What is a community organizer? ACORN stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles expose ACORN fraud

Citizen journalists exposed ACORN on camera. Now the Obama/Democrat politicians have to sever their ties with the socialist group famous for ballot stuffing, voter registrations by the tens of thousands and illegal loans by the thousands (helping fuel the financial meltdown).  The two citizen journalists asked for tax advice on opening up a house of prostitution and got some good tips from ACORN staff members. 

 

The interview was taped and now Obama has some explaining to do. Why did he pick 9-11 for the first annual day of service? Now ACORN will forever be tied to a tragic day in American history. ACORN is a brownshirt political activist group hired to rig local elections and beef up poor and illegal numbers for federal aid.  What a shitty organization? My god! 

 

Two employees at the Baltimore, Maryland, branch of the liberal community organizing group ACORN were caught on tape allegedly offering advice to a pair posing as a pimp and prostitute on setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.

The video  was recorded and and posted online Thursday by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist. He was joined on the video by another conservative, Hannah Giles, who posed as the prostitute in the filmmakers’ undercover sting.

Wonder why the New York Times or Washington Post didn’t think of doing this kind of real journalism? I think you know the answer.

The video shows the pair approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office and asking them for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador. One of the ACORN workers suggests that Giles refer to herself as a “performing artist” on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.

“Stop saying prostitution,” the woman, identified by the filmmaker as an ACORN tax expert, tells Giles. The other woman tells them, “You want to keep them clean … make sure they go to school.”

Both woman appear enthusiastic to help. The tape is on YOUTUBE. Google it. 

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles visited one of ACORN’s New York offices in August, where they picked up handy tips on how to lie on housing forms to cover up a prostitution business (”Honesty is not going to get you the house,” one ACORN official advises) and how to hide cash from their illicit business (”When you buy the house with the backyard, you get a tin…and you bury it down in there…cover it…and put the grass over it…”).

Watch the whole thing at Big Government. This is now the third videotaped sting exposing the ACORN racket’s law-undermining, truth-sabotaging counseling sessions.

If the Census Bureau no longer trusts ACORN to collect data as a result of these videotapes, why is Congress still allowing taxpayer money to be funneled to the ACORN Housing Corporation?

AHC has received an estimated $16 million in taxpayer funds between 1997-2007, according to the Employment Policies Institute.

 ACORN is now managing apartments in Bedford-Stuyvesant for the newly completed Atlantic Avenue Apartments.

 

The video footage — which has been edited and goes to black in some areas — was recorded and posted online Thursday by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist. He was joined on the video by another conservative, Hannah Giles, who posed as the prostitute in the filmmakers’ undercover sting.

The video shows the pair approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office and asking them for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador.

One of the ACORN workers suggests that Giles refer to herself as a “performing artist” on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.

 

 

 

 

Governor Sarah Palin, in her Wednesday night speech to 40 million Americans said, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” Sarah hit a grand slam with that one.

 

But what exactly were Barack Obama’s actions as of community organizer in Chicago?

 

It’s been hidden from the news that Obama was a member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN. Google ACORN and you may be surprised to find that it is a liberal/socialist organization involved in voter fraud. Look up the lawsuits ACORN is involved in.

 

 

Obama’s community organizing involved training grievance-mongers from ACORN.

Last week, Milwaukee’s top election official announced plans to seek criminal investigatioins of 37 ACORN employees accused voter registration fraud on a massive level.

 

Obama’s campaign apologized for failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were “accidently” filed with the Federal Election Committee as money sent to “get-out-the-vote” and “advance work.”

 

The New York Post has more quotes today from upset community organizers. Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, says: “I don’t like seeing the really hard work that goes on in really poor communities being demeaned by cheap politicians.”

 

Hard work such as signing up non U.S. citizens as Democrats with voter cards.

 

The Arkansas connection
You know Acorn. You know the grassroots organization, now a national power, got its start here, led by Wade Rathke (pictured), who spent the group’s formative years wheeling and dealing in Little Rock before moving to New Orleans. The local affiliate remains a powerful voice for poor people.

