ACORN, the liberal community organizing group beset with scandal, may drop its drives to register voters, following its most recent difficulties.
Such a development could hurt Democrats. That’s because ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) says it submitted more than 1 million voter-registration applications for low-income people and minorities in the 2008 election, The Wall Street Journal reports. Most of those groups vote Democratic.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly prohibit ACORN from obtaining federal funds. Republicans attached the measure against ACORN to a beloved Democratic bill that eliminates private lenders from the college loan market.
ACORN has suffered a stream of embarrassments over the past few years. The most recent one came from a series of secretly recorded videos showing ACORN employees offering advice on evading taxes, setting up brothels and smuggling illegal immigrants.
In the past, ACORN employees were caught filling out false voter-registration forms.
ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan told The Journal that the group is now determining whether to shift its focus to lower-profile election duties such as convincing registered voters to show up at the polls.
"If you do registration on a large scale, you open yourselves up to political attack because it's inevitable that you will make some small mistakes," Whelan said.
ACORN’s stated goal has been to register poor Americans to vote.
The group’s woes have energized Republicans, who have pointed to ACORN’s ties to President Obama. Democrats have steered millions of dollars in federal aid to ACORN to help the poor find homes.
"ACORN is a nut Republicans will be able to chew on for some time," Greg Mueller, a Republican campaign consultant, told The Journal.
Even Democrats are up in arms.
Second-term Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio, released a statement saying, "What ACORN has done is wrong, unacceptable, and unconscionable. We are going to continue pursuing this until we get to the very bottom of it and uncover how this was allowed to happen."
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