Tuesday, October 14

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

McCain is only leading by 8 points in his home state according to a poll by Arizona State University. . . And an initiative that would only recognize hetero marriages leads by just 7.

NY Times
- After favoring Republicans by a ratio of more than two to one for most of the last decade, pharmaceutical companies and others in the health care industry are now splitting their contributions evenly between the two major parties, campaign finance reports show. Lobbyists and executives in the industry say the swing reflects the fact that Democrats control both houses of Congress, are expected to increase their majorities and may win the White House, giving them a dominant voice on health policy

WATCHING THE COUNT

Progress Report -
In early October, ACORN announced that it had registered 1.3 million new voters for the November election. Seizing on reports of apparently fraudulent voter registrations in some states, conservatives began claiming that the purpose of ACORN is to commit "voter fraud." However, all that was found during a raid of ACORN's office in Nevada was apparently fraudulent voter registration forms, which do not constitute voter fraud. "It's not voter fraud unless someone shows up at the voting booth on election day and tries to pass himself off as 'Tony Romo.'" And who would try to do that?" wrote Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-IL). As New York University's Brennan Center for Justice noted, "There are no reports that we have discovered of votes actually cast in the names of [false] registrants." Under most state laws, in fact, voter registration organizations like ACORN are required to turn in all the forms they receive, even the suspicious ones. Furthermore, as Brad Friedman pointed out in the Guardian, "If [ACORN] can't authenticate the registration, or it's incomplete or questionable in other ways, they flag that form as problematic. . . In almost every case where you've heard about fraud by Acorn, it's because Acorn itself notified officials about the fraud that's been perpetrated on them by rogue canvassers."

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Teenager Freddie Johnson said he was offered smokes and dollar bills to fill out voter registration cards. And now the Cuyahoga County Elections Board has 73 cards with Johnson's name on them. Johnson and another prolific registrant were subpoenaed to testify at a meeting as the Elections Board continued its look at possible fraud by ACORN. . . Johnson, 19, said he mostly was trying to help ACORN workers who begged him to sign up because they needed to keep their jobs. "They'd come up with a sob story why they needed the signature," said Johnson, of Garfield Heights. ACORN leaders have acknowledged that workers paid by the hour were given quotas to fill. . . A second person to testify, Christopher Barkley, 33, said ACORN workers pestered him while they tried to gather signatures. Barkley, of Cleveland, said he was homeless and reading a book on Public Square when he signed some of the 13 cards that contain his name. He filled out cards - with his mother's house or workplace as the address - to help workers stay employed. "Me being a kind-hearted person, I said 'Yeah,' " Barkley recalled.

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