John Fund: Let’s not forget Obama’s ACORN connections
posted at 2:58 pm on September 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Barack Obama claimed that the latest scandal at ACORN had not really hit his radar screen during his “full Ginsburg” this weekend. Perhaps Obama hoped that Americans would forget the extensive history he had with the community-organizing group, or at least develop amnesia about his partnership with them during the presidential election. After all, Obama gave ACORN $800,000 to conduct get-out-the-vote work, which his campaign disclosed only reluctantly last summer. John Fund reminds readers of these connections:
Only one of the five television networks that interviewed President Obama for their Sunday shows bothered to ask him about Acorn, the left-wing community organizing group whose federal funding was cut off last week by an overwhelming vote in Congress.
“Frankly, it’s not something I’ve followed closely,” Mr. Obama claimed, adding he wasn’t even aware the group had been the recipient of significant federal funding. “This is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to,” he said. …
Mr. Obama took great pains to act as if he barely knew about Acorn. In fact, his association goes back almost 20 years. In 1991, he took time off from his law firm to run a voter-registration drive for Project Vote, an Acorn partner that was soon fully absorbed under the Acorn umbrella. The drive registered 135,000 voters and was considered a major factor in the upset victory of Democrat Carol Moseley Braun over incumbent Democratic Senator Alan Dixon in the 1992 Democratic Senate primary.
Mr. Obama’s success made him a hot commodity on the community organizing circuit. He became a top trainer at Acorn’s Chicago conferences. In 1995, he became Acorn’s attorney, participating in a landmark case to force the state of Illinois to implement the federal Motor Voter Law. That law’s loose voter registration requirements would later be exploited by Acorn employees in an effort to flood voter rolls with fake names.
Obama can head for the high grass, as Fund puts it, but he won’t find much cover there. They’ve been hitting the road hard for his ObamaCare effort, as well as for Obama administration programs for housing assistance. ACORN has positioned itself as Obama’s political ground troops since the campaign, and the connections cannot be easily dismissed.
Read all of Fund’s column.