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EXCLUSIVE: Harvesting Voters? These Left-Wing Groups Are Teaming With USDA

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2024
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FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—A White House official told the Agriculture Department to include left-leaning groups, including the United Food and Commercial Workers union and the League of United Latin American Citizens, among “stakeholders” to help implement President Joe Biden’s executive order aimed at turning out the vote.

At the same time, records obtained by The Daily Signal show that USDA brass had extensive discussions with the Raben Group, a Democrat-aligned lobbying group managed by former officials of the Clinton and Obama administration. 

The Raben Group represented the left-wing advocacy group Demos, which has pushed the so-called Green New Deal and labor unions’ policy goals. As The Daily Signal previously reported, Demos worked with the USDA on “best practices” to boost voting. 

The United Food and Commercial Workers, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Raben Group were not on a previously reported list of more than four dozen left-leaning organizations that participated in a “listening session” with White House officials on July 12, 2021, under six months after Biden became president. 

Two days before that “listening session” via Zoom between White House officials and the left-wing groups, Raben Group associate Dylan Tureff wrote on behalf of Demos to DeWayne Goldman, USDA’s senior adviser for racial equality to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. 

Tureff’s goal: to set up a meeting with Goldman to “discuss how your office can play an essential role in protecting and expanding democracy.”

Biden signed the executive order in March 2021, directing federal agencies to partner with private organizations to increase voter registration and participation in elections.

Since that time, records emerged through Freedom of Information Act requests from multiple agencies showing that the Biden administration’s bureaucracy has enlisted an army of left-leaning nonprofits to mobilize voters.

Critics of Biden’s order have called it “BidenBucks.”

They also say Biden’s Executive Order 14019 weaponized taxpayer-funded agencies to advance his reelection effort—and those of Democrats. 

Demos long has been associated with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

“Demos and its organizational partners have identified the below-stated agency systems and programs as areas of great opportunity for the implementation of this vital executive order,” Tureff told USDA’s Goldman in his July 2021 message.

Writing on behalf of Demos, Tureff said get-out-the-vote efforts for Agriculture Department offices could include online portals; “direct interaction programs”; grant programs “for both state and private actors” grants for governments and authorities; and programs focused on tribal services and support.

Goldman wrote to colleagues July 27: “Do we have any activities around this EO [executive order] on Voting Access? I have a meeting request from Demos to engage with USDA, but could use some help understanding the prioritization. Do you have any knowledge of this group?”

In response, Lynn Overmann, USDA senior adviser for data and technology, seemed to raise some concerns in the email thread under the subject line “Demos Meeting Request on Voting Rights EO.”

Overmann wrote to Goldman and others: “Has USDA supported voting rights efforts in the past? Given our footprint in communities, I could imagine offering voter registration information at in-person locations or sharing information broadly across our communications channels, but think there would be privacy/consent issues around sharing data.” 

The Biden executive order directed all federal agencies to develop a strategic plan for increasing voting by September 2021. 

The Agriculture Department’s first interim response to a records request by The Daily Signal didn’t include the department’s strategic plan, but did include emails discussing what its key priorities likely would be. 

Kumar Chandran, acting undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services, sent an email to colleagues on May 29, 2021, that said an attached draft strategic plan contained the “top 5 suggestions.” 

The email released to The Daily Signal, in which several redactions were made, summarizes the top five recommendations as including voter registration at “Voter Registration & Information at Food and Nutrition Service Program Sites Though WIC and SNAP sites.”

WIC is an Agriculture Department food program for “women, infants and children.” SNAP, better known to Americans as food stamps, is an acronym for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Critics of Biden’s executive order allege that government agencies could give a false impression to the public that benefits of social programs are tied to voting. 

The USDA also listed “Rural Development” as the second of the top five suggestions. Details were redacted. 

Third on the list was “voter registration and information through production and conservation,” but again details were missing. 

Fourth was ensuring that the Agriculture Department’s 100,000 employees were registered to vote and had leave time to vote. 

The fifth and last suggestion for implementing Biden’s order pertained to social media and communication about voter information using Twitter and other such platforms.

An email dated April 7, 2021, from Paul Zeiss with the White House scheduling office sent a list of “stakeholders” on voting issues to Akhil Rakam, then a USDA official. 

The mail included the mentions of the United Food and Commercial Workers, or UFCW, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC.

UFCW, the sixth-largest labor union in the United States, represents workers in the food production, retail, and chemical industries. 

LULAC, an advocate for Hispanic Americans, sued Texas in 2006 over the state’s redistricting, alleging that the new election districts violated the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court upheld the districting plan, but found some districts needed to be revised. 

