Monday, September 14, 2009

How does ACORN benefit?

Jay Tea, again, at Wizbang, looking at how ACORN might intend to benefit from its shennanigans:
...When the first video came out, my initial analysis would be that it would be no big deal. Such tactics have been used against Planned Parenthood, when an actress pretending to be an underage girl would confess to being pregnant by a much-older man -- and, instead of obeying state laws requiring that the statutory rape to the authorities, they conspired to plan the girl's abortion so that the police or her parents would never know about it.

I thought the same principle would hold for the ACORN videos. What I apparently didn't take into account was what I believe was a key element here -- the utterly unsympathetic nature of the actors' characters.

With Planned Parenthood, the people caught breaking the law on tape could say they were acting to help a terrified underage pregnant girl. With ACORN, though, the people they thought were helping were utterly despicable -- a prostitute and a pimp with political ambitions, who planned to set up a brothel and bring in underage girls from Latin America to work in it.


Just why would ACORN be interested in working on the census, anyway? And how does it relate to their extensive record of voter registration fraud?

Now, this is just speculation. I have no deeply-placed sources, no secret documents, just a bunch of imagining and drawing together tidbits of data and a healthy dose of paranoid analysis applied to commonly-known facts. But, as Yogi Berra famously said, "you can observe a lot just by watching."


...Why would ACORN (or anyone) want to flood the voter rolls with false registrations? What would be gained by doing that?

The simplest answer just isn't plausible: to steal the election. To have people show up on election day, claim to be the voter named on the forged form, and cast a ballot. That is just too much work at too much risk. All it would take would be a few of them to be caught and tell where they got the false identity information. Such a scandal would destroy the organization, and quite possibly destroy the political party that benefited from it.

So, why do it at all? What would they gain in exchange for the legal risks and the public disgrace of the scandals?

Simply put, they are planting seeds for future actions.

Let's say that in one close election, ACORN's candidate loses in a district where they submitted 5,000 fraudulent voter registration forms. (This is not so far-fetched. In Lake County, Indiana, in 2008, ACORN submitted 5,000 forms. Election officials checked 2,100 of them without finding a single valid one -- so just dumped all 5,000 of them.) The bogus voters will be counted as having not voted, meaning they have driven down the voter turnout -- cheapening any mandate the winning candiate might claim.

Further, should ACORN or the losing candidate choose to accuse the winning side of "voter suppression," that low turnout will be cited as evidence that voters were kept away from the polls.

This explanation ties in perfectly with ACORN's interest in helping run the census. The main purpose of the census is to determine congressional representation.

While the Senate is apportioned equally to the several states (two each), the House of Representatives is divided up among the states by population. ...

Right now, the population in the United States is shifting. The current projections are that several traditionally Republican states will pick up seats, at the expense of several Democratic seats.


So, what could they do about it?

Well, it would certainly help if there were a whole bunch more people reported as living in inner cities and other urban areas. Whether or not they really exist doesn't matter -- they'll be "real" enough on the census forms, and that will help shape the House of Representatives for the next decade.

As shown above, a dozen seats are likely to change states after next year. With ACORN doing the counting, they might have been able to save a few of those seats for the Democrats.


No comments: