Friday, 10 October 2008

The hubub about ACORN

It seems that the Conservative blogosphere is going wild with outcries against an organization called ACORN, and Barack Obama's supposed association with the group.  Now, I must admit that I had never heard of ACORN until this week, and still do not know much about the group.  However, it seems fairly clear that this is a bogeyman created by the Republicans to stir things up.  It is a desperate attempt to get some traction against Obama.

Here is what I have discovered:

1) Conservative news, radio, and blogs have been pounding this for the last week.  Matt Drudge, who seems to be the main feed for the conservative media, has several articles on it. Rush Limbaugh has been bloviating nonstop. No Quarter has several blogs.  Fox has picked it up.  CNN is starting to touch it.  This seems to be a meme they are pushing right now, along with the "Obama pals around with terrorists" nonsense.

2) ACORN seems to be a liberal group that focuses on voter registration drives.  They also advocate for increases in the minimum wage, help for people with home forclosures, assistance to Gulf hurricane victims, etc.  Seems pretty innocuous to me so far.

3) The crux of the issue is fraudulent voter registrations.  In their registration drives, ACORN has received some fraudulent registrations, such as people putting down the names of dead people, prisoners or NFL football players.  It seems clear that ACORN themselves flagged most of these registrations, but turned them in as required by law.  Now they are being accused of perpetrating voter fraud.

4) In Nevada, an ACORN office was raided, which has cheered the Conservatives. They seem to assume that there was wrongdoing, despite the fact that no charges have been brought.

5) There are allegations that Obama organized for ACORN, and was a leader trainer for the group. I am not convinced this is a bad thing, but it seems to be false.

I think that this is just an attempt to set up people to contest the election on November 5.  At this point, I don't think that the efforts to purge voter rolls are not going to be successful.  So, I think the Republicans are trying to delegitimize the Obama Presidency before it even takes office.  Nothing to see here...

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