Activist Group ACORN Returns to Missouri Despite ’03 Voter Fraud Allegations
Missouri Just One Chapter in ACORN’s History of Ties to Voter Fraud, Union Busting, Embezzlement and Federal Grant Violations
Publication Date: May 2006
Topics: Minimum Wage
Washington, DC –As the activist group ACORN again descends on Missouri—this time to collect signatures for a minimum wage hike ballot initiative—the Employment Policies Institute released a brief history of the trail of shady activities ACORN has blazed in their campaigns.
ACORN and Minimum Wage Hypocrisy – ACORN is a vocal proponent of a “living wage”—except when it applies to them. ACORN actually sued the state of California to have its employees exempted from the state minimum wage. ACORN argued that being forced to pay higher wages would mean that they would be able hire fewer employees—the very dilemma faced by businesses.
ACORN and Voter Registration Fraud – ACORN has been linked to voter fraud in at least 12 states, including Missouri. Of 5,379 voter registration cards ACORN submitted in St. Louis in 2003, only 2,013 appeared to be valid. At least 1,000 were believed to be attempts to register voters illegally. In late 2005, four ACORN employees submitted as many as 3,000 potentially fraudulent signatures on the group’s minimum wage ballot initiative for Albuquerque. A local sheriff stated: “It’s safe to say the forgery was widespread.”
ACORN and Federal Grant Violations – The ACORN Housing Corporation (AHC) had a $1 million government grant stripped after it was caught using the funds illegally. Evidence uncovered by the Inspector General of the AmeriCorps program found that AHC utilized the AmeriCorps grant to increase ACORN membership, a violation of federal guidelines. AHC had distributed leaflets stating that low-income, first-time homebuyers were required to join ACORN, at an annual cost of $60, in order to receive the government-subsidized counseling which was supposed to be free.
ACORN Union-Busts Own Workers – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that ACORN violated the National Labor Relations Act and required the group to rehire and pay restitution to employees terminated for attempting to form a union. ACORN employees have historically demanded higher wages, safer working conditions, and more timely contracted wages. These efforts have been repressed behind closed doors by the hypocritical ACORN leadership, which publicly advocates higher pay and better working conditions for private sector workers.
“ACORN’s history of voter fraud, hypocrisy, abuse of federal grant programs, and disregard for sound economics should raise a red flag for Missourians and the Secretary of State’s office when ACORN comes knocking with their minimum wage ballot initiative,” said Mike Flynn, EPI’s legislative director.