About wingnut ACORN hysteria

Josh Marshall explains the bogus Republican claims of “fraud” surrounding ACORN and voter registration. Well worth a full read, but here’s a sample:

I’ve always had questions about whether this is a good way to do voter registration. And Democratic campaigns usually keep their distance. But here’s the key. This is fraud against ACORN. They end up paying people for registering more people then they actually signed up. If you register me three times to vote, the registrar will see two new registrations of an already registered person and the ones won’t count. If I successfully register Mickey Mouse to vote, on election day, Mickey Mouse will still be a cartoon character who cannot go to the local voting station and vote. Logically speaking there’s very little way a few phony names on the voting rolls could be used to commit vote fraud. And much more importantly, numerous studies and investigations have shown no evidence of anything more than a handful of isolated casing of actual instances of vote fraud.

As McCain’s crowds continue to turn nasty and hateful, the bogus attack on ACORN is simply one more cog in a Republican slime machine that is working overtime. The Swiftboating has little chance of working at this point, both because of the economic scandal and because Americans have seen this crap before and (by and large) aren’t falling for it. People could care less about anything except the ominous threats to their financial well-being.

Epic fail!

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    Funny, I just posted this on my other blog.

    But you missed the big money quote:

    “But perhaps most importantly, the idea of massive polling-place fraud (through the use of inflated voter rolls) is inherently incredible. Suppose I want to swing the Missouri election for my preferred presidential candidate. I would have to figure out who the fake, dead or missing people on the registration rolls are, then pay a lot of other individuals to go to the polling place and claim to be that person, without any return guarantee – thanks to the secret ballot – that any of them will cast a vote for my preferred candidate.

    “Those who do show up at the polls run the risk of being detected and charged with a felony. And for what – $10? Polling-place fraud, in short, makes no sense.”

    And

    Again, there have been numerous investigations of this. Often by people with at least a mild political interest in finding wrongdoing. But they never find it. It always ends up being right-wing hype and lies. Remember, most of those now-famous fired US Attorneys from 2007 were Republican appointees who were canned after they got tasked with investigating allegations of widespread vote fraud, did everything they could to find it, but came up with nothing. That was the wrong answer so Karl Rove and his crew at the Justice Department fired them.

  2. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    Of course, Tim Eyman insisted that there has never been a proven case of a paid signature gatherer submitting a false signature or commiting an illegal act. He successfully fought against proposals to even require the signature gatherers to carry I.D.

    Yet Eyman’s most ardent supporters are the first to claim that Democratic supporters do just that in their voter registration drives.

    If a paid signaturer gatherer in an initiative drive submits false signatures, then the chances of them being caught is pretty low – after all, they are only subject to a randam cross-check of a fraction of the number of signatures submitted. Yet the total number of signatures can make the difference on whether the initiative is on the ballot or not.

    But if a person is paid to register voters, there is no benefit to either party unless the person actually votes. The guy who obtains the voter registration card might get paid, but unless the fictitious voter actually goes to the polls, it’s a futile act.

    I guess you could argue that somebody could impersonate the fictitious voter and thereby vote more than once, but since they need to provide SOME evidence of ID (voter registration card, utility bills, etc.) that seems to be more trouble in creating batches of fake I.D.s -a seperate individualized ID to match the registration for each vote – it hardly seems worth the effort.

  3. 3

    verine spews:

    Umm, I’m as liberal as they come, but if Acorn is turning in voter registration forms that they know are fraudulant, then the charges are relevant. And this isn’t the first time they have been accused of this. Maybe they should do a cursory check of the forms to see if any of them contain obvious violations. It may cost them more to do it, but it couldn’t be any more expensive than the negative publicity they are getting.

  4. 4

    spews:

    Just in case the trolls bring up Gregoire/Rossi: F.U.

    Bridges said there was no evidence to suggest fraud, intentional misconduct or any attempt to manipulate the election. He said election officials “attempted to perform their responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner.”

    While he had stern words about how King County ran the election, Bridges said that even there, Republicans failed to show any intentional wrongdoing.

    “While there is evidence of irregularities, as there appears to be in every election based on the testimony of various county election officials, there is no … clear and convincing evidence that improper conduct or irregularity procured Ms. Gregoire’s election,” the judge said.

