Out of Control Policy Blog

ACORN Raided after "Registering" Dallas Cowboys to Vote...in Nevada

From lefty fraud files, yet another piece of evidence that ACORN isn't the bleeding heart community group they make themselves out to be. Rather, they're a black hole of corruption and dirty tricks.

Some astute NFL fan in the Nevada Secretary of State's office noticed that much of the Dallas Cowboys starting lineup—including megastars like quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Terrell Owens—are now on the voter rolls in Nevada. This obviously set off some alarm bells on voter registration fraud that led them straight to ACORN.

State authorities on Tuesday raided an organization that registers low-income people to vote, alleging that its canvassers falsified forms with bogus names, fake addresses or famous personalities.

The secretary of state's office launched an investigation after noticing that names did not match addresses and that most members of the Dallas Cowboys appeared to be registering in Nevada to vote in November's general election.

"Some of these (forms) were facially fraudulent; we basically had the starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys," Secretary of State Ross Miller said. "Tony Romo is not registered to vote in Nevada. Anyone trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot."

Agents with the secretary of state and state attorney general offices served a search warrant on the headquarters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, at 953 E. Sahara Ave. shortly after 9 a.m. They seized voter registration forms and computer databases to determine how many fake forms were submitted and identify employees who were responsible.

They also sought information regarding current and past employees and managers.

"We don't know how many (falsified forms) are here; there may be two, or there may be thousands," said Bob Walsh, spokesman for the secretary of state's office.

And this bit of just irony:

Tuesday morning's raid came on a day when ACORN had been planning a news conference and potluck lunch to celebrate the culmination of its voter registration drive, which the group said resulted in 90,000 new registrants since February, and to launch a get-out-the-vote push for the election.

The event went ahead around noon, starting with a pep talk of the group's staffers and volunteers, who stood to testify to the mission of the enterprise and who said they would remain undaunted.

"This is a great organization," Bonnie Smith-Greathouse, head organizer for Nevada ACORN, told a group of about 15 gathered in front of the organization's office. "We've done great things in the community, and we're going to do even greater things in the future."

Smith-Greathouse suggested that powerful interests were trying to squelch the voices of the poor that ACORN is trying to empower.

Hmmm. ACORN also pushed the financial industry hard with lots of dirty tricks and threats to get them to ramp up subprime lending (see my colleague Mike Flynn's discussion here), ostensibly with the goal of "empowering" folks that couldn't even possibly come close to paying off the mortgages they were getting. That "empowerment" was one of the sources of the subprime virus that has infected the entire credit market. Seems to me that ACORN is one of the powerful interests whose voice needs to be squelched.

And if I were the Republican campaign strategists, I'd be trumpeting this story left and right. We know that Obama—despite the spin and denials—has a long and cozy history with ACORN, and the blend of ACORN fraud and "America's Team" is something that football fans from coast to coast would call immediate BS on. I'd think something like this could be a nice political hammer: "One of the Dems' biggest friends are ACORN. ACORN's work contributed to the whole financial collapse. But if that's not enough to turn you off, these fools faked the Dallas Cowboys on the Nevada voter rolls. And that's probably not a one-off mistake; they just happened to get caught this time. Who knows, maybe even the [INSERT NEAREST NFL TEAM] are on the voter rolls in South Dakota because of ACORN."

And if you could get Tony Romo, Owens, and others (NOT Jerry Jones, though) to come out in their next pre-game press conference and talk about how offended and shocked that they are by being used as pawns by ACORN to get one party elected in a state they have no ties to, then you'd certainly catch the attention of ESPN Nation.

And if this sounds silly and politically naive, maybe it is (my specialty is policy, not politics, after all!). But how many people watch football on Sunday? If you had Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long commenting on how political fraud has now met the world of football, you'd catch a big audience of ears. So this may be naive, but at this point, I'd be in the "all of the above" category on calling out ACORN. They deserve it just as much as anyone else in this financial crisis.

Last question, did anyone search for Jessica Simpson on Nevada's voter rolls too?

UPDATE: To be clear, ACORN didn't "cause" the financial crunch, and in no way do I intend to imply that here. They were one of the many players with a role, and those players include numerous pols and officials in DC, banks, investment banks, ratings agencies, etc. In a crunch this large, "it takes a village," to steal a famous line.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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