More Connections Between Obama and ACORN?

Pennsylvania Acorns

A former staffer for Project Vote, a sister organization of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, testified at a hearing in Pennsylvania on Wednesday that the Obama campaign provided the group with a campaign donor list in late 2007 for their fundraising efforts.  The former D.C. staffer, Anita Moncrief, said she still has a copy of what she called the “development plan” she used to help her identify the maxed-out Obama donors for solicitation.  The hearing was part of a lawsuit brought by the GOP seeking information and an injunction against certain ACORN activities in Pennsylvania.

McCain-Palin campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement, “We now know that Barack Obama’s campaign was working hand-in-glove with an organization reportedly under investigation by the F.B.I. and in more than a dozen states. In addition to funneling $832,000 to ACORN for get-out-the-vote efforts, the Obama campaign and ACORN have been sharing donor lists, encouraging maxed-out Obama donors to contribute to this unethical organization.”

Indiana Acorns

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has issued a letter asking the FBI, the Indiana Attorney General and the Lake County prosecutor to conduct criminal investigations into acts involving 1,438 fraudulent voter registration applications in Lake County, Indiana.  These applications were submitted by ACORN.  The majority of these applications are from five zip codes located in and around Gary, Indiana.

According to the letter, the preliminary investigation by the secretary of state’s office found credible evidence that ACORN as an organization solicited and submitted fraudulent or forged documents, submitted multiple applications for the same individuals, and violated Indiana’s state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, laws.  The letter goes on to state that the organization’s officers, agents and employees violated Indiana and federal laws with respect to obstruction of elections and interference with elections officials as well as laws protecting individual rights to register and vote in elections.

The response from ACORN contained their standard accusations of racism calling the allegations a “partisan attack intended to challenge minority voter registration activity.”  They also claim that they would be in violation of Indiana law if they did not submit all of the voter registration forms.  

I reached Jim Gavin, spokesperson for Attorney General Rokita, and asked about ACORN’s claim and the status of the requests for investigations.  Gavin told me that at this point they had nothing further to add to the letter wherein they gave a detailed explanation of the issue raised by ACORN:  

“Indiana Code 3-14-2-5(b) provides that a person who ‘fails to file or deliver to the proper officer a… form of registration after the… form has been executed commits a Class A misdemeanor.’  The law exists to prevent ‘lost’ applications of those thought to be supporters of an opposing party candidate, for example.  IC 3-14-3-1.1 makes it a Class D felony for a person to knowingly procure or submit ‘voter registration applications known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent’ and IC 3-14-2-1 makes it a Class D felony for a person to conspire with another in such behavior.”

“Every person has the duty under the law not to aid or assist others in breaking the law.  Clearly, ACORN representatives continued to submit applications they knew to be fraudulent to voter registration officials rather than submit evidence and contact information for possible suspects to local law enforcement officials (who have offices in the same building).  Simply put, complying with the law to submit legitimate applications does not allow ACORN officials to evade the law against knowingly submitting fraudulent applications.”

One of the many problems posed by ACORN nationwide is the sheer volume of applications, including those that are false or fraudulent, the organization dumps on elections boards at the last minute, overwhelming the already inundated workers.  It is within this atmosphere of a flooded elections work force that all sorts of nefarious activities hide.

Calls for an update to the Indiana Attorney General’s office were not returned as of deadline.

VIRGINIA UPDATE:  All Military Ballots Will Be Counted

In a phone conversation Wednesday, Fairfax County registrar Rokey Suleman confirmed that his office would be “happily counting all FWAB [Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots] since the attorney general made his ruling.”

These include the military and other overseas ballots that did not include an address to accompany the witness signature.