Thursday, October 16, 2008

ACORN's Response to the Debate

I just received this from a loyal reader. Make of it what you will:

For Immediate Release:
October 15, 2008
Contact: Steve Kest, (917) 855-3165,
Brian Kettenring (727) 692-7215,
Charles Jackson, (504) 994-4669,

ACORN Responds to Senator McCain’s Desperate Attack

Maude Hurd, ACORN’s National President, issued the following statement in response to Senator McCain’s attack:

"We appreciate that Senator McCain's effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process. However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate; unfortunately the Senator McCain we saw tonight is very different than the Senator McCain who stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN at a February 20, 2006 immigration reform event.

It is clear for us to see that John McCain was for ACORN before he was against ACORN; he was for reform before he was against reform; and he was a maverick before he became erratic. What is really going here is that Senator McCain and his allies are part of a coordinated effort to engage in what appears to be an unprecedented effort to suppress voter turnout. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, and the McCain campaign has resorted to the worst type of deceptions in regards to ACORN."

The Facts:

- ACORN has helped 1.3 million citizens from all parties and all walks of life apply for voter registration.

- In most states, ACORN is required by law to turn in every voter registration card - even in cases where the cards are not valid.

- It is ACORN that has reported almost all of the issues regarding voter registration cards.

- Invalid voter registration cards do NOT constitute voter fraud.  Even RNC General Counsel Sean Cairncross has recently acknowledged he is not aware of a single improper vote cast as a result of bad cards submitted in the course of an organized voter registration effort.

- ACORN hired 13,000 field workers to register people to vote.  In any endeavor of this size, some people will engaged in inappropriate conduct.  ACORN has a zero tolerance policy and terminated any field workers caught engaging in questionable activity. At the end of the day, as ACORN is paying these people to register voters, it is ACORN that is defrauded.

Personally, I'm pretty pissed about the fact that neither Obama nor the press is pushing back against the vilification of ACORN. They are, after all, the largest and one of the most effective community organizing groups among lower-income people in the country, and have done a ton of good work on a huge scale. And it's pretty unclear to me, what, if anything, they did wrong. As a friend put it, "working with the urban poor is now morally suspect. Thanks, McCain."


  1. Yeah, it is pretty disgusting that no one has defended them, and this is yet another time when the Democrats could take a lesson from the Republican party. Do you think they'd ever let an attack like that stand against one of their base/party building institutions?

    Attacking ACORN fits with the GOP's new blame the financial crisis on minorities and poor people tactic, which I'm sure were going to see more of.

    Southern strategy 2008!


  2. Thank you! I am very concerned that the attacks on ACORN and Project Vote will result in widespread purges of new voter registrations. We had had an unprecedented number of new voters registered this year, often of people who have never before been able or willing to participate. What will happen to their willingness to continue to engage if upon arriving at the polls they are told they can't vote? IF there is any question they should be given a provisional ballot - there is a process for dealing with questionable registrations - but how will this play out on the ground? If possible people should vote early. Information on whether you can vote early can be found here: