"Senator Mullis indicates his ignorance by calling for revocation of ACORN’s tax-exempt status; the organization does not have such status.”Sentator Mullis was correct in calling for ACORN's tax exempt status to be revoked because it does have one, it just happens to be registered in the name of Project Vote. Civil RICO charges filed on January 7, 2009 allege what the liberal voter registration world has known for years. The complaint details a report done by ACORN's own lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley. The complaint also quotes part of the document that was leaked to the New York Times.
"But Ms. Kingsley found that the tight relationship between Project Vote and Acorn made it impossible to document that Project Vote’s money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner. Until the embezzlement scandal broke last summer, Project Vote’s board was made up entirely of Acorn staff members and Acorn members.
Ms. Kingsley’s report raised concerns not only about a lack of documentation to demonstrate that no charitable money was used for political activities but also about which organization controlled strategic decisions.
She wrote that the same people appeared to be deciding which regions to focus on for increased voter engagement for Acorn and Project Vote. Zach Pollett, for instance, was Project Vote’s executive director and Acorn’s political director, until July, when he relinquished the former title. Mr. Pollett continues to work as a consultant for Project Vote through another Acorn affiliate."Oddly enough this same group continues to act as if nothing is amiss and that its staff are not facing criminal charges and Erisa Violations, of course this is on top of the charges of civil rights violations. ACORN's response: hold a vigil on civil rights in Arizona. The audacity of criminals is amazing to me and I have evidence and testimony to support Senator Mullis's claims.
During my tenure at Project Vote from 2005-2008 I personally witnessed that :
- Project Vote violated its 501 (c) 3 status since its inception by using government and private grants that ultimately go directly or indirectly to ACORN for partisan purposes.
- ACORN, Project Vote and Citizen Services Inc. (CSI) are the same organization with different tax designations that are used to facilitate the transfer of money between the organizations Direct and Indirect knowledge
- ACORN has promoted a culture of dishonesty motivated by reaching target Voter Registration goals and senior staff have portrayed an attitude that allows for some “bad” cards in order to reach these goals
- As of January 2008, Karyn Gillette, Project Vote Development Director, Jeff Robinson, and Nathan Henderson James, Project Vote Research and Political Director are all employed by CSI-Citizens Services Inc- and may have worked directly with anyone seeking the services of CSI and money paid to CSI would have obvious ACORN ties.
- Karyn Gillette provided list obtained from the Kerry, Clinton,and Obama campaigns, as well as the 2004 DNC donor lists. These lists were shared with the Political directors of roughly 12 ACORN battleground states in order to raise money for a $28 million dollar ( number as of 11/2007) voter registration drive.
- ACORN and Project Vote have used CCI to transfer money between the organizations and may be guilty of violating RICO statues
In a memo entitled Thinking Ahead: Potential Political Operations Priorities & Projects 2007 – 2008 dated 11/22/06, Project Vote Executive Director Zach Polett stated the following goals:
Develop strategies for using politics and our political work to support ACORN's organizing, growth, and membership representation agendas -- with particular focus on municipal and state elections
Build a relationship with the Administration that will take office in January 2009
Have CSI play a major field role in the general election and, possibly, in the primaries.
Congressional District Strategy: Develop a plan, for 2007 implementation and funding, that targets organizing, communications and political work in a set of marginal CDs that changed party in the 2006 election. [Also develop list of seats in which current party holds a seat that went the opposite way in the last presidential election – these will contain a number of seats likely to be closely contested in 08.]"
Expand our CSI campaign consulting business
A) Develop CSI as a profit center for the work of Political Operations.
B) Expand ACORN’s power and reach by creating the in-house capacity to deliver political capacity when it’s needed: managing ballot measure campaigns; collecting signatures; running large electoral field campaigns; running campaigns of local candidates for office; conducting grasstips lobbying campaigns; etc.
POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION PLANS
A) Write a business plan for CSI, including marketing plan and pricing plan.
B) Identify or hire a Managing Director for CSI’s external business.
C) Identify a list of potential funded ballot measure campaigns that CSI should pursue for full-service and/or signature collection management contracts.
D) Identify a list of 2007 and 2008 candidate campaigns that CSI should pursue for contracts and relationships.Amazingly the final goal in the memo involves something that clearly relates to recent election chaos.
“Secretaries of State: Identify 2007 and 2008 Secretary of State races in which we should play, with the goal of getting responsible, pro-voter, competent people in these offices.”
ACORN seems to be very successful at running a voter registration campaign that is fronted by Project Vote but then “contracted” to ACORN t o do the work always ultimately turns partisan, as it states in the Midwest Regional Report Year End/Year Begin 2006/2007:
“Voter Registration did a huge number of cards, 70K but also had big gaps in the tightness of the drive. Minnesota had a breakthrough year as well, with APAC making early endorsements in the Governor’s race, Keith Ellison for Congress, Mark Ritchie for Secretary of State and Lori Swanson for AG. We won 3 of the 4 big ones, with our candidate’s meltdown a week out costing us a huge friend in the Governor’s mansion. We ran a good-sized America Votes canvass in our turf as well as 13K registrations.”
Not only should Mullis call for action against Project Vote, but it may be time to see what ACORN has really been up to with its other “sister” organizations. ACORN is like a turtle and rarely lets its true money makers stick their heads up or as Zach Polett puts it in his notes from 02/09/06:
“Communications Stuff: Do we really want a communication person to establish and maintain relationships with reporters? Do we want Project Vote to have increased visibility on field stuff? Leads most likely to attacks. So keep your head down and keep the non-partisan 501c3 status away from attack. Keep it pristine. Some things we may want to be Project Vote, such as EA [Election Administration] stuff.
A media component might be a part of a larger plan to move policy reports and analysis, most likely with policy reporters, not so much with political reporters, who are more on the lookout for the next Abramoff scandal.”That quote speaks for itself. Good Luck Senator Mullis.