GOP Goes Nuts on ACORN — and Fox Eats It Up

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 at 10:35 am

Update: A few hours after this item was posted, the AP reported that ACORN’s Las Vegas offices were raided by the FBI.

When the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, announced yesterday that it had registered more than 1.3 million new voters nationwide so far this year, it was a cause either for celebration or dismay — depending on where you stand.

In theory, of course, voter registration is supposed to be a good thing, and ACORN has long been commended for its ability to effectively appeal to young, poor, working class, elderly and minority voters around the country.

But this set of community organizers is also a favorite target of the Republican Party and, most recently, of Fox News. As the Huffington Post recently reported, Fox has been hammering Obama’s alleged connections with the community-organizing group -– much as if it were charging that he’s consorting with terrorists. (Leave it to Gov. Sarah Palin to make Fox look restrained.)

But ACORN? When did grass-roots organizers trying to increase political participation through voter registration become something political candidates had to distance themselves from?

It all started with the GOP’s accusations that ACORN promotes voter fraud — a charge it’s been making for years but which it’s stepped up this campaign season with a vengeance.

Readers even cited the charges in commenting on my last story, which was about how actual voter fraud -– the kind that affects elections -– doesn’t really exist.

What the voter fraud fear-mongers neglect to mention, however, is that in most cases, the charges against ACORN have not been substantiated. Which means there’s no reason to believe they were ever true.

As we know from the U.S. attorney firing scandal under Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, chief prosecutors are not above pressuring their underlings to go after voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

But the most important reason why the unsubstantiated charges against ACORN are misleading is that even in the few cases where it turned out that people were wrongly registered, there is no evidence that anyone actually turned up on Election Day to vote on their behalf.

A voter registration may be invalid because someone signing up accidentally provided a wrong address or phone number; or because a worker provided false information.

But in the cases cited as evidence of voter fraud by ACORN -– most notably one cited as the worst case of voter fraud in the state of Washington, where seven people were convicted last year –- the prosecutor himself noted that it was a scheme by a few individuals to make money. No one was actually trying to influence the outcome of the election.

It turned out that workers who were paid to register voters had copied names out of phone books rather than going out and doing their jobs of signing up real voters. Of course, none of those people showed up to vote.

Seeking to prevent any more such scandals, ACORN officials told me the organization now has workers personally call each newly-registered voter to double-check that the registration is genuine. That’s a big workload for a non-profit organization run on a shoestring, but it became a necessary effort to fend off the relentless Republican attacks.

Still, it hasn’t stopped them. An announcer on “Fox and Friends” recently described ACORN as having “a long and storied past involving voter fraud across the country, widespread” and noted “Obama’s long-term relationship with the radical group.”

In fact, Obama was one of several lawyers representing a large group of organizations—all siding with the U.S. Dept. of Justice -– who sued the governor of Illinois for failing to follow the federal motor-voter law.

Not surprisingly, Fox, like the GOP operatives attacking ACORN, neglected to tell its audience the rest of the story.



Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 11:29 am

And the 14 states where ACORN fraud is currently being investigated…
P.S. HuffPo is as lefty-loony as they get. No credibility here.

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

Today the FBI raided an office of ACORN in Las Vegas Nevada and carted off numerous boxes filled with voter registrations.

Reportedly some of the names were those of retired Dallas Cowboy players.

I suppose many of the NFL players move to Vegas and register with the ACORN program to vote?

This certainly does not look good, however we all know that if the same thing happened with a club or organization that was sympathetic to Republicans it would be leading the National News on NBC, CBS and ABC. Since this is ACORN it is doubtful that the story will even be mentioned.

And they say there is no bias.

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

“That’s a big workload for a non-profit organization run on a shoestring, but it became a necessary effort to fend off the relentless Republican attacks.”

Ha ha! You must not know about the tens of millions of tax dollars that Obama has directed to ACORN during his time in politics, including the proposal to include $100,000,000 for ACORN in the bailout legislation (which was thankfully killed). They have a long, verified history of co-mingling public tax dollars with politics, and are now repaying their debt to their greatest benefactor by ensuring he gets the White House he has paid for.

For anyone reading this junk who wants to know about the REAL ACORN, look at this link about verified ACORN fraud as recent as last week:…

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

I have a brother living on the streets of Vegas, he was registered by Acron given free items, food, clothes in exchange for a Obama vote its happening why would he lie

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

Um, many of the claims against ACORN have been substantiated. I'm a liberal, and I won't even disagree with that.

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

And the GOP hasn't taken advantage of gerrymandering, Federal election laws regarding the use of churches to promote individual candidates, and outright fraud and ballot tampering….

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

Voter Fraud prison time for all ACORN people involved in Nevada. Let's raid all other ACORN offices to clean out this disgusting bunch of criminals. Obama DID work for this dispicable group also.

common sense
Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

Looks like the author is as blind as she is stupid. How ironic this story was written hours before another ACORN office was raided for what she says is not happening. I thought journalists were supposed to uncover fraud, not help hide it. I guess journalistic integrity does not matter if it interferes with your political opinions.