Depending on your point of view, you’ll be saddened or gladdened to learn this shocking news:

The New York Times reports today that founder Rathke’s brother embezzled $1 million from the organization eight years ago and the matter was handled internally.He stayed on the payroll until a month ago, when whistleblowers finally forced him out.

Wade Rathke said the organization had signed a restitution agreement with his brother in which his family agreed to repay the amount embezzled in exchange for confidentiality.

Wade Rathke stepped down as Acorn’s chief organizer on June 2, the same day his brother left, but he remains chief organizer for Acorn International L.L.C.

He said the decision to keep the matter secret was not made to protect his brother but because word of the embezzlement would have put a “weapon” into the hands of enemies of Acorn, a liberal group that is a frequent target of conservatives who object to its often strident advocacy on behalf of low- and moderate-income families and workers.

Wade Rathke said he learned of the problem when an employee of Citizens Consulting alerted him about suspicious credit card transactions. An internal investigation uncovered inappropriate charges on the cards that led back to his brother.

“Clearly, this was an uncomfortable, conflicting and humiliating situation as far as my family and I were concerned,” he said, “and so the real decisions on how to handle it had to be made by others.”

If one of the prosperous businesses or public officials Rathke and Acorn have bedeviled and humiliated over the years had offered this alibi for wrongdoing, they would be in Lompoc right now.

Miss California has same views against gay marriage as President Obama, Biden and and Hillary

President Barack Obama didn’t think the media lap dogs would do this to him just 100 days into his term. But thanks to The Donald, Obama ended up in the middle of the gay/lesbian/transgender smear campaign against Miss California.  — the debate over Carrie Prejeans Christian beliefs — in opposition to gay marriage.

At a press conference addressing Carrie Prejean’s disputed title in the Miss USA competition, pageant owner Donald Trump compared Prejean’s stated views on gay marriage to Obama’s. Bloggers on Twitter have pointed this out weeks ago. 

“It’s the same answer that the president of the United States gave,” Trump said. “She gave an honorable answer. She gave an answer from her heart.”

In her own remarks moments later, Prejean echoed Trump’s statement, telling reporters: “The president of the United States, the secretary of state, and many Americans agree with me in this belief.” Let’s be clear on this media/gay smear, Miss Prejean would be Miss USA today, if not for the biased, hate-filled attacks by the gay/lesbian/transgender political arm of the Democratic party of the U.S. Perez Hilton is the one who should be in a controversy today by the major media.

Q: “Do you support gay marriage?” VP BIDEN: “No, Barack Obama nor I support redefining, from a civil side, what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically a decision to be able to be left to the faiths and people who practice their faiths to determine what you call it.”

It’s time to stop the global warming propaganda machine while we still have freedom of speech

A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.

Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”

New York Times burried Obama ACORN major donor story before the election

‘New York Times’ Spiked Obama Donor Story

The New York Times building is shown in New York on June 2008. The Times pulled a story about Barack Obama’s campaign ties to ACORN. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN

Constitutional crisis.
This story was published in the Philadelphia Bulletin. Did you see this in your local favorite newspaper?
By Michael P. Tremoglie, The Bulletin
Monday, March 30, 2009

 

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.” 

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”’

Ms. Moncrief made her first overture to Ms. Heidelbaugh after The New York Times allegedly spiked the story — on Oct. 21, 2008. Last fall, she testified under oath about what she had learned about ACORN from her years in its Washington, D.C. office. Although she was present at the congressional hearing, she did not testify.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and “ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws.”  

He also voiced criticism of The New York Times.

“If true, The New York Times is showing once again that it is a not an impartial observer of the political scene,” he said. “If they want to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, they should put Barack Obama approves of this in their newspaper.”

Academicians and journalism experts expressed similar criticism of the Times.

When newspapers start reporting the news, and both sides to an issue, letting us make up my own mind, rather than having it influenced by the unionist/socialist agenda, we will start reading again…until then, God save the Internet.

