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"Hewing" to the "Obama on the march" theme (update)
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mickey Kaus notes that despite contradictions in some polls, the "preexisting story line" (Obama gains/McCain slips) seems to dominate most "news analysis":
On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd unveiled NBC's latest polling results in three states—relatively, maybe even shockingly, good news for McCain, it seemed to me. McCain's ahead in Ohio by a point (a week ago the polls on RCP had him down five). Yikes. He's ahead in West Virgina by six—despite Obama's well-publicized moves to contest the state. Yet on the Meet panel, only Joe Scarborough seemed to react to acknowledge the cautionary news for Obama contained in these polls. Everyone else seemed to hew to the anticipated story line—how Powell gives a boost to Obama, where the McCain campaign went wrong, etc. ... Hello? ... In order to preserve the Obama-on-the-march theme, poor Chuck Todd is reduced to arguing:
Obama is closer in West Virginia than McCain is in Wisconsin. That sort of tells the story of how this map has shifted, Tom.
This is their story and they're going to stick with it. I won't suggest their whistling past the graveyard because I still believe Obama has a pretty solid lead. But it would seem that as supposed analysts, they'd be more interested in the true horserace rather than parroting a narrative.

With news channel producers pulling their hair out trying to figure out how they're going to fill election night if the contest is decided early, you'd think the narrative would tend toward a tight race. So you have to conclude that the narrative isn't necessarily being driven by media outlets, but by the so-called "analysts" themselves.

Addressing the Powell endorsement and how it is being fit into the narrative, Kaus says:
Mark Halperin calls the Powell endorsement "crushing news" for McCain. I dunno. If you were McCain, would you rather have Powell stay neutral or be up a point in Ohio? I think I'd take Ohio.
Heh ...

Last but not least, speaking of Ohio, Kaus wonders:
I know Obama doesn't need either Ohio or West Virginia to win. Still. ... If Obama's behind in Ohio just when the economy may be about to not dominate the news for two weeks, that can't be a good sign. If he's not ahead now, when will he be?
I can't answer that, but I'm interested in Kaus's point about the possibility that the economy won't be dominating the news for the next two weeks and wondering what, if any, effect that might have on the race. Seems, per conventional wisdom, that economic bad news is good news for Democratic candidates. If the economy doesn't dominate the discussion or news, what does? And who will whatever does dominate favor?

UPDATE: Maybe it will be this:
Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say the liberal activist group ACORN is trying to register voters illegally, but they’re divided over whether Barack Obama has ties to the group, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Only 25% think ACORN, under investigation in several states for possible voter registration fraud, is not trying to put illegal voters on the rolls.
 
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Comments
If we are to believe Speaker Pelosi’s "inevitable" statement, the Powell endorsement is merely a dotting of the "i"-s and the crossing of the "t"-s.

Otherwise, to believe that Powell’s endorsement means anything is to call Speaker Pelosi a liar.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I don’t think they are smart enough to actually plan on this, but if this type of "Obama is winning by a huge margin" talk continues and McCain actually wins, we will be hearing about the Bradley effect and how we are all racist for a long time. Only problem is, if the polling continues to tighten, there may not be a Bradley effect at all and the race may just be close. Still though, I know the media loves to tell us how we are all racist. Maybe McCain doesn’t even have to win for them to decide we are all racist pigs. :)
 
Written By: Clark Taylor
URL: http://
The "Obama on the March Theme"—to be composed and orchestrated by John Williams, and sung by the Creepy Obama Youth Choir (now their officia; name) at the investiture. It’s sort of like the "Imperial March" in the STAR WARS movies, but with the sinister-sounding parts toned down . . . at least until the first 100 days.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
Interesting that, despite The Annointed One’s commanding lead, news agencies are a little worried that the polls may not be entirely accurate. They seem to feel that they’ve done all they can to suppress GOP turnout by trying to convince us that there’s no point, and now they have to concentrate on recovering their credibility so that people will listen to them in four years when they do it all over again.
Politico - News outlets sweat over exit poll accuracy

Media outlets are preparing for the possibility that their Election Day surveys could be skewed because of overstated support for Barack Obama, largely because of the enthusiasm of his supporters.

