ACORN is being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office. A growing list of problematic voter registrations in several key states is forcing the Obama campaign to accuse the McCain campaign of politically motivated accusations against ACORN.
According to Greg Gordon of the Miami Herald, new controversies surround ACORN’s national voter registration drive. Barack Obama has called for an independent prosecutor. There has been a Supreme Court ruling over voter access, and an alleged death threat against an ACORN worker.
The GOP has evidence of ACORN’s 13,000 fraudulent applications but ACORN claims to have alerted authorities to most of the phony applications.
Last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Republican attempts to challenge the validity of 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio due to lack of standing to sue.
The FBI is investigating ACORN for possible vote fraud schemes.
Obama’s legal counsel, Robert Bauer, wrote a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey last Friday charging that the allegations against ACORN were politically motivated, and asking for a special prosecutor's investigation “to examine the origin of the ACORN inquiry.”
There have been unsubstantiated reports of death threats against one ACORN worker in Cleveland and vandalism in ACORN’s Boston and Seattle offices, and another unsubstantiated report of racial epithets against a Providence, R.I. ACORN worker. ACORN attorneys have sent a letter to the FBI and to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division concerning the incident.
ACORN claims that the incidents came after McCain’s statement in the final debate that ACORN "may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and may be "destroying the fabric of democracy."
Brian Kettenring, a Florida-based spokesman for ACORN, stated that McCain’s statements concerning ACORN’s possible voter fraud amounted to a “cynical campaign ploy to really inciting racial violence.”
Kettering claims that since McCain made his statement at the last debate, ACORN’s 87 offices across the country have received hundreds of “flat-out-racist” e-mails that he suspects came from McCain supporters.
Michael P. Tremoglie, of Philadelphia’s The Bulletin, writes today that 8,000 voter applications turned in by ACORN to Philadelphia election officials are “problematic,” and that “Approximately 1,500 have already been referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for investigation of possible voter registration fraud.”
Philadelphia Deputy Election Commissioner Fred Voight told CNN, Oct. 14, that ACORN’s applications were problematic because of the way they were collected.
"We know that there are people who have not been able to meet their quota and are fired," Mr. Voight said. "The people who are doing this are homeless, recovering drug addicts, recovering alcoholics and are desperate for money."
ACORN’s questionable voter registration activities have affected several counties in Pennsylvania. Several ACORN workers have either been arrested for fraud or have gone missing and are being sought by the authorities. According to Tremoglie, ACORN has played down the actions of rogue employees,
But this indictment is consistent with the pattern by ACORN workers in the rest of Pennsylvania and other states. The group has seen its workers convicted of voter registration fraud across the U.S. . . .
Five ACORN employees were convicted and imprisoned in Washington state, in 2007, for what was described by Washington's Secretary of State Sam Reed, as, "the worst case of election fraud in our state's history. It was an outrage."
Four part-time ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City, Mo., for voter registration fraud in November 2006. Two Colorado ACORN workers were sentenced to community service, in January 2005, for submitting false voter registrations.
The GOP is challenging ACORN in Pennsylvania and seeks a list of 140,000 Pennsylvanians who ACORN registered this year. A hearing is scheduled for next week.
ACORN attorney Kathryn Simpson claims there is no voter fraud.