2008年10月17日金曜日

FBI 大統領選の不正捜査

FBIが大統領選の不正捜査を行った。
米大統領選に向け有権者登録を推進している「ACORN」が、架空の人物を登録
するなど組織的な不正を働いた疑いがあるとして、FBIが捜査に着手している
らしい。
背景に、民主党のジェニファーブラナーの投票者はオハイオ州の有権者か
と言う問題があり、法廷闘争中らしい。
この有権者を調べたら20万人がオハイオ州在籍ではなかったらしい。
民主主義の根幹として、米国の選挙をあげる人がいるが、知られていない
だけで、実質は中国の選挙と大差はないようだ。
日本でも、創価学会会員が選挙前に大量に転入することが知られている。


---【米大統領選】FBIが大統領選の不正捜査 オバマ氏との関係焦点に---
2008.10.17 17:06
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/081017/amr0810171709006-n1.htm

 AP通信は16日、米大統領選に向け有権者登録を推進している社会奉仕団体「ACORN」が、架空の人物を登録するなど組織的な不正を働いた疑いがあるとして、連邦捜査局(FBI)が捜査に着手していると伝えた。共和党候補のマケイン上院議員は同団体と民主党候補のオバマ上院議員との関係を追及、格好の攻撃材料とする構えだ。
 ACORNは低所得者の権利擁護を目的とした非営利組織で、今回の選挙では新たに130万人以上の有権者登録に成功。低所得者層には民主党支持者が多いことから、オバマ氏の追い風になるとみられている。
 しかし「ミッキーマウス」と名前が記された登録用紙が見つかるなど複数の州で不正が発覚した。FBIは既に数州の事務所を家宅捜索した。(共同)


---FBI probes ACORN over voter registrations
Federal authorities are trying to determine whether ACORN encouraged fake voter registrations in several states.
BY GREG GORDON
Posted on Friday, 10.17.08
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/campaign-2008/story/729628.html

WASHINGTON -- A day after John McCain charged that the liberal-leaning voter registration group ACORN ''may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history,'' it was disclosed Thursday that the FBI is investigating whether the group coordinated the filing of phony applications.

Details of the inquiry weren't readily available. McClatchy confirmed an Associated Press report disclosing the investigation and learned that the FBI was attempting to determine if ACORN systematically encouraged the creation of fake voter registrations in several states.

Executive Director Michael Slater of Project Vote, which funds ACORN and represents it in legal matters, said the group has yet to be informed of any national investigation but would cooperate. Slater said that any suggestion that ACORN was orchestrating voter fraud was ``absolutely false.''

For years, ACORN has been a force in registering mostly younger, lower-income minorities to vote. So far this year, the group has registered 1.3 million new voters.

`HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS'

Because those new voters often support Democrats, Republicans have targeted ACORN and accused organizers of trying to undermine elections. Under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, U.S. attorneys were encouraged to bring voter-fraud cases, mostly against Democrats, and some prosecutors who balked were fired.

Project Vote's Slater said the timing of the investigation was ''highly suspicious'' because it was so close to the election.

''We knew this was coming,'' Slater told McClatchy. ``We saw in 2004 that we were attacked by Republican interests, and law enforcement was politicized to go after us. We saw civil suits and organizations created whose specific purpose was to demonize ACORN.''

'BOGUS' FORMS

According to Slater, ACORN has alerted authorities on a daily basis since late last year whenever internal reviews found that canvassers had submitted suspicious application forms.

Slater said that 1,187 packages, each containing a registration worker's daily collection of as many as 18 forms, have been flagged by county election officials as ``potentially bogus.''

He also estimated that about 1 percent of ACORN's nationwide registration applications -- some 13,000 forms -- could contain fictitious names or addresses. In addition, as many as 25 percent may be duplicates.

County officials review each registration application and reject all duplicates.

To affect an election tally, someone would have to vote in the name of the fictitious registrant, which is a felony.

ACORN officials said that most phony submissions came from canvassers who were trying to get paid without actually finding citizens who wanted to register to vote.

They simply filled out the forms using names from the phone book, fictitious names or, in one case, ``Mickey Mouse.''

ACORN is bound by laws in most of the 21 states where it's been active to turn in all new registration applications, even suspicious ones, and the group follows that policy everywhere, spokesman Scott Levenson said.

Law-enforcement agencies in 11 states have been investigating former ACORN canvassers -- investigations that have involved the FBI in Nevada and New Mexico.

During Wednesday night's final presidential campaign debate, McCain pressed Democratic rival Barack Obama to explain his ties to ACORN, which he said ``may be destroying the fabric of democracy.''

