Archive for the ‘fraud’ Category

Catholics probe aid directed to ACORN

November 4, 2008

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has hired forensic accounting specialists to investigate more than $1 million in church funding to voter-registration group ACORN, fearing the money may have been spent in partisan or fraudulent ways that could jeopardize the church’s tax-exempt status.

The investigation is “thorough, serious and ongoing,” according to a July 11 letter to more than 200 bishops from New Orleans Bishop Robert Morin, chairman of the committee that oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

By Julia Duin
The Washington Times

The CCHD sent $1,037,000 to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in 2007, including a $40,000 grant to an ACORN affiliate in Las Vegas that was raided last month by the Nevada attorney general’s office in a voter-fraud probe.

An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, ...
An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. A Nevada secretary of state’s office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Catholic aid agency has given more than $7.3 million to ACORN over the past decade for about 320 projects, according to the Catholic News Service.

In June, the Catholic Church froze a $1.2 million grant for 38 ACORN chapters after the community-organizing group was accused of voter fraud in 15 states.

State elections officials and the FBI are questioning ACORN workers who submitted voter registration forms signed by Mickey Mouse and members of the Dallas Cowboys football team in their efforts to register voters in low-income neighborhoods, many of whom tend to favor Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama once worked with ACORN as a community organizer and lawyer in Chicago.

“While there is value in registering low-income voters, I am concerned that the whole ban on partisanship has been violated,” Ralph McCloud, the new executive director for the CCHD, said Monday.

Mr. McCloud said he could not reassure Catholics that the funds donated before 2008 were not used in voter fraud.

“There is no way we can tell,” he said. “All our applications go through a rigorous screening, and we ask each organization to commit to being nonpartisan. The overwhelming reality is most of the groups we fund do tremendous work.”

The CCHD draws $9,439,000 a year in “second collections” from Catholic churches, the next one slated for Nov. 23. CCHD funds go to groups that fight poverty, interfaith….

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45% Say ACORN Trying to Register Illegal Voters

October 20, 2008

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say the liberal activist group ACORN is trying to register voters illegally, but they’re divided over whether Barack  Obama has ties to the group, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

This is from the Rsmussen Reports

Only 25% think ACORN, under investigation in several states for possible voter registration fraud, is not trying to put illegal voters on the rolls.

Sixty-nine percent of Republicans and 21% of Democrats believe ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is trying to register people to vote multiple times in violation of election laws. Forty-one percent of Democrats and eight percent (8%) of GOP voters disagree. Unaffiliated voters by more than two-to-one view ACORN’s efforts as consciously illegal.

An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, ... 
An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. A Nevada secretary of state’s office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

That’s why 42% of voters say it is more likely that people will vote illegally this Election Day than for legal voters to be denied their rights at the polls. But 32% say legal voters are more likely to be denied the right to vote.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans think illegal voting is more likely, while 51% of Democrats say legal voters are more likely to be denied the chance to cast their ballot. Unaffiliated voters lean toward the probability of illegal voting, 47% to 26%.

A plurality of white voters (45%) agree with the Republicans. Forty-two percent (42%) of African-Americans think legitimate voters are more likely to be denied the vote.

In a survey earlier this month, 76% of voters said a person should be required to show photo identification at the polls before being allowed to vote.

On October 6, ACORN announced on its website “the conclusion…

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Palin Asks For More Info On ACORN Alleged Voter Fraud

October 19, 2008

LANCASTER – Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said here yesterday that more needs to be known about the links between Democrat Barack Obama and ACORN, the community-activist group now being investigated by the FBI in connection with voter-registration fraud.

At an outdoor, morning rally at a minor-league ballpark, the Alaska governor told about 6,000 wind-chilled supporters that Obama, as a lawyer, had represented the group once in the 1990s and that his campaign had hired an ACORN-related group earlier this year for get-out-the-vote activities.

U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah ...

“Wouldn’t that be a lot of baggage to drag into the Oval Office?” Palin asked.

