Peter Dreier’s op-ed about ACORN in the L.A. Times is so filled with inaccuracies it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s start with Dreier’s false statements about the recent ACORN videos:
Two “gotcha” right-wing activists showed up at about 10 ACORN offices hoping to entice low-level staff to provide tax advice for an illegal prostitution ring. In most ACORN offices, the staff kicked the pair out. In a few cities, staffers called the police. In two offices, however, the staff listened and offered to help. That was wrong. But ACORN immediately fired the errant staffers.
Let’s bypass the edited Philadelphia video for now.
Watch the videos. ACORN employees are seen advising two young people on how to hide money from the federal government, misrepresent the nature of their business on tax forms, and so forth. They repeatedly shrug at explicit descriptions of a prostitution ring involving girls 13-15 years old smuggled across the border.
That’s more than two.
And that’s assuming there are no more videos. I think that would be a bad assumption.
What’s more, in the post on the San Diego video, you can see Andrew Breitbart categorically state that, as DRJ put it, “no ACORN office kicked James and Hannah out based on the fact that they were doing something nefarious.” I have seen no proof to the contrary. What I have seen is ACORN claiming that happened — and then videos appearing from those cities proving ACORN wrong.
You’re entitled to your own opinions, Peter Dreier, but not your own facts.
Let’s move on to Dreier’s false claims about voter fraud:
Our study documented that many news outlets reported the voter fraud allegations without attempting to verify them. Had they done so, they would have discovered that not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted. What occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud, and it was ACORN that exposed the wrongdoing in the first place.
Darnell Nash of Cleveland, Ohio, was registered to vote by ACORN nine times for last year’s election. Nash cast a fraudulent ballot and was convicted of vote fraud and voter registration fraud. He’s currently serving a six-month prison term.
A spokesman for Cleveland’s Democratic prosecutor Bill Mason told me earlier this month that a local investigation of ACORN remains wide open.
[UPDATE: I have since learned that the American Spectator article was incorrect to assert that Nash was convicted of vote fraud. He was charged with vote fraud and numerous other felonies, but was convicted of three counts of false registration. I have written the author of the American Spectator piece seeking a correction but have received no response. Details in an update to this post.]
As DRJ recently noted, another ACORN-linked group is connected to a New York case in which voter registration fraud not only resulted in actual vote fraud, but likely even threw the election to the Democrats. In comments to that DRJ post, Richard Aubrey noted the problem: “Problem is, if a guy votes fraudulently, how do you know it’s fraudulent? If it looked fraudulent, you wouldn’t let him vote and, presto, no fraudulent vote.”
To me it’s common sense that there are tens of thousands of illegal votes cast in every national election. With well over 10 million illegal immigrants, many with phony documentation that appears authentic enough to allow them to work, collect welfare benefits, etc. — you think none of them cast votes in elections, where you usually don’t even have to show an ID to vote?? You think ACORN registered none of the ones who did vote?
Even if you stick with only the documented example above, Dreier is wrong to say there are none.
The L.A. Times should correct Dreier’s misrepresentations.