DOJ diverts settlement money to ACORN

January 13, 2012

Utterly shameless:

The untold story of the Obama Administration’s widely reported, $335 million discrimination settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation is that, under a secret Justice Department program, a chunk of the money won’t go to the “victims” but rather leftist groups not connected to the lawsuit.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will determine which “qualified organizations” get leftover settlement cash and Democrat-tied groups like the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the open-borders National Council of La Raza (NCLR) stand to get large sums based on the hastily arranged deal which got court approval in just a few days.

(Via Instapundit.)

ACORN grant found improper

December 2, 2010

Fox News reports:

An ACORN affiliate in New Orleans was improperly awarded a fire safety and prevention grant worth nearly a half-million dollars, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general. . .

In the findings, obtained by, the inspector general’s office said that FEMA went against the advice of an evaluation panel to hand out the $450,484 grant to the ACORN Institute in New Orleans. From there, not all of the money could be tracked. . .

The report said that ACORN applied for the fire safety and prevention grant — meant to fund efforts to distribute and promote the use of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers – by claiming to operate programs that did not yet exist. The institute claimed to have partnerships with local fire departments through the “Urban Fire Initiative,” when in fact, that initiative “did not exist prior to the grant application.”

FEMA reduced the grant request from its original $1 million. But the report said the institute could not provide documentation to support how it spent nearly $161,000 of the money it did receive.

Lots of blame to go around here: ACORN for committing the fraud, of course, and FEMA for letting them do it after being warned.

ACORN voter fraud revelations

June 18, 2010

ACORN may have become synonymous with underage prostitution and human trafficking, but its bread and butter is voter fraud. Judicial Watch recently obtained FBI notes from its investigation into ACORN voter fraud activities. Daniel Foster has a handy summary.

POSTSCRIPT: Incidentally, ACORN is not dead; it is merely rebranding itself. Presumably they will continue their criminal activities under their new names.

ACORN ban reinstated

April 22, 2010

Human Events reports:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a stay on the December 2009 injunction by Clinton-appointed Judge Nina Gershon that declared the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) funding ban was unconstitutional.

The result of the stay is that the Congressional funding ban will go back into effect, and ACORN will not receive taxpayer dollars while the court reviews the case.

(Via the Corner.)

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has turned down ACORN’s appeal. (Via Big Government.)

ACORN’s inquiry into ACORN clears ACORN

December 7, 2009

Of course.

ACORN mismanages grant money

November 21, 2009

Well here’s a shocker:

A report Friday by the Justice Department’s independent inspector general revealed that ACORN won approval for nearly $200,000 in Justice grants since 2002 and mismanaged some of the money.

ACORN video #8

November 20, 2009

In O’Keefe and Giles’s last ACORN video (#7 if you’re counting) on the Los Angeles office, they encountered an ACORN staffer who actually refused to assist them with their feigned scheme of child prostitution and human trafficking. He did not, however, throw them out of the office. (Recall that Los Angeles is one of the five cities in which ACORN claimed — falsely in at least three cases — that it threw out O’Keefe and Giles.)

ACORN claimed in a message to the LA Times that O’Keefe and Giles were thrown out of a different office:

In an email, ACORN disputed O’Keefe’s claim, saying that the filmmaker earlier had gone to an ACORN office on South Grand Avenue in L.A. with the scenario and was turned away.

Anyone who has followed the ACORN scandal has to be skeptical about this claim, as ACORN has repeatedly lied at every turn. I commented, “Why anyone would still put any credence in ACORN’s stories at this point is beyond me.” And I was right.

The latest ACORN video is out, and it’s from — you guessed it — the ACORN office on South Grand Avenue in Los Angeles. Not only does it show O’Keefe and Giles not being thrown out of the office, it shows an ACORN staffer engaging in the most inexcusable behavior yet.

The staffer advises them to “hook up with somebody who is on that international sex business level” and offers to do research for them. She also makes additional remarks that, if their context is fairly represented (and O’Keefe and Giles have given us no reason to doubt them), seem to condone trafficking in minors.

This latest video is amazing because it shows ACORN engaging in its worst behavior yet in the very office that ACORN cited in its defense. Clearly ACORN is irredeemably corrupt, but it’s becoming hard to escape the conclusion that it is also stupid.

At every stage of the scandal, O’Keefe, Giles, and Andrew Breitbart have had the goods to disprove ACORN’s repeated lies. And yet ACORN keeps lying. And keeps getting busted. It is unfathomable to me that they haven’t figured this out yet. How is it possible that an organization of corrupt, immoral idiots can be so influential?

(Previous post.)

ACORN video #7

November 17, 2009

The latest ACORN video is from Los Angeles, and it’s the first in which ACORN behaved with half a shred of decency. In the video, the ACORN worker has no problem with the prostitution scheme, but he draws the line at underage prostitution. He doesn’t kick O’Keefe and Giles out, but he does refuse to help. According to O’Keefe, he is the only ACORN worker they met during their entire investigation who refused to assist. For this, O’Keefe proclaims him the ACORN Employee of the Year:

Los Angeles is, incidentally, one of the five offices that ACORN claims threw out O’Keefe and Giles. The others were San Diego, Miami, New York and Philadelphia. Three of the five claims (San Diego, New York, and Philadelphia) have already been shown to be lies. It now appears that Los Angeles is a lie as well, although ACORN still claims to have thrown them out of a different Los Angeles office. Why anyone would still put any credence in ACORN’s stories at this point is beyond me.

(Previous post.)

ACORN sues over defunding

November 12, 2009

Fox News reports:

In an attempt to regain the millions in funding it lost in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal, ACORN is suing the federal government over congressional legislation that cut off funding to the community organizing group.

Representatives for ACORN sued the federal government Thursday morning in an attempt to regain the millions of dollars in funding the community organizing group lost after filmmakers videotaped its workers offering advice on how to commit tax fraud and various other felonies.

The suit charges Congress with violating the Constitution when it passed legislation in September that specifically targeted ACORN to lose federal housing, education and transportation funds.

A case can be made that defunding ACORN specifically is an unconstitutional bill of attainder. I don’t buy it; I don’t believe that refusing funding is a form of punishment, but you never know what the courts will do. (Eugene Volokh explores the matter here.)

But there are a couple of remarks that must be made: Firstly, to the best of my knowledge, ACORN’s defunding has not yet become law, so this lawsuit seems premature. The courts can hardly entertain lawsuits over everything Congress ever contemplates. Secondly, if you want to be all constitutional about it, Congress has no power to fund ACORN in the first place.

ACORN takes the fifth

November 1, 2009

The New York Post reports:

A City Council hopeful won’t cough up documents related to whether the Working Families Party is scamming the campaign finance system — because the case could involve “criminal liability,” according to documents released yesterday.

The bombshell development was revealed at a court hearing where lawyers for the WFP and the campaign of Staten Island candidate Debi Rose tried to get a suit against them tossed. . .

The WFP and Rose had tried Thursday to buck a discovery request saying they had to produce documents and campaign finance records.

A lawyer for the campaign said Rose’s treasurer, David Thomas, wouldn’t produce them because they “may implicate criminal liability and his client would therefore have Fifth Amendment rights protecting him from having to make any such compelled disclosure,” according to the affidavit, which quoted a deputy clerk in the Appellate Division.

The “Working Families Party” is one of the organizations in the ACORN network.

(Via Instapundit.)

