The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Did ACORN Take Obama’s ‘Get In Their Face’ Rallying Cry Literally?


Barack Obama, speaking at a rally in Elko, Nevada, on September 17:

“I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face.”

In a strangely prescient manner, Stanley Kurtz wrote in May, “Acorn’s tactics are famously ‘in your face.’”

And now we read, in The New York Post, today:

Two Ohio voters, including Domino’s pizza worker Christopher Barkley , claimed yesterday that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they’d already signed up.

Barkley estimated he’d registered to vote “10 to 15″ times after canvassers for ACORN, whose political wing has endorsed Barack Obama, relentlessly pursued him and others.

Claims such as his have sparked election officials to probe ACORN.

“I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,” Barkley said. “They’d ask me if I was registered. I’d say yes, and they’d ask me to do it [register] again.

“Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it,” he said.

Barkley is one of at least three people who have been subpoenaed by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections as part of a wider inquiry into possible voter fraud by ACORN. The group seeks to register low-income voters, who skew overwhelmingly Democratic.

“You can tell them you’re registered as many times as you want – they do not care,” said Lateala Goins, 21, who was subpoenaed. “They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter,” she told The Post.

When Barack Obama was on the boards of the Joyce Foundation and the Woods Foundation, the two groups gave “tens of millions” of dollars to ACORN.

In 1992, Obama headed the efforts of Project Vote in Illinois, an ACORN affiliate. (Some Obama defenders have insisted that Project Vote was not affiliated with ACORN at the time. For this, I offer the witness Barack Obama, who a 2007 speech, declared, “Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”)

When Obama was a lawyer at Judson Miner, he represented ACORN in a 1995 lawsuit against the state for – surprise! “failing to implement a federal law designed to make it easier for the poor and others to register as voters.”

Toni Foulkes, a Chicago ACORN leader and a member of ACORN’s National Association Board, brags, “we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year.”

(Audaciously, Obama’s web site claims, “Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.” Apparently Foulkes hallucinated all of those leadership training sessions.)

So we have an organization that has been joined at the hip with Obama from the beginning of his career, whose members have been convicted in Washington state, Wisconsin and Colorado, and had various forms of reprimand, investigation, indictment, and other run-ins with the law and state election authorities in Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Ohio, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Arkansas. Perhaps most disturbingly, the organization has repeatedly entrusted convicted felons with voters’ most sensitive personal information, sort of a small business assistance program for aspiring identity thieves.

Is it time for Americans to tell ACORN to get out of their faces? Or perhaps for law enforcement to get into their faces? Or perhaps some media entity should get in Obama’s face about why one of his longtime allies keeps coming up in investigations of vote fraud?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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