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. RepublicanagainstRush

    It is a shame that the party I so support The Republican is not even worried about helping to fix this mess they caused....All they want to do is win and then sit like a lame duck and do nothing...Just like the last duck bush. Well this here Rep just left...Republicans you are Pathetic, you dont have the countries poor in your best interest. Just want to win and milk taxpayers dry.

    April 9, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. tee

    Can they go to the polls and vote? Photo ID is required. ACorn can register as many voter as they want, having the vote count is a different story. The ACORN conspiracy is a joke. The repugs can't seem to wrap their brains around this.

    April 9, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. taylor68

    So why the constant accusations of unethical behavior coming from the Republican Party?

    Its all they know.

    Its what they would do.

    They seem determined to tear this country apart... If they can't have it, nobody can!

    April 9, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Michigander

    ACORN has no interest in being responsible for the census. The government hires people in their own areas and they go knocking on doors. It's become an issue in the last 20 years with more women working and people not at home. I think there was a paper form to turn in last time, but who could possibly know how many kids I have if I write in bogus names? For that matter, if someone came to my door, how do they know I'm telling the truth? And it is not a political thing-they don't ask you your party!

    April 9, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. Frank

    So what's next? "Statisticaly adjusting" the popular vote in our next election!
    This is scary stuff!

    April 9, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. Southernman

    Unfortunately the 2010 census is already questionable. The handheld computers (HHCs) bought by the BoC, the mapping system they use, and the cellular system they communicate on are not working as advertised. Wonder how we can blame Obama and ACORN for this?

    April 9, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. tennisguypitt

    This will most certainly backfire.


    April 9, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Desmond

    Mr. Michael Steele, you have obviously not learned from the 2008 campaigns that getting nasty stopped paying with the Bush era.
    You are after all a very servile servant to that RUSH of venom

    April 9, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. louise

    Its o.k. when they steal an election, correction 2 elections. At least there was no doubt Obama won,

    April 9, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. Patty

    Except no one wants Republicans to win in 2010.

    April 9, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Jenn, Philadelphia

    ACORN is being investigated in several states for the tactics used in their voter registration drives for filling out forms for non-existing or deceased people. Now the Obama administration wants them to be one of the organizations helping with the census poll. I guess with what they make up and the resulting redistricting, the Democrats will never be out of power.

    April 9, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Perusing-through

    The way the Republicans talk, you get the impression that ACORN is the most critical problem in the nation's survival. GOP act like ACORN is the lynch-pin for all the nation's ills; and if we get rid of ACORN, then Iraq & Afghanistan war would be won and our young folks can return home by tomorrow. The financial meltdown will reverse, foreclosures will go away, and high paying will come back tomorrow; if only we can get rid of ACORN.

    April 9, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  13. wishing

    This man is no fool. The GOP is not interested in voter turnout. It is not interested in redistricting based upon demographics. Both of these issues favor Democrats. They are interested in restricting voters, maintaining higher rural voter representation, and as a result: controlling political power to enrich themselves. There is nothing noble, nor patriotic about their actions or goals.

    April 9, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Los

    The only time ACORN ever comes up is when Republicans mention it. Of course, they can conveniently blame that perennial boogey man, "the media", for this. However when you have the GOP pushing narratives that are normally relegated to the fringe, it becomes increasingly obvious that the Republican party is on an accelerated path towards irrelevance and eventual extinction.

    April 9, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Roland

    The Census provides so much vital information to help the American Society and our government to shift there focus on some of the stress point's in our
    Society. It's a shame that it is also used to manipulate the political agenda's by both parties.

    April 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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