[Guest post by DRJ]
The FBI has confirmed it is investigating ACORN for voter registration fraud:
“The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election. A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.
A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.”
I hope the FBI interviews the former ACORN employees in this El Paso Times’ article:
“A former ACORN worker alleges he was fired four years ago by the organization after complaining about voter-registration irregularities to the El Paso County Elections Office.
“I was punished unfairly for being a whistleblower, because I complained about what I observed at the ACORN office,” said Daniel Mahar, a bartender and a stock-market day trader.
The El Paso Sheriff’s Office investigated his complaint about alleged voter registration irregularities but dropped it after the district attorney’s office turned down the case for prosecution.
An entry in the 2004 report by Detective Neil Baker states “I was contacted by (Assistant District Attorney) Steven Spitzer that the requested grand jury subpoena would not be issued due to the circumstances surrounding (Mahar’s) termination from employment and the allegations made do not constitute other than misdemeanor offenses.”
“Another former ACORN employee, Irene Galindo, told the detective “that ACORN, under the supervision of Jose Manuel Escobedo, has terminated almost all of the American citizen volunteer deputy registrars and replaced them with immigrants that are not eligible to vote,” according to the report.
Escobedo said Galindo, a former rising star in ACORN, was another disgruntled employee who was dismissed around the time Mahar was let go, and denied the allegations.”
Both were fired and may have an ax to grind, but it’s interesting that they were apparently fired after complaining about ACORN’s alleged ethical and/or criminal lapses.
I’m not surprised the local officials weren’t interested in pursuing misdemeanor charges but I hope the FBI is more motivated. Given the timing, though, I’m afraid this may go down a post-election black hole at the DOJ.
PS – Baseball Crank analyzes the relationship between Obama and ACORN if you need a refresher on why ACORN is particularly important in this election.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign has asked the DOJ to investigate the investigation:
“[Robert Bauer, general counsel to the Obama campaign,] wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey a day after the Associated Press, citing unidentified law enforcement officials, reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating ACORN. *** Bauer said the news leaks are part of a coordinated effort by McCain’s presidential campaign and Republicans. They are “fomenting specious vote-fraud allegations and there are disturbing indications of official involvement or collusion,” Bauer said.
“It is apparent,” he wrote, that law enforcement officials are serving “improper political objectives” that could inhibit voter participation in the Nov. 4 election. The aim is to “suppress the vote and to unduly influence investigations and prosecutions,” Bauer wrote.”