ACORN wasn’t just preventing elderly black women from voting for Hillary and busing black kids to white communities to overwhelm the Democratic primary caucus system, but their get out the vote efforts, which operated under the alias Project Vote, was also acting as an unofficial fundraising arm for the Obama campaign.
In November 2007 Project Vote employee Anita MonCrief provided proof to the New York Times that Obama had been funneling his most current donor lists to ACORN. In an online post MonCrief explained, “as a confidential source for the New York Times, I turned this document over to reporter Stephanie Strom months before the 2008 presidential elections and though the list includes information more complete than what the Obama campaign turned over to the Federal Election Commission.”
In response to the allegation, the Obama campaign insisted they did not turn over any information to ACORN that was not also available on the FEC website. A subsequent review by Human Events showed this assertion to be demonstratively false. The document in MonCrief’s possession listed all contributions that Obama had received through November of 2007 while the information the FEC had posted online was only through September of 2007.
According to MonCreif, she was told by her boss Karyn Gillette “we just got this from Obama, and what I need you to do is take out all of the dupes and then start calling the people who have maxed out so that they can give us money and we can use it for GOTV (Get Out The Vote).” The up to date information gave ACORN a distinct competitive advantage over their competitors when it came to political fundraising.
Attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, a member of the Republican National Lawyers Executive Committee, appearing at a 2009 Judiciary Committee summed up the scam as follows:
Based on the testimony, Project Vote, ACORN and other ACORN affiliated entities illegally coordinated activities with the Obama presidential campaign, converting the expenditures by Project Vote, ACORN and ACORN affiliated entities to illegal, excessive corporate contributions to the Obama presidential campaign, in violation of federal law.
The conduct by the New York Times was no better than ACORN’s. Rather than break the story that Obama was consorting with ACORN to illegally raise money for his election, they buried it over fear that the revelation so close to the election would be a “game changer”. As NYT reporter Strom revealed in an email to Moncreif:
I’m calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a rightwing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else…
So much for the legacy of Edward R. Murrow. One can only imagine how fast the story would have been on the front page of the NYT if the candidate was a Republican.