After this past weekend, I am massively frustrated with ACORN.

You know ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. They’ve been in the news a lot lately.

I’ve had my reservations about ACORN for some time now. But this past weekend things went over the top.

You see, this past summer ACORN did lead paint remediation on our house. As I noted at the time, they left a bit of follow-up work for me. In their rush to get the job done (after three weeks of labor) they left a bunch of windows painted shut. Second story windows. So I had to borrow a ladder (thanks Michael) and pry them open myself, at great risk to life and limb.

I didn’t elaborate on this previously because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for all the volunteer labor they wrangled on our behalf. After all, they protected my family from the hazard of lead poisoning and painted our house for free. All I had to pay for was paint.

Yeah, that’s pretty cool and all. But this past weekend I had to climb back up on that borrowed ladder (thanks again Michael) and use a razor blade on the window glass to scrape off all the unsightly extra paint that ACORN left behind.

What a royal pain! I can understand why people are ticked off at ACORN.

Oh, as for the voter fraud stuff? I’m not sure I understand the hoopla. FOX News reports ACORN workers tried to register Tony Romo and the starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys… in Nevada. In Indiana they tried to register Jimmy Johns, which is the name of a sandwich chain. Obviously some ACORN workers are trying to scam the organization out of some money, since they’re paid on volume. That’s regrettable, but I’m not sure how that’s a big scandal worthy of the national news. It would only be an effective way of subverting the electoral process if you then had people masquerading as Tony Romo or Jimmy Johns trying to vote in Nevada or Indiana this fall. In Indiana, at least, you have to show a photo ID to vote. Obviously if ACORN was hatching a nefarious plot to accomplish that, they’d be taking their game to a whole ‘nother level.

But trust me on this one people. I’ve seen ACORN in action, and they’re just not that organized.

  1. I believe they’re paid by the hour, not by volume.

    The whole hoopla is manufactured, since as you pointed out, they can’t exact any actual voter fraud by turning in fraudulent registrations. Especially in Indiana, where the photo ID law prevented nuns at ND/SMC from voting!

    They’re also required by law to turn in all forms, regardless of whether they know them to be fraudulent or not. ACORN sorts them in advance for the registrars who process the forms. The law exists to keep registration a completely nonpartisan activity, or nobody would register through a private group, for fear that their form would not be turned in because of party affiliation.

    Oh and Jimmy John, the actual dude, is a huge jerk. Love his food, but what an asshole!

  2. The ACORN coverage on FoxNoise relates more to their connection to Candidate Obama and an attempt my the RNC and FoxNoise to smear him/reveal him…depending on if you are going to vote for or against him. So far for me it is a temptest in a tea-pot, but given the ugly animosity the pundits..and talking points by candidates such as Gov. Palin…all ove the mass media now the way it is whipping up it could be a bigger noise in the last few weeks of this campaign.

  3. Keep in mind that because McCain is polling poorly, much of this whole ACORN thing is being set up as a scapegoat. Tony Roma and other Cowboy players won’t vote in the end, and what evidence do we have that ACORN and not some Republican operatives registered them? When Obama wins, they’ll say there was voter fraud. It’s the same thing they did with Palin and the VP debate.

    Plus, god bless the volunteers. They don’t have much to do with ACORN, they just wanted to help.

  4. The “issue” of voter fraud has been studied and shown to a) rarely occur and b) be of no significant consequence when it has. As Michael points out, it’s not like Tony Romo is going to try to vote in Nevada. So what is Fox News so upset about?

    Of course, the “issue” of voter fraud is small peanuts compared to the issue of a corrupted electoral process and the disenfranchising of voters.

    So this ACORN deal is a big distraction from what’s really going on. At best, Fox News is projecting. At worst, they’re propagandizing their audience.

    (The answer is the latter.)

  5. It’s a big deal here in Indiana because it wasn’t just *one* made-up registration — it was supposedly hundreds if not thousands that were turned in to the country voter registration board. It is supposedly pressing the voter registration board’s time so much that they are having a difficult time getting legitimate voter registrations into the system.

  6. Hey Evil Angel, thanks for leaving a comment. I know the RNC is accusing ACORN of trying to “swamp the system.” I’ve been searching for news reports that the system actually is swamped, but I can’t find any. In any event, submitting thousands of bogus registrations is uncool, and ACORN should be ashamed. But I don’t think it will lead to voter fraud.

  7. I agree that in the end, this is a non-issue because these fakes were never going to show up at the polls. But I think it’s valid to ask what would have happened if a pro-McCain group had submitted thousands of fake voter registrations. Surely there would have been a hue and a cry, and justifiably so.

    Whatever the motives – intake workers paid per voter, or something truly sinister – any subversion of the electoral process is serious an offensive and needs to be taken seriously.

  8. I agree with Civitch. I can also see an issue with ACORN’s problem, even if it’s not voter fraud.

    ACORN gets most of their registrations from poor and working class neighborhoods, so more than likely the majority are for the Democratic Party. I figure the fake ones would probably skew that way, too. When the registrations make their way to election officials and get dumped, that sets up the “OFFICIALS DUMPED/DUMPING DEMOCRATIC REGISTRATIONS” conspiracy stories. If it so happens that they came from black neighborhoods, the story gets even bigger.

    I’m not saying ACORN would do anything like this or such an elaborate conspiracy is possible to coordinate. But this could have been a legitimate concern if it hadn’t come to light before the election.

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