Project Vote: A twisted branch of the ACORN tree

posted at 6:50 pm on October 23, 2009 by Anita MonCrief

A strange anomaly occurs whenever the phrase “voter registration fraud” is searched. Who’s responsible for that? Perhaps the players? Search the Internet and you will find dozens of stories on the Association of Community Organizations For Reform Now or ACORN on a never ending stream of Google results. However, Project Vote (Voting for America) is often only listed as an affiliate. Articles posted by the mainstream media tend to downplay Project Vote’s role or is it something else?

In the fall of 2005 I answered an ad posted on Idealist.org similar to the one provided by the Capital Research Center below. It was the beginning of my journey with ACORN. Throughout the interview process I never heard the words Project Vote, only ACORN. The goal was to make sure that I was ideologically aligned with the principles -and I use that term loosely – of ACORN.

idealist

When I came to Washington, D.C. to start working for ACORN, it quickly became evident to me that Project Vote did not have a lot of employees and was a part of ACORN. Often we employees wore many hats and worked weekends and late nights with the sense that we were doing it for the “movement.”

One of my first assignments at Project Vote was to research the voter registration fraud allegations from 2004. It was not hard to discern a pattern in how the accusations were processed: ACORN blamed an employee, the employee was fired, vilified, tried and sentenced. Case closed. Every time Project Vote remain unscathed while ACORN cried racism and attacked the “evil right-wingers.” What I then speculated is that Project Vote did not have the field capacity to run the voter registration drives without ACORN. Project Vote existed because of ACORN and did not seem like it could continue without it. Besides shared offices across the country; there were people like myself who held duel positions in both organizations. Senator Chuck Grassley requested information related to the tax status of ACORN entities and it was determined that:

“Per its 2006 Form 990, Project Vote received $8,688,580 in direct public support,and $250,759 in contractual fees. It then paid $4,649,037 to ACORN for contractual and campaign services and $779,016 to Citizens Consulting, Inc. Thus, $5,428,023, or over 60% of its revenues, was paid to two taxable, affiliated entities (emphasis mine).

“…In general, the flow of money among the ACORN family of organizations is a big shell came. Dollars raised for charitable activity appear to be used for impermissible lobbying and political activity. This is similar to the use of charities by Jack Abramoff. Similar to those organizations, charities are being used to raise monies which are then funneled to other charities or other organizations for purposes other than what a donor may have intended.”

On the ACORN side, I was part of political operations. POLOPS, as we called it during my tenure, had Zach Polett as its point person. Zach ran Project Vote, ACORN Political Operations, and sometimes, Citizens Services Inc. (CSI). Voter registration drives, lawsuits, youth voting, etc were all handled by this main ACORN nebulous, and I watched it run like a slightly inept machine. Over the years Project Vote has loudly protested that it is not a part of ACORN. Barack Obama’s Fight the Smears website also makes this absurd claim.

Fullscreen capture 10192009 73531 PM

After the New York Times broke the ACORN embezzlement scandal in July of 2008 and subsequently released portions of the Elizabeth Kingsley report, recommendations were made about improving the overall operation of the affiliates. In particular the roles of the board members was discussed at length. According to information provided by former board members in July of 2008, not only was the board unaware of the embezzlement, but some of the affiliate board members were not even aware that they were on the board! Project Vote replaced a few of its board members, but somehow managed to still stock it with trusted ACORN insiders. A look at their website illustrates this point.

Fullscreen capture 10162009 62515 PM

A quick search of the Internet yields tons of information on the active role the board members have played in ACORN and bloggers have reviewed these ACORN ties. What is most interesting is that now a year after ACORN pledged to clean up their ranks, these same board members continue an active role in supporting ACORN while it appears that they only represent Project Vote on paper. I have included a brief summary of some conflicting ACORN activities of “non partisan” Project Vote’s board members

Donna Massey, President – A New Party alum from ACORN’s home state of Arkansas, Massey, acts as co-chair of Arkansas ACORN and chairs the ACORN PAC, a political action committee that actively endorses Democrat candidates. After the “reforms” put in place after the embezzlement scandal, Massey has been active in the SEIU aligned Health Care for Reform Now (HCAN).

Fullscreen capture 10202009 123621 AM

Maxine Nelson, Vice-President – Nelson was on the board of Project Vote for years as its president and is a longtime ACORN insider who also sits on the national board of ACORN. Nelson’s bio speaks for itself:

Organizations: ACORN member (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) since 1986.

Offices held: Chair of ACORN Political Action Committee; Secretary; Asst. State Chair; Chair, Jefferson County ACORN; Delegate to ACORN Associate Board since 1999, also served as Southern Regional Representative.

