The attorney general of Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto, isn’t buying into radical advocacy group ACORN’s efforts to convince America it doesn’t exist.
The Democratic elected office holder is moving ahead at full speed with a criminal prosecution of ACORN even though the cash-strapped leftist group dissolved its national structure and has reportedly gone from 250 to just four employees.
The charges relate to ACORN’s preferred criminal activity: voter registration fraud.
Nevada alleges ACORN illegally subjected its employees to voter registration quotas and gave out bonuses for extra registrations. Such conduct is unlawful in Nevada because policy makers there believe offering incentives to voter registration canvassers provides incentives for them to present fraudulent registrations.
The fear appears to be well-founded, especially in the case of ACORN. Both ACORN and voter registration/voter mobilization subsidiary Project Vote, which used to count President Obama among its employees, routinely place “Mickey Mouse,” celebrities, out-of-state residents, and dead people, on the voter rolls every election cycle. Some ACORN critics say the group does this in order to steal elections; others say the group simply wants to cause chaos at the polls.
But even legal death won’t get ACORN off the hook for election-related fraud.
According to Conrad Hafen, Nevada’s chief deputy attorney general, neither bankruptcy nor dissolution would “necessarily protect (ACORN) from prosecution” in the state.
If ACORN ends up being convicted it would send shock waves through leftist organizing circles. Such an earthquake might embolden prosecutors across America to take on ACORN and similar shady groups. It’s worth noting that until it was charged by Nevada last year, ACORN had openly bragged about its ability to duck prosecution for election fraud.
Former ACORN regional director Amy Busefink is also charged with election-related improprieties. Amazingly, Busefink continues to be employed by ACORN’s get-out-the-vote subsidiary, Project Vote, according to the staff listings on Project Vote’s website (as of July 21). A spokesman for Project Vote, which continues to operate out of ACORN’s old Washington, D.C., headquarters, did not respond to my request for comment.
Former ACORN Las Vegas field director Christopher Edwards is expected to testify against both ACORN and Busefink.
Charged with election fraud, Edwards cut a deal with prosecutors and has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters.
A Las Vegas judge determined this week that ACORN and Busefink will proceed to trial Nov. 29. It remains to be seen if the adverse publicity that will no doubt be generated in the lead-up to the trial will hurt ACORN ally Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
The nation goes to the polls for congressional elections on Nov. 2.