    “There is no evidence that ballots were changed, the ballot box stuffed or that lawful votes were removed from either candidate’s ballot box,” Bridges said.

  5. 5

    spews:

    @3

    Most state laws require that any and all registration forms get turned in, whether they are correct, or not. This is supposed to prevent groups from collecting forms and throwing away the opposing party. But the problem with this is that they can’t throw out known bad forms either. So they have to turn them in, and report the bad forms, which is what Acorn does.

    Personally, I think they need to abandon the pay-by-count and just pay-by-hour instead, that would reduce the incentive to submit bad forms altogether.

  6. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    Yet in contrast, depressing the vote of the opponant is quite a bit easier, and much less risky. Among the things Republicans were caught doing in 2004:

    1. Hiring telemarketing firms to flood a Democratic “get out the vote” drive telephone banks with phone calls, effectively shutting down the system.

    2. Stationing police at polling stations in minority areas, some of whom would routinely demanding ID from people (even before they got inside the polling areas). In minority areas, where police harrassment and arrests are much more common than in the suburbs, most people find it’s just not a good idea to risk such encounters, which could easily turn from “questioning” to “disturbing the peace” arrests if the officer decides he doesn’t like your attitude.

    3. Re-allocating the polling boths so that voters in Democratic precincts have to wait in line several hours to get to vote, but voters in Republican districts have no wait at all, and multiple booths from which to choose.

    4. Having Republican operatives challenge every voter in a Democratic precinct, creating a backlog which increases the time the Democratic voters have to wait in line (many who are trying to vote before work or during their lunch hour simply give up and never have a chance to vote).

    5. De-registering voters by using of illegal caging campaigns – in the process even deregistering veterans serving overseas who have a forwarding order to their APO postal address. Other more recent de-registration campaigns exclude those with convictions but who have had their civil rights restored (and are therefore eligible to vote), and recently targeting those who’s homes have been foreclosed.

    6. Automated phone calls telling voters falsly telling them that their voting place has been changed, or (recently) slick publication of false absentee or mail-in ballots with the wrong address on the return envelope.

    Against these large-scale concerted campaigns, the Republicans offer the tale of a handfull of teenagers who once slashed the tires of some Republican vans used to transport voters to the polls, and try to make you believe that both sides are equally guilty.

  7. 8

    spews:

    @6

    Thank you for proving my point.

    The defendants, who were paid employees and supervisors of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, concocted the scheme as an easy way to get paid, not as an attempt to influence the outcome of elections, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said.

    Maybe you should read the links you post?

  8. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    Note that the recent raid on the Las Vegas ACORN offices were apparantly triggered by ACORN reporting – itself – the suspicious registrations. The Las Vegas authorites claimed that just because they turned in 50 bad registrations didn’t mean that there weren’t 100 other bad ones they didn’t turn in.

    By that reasoning, a victim alleging rape would be investigated for prostitution, since there “might” be evidence the attacker paid the victim for the service.

    The ridiculous thing is that the false registrations identified by ACORN to the authorities included some which listed the Dallas Cowboys lineup – people who obviously weren’t going to vote in Nevada.

  9. 10

    Daddy Love spews:

    3

    Umm, I’m as liberal as they come

    Sure you are.

    but if Acorn is turning in voter registration forms that they know are fraudulant, then the charges are relevant. And this isn’t the first time they have been accused of this. Maybe they should do a cursory check of the forms to see if any of them contain obvious violations. It may cost them more to do it, but it couldn’t be any more expensive than the negative publicity they are getting.

    Way to NOT follow the story.

  10. 11

    delbert spews:

    @4 FU2

    “No testimony has been placed before the Court to suggest fraud” is not the same as ‘there was no fraud committed’.

    Law enforcement is responsible, in our system of justice, to gather evidence and they failed to perform.

    “He (McKay) explained in the interview that the threshold of evidence he was looking for was for an informant to come forward with an eyewitness account of a conspiracy to change the outcome of the election. Short of that, he would not even send FBI agents to interview election officials about illegal ballots.”

