By Tom Tillison
Why would Organizing for
America, a community organizing project of the Democratic National
Committee, mislead the public as to who they are while registering people to
Organizing for America is an
outgrowth of ‘Obama For America,’ the network of supporters who went
door-to-door urging voters to support Obama in the 2008 presidential
The move was partially motivated
by the fact that after Obama was sworn in as President, his White House was, by
law, barred from using the 13-million-name e-mail list of supporters it had
compiled during the 2008 presidential race.
Thus the administration
established OFA within the structure of the Democratic Party, which was not
bound by such restrictions. It’s mission is to galvanize public support for
Obama and his political and social agendas.
This past week, Matt
O’Hern, a local conservative media consultant, stopped in at the
Merritt Island Public Library and noticed a voter registration booth set
up. He walked over and informed the two women working the booth that he
had just moved back to Brevard County and asked if they could help him update
“Sure, what’s your new address?,”
O’Hern explained that his current
address was temporary and he wasn’t sure what to do. One of the booth workers
asked if his parents have a house in Merritt Island and then suggested he use
their address, even though he pointed out that he did not live
“Oh, that’s OK, just put their
address,” she replied.
Not feeling entirely comfortable
with this advice, O’Hern declined the offer and then inquired if these two
worked for the library. The were startled by the question, immediately looking
at one another before hesitantly answering, “Uh… no.”
“Oh ok… so who are you with? A
PAC? A 501c3? 501c4?”, O’Hern then asked.
“We’re here to help people register to
vote..we’re non partisan”, one said. The other offered “We’re called
‘Organizing for America’.”
Excusing himself, O’Hern stepped away and,
taking advantage of today’s advanced technology, used his smart phone to Google
‘Organizing for America’, discovering that it was Obama’s group sponsored by the
He then returned to the booth and showed this to
the two workers and asked if this was the organization they were referring to.
One of the workers sheepishly admitted, “Yes, that’s us.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were Democrats? Why
did you tell me you were non-partisan when clearly you’re not?”, he
One replied, “We’re not supposed to tell you.”
At which point, O’Hern chuckled to himself and walked away.
Considering that OFA is no stranger to charges of breaking election
laws, O’Hern’s experience prompts a
legitimate question, why would this organization be misleading potential voters
by claiming to be non-partisan?
One possibility is that the workers are
receiving compensation per voter registration form completed, or for meeting
certain quotas, and do not want to alienate any potential voter who may choose
to register as a Republican.
Another possibility is that, by
claiming to be non-partisan, any advice offered to potential voters as they
register, such as which party affiliation to choose, would be accepted as
This is not the first time a
worker representing OFA has been hesitant in identifying precisely who they are.
The Shark-Tank’s Javier Manjarres reported on a similar experience earlier this