Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Republican Zombie Lies Debunked - Part I

Obama, ACORN and "voter fraud" - dispelling the myths

Republican Zombie Lie #1: ACORN is going to steal the election through voter fraud.

Ridiculous. ACORN is an anti-poverty organization. They advocate for affordable housing (including a campaign against foreclosures by predatory lenders), better schools, a living wage, reform of immigration laws, health care, and paid sick days, among others. Here's a video that describes the work ACORN does. As part of their work they have launched a voter registration project along with Project Vote, another 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

States and the federal government all require that voter registration be non-partisan. In most states, it is required that if you register voters, BY LAW you must turn in every registration form. (That's to keep a group from registering voters and then only turning in the registration forms for people they think will vote for their candidate, or the way they want them to.)

ACORN pays people to do voter registration, often people who are unemployed and have a hard time getting jobs otherwise. (Again, that's part of their mission, ending poverty. One way to do that is to give an unemployed person a job.) And sometimes, not often but sometimes, those people cheat and turn in forms with the entire roster of the Dallas Cowboys on them, or some other fakery. By law ACORN is required to turn in those registration forms, even if it knows they are fake.

And that's the only fraud involved here, voter registration fraud. The Dallas Cowboys do not show up to vote. Poor people are not going to the polls and pretending to be Tony Romo and Terrell Owens. The fraud is perpetrated by the paid help who cheat ACORN. ACORN actually flags bogus registrations when they turn them in to the states to alert them that there is a problem. Therefore, as this Cincinnati Enquirer column points out, bogus registrations are a pain, not a problem.

There are almost no cases of actual voter fraud where a voter voted frauduently. The Bush Administrations's push to crack down on (nonexistant) voter fraud has only resulted in 120 prosecutions -- and only 86 convictions -- in the past five years. That's not .00001 percent of the voting electorate. Infinitesimally small.

And the current Republican obsession with ACORN? It's a made up issue. John McCain has supported ACORN over the years, including his appearance at an ACORN-sponsored event in March of 2006:

John McCain, in March of 2006, sitting beside Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek at an event ACORN co-sponsored in Florida.

That's right, John McCain was for ACORN before he was against it.

And here's John McCain extolling the virtues of ACORN in his address to the group. Remember, this is March of 2006, 2 1/2 years ago, John McCain was "telling immigration rights activists at a rally in Miami that they "are what makes America special."

Don't let the Republicans defraud you into believing that ACORN is going to steal the election, or that ACORN is a bad or scary group. They're just using this as an excuse to attack Obama, because they have no plan to fix the economy, and no other way to win the election other than lies and deception.

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