John McCain and ACORN


10-14-08, 2:15 pm

In an op-ed posted Tues. Oct. 14th, titled 'Obama and Acorn,' the Wall Street Journal's editorial board attempted to link Barack Obama to the activist group ACORN, and by association to recent false allegations that ACORN engaged in deliberate voter fraud.

Of course the WSJ editors offered only the slimmest evidence to link Obama to the group beyond the word 'like.' ACORN is 'like Barack Obama' stated the Wall Street Journal editors in what appears to be the biggest stretch of intelligence and logic since the paper's editors opined that the deregulation of banking was a splendid idea.

The WSJ editorial board refused to remind its readers of John McCain's own links to ACORN. In 2006, McCain spoke at an immigrants' rights rally co-sponsored by ACORN in which he stated that groups like ACORN 'make America special.'

Of course, if McCain has to explain why he spoke at an ACORN-sponsored event, he is forced into the unenviable position of explaining to his right-wing base why he attended an immigrants' rights rally. At that point, he would be mired in the sticky situation of needing to address again why he co-authored a 2006 bill with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) that provided comprehensive immigration reform, but now, just two years later, wouldn't vote for a bill he helped write. (See the video here)

To help McCain rethink his new-found dislike for ACORN, in a press statement released Oct. 13th, the group's chief organizer, Bertha Lewis, responded to McCain campaign criticisms of her group, saying, 'It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans.'

So it's best that the Wall Street Journal just not bring all that up.

Using what appears to be a McCain campaign memo verbatim, the WSJ editorial instead proceeded to run down the now-conventional list of past accusations lobbed at ACORN, most of which appear to be the work of a few individuals, not the organization itself. But the editorial then went on to emphasize the latest allegations. For example, the editorial cited claims made by Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land that the organization turned in fraudulent voter registration forms earlier this year.

What the Wall Street Journal op-ed failed to tell its readers is that Terri Lynn Land is a partisan Republican who co-chaired the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004. Further, WSJ editors ignored the fact that her recent accusations just so happened to have coincided with news accounts quoting Michigan Republican Party officials saying they would use a foreclosure list obtained from a McCain campaign donor to challenge minority voters in Democratic precincts on election day.

The Wall Street Journal also ignored the fact that Terri Lynn Land's partisan interference in the election has gone so far as to liberally interpret a Michigan state law, giving Republican Party operatives and lawyers increased power to arbitrarily challenge voters at the polls on election day.

The Wall Street Journal's editors refused to report that the ACLU just won a lawsuit against Terri Lynn Land forcing her to stop a massive voter purge of tens of thousands of voters in violation of federal voting rights laws. After the federal judge's decision ordering Land to stop the voter purges was handed down this week, ACLU staff counsel Meredith Bell-Platts told reporters, 'As a result of the judge’s decision, fewer Michigan voters will be illegally purged and wrongly disfranchised – and that’s good for everyone.'

Terri Lynn Land's status as a non-partisan enforcer of voting rights is as highly suspect as the WSJ editorial board's pretense at a non-biased view of this whole affair.

On a related matter, the ACLU also happened to include Terri Lynn Land's voter purge actions as an example of serious problems in the national voting process in a recent report demanding that the Department of Justice (DOJ) abide by its civil rights mandate to protect voters' rights.

Deborah Vagins, an ACLU spokesperson, expressed the civil liberties group's strong concerns about the DOJ's refusal to take this mandate seriously. 'Unfortunately, recent revelations of partisan bias in the decision-making in [the voting section of DOJ] have seriously undermined voting rights enforcement and have bred a lack of confidence and trust,' Vagins said.

While the Wall Street Journal editorial board's high-minded call for DOJ investigations seems worthy, it is simply a demand that the Bush administration expand its already excessive partisan interference to try to help McCain win the election by creating a scandal where none exists and by forcing voters who are legitimately registered off of the rolls.

See McCain speaking at a 2006 ACORN event on immigration here: