NEW YORK TIMES: Seeking law enforcement investigations into reports of fraudulent voter registrations in several states as an extension of the controversial firings of United States attorneys, the Obama campaign on Friday called for a review by a special prosecutor. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the Obama campaign, sent a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and Special Prosecutor Nora R. Dannehy, who is investigating the attorney firings, requesting that Ms. Dannehy also look into the whether F.B.I. investigations of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or Acorn, were politically motivated.
In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Mr. Bauer suggested that there was “an unholy alliance of law enforcement and the ugliest form of partisan politics.” “There is ample reason for us to be concerned about Republican involvement and we believe this ought to be included in the special prosecutor’s mandate,” Mr. Bauer said. Mr. Bauer spoke to reporters after the McCain campaign manager Rick Davis stepped up his attacks on Acorn on Friday, saying that reports of fraudulent voter registrations cast a “cloud of suspicion,” over the election.
In his letter, Mr. Bauer wrote:
I request that Special Prosecutor Dannehy’s inquiry include a review of any involvement by Justice Department and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican National Committee (“RNC”)’s systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud. It is highly likely that the very sort of politically motivated conduct identified in the Department’s investigation to date, necessitating the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, is repeating itself, and for the same reason: unwarranted and politically motivated intervention in the upcoming election. An investigation must be entrusted to government officials who do not have an improper political motivation or a conflict of interest, either in fact or appearance.
Privately law enforcement officials have said that the F.B.I. inquiries in several states into the fraudulent voter registration cards did not amount to a national investigation. Just today, another lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania. MORE
THE WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT: The demographics of ACORN’s registration efforts help explain why the GOP has taken such a strong stand against the organization. (In a fund-raising email, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin referred to ACORN as a “left-wing activist group.”) According to ACORN’s press materials, “an estimated 60-70 percent of our applicants are people of color” and “at least half of all registrations are from young people between 18-29.” Both voter groups are being targeted by Democrats. But if Democrats stand to gain so much from ACORN’s registration drives, why did Sen. John McCain tell an audience at an ACORN-sponsored rally two years ago that groups like ACORN are “what makes America special”? MORE
INQUIRER: ACORN is a nonprofit group that advocates for low-and moderate-income people. Over the last 18 months, it has mounted a massive national drive that has helped 1.3 million new voters to register. In recent days, some Republicans have been demonizing the group, alleging it has engaged in a conspiracy with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to unduly influence the election. During Wednesday’s final presidential debate, Republican presidential candidate John McCain accused ACORN of “maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” MORE
PHAWKER: Note how lock-step the GOP proxies have been in gangbanging the ACORN drum so loudly in the echo chamber of talk radio, cable news and newspaper opinion pages for the last couple weeks, curiously using the same key phrases which have undoubtedly been thoroughly focus-grouped and chosen for maximum capacity to outrage. This is, quite obviously, a carefully coordinated talking points offensive cooked up by RNC chaos gurus, a desperate last minute Hail Mary intended to intimidate and thereby the suppress the poor and minority vote, provide legal cover for whatever legalistic monkeyshines they plan to pull with sympathetic Bush-appointees in the Justice Department and the courts, and, worst case, provide a phony paper trail for undermining the legitimacy of an Obama presidency. Coming in the wake of violence done to the American electoral process in 2000 and 2004 by the RNC, this is akin to a serial rapist returning to the scene of the crime and blaming the victim.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country. Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.
It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to election experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party — a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states — has been accused of using the tactic across the country. Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime.
The 70,000 voters YPM has registered for the Republican Party this year will help combat the public perception that it is struggling amid Democratic gains nationally, give a boost to fundraising efforts and bolster member support for party leaders, political strategists from both parties say. Some also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote. The Times randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them — more than 80% — said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge. MORE