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gunflint

Acorn in Minnesota

94 posts in this topic

They're Here!

From the Minnesota Lawyer's Blog

Friday, August 1, 2008

From small ACORNs, great votes grow

Remember the mini-flap over the settlement terms of a lawsuit the Minnesota Attorney General’s office filed against Capital One Bank? Buried in the June report on the AGO by Legislative Auditor James Nobles was the revelation that the suit (filed by then-AG Mike Hatch) was settled for $749,999. If the case had settled for a dollar more, the money would have gone into the general fund for the Legislature to distribute.

About a third of that amount ($249,999 -- there are those nines again) went to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a nonprofit that calls itself the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families.

If you haven’t heard much of ACORN, you might soon. The group was the focus of a story in the Wall Street Journal that reported that aside from its well-known housing advocacy efforts, ACORN is active in voter mobilization efforts. ACORN is co-managing a $15.9 million campaign with the group Project Vote to register 1.2 million low-income Hispanics and African-Americans, the WSJ article says.

Republicans are crying foul, saying that funds from the $5 billion housing bill will indirectly end up in the coffers of groups like ACORN, which, they feel, have a clear Democratic tilt.

Incidentally, after the Capital One settlement and subsequent distribution of funds, ACORN’s political action committee later endorsed Hatch in his gubernatorial bid. I guess in legal terminology that would qualify as your basic quid pro quo.

Posted by Dan Heilman, staff writer at 2:30 PM

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They're Here!

From the Minnesota Lawyer's Blog

Friday, August 1, 2008

From small ACORNs, great votes grow

Remember the mini-flap over the settlement terms of a lawsuit the Minnesota Attorney General’s office filed against Capital One Bank? Buried in the June report on the AGO by Legislative Auditor James Nobles was the revelation that the suit (filed by then-AG Mike Hatch) was settled for $749,999. If the case had settled for a dollar more, the money would have gone into the general fund for the Legislature to distribute.

About a third of that amount ($249,999 -- there are those nines again) went to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a nonprofit that calls itself the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families.

If you haven’t heard much of ACORN, you might soon. The group was the focus of a story in the Wall Street Journal that reported that aside from its well-known housing advocacy efforts, ACORN is active in voter mobilization efforts. ACORN is co-managing a $15.9 million campaign with the group Project Vote to register 1.2 million low-income Hispanics and African-Americans, the WSJ article says.

Republicans are crying foul, saying that funds from the $5 billion housing bill will indirectly end up in the coffers of groups like ACORN, which, they feel, have a clear Democratic tilt.

Incidentally, after the Capital One settlement and subsequent distribution of funds, ACORN’s political action committee later endorsed Hatch in his gubernatorial bid. I guess in legal terminology that would qualify as your basic quid pro quo.

Posted by Dan Heilman, staff writer at 2:30 PM

What were the grounds for the suit? Does anyone remember? No reason on the face of it that settlement money should come to ACORN.

Wouldn't surprise me at all it was ACORN and Hatch scratching each others' backs. The numbers alone make that likely. That certainly bites. I'd rather have seen another dollar added so the people of Minnesota could make use of the money directly through our elected representatives. Smells stinky to me. Those bad deals happen all the time with both major political parties and the groups that reflect their respective political philosophies.

Just one more reason to cast a vote based on belief rather than fear that we'll "waste a vote" by selecting a third-party candidate.

And of course ACORN is Democratic leaning. The people they represent and mobilize (the lowest-income minorities in general) are the disenfranchised of this country, and the disenfranchised generally vote Democrat.

Nothing to stop Republican leaning community organizing agencies from signing up as many unregistered Republican voters as they can.

Frankly, both parties' colors should avoid red, white and blue. Brown is much more appropriate. If it looks like feces, smells like feces and squishes under your boot when you step on it, odds are it is feces.

Dem or Repub, their feces are equally odiferous, and since it's the American public the politicians are using as their Fruit-of-the-Looms, the skid marks show up on all of us. frownfrown

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What a load of bull! ACORN is basically a government funded Democratic support agency. Just like AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees [look these guys up])they are built in government support for the Democrats. THIS IS WRONG! How do they get away with this stuff!?!?!?

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Stcatfish, I agree with most of what you say with the exception of registering voters. If someone is disenfranchised it's by choice. Other than the physically handicapped and shut-ins.If you don't have the mental where with all to register to vote, you shouldn't be voting. If you're not competent enough to understand the registration and voting process you sure aren't competent enough to weigh in on our leadership. Being poor or a minority has nothing to do with it. It's about understanding your responsibilities as a citizen and whether or not you choose to be responsible.

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<yawn>

I hear something really funny on the radio today that hadn't occured to me, or most of the ACORN-bashers, yet. Someone said that for all the talk of registration cards being turned in for non-existent & nonsensical names, that nobody named "Jive Talkin'" was likely to actually show up & vote on Election Day. Think about that.

The accusations of election fraud are getting old. I'd like to see some facts rather than just one more election cycle where the GOP is yelling about it without any reason (see: fired Attorneys General). One of my friends actually told me, with a straight face, that Obama "stole" the Senate election from Alan Keyes in Illinois in 2004. Y'know, the one that ended up 70% to 30% or something like that. And he wonders why no one listens to his logical positions...

