A friend of mine here in California and I were chatting. He keeps up with politics but is no junkie like me. When I started talking about ACORN, he was all like – “I thought ACORN was a person!” So, there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation out there. John McCain said during the Oct 15 debate:

“[ACORN] may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

Wow, for realz? Destroying the fabric of democracy?! Um, no – that would be Karl Rove, George W. Bush as supported by the Supreme Court in 2000. That would be your team. Right…

It’s time to fight back. Maude Hurd, president of ACORN (speaking in the video above), is a do-right sister who does not deserve this. I know somewhere she must be like “Hold my purse while I take off these earrings and slap some sense into the back of McCain’s combover. And then get FOX on the phone.” Go on girl. In the immortal words of Public Enemy: “Don’t believe the hype.”

As we’ve come to expect from the McCain-Palin campaign, the accusations against ACORN are fact-challenged and sheer hyperbole. The mainstream media’s coverage also ain’t helping. As just one example, from Media Matters:

From October 6 through October 15, CNN ran at least 54 segments mentioning allegations that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now [ACORN] submitted allegedly false or duplicate voter registration applications this year in a number of states, according to a Media Matters for America search* of the Nexis database. But only one of those segments mentioned both of the following two relevant points: 1) that the statutes of most of those states require third parties registering prospective voters to submit all registration forms they receive; and 2) that actual instances of illegal votes being cast as a result of registration fraud are extremely rare. Indeed, in an October 10 press release, ACORN noted that “in almost every state we are required to turn in ALL completed applications, even the ones we know to be problematic.” And in a 2007 report titled “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice stated, “[W]e are aware of no recent substantiated case in which registration fraud has resulted in fraudulent votes being cast.” Of the 54 CNN segments addressing the allegations against ACORN, two mentioned only the former of those two points, while one mentioned just the latter.

Things that make you go hmm…

Widespread voter fraud doesn’t even really exist. It’s another conservative mirage for which even they can’t drum up any evidence, fake or otherwise (and you know they tried):

On April 12, 2007, The New York Times reported, “Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.”

ACORN has released a site called the The Real ACORN where they give you the straight up dope on their relationship to federal funding, the financial crisis, voter registration and Barack Obama.

Here are more facts about ACORN.

What is ACORN:

ACORN is the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 400,000 member families organized into neighborhood chapters in 100 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Our priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. ACORN is an acronym, and each letter should be capitalized. ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

What is up with this whole “voter fraud” thing ACORN is accused of perpetrating. From ACORN’s recent press release:

- ACORN has helped 1.3 million citizens from all parties and all walks of life apply for voter registration.

- In most states, ACORN is required by law to turn in every voter registration card – even in cases where the cards are not valid.

- It is ACORN that has reported almost all of the issues regarding voter registration cards.

- Invalid voter registration cards do NOT constitute voter fraud.  Even RNC General Counsel Sean Cairncross has recently acknowledged he is not aware of a single improper vote cast as a result of bad cards submitted in the course of an organized voter registration effort.

- ACORN hired 13,000 field workers to register people to vote.  In any endeavor of this size, some people will engaged in inappropriate conduct.  ACORN has a zero tolerance policy and terminated any field workers caught engaging in questionable activity. At the end of the day, as ACORN is paying these people to register voters, it is ACORN that is defrauded.

- Obama for America contracted with Citizens’ Services Inc., a national non-profit political consulting firm, for GOTV field (not voter registration) services during the primaries. Citizens Services Inc. performs these same services under contract to a variety of candidates and ballot measure campaigns, labor unions and public interest organizations. CSI did sub-contract with some ACORN staff for a short period to help supervise door-to-door canvassing in this program, but this was a fairly small expenditure in the overall contract.

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