Rush Limbaugh and Jim Cramer on Obama’s enemies list – Jon Stewart (real name is Leibowitz) is Obama’s throne sniffer

Updated March 13, 2009:

President Obama’s enemies now includes Jim Cramer of Mad Money. The list grows as the public finds life savings destroyed by BO’s socialist, wealth eroding Marxist ideals. 

Obama fan (voted for him)

Cramer, a former supporter of Obama, criticized the president yesterday on the Today Show, saying that his budget has “basically put a level of fear in this country that I have not seen ever in my life.”

“This is the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president,” Cramer added.

 

Cramer has a lot of business smarts. He left the newspaper business more than 10 years ago for TheStreet.com and later Mad Money on CNBC. 

 

 

 

Obama White House’s chief spokesman Robert Gibbs on Friday said he enjoyed watching “The Daily Show” talking head John Sewart tear CNBC’s Jim Cramer (a former Hearst staffer) a new one.  It was a week of payback from Cramer’s opinion that Obama has been the worst president when it comes to economis in modern history. Cramer’s Thursday appearance on Stewart’s (his real surname is Leibowitz) Comedy Central program created buzz throughout the MSM. The Stewart attacks started last Monday.

This is a gaudy scene of Obama’s power in the media. But that is fading as his popularity numbers fall. 

Press secretary Gibbs said he had spoken with President Barack Obama on Thursday about watching the Stewart-Cramer showdown.

 

From Jim Cramer — “Now some, including Rush Limbaugh, would say I am on Obmama’s enemies list: that of the White House. Limbaugh says there are only a handful of us on it, and if I am on it for defending all of the shareholders out there, then I am in good company. Limbaugh — whom I do not know personally, but having been in radio myself, know professionally as a genius of the medium — says, ‘They’re going to shut Cramer up pretty soon, too, but he’ll go down with a fight.'”

Carlson, reached Friday, described Stewart as “a partisan demagogue.”

“Jim Cramer may be sweaty and pathetic—he certainly was last night—but he’s not responsible for the current recession,” Carlson told POLITICO. “His real sin was attacking Obama’s economic policies. If he hadn’t done that, Stewart never would have gone after him. Stewart’s doing Obama’s bidding. It’s that simple.” — Tucker Carlson on Jon Stewart’s hatchet job. 

 

JON Stewart, the leftist who continues to support only Democrat/Socialist causes and has proven to be a big supporter of Obama, may have had a secret weapon in his corner to help him prep for his grudge match with “Mad Money” host, Jim Cramer – his older brother.

As the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, Stewart’s brother, Larry Leibowitz, is head of US Markets & Global Technology at NYSE Euronext. (Stewart’s given surname is also “Leibowitz,” but he famously told “60 Minutes” that he changed it to “Stewart” because Leibowitz “sounded too Hollywood” Why? Is he ashamed to be a Jew?) Larry has also held high positions at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

A Page Six spy who recently shared an elevator ride at the NYSE with Leibowitz and Big Board CEO Duncan Niederauersays, “They both got off on the sixth floor, after Leibowitz had practically been doing everything but shine his shoes for the short ride up. What a routine they have. One brother pretends to kick Wall Street’s butt by crucifying Cramer on his show, while the other brother is down on Wall Street kissing it.”

Whatever advice the elder Leibowitz gave the talk-show host before last week’s showdown, it worked: The typically loudmouthed Cramer was uncharacteristically silent in the face of Stewart’s attacks and even seemed repentant at times.

Meanwhile, the hit to Cramer’s credibility has been followed by a hit to his ratings. While a CNBC rep says that March numbers for “Mad Money” are up overall compared to February, the show suffered a 2 percent decline in viewership in the days following Cramer’s appearance on Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and 6 percent in the 25-54 demographic. — The NY Daily News

 

 

Back to Rush

After the CPAC speech Rush Limbaugh gave — going  for  1.5 hours, the White House spokesman, Mr. Gibbs keeps up the attacks on Mr. Limbaugh to marginalize him.

