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. Todd

    Voter registration fraud doesn't equal voter fraud or vote rigging. Then again, a president should be elected rather than appointed but piddly little constitutional contradictions didn't get in the way of the GOP before...

    April 9, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. mellow

    Liberals have become such robots that they can look at government data that state Mchigan has more registered voters than citizens and yet they will somehow disregard that to make them feel better about the shadiness of their leader. It's seriously unbelievable.

    April 9, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Mel

    This man is an embarassment to politians.

    April 9, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Kim

    HAHA!! I love this, he is ONLY gathering his wing nuts, he wont get a single independent or Dem from this fear and smear gop tactic. Anyone with a brain understands the ACORN thing, the rest listen to limpball and hannity, two college drop outs with ZERO political knowledge..LOVE IT!! GO STEELE, you TOOL!

    April 9, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. No more please

    This is blatant and unapologetic fear-mongering – back when things were going down at ACORN, I believe it was CNN who investigated them and found out that, yes, there were some unscrupulous employees who were causing the problems, unbeknownst to ACORN. Yes, they were paid per person registered and yes the thought should have occurred to ACORN that some were poor, hungry or just plain greedy, and that those people would have no problem with forging names. But those "voters" they registered were unqualified as they didn't exist. Becuase they were non-existent, this amounted to a non-issue. No fraudulent votes resulted because of this. Someone can't just walk into a polling place and say they registered through ACORN under this name and go and vote. It seems that the people so 'concerned' that this would effect the vote have never voted, those of us who have voted know that everyone has to have PROOF that they are who they say they are.

    Therefore, this latest stunt by the RNC is irrelevant.

    April 9, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Franky

    Ohh yeah...they are definitely trying too hard, LOL!!

    April 9, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. catmom

    So, now we know that if the census does not favor what Republicans want it to they already have an excuse. It was Acorn and that darn Obama.

    April 9, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Eric, Portland, Oregon

    Let's see what I see from these comments:

    There are a lot of democrats upset that Al Gore couldn't win in his home state of Tennesee which would have made Florida irrelevant. There are a lot of democrats who are upset that the 10,000 people who claim to have "mis-voted" for Pat Buchanon (in a county where he only received 3000 votes) were "dis-enfranchised".
    There are a lot of democrats who are upset that the RNC/GOP are pointing out that an orginization CAUGHT registering PRISONERS (not just convicted felons) to vote is being "called in to help" with the census.

    Call me what you want, but when I see a RAT I call it what it is.

    April 9, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Barbara NY

    The Republicans are afraid that the Democrats will rig the next election? Isn't rigging elections an area of Republican expertise? Remember 2000! Visit areas of the South were people are afraid to vote. Sounds like typical Republicans to me–"do as we say, not as we do".

    April 9, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. BJ

    ACORN disgusts me. If they truly want to help their 'neighbors' then stop the sneaky, underhanded lies and distortions. As an American, not a Republican or Democrat, I think we deserve the truth and a fair election process. Honestly, they didn't have to commit voter fraud, their man Obama would have won anyway. Why not do the right thing and quit the lies? As for the Concensus comming up, it better be straightened out and proven to us it's unbiased, no White House or ACORN influence etc. We deserve at least that, don't you think?

    April 9, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Joanna

    What is the problem with these people!!!!! Acorn did not commit voter fraud. Obama is not anti religion, Obama is NOT taking away your guns, Obama is NOT a socialist, Obama does not make our country less safe, Obama does not kill babies! Will you people stop already! what are your trying to do, start another civil war? Are you trying to create and end time scenario in hopes you will be swept up to heaven by Jesus?
    Or is it that the abuse of power while in office wasn't enough and you are doing everything your little desperate power hungry republican hearts can do to retake power? GROW UP< STOP WITH THE FEAR MONGERING ALREADY. there are really crazy people in this country that do really bad things, lets not feed them any fodder please.

    April 9, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. kevin

    Americans stood up and said they are sick of unfounded accusations and fear mongering.

    And as always thats the only thing the GOP can deliver.

    MY god Christians do you ever wonder why the GOP never even tried to revese abortion laws while they controlled the house, senate and WH. If they did change those laws then you would have less reason to vote for them next time. They use the social issues so they can pass thier ecnomic polcies, which allows the powerful to concentrate wealth.

    April 9, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Just Shut Up!

    Lies? I don't think so. ACORN was all about influencing the vote through dishonest means. This partisan organization has no business being involved.