“On Election Day, we have to choose between a candidate [Obama] who won’t disavow a group committing voter-registration fraud and a leader [John McCain] who will not tolerate it,” she said.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has acknowledged that some of its workers, many of whom are paid on the basis of how many voters they register, may have turned in fraudulent registrations.

The law in many states, Pennsylvania included, requires that a group submit all the registration cards it collects, even the dubious ones. And ACORN officials say they have segregated questionable cards to make them easier for state officials to review.

At the rally, Palin defended the amount of attention she and McCain have given to such matters, which Democrats say are meant to distract voters from more pressing concerns, such as the economy.

An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, ... 
An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. A Nevada secretary of state’s office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“It is not mud-slinging….

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Forth Woth Star-Telegram
 ACORN volunteer Ed Washington gives an Arlington resident information about voting.   Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison

Above: ACORN volunteer Ed Washington gives an Arlington resident information about voting. Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison

FORT WORTH — Derrick Richardson knows he has a very important job: Get voters to the polls Nov. 4.

As a field organizer with ACORN, he’s calling and visiting local voters to make sure they cast a ballot in this year’s presidential election.

His efforts are being duplicated across the country by workers with the nonpartisan group that works to help low-income people, many of whom traditionally lean Democrat. But claims of voter registration fraud in several states are bringing national scrutiny to their work that’s also spilling over into the presidential campaign.

Calls for state and federal investigations — including by the FBI — went out recently after workers in some states turned in registration lists that included Mickey Mouse and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Workers with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now say that by law they must turn in all registration forms and let election officials weed out the good from the bad.

“We take it for what it is,” Richardson, 51, said of the scrutiny. “It’s sad it’s occurring, but we can’t let it stop what we are doing.”

Critics of ACORN say that the group is tied to Democrat Barack Obama and that the bogus registrations were submitted intentionally. They note that workers are paid based on the number of registration forms they submit.

“They [ACORN] are a hyper-partisan group whose flaunting of election law is cause for grave concern both nationally and in Texas,” said Hans Klingler, spokesman for the Texas Republican Party. “Voter fraud is real and pervasive.”

A political analyst said much of the controversy around ACORN is politics as usual.

“Republicans are picking up any rock on the ground and throwing it in Obama’s direction hoping for a hit,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

At issue

County officials in several states have reported finding fake voter registration applications, many turned in by canvassers for ACORN. Group organizers, who tout registering 1.3 million new voters in 21 states, say they’ve fired workers known to have turned in false information.

The FBI is investigating to determine whether there was a coordinated national fraud effort, and at least one racketeering lawsuit against the group has been filed in Ohio, similar to one filed in 2004 that was dropped after the election. In the past few days, at least two ACORN offices — in Boston and Seattle — have been vandalized or robbed, and an ACORN community organizer in Cleveland received a death threat.

Accusations of stolen votes have a long history in presidential elections. In the 2000 recount debacle, Republicans said that illegal ballots were cast. Democrats said that legal ballots were thrown out. In 2004, when Ohio gave the presidency to George W. Bush, Democrats said that long lines and malfunctioning machines in that state led to an inaccurate count.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a Republican lawsuit in Ohio that could have made it easier to challenge newly registered voters.

But in this contest, involving the first African-American in American history with a real chance at becoming president, the vitriol is particularly pointed.

Republicans point out that Obama has conducted two training sessions for ACORN and served on a team of lawyers that represented it in 1995. His campaign paid $832,000 this year to a consulting firm affiliated with ACORN for a get-out-the-vote effort.

“We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy,” Republican John McCain said during the last debate.

But ACORN officials say they are disappointed in the attacks and note that McCain spoke at a 2006 immigration rally that ACORN co-sponsored. They say a small percentage of fraud is expected with such a massive voter registration drive, which used 13,000 workers, and they note that they called many of the questionable forms to the attention of election officials.

Obama’s staff dismisses GOP talk about ACORN as a political move.

ACORN controversy: Voter fraud or mudslinging?

October 19, 2008

The stories are almost comical: Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, registered to vote on Nov. 4. The entire starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team, signed up to go the polls — in Nevada.

But no one in either presidential campaign is laughing. Not publicly, anyway.