While exit polling is a notoriously inexact science—early exit poll results suggested John Kerry would be elected president in 2004—the introduction of several new variables, ranging from the zeal of Obama’s supporters to his racial background to widespread early voting, is causing concerns among those who charged with conducting the surveys and the networks that will be reporting them.
I don’t think that there’s any question that The Annointed One is doing well, and that McCain had better get the lead out of his ass if he wants to win. However, it’s a little hard to believe that it’s going to be a landslide for The Annointed One. Slublog over at AoSHQ has a good post about polls and why he thinks that there’s cause to hope for a McCain victory.

Bottom line - vote.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
If Obama loses the theme song of the right can be "We didn’t start the fire(s)".
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
UPDATE: Maybe it will be this:
You’ve got a lot of nerve, McQ, trumpeting the results of a propaganda campaign based on lies that you personally played a role in perpetuating. You and people like you have deliberately inflated some sloppy crackhead canvassers into a Democratic ’voter fraud’ conspiracy. You’ve led people to lies, without remorse.

Hilzoy does a fantastic, civil, evidence-based job demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt the way this issue has been absolutely dishonestly misportrayed by the media, including you, Q, personally.

I think I’ll blockquote the whole fre*king post, since the comment trolls can’t be trusted to click links.
I’ve been following the ACORN story, and trying, bit by bit, to understand it. The broad outlines are pretty clear:

"ACORN registers lots of lower income and/or minority voters. They operate all across the country and do a lot of things beside voter registration. What’s key to understand is their method. By and large they do not rely on volunteers to register voters. They hire people — often people with low incomes or even the unemployed. This has the dual effect of not only registering people but also providing some work and income for people who are out of work. But because a lot of these people are doing it for the money, inevitably, a few of them cut corners or even cheat. So someone will end up filling out cards for nonexistent names and some of those slip through ACORN’s own efforts to catch errors. (It’s important to note that in many of the recent ACORN cases that have gotten the most attention it’s ACORN itself that has turned the people in who did the fake registrations.) These reports start buzzing through the right-wing media every two years and every time the anecdotal reports of ’thousands’ of fraudulent registrations turns out, on closer inspection, to be either totally bogus themselves or wildly exaggerated. So thousands of phony registrations ends up being, like, twelve."

There a couple of key points here. First, as a lot of people have pointed out, voter registration fraud is not the same as fraudulently casting a ballot. There are a lot of safeguards in place to prevent people from casting fraudulent ballots, and submitting a fraudulent registration does not begin to mean that you will be able to cast a fraudulent ballot. First, you’d need to submit the fake registrations. Then you’d need to hope that they made it through the election officials’ screening. And then, as Rick Hasen writes in Slate:

"I would have to (...) pay a lot of other individuals to go to the polling place and claim to be Mary Poppins or Old Dead Bob, 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 ("You’re not my neighbor Bob who passed away last year!") and charged with a felony. And for what — $10?"

And besides all that, you’d have to hope that none of the large number of people you hired shoot their mouths off about it later. If you think about it, it’s a pretty labor-intensive and risky way to try to steal an election. Much easier and safer to rig an election machine, stuff a ballot box, or find some subtle way of intimidating the other side’s voters. This may be why there’s very little evidence of actual voter fraud.

Second, in any large organization that has a lot of workers registering people to vote, someone is going to get lazy and decide to turn in made-up registrations rather than real ones. That’s not a sign of organizational perfidy; it’s human nature. The important question, in the ACORN stories, is not: did some one of their many, many employees submit fake registrations? It’s: did ACORN knowingly try to get fake registrations accepted? and, if not: did it do everything it could have done to minimize the number of fake registrations, and to catch those that were submitted?

Third, a lot of news stories I’ve read have said that ACORN submitted fraudulent registration cards without noting that ACORN is often required by law to return all registration cards, even the ones filled out for "Mouse, Mickey". (This is to prevent them from discarding, say, all the people from a party they don’t like, leaving the people whose cards they threw out believing that they had registered when in fact they were not.) ACORN does try to identify fraudulent registrations, and to mark them as fraudulent or suspicious when it turns them in. (They also fire people who submit fake registrations to them, and on at least some occasions turn them in to the election board.) Some of the coverage I’ve seen fails to mention whether the fake registrations ACORN submitted were flagged in this way or not.

Omitting this information is irresponsible: there’s a huge difference between ACORN submitting fraudulent registration cards in the hopes of sneaking them into the system, and ACORN turning in fraudulent registration cards in an envelope marked "Fraudulent Registration Cards; Please Investigate!", because the law requires it to. The first is knowing fraud; the second is compliance with the law. The media should make it clear which of the two is going on.

Likewise, it would be good if the media would distinguish between cases that might possibly indicate an attempt by ACORN to register fraudulent voters and cases that couldn’t. The guy who registered 73 times, for instance, will not show up on voter registration rolls as 73 separate iterations of himself, all with the same address, driver’s license, etc. There is really no plausible story about how this could represent an attempt by ACORN (or anyone) to steal an election. Given the charges flying around, the media ought to make this clear.

That said, on to a few specific cases. I picked them more or less randomly, based on what I happened to read about when I was thinking of doing this. I tried to dig a bit deeper, to figure out whether or not the evidence pointed to any sort of systematic fraud. In particular, I wanted to know whether or not ACORN had flagged suspicious registrations, and whether or not it seemed to be cooperating with the authorities and generally trying to minimize fraud. I did this because I wanted to find some sort of evidence one way or another.

In the cases I’ve gone through, the takeaway seems to be: ACORN had flagged suspicious registrations; it was cooperating with authorities, there is no evidence that it was trying to submit fraudulent registrations, and plenty of evidence that it was trying not to. (E.g., firing people who submitted fake registrations to ACORN.) I do think ACORN ought to ask serious questions about its practice of paying people to register people to vote, and/or about its controls on its employees, though I understand why one might want to give low-income people the work. Details below the fold.

Indiana: The basic story:

"Lake County Republican Chairman John Curley wants a federal investigation into hundreds of voter registrations bearing fictitious signatures or the names of dead and underage people.

"Fraudulent applications are the workings of ACORN groups operating from Milwaukee and Chicago who are getting out the vote for Obama. I’m Republican, but I want everyone who should vote to vote. But I want a clean election," Curley said at a Wednesday news conference."

However, on closer inspection it’s not clear that ACORN did anything wrong:

"ACORN, the liberal-leaning community activist group, followed the law when it notified authorities that some of the voter registration applications it submitted in Lake County apparently were fraudulent. (...)

"We ID’d those applications as questionable," Charles D. Jackson, spokesman for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, said of the Lake County applications.

"We turned them in three separate stacks: ones we had been able to verify, ones that were incomplete and ones that were questionable or suspicious."

Jim Gavin, spokesman for Secretary of State Todd Rokita, Indiana’s top election official, confirmed that groups that conduct registration drives in the state must turn in all applications they collect.

Failure to do so, Gavin said, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to one year in prison.

Ruthann Hoagland, assistant registration administrator with the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, confirmed that about 2,500 applications ACORN submitted were divided into three groups, as Jackson described."

In this case, what happened is completely consistent with ACORN having done nothing untoward. They were required to turn in their forms, and they did; they had flagged forms that were incomplete or questionable. The specific case in Indiana that has gotten a lot of media play is a registration in the name of Jimmy Johns, which is a restaurant; ACORN has posted pdfs of the cover sheets on which they flagged this registration as problematic when they submitted it to the election board. It indicates that the canvasser who submitted it was fired. ACORN also says they turned that canvasser in to the authorities.

Las Vegas: The basic story:

"Members of a new task force designed to prevent voter fraud raided the Las Vegas office of an organization that works with low-income people on everything from voting to neighborhood improvements.

State investigators, armed with a search warrant, sought evidence of voter fraud at the office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, a Nevada Secretary of State’s office spokesman said today.

"This is part of an ongoing investigation by the multijurisdictional task force that we announced this past July," Secretary of State Ross Miller said in a statement. "We said then that we would work aggressively to protect the process. We’re going to do everything possible to ensure that Nevada’s voter rolls are protected and to ensure that only those who are eligible can cast a ballot."

There are allegations that some registration applications were completed with false information, while other applications attempted to register the same person multiple times, Miller said. (...)