  11. 12

    spews:

    @11

    Hard to gather evidence that doesn’t exist.

    But let’s see… if Gregoire weighs more than a duck, that means she’s made of wood

  12. 13

    YellowPup spews:

    CNN covers the ACORN story, and only mentions briefly, in passing (at the end), that fake registrations do not equal fake votes. Amazing.

    The one point they have is that the state still has to process all the fake registrations. You wonder how many legitimate registrations get lost or deleted because of all the fake ones in these cases.

  13. 14

    YellowPup spews:

    One thing’s for sure, old white people are mad. Really mad. And for McCain it’s just politics as usual. Me second, country first, and all that.

  14. 15

    delbert spews:

    Vote fraud is hard to prove therefore hard to prosecute.

    ACORN Seattle settled for $25k and Dan Satterberg provided a quote to cover _his_ ass, in the upcoming election, with his base. “It’s too hard to prove, but I got some crackheads and one little fish” just doesn’t bring out the votes when you are a lone republican in a very blue town.

    The main point you seemed to miss is that ACORN is in the middle of a lot of vote fraud all over the country. Eleven different states are investigating ACORN. It’s a pattern of fraud that is concerning.

    Vote fraud shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Defending ACORN makes it look like there’s something to hide. Or maybe it’s Obama’s links to ACORN that might not pass the sniff test.

  15. 17

    demo kid spews:

    This blog post that I referred to on Effin’ Unsound provides the best summary I’ve seen:

    http://marcambinder.theatlanti.....troops.php

    I’m incredibly pissed at these crybaby conservatives. After losing the 2000 election in a 5-4 vote and seeing the resulting Administration treating that like an absolute mandate, this is just a sign that they can’t tolerate it when it happens to them.

    Why do we have to share a country with these assholes?

  16. 18

    delbert spews:

    “best summary”? please, how about “press release.”

    “Why do we have to share a country with these assholes?” And Yellow Pup complains about angry Republicans??

    But to answer your question, somebody needs to pay taxes, build companies, and hire your dumb ass.

    I’m always amazed at the small business owners that have a total disconnect between their business and their politics. They bitch about reams of paperwork, excessive regulation, and high taxes, but vote Democrat.

  17. 19

    Mark1 spews:

    No sale. Explain why several ppl in WA. went to jail over this then you morons. ACORN should be prosecuted, fined, and disbanded.

  18. 20

    Daddy Love spews:

    Fomer moderate Republican (and now Independent) Lincoln Chafee:

    That’s not my kind of Republicanism,” said Chafee, who now calls himself an independent. “I saw what Bush and Cheney did. They came in with a (budget) surplus and a stable world, and look what’s happened now. In eight short years they’ve taken one peaceful and prosperous world, and they’ve torn it into tatters.”

    As for McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his running mate, “there’s no question she’s totally unqualified,” Chafee said.

    Chafee said he has spoken with several other moderate Republican leaders, and “there are a whole lot of us deserting.”

    Yes, back in 2000 the US had it made. Look at shit now. And you can chalk it up to eight years if incompetence, mismanagement, politicization of public services, and criminal malfeasance.

    Let me clarify: REPUBLICAN incompetence, REPUBLICAN mismanagement, REPUBLICAN politicization of public services, and REPUBLICAN criminal malfeasance.

  19. 21

    Daddy Love spews:

    16 del

    Oh, del. A U.S. attorney has to do a lot of stuff. And it’s important stuff. And doing important stuff for us all means that they don’t go chasing after absolutely unsupported allegations by partisan crackpots, even when the presidnet, his political advisors, and several US Congressmen pressure them to do so without presenting any evidence themselves.

    There ARE real crooks to prosecute. If you’re a citizen or representative and you want a busy US Attorney to look into an allegation by you, you had fucking well better give him some reason to do so. Such reasons are called E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E. One person with an eyewitness story that holds up. One document. Something. Your guys have NOTHING.

  20. 22

    Daddy Love spews:

    19 Mark1

    ACORN did not violate the law. Their paid registration gatherers did. They are contractors, and ACORN is not legally responsible for their actions.

  21. 23

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    2. rhp6033 spews:
    He successfully fought against proposals to even require the signature gatherers to carry I.D.

