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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pa. Congressional Republicans Get Nutty over ACORN

ACORN, as most of you probably know, is "the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country." It's Project Vote has added 1.3 million voters to the rolls, including 153,000 here in Pennsylvania.

Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent, however, is concerned that ACORN is engaging in "illegal political activity, including voter fraud." So he wants the state Attorney General to go after the ACORNs with his nutcracker. He's joined by Jim Gerlach, Phil English, Tim Murphy, John Peterson, Joe Pitts, Todd Platts, and Bill Shuster, all of whom just happen to be Republicans. Not a single Democratic House member has joined this request.

Hmmm.

Are these Republican Congressman really worried about voter fraud or are they instead concerned that the 153,000 new voters in Pennsylvania, mostly low-income and minority, are registered as Democrats? One thing is clear. Pennsylvania's Republican Congressman are just part of a larger GOP choir, which includes a “fact sheet” from the Republican National Committee and a McCain web ad.

Pennsylvania's Congressional Republicans claim there are three reasons why Corbett needs to become a nutcracker with ACORN.

Reason 1: In July 2008, Dauphin County election officials investigated over 100 suspicious applications submitted by ACORN. In July, a former ACORN worker was questioned by a Dauphin County detective after turning in between 100 and 150 questionable registration forms. He was finally arrested on Saturday, and is accused of submitting phonies to justify his paycheck. This is one person, not some deep conspiracy.

Reason 2: In June 2007, a Berks County woman employed by ACORN was arrested for alleged voter fraud, including falsifying registrations and registering dead people. Wendy Godfrey was charged with dozens of counts of repeat registrations, false registrations and deceased registrants. But here's the kicker. She never actually worked for ACORN. According to a Berks County official who asked to remain anonymous, she and a boyfriend pleaded guilty to some form of voter registration fraud, and the case is closed. That's two people, not a deep conspiracy.

Reason 3: In September 2006, nearly 100 fraudulent voter registration applications were filed in Delaware County, prompting the District Attorney’s Office to issue an identity theft alert. All 100 applications were filled out by four individuals working for ACORN. I don't know about two years ago, but have no reason to doubt the claim. I do know the Delaware County DA is currently investigating 290 questionable registrations.

Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal to pay canvassers by the card. But it's apparent some poorly trained canvassers are just filling in some blank cards to get a quick buck. It scares the hell out of Republicans, but it's not really voter fraud. It's voter registration fraud, and ACORN is technically one of the victims. Canvassers are paid . . . well, acorns, and they tend to do sloppy work. As blogger Rick Hasen notes at Huffington Post, "ACORN needs to find a different business model for registering voters, even if it means that fewer voters will be registered and fewer low income people employed in the voter registration business."

But don't kid yourself. The entire Dallas Cowboys may be registered in thirteen different states, but they won't be voting.

No statewide investigation is necessary.
Update: Tne Morning Call reports today that ACORN ended its voter registration efforts in the Lehigh Valley at the end of May, and that as many as 20 out of 100 registrations were invalid in Lehigh County. The American Spectator reports that retired Justice Sandra Newman is concerned November's election will be fair. I don't think this concern is justified. It is one thing to submit a bogus form. It is quite another to engage in actual voter fraud. No one has made that connection.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

This will be a fun one Bernie -

And I believe you're wrong, ACORN should be investigated fully and completely, their track record nationwide and in PA demands it. Even if there is no internal mandate to violate the law, if they hire the canvassers (which they do) they are responsible for the results and should have to answer for them.

I believe though they do it knowingly and always have - and 20+ years of history back me up.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Oh oh O'Hare you befriended the kool-aide crowd and now you are questioning their logic. You may here chant's of 'traitor' or maybe someother good natured ribbing.

The Fox crowd has run out of BS and now they are lashing out with the last breaths of hate politics.

Anonymous said...

Use fruit in your remarks and you've insulted the homosexual wing of the victim class. Scrutinize crooked nuts and you've insulted the race hustling wing of the victim class.

I understand the rules. I just don't like them.

michael molovinsky said...

it was not too reassuring when stacy sterner(lehigh county) commented yesterday that most of the fraudulent forms submitted by acorn were detected, she estimated the submitted fraud rate at about 20%. i believe the US attorney general should consider postponing the election on nov. 4. i suppose to dem's used to rounding people up on election day for a pack of cigs, this is no big deal.