ACORN had received a subpoena dated Sept. 19 requesting information on 15 employees, all of whose names had been included in packages previously submitted to election officials, [ACORN’s interim chief organizer Bertha] Lewis said. ACORN provided its personnel records on the 15 employees on Sept. 29, she said.

"For the past 10 months, any time ACORN has identified a potentially fraudulent application, we turn that application in to election officials separately and offer to provide election officials with the information they would need to pursue an investigation or prosecution of the individual," Lewis said. "Election officials routinely ignored this information and failed to act.""

And:

"Joe Camp, who oversaw the voter drive’s quality-control operation, said that whenever a batch of registrations didn’t seem kosher based on phone checks, they were submitted to the Clark County Election Department with a "Problematic Card Cover Sheet." ACORN on Wednesday supplied examples of such submissions going back to April.

By law, ACORN could not simply not turn in a suspect registration, even if it was in the name of Mickey Mouse. It is a felony to discard or destroy voter registration forms, which are tracked with individual serial numbers.

Camp said 46 packets of especially suspicious forms, totaling about 700, were submitted, and more than 50 canvassers were fired. Henderson, the regional ACORN director, said the group wished legal action would have been taken against those people."

You can read the affadavit submitted in support of Nevada’s search warrant on ACORN here (pdf; the ’probable cause’ section begins on p. 11). A couple of things struck me about it. The first is that it is largely based on documents ACORN gave to Nevada’s investigator, and on his subsequent interviews with some of the ACORN ex-employees whose names he got from those documents. The documents ACORN provided came from its quality control program, which had identified problems with registrations submitted by these employees. There’s nothing in the affadavit about ACORN failing to cooperate; in fact, ACORN offered to turn over information on the ex-employees who had submitted fraudulent registrations for further investigation. There’s also nothing that explains why a warrant was needed.

Moreover, the various ex-employees of ACORN were all terminated when ACORN discovered that they had been submitting fraudulent registrations. And none of them says anything to suggest that ACORN encouraged this in any way. Instead, you get statements like this (pp. 14-15):

"JONES also stated that it was very hot outside when she was trying to get people to complete a form. JONES stated that many people she approached would not complete a form. JONES stated that as a result, she began asking people who had completed forms if they would complete forms for other people."

Or:

"ANDERSON described that some of the canvassers hired by ACORN were "lazy crack-heads" who were not interested in working and just wanted the money."

(Bear in mind that these are interviews with people who were fired by ACORN, and thus have no obvious motive to cover for the organization.)

There’s nothing in the affadavit that suggests complicity on ACORN’s part, at all.

New Mexico: TPMMuckraker has this one:

"Last week, as we noted at the time, the New Mexico GOP had publicly claimed that 28 people voted fraudulently in the Democratic primary, held in June, for a local race.

Then this morning, the RNC sent out a press release announcing a 3pm conference call with reporters "on the recent developments in New Mexico regarding ACORN."

But at 11am, ACORN — the community organizing group that Republicans have been trying lately to turn into a voter fraud boogeyman — held a conference call of its own, asserting that local election officials had confirmed that the 28 people in question, mostly low-income Latinos, were valid voters."

***

As I said, I think that it would be a good idea for ACORN to go over its quality control. But in the cases I tried to dig deeper in, there doesn’t seem to be anything to indicate a systematic effort to fraudulently register people, as opposed to a bunch of canvassers getting lazy. I think the media ought to be much, much clearer about this.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
If you had an ounce of shame, Q, you would give Hilzoy’s post a front-page link.

If you were actually concerned about the answer to what some people would consider an important question: "Are instances of voter registration fraud perpetuated by ACORN canvassers part of a plan by ACORN and/or Democrats to inflate Democratic vote totals?" "Or is it just "incompetence" (or an occupational hazard that even the competent have not been able to avoid)",

well, the details are laid out in black and white. The evidence is overwhelming that ACORN took significant, extensive, thorough measures to try to avoid voter registration fraud (while failing), and nonexistent that any of this is connected to some fantastic plan to have people vote multiple times.

But you’re not interested getting both sides of a story. You’re interested in cartoon heroes and villians. And you’re unable to admit error.

