April 9th, 2009
04:23 PM ET
14 years ago

RNC points to ACORN, 2010 census to fundraise

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/09/art.rncemail0409.rnc.jpg caption="The RNC sent out a fundraising e-mail Thursday that focuses on the 2010 census and the community organizing group ACORN."]
(CNN) – New Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is ripping a page from the GOP's 2008 playbook.

In a fundraising e-mail sent to supporters Thursday, Steele looks to link community organizing group ACORN with the 2010 census which the new administration will conduct.

"It seems the Obama Administration has plans to rig the Census results," Steele says in the message.

"President Obama's old friends from ACORN . . . has [sic] been chosen by the Administration as a 'partner' with the Census Bureau to determine population counts in cities around the country."

"ACORN's community organizers are eager to once again take action to aid their old friend in the White House," says Steele. "You can be sure they'll be manipulating population numbers."

In a statement to CNN, Bertha Lewis, ACORN's chief organizer, denies Steele's assertions.

"I am disappointed in Mr. Steele's repetition of lies and distortions about our work for crass fundraising purposes," Lewis says. "ACORN is not getting billions from the federal government. We are not in charge of the Census. Just like the accusations of 'voter fraud,' – charges that were debunked repeatedly – these are imaginary and false. The truth is that ACORN is deeply engaged in ending the foreclosure crisis."

During the 2008 White House race, the GOP repeatedly suggested that ACORN and its employees were involved in voter registration fraud that might benefit Barack Obama, then the Democrat nominee for president. The accusation was subsequently leveled at ACORN by the McCain-Palin campaign, which also suggested ties between Obama, his campaign, and the community organizing group.

Both ACORN and the Obama campaign denied engaging in voter registration fraud.

The 2010 census is shaping up to be a partisan battleground between Obama's administration and Republicans. In part over differences about how the next national head count should be conducted, New Hampshire GOP Sen. Judd Gregg withdrew his name from further consideration to be Obama's Commerce Secretary.

Some congressional Republicans also recently criticized University of Michigan Prof. Robert M. Groves, Obama's pick for census director. Groves worked for the Census Bureau during the last census in 1990, and recommended at that time that the head count be statistically adjusted to compensate for a possible undercount of millions of Americans.

Filed under: ACORN • Census • Michael Steele • Obama administration • RNC
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Michael Steele is getting hit from every angle. First Rush called him out, then he tried to make the RNC urban(at fault of his own), got gagged from speaking at the Chicago Tea Party and now this. This man has controversy written across his forehead.

    April 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Grog in Ohio

    Note to Republicans... whatever you do, do NOT allow facts to impact your opinion or your rhetoric. No need to develop new habits.

    April 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Amy

    This development doesn't surprise me. I guess we're back to the same old Republican deception.

    April 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Laura, Boston MA

    I certainly hope that this will become a talking point on all the cable news shows. ACORN is one organization that American does not need to influence census, elections or whatever. They should be done away with and if the Obama administration uses them, I for one will question the validity of the census as well as the Primaries all over again. President Hillary!!!!

    April 9, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Frozone

    ACORN and Bill Ayers are the cause of ALL of America's problems.

    April 9, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    OK, I didn't call him an "Uncle Tom" before this, because everyone has a right to believe in their own ideology and what-not, but for him to pretend that minorities haven't been, aren't and won't be systematically under-counted, as all historical and scientific statistical data shows has been the case, is abhorrent. You watch: when the census numbers come in showing higher minority populations than the GOP is comfortable with, and when the subsequent re-districting takes place based on those numbers, potentially losing them some regions they currently depend on for votes, they are going to go full-on balistic and call for impeachment. Mark my words. They know that one of the biggest reason the GOP is dying is because of drastic demographic changes in our country that have taken place slowly over the past several decades...they want those changes ignored by the census.

    April 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. longhorn

    What's the point of rigging the population count?

    April 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    It's not a long leap from "The Party Of No" to the No Nothing Party.

