Separating the nuts from the ACORN

When you respect as reader as much as I do our “Sup” and see them as concerned about an issue as she is about ACORN voter registration, it’s only natural to want to know more – and for me that meant hours with my research assistant, AKA google, trying to separate the nuts from the ACORNS.

If you wish to strengthen a lie, mix a little truth in with it.

The search results were telling – in the number one position was a news release from the Republican National Committee! If you click on the link, you’ll see the “story” is actually a transcript and at the end includes this credit:

To View The Entire Video, Please Visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPvJRkyb8PQ Paid for by the Republican National Committee. www.gop.comNot authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.SOURCE Republican National Committee

I didn’t fully understand until I followed a link this morning and ended up here.

The RNC isn’t even trying to pretend like their indepedent from their media arm, Fox “News”, anymore, apparently.

Here’s today’s RNC press release. It’s, quite literally, a transcript of this morning’s Fox & Friends, wherein the FNC/RNC clowns “report” on yesterday’s PR stunt/raid on a Las Vegas ACORN office and then, for good measure, prime the pump for yet another similar raid in Missouri (another swingstate, go figure.) Needless to say, it’s utter stuff and nonsense, with zero evidence of “criminality” by ACORN — as explained in my coverage yesterday — and includes plenty of unsubstantiated hearsay and garbage, as if it were actually fact. So, naturally, it’s been released as a press release by the RNC, as is.

Unless they find that yesterday’s PR stunt in NV has blown up on them (and it might, as folks, even some in the corporate media, are beginning to understand what a desperate scam this GOP “voter fraud” hoax really is) we’ll expect a similar stunt or two, akin to the one in Vegas, soon in MO, OH, and anywhere the GOP feels they need a phony reason to challenge elections, intimidate voters, and otherwise cause havoc at the polls before, during and even after Election Day.

If you think google doesn’t have a sense of humor, you’re wrong.  I was searching for the quote about strengthening a lie with a little truth and this story was linked in the search results – and, I kid you not, so was this link to wikki.

Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people.

As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.

The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. (emphasis added)

Is there truth to claims of voter fraud in the ACORN voter registration drive?  Absolutely.  However, it’s not the truth [sic] told by this woman who seems to account for half or more of the entries on the first three pages of search results. 

Michelle Malkin makes news and waves with a unique combination of investigative journalism and incisive commentary. She is the author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild .

Michelle’s “unique combination” includes disinformation.

the deliberate dissemination of false information. In the context of politics, it is the deliberate attempt to deflect voter support of an opponent, disseminating false statements of innuendo based on the candidates vulnerabilities as revealed by opposition research. In both cases, it also includes the distortion of true information in such a way as to render it useless. (emphasis added)

Here, for example, is another view of what happened in Las Vegas this week.

As The Washington Post reported, the Nevada chapter of the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, had planned a potluck dinner at its Las Vegas office Tuesday night to celebrate the 80,000 newly registered voters its staff had signed up in Clark County.

Before that dinner could start, however, Nevada officials raided the ACORN office, removing 20 boxes of documents and eight computer hard drives. The state officials claimed that workers for the community-organizing group, who are paid by the hour, had submitted almost 300 voter registration cards that included names and addresses that don’t exist in Nevada, or are duplicates of previous registrations.

A former ACORN employee said she started making up names to fill out the registration forms to avoid having to work in the heat outside. Workers are expected to sign up 20 new voters per shift.

As I noted in my post yesterday, Republicans have been aggressively attacking ACORN for alleged voter fraud, and using any false or erroneous registrations submitted by the group to claim there’s a problem of widespread voter fraud that’s tainting the elections.

But not only are the numbers of illegitimate registrations found tiny in comparison to the 1.3 million valid new registrations the group has signed up, but neither the Nevada GOP, nor anyone else, has presented any evidence that these duplicate or false registrations have any impact whatsoever on the validity of the vote. (emphasis added)

After all, unless poll workers are sleeping on the job, no one can show up and vote twice. And there’s no evidence, and likewise no charges, that anyone is showing up at the polls and impersonating the nonexistent voters that have been signed up.

So, if you separate the nuts from the ACORN, what do you have?  A voter registration drive targeting low-income minority communities complete with all that comes from our own making – and what we should be examining is why so many of our fellow Americans were not registered to vote in the first place.

Voter registration drives sponsored by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) are being investigated by federal authorities and the Senate Finance Committee after allegations that fraudulent voter registration cards were submitted in four of its 17 state efforts. The group is cooperating with authorities and says misconduct by temporary workers appears to be at the root of the problem.(emphasis added)

ACORN has been operating large-scale voter registration drives for a number of years. In 2004, the group registered over 1 million voters. ACORN was accused of fraud in 2004 for activities in Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia and in 2003 in Missouri.

…According to a statement from the organization, however, these allegations were proven false. “In Ohio, allegations against ACORN (and other organizations helping minorities register to vote) were contained in a lawsuit funded by the Free Enterprise Coalition.

The plaintiffs withdrew the suit as ACORN began discovery.” In 2004, as in 2006, they cooperated with prosecutors to convict employees who submitted duplicate registrations or other problematic cards. (emphasis added)

In the midst of all of this, the Clarion Ledger reports over 130,000 Mississippians have been added to list of registered voters in the State.  One is my youngest child – and anyone that gives the credit to ACORN is just plain nuts.

Children who grow up in homes and communities where voting is both a right and responsibility eagerly await the opportunity to vote – and those intent on putting ACORN out of business should be joining the effort to create a generation of Americans that have no need for a voter registration drive.

