The Barack Obama team deflected Republican claims that the candidate is affiliated with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) during a press call this afternoon.
ACORN conducted the largest voter-registration drive in the country this election season, focusing on minority and low-income individuals who tend to vote Democratic. But the group has fielded plenty of criticism in recent weeks for turning in around 10,000 voter registrations with fake names or suspicious signatures in several different states. The faulty forms amount to less than one percent of the 1.3 million voter registrations that the group submitted. However, the John McCain campaign has released an ad linking Obama to the group and its problems by saying that an “ACORN front” has been paid for get out the vote efforts.
On the press call today, Obama’s legal counsel, Bob Bauer, said that the organization is completely disconnected from the campaign. “The arguments made to conflate ACORN with our efforts are preposterous,” he said. “Our voter registration program never paid ACORN to register voters. We register our own voters by our own standards and we do it successfully.”
Bauer said that the McCain campaign is stoking fears of voter fraud to suppress voters. But the McCain campaign itself also has ties to ACORN. The candidate spoke at a 2006 ACORN immigration rally in Miami.