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Yes you have to be responsible. The poor and minorities, as you say, need to be more responsible. After all only the rich white guys on Wall Street are allowed to be irresponsible and get a bail out. How dare this group ACORN try to help anyone not rich and white on Wall Street.

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stcatfish,

You disappoint me, not one of your better posts.

"The disenfranchised generally vote Democrat"?

disenfranchise

verb

deprive of voting rights [ant: enfranchise]

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

How could the disenfranchised vote for anyone if deprived of voting rights?

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Yes you have to be responsible. The poor and minorities, as you say, need to be more responsible. After all only the rich white guys on Wall Street are allowed to be irresponsible and get a bail out. How dare this group ACORN try to help anyone not rich and white on Wall Street.

"rich" "white" "wallstreet" Not to hard to figure out were your hate lies.

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Originally Posted By: Dhhenry
Yes you have to be responsible. The poor and minorities, as you say, need to be more responsible. After all only the rich white guys on Wall Street are allowed to be irresponsible and get a bail out. How dare this group ACORN try to help anyone not rich and white on Wall Street.

"rich" "white" "wallstreet" Not to hard to figure out were your hate lies.

haha, that's where you lean too

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The idea is not that jive talking votes. The idea is to flood the small districts with so many registrations that it is impossible to vet them all. What legitimate reason is there to register false names? Is it some kind of joke? I don't get it. The idea that false registrations do not indicate the possibility of voter fraud is beyond me.

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Considering in district 3 requireing photo i.d., kinda hard to pass yourself up as mickey mouse, or Tony Romo, especially if you're like me, Asian.

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stcatfish,

You disappoint me, not one of your better posts.

"The disenfranchised generally vote Democrat"?

disenfranchise

verb

deprive of voting rights [ant: enfranchise]

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

How could the disenfranchised vote for anyone if deprived of voting rights?

walleye101, I am disappointed in your shallow approach to the meaning of the word "disenfranchised." Perhaps we'll move on past the basics and call this post: meanings202. wink

Here's Webster's definition of the verb disenfranchise, which is the genesis of the adjective or noun disenfranchised.

to deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity, especially to deprive of the right to vote

You'll see the the word is not necessarily misused in my post when considering the broader overall definition. To constrain the meaning of a word to its narrowest interpretation in an attempt to make a point is self-serving and intellectually lazy.

As for my post, it was neither especially fine nor particularly inept, it was just another post among many. smilesmile

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The idea is not that jive talking votes. The idea is to flood the small districts with so many registrations that it is impossible to vet them all. What legitimate reason is there to register false names? Is it some kind of joke? I don't get it. The idea that false registrations do not indicate the possibility of voter fraud is beyond me.

Personally, I'm more concerned with the voting machines.

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No offense but that was not my shallow approach to the meaning. I simply searched the definition of disenfranchised and posted the first one that came up.

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No offense but that was not my shallow approach to the meaning. I simply searched the definition of disenfranchised and posted the first one that came up.

I was not offended in any way, truly. I simply felt compelled to respond to your post.

Shame that you settled for the first one that came up instead of looking a little deeper to find the more complete meaning. My reply to gunflint was not aimed at scoring points. I got the feeling your reply to me was. smilesmile

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Why do these people need help registering to vote? It doesn't cost anything and doesn't take much time. So the only logical explanation, is that the people behind ACORN have an ulterior motive of putting democrats in office. Which would be fine except for the part about getting tax dollars to do it.

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hmmm interesting you bring that up. I believe Rove's programs did that for Bush in 2000 and 2004...Helping bringing the base to register and to the vote.

Maybe the democrats learned something there.

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Oh, please?! Do you think that they the republicans were out giving inner city kids cigs and beer to sign up?

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A story I read said ACORN hired a number of unemployed people (in Nevada I think) and these workers were paid by the number of people they registered. So, it was very productive to sit with an open phone book or simply fabricate names. I don't think this has the makings of a voting scandal. Like some tree planters I know who were paid by the number of seedlings planted and managed to plant them all in one big hole and then take a break. The Republicans do have a legitimate fear with a registered populace.

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Oh, please?! Do you think that they the republicans were out giving inner city kids cigs and beer to sign up?

HAha, awesome, the conspriacy deepens!. Democrats are giving inner city kids cigs and beer to sign up.

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A yawn on the most sacred right we have, the right to vote in an honest political election.

Max I really thought you were made of better stuff.

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A yawn on the most sacred right we have, the right to vote in an honest political election.

Max I really thought you were made of better stuff.

Oh for Christ's sake. You know perfectly well he wasn't dumping on the right to vote. I KNOW you are made of better stuff than that, gutz.

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Ok so cigarettes and cash, sorry.

From WNBC in New York

"The bipartisan Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland voted unanimously Monday to ask Prosecutor Bill Mason to investigate multiple registrations by four people, including 19-year-old Freddie Johnson.

All four said they signed forms at the behest of a community organizing group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, known as ACORN.

