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Old 04-06-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default The Mighty ACORN!

The Mighty ACORN
By Bill O'Reilly for BillOReilly.com
Thursday, Apr 02, 2009

In conservative circles, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is the devil. This group mobilizes left-wing voters and champions liberal causes, sometimes using tax money (state and federal grants) to pay expenses. Of course, that makes right-wingers seethe with indignation.

ACORN employees across the country have been indicted for voter fraud and, by its own admission, the group has submitted at least 400,000 questionable voter documents, according to a New York Times report dated October 24, 2008.

Now, two whistle blowers, Anita MonCrief and Marcel Reed, who used to work for ACORN, have testified under oath before the House Judiciary Committee that the organization took money to intimidate capitalist organizations like the Carlyle Group and H&R Block and worked closely with the Obama presidential campaign to get voters to the polls. It is here where the story begins to rise to the next level.

According to Ms. MonCrief, New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom was getting close to documenting a story directly linking the Obama campaign to ACORN through the "Project Vote" organization. President Obama himself worked for "Project Vote" in the 1990s. There is speculation that "Project Vote" did a number of illegal things last November during the voter registration process. Apparently, Ms. Strom was zeroing in on the situation.

But then the Times investigation suddenly stopped dead, prompting a call from Ms. Strom, the reporter, to Ms. MonCrief, her source. A voice mail by Strom was left on October 21, 2008:

"Hi, Anita, it's Stephanie. I've just been asked by my bosses to stand down... they want me to hold off on coming to Washington. Sorry, I take my orders from higher up."

The Times did run a story about ACORN's left-wing partisanship, but stopped there. The paper would not make Stephanie Strom available to talk with me. Spokeswoman Catherine Mathis sent a statement saying, "Every day we make news judgments about which stories to publish and which ones not to pursue. Political considerations played no role in our decision about whether to cover this story."

Of course, the motto of the New York Times is "All the News That's Fit to Print." "Standing down" on a story with presidential implications does not seem to fit that motto. Or am I wrong?

But Congressman John Conyers, a fervent Democrat and head of the Judiciary Committee, is not standing down. He is calling for a full House investigation of ACORN's role in the Presidential election and beyond. Good for him.

The story is somewhat technical, thus does not hold much appeal for TV news operations, but it is important. According to the whistleblowers, ACORN is a corrupt organization with close ties to the Obama administration. That sounds kind of ominous. Let's hope Conyers continues to step up.

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