    This guy is a riot.

    Thanks for the assistance in the 2010 elections Rapper Steele!

    April 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. ray ray

    There is NOTHING wrong with letting ACORN do the 2010 census.

    Donald, Mickey, Minnie and the whole gang deserve to be counted too, you know!

    And if they can't actually COUNT everyone... they'll just GUESS – because that's the best way to conduct a census... guessing at it.

    April 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Wow more lies no wonder the RNC is running around like chicken's with their heads chopped off. nothing new from the party of NO.

    April 9, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Aaaah, conspiracy theories...the last resort for those unwilling to acknowledge reality.

    April 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    What do you mean there are less old white men now than 10 years ago........how could that be?

    The Census is rigged!


    April 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Tulsa

    be afraid, be very afraid!

    April 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Jimmy Boy

    This is all part of re-distributing the welth. Sit back and let it happen. The people with money should give it up to those that don't have it. It is only fair. Right?

    April 9, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Ryan

    How does this man become dumber at the speed of light? Is there a speed of stupidity now??

    Because the point in rigging the census (as if that was even going to happen) would be...?? What..? Seriously, what would the motive be and what would the objective be?

    April 9, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. JonDie

    "I am disappointed in Mr. Steele's repetition of lies and distortions about our work..."

    Michael Steele is a professional liar. You can expect nothing but lies from him.

    April 9, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Diana NJ

    @ Grog in Ohio, thank you..

    April 9, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Michael in MN

    ACORN is a partisian organization and should not get any government money or be hired to provide any services to the government. They can do indepentent grass roots work or support candidates, but should have no actual conection to any government agency.

    April 9, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. susie

    Well, the party of truth and justice strikes again. It might actually be funny if they weren't ruining the reputation of a perfectly honest group that tries to help people. Just how could they be influencing voter numbers? A person has to show proof of residence to get a card, has to show ID to vote, sign the card with the matching address...this is beyond stupid for the RNC. They are scared to death of more erosion of Republican numbers, and are grasping at straws again...my God, I never saw such a bunch of crybabies. Can you say desperate to the point of insanity?
    It isn't as if the Bush administration or Republicans in general had this spotless record of honesty and openness after all.

    April 9, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. John, Rochester MN

    Pretty standard Republican thinking there. If something has been done a certain way for 200 years, then there's no reason to change it. If somebody wants to change it just slightly to make it more accurate, find a scapegoat and point and yell to get the base all worked up. Repeat.

    April 9, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Mike Dallas

    And neo-cons wonder why they are irrelevant and have just become political "white noise".

    This ridiculus rant is Exhibit A.

    April 9, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Simmy

    I pity the fools who are foolish enough to take Mr. Steele seriously. He's no longer a 'legend in his own mind.' He has lost his mind. For him to compare being president of the RNC to being President of the US, is proof that someone will be forced to intervene, and make a citizen's (mental health) arrest, or do a Republican party exorcism on him. Talk about starving for attention......Sarah P. went rogue....He has gone rabid......I love it.......

    April 9, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Willy Brown

    They are nothing more that the democrats dirty work vote cheating machine

    April 9, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Kelby In Houston, TX

    This is what I think is REALLY going on.
    ACORN voter fraud...Mickey Mouse, Howdy Doody and Bozo the clown will NEVER show up at the polls. So why are you trippin? They turned in voter registration for imaginary people, how is that going to help Obama? (the answer is that it's not going to help Obama)

    Point numero dos, ACORN's work does increase voter turnout. High voter turnout does not bode well for Repuglicans. As a matter of fact, when ever voter turn out is high, repuglicans lose. Educated people also tend to vote Democrat.

    Because of this, ACORN has become an enemy of the GOP

    April 9, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. shucks

    Keep the lunacy going as long as possible and the Republican party will garner no respect whatsoever. It is already close to that now. Between Gingrich's accusations about Obama not being religious, and now this from the looney leader. I will never, ever, ever vote republican for any person ever.

    April 9, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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