A 23-year-old convicted felon and field operative for ACORN in Michigan is being charged with six counts of forging a public document, says the Detroit News. He faces a maximum of 14 years on each charge.
The charges against Antonio Johnson, now held on a parole violation are summed up as follows by Republican state attorney general Mike Cox:
Johnson was working for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now between May and June of this year when he filled out, signed and submitted six voter registration applications, using two Jackson residents’ names, without their knowledge, Cox said.
“This is an obvious case of forgery and that is why I am taking action today,” said Cox. “This office will not stand by while criminals interfere with the voting rights of Michigan citizens.”
My take? This may be a sign that AG Cox may be contemplating a criminal RICO investigation against the larger ACORN group. Antonio Johnson is way-small potatoes, certainly not worth this kind of publicity. That’s why I don’t think this ends with him.
As with most corrupt organizations, it’s nearly impossible to go after the organization heads directly; you have to establish leverage over small fish and trade leniency for further information leading up the food chain. Since the state is confronting Johnson with a parole violation plus as much as 84 years on top of it for the forgery counts, they’ve got lots to bargain with. If he turns state’s evidence, and the state can come up with others like him (hardly a stretch of the imagination), the ACORN brass could be next.
Incidentally, I don’t know what the law is in Michigan regarding hiring convicted felons in the first place for gathering registration signatures, but in some other states such as Nevada it’s definitely frowned upon. Michigan may be closing in; there’s only so many times the higher-ups at ACORN can blame illegal tactics on “a few bad apples” out in the field.