet” and he snapped, “Oh so you read People magazine.” He seemed to think that I was commenting on his bathing suit picture.
I helped with his announcement speech and others. I worked in the Senate when he was in D.C. One day after a hearing on Darfur, we were walking back to the office. I was still hobbling from a very bad ankle injury and in a very kind and gentle way he offered his arm when we approached the stairs. But later in debate preps and phone conversations and meetings, I realized that I had made a mistake. I didn’t belong. No matter how hard I tried, my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

Ms. Button has made a rapid turn based on differences of style and substance:

The party I believed in wouldn’t look down on working people under any circumstance. And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.
Our economy is in the tank for many complicated reasons, especially because people don’t have enough money. So let them keep it. Let businesses keep it so they can create jobs and stay here and weather this storm. And yet, the Democratic ideology remains the same. Our approach to problems—big government solutions paid for by taxing the rich and big and smaller companies—is just as tired and out of date as trickle down economics. How about a novel approach that simply finds a sane way to stop the bleeding?

And so, she is making a move toward McCain, who Button says is the bipartisan candidate in the election:

We can talk about the wardrobe and make-up even though most people don’t understand the details about Senator Obama’s plan with Iraq. When he says, “all combat troops,” he’s not talking about all troops—it leaves a residual force of as large as 55,000 indefinitely. That’s not ending the war; that’s half a war.
I was dead wrong about the surge and thought it would be a disaster. Senator John McCain led when many of us were ready to quit. Yet we march on as if nothing has changed, wedded to an old plan, and that too is a long way from the Democratic Party.
I can no longer justify what this party has done and can’t dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics. It’s wrong and someone has to say that. And also say that the Democratic Party’s talking points—that Senator John McCain is just four more years of the same and that he’s President Bush—are now just hooker lines that fit a very effective and perhaps wave-winning political argument…doesn’t mean they’re true. After all, he is the only one who’s worked in a bipartisan way on big challenges.

This should be interesting…

Advisor to New York Rep. John Hall registered to vote in Ohio

UPDATE: Below I referred to a letter sent to about 150 people with questionable residency. Here is that letter.
I suppose this might be the fourth dot. The Franklin County Board of Elections confirmed tonight that Ms. Little did cast a vote In Ohio by absentee ballot.
There are three dots to connect in this post.
Dot one – Amy Little, former campaign manager for Rep. John Hall (D-NY) and current advisor, resides in New Paltz, New York (this is near Poughkeepsie).
Dot two – Ms. Little is in Columbus, Ohio (1979 N. Fourth Street to be exact) co-organizing Vote Today Ohio, a pro-Obama get out the vote group.
Dot three – Ms. Little registered to vote in Ohio even though she is a resident of New Paltz, NY.
Currently, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and the Franklin County Board of Elections are investigating about 150 people with questionable residency who registered to vote in Franklin County. Michael Stinziano, Director of the Franklin County Board, told me:

It is public knowledge that the Franklin County Board of Elections is investigating all allegations submitted to either our office or the Prosecutor’s office and as part of that, consideration of what the allegation alleges. At this time, I cannot state whether the investigation is voter fraud, registration fraud or something additional.

No telling how widespread this is. Vote Today Ohio and similar groups are in major Ohio cities and at large state universities. I have reported on this before. Obamatravel.org helps fund people to make these trips. Here is the mission of Obamatravel.org:

Welcome to OBAMAtravel.org. This site is designed to help volunteers from non-swing states get to crucial swing states by connecting them with the resources they need.

If these volunteers come to get out the vote, that is organizing. If they come to vote, that would be considered improper. Clearly, it disrupts the election to have people from a state the Obama campaign deems safe come to a swing state and vote there.

Franklin County (OH) pulls out of state ballots for review

I talked this morning with Carolyn Gorup at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio. She noted that 200 absentee ballots have been pulled for review. Some of these were due to inability to verify the address. Others, however, were due to concerns about out-of-state voters entering Ohio to vote. The Vote Today Ohio group is one that was specifically identified.
Ms. Gorup indicated that the BOE is very serious about maintaining the integrity of the election and are actively researching leads about improper out-of-state voters. Information can be emailed to the Franklin County Board of Elections at boe (at) vote.franklincountyohio.gov.

Franklin County (OH) removes voter registration information from website

UPDATE: The website is back up. The BOE says there are about 200 absentee ballots they are examining at this moment. The reason the information was removed was due to some concerns that peace officers had about their information being available to the public – an legal reason to shield that information. In the effort to remove several addresses, all were removed temporarily.
On Saturday, I posted about Vote Today Ohio leaders who live out of state but registered to vote in Franklin County, Ohio.
However, if you go now to the Franklin County website to look up registration information you will find that the address and other poling location information associated with registrants have been removed.
redacted Ohio
All addresses and absentee ballot information have been redacted for all voters. The statute 149.43 is Ohio’s public records law. This statute provides exceptions to the release of public records. Someone must have complained about the addresses being online although I can find nothing in the statute that would exempt voter registrations.
As a follow up, here are the funding sources of Vote Today Ohio.
You have to wonder how widespread the practice of Obama supporters from safe states heading to swing states is. There is a website that encourages people to make just these kinds of moves called Obamatravel.org. The page says it is not directly supported by the Obama campaign.
UPDATE: I should have known Palestra.net would have more on the out-of-staters.
No doubt, more to come…

Did Obama laud anti-Israel proponent Khalidi?

