Once again, facts must come to rescue Kevin O'Brien. His column Thursday on ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is right-wing boilerplate, this time regarding the alleged voter fraud the conservative media have gotten themselves all frothed up about.
First off, O'Brien's claim that ACORN is "one of the prime sponsors of the mortgage meltdown that's throttling the economy" is patently false. ACORN is an organization that works to achieve living wages, better housing and schools, and neighborhood safety for low-income families -- the kind of community organizing for which some Republicans have active disdain.
ACORN pays underemployed individuals to collect voter registrations, and a small number of them clearly try to game the system. ACORN identifies many potentially fraudulent registrations.
Now even if O'Brien's estimates of the number of fraudulent registrations were not wildly overblown, he never manages to explain how fraudulent registrations translate into actual voter fraud. Five Mickey Mouses registered to vote does not mean that five Mickey Mouses will show up at the polls and actually vote for the desired candidate. The likelihood of that is slim to none.
[fulltext link to Plain Dealer, October 19 2008, Page G5]