ACORN video #6

October 21, 2009

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto published last week, Andrew Breitbart said that he was sitting on additional ACORN videos, figuring that diminishing returns would set in after five. Now he’s released the sixth video, and it proves ACORN’s efforts to rehabilitate themselves are built on lies.

Video #6 comes from ACORN’s Philadelphia office, another one of the five offices that ACORN says O’Keefe and Giles were thrown out of.  (ASIDE: Breitbart has already released videos from two other offices — New York and San Diego — that ACORN falsely claimed O’Keefe and Giles were thrown out of.) ACORN has invested a lot in their account of what happened at the Philadelphia office. In addition to claiming they threw out O’Keefe and Giles (the video shows they were not), ACORN made a lots of other statements about the interview that are now proven false. Those claims were taken up by a variety of credulous news outlets and the ever-hacktastic Media Matters, all of which now have egg on their faces.

It’s the behavior of the media that is most fascinating. Despite ACORN having been repeatedly shown as liars (and worse) throughout the affair, the media has persisted in accepting their version of events with nothing but ACORN’s word to go on.

(Previous post.)

More ACORN voter fraud

September 30, 2009

Although it moonlights as a facilitator for child prostitution and human trafficking rings, ACORN’s bread-and-butter is election fraud. Today we have two new ACORN election fraud scandals. One is in Las Vegas, where ACORN illegally paid cash incentives for voter registrations, and the other is in Troy, New York, where an ACORN subsidiary forged dozens of absentee ballots.

A reflection on ACORN and modern liberalism

September 24, 2009

One puzzling thing about the ACORN scandal is why so many ACORN offices were willing to involve themselves in such a preposterously flagrant criminal enterprise. A deep disregard for the law is part of it, obviously, but that’s not a sufficient explanation. Unlike voter fraud, child prostitution is not a core mission of ACORN (I hope!), so why did they involve themselves?

I think the answer goes to the nature of modern liberalism. Unlike conservatism or libertarianism, modern liberalism is not really an ideology. Rather, modern liberalism is an alliance of various interests, and it’s difficult to express any principle that those interests have in common. For example, the liberal umbrella contains both feminists (who favor women’s rights, ostensibly at least) and multiculturalists (who defend oppression of women throughout the world, particularly in the Muslim world).

In short, while the right sees the world in terms of right-and-wrong or free-and-unfree, the modern liberal generally sees the world in terms of us-and-them. As we have seen often this year, liberals will see the exact same policy promulgated by both Bush and Obama negatively in the former instance but positively in the latter.

How does this explain ACORN? An under-reported aspect of O’Keefe and Giles’s investigation is the manner in which O’Keefe introduced himself. He introduced himself as a law student who intended to use the profits from his side business (child prostitution) to finance his run for Congress. By presenting himself as an aspiring liberal politician, O’Keefe identified himself to ACORN as one of them. This, I suspect, made all the difference. In the absence of any moral standard or respect for the law, ACORN was willing to go the extra mile for anyone on its side.

The phenomenon is not limited to ACORN. We can see it in the response of Congressional Democrats to the scandal. Of course, most Democrats voted with the Republicans to cut off ACORN funding. But the most liberal Democrats, 75 of them, voted to continue ACORN funding despite everything. Harry Reid also blocked a Senate investigation. Why? To them, government is a matter of us-and-them. Whatever ACORN had done, ACORN was on their side.

We also see it in the response of the mainstream media. Despite the story being incredibly juicy, the liberal media did everything it could to avoid reporting it. (Of course, it would have been the top story for days had it been a conservative group.) Once they were forced to report the story, they tried to balance it with dirt on O’Keefe and Giles. There being no real dirt available, they tried to smear them as racists.

But the motives of O’Keefe and Giles aren’t actually relevant to what ACORN did, and even if the smears were true it still wouldn’t excuse ACORN’s conduct. So why report it that way? Because the modern liberal sees the world through the lens of us-and-them, not right-and-wrong. In an us-and-them world, the nature of the whistleblowers is relevant. If the other side can be shown to be bad, that amounts to a full exoneration.

(Previous post.)

ACORN to sue O’Keefe and Giles

September 23, 2009

Suing is the stupidest thing ACORN could possibly do right now. I honestly thought that would keep them from doing it. Bring on the discovery!

UPDATE: Some legal commentary here.

UPDATE: Some more legal analysis here.

(Previous post.)

ACORN CEO calls O’Keefe racist

September 18, 2009

She says only a racist would use a prostitution sting on a predominantly black organization. (Cue to 2:00 here.) I guess the race card is all they have left.

(Via Hot Air.) (Previous post.)

Poll: cut off ACORN

September 18, 2009

A new Rasmussen poll indicates that hardly anybody likes ACORN: 67% have an unfavorable impression against just 15% favorable. Even liberals are divided: 35% favorable vs. 38% unfavorable. A majority (51%) say that Congress should cut off all funding for ACORN; just 17% say Congress should continue funding them.

(Previous post.)

Jay Leno on ACORN

September 18, 2009

(Previous post.)

House defunds ACORN

September 17, 2009



It’s a typical these-voters-are-such-rubes stunt; the House and Senate voted to defund ACORN on different bills.

The Senate bill is a housing bill, the House bill the federal takeover of student loans. Each bill will wind up in conference committee where the ACORN ban can be quietly stripped out, behind closed doors and secure from prying eyes.

UPDATE: A House GOP aide explains:

“On Thursday, we surprised the House Democrats by offering the ‘Defund ACORN Act’ as the motion to recommit on the government takeover of the student-loan-industry legislation,” the aide says. “Frankly, the motion was not germane, and we expected Democratic leaders to raise a point of order against it. But, in the face of the overwhelming public outcry against ACORN, they decided not to fight it. Now comes the hard part — though the House has effectively passed the ‘Defund ACORN Act,’ it is on a bill that has not passed the Senate, and there’s no guarantee that it would survive a Democrat-controlled conference committee. We’re going to have to continue to work to keep the pressure on, while Democrats try to make this issue go away. We’ve won a battle, but the war goes on.”

(Previous post.)

ACORN video #5

September 17, 2009

The latest ACORN video is from San Diego. In it, the ACORN staffer actually gives advice for how to smuggle underage prostitutes across the Mexican border. This time, O’Keefe and Giles’s are unusually blatant about their imaginary criminal plans, perhaps because they wanted to test the limits of what ACORN would involve themselves in. Indeed, the staffer in this one seemed to be a little uncomfortable with the conversation, not that it stopped him from helping.

It’s also worthy of note that San Diego, like New York, was on ACORN’s list of cities in which O’Keefe and Giles supposedly failed:

This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen.

(Emphasis mine.)

(Previous post.)

Jon Stewart on the ACORN scandal

September 16, 2009

It takes a fake journalist to give the scandal the treatment it deserves.

(Previous post.)

NYT on the ACORN scandal

September 16, 2009

The New York Times has broken its silence on the ACORN scandal, and they pretty much tell the story straight. I suppose they deserve a little credit for that, even if the story ran on page A14.

Nevertheless, there is one paragraph that is worthy of note:

In a statement over the weekend, Bertha Lewis, the chief organizer for Acorn, said the bogus prostitute and pimp had spent months visiting numerous Acorn offices, including those in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia, before getting the responses they were looking for.

You’ll notice that the NYT does not use a direct quote. The full statement is here, and this is the relevant part:

This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen.

(Emphasis mine.) You’ll notice New York on ACORN’s list of places where the sting had failed, but it was left off of the NYT’s version of the list. Why? Because New York is the one that proves ACORN’s statement was a lie. Immediately after ACORN released its statement, O’Keefe released the video of his visit to a New York office.