Lots of bloggers seem to think so. And the LA Times allegedly has the video. Will we see it before election day? Will it matter?
Read Gateway Pundit for the story…
Here’s the intro:

Introduction: The LA Times is holding a video that shows Barack Obama celebrating with a group of Palestinians who are openly hostile towards Israel. Barack Obama even gives a toast to a former PLO operative at this celebration. If the American public saw this side of Barack Obama he would never be elected president.
But, the media refuses to release this video.

Vote Today Ohio out of state leaders register in Ohio

Democrats have been downplaying Republican concerns about voter fraud but it appears that there are at least some reasons for their worries. Yesterday, Vote from Home folded operations in Ohio because it was learned that some of their members had indeed voter incorrectly. Their votes were disallowed. Some Obama workers have withdrawn their votes as well.
Another effort to organize voters is Vote Today Ohio. Co-founded by Tate Hausman, a political organizer and member of the Working Families Party in New York, Vote Today Ohio says that the group exists to bring unlikely voters into the polls and boasts that they are responsible for at least 3300 votes.
Watch this report from Palestra.net for the background.
The organization’s Facebook group page has this description:

Progressives from Ohio and all over the USA are banding together to turn out new and unlikely voters during Ohio’s Early Vote Period (up until Nov 3). Early votes are smarter and easier to cast, and they can’t be lost to long lines, broken machines, or GOP tampering on Election Day.

The window of opportunity is referred to as Golden Week:

What’s this “Golden Week?”
Ohio recently changed its voting laws in a way that creates an extraordinary opportunity for Democrats to win Ohio, and thus win the election. For a 7 day window, from Sept 30 – Oct 6, Ohio residents can register and vote early in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. That means we don’t need to spend double the time and energy registering folks, and then turning them out to vote a month later. During the Golden Week, it all happens in one fell swoop — so our energy and money works doubletime.

As far as I can tell, no one leading VTO is from Ohio or intends to remain in Ohio. The leaders listed on the Facebook group with their location are Tate Hausman, Amy Little (Poughkeepsie, NY), Billy Wimsatt (New York, NY), Pam Kapoor (Ottawa, ON), Yolanda Hippensteele (East Bay, CA). Ms. Little was the campaign manager for progressive democrat John Hall’s successful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006.
Tate Hausman made it clear on his blog that he was going to Ohio, not to become a resident but to organize for Obama. And his blog makes it clear that he resides in New York City where he recently had a meet and greet for another Working Families Party member, Daniel Squadron.
He announced his new Vote Today Project project on September 11, 2008.

In my never-ending quest to make our government more progressive, I’ve gotten myself mixed up in an exciting new campaign. Actually, I’m running it.

He notes the transient nature of the effort.

(Note: This is going to be a super-intense campaign, without much time to blog, much less eat or sleep. Forgive me if I go radio silent for a while.)

As noted above, Mr. Hausman is a member of the Working Families Party. Like the New Party before it, the WFP seeks to encourage fusion voting, meaning allowing a candidate to represent more than one party. The political strategy of the Working Families Party also reprises the New Party via electing far left Democrats to replace centrists. Mr. Hausman describes the method:

My friends at the Working Families Party have chosen Daniel as one of their top races this year, because he could be a poster child for the WFP’s strategy of replacing “bad” Democrats (centrist, corporate, do-nothings) with “good” Democrats (progressive, responsive, high integrity).

While organizing here, at least three of the VTO people have registered to vote according to the Franklin County Board of Elections website. There registrations are here. As you will see, they have received absentee ballots to the 1979 N 4th street address.
Ms. Little’s registration is posted as an example. The other two are here (Hausman) and (Hippensteele).
hippensteele
I am not aware if there has been any official investigation into these registrations and I do not know if these individuals have actually voted. It does not appear that Mr. Hausman and Ms. Little intend to remain in Ohio and they reside in New York. I do not know what Ms. Hippensteele’s intentions are regarding the Buckeye state.
The broader concern is the potential for abuse. The reporting of Palestra.net (kudos to Tiffany Wilson and crew who have been all over this story) raises serious concerns about the integrity of the election in Ohio.

Palin policy speech today on special needs families

I wish I could have heard it but just down the road in Pittsburgh, Sarah Palin delivered a policy speech, on the topic of special needs and disabilities.
Her full remarks are here with video.
She has been much maligned for her special needs record. However, claims of cutting programs that I have researched have been false with most programs for special needs families receiving increases from her Alaska budgets.

Show and tell: New Party newspaper

If there are any doubters that Barack Obama was a member of the New Party in the 90s, this may clear it up.
From the New Zeal blog, here is a screen capture of the newsletter announcing the success of New Party member Barack Obama in his state senate election. Note the quote…
obama new party
Socialist Bernie Sanders approved as you can see. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a less liberal voting record in the Senate than does Obama.
I am not trusting enough to think Mr. Obama will cast aside his far left mentoring and govern from the center, especially if he gets majorities in the House and Senate.