    April 9, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. ray ray

    @ Kelby in Texas,

    You said, "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)"

    Yo Kelby, we're talking about THE CENSUS. If you cracked open a book you might LEARN that the US Census is used to apportion the seats in the House of Representatives, AND the electors of the Electoral College.

    If you want to help tilt an election YOUR way ... you would let ACORN do the "head count/guessing" and let them wildly inflate the number of voters in a democratic district.

    But we all know... ACORN would NEVER do something like wildly create statistics out of thin air or put down bogus information!!

    (eyes rolling)

    April 9, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Soccer Nana

    "mark April 9th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

    Acorn is being investigated, to bad the BO media lovers don't look into this. CHANGE will happen……………………."

    @ Mark,

    ACORN is not being investigated. You are spreading lies again. Lies will always be revealed.


    April 9, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. clifford in New York

    Get ready for the Republican landslide victories in 2010 mid-terms! It will happen! Polls already showing Republicans are ahead in key national matchups!!

    April 9, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Soccer Nana

    "mark April 9th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

    Acorn is being investigated, to bad the BO media lovers don't look into this. CHANGE will happen……………………."

    @ Mark,

    ACORN is not being investigated. You are spreading lies again. Lies will always be revealed.

    ACORN brought the suspected voter fraud to the attention of the registrars.

    The unscrupulous workers who were hired by ACORN turned in applications they knew were bogus.

    I have long suspected the Rethuglicans had something to do with this, as the reporters ALWAYS seemed to only ask people who were obviously uneducated and poor questions regarding the number of times they completed voter registration applications and what type of compensation they received in turn.

    April 9, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Wade

    i couldn't care less what the RNC or Mr. Steele say, but it does scare me that for the first time in history the census will be conducted under White House supervision. And then having a a group like ACORN, who has been an avid supporter of the President, participate is unconscionable.
    Can you say rigged or what?
    And the mere suggestion that a statistical model be used to "assume" the headcount of "millions" of potentially uncounted citizens is asinine.

    April 9, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Sam Ellison

    There has to be a defamation lawsuit in there somewhere. Outright lies from Rush and the pundits, sure, but the so-called "leader" of their party? Shameful.

    April 9, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. George in AZ.

    Rush.... You better have another talk with Michael Steele. I don't think he heard you the first time!

    April 9, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. simonsays

    ACORN has admitted voter fraud by their workers in Missouri and Washington. Other investigations in Ohio and Nevada are ongoing. This not an organization that a president with any integrity should be associated with.

    April 9, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. D. D.

    Some of the GOP, Goofy Ole People, are mean spirited not to invite M. Steele to the Tea Parties throughout America. Alan Keyes over Steele is amazing. He is really out there.
    Steele needs to transfer to a party who does not merit people on color but ability. There is no record of replacing one nationality with another which is really stupid.
    Can any Tea Party organizer tell me how to get a copy of the no number budget brought forth by the Goofy Ole People?
    That was very tacky, Leaders. " Here it is..."
    Newt, I see why you have to stand and why Rush said he was, "DeFacto leader."
    Rush is still jumping up and down isn't he? I feel the earth moving.
    "Rush! ...Rush! ...Rush!" He looked so cool jumping to his name. I like that. Between that and "Baby" I am thinking about working harder for my party in Organizing America.

    April 9, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. WhoCares?

    "Leftist Allies"

    Run...Run away!!!

    The RNC is pure comedy gold.

    April 9, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. arithmetic is liberal

    Chaun April 9th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

    Acorn is not neutral as they should be. I'm refinancing my home since the rates are so low and it sickens me that they get a chunk of my mortgage. To use our money to influence voting and to hire paid protestors to protest the AIG employees was rediculous beyond words. Whoever organized that should be fired!

    Yes! Fire Sean Hannity for organizing that talking point!!
    ACORN on a re-Fi? You realize that ACORN and Acorn Mortgage are two completely different companies don't you? At least before you signed a 6 figure contract, right?

    Or you're just another liar.

    April 9, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Eat the Press

    The elcotorate has changed. The trends in demographics do not favor the GOP as there will be a rise in the proportion of minorities and voting preference all across the country, which will inevitabley affect funding for programs and voter representation.
    If the GOP had there way, they wouldnt do a census at all.

    Dont forget how disgraced republican Tom Delay gerymandered the districts in Texas to his purposes in spite of the mid-census data. So before we go off on the President, GOP, best look in the mirror for evidence of sinister plots.

    They have nothing, folks, the GOP is in its last throes

    April 9, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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