Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign has been forced to revise statements about their candidate's work for the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, a liberally-leaning non-profit roiled in allegations of voter registration fraud.
Obama’s website “Fight the Smears,” designed to counteract misinformation about the candidate’s record, contained false information about Obama’s connections to ACORN.
Before news outlets reported Obama worked as an ACORN trainer in 1992, the website said, “Fact: Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.”
The website later revised their “fact” to say: “Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.”
The conservative leaning blog Gateway Pundit published archived screenshots of the Fight the Smears site showing the discrepancy.
As a presidential candidate Obama has extensive ties to the group currently being accused of voter registration fraud in 11 states. He is the first national candidate ever to hire ACORN for get-out-the-vote activities. Obama’s campaign paid $800,000 to a subsidiary of the liberally-leaning non-profit Association of Community Organizers for Reform called Citizens Services Incorporated campaign to increase voter turnout, but initially did not properly disclose this information on financial disclosure reports.
The Obama campaign said it hired CSI to do “polling, advance work and staging events” according to reports submitted to the FEC during the Democratic primary. The FEC later said the Obama campaign needed to disclose ACORN was engaging in get out the vote activities last August. At the time the Obama campaign called the mistake a “clerical error.”
Obama sought ACORN’s endorsement in the Democratic primary telling ACORN members, “Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.” “Project Vote” is the name ACORN’s voter registration drives are called. Obama worked for Project Vote for a period of roughly seven months in 1992.
ACORN endorsed Obama for president in February 2008.
Before becoming a member of the Illinois State Senate, Obama represented ACORN in a lawsuit to help push for “Motor Voter” laws to make it easier for low-income persons to vote.
Later, as director of the Woods Fund and Chairman of the Board of Chicago Annenberg Challenge Obama helped steer funds to ACORN through various grants.