(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama responded Tuesday to the McCain campaign's efforts to link him to embattled community organizing group ACORN.
Watch: Obama on the economy, ACORN
"We've got the best voter registration, turnout, and volunteer operation in politics right and we don't need ACORN's help," Obama said Tuesday in Ohio.
The Illinois senator added that ACORN was not advising his campaign, and echoed campaign advisors who have increasingly accused the GOP of trying to suppress voter turnout as Election Day nears.
"What I want to make sure of, though, is that this is not used as an excuse for the kind of voter suppression tactics that we've seen in the past. Let's make sure everybody is voting, everybody is registered, everybody is doing this is a lawful way," he said.
The Democratic nominee's comments came the same day that his campaign held a conference call with reporters about the McCain campaign's recent focus on voter fraud.
Listen: Plouffe, Bauer on voting issues
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and general counsel Bob Bauer accused Republicans of trying to intimidate voters and sow the seeds of confusion as the historic presidential election approaches.
(CNN) – The campaign of Sen. John McCain called on Sen. Barack Obama Tuesday to “rein in” community organizing group ACORN and “to work aggressively against wide-scale voter fraud.”
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis made the challenge in a statement released in response to an ACORN letter to the campaign Tuesday morning.
Citing the rising number foreclosures nationwide, the community advocacy group asked McCain to fight a practice known as “caging” - the challenging or removal of voter from the rolls because they no longer live at the address listed on their voter registration.
In its letter, the group asked McCain to reach out to Republican Secretaries of State in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, and West Virginia and obtain a guarantee from each of them that “a voter in their respective states who has lost their home to foreclosure does not lose their right to vote.”
In the McCain campaign’s response, Davis noted that the campaign had reached out to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee to propose unprecedented, bipartisan monitoring teams in precincts where either side feared voter irregularities. Former Republican senators John Danforth and Warren Rudman, the co-chairs of the McCain campaign’s Honest and Open Election Committee, renewed the proposal at an appearance at the National Press Club Tuesday morning.
Davis also used the letter as another opportunity to tie Sen. Obama to ACORN. “Given the extensive relationship between Barack Obama and ACORN, our campaign also feels that Senator Obama has the responsibility to rein in ACORN’s efforts and to work aggressively against wide-scale voter fraud.”
(CNN) – The McCain campaign is fundraising off embattled community group ACORN.
“The truth is that far-left groups in this country will do anything to help the Obama-Biden Democrats win the White House and maintain their majorities in Congress,” Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin writes in a fund-raising e-mail sent out Monday afternoon. “And last week, we found out they're going even further to win.”
“The left-wing activist group, ACORN, is now under investigation for voter registration fraud in a number of battleground states. . . . We can't allow leftist groups like ACORN to steal this election.”
ACORN called the McCain camp’s suggestion “ridiculous.”
“We’re proud of our record of helping 1.3 million new registrants get involved in the process just as we are proud of our work to ensure clean and fair elections,” ACORN spokesperson Brian Kettenring told CNN Monday. “Candidates and parties may win or lose elections. But the assertion that anybody is trying to steal this election is ridiculous,” added Kettenring.
(CNN) – Embattled community group ACORN, which come under rising Republican attack, hit back hard late Friday over a new Web video released by the McCain campaign.
The online video seeks to link Sen. Barack Obama to ACORN, and accuses the group of engaging practices at the heart of the nation's current financial troubles. ACORN "bull[ied] banks" and engaged in "intimidation tactics," says the ad. "ACORN forced banks to issue risky home loans. The same types of loans that caused the financial crisis we're in today."
ACORN denied the charges. "For more than a decade, ACORN members have held protests, released reports and advocated for regulations to protect homeowners from predatory lenders," ACORN president Maude Hurd said in a statement. "If John McCain thinks that community organizers caused the foreclosure crisis, he knows even less about the economy than previously thought."
(CNN) – In the midst of a fusillade of attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from the McCain-Palin campaign, the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, often called “ACORN,” is not backing down and is, instead, defending its voter registration activities as attention turns to the integrity of the election system on the eve of an historic presidential election.
