March 18, 2009

From Little ACORNs, a Mighty Hoax Will Grow

Hatched by Dafydd

A few days ago, I posted what I thought was a parody post of future headline stories in the four years to come of the administration of Barack H. Obama.

As Bullwinkle T. Moose might say, "Ooh! Don't know mah own strength!"

In that post, I wrote:

The Department of Elections "Project for Democracy and People," formerly the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), has released final rules for the 2012 congressional and presidential elections, to be held from July 1st through December 31st next year. "The Universal Assisted Voting Act will be fully enforced," said Elections Secretary Maude Hurd, reached at her departmental headquarters in Davos, Switzerland....

But today, I found this curious story on Fox News:

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now signed on as a national partner with the U.S. Census Bureau in February 2009 to assist with the recruitment of the 1.4 million temporary workers needed to go door-to-door to count every person in the United States -- currently believed to be more than 306 million people.

A U.S. Census "sell sheet," an advertisement used to recruit national partners, says partnerships with groups like ACORN "play an important role in making the 2010 Census successful," including by "help[ing] recruit census workers."

The bureau is currently employing help from more than 250 national partners, including TARGET and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to assist in the hiring effort.

But ACORN's partnership with the 2010 Census is worrisome to lawmakers who say past allegations of fraud should raise concerns about the organization.

You just can't make this stuff up. Or actually, you can; but as my sad experience illustrates, fantasy becomes nightmarish reality before the ink even dries on the monitor screen.

Close observation informs us that Fox News, in a burst of excess conservatism, uses the phrase "allegations of fraud;" this opens the door for ACORN simply to repeat their unofficial motto as a defense against all criticism: "ACORN -- Not Formally Charged (as an organization) Yet!"

ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson told that "ACORN as an organization has not been charged with any crime." He added that fears that the organization will unfairly influence the census are unfounded.

Well, that's reassuring. Of course, plenty of members of ACORN have been formally charged and even convicted of voter fraud; and the organization itself has had its offices raided by police, its records seized, and its voter registrations and absentee ballots rejected by the thousands:

ACORN, which claims to be a non-partisan grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people, came under fire in 2007 when Washington State filed felony charges against several paid ACORN employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 phony voter registration forms. The group's activities were frequently questioned in the 2008 presidential election.

The Las Vegas Sun discloses more ACORN shenanigans (hat tip to our dearest Michelle):

Members of a new task force designed to prevent voter fraud raided the Las Vegas office of an organization that works with low-income people on everything from voting to neighborhood improvements.

State investigators, armed with a search warrant, sought evidence of voter fraud at the office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, a Nevada Secretary of State's office spokesman said today....

There are allegations that some registration applications were completed with false information, while other applications attempted to register the same person multiple times, Miller said.

"We've been told that some of the allegedly erroneous applications even included the names of players from the Dallas Cowboys football team," Miller said.

ACORN frequently employs former felons -- some convicted of identity theft! -- on its payroll to register voters and "assist" them with absentee ballots; but they also sometimes employ convicted felons who are currently incarcerated:

In a 19-page affidavit by criminal investigator Colin Hayes of the Secretary of State's office, Hayes said 59 inmates worked for ACORN between March 5 and July 31.

One ex-employee of ACORN, Jason Anderson, rose to the rank of a supervisor in the voter registration program although he was a convicted felon and an inmate at Casa Grande at the time, the affidavit said.

Powerhouse blogs like Power Line, Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, and many other sites have documented numerous examples of ACORN's mendacity in voter registrations and absentee-ballot handling, from allegations to indictments to convictions of ACORN employees. In light of this cascade of evidence, from sources ranging from the elite media to local media to law-enforcement investigations to courtroom testimony, the "defense" offered by ACORN officials -- that the organization as a whole has not yet been formally charged, à la the prosecution against the Holy Land Foundation -- looks more and more pathetic.

As we argued here, the decennial census is vital to determining congressional districts, state legislative districts, and disbursing funding from legislation; yet the Democratic Party in general, and ACORN in criminal particulars, have terrible and unenviable records of enabling and promoting voter fraud, registration fraud, political-contribution fraud, and election fraud (see Al Franken's attempt -- which still might succeed -- to steal the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota). Since the Clinton era, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has been the "muscle" of choice in the Democratic culture of elections corruption, the "Luca Brasi" of voter fraud.

The president himself is hardly a disinterested party here; the Boston Globe reports that during the 1990s, Obama served as one of three lawyers on a team formed by his law firm, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, to represent ACORN in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois; thirteen years later, the Obama presidential campaign paid $800,000 to ACORN for "get out the vote" (GOTV) operations in four states during the primary campaign.

An official with the Census Bureau inadvertently revealed the danger of teaming up with ACORN on the census; from the Fox News article linked above:

[Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner] stressed the need for organizations like ACORN to assist in the effort, saying that "any group that has a grassroots organization that can help get the word out that we have jobs" is helpful.

I'm sure ACORN will be assiduous in getting that word out; but getting it out to whom? If past performance indicates future actions, it will be getting the word out to a boatload of felons, inmates, and identity-theft specialists, who will staff the effort to determine how many Americans there are in the 435 congressional districts and hundreds of state legislative districts across the United States -- thus putting themselves in position to gerrymander the entire country at one fell blow.

Buckner adds that we're not to worry, because "we have a lot of quality controls in place to keep any kind of systemic error or fraudulent behavior to affect [sic] the counts." Color me skeptical. And a bit queasy.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 18, 2009, at the time of 2:44 PM

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