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

With massive election fraud documented every day, from caging lists of people in foreclosed homes to soldiers fighting in Iraq the Gang Of Pirates are running a full court press to keep people they have injured from voting them out of office, and massive pro GOP fraud where they do have the power to do so.

Attacking the most effective group registering Democratic voters is just another way to disenfranchise those voters. That is what the US attorney firing scandal was about. There were still a few Republican Conservatives with some honor that had to be gotten rid of. When your deepest values are as unpopular, and ineffective as the old East Europe Communists, fraud and force are the only tools left.

Comment posted October 7, 2008 @ 5:31 pm

Obama was one of several lawyers working for ACORN that sued and intimidated banks to lower lending requirements.

John C
Comment posted October 8, 2008 @ 4:49 am

Weird…I read that article…there's no actual fraud mentioned… I think you need to re-read the article.

There's a quote that intimates as much without saying it:

“Furthermore, as this mega organization with a decades long history of violating the law is turned to get out the vote efforts, we believe it is fair to question how many fraudulent registrations may lead to fraudulent votes or what other activities they are willing to undertake to influence the election.”

…and a discussion of ACORN actually bringing worker indiscretion to light in Florida…preventing the invalid registration:

“An ACORN spokesman said the group spotted what appeared to be forged registration cards weeks ago and fired a worker over them. Seminole’s election chief, Mike Ertel, said he was still “tremendously concerned,” but stopped well short of calling the incident “fraud.””

I'd chalk your comment up to repeating FUD…pretty much all I see in the comment section these days…

Comment posted October 8, 2008 @ 6:55 am

Obama worked for Acorn to sue banks into giving poor people 100 % financing mortgages. He needs to admit that this helped to create the current financial crisis we are in.Ask Obama about “Project Vote”. ACORN was also heavily involved in the Florida recount debacle. This is a direct threat to our Political System. Why is it that normal everyday people don't need “help” in getting registered to vote.? Why don't you ask your friends and neighbors if they need some help in getting registered. If Obama is so popular then why does Acorn need to try to steal the election. Americans need to put a halt to this illegal activity.

Comment posted October 8, 2008 @ 10:40 am

Obvoiusly, like the article stated, none of these fraudulent registrations are meant to influence the election. Think about it: young people who couldn't otherwise get a job are being paid $10/hr to gather voter cards and given a quota of 20-or-so cards each day. If they can't make those numbers they are fired anyway, so what do you think they are going to do? They're just faking it so they can get paid for being lazy. Those kinds of people can be found in every workplace in every industry in the world. ACORN instantly fires anyone who is turning in fraudulent cards and they actually go through a lot of trouble to make sure this doesn't happen, but when you give the canvassers a quota, you're asking for fraud.

Comment posted October 8, 2008 @ 11:39 am

“Obama worked for Acorn to sue banks into giving poor people 100 % financing mortgages”

Isn't it just possilbe that the real culprits are the ones who benefited the most from this meldown? And who would that be? Some poor person who is being forced out of his home? Or some executive on Wall Street who had no interest in whether the loan could be payed becuase his bonus came from making, not sound loans, but ninja or liar loans that looked good on paper if the loan was repaid, but blew up on someone elses ledger when it couldn't.

In a similar vein. Who benefits from voter fruad? The person who shows up at the polls and claims to be someone else (probably happens once in a while) Can that one vote actually effect the outcome of an election? If you answer yes to that question then you must also agree that when, in an attempt to stop voter fraud you actually keep a legitimate voter from the polls, you have created a larger problem.

The GOP doesn't care about voter fraud. They care about keeping people from the polls. They are the ones who are looking at a historical route so they may as well push this voter fraud issue so that they can suppress the vote or claim they lost because of it.

If you posters here actually cared about voting you would be more outraged at elctronic voting machines that are easy to hack and almost impossible to trace. But ofcourse that would be voter fraud on a larger scale than some homeless guy showing up to cast his vote for his bribe. How about for once focusing on the players that have the most to gain instead of blaming some individual group like the poor who are the victims in this case.

Incidentally there is no law that requires banks to lend to anyone. If that were the case we wouldn't have a credit freeze right now, would we?

Comment posted October 8, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

As usual, the repugs make accusations they can't back up! What we really need to be conscience of is voter intimidation on the part of the republicans in these republican leaning towns where they run everything as if they own it or inherit it, without the Democrats ever having a chance to take part.

Comment posted October 9, 2008 @ 12:01 am

Why would he lie? Maybe because he's living on the streets?

Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 12:11 am

Senator Obama has done very well without Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson–could be OK without Acorn. Acorn should be paying no one to do a civic volunteer job. I hope none of Barack's money is financing them!!

Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 12:14 am

If you vote by electronic machine–remember to review before enter: This is the point your vote can be stolen. Remember to NOT wear your Obama shirts and buttons to the polls.Remember to take ID with you. If someone needs an Id with a mug shot–may I suggest run to AAA!

Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 12:20 am

But it is still up to the bank to be honest and not sink the individual–not hide the papers of the deal

Comment posted October 16, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

No one can make him vote for Obama. When he goes to the polls, it's up to him.

Comment posted October 16, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

No one can make him vote for Obama. When he goes to the polls, it's up to him.

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