PROJECT VOTE President since 1998

After the ACORN prostitution scandal hit, Nelson could be found making the rounds on the “denial” tour for ACORN:“

‘It’s not going to affect what we do locally,’ she said after the rally on the state Capitol steps. ‘We work in the neighborhood, we work on issues that affect the every day citizen. We will continue to work on our issues like health care reform, which is not only a national issue but it’s a local issue.’

Sunday Alabi, Board Treasurer: Alabi’s name may sound familiar to some, in 2008 he was implicated in what appeared to be a cover up of the Obama presidential campaign’s payment to CSI. Like Nelson, Alabi seems to have spent much of the fall doing damage control for ACORN after the prostitution scandal broke:

“We’re shocked to see those things happen,” said Sunday Alabi, who sits on ACORN’s state and national boards. He said the people who made the video didn’t visit the Minnesota office.”

Not only has Alabi endorsed candidates through Minnesota’s ACORN PAC, but like many ACORN board members Alabi appears to have a political agenda that supports Democrats while attacking conservatives like Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota:

Minnesota ACORN Board Member Sunday Alabi:

“It is sad that Rep. Bachmann isn’t focusing on the very real issues facing the 6th Congressional District, which, for example, has the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota. ACORN is working hard every day in Minnesota to stop predatory lending, and is even helping Rep. Bachmann’s own constituents to save their homes. Meanwhile, Rep. Bachmann seems more interested in partisan witch hunts. We are concerned that she is trying to paper over the fact that she has once again sided with the predatory lenders and neglected the residents of the 6th Congressional District.”

As public scrutiny of ACORN reaches a fever pitch and ACORN scrambles to cover their tracks it appears that these efforts are only cosmetic. Like the plaster wall Project Vote added in the DC office to “separate” it from ACORN national and DC local in preparation for the 2008 elections, the changes have not touched the core of the ACORN empire.

logo_withurl

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

POLOPS? Like a cancerous tumor?

darclon on October 23, 2009 at 6:55 PM

This ACORN is more of a noxious weed.

Mr. Joe on October 23, 2009 at 6:57 PM

This tree needs to be ripped up by the roots and killed. Thanks Anita for this info. Keep it coming. Will be following all of your articles.

BetseyRoss on October 23, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Just how many twisted related branches of this organization are there? They had to have a beginning and have to have some pretty big guns in high places cultivating the branches. I hope it all leads to the collapse of the liberal democrats in office.

fourdeucer on October 23, 2009 at 7:01 PM

AGAIN, wrap your head around the fact that our President TRAINED ACORN thugs. Am I dreaming?

marklmail on October 23, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Thanks for sharing your story Ms Moncrief.

ornery_independent on October 23, 2009 at 7:04 PM

This is a fantastic post. Not only for its content & structure but for its look as well.

Nice work.

ChipDWood on October 23, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Thank You For Coming Forward And Stepping Up.

Dr Evil on October 23, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Ms. Moncrief is a brave soul.

“When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish”

faraway on October 23, 2009 at 7:18 PM

RICO, RICO, RICO

GunRunner on October 23, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Keep up the good work Anita!

Great to have you on our side!

Joe Caps on October 23, 2009 at 7:21 PM

“Per its 2006 Form 990, Project Vote received $8,688,580 in direct public support,and $250,759 in contractual fees.

Public money being used for voter registration efforts drives me crazy. Why is it my responsibility to encourage you to vote? If you can’t be bothered to register yourself you deserve the representatives that the rest of the country elects.

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Thank you again Anita. You are a profile in courage.

johnnybgood on October 23, 2009 at 7:49 PM

AP, Ed, Doc Zero, you have a new rising star! Thank you Ms. Moncrief. I hope that you will continue to enlighten us about those who would do harm to this great country and our way of life.

viviliberoomuori on October 23, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Contact your Congresscritters to permanently defund tax dollars to ACORN and all of its tentacle affiliates. Michelle Bachman told Glenn Beck in a radio interview recently that the current suspension of funding ends on October 31. Then without congressional interference, it will be back to business as usual for this organized crime group.

Anita, your investigative work and clear presentation of those facts is most excellent.

onlineanalyst on October 23, 2009 at 8:08 PM

“Per its 2006 Form 990, Project Vote received $8,688,580 in direct public support,and $250,759 in contractual fees.

Public money being used for voter registration efforts drives me crazy. Why is it my responsibility to encourage you to vote? If you can’t be bothered to register yourself you deserve the representatives that the rest of the country elects.

