This month the American Conservative Union (ACU) launched a new project aimed at tracking former leaders of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to expose any similarly corrupt spin-off groups they may conspire to create.
It will be remembered that ACORN was the umbrella group for a number of community advocacy organizations which claimed to represent the interests of low-income areas. After many scandals, including voter fraud and corruption, the group lost its government funding and in March 2010 closed its doors for good. Indeed, ACORN employees told FBI investigators in 2007 that the former group deliberately engaged in voter fraud and worked as an arm of the Democratic Party.
According to the ACU, however, with its former leaders still trolling about, the story of ACORN is far from over. Their new project, “The ACU ACORN Action,” aims to expose any new groups ACORN leaders attempt to create, make candidates aware of the tactics such groups use to affect elections, and empower average citizens to report on any nefarious activities.
ACU chairman David Keene told the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday that Republicans are notoriously bad a weeding out voter fraud. He contends that the coming elections could be even worse. This year the Republican National Committee (RNC) is so low on funds that they do not even have enough money for “get out the vote” campaigns, except in a very few close races. Without even a “get out the vote” effort, Keene says an institutionally centered voter fraud clamp down is very unlikely.
To make matters worse, Keene is certain that the dismal prospects Democrats are facing this election cycle will render them even more prone to engaging in voter fraud. “Desperate men and women will do desperate things,” he said. He continued by noting that the group will be working to reorganize and mobilize for their favored candidates.
Former ACORN employee and whistle blower Anita MonCrief also spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. MonCrief stressed the importance of this initiative, reminding participants of past ACORN election tomfoolery — in which dead people, entire football teams and characters like Mickey Mouse all managed to register to vote. She noted that since 2000 ACORN had registered 6 million new voters, a number which she said could have made a difference in the 2008 election.
According to MonCrief, the groups come and go, but the same leaders have been stirring up trouble since the 1970s. “We are going to track the leaders of ACORN as they move to different groups,” MonCrief said.
Moncrief warned that in addition to tracking the leaders, groups like Project Vote, a former arm of ACORN which has itself battled allegations of fraud, still exist. “If we are going to stop them we are going to need a massive citizen effort,” she said.
Despite the challenges, Keene is excited to whittle away at the groups engaged in voter fraud. “If we stop a lot of it they will not be able to steal elections and that will be an accomplishment for us and America,” he said. “We are not going to achieve perfection but, if we can keep a lot of people from cheating, we will have a good impact.”