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ACORNs, Election Fraud, And The Census

At it’s website, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) describes itself as:

“the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country. Since 1970, ACORN has been building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy and voter participation. ACORN helps those who have historically been locked out become powerful players in our democratic system.

Others don’t see ACORN in such glowing terms. An editorial in the weekend edition of the Washington Examiner writes:

“Under the guise of due process concerns, congressional Democrats have opened the way for organizations with criminal histories to gain greater access to taxpayer funds. Exhibit A here is the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), now under investigation in at least 14 states for voter registration fraud.”

Even Politico’s Michael Falcone admitted earlier this month:

“Indeed, ACORN has continually run afoul of the law in recent years. Most recently, in Nevada, law enforcement officials charged the group with voter registration fraud on Monday, accusing ACORN of illegally setting quotas for its canvassers and paying employees bonuses for signing up more than 21 new voters per day.

“And in Pennsylvania on Thursday, authorities charged seven ACORN workers with falsifying voter registration forms – six of those employees face felony counts. ”

In a column earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal's John Fund wrote, “The stink (around ACORN) is bad enough that some congressional Democrats have taken notice,” including “Michigan Rep. John Convers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.” Fund goes on to say:

“A lot of money is at stake. In the stimulus bill passed by Congress, Acorn is eligible -- along with other activist groups -- to apply for $2 billion in funds to redevelop abandoned and foreclosed homes. Meanwhile, public records show that last spring the IRS filed three tax liens totaling almost $1 million against Acorn, most of which concerned employee withholding.”

In addition to the stimulus money, Phyllis Schlafly writes in an Investor’s Business Daily op-ed that ACORN could receive another $.5.5 billion from the federal government’s FY 2010 budget, which is “after receiving $53 million of taxpayers’ money over the last 15 years.” Schlafly adds:

“Acorn also has received generous grants from top recipients of federal bailout money. Bank of America (almost $3 million), Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase made big grants to Acorn Housing Corp., one of Acorn's many affiliated organizations.”

Schlafly adds, "It is particularly important to expose Acorn's political activities because of its new relationship with the Census Bureau, the agency tasked with compiling the 2010 census." 

In an extensive investigative report (requires Adobe) last fall, Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center sums up its report saying:

“ACORN has become America’s most prominent left-wing community group. Little-known until now, ACORN has played a major role in the subprime mortgage mess that has undermined Americans’ support for free market problem-solving and set off a worldwide chain of financial troubles. It is also implicated in vote fraud schemes from coast to coast. ACORN aims to give America change that socialists can believe in – by any means necessary. It is deliberately organized to avoid scrutiny. But with an FBI probe underway, millions of dollars in back taxes owing, and a racketeering lawsuit pending, it may finally have to answer for its many misdeeds.

If you prefer a video report, check here for Fox News’ Glenn Beck. Finally, a HT to Tertium Quids’ Norm Leahy where you can also listen to a podcast with the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund talking about voter fraud.

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