Johnson said he was trying to help paid ACORN solicitors collect signed registrations. He said he has not voted, and said he filled out the cards because he was given cigarettes and about $20."

Sorry Loos your party is known for this stuff, it's the only way they can survive.

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I suppose we both know each others parties' dirty secrets and unfortunately neither of us really knows our own.

Voter registration is a good thing and I'm afraid you still can't pass for Mickey Mouse.

Here's something interesting

Crist breaks with Republicans over ACORN voter fraud charges

BY MARC CAPUTO

mcaputo@MiamiHerald.com

TALLAHASSEE -- Breaking with the talking points of his fellow Republicans in Washington, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he does not think voter fraud and the vote-registration group ACORN are a major problem in the Sunshine State.

''I think that there's probably less [fraud] than is being discussed. As we're coming into the closing days of any campaign, there are some who enjoy chaos,'' Crist told reporters.

Crist made his comments as the Republican National Committee hosted a conference call with reporters to tie Democrat Barack Obama to suspicious voter-registration cards submitted by ACORN across the nation and in four Florida counties, including Broward.

In the Broward case, an unknown person attempted to re-register a longtime voter named Susan S. Glenckman. Broward officials caught the error in August when it was brought to their attention by ACORN.

During the Wednesday Republican conference call, national party spokesman Danny Diaz focused more on a case out of Orange County, in which someone used an ACORN-stamped voter-registration card to sign up Mickey Mouse.

But Crist's Republican Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, said he doesn't think ACORN is committing systematic voter fraud. And Crist said that settles the matter because ''I have enormous confidence'' in Browning.

Like ACORN spokesmen, Browning says the false voter registration forms could be blamed on unethical canvassers or on citizens who themselves fill out fictitious voter cards.

REGISTERING VS. VOTING

Elections officials point out that while voter-registration fraud is relatively easy, vote fraud is far more difficult because a criminal would have to evade multiple layers of computer-system and identity checks. They also say the system is not overwhelmed with phony registrations, as Diaz suggested during the conference call.

ACORN's head Florida organizer, Brian Kettenring, went a step further, saying the group was being framed in the Mickey Mouse case -- though he wasn't sure who was behind it.

''It's reasonable to assume that there's a strong possibility this is a set-up,'' Kettenring said. ``We have a substantial reason to believe someone probably got one of our cards and submitted it to the elections office without us knowing.''

But Diaz, the national Republican spokesman, said Wednesday that there is no way ACORN is a victim, considering ''the volume'' of registration-fraud complaints and investigations in numerous states.

''When you sign the Dallas Cowboys in Nevada, Mickey Mouse in Florida, a 7-year-old girl in Connecticut,'' Diaz said, ``their argument that this is all some kind of a conspiracy is laughable on its face.''

Diaz, echoing previous statements from the party and John McCain's campaign, said Obama hasn't been honest about his links to ACORN.

Obama told reporters Tuesday that Republicans are engaging in distractions. He said his campaign has nothing to do with ACORN and that ACORN is probably the victim of lazy card gatherers or card signers who make up names or fraudulently fill out registration cards.

ACORN submits all registration cards -- even ones it knows are phony -- because it's illegal to destroy the cards in Florida, and Browning said the group should even turn in incomplete registration cards.

REJECTED

Kettenring said the group has quality-control checks to alert officials of suspicious cards. Although it flagged the Glenckman problem in Broward, ACORN never saw the Mickey Mouse card, Kettenring said. So ACORN smells a rat. So did Orange election officials, who rejected it out of hand at the time.

A housing, poverty and wage advocacy group, ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. It has signed up more than 150,000 new Florida voters out of the 1.3 million it registered in the past two years nationwide.

The group has pointed out that before it became expedient for Republican presidential candidate John McCain to attack ACORN, he had supported and praised the group. McCain attacked the group at Wednesday's debate, and pointed out that Obama's campaign had paid an ACORN affiliate more than $830,000 for get-out-the-vote efforts.

Echoing Browning and other county elections supervisors, Mary Cooney, a spokeswoman for Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes, said the office had a good working relationship with ACORN.

But Cooney said the office began tracking ACORN registrations after noticing about 10 percent of the 16,000 registration cards it submitted were returned by the post office as undeliverable. In 80 percent of those cases, she said, the elections office couldn't find the registrant.

Cooney said the returned mail wasn't suspicious, but it was worthy of note. Cooney said that, if the office had suspected real fraud, it would have turned the matter over to the state attorney's office. But it didn't.

Obama had downplayed his ties to ACORN on his ''fight the smears'' HSOforum, saying that his most extensive work with ACORN was when he represented the group along with the U.S. Justice Department in a lawsuit. Turns out, he also trained some ACORN community organizers at a seminar, so Obama's HSOforum was changed to reflect that he was never ''hired'' as a trainer.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis made much of that in a conference call last week, urging reporters to ask Obama: ``What were you teaching them? Were you teaching them how to evade the law?''

Davis also said anyone who believes ACORN isn't up to something bad is ``naive.''

But the day before, when Gov. Crist was asked if he had any suspicions or evidence that ACORN was up to anything illegal or unethical, he gave a quick and brief reply: ``No.''

Miamiherald

*shrug*

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