14 thoughts on “Separating the nuts from the ACORN”

  1. Thanks for this thorough post on ACORN. It seems they are providing a great service and some bad workers got in there. I wonder if they were a self fulfilling prophecy of the GOP?

    P.S. This is upsetting to say the least because these people are trying to get people to vote and the GOP don’t want people to vote. That’s pathetic.

  2. The goal – registering voters – is laudable. The difficulty comes from the fact that such an effort is most successful when the workers come from the targeted community. Because ACORN targets low-income minority communities, they are dealing with a population more likely to be undereducated and with limited work experience. In that context, the problem and the solution have nothing to do with color – they’re education and employment opportunity issues.

  3. Belle,

    I completely disagree with part of your comment in your 1st post above. The GOP does want people to vote, they just don’t want democrats to vote…… Of course when I think about it, maybe your statement was accurate in that I know some diehard Pubs that don’t consider any democrats “people”….. I for one be neither party and am rather proud of that distinction. I do vote in most elections, but could care less what party the person I vote for is in (mainstream that is, not like socialist, communist, nazi, etc). That being said, I wish the election was tomorrow so all the political bulls… on both sides would be over with.

  4. I’m with you, Beau, on wishing the election was tomorrow – maybe those of us who make our choice based on “person” and not “party” have less patience.

    btw, there seems to be a word missing in your 2nd sentence, sorry we don’t have “edit comment” function but if you let me know, I’ll make the insert – am assuming it’s a “don’t”

  5. As I posted on another topic, I submit a question to all my colleagues on this board. Does one find it strange the Obama campaign has acknowledged contributing to ACORN? I thought political campaigns accepted contributions – not make them.

  6. Sup, can you give us more information about that? Like a link or anything? Without knowing any facts, I do believe campaigns (democratic campaigns at least) try very hard GOTV (get out the vote). I did it for Gore.

    UPDATE: I got this from the Obama Campaign Website

    Discredited Republican voter-suppression guru Ken Blackwell is attacking Barack Obama with naked lies about his supposed connection to ACORN.

  7. I believe this is what Sup is referring to, belle, but it was a purchase-of-service and not a donation.

    U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat’s campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports.

    Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. — a subsidiary of ACORN — worked in “get-out-the-vote” projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary.

    FEC spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger said it is not unusual for campaigns to amend reports, even regarding large sums of money (emphasis added).

    What hurts most about the voter registration controversy IMO is that it’s robbing us all of the opportunity to appreciate the potential of a more involved citizenry suggested in this quote from the Clarion Ledger story on voter registration here.

    Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, said he’s been amazed at the efforts by average Mississippians to encourage registration.

    While waiting recently to get a plate lunch from the deli counter at Kroger, he said he observed six men in front of him – all African American and all supporting Obama. “Everybody in line was literally cheerleading to make everybody know they had to get out to vote,” he said.

  8. Nowdy, you are correct above about my comment, it should have read “they just don’t want democrats to vote”. Thanks for catching it.

  9. Thanks Nowdy.

    As always the main street media is avoiding this ACORN issue like the plague. If you depend upon MSMBC, CNN and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for your info you are not getting the info on ACORN.

    They are now being investigated in several states. It has now been reported (FNC) that the Dallas Cowboys roster was also registered in MO. ACORN has been doing this stuff since the 1980’s. They learned from the Rev. Jackson you can shake down banks and corporations.

  10. From Talkingpointsmemo.com (TPMuckracker)

    ACORN may have been lax, at best, in its procedures for gathering registration forms. But aside from the GOP’s continuing inability to pinpoint the scale of the problem, it’s also worth noting that, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “a fake registration doesn’t necessarily mean an ineligible vote is tallied. Officials say canvassers sometimes make up registered names to impress bosses or earn bonuses, but that doesn’t result in anyone ineligible casting a vote.”[emphasis mine]

    Sup, the MSM (excluding FNC) is probably avoiding it because the charges are not as bad the GOP says, per Wall St. Journal noted above.

  11. The underlying issue is one of perspective on injustice. Groups like ACORN are very difficult for some to understand – generally those who don’t seem them as comparable to the National Chamber of Commerce. IMO, the two organizations are very much alike and simply target two very different populations.

    Obama’s former law students described him as pragmatic, not polarizing, in a recent NYT story that included this quote:

    When he lectured on a pivotal affirmative-action Supreme Court case, for instance, he emphasized that white contractors who lost out to minority businesses because of racial set-asides had a legitimate grievance.

    We don’t resolve one injustice by creating another and measuring the ACORN effort with a National Chamber yardstick is doing just that.

    Congress has allowed the creation of various forms of non-profit organizations. Consequently, some are subject to restrictions others are not.

    We keep creating ways to divide our nation into haves and have nots – and in doing so have become very close to becoming a nation of only have-nots.

    We need to put our energy into seeking common ground that will make us the nation some think we are but are not – one where everyone has an equal opportunity to become a “have”.

  12. Look who’s been palling around with ACORN!

    The beleaguered Democratic-leaning community group Acorn sends over this photograph: John McCain, in March of 2006, sitting beside Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek at an event Acorn co-sponsored in Florida.

    The immigration event, which other photos show was packed with red-shirted Acorn member, was co-sponsored by the local Catholic Archdiocese, the SEIU, and other groups.

    McCain, still spiting much of his party on immigration at the time, was the headliner.

    Bertha Lewis, Acorn’s chief organizer, said in a statement that came with the photo,

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