Earlier, Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio sent a letter asking Attorney General Michael Mukasey to order an investigation of whether ACORN was committing voter registration fraud in an organized way.

BATTLEGROUND BATTLE

The Ohio Republican Party is in a court battle with Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner over potential election fraud. The Republicans won a federal appeals court order demanding that Brunner turn over to county election officials by Friday the names of about 200,000 new registrants whose personal information did not exactly match state drivers' license or Social Security data.

Any discrepancies, no matter how small, could be used to challenge the eligibility of those Ohioans to vote. Brunner filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court.


---Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now---
Wikipedia
This page was last modified on 17 October 2008, at 13:21
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACORN

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a community-based organization that advocates for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, health care and other social issues. ACORN has over 350,000 members and more than 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the United States, as well as in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and Peru. ACORN was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke and Gary Delgado.Maude Hurd has been National President of ACORN since 1990.

ACORN's priorities have included: better housing and wages for the poor, more community development investment from banks and governments, and better public schools.ACORN pursues these goals through demonstration, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation.

ACORN is made up of several legally distinct parts including local non-profits, a national lobbying organization and the ACORN Housing Corporation.ACORN is non-partisan, though it is often aligned with the Democratic Party on policy.This political alignment and some of the causes it advocates have made ACORN the subject of partisan conflict. Some of ACORN's voter registration programs have been investigated for alleged fraud.

Predatory lending and affordable housing

ACORN targets companies that engage in lending practices that it considers predatory. It supports strict state laws against predatory practices, organizes against foreclosure rescue scams, and attempts to steer borrowers toward loan counseling.Following a three-year campaign, Household International (now owned by HSBC Holdings and renamed HSBC Finance Corporation), one of the largest subprime lenders in the country, and ACORN announced on November 25, 2003 a proposed settlement of a 2002 national class-action lawsuit brought by ACORN. The settlement created a $72 million Foreclosure Avoidance Program to provide relief to Household borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes.The settlement came on the heels of an earlier $484 million settlement between Household, Attorneys General, and bank regulators from all 50 US states.

ACORN and its affiliates advocate for affordable housing by urging the development, rehabilitation and establishment of housing trust funds at the local, state, and federal levels.The group also pushes for enforcement of affordable-housing requirements for developers and promotes programs to help homeowners repair their homes and organize tenant demands.

ACORN has been criticized by free market groups for its role in advocating lending practices to borrowers without traditional qualifications (large down payments and proven income sources), and for encouraging government based housing trusts rather than a market oriented approach to expand public housing.

Living wages

Living wage ordinances require private businesses that do business with the government to pay their workers a wage that enables them to afford basic necessities. ACORN has helped pass local living wage laws in fifteen cities including Chicago, Oakland, Denver, and New York City.ACORN maintains a website that provides strategic and logistical assistance to organizations nationwide.

ACORN filed a lawsuit in California seeking to exempt itself from the state's minimum wage of $4.25 per hour in 1995. ACORN alleged in its complaint that minimum wage laws "were unconstitutional as applied to it, because they restricted its ability to engage in political advocacy by forcing it to hire fewer workers, and that its workers, if paid the minimum wage, would be less empathetic with its low- and moderate-income constituency and would therefore be less effective advocates." The court denied ACORN's petition; the denial was sustained on appeal.

Katrina relief

ACORN members across the country, particularly in the Gulf region, have organized fundraising and organizing drives to ensure that victims of Hurricane Katrina will receive assistance and will be able to return to affected areas. ACORN's Home Cleanout Demonstration Program has gutted and rebuilt over 1,850 homes with the help of volunteers. The ACORN Katrina Survivors Association formed in the aftermath of the storm is the first nationwide organization for Katrina survivors and has been working for equitable treatment for victims. Displaced citizens were bussed into the city for the New Orleans primary and general elections. ACORN Housing Services have helped more than 2,000 homeowners affected by the storm and is an official planner working with the city on reconstruction.[unreliable source?]

Education

ACORN pushes education reform usually in the form of organizing neighborhood groups and "community" or "ACORN schools". In Chicago, ACORN has advocated for a certified teacher to be in every classroom. In California ACORN has documented the need for textbooks and school repairs. ACORN works with teachers unions to get money for school construction and more funding for schools.ACORN also supports school reform and the "creation of alternative public schools" such as charter schools.ACORN opposed the privatization of some NYC schools, favoring its own Charter School plan.The ACORN model for schools emphasizes small classes, parent involvement, qualified teachers and "community oriented curricula".

