Monday, March 15, 2010
Obama Justice Dept. shut down FBI's ACORN investigation
Documents released by Judicial Watch reference serious allegations of corruption and voter registration fraud by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN), as well as the Obama administration’s decision to shut down a criminal investigation into these matters.
Two specific complaints were filed against ACORN for alleged voter fraud in October 2008 by Lucy Corelli and Joseph Borges, Republican Registrars of Voters in Stamford and Bridgeport, Connecticut, respectively. As part of its continuing investigation into alleged criminal activities of ACORN, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents concerning this matter with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to Corelli, on August 1, 2008, her office received 1,200 ACORN voter registration cards from the Secretary of State’s office. Over 300 of these cards were rejected because of “duplicates, underage, illegible and invalid addresses,” which “put a tremendous strain on our office staff and caused endless work hours at taxpayers’ expense.” Corelli claimed the total cost of the extra work caused by ACORN corruption was $20,000. Likewise, Borges contended that: “The organization ACORN during the summer of 2008 conducted a registration drive which has produced over 100 rejections due to incomplete forms and individuals who are not citizens…” Among the examples cited by Borges was a seven-year old child who was registered to vote by ACORN through the use of a forged signature and a fake birth certificate claiming she was 27-years old. By burdening these election officials with fraudulent registrations, ACORN put those who legally registered at risk of not being put on voting rolls at all.
The FBI and Department of Justice opened an investigation. However, the Obama Justice Department, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” closed down the investigation in March 2009, claiming ACORN broke no laws.
By contrast, the documents also include records related to a federal investigation of ACORN corruption in St. Louis, Missouri, involving 1,492 allegedly fraudulent voter registration cards submitted by Project Vote, a liberal non-profit organization affiliated with ACORN on voter registration drives, during the 2006 election season.