This post focuses on the pattern of voter fraud allegations against this group. Charges were not only dismissed, but defamation charges were brought against a disgruntled ex-ACORN employee in a Miami case from 2004. The Volokh Conspiracy blog documented it in detail at the time . This still leaves accusations of fraud in 2004 in Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia, and in 2003 in Missouri. I haven't found out much about the resolution of those cases, except that in Missouri,
"No one appears to have been prosecuted in that case, although (the prosecutor's) office has obtained convictions regarding fraudulent
voter-registration cards turned in by people working for other, now-defunct groups."
Currently, they are again in trouble in St. Louis, with allegations of
"at least 1,492 'potentially fraudulent' voter registration cards - including three from dead people and one from a 16-year-old - among the thousands pouring in before today's voter registration deadline for the Nov. 7 election...The (St. Louis Election) board says all the questionable cards were turned in by one group - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, commonly known as ACORN." (source-StLouisToday)
There is more, from the Associated Press (via Belleville News Democrat: also see Legal Soap Box' similar, but fuller report accredited to Andrew Welsh-huggins , Associated Press Writer, dated 10/02, or a day earlier than Belleville's edited version. ) :
"Philadelphia's municipal voter registration office has rejected about
3,000 cards submitted by ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- since April because of missing information or invalid addresses.
Denver County election officials forwarded about 200 cards to the secretary of state's office after finding similar handwriting on signatures.
Ohio prosecutors are looking at almost 400 cards that the Franklin County elections board says included already registered voters or listed the wrong address.
In Ohio, election officials in three of the state's largest counties have
cited problems with hundreds of voter registration cards. ACORN is accused of submitting cards with nonexistent addresses, forged signatures and, in one case, for someone who died seven years ago."
I not only see a pattern of voter fraud here, I see a pattern of public officials' mis(or mal)feasance in prosecuting this organized effort to disenfranchise legitimate voters, and the democratic process. ACORN seems to stay just below the radar of the MSM, and wider public exposure.They cloak themselves in the vestments of a "do-good" organization, but they are not. I found some info on the '04 lawsuits, as well as some other critical info, on Wikipedia, which I consider a semi credible source. Scroll down to the bottom of the wiki entry for the "criticism" section.
Voter fraud is a serious problem, and public officials have a hard time proving it on an organized level. They prosecute some individuals, but groups that sponsor and employ them get off scott-free, from what I can see. If ACORN is sponsoring voter fraud nationwide, at the grass roots level, they need to be brought to justice.
Tell me that if a conservative organization (the NRA, for example) was accused of these offenses, it wouldn't be a huge, and on-going headline story right up to election day. The media would be looking into who was behind this corruption. Unkown people in the NRA leadership would become household names, associated with Republican corruption. Their every contact with Bush administration officials, or Republicans from the hill would be exhaustively reported, and investigated.
...Please excuse my liberal fantasy. The reality is that Claire McCaskill may end up not benefiting from ACORN's efforts, since they got caught before election day. No-one will prosecute ACORN, and no-one wants to look at the links between ACORN and the McCaskill campaign, except the Gateway Pundit , who has video and some info, which points to the Missouri Democratic Party.
Either way, ACORN claims to be a "non-partisan" group, which is a joke, to be frank. If, like the ACLU, they have tax-exempt status based on that claim, they should be re-evaluated, investigated, and ultimately regurgitated from that status! (I used to be a Jesse Jackson fan, in the '80's!)
The biggest disgrace is the lack of MSM coverage; the only link I found to a TV network was a story fron a local ABC station , reporting that ACORN was cleared of the charges in Miami.