She claims that she was told that last year the Obama campaign gave ACORN their donor list so that they could contact people who had maxed out on donations to Obama to press them to give to Project Vote, an ACORN offshoot that then worked to get out the vote of just those people who would vote for Obama. There is nothing wrong with that, but it certainly gives the lie to the Obama people who have denied any connection between their campaign and ACORN. The campaign also hid their over $800,000 to Project Vote as money for staging costs, a lie that had to be changed later.
The whistleblowers we're hearing from now shed some light about how ACORN has knowingly facilitated all these phony registrations we've been seeing and then abandons their poor employees once the problems are revealed. Of course, they could put an end to this if they strongly warned these employees ahead of time that they could face police action if they faked registrations. Amazingly, other groups like both political parties and the League of Women Voters manage to register people without having all these problems.
"There's no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances," says Nate Toler, who worked until 2006 as the head organizer of an Acorn campaign against Wal-Mart in California. And Ms. MonCrief says it is longstanding practice to blame bogus registrations on lower-level employees who then often face criminal charges, a practice she says Acorn internally calls "throwing folks under the bus."MonCrief calls for a full forensic audit. That sounds like a very good idea.
Gregory Hall, a former Acorn employee, says he was told on his very first day in 2006 to engage in deceptive fund-raising tactics. Mr. Hall has founded a group called Speaking Truth to Power to push for a full airing of Acorn's problems "so the group can heal itself from within."
To date, Mr. Obama has declined to criticize Acorn, telling reporters this month he is happy with his own get-out-the-vote efforts and that "we don't need Acorn's help." That may be true. But there is no denying his ties with Acorn helped turbocharge his political career.