Republicans, led by John McCain, are alleging widespread voter fraud. The Democrats and Barack Obama say the controversy is preposterous and is just political mudslinging.

In the middle is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, a grass-roots community group that has led liberal causes since it formed in 1970. This year, ACORN hired more than 13,000 part-time workers and sent them out in 21 states to sign up voters in minority and poor neighborhoods.

They submitted 1.3 million registration cards to local election officials.

Along the way, bogus ones appeared — signed in the names of cartoon characters, professional football players and scores of others bearing the same handwriting. And in the past few days, those phony registrations have exploded into Republican condemnations of far-ranging misconduct, and a relatively obscure community activist group took a starring role, right behind Joe the Plumber, in the final presidential debate.

Looking beyond the smoke and fire, the raging argument boils down to essentially this:

Is ACORN, according to McCain, perpetuating voter fraud that could be “destroying the fabric of democracy”? Or are Republicans trying to keep the disadvantaged, who tend to be Democrats, from casting ballots in a hotly contested presidential race that has drawn record numbers of new voters?

By legal definition, to commit voter fraud means a person would have to present some kind of documentation at the polls — a driver’s license, a phone bill or another form of ID — that bears the name of Mickey Mouse, for example. To do so risks a fine and imprisonment under state laws.

Submitting fake registration cards is another matter. Local law enforcement agencies in about a dozen states are investigating fake registrations submitted by ACORN workers. Late last week, The Associated Press….

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ACORN Cesspool: Obama Calls For Independent Prosecutor Amid Fraud, Embezzlement, Death Threats, Vandalism, and hatred

October 18, 2008

The furor over ACORN‘s national voter registration drive exploded with new controversies Friday, including a call by Barack Obama for an independent prosecutor, a Supreme Court ruling over voter access and the disclosure of a death threat against an ACORN worker.

By Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers

What remains unclear is whether the campaigns of Obama and John McCain will reach a truce over voter access to the polls by Election Day or whether their legal and rhetorical battles will persist to the finish line — or beyond.

Republicans allege that the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now is engaged in rampant voter fraud, but they’ve offered no proof of such a systematic effort. The GOP does have evidence that some of the group’s 13,000 canvassers submitted fraudulent applications, but ACORN says it alerted authorities to most of the phony forms.

Democrats counter that the GOP is trying to whip up fears of voter fraud so it can knock students and low-income minorities off the voter rolls to enhance McCain’s chances of victory.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled an attempt by Republicans to challenge the validity of 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio , saying that the party lacked the standing to sue.

The Republicans had sued to force Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner , a Democrat, to provide county election officials with lists of registrants whose personal information did not exactly match Social Security or driver’s license data, a step that would leave those voters vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

Tensions began to escalate Thursday with disclosures that the FBI is investigating ACORN and the possibility that it’s engaged in a vote-fraud scheme.

On Friday, Obama’s legal counsel, Robert Bauer , wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey , charging that the inquiry is politically motivated and that it risks repeating the 2007 scandal over the Bush administration‘s politicization of the Justice Department.

ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle

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Thousands Face Mix-Ups In Voter Registrations

October 18, 2008

It is impossible to know how many voters are affected nationwide.  The trouble is cropping up in many states including Ohio, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states….

By Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 18, 2008; Page A01

Thousands of voters across the country must reestablish their eligibility in the next three weeks in order for their votes to count on Nov. 4, a result of new state registration systems that are incorrectly rejecting them.

The challenges have led to a dozen lawsuits, testy arguments among state officials and escalating partisan battles. Because many voters may not know that their names have been flagged, eligibility questions could cause added confusion on Election Day, beyond the delays that may come with a huge turnout.
Election MG 3455.JPG
Above: A basic system of voting

The scramble to verify voter registrations is happening as states switch from locally managed lists of voters to statewide databases, a change required by federal law and hailed by many as a more efficient and accurate way to keep lists up to date.

But in the transition, the systems are questioning the registrations of many voters when discrepancies surface between their registration information and other official records, often because of errors outside voters’ control.

The issue made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which yesterday blocked a challenge to 200,000 Ohio voters whose registration data conflicted with other state records.