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Exactly. Self reliance. If you cannot figure out how to register, you have no business voting.

Bravo Ms. Moncrief! You are a courageous patriot!

Buckeye Babe on October 23, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Like the plaster wall Project Vote added in the DC office to “separate” it from ACORN national and DC local in preparation for the 2008 elections, the changes have not touched the core of the ACORN empire.

No they haven’t, yet. But brave and ethical people like Anita MonCrief are peeling away their cover and exposing them for what they are. Thank you for your service to our country.

Loxodonta on October 23, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Anita does it again.
Anita you write wonderfully. I think you missed your calling. You need to write a book! It will be a best seller!
I will buy it sight unseen. Thanks for sharing with us, and free to boot. :o)

IowaWoman on October 23, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Is \’Community Organizing\’ basically just organized crime rebranded?It is starting to look like it. Good thing we have a community organizer in chief.

Anders on October 23, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Great info, Anita. God bless you for your courage.

pugwriter on October 23, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Good points,BadgerHawk.

I have never completely understand the logic of giving a private organization tax payers money in order to persuade citizens to vote unless the goal is to use that money to bribe people to vote for their cause or political party.

BadgerHawk, how much would you bet that if there is a local law , a State Constitutional Amendment and a Federal Constitutional Amendment explicitly prohibiting the government to use public money for voter registration with the penalty would be life imprisonment, financially crippling fines as well as death penalty to officials both elected and appointed if found guilty by law or if in cases of in flagrante delicto, the said official and anybody assiting him shall be executed immediately at the scene of the crime. There would be a 90-95%% reduction of voter fraud in this country.

DinobotPrime on October 23, 2009 at 8:32 PM

GunRunner on October 23, 2009 at 7:20 PM Where does the RICO investigation end? The One is riddled with dirt and scandal. The liberal media put him in the job and apparently will work to keep him there. What a mess we have. The courts may end up using the birth certificate issue just to find an easy way out.

IlikedAUH2O on October 23, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Thank you for exposingthe scandalous Acorn. I love a woman with balls…we need more of you.

Whippet on October 23, 2009 at 9:25 PM

This is incredible! Thank you for sharing and helping us better understand this massive cancer that is lurking in our midst. This is even more incredible than I imagined, and I imagined it was pretty bad…

lovingmyUSA on October 23, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Anita,
To redundantly state the obvious: You are a person of great courage, integrity and intellect.
Thank you for being so.
From the right, you’ll get the pat on the back you deserve rather than the pat on the head you got from the left.
Keep up your great work.
Jim

Jim Wrenn on October 23, 2009 at 9:55 PM

AP, Ed, Doc Zero, you have a new rising star! Thank you Ms. Moncrief. I hope that you will continue to enlighten us about those who would do harm to this great country and our way of life.

viviliberoomuori on October 23, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Anita’s got more than just opinions to share. It’s an honor be posting alongside her!

Doctor Zero on October 23, 2009 at 11:23 PM

Has anyone even heard or seen anything about this vote?!


http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2599000/

Maxine Waters leads charge along with Democrats to give ACORN regulatory authority over financial institutions!

What in God’s name is going on in this country? The fact that Waters has any role in OUR government is a crime and shame in its self, but for these votes to happen with out anyone saying a peep is an outrage. How in the hell can they do this with investigations ongoing into ACORN?

Im going to lose my mind. What other things have they been doing while we werent paying attention? Just how much bull are these liberal anti-American fools going to shove through this year?

bucsox79 on October 24, 2009 at 12:06 AM

My fellow HotAiricans,

We must take special precaution in the upcoming elections to assure that they henceforth never steal another election.

If you have not spent any of your time in your voting precinct other than to get in, cast your vote and get out, perhaps it’s time to get involved in the whole process.

There are plenty of us who can volunteer our time and cell phones, cameras and ears to monitor and document voter registration fraud.

Your local precinct captain, board of elections and/or chairperson can get you involved if you are willing.
Much of the info can be had by searching “Voter registration” (your State) and follow the leads.
The time to start is now. We are behind in this seemingly endless relay race and it’s time to take the baton. Just do it.
Please.

OkieDoc on October 24, 2009 at 12:26 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhPqmJynQPU

“Damn it feels good to be a victim” by Zo and co

bucsox79 on October 24, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Ms. Moncrief; You are a courageous woman and your courage will be rewarded. Keep it up.

ted c on October 24, 2009 at 7:14 AM

Ms. Moncrief,
Thank you, and please watch your back.

OmahaConservative on October 24, 2009 at 8:54 AM