The level of the current right-wing frenzy against the
Association of Communities Organizing for Reform Now (ACORN) can only be
understood within the dynamics of President Barack Obama�s 2008 election and
John Kerry�s �official� loss in 2004.
ACORN, more than any other political organization, was
responsible for Obama�s victory. ACORN in Ohio, and in key swing states, did
what the Democratic Party used to do, but now seems incapable of doing -- registering
large numbers of low income and working class voters.
Instead of going after the real whores at Chase, CitiBank,
and assorted other financial institutions that pimped our system and our people,
undercover right-wing videographers went for a target that fit their
pre-fabricated agenda -- a fake Daddy Mac and whore trying to open up a brothel
with an ACORN member�s advice. Of course, any ACORN people involved in illegal
practices should be investigated, as should anyone in the elite financial
community and anyone out there misusing federal Troubled Assets Relief Program
For that matter, the war criminals in the United States -- beginning
with Cheney and Bush who committed war crimes, violated the 4th and 8th
Amendments by spying on U.S. citizens and torturing people -- should be stalked
and videotaped whenever possible.
The major reason ACORN has been a target of the Republican
Party�s political operatives is because it disrupts the strategy put in place
by Karl Rove to simply purge as many Democratic voters as possible.
Here in Ohio, the Republican Party led a charge to purge an
estimated 1.25 million voters. The GOP attacked black students at Wilberforce,
a traditionally black college. They attacked inner city voters in the heavily
Democratic wards of Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. They attacked students
at liberal colleges like Kenyon and students who had gone to major public
universities like the Ohio State University and Ohio University.
ACORN was one of the few organizations that was consistently
active in the inner city of Ohio�s largest urban areas. Not that there weren�t
other voter registration organizations, including the Obama campaign, but the
one that asked me to register to vote over and over again in the inner city
neighborhood I live in was ACORN.
Recall that Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins and Western
Missouri U.S. Attorney Todd Graves were fired for failing to go after ACORN
during its 2006 voter registration drive. Those responsible for the firing
reached all the way to Rove in Bush�s White House.
The National Journal reported that former Bush-Cheney
re-election campaign attorney Mark �Thor� Hearne targeted ACORN: �[Hearne] . .
. believed that the U.S. Attorney Todd Graves was not taking seriously
allegations that ACORN workers were registering people who did not qualify to
The Republican sting operation is little more than an
extension of the attacks on ACORN in Nevada, Missouri and Ohio in the 2006
election. In 2006, estimates were that ACORN had registered some 1.3 million
new voters. The attacks on ACORN, and their contrived nature were revealed at a
2005 hearing before then-Congressman Bob Ney in Ohio, who was later convicted
of a felony.
At the federal hearing held in the Ohio Statehouse, Hearne
emerged from nowhere claiming to be a voting rights advocate with a front
organization called the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). In a classic
Rovian scam, Hearne unleashed an unsubstantiated litany of �voter fraud�
charges against ACORN and the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP).
Among other things, Hearne, who had no history of ever
working as a voting rights advocate, told Congressman Ney that voter registration
campaigns used crack cocaine as an incentive for registering new voters. Using
the age-old canard of linking a black civil rights and a welfare rights
organization with drugs serves the racist stereotypes consistently pitched by
In Hearne�s testimony in Ohio, he also went after the
AFL-CIO and Americans Coming Together (ACT-Ohio) as evildoers involved in �fraudulent�
In a March 2005 letter to the U.S. Department of Justice,
Hearne claimed there was �substantial evidence to suggest potential criminal
wrongdoing by organizations such as Americans Coming Together, ACORN, and the
In Wood County, Ohio, the Free Enterprise Coalition (FEC)
associated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce agreed to back a racketeering
charge against the NAACP. After Hearne�s showy press conferences, the suit was
withdrawn following the revelation that the plaintiffs were being indemnified
by the FEC.
The real issue is the emergence of long-standing southern
Jim Crow tactics in key swing states like Ohio. In 2004, more than 300,000
voters were purged in the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, Cincinnati and
Toledo. In fact, 24.93 percent of all voters in the Cleveland area were purged
between the 2000 and 2004 presidential election.
If the United States had universal guaranteed constitutional
voting rights, ACORN would not be under attack by upper-class white political
operatives posing as whores and pimps on their way up the Republican operative
The small amount of federal money received by ACORN pales in
comparison to the tens of billions of dollars in unbid contracts given by Mac
Daddys Bush and Cheney to Halliburton.
ACORN is under attack because it is effective and a threat
to those forces who wish to disenfranchise millions of U.S. voters. For the
most part, Democratic Party officials and their corporate Democratic Leadership
Council (DLC) mentors have long ago given up door-to-door inner city voter
registration campaigns. ACORN remains as one of the last holdouts in ensuring
the voting rights of millions of forgotten and discarded urban voters.
Fitrakis is the editor of freepress.org.
While he�s never worked or been a member of ACORN, in the early 1980s he lived
in a house in the city of Detroit that included ACORN organizers. This article
first appeared at freepress.org.