Anonymous said...

Both parties have their "thing" going. ACORN for the Demos and the Repub's are accused of' voter purging'. Here's a BBC clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nwl4NotHmM

Even more scary is the threat of Diebold voting machine tampering.
Princeton University Exposes Diebold Flaws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZws98jw67g

Here is a long interview that ABC News did with Stephen Spoonamore back in 2006--and then never used
Segment 1 of 8 (inherent flaws)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAyEfovA404
Segment 2 of 8 (foreign nations can hack our election)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBLfgos5b8
Segment 3 of 8 (the memory card flaw)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzKbigGoMoo
Segment 4 of 8 (the 2004 Georgia Patch-vote flipping)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vNvweInGFs
Segment 5 of 8 (paper ballots only please)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX8fRwsTpoQ
Segment 6 of 8 ("There is no system in the world that cannot be hacked. Diebold is lying.")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Kq4dxPwY8
Segment 7 of 8 ("Diebold electronic voting machines are brilliantly designed to steal elections.")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsgY4_BB2lo
Segment 8 of 8 ("Americans do not want to believe there are people stealing elections in this country."-This is not a Democrat/Republican issue)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy1sz-xBxf8

WHO IS Stephen Spoonamore?
Current Partner at Global Strategic Partners LLC ... aka GSP
He has been called on as an expert witness for congressional testimony both on the House and Senate sides in the areas of secure communications. 20 years experience in most aspects of High Technology facility construction, retrofits, upgrades and equiping. Experience in real-time, extreme high volume, encyrpted and networked communications systems for Banks, TV, Telco, EMS, Military and other uses.

Oh Lordy!

Bernie O'Hare said...

An anonymous personal attack, posted 8:22, has been deleted. You are all welcome to disagree with me or the other commenter. But I will not tolerate personmal shots, especially when directed at one of the commenters.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Banker, MM,

There's no reason to postpone anything. This is voter registration fraud, not voter fraud. If I were to register you and twenty others over here in NC and give you NC addresses, you still would not be voting here. Now if there was any evidence that dead people are actually voting (as used to happen), I would see your point. So I think your concerns are without merit in this instance.

Mike McShea said...

I just heard a soundbite on YouTube of massa Rush and he said " Think of acron as a thousand Jesse Jacksons ".
Is acorn the new code word for racism?

BTW I got a absentee ballot app fromt the McCain campaign over a month ago and pre-adressed to the registrar in Easton. I find it amazing that their computers can find me and my new address in Staten Island and do not know that I have not lived in the LV for close to three years and am definitely not registered to vote there?

lighthouse said...

This discussion reaffirms my long opposition to "reforms" in some states to make it easier and easier to register like same-day registration, or Ohio's same-day reg/early voting reported in a recent MCall article, etc. Filling out the forms in PA are so basic: name, address,DOB. We even have them in Spanish (though I disagree with that). If you can't register 30 days before an election, then you probably shouldn't be voting anyway. We are a republic, not a democracy ("I pledge allegiance....and to the republic for which it stands"). Making it SO easy, that at least some minimal verification can occur by County workers, just opens the door to fraud and demagoguery from either party's machines.

lighthouse said...

Making it SO easy, that at least some minimal verification can occur by County workers,

should have read,

Making it SO easy, that at least some minimal verification can NOT occur by County workers....

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Although I agree that the difference between a few ill-trained, ill-informed "employees" of ACORN who are committing voter-registration fraud and actual election fraud is great - I still think that this is an endemic problem to ACORN's voter registration process, and they need to reevaluate their policies and procedures. This is not the first election cycle in which ACORN workers falsified registration papers, and ultimately it will not be the last.

At the very least, since ACORN is funded in part by taxpayer money, they need to clean up their act so that our dollars are not being wasted paying the salaries of people who are fraudulently registering people instead of actually doing their jobs and registering voters.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Also, I didn't check that BBC clip but voter interference is widespread by Rs. Last week Philadelphia had its first incident of this election cycle when thousands of flyers were distributed in the mostly black & poor neighborhood of North Philadelphia warning residents that if they showed up to vote on election day that they should be aware that the police will be there checking people's IDs and running them through databases so that they can issue citations and make arrests for outstanding warrants or parking tickets.

michael molovinsky said...

i believe the " connection" is implicit, once a bogus registration is accepted, and only the blatant ones are detected, that bogus voter can participate. If it is voting twice, or whatever. the juxtaposition with fraudulent registrations and new election day right to votes rules, clearly trump the few 'disenfranchised voters" of the past. it's absurd to think acorn wants to cook the registration, but not the actual vote

michael molovinsky said...

if somebody is not motivated to register to vote under their own volition, an informed society clearly would be better off without their vote. i'm appalled that any tax-money goes to acorn

BethlehemDem said...