You fail your readers.

PS: From Wash Monthly’s comments:

When the GOP recalled Grey Davis in California in 2003 only 1,363,411 signatures out of 1,660,245 collected were valid voters. Over 18% were faked by the paid signature gatherers or entered fraudulently or in error by the people signing.

And yes, both Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck appeared multiple times. I’m sure Tony Romo did not appear but I’m also sure Doug Flutie, the Chargers QB in 2003 probably did.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I think I’ll blockquote the whole fre*king post, since the comment trolls can’t be trusted to click links.
Let’s see - Hilzoy or the fact that the FBI is investigating the organization in 15 states (one would assume they have some criminal basis for their investigation or they wouldn’t be involved, huh)?

Wow, what a tough choice.

More Kool-Aid, ’nost?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
some fantastic plan to have people vote multiple times
yeah McQ, I mean, there’s no evidence this vote multiple times, or dead people voting thing has ever occurred before. It’s just fantastic and preposterous to suggest it ever might happen.

Now, if you want to talk about wholesale vote fraud in multiple states perpetrated by the Diebold company on behalf of George W. Bush, well that’s another story.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Only 25% think ACORN, under investigation in several states for possible voter registration fraud, is not trying to put illegal voters on the rolls.
So one out of four people are clinically brain-dead.

Fascinating...
Hilzoy does a fantastic, civil, evidence-based job ... think I’ll blockquote the whole fre*king post, since the comment trolls can’t be trusted to click links
Swing and a miss...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
glasnost,

I have read your article. In the interests of full disclosure, I hardly read it with a neutral and unbiased attitude: I am convinced that the dems, through MSM propaganda and the activities of such groups as ACORN, are stealing the election and intend for it to be the last national election that will ever be seriously contended. However, I admit that I might be wrong, so on to your article...

ACORN registers lots of lower income and/or minority voters. They operate all across the country and do a lot of things beside voter registration. What’s key to understand is their method. By and large they do not rely on volunteers to register voters. They hire people — often people with low incomes or even the unemployed. This has the dual effect of not only registering people but also providing some work and income for people who are out of work. But because a lot of these people are doing it for the money, inevitably, a few of them cut corners or even cheat. So someone will end up filling out cards for nonexistent names and some of those slip through ACORN’s own efforts to catch errors. (It’s important to note that in many of the recent ACORN cases that have gotten the most attention it’s ACORN itself that has turned the people in who did the fake registrations.)

A cynic would ask why ACORN knowingly puts the people it hires into situations where cheating is financially rewarding. Is it that employing low-income people is just soooo important to them that it outweighs the possibility that a handful of bad apples might cheat and pervert the democratic system? Or is it a built-in excuse for when they get caught?

If ACORN has systems for catching "bad" applications, I must say that those systems are rather shoddy. Consider Lake County, IN:
[County Elections board Director Sally] LaSota said Monday representatives of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, a grassroots activist group conducting registration drives, dropped off 2,000 new voter applications last week in Lake County.

"About 1,100 are no good," she said.

LaSota said the flawed forms are incomplete or contain unreadable handwriting — similar to hundreds of other forms ACORN produced prior to this week. She said some ACORN vote canvassers apparently pulled names and addresses from telephone books and forged signatures.
Again, a cynic might wonder whether or not ACORN is trying to overload the election workers: giving them so many applications (some good, some bad) that the workers can’t possibly check them all before election day. I seem to recall some recent elections being decided by only a few hundred votes out of thousands - even hundreds of thousands - cast. If only 1% of votes are fraudulent, might that not present the possibility of deciding a close election?

There a couple of key points here. First, as a lot of people have pointed out, voter registration fraud is not the same as fraudulently casting a ballot. There are a lot of safeguards in place to prevent people from casting fraudulent ballots, and submitting a fraudulent registration does not begin to mean that you will be able to cast a fraudulent ballot. First, you’d need to submit the fake registrations. Then you’d need to hope that they made it through the election officials’ screening. And then, as Rick Hasen writes in Slate:

"I would have to (...) pay a lot of other individuals to go to the polling place and claim to be Mary Poppins or Old Dead Bob, 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 ("You’re not my neighbor Bob who passed away last year!") and charged with a felony. And for what — $10?"