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Obama and ACORN: Relationship May Be More Extensive Than Candidate Says

October 16, 2008

Barack Obama says he only had limited ties to ACORN, and they began in 1995. But other encounters with the group, plus a voter-registration drive he conducted called Project Vote three years earlier, calls his account into question. 
Twice in the last week, Barack Obama has said his relationship with ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — began and ended with legal work he did for the group in 1995. 

The Democratic presidential candidate made his remarks in an effort to distance himself from the low-income advocacy group, which is under investigation for voter fraud in several states. 

But that assertion is subject to debate. Obama conducted training sessions for ACORN workers a decade ago, and his campaign also recently paid an ACORN subsidiary for canvassing efforts. 

Plus his work with a group called Project Vote back in 1992 raises questions about whether he was involved with ACORN back then. 

Project Vote was one of Obama’s earliest political successes. As director of Illinois Project Vote, Obama helped register 150,000 new voters in Chicago, and he was heralded for his efforts in local media. 

ACORN was also registering voters at that time, and its relationship with Project Vote casts some doubt on Obama’s statement that his involvement with ACORN didn’t begin until three years later. 

Obama’s campaign Web site — in a section called “Fight the Smears” that is devoted to shooting down harmful rumors about his candidacy — states as “fact” that “ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.” 

The site also states, “Barack Obama never organized with ACORN.” 

But accounts from the 1992 voter drive suggest the two groups were at least working alongside each other, if not together. 

A blogger for Obama’s campaign Web site in February wrote: “When Obama met with ACORN leaders in November, he reminded them of his history with ACORN and his beginnings in Illinois as a Project Vote organizer … Senator Obama said, ‘I come out of a grassroots organizing background. … Even before I was an elected official, when I ran (the) Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it.'” 

Also, Chicago ACORN organizer Toni Foulkes wrote in the 2003 edition of the journal Social Policy that the two groups were working to register voters when Obama led the effort in Illinois. 

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ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

October 16, 2008

The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election.
A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press. A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.

From AP Reporter Lara Jakes Jordan

An investigator carries a box of evidence seized from the ACORN ...
Above: An investigator carries a box of evidence seized from the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. A Nevada secretary of state’s office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Justice Department regulations forbid discussing ongoing investigations particularly so close to an election.

A spokesman for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, did not return messages Thursday seeking comment.

Republican accusations about the group were raised during Wednesday’s presidential debate between Democrat Barack Obama and GOP candidate John McCain.

ACORN says it has registered 1.3 million young people, minorities and poor and working-class voters. More than 13,000 ACORN workers in 21 states recruited low-income voters, who tend to be Democrats.

But some ACORN employees have been accused of submitting false voter registration forms — including some signed `Mickey Mouse’ or other fictitious characters.

Those voter registration cards have become the focus of fraud investigations in Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri and at least five other states. Election officials in Ohio and North Carolina also recently questioned the group’s voter forms.

ACORN has said the “vast majority” of its workers are conscientious….

Voters Can Still Wake Up: Corruption Defining Barack Obama’s Campaign

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Voters Can Still Wake Up: Corruption Defining Barack Obama’s Campaign

October 16, 2008

By David Limbaugh
The Washington Times


Strapped to a polygraph on national TV, I would assert quite confidently that I would strongly condemn thuggish and criminal tactics by a candidate I supported. The ends do not justify the means for me and most other conservatives I know. I wish I believed the same were true for liberals, far too many of whom are deliberately turning their backs on the corruption defining Barack Obama‘s campaign.

It would be bad enough if the Stalinesque stench engulfing the messiah’s campaign were limited merely to its efforts to elect him. But what we fear is that these campaign tactics are of a piece with his policy agenda and his vision for America.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., center, and Republican candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, face off during a presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008.

Above: Senator Obama (L) and Senator McCain at the final presidential debate, October 15, 2008.  Photo: AP

Sincerely intending no melodrama here, it’s hard not to conclude that Mr. Obama aims to change America in fundamental ways, the common denominator of which would be to diminish individual liberties, the most distinguishing feature of the unique American system. Sad to say, most Obama supporters have no clue what he ultimately is about or how his innocuous-sounding ideas could permanently destroy our freedoms.