Voter Registration

Between 2004 and 2008, ACORN has focused its efforts on voter registration drives. In some locations ACORN employees have submitted false voter registration forms and the group's registration efforts have been investigated in a number of cities.

ACORN pays workers per signature and at or near minimum wage to get registrations. Some workers were found to have filled the forms out with fake entries rather than signing up unregistered voters, which takes more effort.The individual canvassers who committed this voter registration fraud have been prosecuted, but ACORN has denied any organizational involvement. Opponents argue that ACORN should supervise its staff more carefully, or provide better training and supervision to eliminate this illegal behavior by its employees.

Investigations that have not resulted in charges or are still pending have been conducted in St. Louis, Missouri in 2006; Lake County, Indiana and Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 2008; in Michigan in 2008; in Nevada in 2008; in Missouri in 2008. Investigations resulting in charges or convictions of ACORN voter-registration employees occurred in 2004 in Ohio; in 2005 in Colorado; in 2006 in Kansas City, Missouri; in 2007 in Washington state. In the Washington case, ACORN agreed to pay King County $25 000 for its investigative costs and acknowledged that the national organization could be subject to criminal prosecution if fraud occurs again. According to King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, the misconduct was done "as an easy way to get paid [by ACORN], not as an attempt to influence the outcome of elections."

During investigations, ACORN has publicly supported the investigations of employees submitting fraudulent voter registration information, has fired them if evidence supports the charges, and has stated its concern with false information on registration forms. Officials have stated that ACORN has been cooperative in these investigations.

Gun control

In 2006, ACORN intervened on behalf of Jersey City, New Jersey in a lawsuit brought against the city, which challenged a local ordinance that limited handgun purchasers to one gun a month.[36] The Hudson County Superior Court struck down the ordinance on the grounds that it violated the New Jersey Constitution's Equal Protection clause, and a state statute prohibiting towns and municipalities from enacting firearms legislation.

On September 29, 2008, the New Jersey Appellate Court denied ACORN's appeal of the Hudson County Superior Court's decision striking down Jersey City's ordinance.

ACORN in political discourse

Some Democrats have supported ACORN's work. ACORN's political committees have sometimes endorsed Democratic candidates. ACORN has participated in every Democratic Convention since 1980 with members elected as delegates. ACORN has lobbied delegates at Republican conventions and has been criticized by Republicans for its support of Democratic candidates and alleged bias in its voter registration efforts.

House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner called for ACORN to be barred from receiving federal monies, and for a ban on ACORN contracting with candidates for federal office. He said, "ACORN spent decades promoting the housing policies that brought America's economy to the brink, and similarly over the years has committed fraud on our system of elections"

In contrast, John Atlas writes in a Huffington Post editorial that ACORN has "accumulated many enemies" and has been "subjected to vicious attacks from business lobbyists, conservative politicians, and right-wing media." This same source alleges that the George W. Bush administration has sought to harass ACORN with accusation of voter fraud.

In a report released October 2008 the US Department of Justice Inspector General found that former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was wrongfully fired by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after Iglesias declined to indict over alleged voter fraud at an ACORN affiliate in New Mexico, citing insufficient evidence.

During the debate on the bailout bill (the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008), some conservative commentators claimed that a draft provision (omitted in the adopted bill) to give money to funds run by the US Department of the Treasury could potentially lead to money flowing to groups like ACORN. When asked how much money ACORN or other community groups would get, Steven Adamske, spokesman for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee said, "None. Absolutely none. All funds would go to state and local governments."

ACORN and the 2008 presidential campaign

ACORN Votes, ACORN's national political action committee, endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. Obama and two other lawyers represented ACORN in 1995 in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois to make voter registration easier, and hired a firm with ties to the group for a massive get-out-the-vote effort during this year's primary.

Some Republicans, most notably Ken Blackwell, have attempted to link Barack Obama to allegations of voter fraud by ACORN. The Obama campaign has strongly denied these accusations via their website and pointed to Blackwell's involvement in the irregularities reported in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election.

In October 2008, the John McCain campaign released a web-based ad suggesting ACORN was partly responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. ACORN pushed back on this accusation via its website, calling the spot "a smear ad". On October 13, ACORN released a picture of Senator McCain attending an ACORN immigration forum to The Politico.

Obama paid an ACORN affiliate, Citizens Services Inc. $800,000 for "get-out-the-vote" projects for his 2008 presidential primary campaign. Obama's campaign has stated that it "is committed to protecting the integrity of the voting process" and is not working with ACORN for the general presidential election.

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