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Awful: ACORN Will Shut Down For Good

Following months of relentless attacks by Republicans over a manufactured scandal, the poor people's advocacy group has announced that it will permanently shut its doors.

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According to a report by the Justice Department's inspector general released two years ago, "In a March 2006 email forwarded to [Craig] Donsanto in the [Justice Department's] Public Integrity Section, Rogers complained about voter fraud in New Mexico and added, 'I have calls in, to the USA [U.S. Attorney] and his main assistant, but they were not much help during the ACORN fraudulent registration debacle last election.'"

In June 2006, Rogers sent Iglesias's Executive Assistant US Attorney Rumaldo Armijo an email which said, "The voter fraud wars continue. Any indictment of the Acorn woman would be appreciated.... The ACLU/Wortheim [sic] democrats will turn to the camera and suggest fraud is not an issue, because the USA would have done something by now. Carpe Diem!" [Carpe Diem is translated, "seize the day."]

Despite positive job reports, Iglesias was fired in December 2006 as part of a purge of nine federal prosecutors who were deemed not to be "loyal Bushies," or had other supposed shortcomings.

Last August, Rove went on Fox News to downplay his role in Iglesias's firing, but acknowledged that he did pass on complaints to the Bush Justice Department about "the performance of the US attorney in New Mexico, that he failed to go after ACORN in clear cases of vote fraud."

The Republican war against ACORN didn't stop with Iglesias.

In Missouri, former US Attorney Todd Graves was another federal prosecutor who fell into disfavor with the Bush administration because of alleged inaction on ACORN and voter fraud issues.

Graves would not file criminal charges of voter fraud against four employees of ACORN, according to documents later released by the Justice Department in connection with the fired-prosecutors probe.

Graves also resisted pressure from Bradley Schlozman, head of the Bush Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, to file a lawsuit against Robin Carnahan, Missouri's Democratic Secretary of State, on charges that Carnahan failed to take action on cases of voter fraud, Graves testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007.

Graves was forced to resign in March 2006 and was replaced by Schlozman as Missouri's acting US attorney. Schlozman then filed the civil suit against Carnahan.

The case was later dismissed by a federal court judge who ruled,
"The United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States. Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred."

Schlozman also filed federal criminal charges of voter fraud against members of ACORN only days before the November 2006 midterm elections. Schlozman came under criticism for breaking with longstanding Justice Department policy against bringing voter fraud charges close to an election.

Schlozman testified before a Senate committee in 2007 that he received approval to file the voter fraud charges from a Justice Department ethics official. The Justice Department recently declined to prosecute Schlozman on allegations that he perjured himself during his Senate testimony related to politicized hiring decisions.

Though the Republican war against ACORN contributed to the "prosecutor-gate" scandal, GOP operatives carried the fight into the 2008 presidential campaign, seizing on some ACORN employees who apparently were padding their registration numbers by submitting bogus forms with fake names like "Mickey Mouse."

For its part, ACORN has insisted that its own quality control flagged many of the suspicious registration forms before they were submitted to state officials and that state laws often require outside registration groups to submit all forms regardless of obvious problems.

Independent studies also have shown that phony registrations rarely result in illegally cast ballots because there are so many other safeguards built into the system.