As part of his recent efforts to attack progressive activist Robert Creamer, Glenn Beck has repeatedly called Creamer an “unrepentant” felon, while tying him to President Obama's efforts to “fundamentally transform” the United States. But Creamer, who pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud and tax charges in 2005, has reportedly called his actions “foolish,” “serious errors in judgment” and repaid what he owed to the government; Beck also has previously acknowledged that Creamer “apologized for his conduct.”
Beck repeatedly calls Creamer an “unrepentant” felon
From the December 14 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: But first I want to show you the latest video clip from Robert Creamer - thanks Kyle Olson and Andrew Breitbart from BigGovernment.com. They sent this in to us. He is the unrepentant convicted felon who wrote a book while in prison on how to achieve progressive goals. And the White House - David Axelrod--says it's a blueprint for success and they're following it step by step. It's fantastic.
Aren't you glad that we can reach out to the convicted, unrepentant felons and they can help us redesign our country? Well, here's what he said on August 11, 2008 about President Obama.
CREAMER [audio clip]: If Barack Obama is elected president, then we have the opportunity to fundamentally transform American politics and the economy - progressives do - for the first time in-- really in my lifetime.
BECK: Wow. Let that marinate for a second here, America. An unrepentant convicted felon is trying to help out for the fundamental transformation that Obama will bring home. Fundamental transformation - I know I have heard that someplace before. Where, where?
OBAMA [video clip]: We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.
BECK: That's right! That's where I've heard that. I showed you last week on the talking points on health care are eerily similar to the talking points Creamer laid out in his book. You remember, Obama's top adviser - blueprint - blueprint for progressive victories. And now, we can see him in 2008 talking about fundamentally transforming America - yet another unfortunate coincidence. That's all it is, I'm sure.
But Creamer reportedly apologized for his actions and repaid the debt
Creamer reportedly said his actions were “serious errors in judgment,” “foolish,” and he pleaded guilty. According to an August 31, 2005 CBS 2 Chicago article, Creamer “entered a surprise guilty plea...to federal bank fraud and tax charges,” for “check-kiting” and failing to pay federal withholding taxes on an employee while he was head of the non-profit group Illinois Public Action. Creamer reportedly said, "[t]he burning desire to create an organization that empowered ordinary people led me to make serious errors in judgment in the management of that organization's finances," and that there was “no doubt that my actions a decade ago were very foolish and placed myself, my family, the organization and many of those who worked with me at considerable risk.”
After Creamer was convicted, he reportedly apologized and again called his actions “foolish.” According to an April 5, 2006 CBS 2 Chicago article, “Creamer apologized to the court for his actions, which he called 'foolish,'” and said: “I will never again allow my passion for that goal to overwhelm my good judgment or my respect for the law.” From the article:
Creamer told reporters he was disappointed that he must go to prison but accepted it.
He promised that “for the rest of my life I will continue to do whatever I can to work for social and economic justice.”
“And I will never again allow my passion for that goal to overwhelm my good judgment or my respect for the law,” Creamer added.
Creamer pleaded guilty to failing to pay withholding taxes and bank fraud involving check kiting -- writing checks on accounts without sufficient funds to cover them while moving money between accounts and playing the so-called float to prevent the checks from bouncing.
All of the money was repaid and Creamer had been hoping for no prison time.
“I am disappointed that the sentence imposed today includes a period of incarceration,” he said.
The money was used to keep Creamer's group -- Illinois Public Action -- in business without any cutback in its programs. That included Creamer's $100,000 annual salary, prosecutors said.
Creamer apologized to the court for his actions, which he called “foolish.” But Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Ferguson told Moran that Creamer had still not completely acknowledged his wrongdoing and had been using the work of his community action group to justify himself.
Creamer reportedly received a lesser sentence because he repaid debts. An April 5, 2006 ABC 7 Chicago article reported that the judge who sentenced Creamer was “persuaded” to be “lenient” in part because Creamer had repaid his debt. From the article: "The judge said the letters, the delay and the fact that Creamer repaid $50,000 in back taxes to the government, $2 million in bad checks on multiple bank accounts, never profited personally from his illegality, and broke the law to keep his public action council in business, persuaded him to be lenient but not ignore the crimes. So the sentence is five months in prison and 11 months of very flexible home confinement, instead of two-and-a-half to three years in prison, which is what the government was asking for."
Beck previously acknowledged that Creamer apologized. While attacking Creamer on the December 8 broadcast of his Fox News show, Beck said: “Creamer apologized for his conduct, but claimed just to be overzealous while working for a good cause.”
Beck pushes Creamer conspiracy theories, smears
Beck has repeatedly smeared Creamer with falsehoods and conspiracy theories. Beck repeatedly falsely claimed Creamer was imprisoned for “ripping off the non-profit entity that he's working for,” that he “stole” $2 million from banks, and has compared him to Bernie Madoff. In fact, the presiding judge, according to the CBS 2 Chicago article, said Creamer's motivation was to actually keep his non-profit alive, not to steal from them, and Creamer was never accused of stealing money. Beck also suggested that the recent White House security breach at a November 24 White House State Dinner was part of a conspiracy to distract from “convicted felon” Creamer's presence, compared Creamer to a sexual predator, and linked Creamer's book to religious groups and places of worship now preaching “social justice.”