CNN lies about ACORN 54 times which is certainly better than, say, a billion.
As far as "gotcha" stunts go, the right-wing feeding frenzy over the vile vote-fraud treachery of ACORN has yet to yield much fruit. Investigations are indeed under way. But then, they are always under way this time of the year--and as the indefatigable Brad Friedman points out, so what? Evidence of voter-registration wrongdoing is no more a sign of widespread, Obama-sanctioned vote fraud than evidence of minorities being misled and intimidated on Election Day is a sign of official, McCain-sanctioned vote suppression. What's the real point of turning voter-registration shenanigans into "one of the greatest frauds in voter history"? The object here is not criminal indictments. It's to undermine voter confidence in the elections system as a whole. John McCain wants to build a better bogeyman, and he needs your help to do it.
"There's no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes," said David Becker, project director of the "Make Voting Work" initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Becker should know: he was a lawyer for the Bush administration until 2005, in the Justice Department's voting rights section, which was part of the administration's aggressive anti-vote-fraud effort.
"The Justice Department really made prosecution of voter fraud of this sort a big priority in the first half of this decade, and they really didn't come up with anything," he said.
"We're chasing these ghosts of voter fraud, like chickens without a head," said Lorraine Minnite, a political science professor at Barnard College in New York who has researched voter fraud and fraud claims for most of the past decade. "I think it's completely overblown, I think it's meant to be a distraction."
"This stuff does not threaten the outcome of the election," said Minnite. "How many illegal ballots have been cast by people who are fraudulently registered to vote? By my count, it's zero. I just don't know of any, I've been looking for years for this stuff."
I propose that the ACORN frenzy has a more important purpose besides just trying to make Obama look dirty. It's there as a ethical fetish for the huge numbers of Republicans that will be called on to fight citizens trying to exercise their legal right to vote. Every person intimidated, every name fraudulently purged from the rolls---you need to be able to sleep at night after a long day of dismantling our democracy. If you can tell yourself, "They do it, too," then you feel better. If you can convince yourself that some black or Hispanic voters are voting twice (not happening, by the way), they you can feel justified forcing some not to vote at all.
A former top Department of Justice voting rights official -- who once worked with John McCain in defense of the senator's campaign-finance reform bill -- has added his name to the growing chorus that is denouncing the department's investigation of ACORN as a shameful and inappropriate politicization of Justice along the lines of the US attorney firings.
Now, I'll be curious to see where the GOP goes from here. There's not enough time to pursue this case on the merits before the election. So as a practical matter it may kill the case in Ohio entirely. But perhaps more importantly, it puts a stop to the GOP or any other private party gumming up the works over the next 18 days by filing similar cases in courts across the country.
Now, the bullies that resort to physical threats have a new target. It is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Two ACORN offices have been broken into and vandalized. They have received threatening phone calls and emails, including one that wrote that a female organizer "is going to have her life ended". The phone calls have included some of the worst racial epitaphs and talked about Sen. Obama being lynched. All of this has been turned over to the appropriate authorities.