      
    If you don’t need ID to vote, why should you need id to register voters.
      
    Another victim is going to be obama when all those new and registered voters he is counting on don’t come out and vote.

  22. 24

    spews:

    Dilbert,

    Perhaps you need to slow down on the wingnut radio, there, Champ. You seem to be full of many misunderstandings.

    “The main point you seemed to miss is that ACORN is in the middle of a lot of vote fraud all over the country.”

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. ACORN has NEVER been accused of voter fraud. Voter fraud is when a person fradulently VOTES.

    ACORN deals with VOTER REGISTRATION, not voting.

    “Eleven different states are investigating ACORN.”

    In fact, many of those cases are under investigation BECAUSE ACORN notified election’s authorities that their employees were making up registrations. (I.e. employees committing fraud against ACORN).

    “It’s a pattern of fraud that is concerning.”

    Yes and no. The “pattern” is that ACORN hires many, many down-and-out folks (which most of us normal folks view as a great public service); a small fraction of those employees will sit around and make up registrations instead of doing their job and getting people to register. When ACORN becomes aware of a cheating employee, they call in the authorities. They do so, in part, because of laws about the handling of voter registration froms. And, in part, because ACORN has had fraud committed against them.

    As the Times article points out:

    ACORN President Maude Hurd said in a statement, “It appears that a handful of temporary workers were trying to get paid for work they hadn’t actually done. While we don’t think the intent or the result of their actions was to allow any ineligible person to vote, these employees defrauded ACORN and imposed a burden on the time and resources of registrars and law enforcement.”

    What is the ultimate danger of these fake registrations? The big threat is that they are a nuisance–they mess up the voter rolls.

    The chances of such faked registrations actually being used for fradulent votes is exceedingly small.

  23. 25

    spews:

    Marvin Stamn,

    “If you don’t need ID to vote, why should you need id to register voters.”

    You DO need ID to vote, dumb ass. Man, you WingDings are fucking gullible!

  24. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The figures I’ve seen indicate ACORN has registered 1.2 million voters and a few hundred of those registrations were fraudulent. That’s on a par with the error rates of honest county and state election oficials across the nation.

  25. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    Just an example of the type of people who are being stirred up by the Republican attempts to stir up anger against ACORN with false charges that they are engaged in vote fraud and Obama as an alleged terrorist, radical leftist, etc….

    “OCTOBER 8–Angered by a delay in the receipt of his voter registration card, a Louisiana man today threatened election officials, claiming that he urgently needed to cast a ballot to “keep the nigger out of office,” according to police. Wade Williams, 75, was arrested this morning on a felony terrorizing charge after allegedly calling the Registrar of Voters and warning that he would come to the state office and empty his shotgun unless he got his registration card. Using profanity and racial slurs, Williams told a state official “about needing to vote to ‘keep the nigger out of office,”

    Source: Man threatened voter officials over tardy registration card

    (A copy of the police report is linked in the story, along with the fellow’s mugshot).

  26. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @27 Another KKK slimeball in jail! Good place for ‘em. They should misplace his bail until after the election.

  27. 29

    delbert spews:

    @24

    Darryl – Vote fraud starts with voter registration fraud.

    And I admit I was wrong, it’s 12 states, not 11.

  28. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 McKay assigned this region’s four top FBI agents and his office’s two top prosecutors to the voting fraud investigation. They spent weeks investigating and reported back to McKay there was nothing that would support a criminal case. Case closed, Delbert.

    Insisting on prosecuting where no crime has been committed is called “malicious prosecution” and guess what it’s a felony. The only criminals around here are you garbage-can-lid-pounding Republicans.

  29. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    RR @ 30: There’s also the charge of “abuse of legal process”, whereby an otherwise lawful legal proceeding is used for an unjustified purpose.

    I’m wondering if ACORN should consider filing a complaint regarding the Nevada raid, if it can be shown that it’s intent was to harrass the organization, disrupt it’s voter registration operations, and to discredit the organization with no real proof of wrongdoing.

  30. 32

    YLB spews:

    ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers, ACORN, Ayers,

    It’s all these right wing loons have left.

