Thursday, March 19, 2009
By Ronald Kessler
More than half the voter registrations turned in by ACORN canvassers during the last election were not valid, according to testimony to be presented before a House Judiciary subcommittee.
The testimony is from Anita MonCrief, a former employee of an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations. MonCrief, who was fired for improperly charging personal expenses to the ACORN affiliate, originally testified under oath as part of a request by the Republican State Committee in Pennsylvania for an injunction against ACORN. The request was denied. The FBI has been investigating the liberal community organizing group for possible voter registration fraud.
MonCrief will appear at the congressional hearing Thursday with Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Republican committee in the civil suit and is on the executive board of the Republican National Lawyers Association. She will provide a legal analysis of MonCrief’s testimony.
“We will be presenting evidence that ACORN is engaged in voter registration irregularities and fraud,” Heidelbaugh tells Newsmax.
According to MonCrief, ACORN considered 40 percent an acceptable level of accurate voter registrations turned in by its workers. She said ACORN barely trained its workers in how to register voters properly and would fire employees if they did not meet a quota of 20 new voter applicants daily. If the registration cards turned in did not meet the quota, supervisors were told to “fire them right there; don’t let them waste your money for the day.”
If a canvasser was caught committing fraud, ACORN threw the individual “under the bus,” MonCrief said. ACORN employees were briefed on how to deny that voter registration fraud existed, she said.
According to MonCrief, the Obama presidential campaign called her in October 2007 asking for coordination in soliciting donations from people who had already made the maximum contribution to Obama allowed by election laws. MonCrief testified that she was given a massive database of Obama donors who had already reached the limit. Her task was to cull it for potential donors who would then donate to Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate which targets individuals and entities to solicit donations.
If true, MonCrief’s allegations constitute violations of the Internal Revenue Code, federal campaign finance laws, and laws against voter registration fraud, according to a memo by Cleta Mitchell, co-chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association.
MonCrief said she worked as a development associate from 2005 until early 2008 for Project Vote. Project Vote was so closely aligned with ACORN that they were essentially one and the same, she said.
Project Vote national spokesman Michael McDunnah has denied that the donor list MonCrief worked on came from the Democratic nominee or his campaign. The Obama campaign has denied the allegation.
Two ACORN officials from Pennsylvania have insisted that the group has policies in place to train new employees and to spot and flag applications that appear to be fraudulent.