Monday, March 30, 2009

Defending ACORN

The best two arguments that I've heard in defense of ACORN are 1) " is ACORN itself that is being defrauded by the[eir] workers.” and 2) The evidence shows that there is very little voter fraud.

Both of these are VERY TRUE. However, they are also VERY IRRELEVANT.

1) With this logic, it’s not the fault of the Peanut Butter factories’ policies or their processes or their procedures for the recent salmonella poisonings….instead (using the above logic) it’s the fault of their workers. Let’s peek at the relevant facts: To varying degrees, all companies/non-profits are responsible for their actions. So, ACORN is responsible not only for their workers, but also for their policies, processes, and procedures that lead to registration fraud.

2) Registration fraud is not the same as voter fraud. So, using the lack of voter fraud as proof that registration fraud shouldn't be cleaned up is irrelevant.

Take those two things away and,,,,,What's the defense of ACORN again?


  1. I believe both of your analogies are wrong, Rich.

    1) The peanut butter factories willfully ignored their failing test results, and thus were accomplices in that debacle. Whereas ACORN was doing exactly what they are supposed to do by turning in to the authorities the registrations they believed to be fraudulent.

    2) That logic would be fine if the GOP were indeed hyping it as registration fraud. But they're not. They're hyping it as voter fraud. Thus pointing out that it's not voter fraud is a valid rebuttal. And the fact remains that there were less than a handful of voter fraud cases in the last election. Want to talk about diebolt machines in Ohio (and elsewhere) in '04 (and still), consistent voter caging efforts by the GOP, the now that's another topic ;).

    One of the reasons I switched parties way back when was the desire to err on the side of people trying to encourage more people to exercise their right to vote, as opposed to the people who are constantly trying to find new ways to prevent people from voting. And if we cut through all the hype and spin, that's ultimately what the GOP's problem with ACORN comes down to. The GOP strategists smartly know that ACORN is working to register folks in poor areas, who are overwhelmingly minority and big-D Democratic, so they invent boogeymen to try and stop that from happening. It's purely political strategy.

  2. just wanted to add further rebuttal to point 1):

    ACORN's "policies, processes, and procedures" obviously worked because they caught the fraudulent registrations and turned them into the elections officials as they're supposed to do. So their "policies, processes, and procedures" system worked exactly as designed...what's the problem? Whereas the p.b. companies received information that they weren't in compliance with the law and instead of going to the FDA with that info - as the fine folks at ACORN would have done in this analogy - decided to try and sweep it under the rug. Again, 180 degree difference.

  3. Please forgive me for using the peanut butter analogy. Instead of going round and round defending it; I'll just admit that it didn't work and try something else. I don't know why it didn't work, but the fact reamins that it didn't work, so I'll move on. Fair enough?

    Can we agree that ANY registration fraud is a bad thing?

    Can we agree that avoidable registration fraud should be avoided?

    My #1 and #2 were designed to show that 1) ACORN is responsible for preventing preventable things.... and 2) you and both agree that voter fraud is relatively speaking a non issue so why keep bringing it up?

    IMHO what ACORN is responsible for and what they should do is design a system that does not incentivize their workers to commit fraud. That's all I'm after. Just take responsibility for their responsibilities.

    Is that too much to ask for?

  4. Let me bring an observation to light here. Acorn didn't start correcting any registration fraud problems until they were caught with their hands in the "cookie jar".