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Obama and Acorn


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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1223940510..._main#printMode

 

Obama and Acorn

Community organizers, phony voters, and your tax dollars.

 

At the recent Emmy Awards, historian Laura Linney averred that America's Founders had been "community organizers" -- like Barack Obama. Too bad they aren't like that any more. Mr. Obama's kind of organizers work at Acorn, the militant advocacy group that is turning up in reports about voter fraud across the country.

 

APAcorn -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- has been around since 1970 and boasts 350,000 members. We've written about them for years, but Acorn is now getting more attention as John McCain's campaign makes an issue of the fraud reports and Acorn's ties to Mr. Obama. It's about time someone exposed this shady outfit that uses government dollars to lobby for larger government.

 

Acorn uses various affiliated groups to agitate for "a living wage," for "affordable housing," for "tax justice" and union and environmental goals, as well as against school choice and welfare reform. It was a major contributor to the subprime meltdown by pushing lenders to make home loans on easy terms, conducting "strikes" against banks so they'd lower credit standards.

 

But the organization's real genius is getting American taxpayers to foot the bill. According to a 2006 report from the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), Acorn has been on the federal take since 1977. For instance, Acorn's American Institute for Social Justice claimed $240,000 in tax money between fiscal years 2002 and 2003. Its American Environmental Justice Project received 100% of its revenue from government grants in the same years. EPI estimates the Acorn Housing Corporation alone received some $16 million in federal dollars from 1997-2007. Only recently, Democrats tried and failed to stuff an "affordable housing" provision into the $700 billion bank rescue package that would have let politicians give even more to Acorn.

 

All this money gives Acorn the ability to pursue its other great hobby: electing liberals. Acorn is spending $16 million this year to register new Democrats and is already boasting it has put 1.3 million new voters on the rolls. The big question is how many of these registrations are real.

 

The Michigan Secretary of State told the press in September that Acorn had submitted "a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications." Earlier this month, Nevada's Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller requested a raid on Acorn's offices, following complaints of false names and fictional addresses (including the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys). Nevada's Clark County Registrar of Voters Admin Lomax said he saw rampant fraud in 2,000 to 3,000 applications Acorn submitted weekly.

 

Officials in Ohio are investigating voter fraud connected with Acorn, and Florida's Seminole County is withholding Acorn registrations that appear fraudulent. New Mexico, North Carolina and Missouri are looking into hundreds of dubious Acorn registrations. Wisconsin is investigating Acorn employees for, according to an election official, "making people up or registering people that were still in prison."

 

Then there's Lake County, Indiana, which has already found more than 2,100 bogus applications among the 5,000 Acorn dumped right before the deadline. "All the signatures looked exactly the same," said Ruthann Hoagland, of the county election board. Bridgeport, Connecticut estimates about 20% of Acorn's registrations were faulty. As of July, the city of Houston had rejected or put on hold about 40% of the 27,000 registration cards submitted by Acorn.

 

That's just this year. In 2004, four Acorn employees were indicted in Ohio for submitting false voter registrations. In 2005, two Colorado Acorn workers were found to have submitted false registrations. Four Acorn Missouri employees were indicted in 2006; five were found guilty in Washington state in 2007 for filling out registration forms with names from a phone book.

 

Which brings us to Mr. Obama, who got his start as a Chicago "community organizer" at Acorn's side. In 1992 he led voter registration efforts as the director of Project Vote, which included Acorn. This past November, he lauded Acorn's leaders for being "smack dab in the middle" of that effort. Mr. Obama also served as a lawyer for Acorn in 1995, in a case against Illinois to increase access to the polls.

 

During his tenure on the board of Chicago's Woods Fund, that body funneled more than $200,000 to Acorn. More recently, the Obama campaign paid $832,000 to an Acorn affiliate. The campaign initially told the Federal Election Commission this money was for "staging, sound, lighting." It later admitted the cash was to get out the vote.

 

The Obama campaign is now distancing itself from Acorn, claiming Mr. Obama never organized with it and has nothing to do with illegal voter registration. Yet it's disingenuous to channel cash into an operation with a history of fraud and then claim you're shocked to discover reports of fraud. As with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, Mr. Obama was happy to associate with Acorn when it suited his purposes. But now that he's on the brink of the Presidency, he wants to disavow his ties.

 

The Justice Department needs to treat these fraud reports as something larger than a few local violators. The question is whether Acorn is systematically subverting U.S. election law -- on the taxpayer's dime.

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Again, instead of denying the undeinable in an effort to stall until election day, Obama should just say that he is dissapointed with ACORN. Say that they are betraying the spirit of community organizing...

 

Because his denouncment of Ayers' activity has prevented republicans from claiming he pals around with terrorists? It doesn't matter what Obama says. People will convince themselves of everything.

 

So hey, if that's how it goes:

 

JOHN MCCAIN ATTENDED AN EVENT SPONSORED BY MILITANT ORGANIZATION!!!!

 

Why won't he address this? What don't we know?

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Again, instead of denying the undeinable in an effort to stall until election day, Obama should just say that he is dissapointed with ACORN. Say that they are betraying the spirit of community organizing...

 

Because his denouncment of Ayers' activity has prevented republicans from claiming he pals around with terrorists? It doesn't matter what Obama says. People will convince themselves of everything.

Obama denies the undeniable depth of his working relationship. If he said, "he and I were working towards some worthy goals, and though I denounce the terrible deeds of his past, I though it was far more important to help people at the time." Instead it was, "this is just some guy in the neighborhood", etc.

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Again, instead of denying the undeinable in an effort to stall until election day, Obama should just say that he is dissapointed with ACORN. Say that they are betraying the spirit of community organizing...

 

He's best off ignoring it. His fans on the left have no problem with the fraud. People on the right wouldn't vote for him one way or the other. People in the middle don't really know what's going on because the mainstream media pretty much ignores the fraud.

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Again, instead of denying the undeinable in an effort to stall until election day, Obama should just say that he is dissapointed with ACORN. Say that they are betraying the spirit of community organizing...

 

He's best off ignoring it. His fans on the left have no problem with the fraud. People on the right wouldn't vote for him one way or the other. People in the middle don't really know what's going on because the mainstream media pretty much ignores the fraud.

There hasn't been fraud. The Gonzales Justice Department spent a TON of time investigating ACORN, and came up empty. David Iglesias, one of the attorneys that was fired for political reasons, was fired even after he investigated 100 claims of voter fraud that was supposed to have involved ACORN. He has said that none of those 100 claims had anything to them. When he refused to push the issue further, he was fired.

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Again, instead of denying the undeinable in an effort to stall until election day, Obama should just say that he is dissapointed with ACORN. Say that they are betraying the spirit of community organizing...

 

He's best off ignoring it. His fans on the left have no problem with the fraud. People on the right wouldn't vote for him one way or the other. People in the middle don't really know what's going on because the mainstream media pretty much ignores the fraud.

There hasn't been fraud. The Gonzales Justice Department spent a TON of time investigating ACORN, and came up empty. David Iglesias, one of the attorneys that was fired for political reasons, was fired even after he investigated 100 claims of voter fraud that was supposed to have involved ACORN. He has said that none of those 100 claims had anything to them. When he refused to push the issue further, he was fired.

I think we have different standards of what qualifies as fraud. To be honest I'm not at all surprised you approve or seem to approve of ACORN submitting thousands if not hundreds of thousands bogus voter registration applications. I say you seem to approve of their actions because you seem to think they have done nothing wrong.

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Again, instead of denying the undeinable in an effort to stall until election day, Obama should just say that he is dissapointed with ACORN. Say that they are betraying the spirit of community organizing...

 

He's best off ignoring it. His fans on the left have no problem with the fraud. People on the right wouldn't vote for him one way or the other. People in the middle don't really know what's going on because the mainstream media pretty much ignores the fraud.

There hasn't been fraud. The Gonzales Justice Department spent a TON of time investigating ACORN, and came up empty. David Iglesias, one of the attorneys that was fired for political reasons, was fired even after he investigated 100 claims of voter fraud that was supposed to have involved ACORN. He has said that none of those 100 claims had anything to them. When he refused to push the issue further, he was fired.

I think we have different standards of what qualifies as fraud. To be honest I'm not at all surprised you approve or seem to approve of ACORN submitting thousands if not hundreds of thousands bogus voter registration applications. I say you seem to approve of their actions because you seem to think they have done nothing wrong.

Since it hasn't been proven yet that ACORN has been deliberately committing voting fraud, I don't see an issue. So far all I have been hearing are spurious claims that they are engaging in voter fraud, but with no real evidence. In addition, this issue suddenly materializes in the campaign, after months of no mention at all, precisely at the same time as McCain is falling further and further behind in the polls. :mis2

 

Meanwhile, David Iglesias, (himself a loyal Republican who was involved in the investigation of ACORN) has been saying that the Bush DOJ in particular had launched a vendetta operation against ACORN during his time working for the DOJ.

 

You're basically saying that ACORN's actions and the Obama campaign's actions are one and the same. That is not the case, as they are separate entities. This is another attempt to hammer Obama by using a 'guilt by association' tactic, very similar to the Ayers attacks.

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