Monday, October 20, 2008

More on ACORN as of October 20, 2008

AP - Organizers of the community activist group ACORN are firing back at New Mexico Republicans and their claims of voter fraud in June's Democratic primary. ACORN organizers said Saturday that they contacted some of the 28 Albuquerque voters that Republicans claim shouldn't have voted in June because their registrations included problems like inaccurate Social Security numbers or birth dates.

ACORN says they were able to confirm that some of those allegedly phony voters were legitimately entitled to cast ballots.

Among them is 18-year-old Brittany Rivera. She attended an ACORN news conference to say she was scared to learn this week that she was labeled a "fraudulent" voter. She said she mailed in her registration form on time after her mother picked up the form up for her at the nursing home where she works.

She said being targeted as a bogus voter is "crazy" and that it makes her "more determined" to vote in the future.

Christian Science Monitor: “It’s hyperbole because there’s no good evidence that voter registration fraud leads to election fraud that changes elections. And it’s irresponsible because it gins up worries that the election is going to be stolen,” says Richard L. Hasen, a professor specializing in election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Research into voting fraud by Lorraine Minnite at Barnard College in New York has turned up no contemporary cases of an election thrown out or overturned due to fraudulent registration. She found only two prosecutions for people faking others’ registrations between 2002 and 2005, involving a total of 13 false applications. The anti-ACORN rhetoric, she says, is on the verge of “complete distortion.”

Neither Mr. Hasen nor Ms. Minnite find the reported problems to be disproportionate to the size of ACORN’s operation.

ACORN registrations in Nevada included the names of Dallas Cowboys football stars. And the secretary of state’s office in Nevada raided ACORN’s Las Vegas branch last week. In the affidavit, fired ACORN workers described fudging registrations out of laziness or because of the heat – not because of orders from above. ACORN leaders also appeared to be cooperating with Nevada officials.

Delawareonline wrote: The Obama campaign sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Special Prosecutor Nora Dannehy asking them to investigate the reports of an ACORN investigation, suggesting a partisan political motivation designed to impact the election.
"I request that Special Prosecutor Dannehy's inquiry include a review of any involvement by the Justice Department and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign ..." wrote Obama General Counsel Robert F. Bauer. He alleged recent Republican activities are designed to "suppress the vote and unduly influence investigations and prosecutors through baseless allegations of vote fraud."

Dannehy is now reviewing the 2006 firings of some U.S. attorneys for allegedly not pursuing partisan investigations against Democrats and charges of voter fraud just before earlier elections, and Bauer requested that Dannehy now also investigate this situation.

The L.A. Times: The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud.State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.

Jacoby's arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department late Saturday came after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by people employed by YPM. The voters said YPM workers tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP. Dan Goldfine, an attorney for Jacoby, on Sunday denied any wrongdoing by his client and called the charges "baseless."
He said the arrest outside an Ontario hotel, which involved seven squad cars and nine police officers, was part of a "long pattern of harassment against Mr. Jacoby for an entirely valid voter registration effort."

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