Citing a long history of voter suppression in the country, ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring said recent charges against the organization are just partisan attacks intended to undermine the group’s voter registration efforts. “The current strategy seems to be, from the right, to create, to manufacture a so-called crisis of voter fraud . . . and then to solve that crisis through measures that are about constricting the electorate, narrowing the electorate, keeping people from being able to vote,” he said.
Listen: ACORN, Project Vote explain their voter registration drive
On a conference call with reporters, ACORN and Project Vote, its partner in voter registration programs, explained their process for training and overseeing individuals who canvass for new registrations in the field.
Listen: ACORN, Project Vote answer reporters' questions
Canvassers are paid on an hourly basis and not, as some critics have charged, per registration submitted, Project Vote’s Executive Director Michael Slater said Friday. He also said there are no incentives for meeting or exceeding any quota, and that each application is reviewed and if potentially fraudulent or otherwise problematic registration cards are identified, they are flagged and turned into election officials. “In many states we are obligated to turn in all applications by law, regardless of whether we believe that there are problems are not,” Slater added. Asked for more details about which states have such a requirement, Brian Mellor, an attorney for ACORN, pointed to Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and California.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt accused Barack Obama of ties to ACORN, the embattled community group facing allegations of voter registration violations in several battleground states.
Governor Blunt talked about the community organization’s voting law violations in Missouri and Davis said he hoped that the press would examine ACORN’s activities “so that none of those battleground states are stolen from the campaign in this election.”
This week ACORN and Project Vote announced that their voter registration drive had been the most succeful in history with more than 1.3 million voters registered in 21 states.
As they have done with recent attempts to link Obama to Bill Ayers, the McCain campaign tried to raise questions over whether the Illinois senator was being truthful about his past association with ACORN.
Listen: Davis, Blunt on Obama, ACORN
The Missouri governor said Obama’s ties to ACORN went a long way back, to a period “before he launched his political career in the land of Bill Ayers,” and cited that in 1993 Obama acted as their lawyer on a case and ran a 1992 ran a voter registration drive and taught classes with them in the early 1990s.
CROWN POINT, Indiana (CNN) - More than 2,000 voter registration forms filed in northern Indiana's Lake County by a liberal activist group this week have turned out to be bogus, election officials said Thursday.
The group - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN - already faces allegations of filing fraudulent voter registrations in Nevada and faces investigations in other states.
And in Lake County, home to the long-depressed steel town of Gary, the bipartisan Elections Board has stopped processing a stack of about 5,000 applications delivered just before the October 6 registration deadline after the first 2,100 turned out to be phony.
"All the signatures looked exactly the same," Ruthann Hoagland, a Republican on the board. "Everything on the card filled out looks exactly the same."
The forms included registrations submitted in the names of the dead - and in one case, the name of a fast-food restaurant, Jimmy Johns. Sally LaSota, a Democrat on the board, called the forms fraudulent and said whoever filed them broke the law.
(CNN) – Nevada state officials served a search warrant on the Las Vegas office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now Tuesday.
The search was “the result of an ongoing investigation into allegations of voter registration fraud,” according to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.
“There are allegations that a number of registration applications were completed with false information, and other applications on which attempted to register the same person multiple times,” Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller said in a statement, adding that the office had “been told some of allegedly erroneous applications even included the names of players from the Dallas Cowboys football team.”
ACORN denied any intentional wrongdoing on the organization’s part. “When we have identified suspicious applications, we have separated them out and flagged them for election officials,” Interim Chief Organizer Bertha Lewis said in a statement released after the raid. “We have zero tolerance for fraudulent registrations. We immediately dismiss employees we suspect of
submitting fraudulent registrations.”
Listen: ACORN, Project Vote on Tuesday's raid
The group’s Southwest regional director, Matthew Henderson, told reporters any errors on the forms were unintentional. “There were some people that, you know, probably sat down on a couch and filled out names out of a phone book,” he said. “And so, when we talk about fraud, that’s really what we’re talking about here. Not an attempt to steal an election. We’re talking about an attempt for someone to get out of doing some real hard work.” Henderson also said that ACORN’s canvassers are paid by the hour, and not per registration, as some of its critics had alleged.
In partnership with Project Vote, ACORN recently completed a voter registration drive in 21 states. The groups said 1.3 million people were registered during the joint voter drive. They also said approximately 80,000 new voters were registered in Clark County, Nevada, where Las Vegas is located.