Houston Area ACORN Speaks Out

The grass roots community group known as ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has been under fire lately because of voter registration fraud, allegedly committed by some of its workers. Today Houston area ACORN members and local politicans gave their side of the story. Bill Stamps has reports.

Imagine you’re going door-to-door signing up people to vote. One man who really doesn’t want to vote writes his name down as Kobey Bryant. Another says he’s Michael Jordan. ACORN workers say by law they have to turn it in.

In Ohio, one man has reportedly registered to vote 42 times this year alone. Most of his sign-ups were taken by ACORN workers. The group is under investigation by the FBI and is under fire by some Republicans who’ve called the group out of control radicals. Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis supports ACORN and says the group’s record speaks for itself.

“I mean look. We understand there’s an investigation. But let it work through its course. And see what happens there. But in no way should that detract from the positive things that ACORN has done, or be an attempt by anyone not to focus on their record.”

ACORN has offices all across the country. For years they’ve helped register hundreds of thousands of mostly inner city residents to vote. Local director Jenny Goldman says a few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the reputation of a group that has done a lot of good.

“Paul Bettencourt’s office says they have a healthy relationship with ACORN. We’re not under any investigation anywhere in Texas. Everyone has said over and over again our record Texas we have no problems.”

Senator Ellis says its hard work registering low-income residents. They can’t guarantee all residents or hired workers will always be truthful. But ACORN says someone would actually have to show up on election day under those names in order for any side, or candidate, to receive an advantage. And they don’t believe many people will show up with an I.D. saying he’s Mickey Mouse or Tiger Woods.