First published at WashingtonTimes.com
The accusations against ACORN keep on coming, with more and more examples piling up of fraud in critical battleground states.
S.A. Miller and I have a story in today's paper looking at the Republicans' language on the issue - warnings about "stolen" elections have become a favorite talking point:
Republicans are aggressively trying to depict Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama as trying to "steal" the election by linking him to a growing voter fraud scandal, deploying language typically used by Democrats when they have been on the losing end of a tight contest.
Three weeks before Election Day, more instances of fraud connected to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are surfacing, including Mickey Mouse registering to vote in Florida. The Republican Party is quick to pounce.
The campaign of Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate, is highlighting ties between his Democratic rival and ACORN, which is under investigation in 10 states by either federal or state officials over tens of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations, including applications with duplicate names and fictitious addresses.
Read the full story here.
Here's a pic I shot of college Republicans protesting a Joe Biden rally in Jefferson City, Missouri last week. Several of them didn't know what ACORN exactly did, but they had the talking point down pat and waved a sign calling the group "freaking nuts!"
We had so much material to put in the story that not everything made the final cut, but notice all the Republicans talking about stolen elections:
“They will soon be trying to pad their totals at ballot boxes across the country with votes from voters that do not exist,” RNC chairman Mike Duncan told members in an email Tuesday afternoon. “We must fight back against attempts by Democrats at vote fraud and ensure the integrity of our democracy. ... The Democrats have proven they will do and say whatever it takes to win this election. This isn't the first time they've tried to inflate voter rolls with false names and take money from questionable sources -- and it won't be the last.”
“Are we to give up now, and allow Barack Obama to appoint someone from ACORN to run the Federal Elections Commission,” Howard Kaloogian, the leader of anti-Obama political action committee Our Country Deserves Better Committee, told members in an email.
McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters in Indiana that Democrats “can't win fairly out here."
“We could lose, I suppose, if they cheat us out of it,” he said. “I think the only way we lose a state like North Carolina or Indiana is to get cheated out of it.”
Virginia Republican Party chairman Jeff Frederick said the Democrats have used a “no inmate left behind” strategy by legally registering voters held on misdemeanor charges from their jail cells.
“This might not be illegal, but it sure stinks to high heaven. Is this really how Obama expects to win the presidency with – a coalition of criminals?” he said in a statement.
The RNC even created an “Alert: Vote Fraud” graphic for email blasts to reporters.
Last month, Republican voters were crying foul over the same-day voting registration and early vote provision in Ohio (a judge dismissed a GOP lawsuit over the system) but Team McCain was asking supporters to take advantage of early voting:
“Our Ohio team has informed me that thousands of voters have already taken advantage of new procedures that allow Ohio residents to register and vote early on the same day,” McCain wrote supporters.
“Registering and voting early is easy - all you have to do is visit www.VoteNowOhio.com to find out where you need to go to vote early. This means you don't have to stand in line to vote on Election Day or worry about rushing to the polls on November 4th,” he wrote. “Every vote counts, and your early vote today puts us closer to victory. You can also help spread the word about voting early in Ohio by telling your friends and family.”
Talking to reporters in Ohio yesterday, Obama said the fraud situation likely arose because the group paid workers per sign-up, and said it is unlikely the fradulent registrations would lead to fake voters.
“This isn't actually a situation where people who are going to try to vote because these are phony names, it's doubtful that Tony Romo is going to show up in Ohio to vote,” he said, referring to the recently injured Dallas Cowboys quarterback.
Team Obama is fighting back — a Google search yesterday for the term ACORN produces a sponsored link to an Obama campaign site titled “Obama-ACORN Lies Debunked.”
The Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign also had purchased sponsored links for the Google search.
Obama attorney Bob Bauer also said he wasn't worried.
“If this skullduggery on the other side continues past Election Day, it will be met with the same ferocity that I think we've mounted in response up this point,” he said. “We're not terribly worried about it, I think to say, but it is something we certainly are going to -- are going to be prepared to deal with.”
DailyKos blogger “georgia10” mocked Republican efforts to say votes are being stolen, arguing Republicans are looking for a place to lay blame “for a possible crushing electoral defeat.”
“As McCain's numbers having nose-dived in the last week, some Republicans have dived head-first into the realm of conspiracy theories in order to sow the seeds of speculation that Democrats are going to 'steal' this election,” the blogger wrote. “So let them wrap themselves in tin foil. Let them revel in nuttery now. They can use that tin foil to wipe their eyes if and when--as the polls suggest--they will be wallowing in defeat in November.”
The Texas State Democrats sent members an email warning “Republicans will do anything in their power to try and suppress our Democratic voters.”
"It's clear this election year the Republican stronghold over our state is loosening as cracks in the corrupt Republican leadership keep widening. Republicans will go to any lengths in order to try and keep their corrupt politicians in power. This is why as a voter, it is imperative you be proactive and visit our Voter Information page. There you can learn about your rights as a Texas voter and keep abreast of the Republican schemes to stifle the power Democrats will have at the polls this year," the email said.
— Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times
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