In 2021, the League of United Latin American Citizens served subpoenas on several Republican state legislators in Texas in connection with a lawsuit over the state’s election reforms

Other “stakeholders” the White House identified for USDA are more directly related to agriculture and not overtly political. 

These groups include the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the National Black Farmers Association, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties, the Rebuild Rural Coalition, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the American Public Human Services Association, and Rural Organizing.

A USDA spokesperson didn’t respond to The Daily Signa’s request for comment on this report. 

Demos, the Raben Group, UFCW, and LULAC also didn’t respond to inquiries from The Daily Signal.

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Signal by Fred Lucas.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Sue Hatchett
Sue Hatchett
14 days ago

RATs … DemoRats that is, get to do whatever they want. They follows no one’s Rules!
My Country is nothing now, I don’t recognize it at all.
We need to Pray Pray Pray Pray

Harry
Harry
14 days ago

How much of this sh!t are we going to take??? It just keeps coming and coming and nothing by GOP. Time to fight for life !!

Robert
Robert
11 days ago

Not surprising! When you figure out that these Marxists have been undermining out Nation since the end of WWII and now they have achieve a 2 votes short of complete control our Country (The House); do you think that after all these years of blood, sweat and deception, they are just going to let something as trivial as an honest election take it all away.
Plus knowing that if Donald J. Trump is in the White House, he will completely dismantle every single thing that they have crafted for the destruction of our Constitution and our way of life as we know it.
The Marxists can not allow this to happened! They will cheat in the election of 2024 and if need be, they will attempt to assassinate Donal J. Trump, which is in the Marxist’s play book.
Regardless of how you feel, go and VOTE and VOTE EARLY. We can not allow these scum of the earth Marxists to steal out Country. Bear in mind that if they win in 2024, they will intermediate will pass laws outlawing every single attempt to recapture our Nation.
You see, I am Cuban born and raised, so I know all the Marxists plays in their entire play book

Veteran
Veteran
11 days ago

That sounds like a major campaign contribution violation by the DNC, and Biden White House! When will this crooked party and its White House Resident finally be sporting orange garb?

invictus
invictus
12 days ago

Joe Biden and his fellow lowlifes actually want more racists and segregationists to continue jerking the chains of those he and they exploit covertly. Personal freedom and liberties are NOT Sly Joe’s mainstays by any means. He was and still is a segregationist who blatantly joined forces with the sinister ku klux klan and neonazis.

Letts Brandon
Letts Brandon
14 days ago

Your tax dollars at work, re-electing democrats.

Dori Dittmyre
Dori Dittmyre
14 days ago

A President doesn’t get to order around every government department like some kind of despot! Since when do branches of government bend to campaign whims of incumbent? Guess it’s a Democrat policy or I am just naive to such evil practices.

Thinking
Thinking
11 days ago

Now we know why the IRS needed 87,000 more employees. To make them ole Joe voters. We also know now why nothing was done by ole Joe and the dems the last 4 years. They were too busy organizing federal employees to register voters on the dem side. You know when you picked up your WIC or SNAP benefit, sign here so that you are registered to vote. All these federal employees probably received a bonus after signing up 100 voters. Governing the country was not important. No new taxes for those earning less than 400,000 a year. Only let the Trump tax cuts expire and we all have received the privilege to put some more money in ole Joe’s war chest for the Ukraine and Hamas. They are brazen to the max. For they control the MSM and they are only telling what sounds wonderful to the dem base. That there still are 40% of the population that would vote for ole Joe Obiden I will never understand. This man with the deep state en liberal elites have made America into a banana republic and ruled by a dictator.

Helen Throckmorton
Helen Throckmorton
14 days ago

This feels borderline illegal and unconstitutional in the fact that of the privacy of all of these people in those unions don’t seem to have a say in the sharing of their private data.

Melinda
Melinda
11 days ago

When the Biden administration teams up with lefty groups to work with all the government departments, we know there can’t be a fair election. This administration has done so many illegal and despicable things, there isn’t a list long enough to count them.

Harry Boccelli
Harry Boccelli
11 days ago

Joe Biden is making this country a third world country. I can’t believe he gets away with all the things he does that seem to be breaking the law. This is a very sad situation.

tlang
tlang
11 days ago

Once again we the tax payers are funding activities against ourselves. And, since when did government employees get paid time off to vote?

Jeff
Jeff
12 days ago

You need an article summary so that those of us who get bogged down in the minute details of who dealt with whom can understand what you’re telling us.

Wally Schmidt
Wally Schmidt
11 days ago

I thought government agencies were forbidden from electioneering. How is this legal?

Robert
Robert
14 days ago

Does congress know about this . or any right wing group that can help

Pat R
Pat R
11 days ago

And what is the GOP doing to counter or surpass such moves? I’m sure little to nothing. IF Biden’s EO works as they plan, this country will be lost forever, or wind up with another civil war to save our soul.

BOB
BOB
11 days ago

A simple question for the GOP, have you attempted to engage in similar voter harvesting? If not. Why not?

uncleferd
uncleferd
11 days ago

Yes, they have worked against us… to help a peckerwood imbecile who also hurts them. Low SAT Scores…

Levon B Baxley
Levon B Baxley
11 days ago

When there are crooks counting votes, crooks harvesting votes, the media covering up for crooks and the DOJ refusing to prosecute or even trying to find out anything about a crooked election you have lost before voting!! The special prosecutor saying Biden’s mental condition is not up to par for proescuting but he can run for president is showing everyone that democrats cannot do anything illegal! Prosecuting Trump for the same thing Biden and Obama has done should show everybody what our country is coming to!

Carlos M Fernandez Jr
Carlos M Fernandez Jr
11 days ago

What can we do about this?

Jim Wharry
Jim Wharry
11 days ago

On the fact of it, it appears to be in violation of the Hatch Act. If so, what would happen? Probably nothing with the DOJ that we have.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
11 days ago

Wheels within wheels within wheels… what political drama! All we need are a few dragons and we have a real life “Game of Thrones” or a Marvel CU movie with a super hero fighting Hydra.

Denise
Denise
11 days ago

USDA huh… maybe I’m wrong but this smells like another “avenue” to limit food production in this nation. A few years back comrade Willy Gates was buying up thousands of acres of farmland and taking it out of production. This was also going on in other supposedly free nations as well. Food prices at an all time high, fuel prices magically going up again for the summer travels, in one nation cattle by the thousands were slaughtered and burned…about 15 years ago Chinese were buying up large ranches in Wyoming, Montana and others…there are no isolated incidences sports fans, none. Add the open border, illegals by the millions flooding our country, border watchers now seeing primarily “young men of military age”…no isolated incidences and never have been. Our nation is on the NWO chopping block and has been for some time. To repeat myself: George Bush Sr. presidential acceptance speech: “We must usher in the New World Order.” Lest we forget the multiple “new” strains of covid that keep popping up like helium balloons…
Question: think about the scaled up attacks on our Second Amendment in blue states. My state of Colorado has been diseased by democrats occupying Denver and we’re in the fight of our life now trying to stop the attacks on law abiding citizens but “strange” silence on the deliberate weakening of a once solid justice system…weak justice system, violent criminals go “free” after laughable sentences, steal guns and … oh wait we must slap more gun laws on law abiding citizens!
There are no isolated incidences fellow Americans…none.

Wild Wyoming
Wild Wyoming
11 days ago

Biden was probably asleep someplace when obama and clinton minions brainstormed the best another way to steal another election. We have got to fight hard to see President Trump gets in office again.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
11 days ago

WE GOTT A DO MORE OF THE SAME but more intense then the Dems

Brenda G
Brenda G
5 days ago

Always a finger, thumb in the cookie pot.Obama, Hillary and (wink,wink) the Biden administration. Anyone surprised?

Gil
Gil
7 days ago

So now we have a dictator. Executive orders are supposed to be few and in extreme emergencies only. Biden does them when they benefit him and his party. Doesn’t that undermine democracy?

A Voter
A Voter
10 days ago

Power corrupts. Demonrats corrupt completely.

Bob Chase
Bob Chase
11 days ago

False impression? This executive order is pretty direct in harvesting the votes. Where is the GOP represented in any of this vote harvesting? Our government is hopelessly partisan and needs to be reeled in. Far too big and uncontrolled. Convention of States is our sole hope for non-violent change in Big Government. Check it out and lend support!

Dean C Howerton
Dean C Howerton
11 days ago

LETS GO BRANDON

Granny26
Granny26
11 days ago

From now on, I will check to see if the charities are ‘left leaning’ before I donate ….and if they are even ’tilted’ that way, I will no longer donate. Biden is the worse thing that has ever happened to this country.

Steven
Steven
11 days ago

The last time I checked, that was 100% illegal.

Walt
Walt
11 days ago

Dems will break all the rules to steal the election..

MariaRose
MariaRose
11 days ago

What is not mentioned by these groups trying to “harvest” these agriculture workers is that big corporation businesses are the ones who promote the conditions and low pay of these workers, making it harder for the workers but more profitable for the corporations. They care nothing for the workers but feed them lies about circumstances while blaming anyone but themselves, They need/want cheap labor.

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