  31. 33

    spews:

    delbert,

    “Darryl – Vote fraud starts with voter registration fraud.”

    No, in fact, it is exceedingly rare to find voter fraud that begin with registration fraud.

    Typical voter fraud occurs through people stealing ballots, voting on behalf of their dead spouse, felons not being cleaned from the voter rolls and, after release, being sent absentee ballots, voters voting by absentee ballot and at the polls, and, (a la Chicago in the 1950s-1970s) using existing registration records for dead or inactive voters to cast ballots.

    None of those involve first submitting a fake registration. Furthermore, submitting fake registrations for “Micky Mouse” or “Micky Mantle” (as was done by workers trying to rip-off ACORN), certainly doesn’t lead to any reasonable path to voter fraud.

  32. 36

    ACORN spews:

    They end up paying people for registering more people then they actually signed up. If you register me three times to vote, the registrar will see two new registrations of an already registered person and the ones won’t count. If I successfully register Mickey Mouse to vote, on election day, Mickey Mouse will still be a cartoon character who cannot go to the local voting station and vote. Logically speaking there’s very little way a few phony names on the voting rolls could be used to commit vote fraud.

    ” … and the ones won’t count.” WTF?

    ” … Mickey Mouse will still be a cartoon character who cannot go to the local voting station …” The beauty of new improved voting is that Mickey doesn’t need to be inconvenienced by going to a ‘voting station.’ Like most of us, Mickey votes absentee. Dean Logan Jr. sends Mickey a ballot, or several ballots assigned to the several names Mickey and ACORN used on his registration forms, and Mickey mails them (registration forms, ballots) back. It’s efficient. It’s moderm. It’s progressive. It’s easy. Just ask Jane’s dog.

    ” … there’s very little way a few phony names …” Isn’t it amazing that Josh Marshall begins this sentence with the word ‘logically’? Josh seems to be logic-impaired, and is not on speaking terms with the English language. If Marshall is the best bullet you’ve got against ‘bogus’ GOP claims that ACORN’s fraud in Seattle is part of a pattern in at least 14 states, then our claims of fraud aren’t bogus. Obama’s ACORN is fraudulent, and it’s paying for its fraud with bailout dollars.

  33. 37

    spews:

    ” … and the ones won’t count.” WTF?

    It means the additional registrations for an individual will be ignored (or, used to update the old registration in some circumstances). The result will be a single registered voter.

    “Just ask Jane’s dog.”

    But Jane Blaugh wasn’t working for ACORN, was she? She was just a woman who personally decided to engage in registration fraud. She went to some lengths to illegally register her dog to vote, including putting utility bills in its name.

    Anybody who wants to create multiple registrations (registration fraud) so that they can vote multiple times (voter fraud) is perfectly capable of doing so (just as Jane!). Fake IDs are not rocket science.

    As it happens, it is MUCH MORE RISKY to engage in voter fraud in this way by mail, because you leave a paper trail that leads back to a physical mailbox at which the fraudster receives the ballot(s). Therefore, if suspicions arise, it would be easier to track down the suspect. Fake ID-based voter fraud would be far less risky voting at the polls.

    But that is NOT was ACORN employees were doing. Rather, a small number of employees were submitting bogus paper work to take money from ACORN for work they didn’t do. It is highly unlikely that anyone would be able to exploit the Micky Mouse registrations. And there is no evidence that anyone has.

    “If Marshall is the best bullet you’ve got against ‘bogus’ GOP claims that ACORN’s fraud in Seattle is part of a pattern in at least 14 states, then our claims of fraud aren’t bogus.”

    Huh? Josh is a journalist, not a bullet against anything. The “bullet” is the fact that (1) ACORN has initiated many of the investigations, since they are also a party being harmed by these rogue employees, (2) there is no evidence than any bogus registration submitted through ACORN has been used for voter fraud.

    “Obama’s ACORN is fraudulent”

    If, by that, you mean, refering to “Obama’s ACORN” is, essentially a misleading characterization of ACORN and Obama, I agree.

    “and it’s paying for its fraud with bailout dollars.”

    Bailout dollars? What are you babbling about?

    Man…you wingnuts really lose it over ACORN, don’t ya! :-)