Catholic Charities, Parishes At Hub of Vote Fraud Schemes
By PAUL LIKOUDIS
May 8, 1997
LOS ANGELES - From its beginning more than 25 years ago, the Catholic Church's Campaign for Human Development has been criticized for funding left-wing Democratic Party-affiliated political action committees, but Church officials consistently denied it.
Now, however, the U.S. Congress will have the chance to examine in detail allegations made by defeated Cong. Bob Dornan: that Catholic parishes and organizations, and Church-funded "community groups" participated in massive vote fraud, resulting in a crooked election.
"I'm very concerned about what the Church is doing here," said Michael Schroeder, chairman of the California Republican Party, an attorney for Cong. Dornan, and a Catholic.
"It seems like the Church is becoming involved in partisan politics, and [clerics] are giving the impression that their main interest is ideology. I'm afraid the Church is getting involved in some very unsavory activities," he said.
The role Catholic Charities and Catholic parishes in Orange County played in facilitating illegal voting in the November, 1996 federal election is one aspect of a broad investigation into the Clinton-Gore election strategy to replace Catholic pro-life Cong. Dornan with a militant pro-abort Hispanic, Loretta Sanchez Brixey.
The involvement of Church organizations is central to the ongoing investigation of vote fraud in California's 46th Congressional District, Cong. Dornan told The Wanderer. This is so because Catholic Charities claims to have distributed 16,000 voter registration forms to groups throughout Orange County, and some officials boasted "We know that teams hostile to Christianity preyed on Latinos coming out of Sunday Mass at several parishes, telling them they could vote even if they weren't citizens, " he said.
"We want to know who was in these citizenship classes," adds Schroeder. "We want to know how many people they registered; how many people voted, and what Catholic Charities did with all its registration forms: whom did it give them to?"
Despite vigorous stonewalling by subpoenaed organizations - including the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Catholic Charities of Orange County, Church-funded affiliates of the Industrial Areas Foundation, and Loretta Sanchez Brixey - Dornan has already found solid evidence of criminal wrongdoing in his congressional race, including the registration of illegal alien felons as voters.
In the past two weeks, since the investigation of vote fraud formally began April 19th, lawyers working for Cong. Dornan have learned that in one Orange County precinct 460 more ballots were cast than there were registered voters. In another precinct of 1,160 ballots examined, 570 were cast by noncitizens, and another 102 were cast by illegal aliens.
Dornan lost his race to Brixey by a mere 979 votes out of 93,000 cast.
While Dornan and his lawyers continue their legal efforts to compel compliance with Congress-ordered subpoenas, they have already produced massive documentation uncovering an illegal scam to register noncitizens and illegal aliens to vote in Catholic parishes and are focusing on the role of Catholic Charities in the election of Loretta Sanchez Brixey.
Included in that evidence are: letters from Fr. Miguel Vega of the Southern California IAF Network to White House officials; internal Immigration and Naturalization Service documents; sworn depositions of vote fraud witnesses; and White House memos linking California Industrial Areas Foundation affiliates to the roll-out-the vote project of Clinton and Gore.
These documents also show that the vote fraud in the '96 election was not unique to Orange County, but similar projects involving Church-funded organizations occurred in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, among other cities. They picture a desperate White House forcing a compliant INS to forgo its standard procedures in a rush to register more than 200,000 immigrants in time for the '96 election, and the thoroughly corrupt manner in which immigrants were hastily granted citizenship and enrolled as voters, often through area churches.
Item: In a sworn deposition, James Humble-Sanchez, a ten-year criminal investigator with the Los Angeles office of the INS, declares that both INS Commissioner Doris Meissner and Deputy Commissioner Chris Sales made "deliberate, false, and misleading statements" to cover the naturalization of an estimated 75,000 perjurers, with arrest records; that INS's streamlined citizenship process is an "honor system for criminals"; that Citizenship USA (created by Chicago IAF boss Dan Solis and implemented by Al Gore) is worsening the backlog of naturalization cases, rather than easing it.
Item: CLINIC - the Los Angeles-based Catholic Legal Immigration Network - with a $500,000 grant from INS for "citizenship activities," was so busy feeding immigrants into its citizenship rituals that it bypassed INS requirements that citizens have a rudimentary understanding of English. The problem became so extreme that INS agents would not attend Church-run citizenship rituals because they would see that new citizens could not understand basic instructions - like where to sit.
Item: In a sworn deposition, John Rodenbour a longtime volunteer vote registrar at St. Boniface Church in Anaheim (parish base of the notoriously pro-Sandinista pastor Fr. Wilbur Davis), described how teams from MEChA, a leftwing Mexican- American group seeking the reunification of the American southwest with Mexico, told prospective registrants to describe their affiliation as "Bill Clinton- Democratic Party."
Item: In another deposition Joan Burke, also a member of St. Boniface, testified that a MEChA team worker told her that it was not necessary to be a U.S. citizen to register to vote or to vote, since identification was never requested.
"I personally observed and heard," she said, "in my presence many persons affiliated with MEChA telling prospective registrants to... indicate their affiliation as 'Bill Clinton-Democratic Party'."
She also swore that MEChA teams gave registrants illegal absentee ballots, and advised them to fill them out and return them to them and not mail them as law requires.
Item: In his deposition, Nelson Molina testified that was told by Benney Hernandez, a representative of the Loretta Sanchez campaign, that he could vote, even though he was not a citizen, and that his wife could vote twice, once by absentee ballot and again at the poll on election day.
Item: In another deposition, Carolyn J. Kopman testified that she had gone to the Orange County Registrar's Office to pick up an absentee ballot, and she witnessed a Latino man receiving two absentee ballots - one for him and one for his girlfriend - and the clerk advised him to forge his girlfriend's signature on the ballot application.
Item: In another deposition, Lance Powers, a waiter at the White House Restaurant in Anaheim, testified that he overheard Sanchez telling five of her campaign workers how to ask Latinos about how they were going to vote: "Who do you want for president? Clinton or Clinton? Who do you want for Congress? Sanchez or Sanchez?"
Her dinner companions, recalled the waiter, thought that was funny.
Item: Another waiter at the same event, James Becker, testified that midway through the dinner, Sanchez and her workers were joined by a man of Mideastern heritage. He walked in and announced loudly, "We have the Catholic churches locked up. The churches are covered." The other five dinner attendees cheered.
In 1994, concerned that mounting scandals would prevent a second term in the White House, Clinton met with Chicago immigration activist Daniel Solis, director of the IAF affiliate UNO (United Neighborhood Organization) who advised him that registering Latinos to vote could guarantee his election.
Clinton, apparently, was so impressed with the advice that he told Solis to discuss his plans in greater detail with Hillary Clinton and former chief of staff Harold Ickes.
According to Cong. Dornan, it was also Solis who provided Al Gore with a successful strategy to defeat the Republicans in key high-immigration states: Portray Republicans as anti-poor people, threatening to cut off welfare and health care benefits to illegal aliens and noncitizens.
For the Democrats, particularly in California, this was a step up the evolutionary ladder of guaranteeing election victories.
Prior to the 1996 election, Latino districts generally produced a very low percentage of voter turnout, allowing the Democratic Party bosses to pick candidates; and with a small turnout, ensure their election without the expense of rounding up voters.
But that changed after Clinton advisers began worrying that the 1996 election might be won or lost over a few hundred thousand votes - thus their mad dash to register more than 1.3 million new Latino voters nationwide before the election.
"We have a letter from Solis to Gore telling him that the Latinos can provide the swing vote in a lot of areas," Dornan told The Wanderer.
"And that's when they made me a target. City councilmen in Anaheim tell me that Loretta was planning to run again for the council - she finished eighth in 1994. However, Xavier Becerra, with an unbroken pro-abortion record, convinced Loretta to drop her married name and skip over city and state government levels to run for Congress.
"In a multiple-candidate primary, he told her, a Hispanic surname would prevail, and [he told her] that Dornan was vulnerable with Republican women because of his pro-life votes, along with the increasing Hispanic demographics. She lived then, and continues to live, in a wealthy area three districts away in L.A. County, Palos Verdes Estates.
"We know from the documents that Becerra was working closely with Gore and the INS to lower citizenship requirements, and increase Democratic registrations, and Orange County was clearly a priority for them."
From the beginning of 1996, one of Al Gore's missions was to "reinvent government," and a key component of that was streamlining the naturalization process for new citizens, which included:
Throughout 1996, Gore worked closely with the IAF affiliates, who consistently prodded him, while he kept pressuring the INS to meet the IAF's registration quotas.
A memo sent to Gore from Active Citizenship Campaign, the IAF-run program to make citizens and register voters, describes a Jan. 30th, 1996 meeting of top IAF leaders from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, with INS Commissioner Meissner and Cong. Becerra attending. There, the IAF described how it will:
"You look at this election and you think, 'This is the perfect crime'," said Dornan.
"We've found voters who not only committed one felony, we've got quadruple felons: nonprimary relatives filling out absentee ballots; forging a voter's name on registration forms; noncitizens and illegal aliens voting; intercepting absentee ballots.
"And Sanchez is scoffing at this problem. She says it's not an issue. Her attitude is, 'So what?'
"Not only is there illegal voting to keep left-wing politics going, there's another serious problem: Innocent people are being duped into committing felonies, by registering to vote before they become citizens.
"The Latinos are being exploited - and losing their chance for citizenship - by this vote fraud."
Both Cong. Dornan and his lawyer, Mike Schroeder, agree that the Dornan case is building.
On April 28th, the Wall StreetJournal's main editorial focused on the INS's refusal to honor court-ordered subpoenas, asking, "Does the INS have something to hide?
"Last year it allowed Vice President Gore's office to pressure it into streamlining its procedures to allow more than 180,000 immigrants to vote before the 1996 election without having their criminal records checked. Some 11,000 of them had felony arrest records, but were made citizens anyway.
"Lawyers for [Cong.] Loretta Sanchez, who defeated Dornan, insist that only 77 noncitizens voted in her election. They are refusing to honor a subpoena for documents issued by [Cong.] Vernon Ehlers' committee on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. So, too, is Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, the group accused of registering so many noncitizens. . . . Congress should be aware that Hermandad has received $35 million in government grants over the past decade, mostly for citizenship' classes...."
But while the evidence mounts that Dornan's congressional seat was stolen from him through fraud, there's also the possibility that Congress - the only court of jurisdiction in Dornan's election challenge - lacks the will to challenge Sanchez's "victory" and seat "B-1 Bob."
Not only is there growing opposition in Congress, led by Dornan's former colleague Vic Fazio of Sacramento, Califomia's ranking Democrat, and a militant pro-abort, to end the inquiry, but there's some reticence about "breaking new ground."
Congress has never compelled one of its own members to comply with a subpoena, and forcing Sanchez to turn over documents may be considered an unwise political risk.
Another problem, said Dornan, is that Congress would probably be unwilling to investigate the leftwing political activities of the Catholic Church.
"The Church wields considerable power when it comes to the City of Man, but on issues of the City of God, it's silent. It's clearly not in the Church's interest for Congress to investigate this election, and I pray they're not making their views known on the Hill."