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October 27th, 2008
02:22 PM ET

Brazile: ACORN issue a Republican hype

Donna Brazile
CNN Political Contributor

Our nation's economic foundation is crumbling like sand beneath our feet. Middle-class families are losing their jobs, homes, savings accounts and college funds.

Retirement nest eggs are fried to a crisp. Nine million children in America don't have health care coverage. We're fighting wars on more fronts than we can handle.

And John McCain is talking about ACORN?

Just as a top McCain adviser admitted that his candidate wouldn't campaign on the economy because it's a losing issue, so too it seems that the GOP has made a collective decision to abandon any real discussion of the issues in favor of distortion and distraction.

Through its 850 neighborhood chapters in more than 100 cities across the United States, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now organizes the powerless to work together for social justice and stronger communities through affordable housing, quality education and better public services. They are dedicated to looking out for those with little means in our society.

In the world of some elites, low- and moderate-income families and the organizations that work to empower them are the bad guys. There is all-out class warfare going on here, folks.

Another example of it is how people in the low-income bracket are being blamed for the subprime market crash - rather than the unscrupulous lenders who redirected them from the fixed 30-year prime rates they could have paid to the subprime and adjustable rate mortgages destined to implode. The victims are revictimized.

It is an unfortunate reality that "poor" and "racial minority" are invariably overlapping circles in a Venn diagram. But the class animosity now being bred is, as it always has been, a cover for racial antipathy. And, make no mistake, this is exactly what's going on here. How pathetic and immoral in the face of the challenges we must confront as a nation.

Experts who have examined the allegations against ACORN have concluded that there is no significant threat of voter fraud. For the fraudulent registration forms to turn into fraudulent votes, they would have had to get through the election officials' vetting systems and make it onto the voter rolls.

Next, someone would need to arrive at the assigned polling location with valid identification that lists the same name and address as the fraudulent registration. (This is fairly difficult to do if you're dead or named Mickey Mouse.)

Then, having passed all these hurdles, that someone would cast a vote that will cost him or her 10 years in jail. Just find me someone willing to spend 10 years in jail just for a chance to vote for Obama or McCain?

Let's look at the facts. ACORN labeled as "suspicious" the fraudulent registration forms a few of its paid volunteers submitted. Moreover, ACORN delivered them to election authorities under that heading. ACORN offered to help election officials pursue prosecutions against those who filled out the fraudulent forms.

The so-called ACORN scandal is no more than a few canvassers trying to meet their quota and make easy money by cheating the system.

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Filed under: 2008 Election • Donna Brazile
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    For gods sake fix the system of registration and voting. Where I originally came from these were mailed to you and State run advertising said if you havenot got one go to your local state/town or city office and get one and if you need it they will assist you to complete the form, these ads also told you what would be needed to register, birth cert, drivers license, proof of address etc.
    Fix the computer and other systems at voting booths and staffing based on population. The likes of Acorn should not be necessary and thats the real point of Donna's article and what has already happened, and in some area reported.
    A mole hill being treated as a Mountain, physician heal thyself.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    October 28, 2008 at 3:17 am |
  2. joseph

    i think tha mccain should now focus on winning over the older voters so as to be able to beat Obama other issues should be avoided instead He shuold just talk about the economy which seems to be the issues at hand

    October 28, 2008 at 3:11 am |
  3. Vivian S. Bekele

    When the Republicans claim that Obama tax program for tax cuts to the middle class is wealth redistribution, then why is not McCain's tax cut to Corporation America viewed as a wealth redistribution to the upper 5% of the populace using 95% of taxes collected from the rest of the populace. Truth to be told, if the term "wealth redistribution" is going to be used by the McCain camp, then he should also apply it to himself. The adage, when you point one finger at another person, you're pointing 4 fingers back to yourself.

    October 28, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  4. Larry

    Why is Chicago the root of all of these dramas?

    October 27, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  5. Jenny, TX

    Thank you, Donna!
    And never mind the rude comments- so long as people subscribe to reality and facts, you're golden.

    October 27, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Sam Johnson

    Well I do think it's a big deal to commit voter fraud, but I don't see how it has anything to do with Obama.

    It seems to me that individuals signing up dead people to vote and creating false voter registration forms should be held accountable. I do not think ACORN is directly involved in perpetrating voter fraud, but it is their responsibility if they employ the people doing it. How this has anything to do with Obama I just don't know.

    So, I do think it is important to get to the bottom of this ACORN scandal as it has a direct impact on our current election if people are voting fraudulantly, but it being attached to Obama is just part of that negative campaign thing McCain has learned to do so well.

    October 27, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  7. ralph

    Mouse is an actual surname I found in the 1850 census, This was a couple years before disney used it. Also found 2 Mickey Mouse residents in ohio. wonder if fo! news will run Right over there to see if they are registered voters. If the are real they should file a lawsuit against fox news.

    October 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Thank you, Donna, for your eloquent and informative article.

    I know that ACORN does not intentionally commit Voter Fraud! That's usually the job........ of the Republicans.

    CNN was reporting, I think on Saturday, about several instances of people voting for Sen. Obama but the machine placing the vote for McCain! These errors were occurring in Ohio and in West Virginia.

    Voter Fraud by the Republicans concerns me a great deal, all we have to do is look at what happened in Florida in 2000; the legal case launched in Ohio to purge thousands of registered voters, etc.!

