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Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bush asked to block funding to ACORN

October 23, 2008

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— House Republican leader John Boehner on Wednesday urged President Bush to block all federal funds to a grass-roots community group that has been accused of voter registration fraud.

"It is evident that ACORN is incapable of using federal funds in a manner that is consistent with the law," Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote Bush, saying that funds should be blocked until all federal investigations into the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are completed.

ACORN, a group that has led liberal causes since it was formed in 1970, this year hired more than 13,000 part-time workers to sign up voters in minority and poor neighborhoods in 21 states. Some of the 1.3 million registration cards submitted to local election officials, using the names of cartoon characters or pro football players, were obviously phony, spurring GOP charges of widespread misconduct.

Comments

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

""They're just registrations, not actual votes, so it's not likely to mess up the election, so what's the big deal? Besides, ACORN is actually killing two birds with one stone -- they're getting people registered to vote, AND they're hiring people to do the registering who really need the jobs! So what's the harm?"This is so wrong on so many levels, I dunno what to say.First up, setting up the circumstances that could enable voting fraud is bad. At best, it's a form of negligence -- negligence like leaving a loaded gun in a playground. No, you won't kill anyone directly, but you WILL be making it a hell of a lot easier for someone else to kill someone.Second, even if none of those voter registrations is actually used to vote, it can be used to undermine the validity of any elections. Non-existent registered voters who don't show up count as a "suppressed turnout," and that is often cited as "proof" of some election shenanigans.Third, ACORN has gone to great lengths to avoid any kind of quality-control process in its collected registrations. They do not perform any kind of verification process on the registrations their employees collect. Instead, they simply turn them all over to public officials and let THEM deal with the inevitable, copious fraudulent forms."Read the rest at:http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/10/20/nuts-1.php

BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion writes:"You need to get out more often!"Well you are certainly not helping matters. You need to let me know when you're in town and thirsty for a Guinness.

jhwk2008 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually, voter fraud has happened before. However, it is extremely rare. On average, only EIGHT people are convicted of voter fraud each year. The following are key findings from a study called The Politics of Voter Fraud. http://www.advancementproject.org/pdfs/alerts/PoliticsofVoterFraud.pdf"Voter fraud is extremely rare. At the federal level, records show that only 24 people were convicted of or pleaded guilty to illegal voting between 2002 and 2005, an average of eight people a year. The available state-level evidence of voter fraud, culled from interviews, reviews of newspaper coverage and court proceedings, while not definitive, is also negligible.Most voter fraud allegations turn out to be something other than fraud.A review of news stories over a recent two year period found that reports of voter fraud were most often limited to local races and individual acts and fell into three categories: unsubstantiated or false claims by the loser of a close race, mischief and administrative or voter error.There is a 200-year history in America of elites using voter fraud allegations to restrict and shape the electorate. In the late nineteenth century when newly freed black Americans were swept into electoral politics, and where blacks were the majority of the electorate, it was the Democrats who were threatened by a loss of power, and it was the Democratic party that erected new rules said to be necessary to respond to alleged fraud by black voters. Today, the success of voter registration drives among minorities and low income people in recent years threatens to expand the base of the Democratic party and tip the balance of power away from the Republicans. Consequently, the use of baseless voter fraud allegations for partisan advantage has become the exclusive domain of Republican party activists.The historically disenfranchised are often the target of voter fraud allegations. Fraud allegations today typically point the finger at those belonging to the same categories of voters accused of fraud in the past the marginalized and formerly disenfranchised, urban dwellers, immigrants, blacks, and lower status voters. These populations are mostly found among those still struggling for full inclusion in American life."

kmat 6 years, 2 months ago

You are correct Monkey and that's why I will once again urge everyone to go to the Rolling Stone article that I provided the link to and read it. You will be shocked and angry over what is happening.http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23638322/block_the_vote

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 2 months ago

After the polls close these people vote. That is how it works.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

I read it and I don't doubt that it's not some across the board policy at ACORN. However, is ACORN not ultimately responsible for the actions of their employees? Failure on their part to screen or otherwise formulate their process to prevent these unethical activities is what puts them in the hot seat.If they can't ensure legitimacy, or at the very least show some concrete steps they have taken to prevent these things from happening in the future I would have to agree they shouldn't be receiving tax payer money.All that I have seen as a response from ACORN as well as it's defenders is, "It was a only a few people and we fired them" or the alternative "oh the Republicans are making much ado about nothing because they are scared".What are they going to do to prevent reaccurance is what I want to hear.

BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

Why? The first paragraph is exactly the headline.

arizonajh 6 years, 2 months ago

Akreed - I think what bozo is saying is that there is a difference between "voter fraud" in which someone casts a vote illegally and "registration fraud" in which a fake name is added to the rolls. I can't think of a case (maybe you can help me) where anyone or a group of people have been convicted of voting two or more times in an attempt to change the results of an election. I also think he is trying to say that people are NOT "not allowed to vote" (even though that's the way he himself phrased it) but perhaps that with the help of groups attempting to "get out the vote" and register people they believe are their base (who may not otherwise fill out the paperwork for one reason or another and would not vote even though they are eligible) that this would tip the scales in the lefts direction. Sorry Bozo if I've stepped on your words.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

"vote fraud that does not and can not happen, and never has happened."Care to explain how you can honestly make this statement?"in elections in which every eligible voter is allowed to vote, they run a very high risk of losing them."Are you saying that somehow these very same individuals without the assistance of ACORN are not allowed to vote? Not only ridiculous, but preposterous!

monkeyspunk 6 years, 2 months ago

I am not so much worried about voter fraud, as it is just about as common as major terrorist incidents against the United States. Again, something made much bigger by people who profit from the fear of the populace.What my concern is if there are a large amount of illegitimate registrations, doesn't that put undue stress on local county voting offices? IF they are filing a bunch of registrations, the county people still have to verify them right? That takes time and man hours and county funds. Seems wasteful.

BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

If I change voting districts, I have to register in my new district, meaning that I actually have two registrations, one on my old district and my new one. That doesn't mean I'm going to vote twice. Hell, it's all I can do sometimes to get out and vote once.The registrations go to the districts and if there are duplications, pitch 'em. Why is this an issue?

arizonajh 6 years, 2 months ago

OK, I'm trying to understand this. Is the problem that people are ripping off ACORN who operates with (?)% of federal funds and this is in turn a rip off for tax payers? Or is this a problem because an ACORN employee ( the one I saw wearing a Chiefs hat on national TV no less) registered 2000 false names and is now going to show up at the polls and vote 2000 times? Or is it that he is secretly in league with 2000 other people that are going to now go to the polls and say they are the people on his list? I have heard and believe it's true that conspiracies like "9/11 was an inside job" or the "FBI killed JFK" are impossible because of the number of people that would be required to plan, execute and to never break their silence over what had taken place. Now I am to believe that a men or women who would falsify federal forms for the modest pay they receive are not going to sing like birds about this "conspiracy to steal the election from McCain" to stay out of jail? If this was a concerted effort to steal the election it would require thousands, perhaps tens of thousands to pull it off and not one of them to go to the RNC, a elected official or the media with the proof. I can believe a desperate man with no job will do whatever it takes to put food on the table even if he breaks the law, but if you ask me to believe he is part of a grand plan to subvert democracy then you'll have to explain to me how this could work on a practical basis.

jhwk2008 6 years, 2 months ago

Um Marion, did you read that article before you posted it?"One other finding: A person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to impersonate another voter at the polls."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"That's not the poster's point, bozo, get a grip. If it's a fixable problem then it should be fixed, and no reasonable individual or responsible government institution would say..... "(not sure what the gibberish that followed was supposed to mean)Who said it shouldn't be fixed? But telling eligible voters that they can't vote because the government isn't up to the task of getting them properly registered is hardly "fixing the problem."

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"But telling eligible voters that they can't vote because the government isn't up to the task of getting them properly registered is hardly "fixing the problem."Who said anything of the sort, bozo? And the 'gibberish' was in response to your moronic kvetching. Again.

kmat 6 years, 2 months ago

It's so funny that the republicans on here keep bashing ACORN while their own republicans do similar stuff. Dupe people in registering republican, shredding registrations for democrats, suppressing voters, etc... They also are using more recent federal voting laws to eliminate thousands of legitimate voters from this election. Read these things, then see if you want to keep bitching about ACORN.http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fraud20-2008oct20,0,3842357.storyhttp://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fraud18-2008oct18,0,1216330.story?track=ntothtmlhttp://www.campaignlegalcenter.org/press-3401.htmlhttp://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23638322/block_the_voteNo more commenting from the ACORN bashers until you do your homework!!!The Rolling Stone article by Kennedy and Pallast is a real eye opener. Thousands of people are being taken of the lists due to HAVA, whom Abramoff (yes, the same one that's in jail) made sure was passed with lots of favors for his cheating republican clients."Under the Help America Vote Act, some states now reject first-time registrants whose data does not correspond to information in other government databases. Spurred by HAVA, almost every state must now attempt to make some kind of match - and four states, including the swing states of Iowa and Florida, require what is known as a "perfect match." Under this rigid framework, new registrants can lose the right to vote if the information on their voter-registration forms - Social Security number, street address and precisely spelled name, right down to a hyphen - fails to exactly match data listed in other government records.There are many legitimate reasons, of course, why a voter's information might vary. Indeed, a recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice found that as many as 20 percent of discrepancies between voter records and driver's licenses in New York City are simply typing mistakes made by government clerks when they transcribe data. But under the new rules, those mistakes are costing citizens the right to vote."

Larry Bauerle 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm not seeing this as voter fraud and I'm not losing sleep over the multiple conspiracies that are all sending us to hell, the poor house, or both. I wonder why ACORN is needed and funded at all? If there are people who don't know when, where or how to register to vote, to me they seem incapable of knowing when, where, and especially WHO to vote for. Unless the targeted audiences are then instructed as to the person they should vote for (Surely not) they won't have a clue. I'd rather they not participate.

rachaelisacancer 6 years, 2 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says: Committing federal crimes is okay as long as it benefits the correct people, is that the lesson being pitched?----------------No, that's not the lesson. The lesson is don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Also - why is no one calling for the heads of anyone else who's committed a crime - like the president? Perhaps you are the one suggesting it's OK to commit a crime so long as it benefits the right people.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"IF they are filing a bunch of registrations, the county people still have to verify them right? That takes time and man hours and county funds. "That's their job, isn't it? If you don't want them to do that work, what do you suggest as an alternative? Cancel the elections?

monkeyspunk 6 years, 2 months ago

Now if Bozo will allow me, I would like to bring up a voter registration issue that I think is of greater importance.Recently there was an issue of county clerk's offices, whose duty it is to verify registration information, of using the Social Security database to verify voter information before utilizing other available sources of information.This is a violation of Federal Law:"Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, most States are required to verify the last four digits of the Social Security number of only those new people seeking to register to vote who do not possess a valid State driver's license."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/09/us/politics/09voting.htmlThere is a lot more going on out there that is improper than someone registering Mickey Mouse to vote.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

Committing federal crimes is okay as long as it benefits the correct people, is that the lesson being pitched?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"If they are being forced to do more work because of increased fraudulent or false registrations, isn't that a waste of tax payers money?"As sfjayhawk points out, the percentage of bad registrations is very small-- it likely doesn't add appreciably to the workload. The ACORN hysterics would have you believe otherwise, which is precisely what the Republican Party wants everyone to believe. That gives them the opening to exclude from the voter rolls all new voters who might vote the "wrong way."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"They have been deeply involved in voter registration fraud for years."Too bad you have nothing but assertions to back that up. But true to Republican form, if a lie is repeated often enough, and loud enough, the sheeple will believe it.

BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

So one guy is confirmed to have done this. It says more about the individual than it does the organization.The sample size = one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz7_3n...

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

Mixolydian (Anonymous) says: "ACORN should be held accountable for it's employees who fill out these cards"people in the field, who were supposed to be going door to door, made up the forms on their own time and returned them to work where their employer, in this case ACORN, is legally obligated to sort and submit said forms.ACORN sifted out the malady and did their job reporting all registrations, legitimate and fraudulent, then fired and fined individuals involved with the fraudulent forms.what are you missing or looking for more of?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

The headline is ambiguous, Brian. Could be taken two ways, first sentence does explain content, but headline initially reads that Bush himself had asked to block funding. "The registrations go to the districts and if there are duplications, pitch 'em. Why is this an issue?"Read the article, heard the news? It's not just duplicatiions, but dead people, celebrities, etc. Acorn is getting federal funding which it uses to pay people to sign up voters. Several of these 'employees' are lying, cheating and stealing in order to puff up their pay. It is not voter fraud (yet), and it's doubtful such could happen. But 'why is this an issue'? Gimme a break.

BrianR 6 years, 2 months ago

I seem to remember something about the Presidential win of GWB having to do with a very, very small margin.Yeah, I think it was nine.

monkeyspunk 6 years, 2 months ago

"That's their job, isn't it? If you don't want them to do that work, what do you suggest as an alternative? Cancel the elections?"Please point out in my post anywhere I said that they shouldn't do their job. If you have trouble understanding what I clearly typed, you need to get some help. If they are being forced to do more work because of increased fraudulent or false registrations, isn't that a waste of tax payers money? Isn't that time that could be spent making sure that legitimate voters are able to vote?"Who said it shouldn't be fixed? But telling eligible voters that they can't vote because the government isn't up to the task of getting them properly registered is hardly "fixing the problem."YOU are saying that is shouldn't be fixed Bozo. And I NEVER said that people couldn't vote because the government wasn't up to the task. Why are you putting words in my mouth Bozo? Why are you just flat making sh1t up? If you read my original post you would see that I most likely agree with you on the real level of importance (which is low) of this issue.I am inclined to agree with sfjayhawk that this is probably not going to threaten the legitimacy of this election. But if there were a slew of false registrations "created" by one group, it is very possible that it could tax the resources of what are probably already relatively poor voting districts. Especially since it seems these groups target the lower income areas.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

You're right, arizonajh, it is not some grand conspiracy to steal the election. It's registration fraud, not voter fraud, and the light shines more directly on the canvasers than Acorn itself. But this is not a problem that has just reared its head, Acorn has had this problem before, and fixing what is essentially theft needs to be addressed.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 2 months ago

Snap your assertion that acorn does no quality control check of registrations is incorrect. Employees at the office verify each card by calling the numbers listed. These are not the same employees who gathered the cards. Then acorn separates the cards into 3 piles: good registrations, unverified ones, and suspicious. Duplicates and mickey go in this third category. Acorn is legally required to submit ALL of the cards it collects no matter how incomplete or obviously flawed.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

This ACORN hysteria is nothing but a propaganda campaign by Republicans. Their goals are two-fold. First, to create doubt about any election results that favor Obama, and second, to create a smokescreen for the very real election fraud they've been undertaking for the last several elections, and are doing once again.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"That's their job, isn't it? If you don't want them to do that work, what do you suggest as an alternative? Cancel the elections?"That's not the poster's point, bozo, get a grip. If it's a fixable problem then it should be fixed, and no reasonable individual or responsible government institution would say "duuuuuh, we's gots a serious ethical violation goin' on but our failsafe is ta let udders work overtime when they shouldn't have ta to catch them thar violator's, ... hic!""I don't doubt that it's not some across the board policy at ACORN.""Which makes you an uninformed partisan hack who jumps to conclusion because of your philosophical positions."Easy, logic, I think Akreed actually meant 'an' instead of 'some', or fumbled a double negative out there....some sorta context flub, based on the way their point goes from there.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

"Which makes you an uninformed partisan hack who jumps to conclusion because of your philosophical positions."I'm a partisan hack because I don't think ACORN has an across the board policy to commit voter registration fraud? That makes no sense. I take it you DO think they have an across the board policy?

rachaelisacancer 6 years, 2 months ago

Snap and crack - I just have to take issue with a couple of your points. Firstly, you say "setting up the circumstances that could enable voting fraud is bad. At best, it's a form of negligence - negligence like leaving a loaded gun in a playground."Well, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck aren't going to show up to vote. Since a lot of these fraudulent registrations were a matter of putting down people who don't exist, no one is going to show up to vote in their place. It's simply not going to happen. Yes, ACORN's choice to pay per registrant was stupid, but it clearly wasn't malicious as any thinking person can see it wouldn't lead to voter fraud.Secondly, you note that "they simply turn them all over to public officials and let THEM deal with the inevitable, copious fraudulent forms."Well, ACORN and anyone else who registers voters is bound by law to turn in the forms, regardless of whether they know they're fraudulent. It's illegal for them NOT to turn in these forms.It really does break down to ACORN making a poor choice in hiring and establishing a system where employees were paid per registration form submitted, and those hired being unscrupulous (and ignorant) enough to try to get away with such a fraud. Basically, the evil does not outweigh the good this organization achieves with the funds in question. Anyone who argues otherwise is just arguing partisan politics.

Ragingbear 6 years, 2 months ago

It's interesting that the Republicans are now claiming that even legitimate groups not affiliated with ACORN are still somehow participating in immoral events by trying to get people registered and voting. Apparently, to Republicans voting is un-American. It also makes me wonder if ACORN is just being set up. After all, we need a counter to all the votes Diebold is going to steal from us anyways.

