Thursday, October 2, 2008

ACORN Recruits Felons to be Special Registration Deputies

America, we have a problem: ACORN.

From the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

At least seven felons convicted of crimes including cocaine possession and robbery were recruited by a liberal group to register voters in Milwaukee, raising fears they may have committed voter fraud.

All seven were designated as special registration deputies, which allows them to solicit and keep voter registration applications before turning them in to local election officials.

“We have a lot of folks with felony records and, frankly, they need jobs,” said Carolyn Castore, political director in Wisconsin for the group that hired them.

That group is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which describes itself as the nation’s largest grass-roots community organization of low- and moderate-income people.

Republican Party spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said it was troubling that convicted felons were hired to register voters.

“Obviously, it doesn’t smell right,” she said. “It is simply irresponsible to allow people who have shown a strong lack of judgment in the past to have such an important role in our democratic process.”

It’s unclear whether state law prohibits convicted felons from holding such a position.
The law says anyone who can vote can be a special registration deputy, and felons can vote as long as they are no longer on probation or parole. But the attorney for the Government Accountability Board, which runs elections, issued an April 3 memo saying the board’s staff believed convicted felons couldn’t serve in the role.

Any convicted felon who served as a special registration deputy could face charges, said Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney Bruce Landgraf. The district attorney’s office is reviewing 49 cases submitted by city election officials where election law may have been violated. One person paid by the Community Voters Project was charged Monday with voter fraud.

The Milwaukee Election Commission interpreted the law to mean convicted felons could serve as special registration deputies if they were no longer on probation or parole, said the city’s election administrator, Sue Edman. She said she never saw the GAB legal opinion until provided it today by The Associated Press.

Edman said she will change the commission’s procedures to require applicants to attest that they are not convicted felons. Previously, they only had to say they weren’t felons on probation or parole.

The commission does not do background checks on the more than 1,200 special registration deputies working in the county, Edman said.

...Along with the seven felons, court records show one special registration deputy has a pending felony charge for heroin possession and another is facing a misdemeanor prostitution charge. A third was convicted of misdemeanor prostitution.

This is really too much. ACORN'S community organizers are undermining the integrity of the presidential election.

What is it going to take to get ACORN out of the business of registering voters?

This must not stand.

There are problems all over the country with ACORN, but especially in battleground states like Wisconsin.

I couldn't find any comment from Mayor Tom Barrett on this latest ACORN update.

Barrett promised, "We will continue to make the necessary improvements so that citizens of Milwaukee can be confident in their elections."

Barrett has not made good on that promise.

Milwaukeeans have NO reason to be confident that the 2008 presidential election results in the city will be valid.

2 comments:

August26 said...

I seem to recall something in the Bible about forgiveness. Perhaps your more well read Christian readers can point me to the correct verses?

Hasn't a convicted felon who has served his or her sentence paid their debt to society? Aren't they entitled to a fresh start? Should we never again employ a convicted felon? That would result in a lot of unemployed people who would then need 'welfare' (gasp).

So, basically, the Christian right complains about the liberal welfare state, and then complains when liberals give actual jobs to the downtrodden (exactly the people Christ exhorted us to help). Wow - there is just no pleasing some people.

Also, could you explain the link between drug possession or prostitution (economic crimes) and voter fraud (a politically motivated deceit)? Why is someone caught with cocaine any more likely to commit voter fraud than, say, some random right wing alcholic adulterer?

Last time I checked, people in the United States were still presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But you have already condemned these people out of fear that they 'might' commit voter fraud, without showing any remotely reasonable causal link between the crimes they committed in the past and the crime you suspect they 'will' commit, at some point in the future. How very Orwellian of you.

I note, further, that your concern about voter and election fraud seems to be limited solely to those incidents allegedly carried out by liberals - conservatives seem to get a free pass:

1) no comment on the election fraud in Texas - http://www.bobbarr2008.com/press/press-releases/133/bob-barr-files-suit-in-texas-to-remove-mccain-obama-from-ballot/

2) Not a single mention of the McCain campaign's voter caging efforts in VA, OH, CO, NC, PA, FL, NM, WI, OR, CA and MN. See, for example - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0809/S00249.htm

Once again, your double standard shines forth.

Mary said...

Why are you talking about the Christian Right?

Deflection. Evasion.

We're talking about ACORN and its record of fraud.

Look at the facts: The law says anyone who can vote can be a special registration deputy, and felons can vote as long as they are no longer on probation or parole. But the attorney for the Government Accountability Board, which runs elections, issued an April 3 memo saying the board’s staff believed convicted felons couldn’t serve in the role.

Any convicted felon who served as a special registration deputy could face charges, said Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.

...The Milwaukee Election Commission interpreted the law to mean convicted felons could serve as special registration deputies if they were no longer on probation or parole, said the city’s election administrator, Sue Edman. She said she never saw the GAB legal opinion until provided it today by The Associated Press.

Edman said she will change the commission’s procedures to require applicants to attest that they are not convicted felons.


If you have a problem with felons not serving as ACORN's special registration deputies, take it up with GAB and Edman.

Of course, I believe in forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't mean becoming blind. It doesn't mean one should take unreasonable risks.

Felons have to live with the consequences of their pasts. They chose their fate. We all drag around our pasts.

Are you against vetting?

Speaking of double standard, you're very selective in meting out forgiveness.