Obama camp tries to regain offensive in ACORN war

10/17/08 Mitch E. Perry
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The Barack Obama campaign today called for the Attorney General to investigate what they allege is illegal conduct and improprieties in the “anti-fraud” campaign orchestrated by the John McCain campaign.

Yesterday, reports surfaced that the FBI was investigating ACORN, the grass-roots group whose voter registration tactics have become an issue in the presidential race. That leak came a day after John McCain accused ACORN of “committing potentially one of the greatest frauds of voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy in this country.”

Bob Bauer, general counsel for the Obama campaign, calls the FBI’s leak after McCain’s debate comments an "unholy alliance" reminiscent of the U.S. Attorneys scandal in which a Special Prosecutor is currently reviewing political pressure applied to U.S. Attorneys which resulted in eight of them being fired in 2006.

David Iglesias was a U.S. Attorney in New Mexico who was fired because he would not prosecute alleged voter fraud after being pressured to do so by New Mexico GOP Senator Pete Domenici.

Iglesias told the website Talking Points Memo today that, "I'm astounded that this issue is being trotted out again. Based on what I saw in 2004 and 2006, it's a scare tactic.”

When asked if the Obama camp doesn’t take voter fraud charges seriously, as has been alleged by the McCain camp, Bauer said they certainly did.

Bauer sent a seven-page letter sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and to the Special Prosecutor Nora Dannehy investigating the firing of the U.S. Attorneys back in 2006. Bauer said the facts and the law require Dannehy to look at the recent partisan Republican activities throughout the country. He says the GOP seeks to both suppress the vote and to unduly influence investigations and prosecutors through baseless allegations of voter fraud – which was what the department of Justice said happened back in the 2006 election cycle.

Earlier today John McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis said the press reports about the FBI’s investigation confirm what the McCain camp has known.

For a couple of weeks now, the McCain camp has tried to link ACORN’s problems with Obama. In Wednesday night’s debate, Obama acknowledged the work he did with the group when he was a community organizer in the 1990s.

But the McCain camp has been pressing the Obama team to explain $832,000 that the Obama camp paid to an ACORN subsidiary, called Citizens Services.

Davis said a cloud of suspicion hangs over the general election because of ACORN’s alleged miscues. He was asked by a reporter if he doesn’t get the answers he’s looking for, will the McCain camp claim the election wasn’t fair? Davis said the more public scrutiny on the issue, the better.

ACORN’s leadership has contacted former Republican Senators John Danforth and Warren Rudman to request a meeting. The men are chairmen of the McCain campaign’s “Honest and Open Election Committee.”

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