And besides all that, you’d have to hope that none of the large number of people you hired shoot their mouths off about it later. If you think about it, it’s a pretty labor-intensive and risky way to try to steal an election. Much easier and safer to rig an election machine, stuff a ballot box, or find some subtle way of intimidating the other side’s voters. This may be why there’s very little evidence of actual voter fraud.


Well, there may be little evidence of actual voter fraud because the election isn’t over yet...

The argument that "registration fraud is not the same as fraudulently casting a ballot" is bogus, akin in my mind to somebody caught with a mask and a gun outside a bank trying to claim that he wasn’t intending to rob it. As for all the "safeguards"... Well, I can’t speak for other states and counties, but here in central NC, I can go to any of a number of polling places to vote in the weeks leading up to the election. They won’t ask for my ID. The odds of me bumping into a neighbor are slim, and even if I did, how would he know whether or not I was casting my first ballot or my fifteenth? I would also like to note that the poll workers I have encountered in the past are not exactly Eliot Ness on the lookout for Al Capone: they are older people, volunteers more interested in helping their neighbors vote than in watching for cheaters. It strikes me that vote fraud would be quite easy to do and it wouldn’t require a large number of people. Again, it might only take a relative handful of fraudulent votes to steal an election; it wouldn’t necessarily take an army of crackheads to do it.

Second, in any large organization that has a lot of workers registering people to vote, someone is going to get lazy and decide to turn in made-up registrations rather than real ones. That’s not a sign of organizational perfidy; it’s human nature. The important question, in the ACORN stories, is not: did some one of their many, many employees submit fake registrations? It’s: did ACORN knowingly try to get fake registrations accepted? and, if not: did it do everything it could have done to minimize the number of fake registrations, and to catch those that were submitted?

I refer back to Lake County: a huge percentage of submitted applications were bogus. If ACORN is doing "everything it could to minimize the number of fake registrations" then it most be the most incompetent organization on the planet. All the claims of "sloppiness" force me to wonder if Sandy Burglar is working for ACORN!

Third, a lot of news stories I’ve read have said that ACORN submitted fraudulent registration cards without noting that ACORN is often required by law to return all registration cards, even the ones filled out for "Mouse, Mickey". (This is to prevent them from discarding, say, all the people from a party they don’t like, leaving the people whose cards they threw out believing that they had registered when in fact they were not.) ACORN does try to identify fraudulent registrations, and to mark them as fraudulent or suspicious when it turns them in. (They also fire people who submit fake registrations to them, and on at least some occasions turn them in to the election board.) Some of the coverage I’ve seen fails to mention whether the fake registrations ACORN submitted were flagged in this way or not.

Omitting this information is irresponsible: there’s a huge difference between ACORN submitting fraudulent registration cards in the hopes of sneaking them into the system, and ACORN turning in fraudulent registration cards in an envelope marked "Fraudulent Registration Cards; Please Investigate!", because the law requires it to. The first is knowing fraud; the second is compliance with the law. The media should make it clear which of the two is going on.


Let me suggest another possibility: ACORN is flagging some fraudulent registrations to the authorities out of many submitted in order to give the appearance of propriety. "We’re not cheating! Why, we brough some suspect applications to the attention of the authorities ourselves!" It’s rather like a mobster turning in a very falsified 1040: "Hey, I’m an honest citizen. I pay my taxes just like everybody else!" Actually, a better example would be Charlie Rangle, that "simple man" who now needs a forensic accountant to try to figure out what taxes he should have paid these past several years. What is it with democrats and following the rules? / sarc

Likewise, it would be good if the media would distinguish between cases that might possibly indicate an attempt by ACORN to register fraudulent voters and cases that couldn’t. The guy who registered 73 times, for instance, will not show up on voter registration rolls as 73 separate iterations of himself, all with the same address, driver’s license, etc. There is really no plausible story about how this could represent an attempt by ACORN (or anyone) to steal an election. Given the charges flying around, the media ought to make this clear.