This is Soviet-style politics. The Democratic/Socialists are targeting Rush Limbaugh because they know the “blame Bush” propaganda has lost its political currency with the masses. 

 

Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.

The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.

Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s. — Politico.com

Rush Limbaugh has single-handedly solidified opposition to the Obama administration’s “Socio-Economic Stimulus Plan.”  Rush authored a “shot over the bow” opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday and it got some attention. 

Barack Obama warned congressional Republicans not to side with Rush Limbaugh. Next, George Soros, the multi-billionaire socialist, (who made his money in hedge funds and betting against UK and US currency)  helps fund the Democrat Party socialist organization Moveon.org and the new Obama administration with ad mad money. 

Limbaugh has said he hopes Obama’s liberalism fails. Rush’s huge national voice (20 million adults 18-65) is a serious problem for socialists. He is the leader of free enterprise and the enemy of Big Brother government.

The Obama White House has endorsed an ad attacking Limbaugh to try and isolate and muzzle him. They started airing immediately following the WSJ opinion piece. 

But wait, there are more attacks from the White House as financial analysts point out Obama’s lack of economics training. Jim Cramer stated on his popular cable show that Obama has destroyed more wealth than any other president. 

There is chatter on the Internet about plans at high levels to silence Limbaugh and later Michael Savage a Top 3 national radio host. They have had death threats before. But the online chatter seems to be at an all time high. 

The plans could go something like this: pick from a handful of  mentally handicapped, Islamic fanatics  and set a few up as the patsies in an  assassination of Rush. The blame will be deflected from the Democrats (who benefit). About two or three months later, Michael Savage will appear to have “committed  suicide.” 

Or just pave the way for the “Fairness Doctrine” by smearing Savage as a “Hate Monger.”  This will scare off advertisers and have stations dropping Savage thus ending his career.

Rush and Savage are very powerful free thinkers and targets. They are America’s last speed bumps on the Democrat machine’s highway to socialism. 

If these rumors come to fruition, it’s over. Welcome to the USSA.

…in my opinion.

There are a number of “legit” left-wing Web sites with subtle and sometimes bold campaigns trying to put Rush and Savage out of business, reminds me of the Nazi’s Kristol Nacht.

CAIR’s list of companies boycotting Savage show includes some that have never advertised on it or any other talk show. It’s apparently a phony list to try and defame Savage. 

CAIR —  the Council on American Islamic Relations, has been organizing a  boycott of Michael Savage’s show.

“AutoZone: CAIR wrong about Michael Savage ads,” from WorldNetDaily (thanks to D. C. Watson):

The Council on American-Islamic Relations claims a raft of companies have stopped advertising on Michael Savage’s top-rated radio talk show in response to a CAIR-instigated boycott campaign, but several of the cited companies say they don’t know what the Islamic lobby group is talking about.In a recent announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts “drops ‘Savage Nation’ ads,” CAIR stated:

“Advertisers that have already stopped airing, or refuse to air commercials on ‘Savage Nation’ include AutoZone, Citrix, JCPenney and Citgo.”

 

Most of these companies have not been advertising on any talk radio shows, including Air America. 

But we know that Media Matters, a leftist/socialist DC Web site staffed by college students, many working for free for the cause, has tried to have Rush’s show taken off Armed Services Radio.

We request that  talk radio host Rush Limbaugh from the American Forces Radio and Television Service (formerly known as Armed Forces Radio). 

The request never gained support in the Bush administration, what will we see happen with the new Obama/Democrat one party government? 

Limbaugh has had his share of death threats. He has also had his quota of criticism from the media, or the liberal media, as he tends to call it. He hates interviews and has rarely given any –The London Telegraph

 

 

Sleepless in Seattle — The Post-Intelligencer shuts down — lives online

Last week: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has told employees they “might” lose their jobs as soon as next week after a deadline for Hearst Corp to sell the newspaper passed last Monday. 

