Some readers have challenged our assertion that ACORN has been involved in tawdry scandals such as the case in which an ACORN operative traded crack cocaine for fraudulent voter forms.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the matter on Nov. 3, 2006 (and may have done so even before that). Here are excerpts from the WSJ editorial (with emphasis added):
So, less than a week before the midterm elections, four workers from Acorn, the liberal activist group that has registered millions of voters, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board. But hey, who needs voter ID laws?
We wish this were an aberration, but allegations of fraud have tainted Acorn voter drives across the country. Acorn workers have been convicted in Wisconsin and Colorado, and investigations are still under way in Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. […]
Acorn officials bill themselves as nonpartisan community organizers merely interested in giving a voice to minorities and the poor. In reality, Acorn is a union-backed, multimillion-dollar outfit that uses intimidation and other tactics to push for higher minimum wage mandates and to trash Wal-Mart and other non-union companies.
Operating in at least 38 states (as well as Canada and Mexico), Acorn pushes a highly partisan agenda, and its organizers are best understood as shock troops for the AFL-CIO and even the Democratic Party. As part of the Fannie Mae reform bill, House Democrats pushed an “affordable housing trust fund” designed to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits to subsidize Acorn, among other groups. A version of this trust fund actually passed the Republican House and will surely be on the agenda again next year.
Acorn and its affiliates have pulled some real stunts in recent years. In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a Congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained Acorn’s practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.
“You have to wonder what’s the point of that, if not to overwhelm the system and get phony registrations on the voter rolls,” says Thor Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights, who also testified at the hearing. “These were Democratic officials saying that they felt their election system in Ohio was under assault by these kinds of efforts to game the system.” […]