I’m not going to defend the MSM. Quite the contrary: they have not pursued this story with sufficient zeal, content to get a few sensationalistic images of applications signed by Mickey Mouse without aggressively following up on who solicited that application and why. Again, the cynic might think that the MSM is running interference for ACORN: "Hey, we looked into it! Yeah, there were some funny applications, but we didn’t find any actual FRAUD."

I won’t go further other than to suggest that the FBI doesn’t get involved and raid offices if it suspects mere problems with quality control. I also suggest that the FBI takes the power of the ballot and the need to ensure the integrity of the vote very seriously. If ACORN is employing people who IT KNOWS are likely to submit bogus applications, then I’d have to say that this is excellent evidence that ACORN does not take "one man, one vote" very seriously at all.

It boils down to this: ACORN is providing many applications that range from the merely questionable to the obviously bogus. They are NOT a non-partisan group. It is reasonable to suspect that they are engaged in cheating. Claims that "we are victims of our own employees" won’t cut it. Either ACORN needs to reform or it needs to get the hell out of the registration racket business and stick to shaking down politicians and banks.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
Why doesn’t ACORN stop paying by voter registration and pay a living wage instead? That would remove the incentive to commit voter fraud, right? So, Glasnost, THEY ARE NOT DOING EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO ELIMINATE THIS PROBLEM ARE THEY?

I can understand the GOP being cheapskates, but the Dems? Spread the wealth around a bit more! or use all volunteers which also completely elminates the incentive to make fake registrations.

Also, I am interested in the claim that by law they have to turn in all of their registrants. When I did it in Cali in 1988, you were allowed to simply mail in the other parties and took your own parties back to base, because you only paid for those. And of course they did check the names we got. These forms don’t get done all at once but come in every day. I recall a good day got 10+ registrations / person - not exactly impossible to review at the end of the day when you have to count them up anyways.

Are they inputting these registered voters into any GOTV system? In which case their own database could be catching problems as well.

Personally, I do agree that SOME of Acorn’s problems stem from their paid staff cheating them, but that too is a problem. Swollen voter rolls are not a good idea, and passing the buck to the government to review registrations is problematic, because they apparently don’t always want to do this, and we have seen too many voter issues come up in elections, like in Washington state, where they could magically find missing Dem ballots till the cows came home.





 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Wow, here is that right wing rag the New York Times says on illegality
An internal report by a lawyer for the community organizing group Acorn raises questions about whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws.
Wow, ACORN’s own lawyer thinks things might be shady. Hey gang, lets see what else it says...
“As a result, we may not be able to prove that 501(c)3 resources are not being directed to specific regions based on impermissible partisan considerations,” Ms. Kingsley said, referring to the section of the tax code concerning rules for charities.

She also found problems with governance of Acorn affiliates. “Board meetings are not held, or if they are, minutes are not kept, or if minutes are kept, they never make it into the files,” she wrote.
As they used to say on laugh in (boy that dates me), velly, velly interesting





 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Wow, what a tough choice.
For Pete’s sake, The article isn’t full of her opinion alone. It’s full of quotes and reporting of - again, something you’d maybe be interested in - what *actually* happened in the incidents that have actually made it into media reports. The FBI, on the other hand, hasn’t provided word one as to what basis it has for its investigation.

She making these quotes from county officials up, huh? Don’t hang around for trials or convictions, is my advice. The FBI will investigate anything that conservative media shout about loudly enough in the papers.

If this really was some kind of "get ficticious votes" scheme, unless you think the FBI will somehow not find it, you’d expect to see ACORN folks other than signature-collectors indicted. You know, the folks pulling the strings. You’d expect to see, coming down the road somewhere, evidence of communications, plans, etc, to have, somehow, somewhere, some group of people being sent to vote under the names of the bad registrations.

Wanna make an $100 bet as to whether evidence of such activity will ever come forward? You can make a blog post out of it and do it through PayPal. I promise to pay my share in 30 days from the end of the bet, and if I fail to do it, you can ban me. Make someone like Lance the judge.

You *really* think there’s a plan to get extra votes behind this? Put money into insinuations.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
For Pete’s sake, The article isn’t full of her opinion alone.
No, in many cases, it’s full of other people’s opinions. Meanwhile you slip past my point - they’re under criminal investigation by the FBI.

Smoke? Fire?

You figure it out if you’re able.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
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