McCain links Obama to ACORN scandal

10/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
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John McCain's campaign today seized on a spate of negative news about the community activist group ACORN, and claimed that Barack Obama’s ties to the group need to be vetted further by the media.

As they have done with former Weather Underground member Bill Ayres, the McCain camp on a conference call today claimed that Obama’s links to the group should cast aspersions on his candidacy.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a national activist group with local affiliates around the country that works on issues with low-income people.

They also have worked on registering voters – but have repeatedly been charged with phony voter registrations over the years, and currently are under investigation in at least eight states, including Nevada, where names of Dallas Cowboy players were listed as new registrants.

McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis told reporters today that Barack Obama’s ties with ACORN go back to the early 1990s.

In August, it was reported that Obama's presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to a group called Citizens Services Inc. -- a subsidiary of ACORN – for work in "get-out-the-vote" projects, after initially reporting that the money was for activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary.

A spokeswoman for the FEC said it is was not unusual for campaigns to amend reports, even regarding large sums of money. But the McCain campaign sees it as a smoking gun,, saying Obama has been secretive in admitting his association with the organization.

Early in his career, Obama worked as an organizer for Project Vote, an ACORN offshoot and, according to the Associated Press, represented ACORN in legal actions.

Davis said ACORN is being investigated in many swing states in this election, prompting a Los Angeles reporter to ask if he was already making excuses if the McCain camp loses those states on Election Day.

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