I agree with Bernie that there is a difference between registering a fake name and actually tring to vote as the fake registered person.
It would be extremely difficult to manage such an operation of fraud.
Under the HAVA, poll workers are required to check IDs for voters who are voting first time at that polling place. As long as there are adequately trained poll workers, the problems should be alleviated.
I think the problem with ACORN is a few bad nuts. I do not believe there is a widespread enterprise of corruption in the organization. Based on what I have read, the incidents of voter registration fraud are a small percentage of the overal numbers ACORN has registered.
I just feel it would take alot of work and organization to actually utilize the fraudulantly registered names.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LOLV,

Uh oh. We agree. We must be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I have seen this organisation up close and in my face here in downtown Allentown, this is an organisation that needs to be investigated. The public needs to know the real truth about ACORN.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

The value of registering voters twenty times, in twenty different precincts is that on election day records will indicate that these registered voter will have indeed voted every time in every district. I have seen how they do it.
In a place like Philly, Pittsburgh and increasingly Allentown where a single party controls the entire apparatus of municipal rule the checks and balances of the rules related to voting can and are corrupted to suit the needs of the controlling party.
If at each precinct location, everyone from the judge of elections on down is an activist for the controlling party do you doubt the outcome will be anything other than what they desire?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

While working at a booth at the Allentown Fair, I noted how they stopped people coming into the fair thrusting voter registration forms in front of people. When I suggested that such practices should be stopped they got rather belligerant. I notified the fair office and they said they would try to stop them AGAIN.
Bob

Anonymous said...

ACORN not the only one screwing with this election. Although they are getting all the richly deserved publicity. Hopefully these ACORN guys get what's coming.

But Then there's this using 'Voter Purging' that excludes thousands and thousands who might have lost their home by the current crisis, floods, or many other ways in which Americans have become homeless in the last few years that most likely are quite pissed with the current adminstration.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbPp0CYvvjs

CBS NEWS ON NATIONWIDE VOTE PURGING
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMN_2Fc3Tfo

Lots of political forces at afoot this election!

Anonymous said...

Why are any taxpayer dollars going to a politically biased organization such as ACORN? It is a good thing to promote voter registration in general. That is a valid use of taxpayer funding. But ACORN targets a specific demographic area with advocacy not utilized with the general population. And there is no question who benefits- the Democrat Party. Having inflated registration figures based on duplicate, fraudulant registration practices IS a benefit to a specific party. How many news articles have there been in the past year highlighting the enormous registration edge of the Democrat Party? This has a psychological effect on the electorate that benefits Democratic candidates. So, even though dead people and Dallas Cowboys will eventually be culled from the records, ACORNS poor business practices or outright fraudulant actions serve only to tie up the system and mislead the electorate. ACORN should be buried by a squirrel, or via multiple lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Voter fraud starts with voter registration fraud. It's akin to the sales technique of casting a larger footprint to achieve higher unit sales from a larger pie. They're cheating.

not so casual observer said...

Has anyone actually seen the pamphlets that were distibuted int he black communities? I would like to see the disclaimer on them so that we could yrack tht back to the originator, if indeed they actually exist.

Bob Jr said...

not so casual: Philly's mayor had a press conference about the pamphlets, so I assume they did exist, but I doubt anyone put their names on them to accept responsibility.
On another subject, how about Palin's unethical conduct for a personnel vendetta? Here's an opportunity for the R's to dredge up travelgate.
23 days and counting!

Anonymous said...

Raines, Johnson, Garelick, Dodd, Frank, Obama - all got paid before your investments tanked.

not so casual observer said...

Bob Jr

It is the law that a disclaimer be put on those pamphlets. Remember our esteemed Gov. FASt Eddie Rendell was quoted in 2006 "I do not consider voter fraud a crime."
And as far as the track record of Phila. mayors goes well...

Anonymous said...