    On the Keith Olbermann Show on MSNBC, one of his guests was Allen Raymond whose book "HOW TO RIG AN ELECTION" speaks to and proves that Republicans do indeed seek to steal elections. Mr. Raymond is a former Republican operative who went to jail.......... for voter fraud.

    A couple of weeks ago, another man, hired by the Republicans to registers voters in California, was arrested (Mark Jacoby) for suspicion of voter fraud!

    Republicans have been known to hire off-duty policemen dressed in their uniforms to stand outside of polling places in minority areas of cities, to intimidate voters!

    What has happened to FREEDOM AND JUSTICE? It is SCARY to know that in the United States of America, the bastion of DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM.........WE HAVE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT VOTERS BENG PURGED AND INTIMIDATED!

    GOD HELP US!

    October 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  9. Patrick of Ohio

    Oh yea, let's disregard voter fraud during such an important election. Please Donna Brazile, we know you're a democrat supporter, and brushing this under the rug will not help. I am not voting for McCain or Obama, but come on. Hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations are being crafted and they curiously are voting for Obama. Thousands of Americans won't be able to vote because their names are being stolen, and with all the new laws letting people register and vote on the same day is blatant voter fraud. I think if you feel the economy to be important, then letting people try to steal an election should be a concern to you, as the ones that win will have to deal with the economy. If these people get into office through fraudulent means then we will lose faith in the system and our economy will suffer. Obama's ties to ACORN are suspicious and this is a very serious issue. This needs to be reported on more and this needs to be cleaned up.

    I think we all remember how Bush stole the 2000 election, and look how adversely the economy was affected. If you haven't lost your faith in Obama the Crook or McCain the Mad then now is the time. Vote third party because we need a clear message of no confidence in this two party oligarchy. Of course, you may not be able to vote third party if someone has all ready registerred and voted for you, and funny enough, chances are very likely that your vote was cast for Obama.

    And for god's sakes don't bring up race again, we're sick of it.

    October 27, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Larry

    Donna, if its not a big deal then why are you rambling on about it?

    Donna, tell us about the 2001 interview that Sen. Obama gave to Chicago Public Radio regarding the Supreme Court not going far enough in civil rights rulings.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  11. themommie

    I was just reading an article under the Chronicles that Senator John McCain was at an ACORN event in 2006; praising the work of ACORN. That is just another example of how Senator McCain keeps changing his strategy to try to win votes. How can you praise and curse out of the same mouth? Now that McCain is struggling in the polls; he contends that Obama is tied to voter registration fraud with ACORN. Hello!!!! Where have you been Senator McCain? Senator Barack Obama represented ACORN years ago in a push to be able to register at the department of motor vehicles department. Now wouldn't that make sense? Think about it. When you apply for a driver's license; you could also register to vote. That's sheer genius. After all; you have to show proof of residency to get a driver's license; and show your birth certificate/social security card. Wake up America!!!! Don't let this one get away from us! We can't afford to be "bamboozled and hoodwinked" and fall for the "okie-dokie" any longer. The world is watching us. They want to know what kind of United States are we made of. This country is made up of many cultures and a diversity that unites us in times of struggle and turmoil. Don't let Senator McCain and Governor Palin continue to divide this nation with all of this foolishness. They can't even run their campaign; how are they going to be expected to run this country? God Bless You, and God Bless America.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  12. OptimusPrimeBody

    ACORN has nothing to do with this and both parties know it. ACORN is responsible for themselves and their actions. Their employees broke the rules ( allegedly), and those employees need to suffer or the company needs to suffer. If some cars that J.D.Powers gave an award to came up "bad" would people blame the J.D. Powers or the manufacturers of the cars with the issues. The Manufacturers are the answer. Now there may be some questions on why they received the endorsement but that would depend on policies of those particular companies. I'm tired of seeing the public being manipulated by this. If the practices they use are suspicious then investigate ACORN themselves. To alleviate the is whole issues , simply put, just vote.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Cindy

    ACORN just hype!? Oh really!? Then I guess you can explain why several members in the past were charged, tried and convicted of voter fraud if it is just all hype! Once again another liberal trying to push away a true reality with a bunch of nonsense talk.

    ACORN has done voter fraud before and was convicted of it. So if it takes going to the poll and voting to be convicted...well what does that tell you Donna!? They did it and were imprisoned for it. And you think they aren't trying it now? PLEASE!! They have registered dead people here and the dead people mysteriously got out of the grave and voted last time! Tell me Donna...how'd that happen!? And once again this year they caught a lot of dead people registered through them! Guess they weren't going to vote this time though right?

    Why else would they put fake names if not to try to vote more than once? Obviously it's not too hard getting a fake ID and voting when they did it before.

    And just so you know...Ohio, who allowed them to register and vote on the same day are now finding A LOT of fake people who voted. So Donna...voting in someone elses name is obviously not as hard as you are trying to make it out to be! And that is why ACORN does it. So stop trying to push this under the rug.

    Cindy...Ga.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  14. Charles

    Yea... no big deal if they register fictitious people.... WHAT? I am an independent voter..... anyone with 1/2 a brain should be worried by this article. Sure, it would have been difficult if not impossible to cast a fraudulent vote, but these people should be thrown in jail - the actual violators and perhaps some of the management of Acorn for bad practices. Voting is the foundation of our society and I cannot believe that a Democrat would not find this offensive. If the Republicans did this, the Democrats would be harping every hour about how they tried to steal another election.
    Why is Acorn not being pulled in front of Congress to answer questions on their management practices like these business CEOs?
    Oh... we are in an economic crisis - does that mean that no other issues are important?

    October 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm |