Monday, September 15, 2008

What Community Organizers Do

The Acorn Indictments
A union-backed outfit faces charges of election fraud.
Friday, November 3, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

So, less than a week before the midterm elections, four workers from Acorn, the liberal activist group that has registered millions of voters, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board. But hey, who needs voter ID laws?

We wish this were an aberration, but allegations of fraud have tainted Acorn voter drives across the country. Acorn workers have been convicted in Wisconsin and Colorado, and investigations are still under way in Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.

The good news for anyone who cares about voter integrity is that the Justice Department finally seems poised to connect these dots instead of dismissing such revelations as the work of a few yahoos. After the federal indictments were handed up in Kansas City this week, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement that "This national investigation is very much ongoing."

Let's hope so. Acorn officials bill themselves as nonpartisan community organizers merely interested in giving a voice to minorities and the poor. In reality, Acorn is a union-backed, multimillion-dollar outfit that uses intimidation and other tactics to push for higher minimum wage mandates and to trash Wal-Mart and other non-union companies.

Operating in at least 38 states (as well as Canada and Mexico), Acorn pushes a highly partisan agenda, and its organizers are best understood as shock troops for the AFL-CIO and even the Democratic Party. As part of the Fannie Mae reform bill, House Democrats pushed an "affordable housing trust fund" designed to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits to subsidize Acorn, among other groups. A version of this trust fund actually passed the Republican House and will surely be on the agenda again next year.
Acorn and its affiliates have pulled some real stunts in recent years. In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a Congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained Acorn's practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.

"You have to wonder what's the point of that, if not to overwhelm the system and get phony registrations on the voter rolls," says Thor Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights, who also testified at the hearing. "These were Democratic officials saying that they felt their election system in Ohio was under assault by these kinds of efforts to game the system."

Given this history, it's not surprising that Acorn is so hostile to voter identification laws and other efforts to ensure fairness and accuracy at the polls. In Missouri last month, the state Supreme Court held that a photo ID requirement to vote was overly burdensome and a violation of the state constitution. Acorn was behind the original suit challenging the statute, and it has brought similar challenges in several other states, including Ohio.

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that blacks today are almost twice as likely as they were in 2004 to say they have little or no confidence in the voting system. Such a finding would seem like a powerful argument for voter ID laws, which consistently poll well among people of all races and incomes and would increase confidence in the voting process. Of course, voter ID laws would also cut down on fraud, which, judging from the latest indictments, would put a real crimp in Acorn's style.

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Shannonymous said...

Once again trying to paint an entire group with one brush. Nice.

dan said...

We must be very careful of ACORN. Their history of voter fraud, especially in African American precincts, is legendary.

With Obama on the ticket, they will do just about anything to ensure that he wins, including racking up fraudulent votes in places like Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, Philly and Denver.

Steve said...

Dont forget Florida Dan, while Im not sure what the regs are for posting links on this blog, Ill put this up.

There we go, felons for Obama!

The loony left is gonna pull out all the dirty tricks it can to get their "Messiah" "elected".

Jen G said...

I admit, that my current knowledge of ACORN is limited to what I have read in this article (I will do more research later), but I am dismayed by the title of your article: "What Community Organizers Do". Is that meant to imply that Barack Obama, whose previous job title of "community organizer" is well-known to all, is just as corrupt as the members/leaders of this group? Furthermore, is it supposed to imply that ALL community organizers are corrupt? The term "community organizer" is a very broad term, and your title most definitely uses this article to shame anyone with that title.

rob rob said...

I'm sorry - what makes the left "loony?" What makes every person who doesn't agree 100% with the Republican agenda "loony?"

This whole us vs them BS in politics has gotten beyond absurd.
"Their team sucks! Our team RULES!"

and I find it hysterical that you guys are talking about voter fraud.
Oh but of course, of course, your team is made up of flawless arbiters of morality and justice who mean everything they say and always tell the truth and aren't tainted by anything resembling self-interest or indifference.

Shannonymous said...

that's what I was trying to say, Jen G.

And I must say I think it hilarious that members of the GOP are worried about fraudulent votes... Election 2000 anyone??!?!

Dan said...

If you go back and look at what happened I'm sure you'll find that there were no serious accusations of voter fraud agaisnt the GOP in FL in 2000. What was in doubt was which votes cast could be counted and which needed to be discarded due to inconclusive markings.

In addition the only filed complaint in Ohio in 2004 was against the group ACORN.

rob rob said...

Just because the GOP didn't take the accusations seriously doesn't mean that there weren't serious accusations.