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. Laverne

    I smell desperation in the air. To Laura, you know as well as everyone else President Obama won fair and square. It is time for you to stop being in denial and move on, Hillary has. She is SOS and seem to be enjoying her role. Maybe just maybe, we will have a more accurate count and truthful count than in the past. Don't be afraid of the truth!

    April 9, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Richard L

    Steele is a total embarassment to his party.

    April 9, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. ppeterson

    ACORN is a criminal enterprise.

    April 9, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Pete

    ACORN should be "done away with"? So much for Freedom of Association, huh?

    April 9, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Marty, FL

    More of the same ole lies and distortions from GOP talking points, instead of ideas. Another reason I left the Republican Party.

    April 9, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. John in Ohio

    The Republicans are always looking for "Goldsteins" (1984 reference) to demonize and stir up support.

    April 9, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. ran

    The Republicans just can not help themselves from being negative about everything. The hate these people have for any one who is not one of them is unbelievable. Sad.

    April 9, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Mari

    ACORN..........ACORN.......... that's the battle cry of the GOPers! Good grief, they have already brought lawsuits against ACORN. Many allegations have been unproven, but the GOPers continue!

    Can't wait until we get the results of the census. It should be interesting!

    April 9, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Bob

    The RNC has said so many lies about ACORN I just don't trust them anymore (like saying ACORN gets stimulus funds, which is factually incorrect). Heaven forbid that the Census actually gets the correct number of people living in the United States. The fact that Republicans are trying to limit the ability of the government to count citizens in urban areas is frightening.

    April 9, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    Just like the Republicans. Find some bogeyman to be the wedge issue. Now, it is ACORN. There were accusations of voter fraud but no charges were ever brought. On the other hand, there was at least one arrest of a Republican operative doing actual voter fraud.

    April 9, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Bob

    Sniffit, you hit the nail on the head. This is all because they know the racial demographics of our country don't favor them in elections. They are once again trying to steal elections and jerrymander.

    April 9, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. RJ

    Longhorn, to answer your question, the census doesn't only count what the population is, but also where people live, and therefore is used as the basis for re-districting congressional voting districts. Hypothetically, the populations in areas with high concentrations of poor or minority citizens could be under-counted compared to a neighboring areas with more affluent citizens. Statistically, the poorer, minority populations are more likely to vote for democrats and the more affluent populations are more likely to vote for republicans. Because the poor, minority voters are statistically under-represented in the census count, congressional district lines would be drawn that also under-represent them compared to the more affluent voters. Of course, the opposite would be true if this same poor, minority population was over-counted during the census. Hence the political importance of an accurate census count, particularly in close races.

    April 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Kevin B

    The GOP's manufactored issues and conspiracy thoeries are really creepy and bizzare, these folks are really coming unglued.

    Keep it up Mr Steele, you are helping Dems maintain a majority and continue the winning streak into 2010 and 12.

    April 9, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Doug

    ACORN? Unbelievable.
    If stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then the republicans are not only bereft of ideas and morally bankrupt, they're really stupid.

    April 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Jon

    "Michael Steele is ripping a page from the GOP's 2008 playbook."

    Heck, why not? The GOP's 2008 playbook worked so well for them, why not stick with it? LOL

    April 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. James

    The problem with Acorn is that they receive government funds of tax payer money and they blatantly endorsed Obama. This is a conflict of interest and they should not be able to receive taxpayer funds to be a get out the vote force for Obama. It is wrong!

    April 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. LIP

    If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. Steele is simply calling a duck a duck.
    Of course the Democrats are sensitive to the truth and rightly so. When you live a lie, you soon believe the lie.

    April 9, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Rob K.

    I guess their 20% approval rating is too high for them to handle. Here come the teens.

    I am just disgusted by the GOP and their supporters at this time. The hatred they have for America and their opposition against having a better tomorrow is astonishing.

    Obama is righting the ship and they want to sink it again.

    April 9, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |

    The race between Franken and coleman is a good example of republican nut jobs. Coleman is to be tried in the courts for his crimes, and the latest recount put him farther behind Franken, so now what does he want to do. thats right take it to the supreme court. the republican party has become the party of extreme nut cases.

    April 9, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. es

    My God, why are Republicans doing every stupid thing they can to make sure they get defeated again in '10 and '12. Come on, you guys, use your brains.

    April 9, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Sean

    Yet again, we see the typical Republican strategy of tearing down anyone or anything that stands in their way. As a truly concerned centerist, I wonder when they'll realize how destructive this childish tactic is and actually attempt a swing towards a more constructive strategy? Republicans used to have some good ideas, but now all they seem to do is blatantly lie about their opponents in an effort to destroy them. It's truly pitiful.

    April 9, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. ELC

    Stop making this sooooooooo complicated – it's not. Simply take the top 50 or 100 ACORN leaders and find out under which party they registered to vote. It's that simple! If this is truly a bipartisan organization, they will be pretty evenly split, by percentage, and have a strong right-wing and a left-wing representation among their ranks. If not, well, then it isn't really that hard to figure out that maybe, just maybe, there might be a problem with ACORN, and with any federal funding they receive...not complicated!!!

    April 9, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Bill

    ACORN's suggestion to their "registered" voters: "Vote early! Vote often!"

    April 9, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Lynn

    Yes, Doug they are stoid. Case in point:

    North Texas legislator Betty Brown answering questions about difficulties registered Asian Americans had voting replied that these Americans should "modify" their names to make it easier for other Americans.

    Such is the attitude of the Republicans in ensuring Americans are able to vote and enlarging the "umbrella".

    April 9, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Bob in Pa

    Acorn should be stopped. No group should be tied so close to a political party and get paid by the federal goverment as well. This is the same thing as sending out federal employees to campaign.

    April 9, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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