Tag Archives: acorn

ACORN goes to prison…to register MN voters

No, ACORN has not been sent to prison; I guess that comes later. In fact, they’ve gone willingly, and they’ve brought their clipboards with them.

An investigative report in Minnesota has found that ACORN workers went to prisons in an effort to add the wards of the state therein to the voting rolls. (Link via Hot Air; click through for interesting video.) Needless to say, Minnesota law forbids voting by convicted felons, let alone by those still serving out their sentences.

How convinced do you have to be of your own safety from the reach of the law in order to send your voter-registration apparatus into a place where you are virtually guaranteed to find nothing but throngs of the ineligible?

(I’m waiting for an ACORN spokesman to explain that they weren’t actually targeting the felons in Minnesota’s prison system. I’m laying odds that ACORN comes out and accuses America’s right wing of actively seeking to disenfranchise Minnesota’s prison catering community. Let the Ladle Guys Vote!)

ACORN: 1.3 million? Well, more like 450K…

The New York Times is reporting that ACORN’s previous claims of having registered 1.3 million new voters were “vastly overstated;” turns out such figures are roughly three times too high. (H/T Captain Ed.)

In a concession coming from no less than Michael Slater, the executive director of Vote Smart (the arm of ACORN responsible for registration drives), the actual number of legitimate new registrants is closer to 450,000:

The remainder are registered voters who were changing their address and roughly 400,000 that were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors, Mr. Slater acknowledged.

450,000 new registrants, as opposed to 1.3 million previously claimed, with 400,000 rejected. So as much as one-third of ACORN’s entire registration haul for the year (and nearly one-half of their new registrants) were suspect. And that’s according to a statement by the head of Vote Smart himself, who has a vested interest in maximizing ACORN’s registration numbers for the media; heaven only knows what the actual share of questionable registration forms might be.

Another element of the story worthy of note is that the suspect forms were rejected by election officials; that means 400,000 fraudulent registrations that ACORN missed, and gave their stamp of approval. (I’m going on the admittedly starry-eyed assumption that ACORN checks these forms even half as earnestly as they say they do before dumping them on election boards.) This puts in a whole new light the 200,000 questionable forms Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner refuses to allow county election boards to check against state databases.

One of ACORN’s most oft-repeated defenses (if you can call it one) is one of semantics. Whenever accused of “voter fraud,” ACORN representatives bristle and say that these are, if anything, cases of “voter registration fraud.” I’ll grant that the law does make that distinction, and punishes outright voter fraud more severely. That having been said, such a defense is akin to a burglar saying he didn’t break into a man’s house and beat him into a coma; he simply broke in and made off with his new flat-screen TV, and how dare you even think he’d be capable of such a savage crime? The truth is that there is no appreciable voter fraud without voter registration fraud of the kind ACORN enables, and even encourages (implicitly or explicitly). And I’m not even going to mention that ACORN, as a tax-exempt organization, is forbidden from engaging in partisan activity, which includes their use of funds transferred from Vote Smart.

I’m still waiting for the RICO indictments.

SCOTUS hoses Ohio

Justice John Paul Stevens took Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s case to the full Supreme Court.  The Court sided with Brunner.  The temporary restraining order on the early-voting program has been overturned, and Sec. Brunner is not required to check hundreds of thousands of questionable registration forms against state motor vehicle or Social Security databases.

No word as to the Court’s reasoning yet; I’m guessing it’s because they thought there wasn’t time, and the complainants took too long to file their grievance.  Sec. Brunner still has yet to explain why she initiated a program that’s a magnet for fraud, and barred election observers from monitoring the registration.  Peter Bronson said three weeks ago, “If Ohio polling looks like Chicago, thank Brunner.”  The article details Brunner’s long history of stacking the deck of Ohio elections in favor of Democrats since taking office.

No link yet…will update as they trickle in.

UPDATE: Here’s the basic AP wire dispatch; more details likely later.

UPDATE II: Allahpundit is on it.  So is Miz Michelle. Bloomberg.com has a more in-depth news report on top of the wire dispatch.

Philly: 8,000 bad ACORN forms and counting

And Pennsylvania gets worse.  CNN is on the case (link via Hot Air), with the seemingly unstoppable Drew Griffin on his ACORN beat, which is really taking on a life of its own:

1,500 registration forms in Philadephia have been sent to the U.S. Attorney by city officials after having been deemed “problematic” (read: sufficiently obvious in their fraudulence to warrant investigation by a U.S. Attorney).  They are part of a total of 8,000 forms — a total that is growing as I write — which have been screened out by election officials as unsuitable for processing; every last one of those 8,000 forms bear ACORN’s stamp of approval.

Deputy City Commissioner Greg Voigt says his office is catching them, but admits that his staff is limited:

Are there going to be bad votes? Sure, there are going to be bad votes. There are always bad votes. Am I concerned this is a close election? Of course, I’m concerned it’s a close election. But, you have to weigh everything in terms of your capacity to find things out.

Yes, that’s pretty much the point.  Drop an avalanche of paper at the latest possible date on an office whose priority is making sure that registrations are processed before Election Day.

Voigt, in a fit of common sense, implicitly blames not the field operators, but ACORN management itself, for hiring people desperate for money (homeless people, drug addicts, recent parolees) and telling them they get paid per signature before setting them loose with a pen and clipboard full of registration forms, when the field people know they can just “fill in any old name” and turn them in.  Griffin confronts the local ACORN chairperson, Jeannette Marcano, with this systemic flaw, and her response is:

“That’s not the point.”

More at Power Line, which has a spiffy new design.

Frog-marching ACORNers in Michigan now

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.

ACORN in Minnesota joins the lineup

The newest rotten ACORN has sprouted in Minnesota.

The county prosecutor in Hennepin County, MN has announced it is considering a criminal investigation into ACORN’s operations in that county.  (Link via Hot Air.)

Suspicion arose when ACORN claimed a malfunctioning scanner forced them to turn in a huge batch of registration cards after the submission deadline.  (The cards were all successfully processed.)

The lateness in itself isn’t cause for considering criminal charges; from what I can see, the prosecutor’s office is hesitating to buy ACORN’s “malfunctioning scanner” excuse.  They suspect the intent was to delay submission until the last minute so as to overwhelm the election office’s screening capacity.

The prosecutor’s office hasn’t gone into great detail, but they have commented that if criminal charges are sought, they will likely be targeting individuals rather than ACORN as an organization.  No telling whether “individuals” means field operatives (the clipboard guys) or ACORN officers or managers.

ACORN in Ohio: “RICORN?”

A civil RICO suit has been filed against ACORN in Ohio.

Columbus-based think tank The Buckeye Institute has filed suit in Warren County’s Court of Common Pleas.  The suit is brought on behalf of two voters claiming that ACORN’s fraudulent voter registration methods have a diluting effect on their votes and those of others, and that the signature-collection methods are set up in such a way that fits the legal definition of a corrupt organization under the RICO statute.  Here is the full complaint.

My guess?  This suit represents the first crack in the dam.  It won’t be the last complaint of its kind; it will spread to other counties and states, and the legal mud-wrestling will last long after the election.

Incidentally, on the top page of the complaint you might notice that ACORN is named as codefendant with Project Vote, the political arm of ACORN which Barack Obama ran while a practicing attorney.  But don’t let anybody ever tell you that Obama has any direct connection to ACORN or its voter registration tactics…Fight the Smears!