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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Mainstream Media Ignore Deeper Soros-De Blasio Ties

Billionaire political activist George Soros is the primary patron of New York mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio’s nonprofit organization.

Last month, the New York news media reported that Soros had endorsed De Blasio’s mayoral bid but failed to disclose the billionaire’s major financial donation to the candidate’s nonprofit as well as De Blasio’s cozy working relationship with Soros-funded activist groups.

In 2011, using his position as public advocate, De Blasio launched a nonprofit called the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending, or CAPS. The group received its primary launch donation of $400,000 from Soros’s Open Society Institute.

De Blasio used his group and his public office to organize with other Soros-funded groups.

In 2011, Chris Bragg at CityAndStateNY.com reported that De Blasio pursued a case against the Minnesota-based Target Corporation after the company contributed $150,000 to an organization that promoted a local politician, Tom Emmer, for governor. Emmer had drawn controversy for reportedly opposing a law that sought to combat the bullying of homosexual youth.

De Blasio’s office reportedly responded by organizing a protest with MoveOn.org, which is funded directly by Soros as well as by the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.

De Blasio also worked with other Soros-funded groups, noted Bragg, including Common Cause, the advocacy group Public Citizen, and the D.C.-based Center for Political Accountability.

De Blasio, meanwhile, has a long history with the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, once even steering public funds to an ACORN front group.

The relationship may be instructive. De Blasio is currently pushing a “living wage” plan that was originally ACORN’s pet project. A similar plan has been attempted in more than 80 U.S. cities, many times to disastrous financial affect.

De Blasio spent $43,000 to hire N.Y. Citizens Services Inc., an affiliate of ACORN, to run canvassing, consulting, and field work for his public advocate campaign.

As a councilman, De Blasio steered $115,000 in taxpayer dollars directly to ACORN as well as to the organization’s affiliate, the New York Agency for Community Affairs.

De Blasio’s 2010 public advocate campaign was also endorsed by the ACORN-founded Working Families Party, with which the politician evidences a larger working relationship.

De Blasio turned around and spent $67,740 to hire WFP’s for-profit branch, Data and Field Services, for canvassing and election consulting. The organization was run from the same office as New York ACORN.

WFP was founded by progressive activist Dan Cantor, who also was a founder of the socialist-oriented New Party.

De Blasio reportedly served as executive director of the New York branch of the New Party.

 

Foreign Company To Expand Its U.S. Election Services

The foreign-headquartered company that recently purchased the leading U.S. electronic voting firm is expanding its services to include election observation and social media monitoring services.

Scytl’s new “Election Observer” describes itself as a web-based solution that “manages the multiple facets of election observation.”

Included are features that enable voting providers to register, qualify, and evaluate observer personnel.

“Using GPS technology, Scytl Election Observer can also be used for location monitoring and deployment on Election Day ensuring that remote locations are reached and obligations are met.”

Scytl is also offering social media monitoring for elections.

The company, which bought the leading U.S. electronic voting firm in 2012, announced that its technology will be deployed at more jurisdictions ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

A Scytl company news release boasted that its “electronic pollbook solution recently achieved a significant milestone by eclipsing the 100th implementation in the United States.”

“This number continues to grow with many jurisdictions planning to implement electronic pollbook technology ahead of the 2014 election cycle,” continued the release.

 

Iran Flexes Its Muscle

An Iranian cell has been caught in Saudi Arabia attempting to provoke a Shiite rebellion against the Saudi kingdom, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The security officials said interrogation of the cell of seven Iranian agents caught in an eastern Saudi province revealed the existence of a second cell in Bahrain also attempting to destabilize the country by plotting a Shiite rebellion.

The security officials said that Saudi Arabia passed information to the Obama administration warning that U.S. outreach to Iran has emboldened Tehran to press ahead with a campaign to attempt to weaken moderate Arab regimes allied with the U.S.

A Jordanian source, meanwhile, told this column that moderate Arab countries are “very worried” about Obama’s diplomatic gestures to Iran. They fear any U.S. deal could expand Tehran’s future influence in the Middle East, including via proxies like Hizbullah.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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