News Column

ACORN Census 2010 Connection Angers Conservatives

June 25, 2009


2010 census, ACORN controversy, conservatives angry

Conservatives are riled up about a partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau and the controversial liberal group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

ACORN, which strives to be an advocate for the poor, has come under fire in recent years for alleged voter fraud. For instance, in 2007, state seven temporary employees in Washington State were charged with submitting fraudulent voter registration forms.

The group will be helping the Census Bureau recruit 1.4 million workers to canvass neighborhoods around the country for Census 2010.

News of the partnership sparked outcry Wednesday from the stand-in for Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

"How would the government, how would the Obama administration, Congressman, possibly think that it could get away with hiring a group like ACORN?" said Beck's stand-in, Judge Andrew Napolitano. "After all we've been through, after all the fraud, proven and alleged, after all the indictments, after all the charges."

Napolitano talked to a guest who suggested assigning that role to the Post Office instead, noting that the cash-starved agency could use the money.

The partnership also stirred the dander of the conservative Washington Times, which ran an editorial decrying the decision.

"We could write a book on the false voter registrations submitted by ACORN," the editorial said. "There are bizarre stories, such as one from Cleveland, where ACORN employees reregistered the same individual 77 times, even though the individual kept on telling the ACORN workers that he was already registered."

Republican Minnesota legislator Michele Bachmanntook the criticism a step further Thursday, drawing a link between the Census and Japanese internment camps during an interview about the ACORN connection on Fox News.

"Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps," said Bachmann. "I'm not saying that that's what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps."

An ACORN spokesman couldn't be reached for comment Thursday by

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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