Deja Coffin 6 years, 2 months ago

My senior year in high school for my Government class we had to walk around town and knock on peoples doors and get them registered to vote. Who knew I could have been paid to do this!!! Man, I got screwed!!! Then again, I did more talking and goofing off then any door knocking in the first place. Sorry Mr. Eshbaugh!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Your unwillingness to admit what ACORN is doing is wrong makes you look completely naive."It's one thing to expect that all organizations doing voter registration do a competent job of it, and follow the rules-- and from all information available, ACORN does exactly that 99% of the time. But it's a whole nother thing to use a few problems (nearly all of which have been flagged by ACORN themselves) to whip up what can't be described any other way than propaganda about vote fraud that does not and can not happen, and never has happened.And why are the Republicans doing this? Because they are very frightened that in elections in which every eligible voter is allowed to vote, they run a very high risk of losing them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"millions of fraudulent registration cards submitted and bozo claims 'hysteria':"Millions? Yep, you're hysterical, bowhunter.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Come on arizonajh, you're spoiling a perfectly good fairy tale with all that logic and critical thinking and just plain common sense.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

It seems to me that we should/could have a much simpler and consistent method of registering/voting in this country.There should be easy, quick, verifiable ways to register.Also, there should be federal standards for voting/voting machines/vote counting/etc.With our current technology, there is really no excuse for not being able to accurately tally/count votes.

staff04 6 years, 2 months ago

Bh99, I agree as long as the IDs are provided at no cost. If they are not, it is a poll tax, which I don't think anyone can make a legitimate argument in favor of.

arizonajh 6 years, 2 months ago

Bozo - Sorry, it just seems like a low tech approach with a low probability for success at a time when "hacking" the electronic side of the process would provide much more bang for the buck and would require very few to be involved. I do think ACORN should be investigated for sheer incompetence at tax payer expense but to say they are attempting to sway the election seems pretty far fetched unless I'm just flat out missing something, which although it may be unheard of on this board, I'll be the first to admit is always a possibility. I'm sure Tom S. or Madmike will be back in a minute to tell why I'm an idiot....wait for it...

Jaylee 6 years, 2 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says: "Only a brilliant liberal mind could defend an organization that a best pays people for work they do not perform a at worst undermines America's democratic process."what a baseless statement. and undermining the democratic process? the fraudulent voters are/have already been screened out. and even if acorn DIDNT screen anything, once it reached the polls, all fraudulent voters would have been founded. one of the good reasons we have social security numbers.-----------------------------------------------------------anybody heard of headcount? www.headcount.org its like the music-loving youth version of acorn. pretty awesome to tell you the truth. kids, paid and volunteer, go around to concerts and usually find and talk to more people who havent registered and want to than they have voter registrations on their clipboard. ive seen them in kansas city at concerts and at wakarusa this last year. it was started by a member of string cheese incident and i think it worked out wonderfully. for BOTH parties!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Care to explain how you can honestly make this statement?"Easy-- there have been many studies of elections over the past several election cycles, and there is not a single verifiable incident of the type of voter fraud that Republicans are trying to pin on ACORN."Are you saying that somehow these very same individuals without the assistance of ACORN are not allowed to vote?"ACORN is registering voters who the Republican Party would prefer didn't vote, because there is a high probability that they won't be voting for Republicans. This is why the Republicans are running this propaganda campaign against ACORN.

Mixolydian 6 years, 2 months ago

It makes absolutely no difference under the law if the illegal act involved fraudulent registration or fraudulent voting. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1973gg, A person... who in any election for Federal office ...(2) knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by -(A) the procurement or submission of voter registration applications that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held; or(B) the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held...---------------------------Fraud is fraud, the crime and penalty are one and the same, up to 5 years in federal prison. In addition to the individuals completing these fraudulent registration cards, ACORN should be held accountable for it's employees who fill out these cards.This is not a republican, democrat, libertarian, or any other political party issue, it's an American issue that all Americans should be concerned about.

sfjayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

If only 2000 of the 1.3M ACORN registrations are fraudulent, then it is a very small percentage. I would guess the percentage is the same or less than other voter registration organizations, but have no data to support that guess. The mission of ACORN, to register voters in minority or poor neighborhoods, is a noble one. We should all want more people to vote in America, regardless of race or social status. Im having a hard time finding any information other than some of the crazy rants here that would support any kind of conspiracy or racketeering here. In fact I think both of the candidates have attended ACORN events in the past.

Kyle Reed 6 years, 2 months ago

You people defending ACORN are completely dilusional. You all would be crying foul and blaming everyone one from Bush to your local Republican party leaders if the tables were turned. Your unwillingness to admit what ACORN is doing is wrong makes you look completely naive.

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