Leaving New York in the list eliminates the value of ACORN’s statement as a rebuttal, so the NYT struck it. Most organizations don’t get such a favor.

ACORN, by the way, has removed the entire statement from its web site.

POSTSCRIPT: The NYT article also contains this gem:

Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the liberal Campaign for America’s Future, called the tactics used to go after Mr. Jones and Acorn “McCarthyite,” and said the critics were harping on minor failings and distorting records that over all were admirable. “This is dangerous stuff,” Mr. Borosage said. “I don’t think progressives will sit back and let this gain momentum.”

Hmm. Abetting the importation of child sex slaves from Central America is a “minor failing”?

(Previous post.)

UPDATE: Duane Patterson noticed the same thing. (Via Power Line.)

ACORN video #4

September 15, 2009

James O’Keefe has released yet another video of ACORN criminal behavior. That makes four now: Baltimore, DC, Brooklyn, and now San Bernadino, California. I’d say he has pretty well demolished ACORN’s claim that this is just a few bad apples.

And Hannah Giles hints of more to come:

  1. Ask A Question: What if a “prostitute” and her alleged law school boyfriend walk into ACORN seeking housing for an underage brothel to fund his future congressional campaign?
  2. Do Background Research:
    1. Learn as much about ACORN housing procedures and protocol as possible.
    2. History of ACORN and their effect on the United States
  3. Construct a Hypothesis: ACORN is corrupt and it is in their nature to promote and disguise illegal behavior.
  4. Experiment: Baltimore, DC, Brooklyn, San Bernardino, and…
  5. Analyze and draw a conclusion.

(Emphasis mine.) (Previous post.)

ACORN illegal in Maryland

September 15, 2009

There’s a new wrinkle in the ACORN scandal; ACORN has no license to operate in Maryland:

Department of Assessments and Taxation . . .



(Previous post.)

The ACORN scandal

September 15, 2009

(I’m late in reporting this story, because I didn’t have the time to give it the treatment it deserves. And my how the story has grown in the meantime.)

ACORN, the community-organizing and voter-fraud organization, has long been savaged for its various criminal activities. On September 9, they hoped they had gotten in front of their bad reputation when they turned in eleven of their workers for forging voter registrations. This, they argued, was proof that ACORN could police itself:

“Over the last five years thousands of dedicated people have worked or volunteered with Florida ACORN. . . Fortunately, our quality control managers and the systems we developed ensured their ability to spot the isolated wrongdoing by these 11 workers who tried to pass off phony forms instead of doing their work.”

The very next day, James O’Keefe went public with the results of his hidden camera investigation. (Transcript here.) O’Keefe went to an ACORN office in Baltimore posing as a pimp. He brought along Hannah Giles who posed as a prostitute. They spun a tail of various criminal activities, including fraud, child prostitution, and human trafficking. ACORN was all too happy to help. For example, the ACORN consultant suggested that Hannah list her occupation as “performance artist”, she recommended that they understate their income to the IRS, and she gave them advice on how to conceal their underage prostitutes (imported from El Salvador) from the authorities.

ACORN denied everything:

A spokesman for ACORN, Scott Levenson, when asked to comment on the videotape, said: “The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at gotcha journalism. This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the full video before commenting further.”

ACORN’s denial proved premature. First, it rang hollow when ACORN quickly fired the staffers. Then, O’Keefe released his second hidden camera investigation, in which he and Giles told the same story at an ACORN office in DC. (Transcript here.) Again, the staffers were happy to help. ACORN quickly fired those staffers as well.

Desperate to get in front of the scandal, ACORN issued a statement accusing Fox News of racism. (ACORN erroneously gave Fox credit/blame for O’Keefe’s work, presumably because Fox News is unpopular among its base of support.) That’s right, ACORN abets trafficking in underage prostitutes, and Fox News is somehow racist for reporting the scandal. The small consolation for ACORN is that most of the media was not so “racist”, and ignored the whole affair. At first.

ACORN still had its supporters. The state attorney in Baltimore issued an amazing statement indicating that it had no plans to prosecute ACORN, but it would investigate criminal wrongdoing by O’Keefe! (It seems that hidden microphones are illegal under Maryland law, but the state attorney had not previously prosecuted journalists for hidden camera investigations.) It’s not surprising to learn that Patricia Jessamy, the state attorney in question, is a Democrat who served on a steering committee for the Obama campaign.

But the Census Bureau, which had a controversial deal with ACORN to assist in the census, had heard enough. Citing “worsening negative perceptions” (I’d say so!), it cancelled its deal with ACORN.

ACORN continued to try to defend itself. It issued a statement threatening legal action against Fox News. That is almost certainly a bluff (and a clumsy one), because — aside from having no case — the last thing ACORN wants is for someone to have the opportunity for discovery. The statement also said:

“This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen.”

This turned out to be a lie, at the very least in regards to New York, as we learned when O’Keefe released his third video. In the third video, O’Keefe and Giles told the same story (fraud, underage prostitution, human trafficking) at an ACORN office in New York, and again received their assistance.

That was finally too much for Congress. The Senate voted 83-7 to cut off funding for ACORN and the House is due to consider similar action shortly. (Among the seven who voted with ACORN was Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey. His father must be rolling in his grave. Roland Burris (D-IL), who is only in the Senate because Democratic leaders quashed proposals for a special election, is another.) Meanwhile, the Brooklyn DA’s office says they will be taking a look, and ACORN may be vulnerable under RICO as well. (It’s hard to imagine Eric Holder approving an investigation of ACORN though.)

The question now is, what happens next?

UPDATE: What happens next is a fourth video.

Criminal charges filed against ACORN

May 4, 2009

The Las Vegas Sun reports:

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller announced Monday that voter registration fraud charges have been filed against an organization that works with low-income people and two of its employees in its Las Vegas office.

The complaint includes 26 counts of voter fraud and 13 counts for compensating those registering voters, both felonies.

The Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, Inc., also known as ACORN, operated a Las Vegas office that helped register low-income voters last year.

(Via Instapundit.)

More ACORN criminal activity

February 21, 2009

ACORN’s criminal activities are branching out from election fraud to breaking and entering.  With a Baltimore TV news crew in attendance, they “reclaimed” a foreclosed home, which is to say that they broke into the home and put a new lock on it.  That home, as it turns out, had already been resold to someone else, who will be contacting the police.

(Via Hot Air.)

UPDATE: Arrested.

Stimulus package funds ACORN

January 27, 2009

The infamous election fraud organization gets its first payoff in the stimulus package, with a share of $4.19 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities.”

UPDATE: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Obama: investigate ACORN investigation

October 17, 2008

Obama calls for an ACORN-related investigation. Not, not into ACORN’s criminal activity, of course, but into press leaks about the investigation. I am not making this up:

Robert Bauer, general counsel to the Obama campaign, wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey a day after the Associated Press, citing unidentified law enforcement officials, reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating ACORN. The name is short for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. . .

Bauer said the news leaks are part of a coordinated effort by McCain’s presidential campaign and Republicans. They are “fomenting specious vote-fraud allegations and there are disturbing indications of official involvement or collusion,” Bauer said.

“It is apparent,” he wrote, that law enforcement officials are serving “improper political objectives” that could inhibit voter participation in the Nov. 4 election. The aim is to “suppress the vote and to unduly influence investigations and prosecutions,” Bauer wrote.

That’s right, the real villains here are the investigators, not the people perpetrating vote fraud.

Tomorrow, when the media picks up Obama’s talking points, we will be treated to the spectacle of the media complaining about press leaks. Press leaks are good, you see, only when they hurt Republicans. Leaks that hurt Democrats are very bad. (See Armitage-Plame affair.)

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Perhaps I’m mis-reading this. Another article says that Obama’s gripe is not with the press leaks, but with the very existence of the investigation:

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.

Bauer asked Mukasey to broaden a special prosecutor’s investigation to examine the origin of the ACORN inquiry.

(Via Instapundit.)

Now that’s chutzpah! ACORN submits thousands (at least) of bogus voter registrations, and it’s the investigation that’s improper.

Also, it’s pretty rich for Obama to complain about politicization of the Justice Department when his campaign asked Democrats in Missouri law enforcement to prosecute his critics.

Brunner puts ACORN to shame

October 16, 2008

ACORN has been unseated as the champion facilitator of voter fraud. The new champion is Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio Secretary of State. Brunner, a Democrat, has been widely called the most partisan official in the State of Ohio. Recently Brunner has been fighting a court order forcing her to verify the information on new voter registrations, but the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled against her.

One thing we’ve now learned is how many new registrations with mismatched information her office has been sitting on: over 200 thousand. We have no way of knowing how many of these registrations are legitimate, but if even 10% are fraudulent (and the number is almost certain much higher than that) we’re talking about 20 thousand voter registrations that Brunner has been trying to shield from examination.

For reference, the 2004 election was decided in Ohio by 118,457 votes; quite a bit less than the number of potentially fraudulent registrations Brunner has been try to jam onto the rolls.

(Via the Corner.)

AFTERTHOUGHT: Brunner, as one would expect, protests that this order will potentially disenfranchise many voters; forcing them to use provisional ballots if her office is unable to verify that they are legitimate voters.  But her concern over disenfranchisement is very selective.  Last month, Brunner threw out thousands of Republican absentee ballot requests on a technicality.  In that case, she was concerned that accepting the forms could lead to voter fraud.

Obama lies about ACORN connections

October 14, 2008

While researching my last post, an interesting sponsored link popped up on Google:

Obama-ACORN Lies Debunked
Get the Facts Now. Barack Obama
Never Organized with ACORN.

Here’s what they say:

  • Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
  • Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.
  • Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.

Obviously, this contradicts a lot that’s been written in the conservative blogosphere. Who’s right? Well, “fact” one depends on your definition of “ACORN community organizer” so that’s hard to dispute. Regarding the other two, ABC News’s Jake Tapper has the story. After an earlier version was shown to be untrue, “fact” two was carefully phrased to be literally, but very narrowly, truthful:

As reports pile up of voter registration fraud connected to ACORN — the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, a group that advocates for low-income voters – the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has sought to downplay his past ties with the group.

But in their efforts to do, Obama campaign officials found themselves forced last week to correct an erroneous assertion made on the campaign’s “Fight the Smears” webpage that “Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.”

That wasn’t true.

In fact, ACORN spokesman Lewis Goldberg told the New York Times that Obama conducted two unpaid leadership training sessions for ACORN’s Chicago affiliate in the late 1990s.

The “Fight the Smears” website now asserts, “Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.”

Key word: hired.

Goldberg told the Times that Obama’s work for ACORN was unpaid.

So Obama did work for ACORN, but he worked for free. That hardly refutes the “smear” allegation that Obama has ties to ACORN. Tapper goes on to explain that “fact” three isn’t true either.

Moreover, it is undisputed that Obama and ACORN have close ties today. In this election cycle, the Obama campaign paid ACORN over $800,000 for its efforts on behalf of the campaign.

UPDATE: The Cleveland Leader has screen grabs.

ACORN raises the bar for voter fraud

October 14, 2008

ACORN has outdone itself in Indiana. They recently submitted 5000 new voter registrations in Lake County. Every single one of them that the county has checked, 2100 so far, was fraudulent. Unfortunately for the county, the law requires that they continue to check the remaining 2900.

When confronted with their fraud, ACORN’s lawyer says it’s partly the government’s fault:

BONUS: In their five-and-a-half minute story, CNN didn’t manage to mention whether ACORN has any ideological or party preferences. I don’t want to bash them too much — after all, they did run the story — but come on. Not only does this organization work to advance the Democratic party, it is actually paid by the Obama campaign.

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Jim Hoft has a convenient compilation of ACORN’s fraud across 12 states.  (Via Instapundit.)

More ACORN fraud

October 9, 2008

This time in Missouri. (Via Instapundit.)

The Democrats should really think again about whether winning elections is more important than the integrity of the system. We’re headed for a complete breakdown of public confidence in the democratic process. Is that really what they want? An unelected government will lose any moral authority it ever had. A minimalistic government might survive that, but the Democrats want to use the government to carry out grand feats of social engineering. Doing so without the acquiescence of the people will be very hard, or very dangerous.

Nevada raids ACORN offices

October 7, 2008

This should be interesting.

UPDATE: It appears that the government has a damning case.  According to the affidavit, ACORN was hiring criminals on work-release from a state prison to commit identity theft.  (Via the Corner.)

Dems want to channel bailout money to ACORN

September 26, 2008

ACORN, which is basically a criminal enterprise, could be a major recipient of the proceeds of the bailout plan. Incredible. The Democrats are utterly shameless.

UPDATE: Republican leader John Boehner sounds the alarm. (Via the Corner.)

UPDATE: Urg.  Under the Democratic plan, the bailout doesn’t even need to make a profit to channel “profits” to ACORN.

Defaming O’Keefe

March 21, 2012

James O’Keefe brought down ACORN, exposed PBS’s hatred of the Tea Party movement, found fraud and waste at the Census Bureau, and lately has been showing how easy voter fraud is. To put it mildly, the left doesn’t like him very much.

But that doesn’t give them the right to lie about him. David Shuster and Keith Olbermann, who appear on Al Gore’s no-audience cable channel, described him as a convicted felon who is facing rape charges. Neither allegation is true. O’Keefe is not a convicted felon, and is not facing rape charges, or any other charges for that matter. He was accused of a felony when he brought hidden cameras into Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office, but was exonerated. And what Shuster and Olbermann describe as a rape charge was merely a harassment charge based on an accusation that O’Keefe said mean things on the phone and Internet, and that charge was dismissed for lack of evidence.

O’Keefe is suing for defamation. Defamation charges involving a public figure are awfully hard to prove in court, but since Shuster and Olbermann surely knew the facts when they made their slanders, I think he might have a case.

That brings us to The Atlantic, which (like nearly everyone) has higher journalistic standards than Current TV, but also defamed O’Keefe in reporting on how Shuster and Olbermann defamed O’Keefe. The Atlantic reported that O’Keefe “pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ‘with the intent to commit a felony'”. It’s not true. In fact, the prosecutors conceded the opposite in court, that he had no intent to commit a felony:

In this case further investigation did not uncover evidence that the defendants intended to commit any felony. . .

The only reason O’Keefe has a criminal record at all is it turns out that it’s illegal to run a hidden camera investigation on federal property. His only mistake was not seeking legal advice before trying to get Landrieu’s staff on camera lying about their phones.

Guilty pleas in voter fraud case

December 22, 2011

Four Democratic officials and operatives have pleaded guilty to a crime that we’re told never, ever happens.

And yes, there’s an ACORN connection.

Poverty lie

December 13, 2011

The New York Times opines:

The Times’s Jason DeParle, Robert Gebeloff and Sabrina Tavernise reported recently on Census data showing that 49.1 million Americans are below the poverty line — in general, $24,343 for a family of four. An additional 51 million are in the next category, which they termed “near poor” — with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. . .

The worst downturn since the Great Depression is only part of the problem. Before that, living standards were already being eroded by stagnating wages and tax and economic policies that favored the wealthy. Conservative politicians and analysts are spouting their usual denial.

Here’s the truth: these figures use the Obama administration’s new “poverty line”, which has nothing to do with actual poverty. Rather than being based on the cost of a basket of goods that families need (and without which they are impoverished), as the traditional poverty line was, the new “poverty line” is defined in terms of other people’s income (in particular, the 30th percentile of a particular population).

The beauty of the new “poverty line” — for liberals — is there will always be millions in “poverty”, no matter how much their lot improves. Not only is the 49.1 million figure not shocking, it’s inevitable. The “near poor”, being 150% of the other meaningless number, is just as meaningless.

With the new “poverty line”, liberals will always have an excuse to demand billions in welfare spending, (funneled through their cronies like ACORN of course). But this depends on the public remaining ignorant that the “poverty line” has nothing to do with poverty and is rigged so that there will always been lots of people in poverty.

Put simply, this only works if the liberals succeed in tricking us. And the New York Times is doing its part.

Something to hide

November 5, 2011

After ACORN’s role in sponsoring the Occupy Wall Street protests was exposed last week, ACORN is scrambling to prevent further exposure:

Officials with the revamped ACORN office in New York — operating as New York Communities for Change — have fired staff, shredded reams of documents and told workers to blame disgruntled ex-employees for leaking information in an effort to explain away a report last week on the group’s involvement in Occupy Wall Street protests, according to sources. . .

NYCC is also monitoring its staff’s behavior, cracking down on phone use and socialization. Officials have ordered all papers — even scraps — to be shredded every night, the source said.

“And all the supplies—everything around the office that said ‘ACORN’ — is now all in storage until this blows over,” the source said. “People literally have to cover up the cameras on the back of their cellphones in the office.”

“Now there’s no texting in the office, no phone calls in the office. They tell us to take our phone calls out into the waiting room where there’s an intercom, and then they turn on the intercom to hear our conversations. They’re installing new cameras and speakers around the building so they can hear everything.”

The fact that ACORN would go to such lengths to hide their activities strikes me a good evidence that they have something to hide. I also have to confess that, after all the damage that ACORN has done, I enjoy the spectacle of ACORN making its own staff’s lives miserable.

(Via Instapundit.)

Astroturf Wall Street

October 26, 2011

The New York office of ACORN (under its new name, New York Communities for Change) is paying people $10 an hour to participate in the Occupy Wall Street protests.

(Via Instapundit.)

SCOTUS today

June 20, 2011

A big day at the Supreme Court today:

  • The Court rejected a lawsuit against several power companies, saying that job of regulating carbon dioxide belongs to the EPA, not the judicial system. (However, if I am understanding properly, the court did not address the EPA’s effort to regulate carbon dioxide in a manner contrary to law.)
  • The Court rejected a preposterous class action against Wal-Mart.
  • The Court refused to hear ACORN’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that upheld the defunding of ACORN.

But the decision I want to highlight most is a 8-0 decision in Bond v. United States. Anthony Kennedy’s opinion on the role of federalism in the defense of individual liberty is eloquent:

The federal system rests on what might at first seem a counterintuitive insight, that “freedom is enhanced by thecreation of two governments, not one.” . . . The Framers concluded that allocation of powers between the National Government and the States enhances freedom, first by protecting the integrity of the governments themselves, and second by protecting the people, from whom all governmental powers are derived. . .

Federalism also protects the liberty of all persons within a State by ensuring that laws enacted in excess of dele­gated governmental power cannot direct or control their actions. . . By denying any one government com­plete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power.  When government acts in excess of its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake.

The limitations that federalism entails are not therefore a matter of rights belonging only to the States.  States are not the sole intended beneficiaries of federalism. . . An individual has a direct interest in objecting to laws that upset the constitutional balancebetween the National Government and the  States  when the enforcement of those laws causes injury that is con­crete, particular, and redressable. Fidelity to principles of federalism is not for the States alone to vindicate.

This decision was easy in a sense, in that it dealt with federalism largely in the abstract, rather than in application. Still, it’s nice to see.

(Via Bench Memos.)

UPDATE: There is an even-handed summary of the Wal-Mart decision here.

New name, same story

October 4, 2010

ACORN, now called Affordable Housing Centers of America, is still engaged in fraud.

O’Keefe exonerated

May 29, 2010

The AP breathlessly reports that James O’Keefe has pled guilty to a misdemeanor:

Four conservative activists accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of entering federal property under false pretenses.

We all know that criminals who plead guilty to lesser charges are very often guilty of the more serious charges. That certainly seems to be what the AP is trying to insinuate by leading its story with the original charges against O’Keefe. Would you guess from this story that O’Keefe was actually exonerated of trying to tamper with the phones?

O’Keefe has always maintained that he was trying to orchestrate a conversation for a new hidden camera video, and had no intention of tampering with the phones in any way. What the AP doesn’t want you to know is that the government’s investigation confirmed O’Keefe’s story. The Assistant US Attorney, Jordan Ginsberg, conceded in court that:

In this case further investigation did not uncover evidence that the defendants intended to commit any felony after the entry by false pretenses despite their initial statements to the staff of Senatorial office and GSA requesting access to the central phone system. Instead, the Government’s evidence would show that the defendants misrepresented themselves and their purpose for gaining access to the central phone system to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to the Senator’s staff and capture the conversation on video, not to actually tamper with the phone system, or to commit any other felony.

Again, O’Keefe was exonerated in court of any intent to tamper with the phones, or commit any other felony. But the Associated Press doesn’t think the reader need to know that.

And it’s not just the AP. Despite signing the document, Ginsberg tried to avoid reading the key paragraph in court. O’Keefe’s attorneys were forced to insist. And Ginsberg also left out of his press release the minor fact that O’Keefe had been exonerated of all the serious charges.

Why don’t the AP and the US Attorney’s office want the public to know that O’Keefe was exonerated? (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.)

UPDATE: O’Keefe gives a full account of what happened.

Good riddance

March 24, 2010

Hannah Giles is dancing on ACORN’s grave. I think she’s earned it.

I don’t doubt that this is just a tactical retreat, and they’re planning to re-emerge under a new name, one that’s not associated with election fraud, child prostitution, and human trafficking. Still, the good guys won this round.

Rush to judgement

January 28, 2010

The mainstream media doesn’t like James O’Keefe. When O’Keefe and Helen Giles caught ACORN conspiring to assist with underage prostitution and human trafficking, the media ignored it as long as they could. But, when O’Keefe was arrested at the office of Sen. Landrieu (D-LA), the media rushed to press without getting the facts straight.

It’s not clear yet what exactly O’Keefe was up to, but one thing we do know is he wasn’t trying to bug anyone’s phone.

Many media outlets have retractions to issue. The Washington Post has issued its retraction already. CBS and the LA Times have yet to do so.

POSTSCRIPT: It seems as though O’Keefe was probably trying to show that Sen. Landrieu had rigged her phones to block incoming calls. He should have gotten legal advice before trying such a stunt.

(Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: O’Keefe has a statement up now.

UPDATE: CBS retracts.

How stupid is Media Matters?

November 20, 2009

Last September, Media Matters wrote:

On September 23, Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey reported that ACORN official Lavelle Stewart “told me this week” that when conservative videographers James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles came to Stewart’s ACORN office in Los Angeles disguised as a pimp and prostitute, Stewart “tried to get the ‘prostitute,’ who claimed she had been beaten by her pimp, to go to a women’s center.” Stewart’s reported statement and a police report filed by officials at ACORN’s Philadelphia office undermine O’Keefe’s and Giles’ claims that they were never rebuffed at any of the ACORN offices they visited, and the videographers have yet to release the Los Angeles and Philadelphia videos.

In writing so, Media Matters showed an amazing credulity. Lavelle Stewart’s claim surely contradicted O’Keefe and Giles, but did it really “undermine” them? Only if you’re inclined to accept the word of ACORN. Considering how ACORN has lied every step of the way, one ought to be reluctant to do so.

ACORN’s Philadelphia defense was debunked last month, when O’Keefe and Giles released their Philadelphia video, which showed them not at all being rebuffed.

Now it’s Lavelle Stewart’s turn. The latest ACORN video shows not only that Stewart did not rebuff O’Keefe and Giles, it shows that her conduct was the most inexcusable yet. It is on Stewart’s now-thoroughly-discredited word that Media Matters, and LA Times columnist James Rainey, hung their entire case.

It’s fun to see Media Matters get egg on their face again. (I really couldn’t care less about James Rainey.) I’m puzzled, though. Why would they put themselves out on a limb like this, accepting crediting ACORN’s word when they have repeatedly lied since the beginning of the affair?

Look, I understand ACORN a little. They look ridiculous when they repeatedly lie, and each time Andrew Breitbart releases a video that exposes their lie. But ACORN has a lousy hand to play. They either need to clean up their act (apparently out of the question), or try their best to play defense.

But Media Matters is not at the center of the affair. They didn’t have to get involved. They could have preserved what credibility they have but staying out of it, or at least by injecting an appropriate note of skepticism. Instead, they jumped in with both feet. They credulously accepted ACORN’s word, despite their repeated dishonesty, and rejected the word of O’Keefe and Giles. They made themselves a laughingstock. Why would they do that?

(Via Patterico, via Instapundit.)

The gauntlet is thrown

November 20, 2009

Andrew Breitbart issues Eric Holder a warning:

Not only are there more tapes, it’s not just ACORN. And this message is to Attorney General Holder: I want you to know that we have more tapes, it’s not just ACORN, and we’re going to hold out until the next election cycle, or else if you want to do a clean investigation, we will give you the rest of what we have.

Do you think Breitbart is bluffing? He’s had the goods every single time so far.

(Previous post.)

The fix is in

November 11, 2009

Is a whitewash underway in California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s investigation of ACORN? An ACORN spokesman told the East County (San Diego) Democrats Club that Brown is “a political animal” and has indicated that “the fault will be found with the people that did the video — not with ACORN”. Big Government has audio.

(Previous post.)

The LA Times has no clue

November 4, 2009

The LA Times corrects some of the errors in an op-ed on the ACORN scandal:

An Oct. 22 Op-Ed article about the community group ACORN stated that, in two ACORN offices, staff members offered advice to a pair of videographers posing as proprietors of a prostitution ring. While tapes of all the offices visited by the pair have not been released, it is clear from those that have been that ACORN offered advice in more than two offices. The article also said that the pair were “kicked out” of most ACORN offices. Because unedited versions of the tapes have not been released, it is unclear how the encounters ended, but it is unlikely they were ordered to leave most offices.

The thing is, these facts are common knowledge among anyone who followed the ACORN scandal. The editors should have caught these “errors” before the piece was ever printed in the first place. The fact that they did not indicates that the LA Times’s editors haven’t the slightest clue.

Moreover, Patterico points out additional “errors” in the piece that the LA Times chose not to correct.

(Via Instapundit.)

Behind the war on Fox

October 23, 2009

The New York Times explains why the White House decided to declare war on Fox News:

By the following weekend, officials at the White House had decided that if anything, it was time to take the relationship to an even more confrontational level. The spur: Executives at other news organizations, including The New York Times, had publicly said that their newsrooms had not been fast enough in following stories that Fox News, to the administration’s chagrin, had been heavily covering through the summer and early fall — namely, past statements and affiliations of the White House adviser Van Jones that ultimately led to his resignation and questions surrounding the community activist group Acorn. . .

It was an amalgam of stories covered, and our assessment of how others were dealing with those stories, that caused us to comment,” Mr. Axelrod said in describing the administration’s thinking.

(Emphasis mine.)

Axelrod says explicitly what Brit Hume conjectured a few days ago: the White House’s problem is that Fox is breaking stories and the rest of the press is taking them up.

So, as noted at the Corner, their problem is not that Fox isn’t a real news organization. On the contrary, their problem is that it is.

Poorly Dunn

October 20, 2009

Anita Dunn, the White House communication director, in her CNN interview declaring war against Fox News:

DUNN: Howie, I think if we went back a year go to the fall of 2008, to the campaign, that it was a time when this country was in two wars, that we had a financial collapse probably more significant than any financial collapse since the Great Depression.

If you were a FOX News viewer in the fall election, what you would have seen would have been that the biggest stories and biggest threats facing America were a guy named Bill Ayers and something called ACORN.

What is Dunn saying here? Is she claiming that Fox never covered the financial collapse? That’s obviously ridiculous. No, it seems that she is complaining about the news that Fox did cover. She would rather than Fox had ignored Ayers and ACORN as most everyone else did.

KURTZ: Is that the reason the president did not go on FOX News Sunday when he did all the other Sunday shows, and will President Obama appear again on FOX this year?

DUNN: Well, you know, Howie, President Obama, he did “The Factor.” He did “O’Reilly.”

KURTZ: Yes. That was during the campaign.

DUNN: That was last year. As president earlier this year when he met with news anchors, met with Chris Wallace…

KURTZ: My question is will he appear on FOX in the next couple of months?

DUNN: You had a two-part question. The first was, is this why he did not appear? And the answer is yes, obviously he’ll go on Fox because he engages with ideological opponents. And he has done that before. He will do it again. I can’t give you a date because, frankly, I can’t give you dates for anybody else right now.

(Emphasis mine.)

Let’s be charitable and assume that Dunn is answering a different question (“will he go on Fox ever?”) than she was asked. Because if she was answering the question she was asked, her answer was a lie:

But last week, Fox News was informed by the White House that Obama would grant no interviews to the channel until at least 2010. The edict was relayed to Fox News by a White House official after Dunn discussed the channel at a meeting with presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs and other Obama advisers.

Going on:

DUNN: For instance, Howie, “The New York Times” had a front page story about Nevada Senator John Ensign and the fact that he had gotten his former chief of staff a job as a lobbyist and his former chief of staff’s wife was someone Ensign had had an affair with.

KURTZ: We reported the story.

DUNN: Did you see coverage of that on FOX News? I’m not talking Glenn Beck, and I’m not talking Sean or “The Factor.” I’m talking about FOX News.

KURTZ: I will have to check on that. I assume you know the answer.

She never comes out and says it, but she is clearly implying that Fox didn’t cover the story. That’s a lie:

Dunn also strongly implied that Fox had failed to follow up on a New York Times story about a scandal swirling around GOP Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, although Fox News broadcast the stories on numerous shows, including Special Report with Bret Baier.

If you don’t want to take Fox News’s word for it, here’s just one of many stories Fox ran on the Ensign scandal.