Purging is removing voters who are no longer at the address where they are registered. This is normal and as it should be. If someone is no longer at an address, they need to re-register at their new address(unless they're dead). Is this so difficult?

Alka Bone said...

ACORN: Another Counterfeit Obama Registered Noname

or

Always Counting Obama's Real Nutjobs

or

Adding Completely Obsolete Renamed Nobodies

or

MeDiQueQuaForVe

Media Didn't Question Edward's Qualifications for Veep.

alka bone said...

er, s/b Edwards'.

Bob Jr said...

Obama Nutjobs? McCain rally Saturday: Invocation prays for Obama defeat and says non-Christians around the world are praying to "their gods" for Obama to win; MCain Rally Friday: McCain is asked whether Obama is a Muslim; and of course our own Bill Platt established his sanity on Wednesday.
22 days and counting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lighthouse said...

I can't believe that I am still watching the ALCS game at this hour....checking e-mail, and FYI received one that

SEAN HANNITY, OF HANNITY & COLMES ~ FOX NEWS, IS GOING TO AIR A VERYIMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT BARACK OBAMA, SUNDAY NIGHT AT 9:00 PM.EST HE STATED ON THE AIR THIS EVENING THAT NO ONE IN THE NEWS MEDIA WAS WILLING TO DO THIS.

I am sure it will follow FOX's "fair and balanced" motto.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am sure it will follow FOX's 'fair and balanced' motto."

No doubt.

Anonymous said...

US enemies would clearly prefer Obama. Can't be denied.

Bob Jr said...

Of course, non-Christians are enemies of America.
Check out MC page A8 today: Seems like Rush is Wrong: HUD's targets for low-income mortgages had little to do with the current crisis. R's need to find a new boogeyman.

Anonymous said...

That story(A8) is pure BS like amost everything else that comes from the mainstream media. Propaganda is delivered to our doorsteps and through the airways routinely. Misinformation instead of facts is commonplace in reporting.
In the meantime the venues that are bringing this to us are seeing a sready decline in their subscribers, listeners and viewers.

Scott Armstrong

Bob Jr said...

Scott, the story attributes Your Government as the source for the story so how can it be BS? Gobama!

Anonymous said...

Scott happens to believe ratings equals truth. When the R's dumped the fairness doctrine we saw the rise of the 'Limbaugh' effect. Old unprofitable AM stations started telling folks what they wanted to hear. Who should I hate for my life and will someone voice my discontent.
No doubt the overly PC world made the market for such programing appealing. I listened to Rush when he started out because he was as much a political satirist as a reporter.
Then I realized the 'movement' began and these guys actually started to believe they were factual reporters.
They took nuggets of truth and made a gold mine of BS out of them. Today they do just what they always intended, tell people what they want to hear and claim everything else is a plot against the decent, smart people of America.
Brilliant business plan, poor civic responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Wow! If a government Bureau says so it must be true? Go ahead with that sort of trust but it won’t wash with conservatives.
Impugn the right all you want if you derive some satisfaction from it.
Rather than further the discussion insults serve only to provide insights into your thinking rather than further the discussion.


Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
While it may not be voter fraud in registering false names, it is an action that is intended to impact the outcome of the election ultimately. The hope is that by touting the large number of newly registered democrats, many republicans will stay home and not head to the polls. This is reprehensible conduct that is dangerous to the Democratic system, regardless of which party you are from.

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
Let me point out to you that one can register in Ohio and go home to PA. On election day you can vote in Ohio and in PA. When you register in Ohio you do not have to live there you simply have to indicate your intent to live there and you can remain on the rolls for 4 years. I believe you can do a similar thing in Hew Hempshire.
Acorn is a very bad organization.This is not the first time they have been involved in illegal voter registration activity. They were all over tonight'e news. They were also involved in the Community Reinvestment Act matter protesting banks in certian areas when they refused to make loans for unqualified people or would not lend money to commercail enterprises that stunk to high heaven. In this $700 billion bailout the Progerssives wanted to give 20% of it to ACORN.

Anonymous 2:56PM
Rush has put together a fantastic business model and has been successful for 20 years. He constantly reminds listeners that he is not a journalist as do the other conservatives hosts. The liberals think that all they have to do is get on the radio and the swans will come to listen. That does not happen. Air America is the most recent liberal plan to fail. Mario Cumo tried it and God knows he was the beloved of the New Deal Dems. Some how he lost something, when it was his time to run. I will guarantee you that if the FAIRNESS doctrine goes into place AM radio will go back to music and fall on its face. Rush and all the others will successfully move to satalitte radio and continue there success there. Liberalism has found a home there. If you have a Sirius radio try Liberal 146 but make sure you have a fire extiiguisher and earplugs. They use language that old sailors have never heard and so does the audience.

