During the last two weeks much of America has been mesmerized by the release of “prostitution sting” videos (except apparently for the White House and Much of the mainstream media). Andrew Breitbart new website, Big Government has done a fantastic job raising questions about the scandal-ridden community organization. The one danger is that people may now think that the Issue with ACORN is a few low-level bad eggs in a couple of offices. ACORN is a tangled web that needs to be thoroughly investigated and revealed for what it is, a criminal organization using the money of the United States of America to push its own political Agenda. Beyond that the group coordinated with the Obama campaign to perpetuate the fraud.
As described by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report on ACORN report, ACORN’s criminal activity starts at the top.
ACORN has evaded taxes, obstructed justice, engaged in self dealing, and aided and abetted a cover-up of embezzlement by Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke. Committee investigators have established that a violation of corporate duties led to gross abuses of tax laws and other federal regulations. According to documents obtained from insiders, ACORN was made aware of its lax management structure but chose to ignore the problems and continue a cover-up of criminal activity. By refusing to report Dale Rathke’s embezzlement of $948,607.50 as an excess benefit transaction, ACORN appears to have violated the Internal Revenue Code. ACORN’s cover-up of the embezzlement for more than eight years would also constitute obstruction of justice.
ACORN is being investigated for, or convicted of voter registration fraud in 14 different states:
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One-third of the 1.3 million voter registration cards turned in by ACORN in 2008 were invalid. ACORN has been investigated for voter registration fraud in Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina. ACORN has faced a series of alleged inadequacies and indictable offenses: In 1998, an Arkansas ACORN employee arrested for falsifying voter registration forms. In 1999, Philadelphia authorities found hundreds of fraudulent registration forms by ACORN. In October 2008, ACORN’s Nevada offices were raided by federal agents. In May 2009, Nevada officials charged ACORN, its regional director, and its Las Vegas field director with voter registration fraud. Several days later, seven ACORN employees were charged in Pittsburgh voter registration fraud.
The Wall Street Journal, quoting Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, reported “Acorn’s [sic] training manuals ‘clearly detail, condone and . . . require illegal acts,’ such as requiring its workers to meet strict voter-registration targets to keep their jobs.”10 Fred Voigt, Philadelphia’s deputy election commissioner, claimed ACORN “submitted at least 1,500 fraudulent registrations last fall.” According to Lake County Elections Board administrator Ruthann Hoagland, ACORN submitted at least 2,100 fraudulent registrations in Indiana.According to the Wall Street Journal, fined ACORN and entered into a deal requiring ACORN to either increase its oversight or risk criminal prosecution after several Washington state-based ACORN employees mwere convicted of voter registration fraud in 2007.During the 2008 election, ACORN was investigated in fourteen other states. In June 2009, judge Richard Zoller, after holding an ACORN employee liable for election law violations, stated, “[s]omebody has to go after ACORN[.]”
This past March Heather Heidelbaugh a Pennsylvania attorney testified before Congress. She based her testimony on her interviews with Anita Moncreif, who worked for the ACORN affiliated organization, Project Vote . Last October Heidelbaugh represented “a candidate, voters and the Republican State Committee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” seeking a preliminary injunction against ACORN and the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The complaint alleged violations of the election code, fraud and misrepresentation, and violations of equal protection and due process.
Some of the specific allegations include:
- The Obama Campaign worked directly with ACORN and the NY Times hid the story: The New York Times articles stopped when Ms. Moncrief, who is a Democrat and a supporter of the President, revealed that the Obama Presidential Campaign had sent its maxed out donor list to Karen Gillette of the Washington, DC ACORN office and asked Gillette and Ms. Moncrief to reach out to the maxed out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN. Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama Campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at the New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer”. That’s when Ms. Moncrief telephoned me on October 21, 2008.
- There is no separation between ACORN and Project Vote ..Honestly, there really isn’t a difference between Project Vote and ACORN except for the fact that one is a 501(c)(3) and one is not a (2)(3). As far as the – who does the voter registration
work and how things get done…Project Vote is basically considered ACORN political
operations.” Ms. Moncrief testified: [page 44, line 1-25] “There was active cooperation between ACORN’s political wing and Project Vote…[They] basically had the same staff. Nathan Henderson James was the strategic writing and research department…director of ACORN and he was the research director of Project Vote. Zach [Polett] was the executive director of Project Vote and the executive director of ACORN political.
- ACORN and Project Vote were used as a way for Obama’s maxed out donors to continue to give to the campaign. ACORN and Project Vote targeted particular individuals and entities to solicit donations. These included: 1.) maxed out presidential donors; 2.) the billionaires club i.e. Herb Sandler, the Rockefellers; and 3.) the millionaires club i.e. Patriciam Bowman, the Bowman Foundation, Wellspring, and Sykes.
- ACORN paid people based on a Quota of how many voters they registered. Ms. Moncrief confirmed that ACORN does have a ‘quota system’ for their voter registration canvassers. Ms. Moncrief testified that she was aware of a system
that required each canvasser to turn in “…at least 20 cards per day”. If the canvasser does not turn in the minimum of 20 cards per day, the canvasser is “fired”.
- ACORN knew they had only a 40% accuracy rate, that’s why they submitted their voter registration cards just before the elections to make things harder to detect. ACORN knew that their canvassers were turning in duplicate registrations. Ms. Moncrief testified: “I have knowledge that they were striving for at one time 40% accuracy rate.” Further, ACORN knew that their canvassers “dumped” voter registration cards on election divisions throughout the United States immediately before the cut off dates.
- ACORN waged in Political activity: ACORN and its affiliates engaged in partisan political activity despite their tax exempt status which prohibited them from doing so. ACORN was concerned ‘publicly’ to prohibit its tax exempt organizations from engaging in partisan political activity but in actual practice it occurred behind the scenes. Ms. Moncrief was told not to get caught engaging in partisan political activity.
- ACORN would force companies provide donations with protests. They called it “protection money.” Muscle for the Money’, Ms. Moncrief testified: “Protection. We were very – not to be flippant, but we were just always very sarcastic about it in the offices. We knew what was going on. And its not that we thought it was funny, it was just one of those things that we talked about. That’s why I said it like that, so you understand.” The ‘Muscle for Money’/’Protection’ programs were carried out against Sherwin Williams, Jackson Hewitt, H&R Block, the Carlyle Group, and Money Mart. (If you want to read the entire testimony click here.
Ms. Moncrief herself testified in a Pennsylvania court. She testified that the group knew 60% of the voters who were registered were bogus and the group REGULARLY coordinated with the OBAMA Campaign.
The group, she said, barely trained its workers in how to register voters properly, and would fire employees if they did not meet a quota of 20 new voter applicants daily. And, if they were caught committing fraud, the group “threw them under the bus” as scapegoats to take all the legal blame, Moncrief said.
Moncrief said she worked as a development associate for Project Vote in Washington from 2005 until early this year, but that the group was so closely aligned with its sister organization, ACORN, that they were one and the same.
Moncrief was fired in January after using a Project Vote credit card to pay for personal items. On the stand, she acknowledged the incident and called it “a bad mistake.” She is unemployed after short stints in two jobs since she was fired.
Nationwide, ACORN has helped 1.3 million people register to vote this election cycle. That includes about 140,000 new registrants in Pennsylvania.
Many of them have been flagged by election officials across the state as illegitimate because they were already registered, gave wrong names, or provided incorrect addresses.
Plaintiffs are asking the court to, among other things, prohibit ACORN and its affiliates from further contacting those that the groups signed up in Pennsylvania as well as to force the groups to fund public-service announcements to inform new voters that they need to bring identification to the polling place.
The suit also asks the court to order ACORN and affiliates including Project Vote to release a list of all voters registered in the latest drive.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, after hearing seven hours of testimony yesterday, said he hopes to rule on the matter today..
On cross-examination by ACORN lawyer Katheryn Simpson, Moncrief, who lives in Virginia, acknowledged that she had never worked on the registration drive in Pennsylvania, but said she was privy to national briefings on the subject.
Two ACORN officials from Pennsylvania took the stand after Moncrief and insisted that the group has policies in place to train new employees and to spot and flag applications that appear to be fraudulent.
Carol Hemingway, president of ACORN’s Philadelphia chapter, yesterday called the suit a media stunt “to create voter-fraud hysteria and create a preemptive strategy to de-legitimize results of the upcoming election.”
In a national conference call with reporters, former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, cochair of Honest and Open Election Committee for McCain-Palin 2008, seized on Moncrief’s testimony as proof that ACORN’s massive voter drive was “a high-volume, low-quality operation.”
“We believe the quota system and the threat of firings induced the turning in or filing of phony names,” Danforth said.
Moncrief also testified that, in November 2007, she was given a massive database of Barack Obama donors who had already reached the maximum that they are allowed to give to the Democratic presidential nominee. Her task was to cull it for potential donors who, though prohibited from giving any more to Obama, could give to ACORN.
Moncrief said that she received the database from her supervisor and that the person insisted the Obama campaign had provided it.
Put it all together, there is enough evidence to show that ACORN is corrupt through out its vast organization. The congress and senate should follow through on its defunding legislation, and the President should sign the legislation.
There should also there be a call for a special prosecutor, we should not rely on the the politically appointed justice department, especially since there is evidence that the Presidents campaign committee was involved with the organization.