May 5th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Spurred on by Nevada charges against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today called upon House Minority Leader John Boehner to immediately convene hearings investigating ACORN for “continuing a nationwide effort to corrupt federal, state, and local elections.”
Wilson also called for an immediate freeze in the disbursement of federal funds to ACORN that he described as “a criminal enterprise whose main purpose is to undermine electoral procedures.”
“The voter registration fraud has been so widespread and so extensive now that if House Republican Leader Boehner does not bring ACORN to account, the organization will continue to run roughshod over the democratic process,” said Wilson in a statement.
“While these criminal investigations are ongoing, Congress has no business funneling taxpayer money to ACORN’s burgeoning accounts,” Wilson added.
ACORN was made eligible for more than $2 billion under the $787 billion “stimulus” spending bill. ACORN is also currently eligible for over $500 million of an “affordable housing fund” created under the $300 billion Foreclosure Prevention Act passed this past summer, and according to the Consumer Rights League receives some 40 percent of its funding from taxpayers annually.
“Congressional Democrats can no longer pretend that ACORN is an above-board organization,” said Wilson. “Further, Congress cannot continue funding a criminal enterprise.”
Wilson’s call for Congressional hearings follows Nevada State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto bringing criminal charges against ACORN and two former employees for registration fraud. The state says that the organization published a handbook and constructed policies setting up a quota system to register voters.
“By structuring employment and compensation around a quota system, ACORN facilitated voter registration fraud,” Masto said. “In Nevada, it is unlawful for a person to provide compensation for registering voters that is based on the total number of voters a person registers.”
ACORN has been under investigation for voter fraud in several swing states, including Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Missouri, and has a long history of such fraud in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. Americans for Limited government last year released the following executive summary of its activities.
“The most recent charges in Nevada are not just an isolated incident,” Wilson said. “These efforts have been concerted and coordinated for years to steal elections, boost urban representation, and weaken the nation’s political institutions.”
Wilson reminded the press that in 2008 more than 30,000 more people than were eligible to register in Marion County in Indiana were somehow registered to vote. He also cited:
• Michigan, where municipal clerks have reported that ACORN has been responsible for fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications statewide.
• Seattle, Washington, where felony charges have been filed against ACORN in the state’s largest voter-fraud case ever in 2007 when the state filed felony charges against several paid ACORN employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations.
• New Mexico, where officials in Bernalillo County have notified federal authorities of more than 1,000 fraudulent voter registration cards, with ACORN as the prime suspect.
• And Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where election officials have accused ACORN of filing multiple fraudulent voter registrations during the 2008 primary. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 phony voter registration forms.
Wilson noted that the Census Bureau is enlisting the aid of ACORN in counting the 2010 census. “Taken together, it is obvious that the registration efforts, the census participation, and the Congressional funding are all connected,” said Wilson. He said it was “like a pay-to-play scandal, but this is even worse.”
“This is actually an elaborate, coordinated national effort to finance a criminal enterprise devoted to conjuring and developing fraudulent constituencies at taxpayer expense,” Wilson explained. “And it must come to an end.”
Wilson has previously called for ACORN to be defunded by Congress for its role in lobbying for loose credit standards that have contributed to the current financial crisis.
“House Minority Leader Boehner needs to take the lead to stop ACORN, freeze its funding, and root out any efforts by the Congressional majority to kick back even more taxpayer dollars to the organization,” said Wilson.
Wilson also encouraged Americans nationwide to visit StopACORN.org to sign a petition calling for ACORN to be investigated for election fraud.
Wilson warned House Republican Leader Boehner to move as quickly as possible to hold ACORN accountable. “There needs to be a sense of urgency to defend our electoral processes. Congress won’t just be preserving the legality of the vote, it will be preserving our representative democracy,” Wilson concluded.
Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.
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