Anonymous said...

It appears to me at this point is that we have a number of individuals falsifying registration applications. As with the case discussed in the media recently, it was quite clear that the same handwriting was on all of the purged forms. Since these alleged bogus applications were both R and D (yes I did say Rs), it seems more of an attempt to commit paycheck fraud, then an attempt to commit voter fraud on “election day”

Now, we have a very professional and competent staff in LC. They are by-the-book and by no means a rubber stamp for anyone. I have no doubt they have and continue to do their due diligence. It is my impression, that in LC and NC first time or re-registered voters must show official ID that matches and submit a signature that matches the voter registration.

Given the prudent work of voter registration and polling staff, I feel we have a safety net.

I am more concerned about discourage voters due to long lines at the polls resulting from a limited number of machines (like we say in Cleveland)

What about the groups trying to purge voters in MI that no longer live at the address they are registered because they recently lost their house to foreclosure?

What about the absentee ballots that were sent out with “Barack Osama”. How did that happen? I suspect someone at the printer firm is responsible as these are verified by voter registration.

Anonymous said...

The reason so called 'Liberal radio' has failed is because there is no market. Astute people who are craving 'relevent information' don't want to listen to someone telling them what they want to hear.
I never understood why some thought 'liberal' radio would work. People who reason through and think out problems will not be swayed by someone just telling them what they already believe is great.
Sadly, all right wingnut radio does is take that kernnel of truth and pop it into an entire bag of popcrap. I am amazed some who consider themselves intelligent really believe there is this vast conspiracy to hide the truth and only Limbaugh and Fox can point the way.
How many Coulter books do you own. LOL

Anonymous said...

Bob Jr 457

Are your referring to the committee (4Ds and 8Rs) that concluded Palin abused her power in tropper gate or are you referring to the fact that she was collect Govt Per Diem rates while she stayed at home?

I do not think this is what Americans want to hear, but it appears that the McCain camp keep making suggestions about Character.

Maybe that is the McCain camps strategy, even if they take some hits in the process. Didn't the McCain camp say they want to "turn the page" on the Economy discussion?

Chris Miller said...

anonymous 9:19Am
If there is no audience for liberal radio then why have they attempted time and time again to get on the air. The failed Air America with the likes of Al Franken and Randi Rhodes was a disaster leaving Al with a large, unpaid tax bill. They have attempted time and time and time again to get conservative talk show hosts off the air. As to the ability of liberals to think through things I do not find that to be the case. They have but one cause and that is socialism where the government takes care of them. Their primary reason for running is to save abortion as witnessed by their vicious attack on Sarah Palin. Had she exibited the scar of abortion the Hillary supporters would have lined up behind her.
As to the conspiracy to remove the conservatives from the air, it is not a conspiracy because it is right out in the open. Pelosi and Reid have announced their intention to put the FAIRNESS doctrine into place. Not satisfied with the major TV networks on their side nor 80% of the self proclaimed liberals in the MSM, they need to eliminate their enemies. Thus the FAIRNESS act will be brought back by the Progressives. As stated in my previous post, go to LIBERAL 146 at Sirius and listen to the folks, Alex Bennett, Bill Press, Lynn Samuels and their audience. If LIBERAL 146 was a movie it would be Rated XXX.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehemdem said "I agree with Bernie that there is a difference between registering a fake name and actually tring to vote as the fake registered person. It would be extremely difficult to manage such an operation of fraud."

So if nothing dubious is occuring and ACORN is a victim, why were GOP Poll Observers locked out in Ohio during "The Golden Week"?

PLease don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. There is no point in registering fake names or real ones multiple times for any other reason than to vote often or cast doubt if there's a loss and it's close. Perhaps some of us Republicans may be nuts as you say but we are not stupid.

I have not missed an opportunity to vote in the Valley for the last 15 years and never once have I been asked for my ID. Not even the first time so if you are so confident that there is no harm in breaking the registration laws because they are not violating the voting laws then you shouldn't be afraid of requiring ID be shown by every voter at the polls.

-Tony