Troy voter fraud swayed election

October 20, 2009

More developments in the election fraud scandal in Troy, New York:

Thirty-eight forged or fraudulent ballots have been thrown out — enough votes, an election official admits, to likely have tipped the city council and county elections in November to the Democrats. . .

A special prosecutor is investigating the case and criminal charges are possible. New York State Supreme Court Judge Michael Lynch ruled that there were “significant election law violations that have compromised the rights of numerous voters and the integrity of the election process.”

Note that the Working Families Party, the organization responsible for the fraud, is linked to ACORN.

My thought exactly

October 19, 2009

Jay Nordlinger writes:

I keep hearing that Glenn Beck is just a blowhard opinionist, contributing nothing but hot air. If that is true, why do we keep learning news from him? About Van Jones, about ACORN, about Anita Dunn . . . I mean, isn’t that the New York Times’s job? No? What a strange era we’re living in.

Guys like Glenn Beck are trying to break stories, while the NYT and its ilk are trying to conceal them. I’ve never watched Beck, but maybe I should start.

Department of Peace

October 16, 2009

A bunch of people think that we ought to have a US Department of Peace. No joke.

First thought: I guess no one reads George Orwell any more. Or watches Babylon 5 for that matter.

Second thought: Suppose we did create a government agency dedicated to Goodism. How long would it be before it was perverted from mere foolishness into some ACORN-like enterprise? I’ll bet it would happen on day one.

BONUS SNARK: This apparently is the brainchild of Dennis Kucinich, so I’m sure it would take a firm stand against chemtrails and space-based mind-control weapons.

(Via Atticannie’s Blog.)

Hoyt blows another one

October 8, 2009

Clark Hoyt, the NYT’s ombudsman, dedicates his latest column to defending his paper’s treatment (and, largely, non-treatment) of the ACORN scandal. It’s standard fare from Hoyt so I won’t bother unpacking it. But, he does make one outright error:

Conservatives have accused Acorn of voter fraud, but it has actually been charged with fraudulent registration, not stuffing ballot boxes. Prosecutors have said that Acorn workers were not trying to influence elections but were trying to get paid for work they didn’t do by writing fake names on registration forms.

Oh really? What about the case of Darnell Nash of Ohio? ACORN helped to register him nine times under various names, and last August he pled guilty to casting a fraudulent ballot. There’s also the case in Troy, New York, where an ACORN-linked organization forged dozens of absentee ballots.

That’s two one documented cases, but even setting those aside, Hoyt’s contention is laughable. In 2008, ACORN submitted hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations. We’re supposed to believe that none of those were intended to become actual votes? Please.

UPDATE (11/23): Contrary to reports, Nash was not convicted of casting a fraudulent ballot. He was charged with doing so, but plea bargained it to fraudulent registration.

Poll spells trouble for Obama

October 2, 2009

Some more interesting takeaways from the new Fox News poll, on domestic policy:

  • Two-thirds say that President Obama is proposing more government spending than we can afford.
  • The vast majority say the national debt is so large it is hurting the country, and that we should cut spending.
  • Two-thirds say that we should not raise the debt limit. (I’m pretty sure that most people don’t know what that means. I doubt that most would support a default on US treasuries.)
  • A majority of those who have heard of ACORN view it as a corrupt organization, including a plurality of Democrats.
  • The public is evenly divided on the question of whether Obama blames President Bush too often.
  • Independents are evenly divided on the question of whether Obama behaves more like he is a candidate on the campaign trail, or more like he is the president.

And on foreign policy:

  • A majority say that Obama apologizes too much to the rest of the world for past US policies.
  • A majority say that Obama is not doing what it takes to win in Afghanistan.
  • Two-thirds say they trust the military more than Obama to decide the next steps in Afghanistan! Only one in five trust Obama more.
  • As I noted earlier, majorities say Obama has not been tough enough on Iran, think military action against Iran will be required, and support such military action.

(Previous post.)

    Bad faith

    September 28, 2009

    Clark Hoyt, the NYT ombudsman, has a formula when addressing complaints about his newspaper’s misconduct. First, he admits the paper made a mistake, then he denies it did so in bad faith. But lately, he’s had cases in which the NYT’s bad faith has been so blatant that it’s been necessary to withhold some of the facts. A few weeks ago, he did so in a small scandal involving David Pogue, the NYT’s technology columnist, and now he’s done so in the ACORN scandal.

    He begins his latest column this way:

    ON Sept. 12, an Associated Press article inside The Times reported that the Census Bureau had severed its ties to Acorn, the community organizing group. Robert Groves, the census director, was quoted as saying that Acorn, one of thousands of unpaid organizations promoting the 2010 census, had become “a distraction.”

    What the article didn’t say — but what followers of Fox News and conservative commentators already knew — was that a video sting had caught Acorn workers counseling a bogus prostitute and pimp on how to set up a brothel staffed by under-age girls, avoid detection and cheat on taxes.

    As James Taranto points out, this is only half true. Indeed, the NYT’s version of the AP article did not say anything about the sting. But the AP article did:

    ACORN fired two employees who were seen on hidden-camera video giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman who pretended to be a prostitute. Fox News Channel broadcast excerpts from the video on Thursday. On the video, a man and woman visiting ACORN’s Baltimore office asked about buying a house and how to account on tax forms for the woman’s income. An ACORN employee advised the woman to list her occupation as “performance artist.”

    In a statement, ACORN Maryland board member Margaret Williams said the video was an attempt to smear ACORN, and that undercover teams attempted similar setups in at least three other ACORN offices. Williams said no tax returns were filed and no assistance was provided.

    The NYT actually edited the AP article to remove the information explaining the controversy. (“All the news that’s fit to print”!) That fact alone makes the denial of bad faith unworkable. No wonder Hoyt keeps it from the reader.

    This incident, like the earlier Pogue incident, makes it crystal clear that Clark Hoyt’s job has nothing to do with holding his paper accountable. His purpose is to cover for his paper’s misdeeds, in order to reassure the NYT’s remaining readers that it is behaving responsibly. In other words, he is just another dishonest NYT journalist.

    Officials hate accountability

    September 25, 2009

    The blogosphere is abuzz about the video Allahpundit uncovered two days ago of school kids being taught to sing President Obama’s praises. In an ACORN-esque display of tune-deafness, the school superintendent made this statement:

    Superintendent Christopher Manno said in a written statement Thursday that the taping itself was out of order, but failed to address whether the lesson was approved. “The recording and distribution of the class activity were unauthorized,” he wrote in a note to parents and the media.

    Nothing to say about the “lesson”, but he’s upset that the video went out. Listen Mr. Manno: the problem is not the fact that you were caught!

    With the increasing ubiquity of video cameras, and the means easily to distribute information over the internet, we can expose our officials’ malfeasance in ways we never could before. The days when they enjoyed our unthinking trust are over. We’ve learned how wrong we were.

    UPDATE: The principal is standing by the “lesson”.

    UPDATE: This is not the first outrage from the Burlington Township School District.

    UPDATE: They have succeeded in taking the video down, but you can find the lyrics here.

    WPost libeling O’Keefe?

    September 21, 2009

    Scott Johnson is accusing the Washington Post of  inventing a James O’Keefe quote to make him appear to have a racial motive in exposing ACORN.

    UPDATE: The Post corrects:

    This article about the community organizing group ACORN incorrectly said that a conservative journalist targeted the organization for hidden-camera videos partly because its voter-registration drives bring Latinos and African Americans to the polls. Although ACORN registers people mostly from those groups, the maker of the videos, James E. O’Keefe, did not specifically mention them.

    (Via Power Line.)

    I guess in journalist-speak “incorrectly said” = “made up”.

    UPDATE: More.

    (Previous post.)


    September 16, 2009

    The White House is distancing itself from ACORN, and ACORN is suspending operations. Congratulations to O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart. (Via Big Government.)

    I guess we’ve learned where the line is. Voter fraud is one thing, but abetting traffickers in child prostitutes was just too much.

    UPDATE: The “council” that will do ACORN’s audit is, er, decidedly friendly. Bottom line:

    Presumably the point of this absurd whitewash-slash-“audit” is to create enough cover for Democrats to say they deserve a second chance, which is all the more reason why it’s important for Big Government to keep the clips coming. The more there are, the more systemic this is, the more pathetic the idea of some investigative panacea becomes.


    September 15, 2009

    The age-old question regarding media failure is its cause: incompetence or malice? Charles Gibson, the ABC anchor, made the case for incompetence when he said this morning he didn’t even know about the ACORN scandal, or the Senate’s vote to cut off ACORN’s funding.

    (Via the Corner.) (Previous post.)

    Haven’t I seen this movie before?

    March 19, 2009

    Fox News reports:

    The U.S. Census is supposed to be free of politics, but one group with a history of voter fraud, ACORN, is participating in next year’s count, raising concerns about the politicization of the decennial survey.

    The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now signed on as a national partner with the U.S. Census Bureau in February 2009 to assist with the recruitment of the 1.4 million temporary workers needed to go door-to-door to count every person in the United States — currently believed to be more than 306 million people.

    ACORN invented hundreds of thousands of people for the voting rolls, and now it’s going to be counting people for the census.  Swell.  But wait:

    ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson told that “ACORN as an organization has not been charged with any crime.” He added that fears that the organization will unfairly influence the census are unfounded.

    Whew, that’s a relief.

    How to steal a seat

    January 6, 2009

    Once the shenanigans begin, you know you’ve seen this movie before. Somehow, some way, the Minnesota Democrats are going to end up with the seat. The similarity to Washington 2004 is striking. “Found” ballots, improperly handled absentee ballots, and — of course — lots of Democratic precincts with more ballots than voters. Plus, Minnesota has invented a new trick, “missing” ballots that no one can produce at all, and are nevertheless counted. The Wall Street Journal goes though the latest embarrassment to our democratic system.

    In Washington State, the state Supreme Court ruled, essentially, that it is impossible to overturn a corrupt election. Specifically, it ruled that it could not overturn the results of an election unless the plaintiff could produce specific individuals who had voted illegally. The mere fact that the election was clearly fraudulent (since many Democratic precincts had more ballots than voters) was not enough.

    Plus, it’s worth remembering that Minnesota makes no effort to prevent illegal voting. ACORN submitted countless fraudulent voter registrations, and we are to believe that none of those, not even a few hundred, turned into fraudulent votes?

    UPDATE: Power Line says the comparison to Washington 2004 is unfair.

    Staggering fraud

    October 25, 2008

    ACORN claimed to have registered 1.3 million voters this year, but it is now revealed that the real number is about a third of that:

    On Oct. 6, the community organizing group Acorn and an affiliated charity called Project Vote announced with jubilation that they had registered 1.3 million new voters. But it turns out the claim was a wild exaggeration, and the real number of newly registered voters nationwide is closer to 450,000, Project Vote’s executive director, Michael Slater, said in an interview.

    The remainder are registered voters who were changing their address and roughly 400,000 that were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors, Mr. Slater acknowledged.

    In registration drives, it is common for a percentage of newly registered voters to be disqualified for various reasons, although experts say the percentage is higher when groups pay workers to gather registrations. But the disclosure on Thursday that 30 percent of Acorn’s registrations were faulty was described by Republicans as further proof of what they said was Acorn’s effort to tilt the election unfairly.

    One-third new registrations (as far as we know), one-third address changes, one-third fraud.

    (Via Instapundit.)

    ABC’s experts

    October 18, 2008

    ABC News cited Obama supporters as “experts” in a piece downplaying the importance of ACORN’s criminal activity. This deception is particularly egregious:

    “There’s no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes,” said David Becker, project director of the “Make Voting Work” initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Becker should know: he was a lawyer for the Bush administration until 2005, in the Justice Department’s voting rights section, which was part of the administration’s aggressive anti-vote-fraud effort.

    Sounds like a Republican, right?  Actually, not so much:

    Omitted are the facts that Becker is a Berkeley graduate that also worked in the justice department for the Clinton administration. After leaving the justice department he spent nearly two years as the director of People For the American Way, a Tides Foundation project that monitors the activities of right wing groups, and has partnered with left leaning advocacy groups such as NARAL, NOW, the ACLU, the NAACP and the AFL-CIO just to name a few.

    Supreme Court sides with Brunner

    October 17, 2008

    Breaking news: the Supreme Court has issued a stay of an Appeals Court ruling requiring that Ohio verify 200,000 voter registrations with mismatched information.  Few details yet.

    (Previous post.)

    That is soooo four months ago

    October 15, 2008

    Obama is still trying to distance himself from ACORN and its criminal activities.  Although Obama worked with ACORN in his days as a community organizer, and as a lawyer, and as recently as his primary campaign, Obama’s campaign says they are not working with ACORN in the general election.  Ancient history, I guess.

    (Via Instapundit.)

    The fix is in

    September 30, 2008

    At Instapundit:

    A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: “Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.” I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

    Despite my antipathy for the media, it’s a spectacle I never thought I’d see: A candidate so vulnerable on so many substantial and ethical issues, with no experience to speak of, who accuses all his critics of lying, is nevertheless the darling of the media, who give him a pass on nearly everything while savaging his opponent, mostly dishonestly.  I’ve complained about the media in the past, but it’s nothing like what we’re seeing today.  They are determined to drag Obama across the finish line, and it looks like they will succeed.

    I’m glad these bastards are going out of business.

    Bailout bill fails

    September 29, 2008

    This is horrifying. The consequences will probably be worse than an Obama victory.

    The best-case scenario now is the Democrats come back and pass a new bill without GOP support. That bill won’t be remotely as good as the one the House just rejected. Goodbye insurance plan; hello ACORN slush fund, mortgage cramdowns, bank nationalization.

    The worst-case scenario is the economy completely melts down and President Obama institutes a New Deal 2.0. (This is Vin Weber’s nightmare scenario.)

    My Congressman, a Republican, voted against the bill. Idiot. I’m going to think about voting for his opponent; there has to be a consequence for stupidity of this magnitude.

    UPDATE: Doesn’t it sting when Barney Frank urges you to behave like a grown-up?!

    UPDATE (10/3): Thankfully, things worked out better than I feared.  The final bill, with its $110 billion in pork, was worse than the one the House voted down, but not by as much as I expected.


    September 27, 2008

    NBC reports (cue to 2:05):

    Today Democrats showed up at scheduled bipartisan talks, but said they forgot to invite the Republicans.

    (Via the Corner.)

    The Democrats have a choice; they can pass a plan on their own (and accept responsibility for it), or they can work with Republicans on a bipartisan plan.  But the notion that Republicans, particularly in the House, will simply to accede to a Democratic plan (particularly one with unacceptable add-ons like a slush fund for the ACORN voter fraud machine) in nonsense.  As long as they don’t take Republicans seriously, they’re simply wasting time.