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October 10, 2008

Rick Davis and Gov. Blount on Obama's Rotten ACORN

Nuts, I wanted to be on this one, but I got lost in the PUMA thread. Oh well. Full transcript below and I don't know that they took questions anyhow.

See Rick Davis' bit for Obama's denials of having ever worked for/with ACORN (WHAT?), and the, um, slight evidence that he did.


"So there is a long history and a number of close connections between ACORN and Senator Obama. Perhaps the most significant would be the language from Senator Obama in this election cycle praising ACORN and the $800,000 contribution to a subsidiary." -- Gov. Matt Blunt (R-MO)

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, McCain-Palin 2008 held a press conference call with Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Rick Davis, campaign manager, to discuss ACORN and Barack Obama's direct ties to the organization:

Gov. Matt Blunt: "ACORN has an assorted history in Missouri when it comes to voter registration. In 2007, four ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City for charges including identity theft and filing false registration. In 2006, eight ACORN employees plead guilty. So you have 12 employees from the 2006 election cycle that were up to no good, that were violating our laws and it's the sort of behavior we've seen from ACORN.

"Right now, there are seven ACORN workers registering voters, collecting names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of births of lots of people in my state and they have criminal records. So seven ACORN workers have criminal records and they're out there collecting that sort of sensitive information.

"And we've seen some serious problems with registration cards submitted by ACORN. In 2003, for example, ACORN submitted in St. Louis in one submission, submitted more than that year and the course of that election cycle, but in 2003 out of 5379 voter registration cards, only 2013 of those appeared to be valid and at least a thousand were believed to be attempts to register voters illegally.

"So ACORN has a record in our state of trying to commit registration fraud, and the only reason to commit registration fraud is to have voter fraud on Election Day. The only reason to commit registration fraud is to then commit voting fraud on Election Day, which obviously lobs people who are playing by the rules and trying to cast their ballots according to the rules that we've set for elections. Unfortunately, the Obama campaign is not taking this seriously in my state. The campaign head in Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill, acted as if this is a trivial affair. She says that it's not a huge problem and that voter registration fraud shouldn't be all that great of a concern.

"To her and to others I would again say, the only reason to systematically commit registration fraud is to commit voting fraud. Senator Obama's ties with ACORN go back a long way. Before he launched his political career in the home of Bill Ayers, he was fighting alongside ACORN. He acted as their lawyer. He has taught classes to ACORN liberal community organizers. He led their voter registration efforts in the past. As you know, his candidacy was endorsed by ACORN in February. The Obama campaign gave ACORN, an ACORN subsidiary $800,000 to fund their activities.

"Again, in 1993, he acted as their lawyer in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois. He's clearly been involved in training liberal community organizers that had been funded by ACORN. He's talked about that long relationship that he has. And as I said, in 1992, he ran their voter registration effort in Chicago. So there is a long history and a number of close connections between ACORN and Senator Obama. Perhaps the most significant would be just the language from Senator Obama in this election cycle praising ACORN and again that $800,000 contribution to a subsidiary.

"I would be very angry and concerned if all this was found in Missouri. Unfortunately it's not. There are battleground states across the country where systematic attempts by ACORN are undermining the credibility of the election process. They admit, for example, that they've had a case of voter fraud in Seminole County, Florida. In Clark County, ACORN allegedly submits two to three thousand fraudulent applications each week.

"You've heard of the attempt to register the Dallas Cowboys in Nevada. In Ohio, they attempted to register an entire team of the Buckeyes. Clearly, they are trying to gum up the system and have false registrations filed. And again, there's only one reason to do that. It's an attempt to create chaos on Election Day, or to cast ballots that are associated with those fraudulent registrations."

...

Rick Davis: "The point I really want to make in the course of this discussion is we've heard from the governor about the spotty history and horrible record that ACORN has in his state but also in a number of other states, both historically and currently. Obviously, some major investigations that are going on their way in places like Nevada highlighted this in the news media. But questions remain about what Barack Obama's relationship is and has been with ACORN. One of the things that I think is important to note as the governor pointed out is that not only does Barack Obama have a current relationship with ACORN and their affiliates, but he has had a long history with them. And yet, when asked he has very inconsistent remarks about what his relationship is with this organization. That by the way is a pattern that we've seen emerge from the Obama campaign were they try to rewrite the history of Barack Obama and his activities in Chicago. And then try to portray them as something less than what they used to be. Obviously, the relationship goes back to really his very first days as a community organizer.

"On the description of what he has said in the past, he has said 'I have been fighting alongside ACORN on issues that you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran a project vote, a voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it and we appreciate their work.' This is a statement that Barack Obama had made. Yet, in statements released to the press and on their own website you find a completely different kind of approach that Barack Obama never organized with ACORN. Well he either did or he didn't; all the evidentiary material indicates that he did. But now his current statements are that he didn't. I think it's a question that remains to be asked to Barack Obama directly. He hasn't taken any of my calls lately so maybe some of you all could make them. What is the real story there? Why aren't we being straight to the American people with the history you have with an organization that has a long and storied history of voter fraud.

"And I think that there's another thing that sort of enriches that dialogue. If you didn't have that much or never was an organizer with ACORN, then what do you call your relationship back in the early 90s where you actually participated in classes with ACORN and taught classes for ACORN. What were you teaching them? Did you teach them how to evade the law like they have done repeatedly over the two decades that have transpired? Did you teach them techniques on how to properly administer a voter registration program which are clearly incompetent or negligent or worse yet law breakers in doing so? I think that this is the kind of thing that we've seen a long history.

"It is interesting to, to track what Obama's friends at ACORN have said about him. They describe it as sort of natural for many of the volunteers in his first state senate campaign to be involved with ACORN. So, we see a connection to him politically at an early stage of his career. And yet, when you go back to the Obama campaign, Barack was never an ACORN trainer, never worked for ACORN in any other capacity. That just betrays the facts.

"Why is it different that the Cleveland Leader and other organizations that reported at the time and since then on activities that Barack Obama had, now all of the sudden we've seen different stories being written by the Obama campaign. So, I think that is the second thing.

"How do you explain, if you had no relationship with ACORN, do you explain serving as their lawyer in a lawsuit in Illinois? Maybe he can describe that he didn't participate somehow in the training. Maybe he can describe that weren't involved in his early campaign. Maybe he can describe that he actually wasn't out there beating the drum for ACORN and their supporters. But how do you describe that fact that you were actually their lawyer and that you had a intimate relationship with them in defending them against the State of Illinois and the Federal government? Obviously that is a direct relationship. Did you get paid by ACORN for your legal services? What exactly did you have as an ongoing relationship? When did it begin? When did it end? What did you do for them in the process? None of these questions have been answered on his internet website.

"It seems to me so clear about his relationship actually not having done anything for ACORN. Obviously too, that there is a question that remains about whether or not Barack Obama served on boards that distributed funds to ACORN. Some of these boards are getting a lot of attention these days because of some of the other board members and people who were involved in them. Let us talk about the substance of one of those. During the early days of his involvement with the Woods Fund and the Choice Foundation, these all had strong ties to the ACORN organization.

"While on the board, ACORN received thousands of dollars worth of grants. The Chicago ACORN Branch received $45,000 in 2000, $33,000 in 2001, $45,000 in 2001 and 2002 - $30,000. So it is a continuous funding program for ACORN and organizations that Barack Obama was involved in.

"And finally, to make it more current, during his primary bid for president, Barack Obama's campaign paid an ACORN affiliate $832,000 for 'get out the vote efforts.' That would be fine if you want to pay people out of your primary campaign account to get out to vote, certainly appropriate. Except there was a effort to hide the fact that these monies went to this ACORN affiliate, the Citizens Services Inc. There was obviously from the press account, we can see that the initial FEC reports indicated that this money was used for event activity. Well maybe the events that they were talking about were get out the votes, and so when finally pushed by the FEC they disclosed that this money actually went to an organization that is not just related to but deeply ingrained in the ACORN organization. In fact, many people would refer to them as a front group for ACORN. I would think with the long history of Barack Obama and the ACORN organization, he and his al lies on his campaign would certainly understand what those relationships were before they wrote an $830,000 check to this organization.

...

"So, I think we clearly established that what Barack Obama says about his relationship with ACORN over 20 years of activity and even most recently during his presidential campaign is somehow different than what he's trying to lead the public to believe right now. Given the relationship between Barack Obama and ACORN, it's surprising that Obama has said he has fought all alongside ACORN his entire career -- direct quote from Barack Obama. Now, I think that these are the things that are worth some questions to be answered maybe by Barack Obama himself.

"I think, one, Barack Obama ought to come clean with his relationship with ACORN. He's clearly not telling us the truth about what's going on in his relationship with ACORN. He's not telling us the truth about the history of his activities with ACORN, and he's certainly not telling us anything about what kind of current relationships he has with ACORN, nor do I have any confidence that he'll come clean on that. Two, as Senator McCain said yesterday at his town hall, we want a complete investigation of ACORN. If I were the Barack Obama campaign, I'd call for the same thing. Obviously they have a need to clean up what their relationship is with this fraudulent and law-breaking organization and I would think he'd want to do the same thing. I doubt it. I doubt it because I doubt that he can actually explain what his actual relationship is with the ACORN organization, nor would he want them investigated for fear that that would actually come to light. Th ree, we think that we ought to have an immediate freeze on all taxpayers' dollars that go to ACORN as an organization. They clearly have a long track record, of not only in all the organizations -- in all the battleground states, that Governor Blunt had mentioned earlier, but in virtually every state, we can find there have been ACORN violations of the law. What we think they ought to do is the federal government ought to immediately freeze any taxpayer dollars that would be going to this organization, and launch their own investigation. It is incredible to note that in the middle of the greatest disaster in our financial system that we've had in our lifetime, that the Democrats in the United States Senate would actually link payments to ACORN in the bailout package that they promoted prior to Senator McCain coming to town and actually blowing that package up. So we can actually say, that in addition to helping taxpayers save millions of dollars, that we are very happy that no more taxpayers' dollars were added to the pile of money going to ACORN, by the Democrats' own admission, because John McCain came to town and blew that package up. Thank goodness.

"So outside of the fact that taxpayers' dollars were being ripped off right now by an organization that clearly has a spotty track record with the law, I think that we should worry about what impact they're going to have as an organization on this year's election. The only reason you pack lists of voter registration is because you want to steal votes, because you want to cheat.

"And so I think that certainly from our campaign's perspective, we're going to do everything we can to keep an eye on this organization, their activities during the course of this election year, but we hope all the press uses their opportunities, too, to scrutinize this organization and where they are and what they are doing working, because we don't feel that the election is something that should be stolen from the American electorate."

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posted by Ace at 06:34 PM

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