It’s inconceivable that even a low-level Republican candidate could have Mr. Obama’s associations and employ his campaign tactics without being driven from the race. Yet we have a man running for the highest office in the land surrounded with anti-American allies and covert election burglars, all protected by an unprecedented mainstream media cover-up.

Democrats tell us they place the highest possible value on the integrity of the election process, yet their uniform response to ACORN‘s systematic assault on the voter registration process is unmitigated indifference and denial.

They also cavalierly dismiss Mr. Obama’s undeniable connection to ACORN, as detailed by Mark Levin at “The Corner” blog on National Review Online. Mr. Obama worked for and represented ACORN and has given $800,000 to it from his campaign. Remember how Democrats were ready to hang Republican politicians who might have gone to lunch with lobbyist pariah Jack Abramoff? You want to talk to me about guilt by association? But Mr. Obama’s deep associations with corrupt people and organizations don’t so much as flicker the liberal eyebrow.

ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe
Barack Obama’s Famous Friends, Associates: Hate Speech, Crimes, Fraud Incorporated

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Obama: In Hotly Contested Ohio, What’s in The Leading Newspaper?

October 15, 2008

From: The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Well, here they go again. Like the election-time plethora of political punditry touting one candidate or issue over another, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is back in the news with the usual stories about fraudulent activities.

It is time to put a stop to ACORN’s (or any other group’s) voter fraud. We need a national law banning solicitation of voter registrations. If a person is ignorant of the registration process or just doesn’t care enough to take the time to register to vote, I don’t want him or her on the list of eligible voters just because some solicitor knocked on his door or stopped her on the street or, worse, copied a name and address out of the phone book and forged the signature.

Even ACORN officials admit they have little control over the process. In a Plain Dealer article Wednesday, “Kris Harsh, ACORN’s head Cleveland organizer, blamed the elections board for not scrutinizing ACORN’s suspicious cards. He said the group can’t be expected to catch everything.”

Since the elections board may miss what ACORN admits it can’t catch, then just prohibit the whole process. Elections are too critical to the well-being of this nation to be polluted by fraud for funds.

William M. Niro, Brunswick Hills

Here are a few numbers to consider: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the 2006 Cuyahoga County population count was 1,314,241, a 5.7 percent dropoff from the 2000 census. The census also reports that 30.7 percent of the population is under the age of 18. That leaves about 910,000 voting-age adults. The number of eligible voters is even lower, if you subtract illegal aliens.

But ACORN’s Cleveland spokesman reports collecting 100,000 voter registration cards, according to the New York Post! How?

Are we really to believe that ACORN not only found but registered 100,000 legitimate, previously unregistered Cuyahoga County voters? It’s prima facie fraud.

This is what Barack Obama did as a “community organizer.”

Terrence Martau, Lakewood

October 13, 2008
Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police will come out today for Republican presidential candidate John McCain at press conferences in Cleveland and Columbus. The organization represents more than 24,000 police officers and backed President Bush in 2004. While its hardly going to shift the dynamic in the Ohio race, the effort is one of almost daily events planned by the campaign to keep McCain in front of voters.

It’s a safe bet that at today’s events, police officials will attack Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama over his loose ties to Bill Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago who belonged to the radical antiwar group, Weather Underground, which advocated violence and placed bombs at police stations and the Capitol.

The McCain’s press release about the FOP hints to it. Law enforcement officials will “discuss Barack Obama’s unwillingness to speak truthfully about some of his troubling associations,” it says.

UPDATE: The FOP endorsed McCain last month with overwhelming support from its members. Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby, a former police officer of 19 years, and Ohio FOP president Nick DiMarco, blasted Obama Monday for his positions on everything from drug and pornography to sentencing laws. They did indeed raise Ayers’ ties to Obama and called for Obama to more fully explain the relationship, the same line of attack pushed last week by both McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin.

Hruby also used the event to join the GOP’s attack on Obama for his ties to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which has submitted fraudulent voter registration cards to election boards, including Cuyahoga County’s.