Sunday, October 5, 2008

Obama and ACORN, Tied at the Hip?

The Obama campaign is vehemently denying what it calls "naked lies" concerning Barack Obama's alleged ties to ACORN.

On Obama's "Fight the Smears" website the Obama campaign issued the following disclaimer:

Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
Fact: Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.
Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.
However, "The Real Barack Obama" blog cites several sources which seem to indicate that these stated facts are nothing more than a pack of lies:

From the Sweetness & Light blog - Excerpted from an article written by Toni Foulkes in the Winter 2003 issue of Social Policy - Foulkes is a Chicago ACORN leader and a member of ACORN’s National Association Board:

"Obama... went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign. ACORN delivered about 5000 of them.

"Since then, we [ACORN] have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus, it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for State Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends...."
Mr. Foulkes then goes on to describe how ACORN volunteers in 2004 worked to get out the vote in Illinois, thus, helping "a skinny kid with a funny name become the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate".

In another post, Sweetness & Light cites an article from the Chicago Reader from December 8, 1995. Here's a small excerpt from that article:

Obama continues his organizing work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons on the south side. Conducting a session in a New Horizons classroom, Obama.. leads eight black women... through a discussion of “what folks should know” about who in Chicago has power and why they have it. It’s one of his favorite topics, and the class bubbles with suggestions about how “they” got to be high and mighty…
And here's more from Sweetness & Light, showing the connection between ACORN and Obama's 'Project Vote' - From the New York Times - September 26, 2004:

“I get about 30 new voters or changes of address in six hours,” said Ms. Green, who was hired by Project Vote, the nonpartisan arm of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn. “I used to get 16 in 45 minutes, but now everyone’s registered.”
From the New York Times - October 20, 2004:

Project Vote, the charitable arm of Acorn, will spend at least $16 million in crucial states this year; it spent $1 million in 2000.
Time Magazine - October 18, 2004:

“We don’t bring 300 kids from Ohio State University into the inner city of Columbus,” says David Leland, national director of Project Vote, a nonpartisan arm of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which claims it has registered more than 50,000 voters in the Columbus area.
From the Palm Beach Post:

Project Vote, which is a political arm of ACORN, a nationwide group of community organizations, estimates their workers have signed up 145,000 Floridians this year.
Sweetness & Light, citing both Acorn and Project Vote's websites, shows that both organizations share the same office address in Arkansas and in Washington D.C.

Little Rock Acorn
2101 S. Main St.
Little Rock AR 72206

DC Acorn
739 8 St. SE
Washington DC 20003

Project Vote
Washington DC Office
2101 S. Main St.
Little Rock AR 72206

Arkansas Office:
739 8 St. SE

"Indeed, they don't just share offices, but also their job advertising":

Project Vote Finance Director
Education: Bachelor (BA, BS, etc.) Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States Posted by: ACORN Political
Job Category: Accounting & Finance Salary: Last day to apply: October 28, 2008 Last updated: September 4, 2008
Type: Full time Language(s): English Job posted on: August 29, 2008 Area of Focus: Voting, Democracy, and Civic Engagement
Project Vote is seeking a Finance Director to join a dynamic management team leading the country’s premier nonpartisan civic engagement organization. Project Vote is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation dedicated to expanding the electorate, particularly in low income and minority communities, and protecting Americans’ voting rights. Working closely with its community partner, ACORN, Project Vote has helped to register over 2.5 million voters since 2004.
Washington DC 20003

And ACORN has been the top “independent contractor” by far for Project Vote for the years we have public records, via Guidestar....

And... according to their Forms 990 ACORN and Project Vote (and Citizens Services) once again share the same address - and the same phone number too...
And then there is this tidbit from Rad Clown, via The Real Barack Obama:

From Obama's own web site, on the community blog page:

ACORN Political Action Committee Endorses Obama, by Obama blogger Sam Graham-Felsen:

"When Obama met with ACORN leaders in November, he reminded them of his history with ACORN and his beginnings in Illinois as a Project Vote organizer, a nonprofit focused on voter rights and education. Senator Obama said, "...I know personally, the work you do, the importance of it. I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work".”

Now, I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of reading these outright distortions being propagated by blogs like The Real Barack Obama, Sweetness & Light and the Rad Clown blog. It is time for someone to step up to the plate and counter these despicable "rumors". Since the New York Times did such a wonderful job in whitewashing Barack Obama's "alleged" ties to Bill Ayers and defending him from those despicable internet rumor-mongers, I believe the Times is certainly capable of whitewashing Barack Obama's "alleged" ties to ACORN.

Now, perhaps some of you don't feel the need to defend Senator Obama's integrity. After all, these things that Obama says on his website are "just words" and nothing more than that, and this election has never been about "words", but about "hope" and "change" and other nouns and adjectives that "we can believe in". Nevertheless, we can not let these "smears" go unchallenged, for if we do, it will only embolden these vicious rumor-mongers and encourage them to conjure up new lies about Barack Obama. We simply have no choice, but to "Fight the Smears" and to defend Senator Obama in a beguilingly cunning and most convincing manner... And I call on the New York Times to lead the way!

Yes, indeed, let the "whitewashing" begin!

Update: The RNC claims Obama's campaign paid over $800,000 to ACORN for get-out-the-vote efforts, but "mistakenly misrepresented" their work to the FEC... An Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. -- a subsidiary of ACORN -- worked in 'get-out-the-vote' projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary.

Now, this is clearly a smear tactic! Some Republican operative doctored up Obama's FEC records to make it look like he payed ACORN to 'get out the vote'! Unbelievable!

How low can these people get!