The news is out, the  146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer prints its last edition tomorrow.

The P-I will continue to “live” on the Internet with a much smaller staff.

I like it. It’s a mix of current and archival. Mikey likes it!

http://www.seattlepi.com 

Owner, the Hearst Corp. reports it has failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for sale in January after nine years of financial losses. There are no more suckers left with enough trust fund money to waste.

The end of the print edition leaves The Seattle Times as the only major daily newspaper in the city. 

The TV stations will be there tonight and tomorrow capturing the historic day.

Seattle has been counting TV, and now the internet as their favorite news sources. Do you think people will wait for the Seattle Times to find out?

 

 

Last week:

Read between the lines: Boxes for removing personal items and shredding bins are scheduled to be delivered to the PI floors this week.

Clues suggest Hearst plans to close the P-I shortly

Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on its own demise
Just after Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer claimed that “we are still evaluating our options,” Post-Intelligencer staffers learned that boxes and bins are scheduled to be delivered to the newsroom later this week — some for materials to be taken home, others for notes that require shredding. “It would be nice to have some clarity,” says business reporter Joseph Tartakoff. “It’s really hard to plan your work when you’re not sure if you’ll be around the next day.”

The New York Times sold off the majority of its new sky scraper in New York and has a long-term rent agreement. The company no longer owns the roof over its head.

Next, McClatchy announced massive layoffs, and Hearst’s Seattle PI is about to turn into a shadow, online only edition. Meanwhile, back at Hearst’s figurative flagship, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Media Guild has accepted big cuts just to keep most jobs. The Denver Rocky Mountain News shut down a week or so ago. 

McClatchy Co. is shearing another 1,600 jobs in a cost-cutting spree that has clipped nearly one-third of the newspaper publisher’s work force in less than a year.

The latest reduction in payroll announced Monday follows through on the Sacramento-based company’s previously disclosed plans to lower its expenses by as much as $110 million over the next year as its revenue evaporates amid a devastating recession.

The layoffs will start before April. No fooling.

 Several of McClatchy’s 30 daily newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee and The Kansas City Star, already have decided how many workers will be shown the door. Close to 2,000. 

 

Pew Research report
Just 43 percent  of Americans say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot,” according to a Pew Research poll. And even fewer, only 33 percent say they will miss their local newspaper if it folds.

Back to the West Coast

Negotiators for the Guild and the San Francisco Chronicle reached a tentative agreement Monday night changes to the collective bargaining agreement in line with cost cuts planned by Hearst. 

The agreement will require approval by Chronicle Unit Guild members. (They will approve or lose their jobs wholesale). 

A ratification meeting will be scheduled as early as Thursday of this week. Time and place will be announced on Tuesday as soon as a large enough facility can be secured.

In view of the latest terms agreed today, the Guild Negotiating Committee recommends membership approval.

The terms reached late Monday include expanded management ability to lay off employees without regard to seniority. All employees who are discharged in a layoff or who accept voluntary buyouts are guaranteed two weeks’ pay per year of service up to a maximum of one year, plus company-paid health care for the severance term, even in the event of a shutdown – which today’s agreement is designed to avoid.

Guild membership will remain a condition of continued employment for all employees. However, new hires in certain advertising sales positions will be given the option of membership, even though they will retain Guild protection under the contract.

On-callers will be limited to no more than 10 percent in any classification or department.

Pension changes are not part of this agreement, but are being discussed by pension authorities and must be implemented under terms of the Pension Protection Act, due to the recent declines in investment markets. Because those changes may affect the decisions of many members concerning buyouts, we are attempting to reach some key understandings now as to the nature of the changes and when they will take effect.

A lunch-hour meeting on Wednesday March 11, with our pension plan’s lawyer will be held at the Guild Office, 433 Natoma, Third Floor Conference Room.

A bulletin summarizing all the proposed contract changes will be issued Tuesday. A set of the complete proposed amendments will be available on the Guild’s Web site (mediaworkers.org) as soon as possible.

Management is seeking to change the union contract as part of an attempt to cut costs and keep the paper operating under the ownership of the Hearst Corp.

The company said Feb. 24 it would sell or close the paper unless the Guild agreed to changes in the labor agreement in effect through June 2010.

The leaders in the former cash cow industry thought they could just transform to their pages of expensive advertising to Web pages. Sorry. The Web is very competitive and readers will not put up with page after page of ads to follow the news. 

McClatchy is down for the count. The stock is hovering below $1 and will soon be kicked out of the New York Stock Exchange. 

The The Sun of Myrtle Beach and the  Macon Telegraph — McClatchy papers, announced last week that they were outsourcing printing, they joined what one experts are calling the last stage of the dying industry.

Chuck Moozakis, editor-in-chief of Newspapers & Technology, found in a December survey piece that the flight from printing includes mid-sized papers like the two last week, small papers, but also very big ones like the San Francisco Chronicle. Dow Jones has already closed plants in Denver and Chicago and could shutter 10 of the 17 around the country that have printed The Wall Street Journal.

 
“There is a lot of iron sitting out there now,” Moozkis reported.  
“What’s more sobering is the amount of press capacity now available within operations with relatively new presses” like Detroit and Denver. Losing the Rocky Mountain News press run — when it closes (not if) — won’t help, and some of the same impact will come as the two Detroit papers have reduced distribution of a smaller print product most weekdays.
 
 The carbon footprint of newspapers is enormous. At least the unemployed “progressives” can be happy that they are no longer contributing to the worst global warming industry on the planet. 

McClatchy about to be kicked off the New York Stock Exchange as stock falls below $1 dollar.

The elegant McClatchy stock certificates for Class A stock are worth more than the stock itself. *

 

This report is directly from a McClatchy press release. The McClatchy Company today (Feb. 5) reported a net loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2008 of $20.4 million, or 25 cents per share.

McClatchy also announced that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange  that it is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards. The NYSE’s notice dated February 4, 2009 indicated that on February 2, 2009, the company’s average share price over the previous 30 trading days was $0.98, which is below the NYSE’s quantitative listing standards.

The NYSE listed companies must maintain an average closing price of any listed security above $1 per share for any consecutive thirty trading-day period. McClatchy plans to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure this deficiency and has six months from the date of the NYSE notice to cure the non-compliance. The company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NYSE during this interim period, subject to compliance with other NYSE listing requirements and the NYSE’s right to reevaluate continued listing standards. In reality, the stock is now considered a “penny stock” and things had better shape up in the next six months. 

There was no report on what McClatchy was doing about its carbon footprint and efforts to slow climate change. 

Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 were $470.9 million, down 17.9% from revenues from continuing operations of $573.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Advertising revenues were $388.3 million, down 20.7% from 2007, and circulation revenues were $67.0 million, up 1.4%. Online advertising revenues grew 10.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and were 10.9% of total advertising revenues compared to 7.8% of total advertising revenues in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Using cash from operations and proceeds from asset sales, the company repaid $30 million of debt in the quarter and $433 million for all of 2008. Debt at the end of the fiscal year was $2.038 billion, down from $2.471 billion at the end of 2007.

Restructuring plan to calm banks and other investors

McClatchy noted in a press release that the duration and depth of the economic recession have taken a severe toll on its advertising revenues. Given the unprecedented deterioration in revenues and with no visibility of an improving economy, the company is continuing to reduce expenses. McClatchy announced that it is developing a plan to reduce costs by an additional $100 million to $110 million, or approximately seven percent of 2008 cash expenses, over the next 12 months beginning later in the first quarter of 2009.

Details of the plan have not yet been finalized. In addition, the company will freeze its pension plans and temporarily suspend the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31, 2009. The company will extend a salary freeze for senior executives in 2009 that was implemented in 2007. The company previously announced that it had implemented a company-wide salary freeze from September 2008 through September 2009. Gary Pruitt, McClatchy’s chairman and chief executive officer, also has declined any bonus for 2008 and 2009. In addition, other senior executives will not receive bonuses for 2008.

 

The loss from continuing operations for the entire year of 2007 was $2.73 billion, or $33.26 per share, including the effect of the non-cash impairment charges taken in 2007. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations(1) were $110.9 million, or $1.35 per share, in fiscal 2007 after considering the non-cash impairment charges and adjustments for certain discrete tax items. The company’s total net loss, including the results of discontinued operations, was $2.74 billion, or $33.37 per share.

 

Management’s Comments

Commenting on McClatchy’s results, Pruitt said, “2008 was a difficult and disappointing year. We faced troubled economic times and structural changes in our business.

 

“But the economy remains mired in recession and our industry is still in a period of transition. The advertising environment continues to be weak and we expect print advertising revenues to continue to be down. While we do not have final advertising revenue results for January, we know that the month was slower than the fourth quarter. We don’t have any better sense than other market observers as to how long the current recession will last and we do not yet have visibility of revenue trends.

“We must respond with both continued rigor in driving our revenue results as well as permanently reducing our cost structure. At McClatchy we are quickly becoming a hybrid print and online news and information company.

“Evidence of our cost reduction efforts can be found in our results. Excluding severance and other benefit charges related to our previously announced restructuring plans, cash expenses were down 14.4% in the fourth quarter and were down 11.5% in all of 2008.

“This necessary transition to a more efficient company is especially painful in a horrible economy and we have had to make some very difficult decisions to keep the company safe,” Pruitt said. “Even so, we are determined to treat our employees well and secure their retirement as best we can. So while we have announced that we are freezing our pension plans and will temporarily suspend 401(k) matching contributions as of March 31, we will continue to offer competitive benefits for our employees. We expect to offer a new 401(k) plan later this year that will include both a matching contribution (once reinstated), plus a supplemental contribution that is tied to cash flow performance. I recognize the sacrifices our employees are making to help us get though this difficult time and I appreciate their loyalty to McClatchy. I am confident that the McClatchy team is up to this challenge and we will see brighter days when the economy finally turns.”

Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s chief financial officer, said, “Our new cost initiatives, combined with our 2008 efforts, are designed to save approximately $300 million annually before severance costs. Approximately $60 million of savings has been realized in 2008, and $44.7 million of severance costs associated with these programs has been expensed in 2008 and largely paid.”

“Despite the downturn in advertising revenues, we still continue to generate significant cash and are using it to repay debt,” Talamantes said. “Our debt at year end is $2.038 billion, down $433 million from the end of 2007. Based on our trailing 12 months of cash flow, our leverage ratio is currently 5.1 times cash flow and our interest coverage ratio is 2.8 times cash flow as defined by our bank agreement — well within the allowable covenant thresholds. We have $159 million in availability under our bank credit lines, and have no significant debt maturities until June 2011. We believe that we can work through this difficult environment, and we expect to make further progress in paying down debt in 2009.”

Other Matters

McClatchy also announced that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) that it is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards. The NYSE’s notice dated February 4, 2009 indicated that on February 2, 2009, the company’s average share price over the previous 30 trading days was $0.98, which is below the NYSE’s quantitative listing standards. Such standards require NYSE listed companies to maintain an average closing price of any listed security above $1.00 per share for any consecutive thirty trading-day period. McClatchy plans to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure this deficiency and has six months from the date of the NYSE notice to cure the non-compliance. The company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NYSE during this interim period, subject to compliance with other NYSE listing requirements and the NYSE’s right to reevaluate continued listing standards.

Consistent with the growing industry practice, McClatchy will discontinue issuing monthly revenue and statistical reports after this release. McClatchy is among the last newspaper companies to report advertising results monthly, and without comparable industry information, management does not believe monthly revenues are as useful to investors. The company will continue to provide revenue trends and other statistical information on a quarterly basis with its earnings releases.

*Class B stock is the stock held by the family, so that has voting rights and much more value when the assets are finally sold. It’s the same model used by the New York Times.