There are still plenty of conservatives who think ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama and will do it again this year. ACORN was everywhere four years ago. Even John McCain, late in his campaign and desperate to land a blow on Obama, ran an ad tying his challenger to the community-organizing group before saying in the final debate that ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” How did ACORN steal the election? A number of the group’s paid canvassers had been caught submitting false voter registration forms in a handful of states, using the names of dead people or false addresses, in order to avoid working. Four years later, ACORN is dead, and a Republican firm contracted by the Republican National Committee has adopted its shady tactics. But, so far at least, there’s been hardly a peep from the same conservatives who seized on ACORN about one of their own engaging in almost identical fraudulent tactics. Prosecutors in Florida are looking into alleged voter registration fraud conducted by employees of Strategic Allied Consulting, which the RNC and state parties hired in at least five states. The RNC has now cut ties with the firm after news broke that its employees had registered dead people and listed the addresses of a Land Rover dealership and other non-residences on registration forms. Paul Lux, the Republican supervisor of elections in Okaloosa County, Fla., who first brought the suspect registration forms to the attention of prosecutors, said as many as one in three were questionable. “It’s kind of ironic that the dead people they accused ACORN of registering are now being done by the RPOF [Republican Party of Florida],” Lux said.
Of the myriad conspiracy theories about Obama, the ACORN one had perhaps the most truth to it, though that’s a low bar. Some ACORN canvassers did, in fact, submit fraudulent voter registration forms, but there’s no evidence that anyone committed actual voter fraud nor that it was part of any kind of concerted effort to sway the election. ACORN noted it had 13,000 paid canvassers and that it was only a tiny handful who submitted phony forms. As the Republican prosecuting attorney said in King County, Wash., where the largest ACORN registration fraud suit took place, “[A] joint federal and state investigation has determined that this scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting. Instead, the defendants cheated their employer … to get paid for work they did not actually perform.”
For this, the group was killed. Tea Party groups organized rallies, local authorities squeezed the group, and Congress even introduced and passed a bill in 2009 called the “Defund ACORN Act.” The group, which suffered from other significant legal and financial issues, is now defunct. But in that time, ACORN became a top-tier villain of the right, mentioned hundreds of times in 2008 and 2009 by conservative media figures tracked by Media Matters. In later 2009, the pollster PPP asked respondents, “Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?” Among Republicans, only 27 percent said Obama actually won the race — 52 percent said that ACORN stole it. Even some GOP congressional candidates blamed their losses on ACORN.
Full Article: Acorn – Salon.com.