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New York

Working Families Party Operative Wants to Change Testimony in Voter Fraud Scandal

The Troy Record calls it ‘augmenting’.  Perhaps she’s just ‘evolving’ like our President.  The rest of us would call it perjury or false testimony.

A key witness in the original trial of Democrats Ed McDonough and Michael LoPorto for their suspected roles in the 2009 Working Families Party ballot fraud scandal seeks to add to her original testimony.

In a letter sent to LoPorto, a former City Councilman and his former defense attorney Michael Feit, Special Prosecutor Trey Smith informs both men and Judge George Pulver that then WFP employee Sara Couch plans to add to the testimony she gave during the two month long trial of LoPorto and McDonough, the Rensselaer County Board of Elections Commissioner, which ended in a mistrial in April.

Couch plans to add one statement that wasn’t contained in her initial testimony as well as adding some words LoPorto had said to her after she left a meeting with former City Councilman John Brown which took place at LoPorto’s restaurant. Brown, who was later convicted of a felony charge in connection to the case, tried convincing WFP members present at that meeting to put a press release out blaming the scandal on former city DPW Commissioner Bob Mirch. LoPorto was said to have been in the back cooking and not part of the meeting.

The statements (new and previous) can be found here.

They certainly do provide a new tone for the conversation with LoPorto, who was wise in having his trial separated from his colleague.  The hard evidence against LoPorto’s knowledge of the scam is limited, and even witness testimony on his side of things was inconsistent.

Couch however, along with WFP operatives James Welch and Thomas Aldrich have some explaining to do.  We have long held the contention that the WFP’s role in this scandal was greater than they or the Democrats would acknowledge.  Couch, Aldrich, and Welch all worked under Karen Scharff, co-chair of the Capital District WFP at the time.  The Capital District WFP controlled the Rensselaer County arm of the WFP during the alleged fraud.

Here again is a rundown of the relationship between the WFP, Scharff, and the controversial organization ACORN, a group known for their voter fraud tactics:

The really troubling matter with Scharff’s WFP is that they’re a stone’s throw away from the influence of the New York Communities for Change – formerly known as ACORN.  At the time that this ballot fraud in Troy was allegedly being carried out, the two organizations had several ties:

  • RedState has demonstrated that the WFP was founded by key members of ACORN, and shares many of its political strategies.
  • The WFP has listed ACORN as an affiliate program directly on their Web site.

  • Roger Stone called the New York Working Families Party “one of ACORN’s most successful projects”.

  • The New York Post analyzed the many shady dealings of the WFP, and its affiliation with ACORN.

As for Scharff, who co-chaired the Capital District Branch and thus oversaw Welch’s county branch, she also shares a history with the uber-corrupt ACORN:

  • Scharff has been involved in health care meetings coordinated by her group, Citizen Action, and ACORN.  A picture of one such event appears on the Times Union blog.

  • Her name appears on a letter of support for ACORN, in which criticism of their work is labeled as ‘mainly partisan’ attacks.

  • An article regarding the power of fusion politics, a tactic used by the WFP, shows Scharff’s activism in the election of Albany District Attorney, David Soares. The article covers the tandem work of the WFP and Citizen Action, along with the strong ties that the WFP has with ACORN. One key element here is the mention of Bertha Lewis who is described as ‘the executive director of ACORN’s New York City chapter’. Lewis also serves as co-chair for the WFP.

  • Another article celebrating the Soares victory appears in the Nation, in which Scharff’s WFP work is mentioned alongside the work of Dan Cantor. Cantor also serves as Executive Director for the WFP, and was national organizer for the ‘New Party’ in the ‘90s, a socialist group with strong ties to ACORN. In fact, the New Ground described the New Party’s ‘biggest asset and biggest liability’ as ACORN.

  • Scharff serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Working Families, alongside Jon Kest, Director of the New York Association of Community Organization for Reform Now.

There undoubtedly will be more to come on this situation….

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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