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ACORN Pleads Guilty–Gets Slap on the Wrist


In Nevada last week, one ACORN employee told authorities that the organization paid “lazy crack heads” and convicted felons to register voters in the 2008 elections. In fact, owing to this corrupt and criminal process, nearly the entire Dallas Cowboys football team registered to vote in Nevada that year. (A warrant to search ACORN’s facilities tells the full story.)

And what is the price ACORN will be forced to pay for violating our nation’s election laws so egregiously? Not more than $5,000. And no jail time for any ACORN leaders.

Our Corruption Chronicles blogger Irene Garcia reported:

The criminal enterprise that Obama’s Justice Department refuses to investigate despite extensive evidence of fraud and corruption is guilty of a felony in yet another state.

It marks the latest of many legal defeats for the Chicago-based community group known as ACORN, famous for illegal voter registration drives, embezzling federal funds and a tight knit relationship with the president. In fact, Obama once worked at ACORN and the group’s massive campaign drives helped him get elected in 2008.

Facing more than a dozen felony charges in Nevada, ACORN pleaded guilty to one count this week for illegally paying canvassers to register voters during the 2008 presidential campaign. The deal means that ACORN will avoid going to trial, which was scheduled for later this month in Las Vegas. A judge will determine the sentence on August 10, according to a spokeswoman for the Nevada Attorney General’s office, the prosecuting agency.

Since ACORN is a corporation, it will only be fined and there will be no prison term, the Attorney General’s spokeswoman told Judicial Watch. The fine is expected to be a maximum of $5,000. In November the ACORN supervisor overseeing the illicit Nevada voter registration scheme pleaded no contest to two counts of conspiracy.

ACORN has a long, sordid history of election fraud and questionable hiring and training practices. The group has been busted for forging voter registration applications in key battleground states and submitting falsified forms in more than half a dozen others. In 2007 ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in the history of Washington State after seven workers were caught submitting about 2,000 fake registration forms.

ACORN’s sordid record prompted California Representative Darrell Issa to label the group a “criminal enterprise.” (Rep. Issa is now Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.)

One of our investigators, Michael Bekesha, testified before the Pennsylvania State Government Committee on Voter Fraud about ACORN corruption in that state. In fact, as Michael noted, ACORN was found to have submitted tens of thousands of fraudulent registration forms in Philadelphia alone!

Judicial Watch obtained documents from a 2007 FBI investigation of ACORN voter fraud in St. Louis Missouri. According to the handwritten notes of one federal investigator, Project Vote (an ACORN affiliate) would pay for registration cards whether they were fake or not. The overall goal of this corrupt scheme, according to these notes, was to help Democrats: “ACORN HQ (Head Quarters) was wkg (working) for the Democratic Party.”

In March 2010, Judicial Watch obtained a separate batch of Federal Bureau of Investigation documents detailing federal investigations into alleged ACORN corruption and voter registration fraud in Connecticut. The FBI and the DOJ initiated investigations. However, the Obama DOJ, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” closed down the investigation in March 2009, claiming ACORN broke no laws.

And on and on and on…

ACORN’s fraudulent activity is systemic. And, as I’ve said too many times to count, the Holder Justice Department ought to be investigating ACORN’s corrupt behavior and holding those responsible accountable. And I’m not talking about paltry $5,000 fines. I’m talking about real accountability. (Given Obama’s direct links to ACORN, which includes a stint working for Project Vote, it seems unlikely Holder will do the right thing. Can you imagine a conservative group submitting 400,000 fraudulent voter registration forms and not being subjected to systematic Justice Department scrutiny! But because the “president from ACORN” is in the Oval Office, ACORN gets a corrupt free pass from the Attorney General.)

ACORN is alive and well, splintered into hundreds of difficult to track local organizations around the country. In fact, very soon Judicial Watch will publish a special report exposing ACORN’s new network. This fight is not over.

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