An Open Thread...
[UPDATED With Post-Debate Statement from ACORN on McCain's Comments]
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2008, 5:45pm PT  

For the last time this year, in theory, a Presidential Debate open thread. Share your thoughts during and after in comments below.

I'll be on WBAI/Pacifica (99.5FM in NYC, streaming here) right after the debate, for post-game analysis. Listen in, if ya like. Will try to follow comments here even while on air...

POST-DEBATE UPDATE: ACORN issues a fairly scathing press release in response to McCain's comments about them group during tonight's debate. Their statement follows below...

For Immediate Release: October 15, 2008

ACORN Responds to Senator McCain's Desperate Attack

Maude Hurd, ACORN's National President, issued the following statement in response to Senator McCain's attack:

"We appreciate that Senator McCain's effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process. However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate; unfortunately the Senator McCain we saw tonight is very different than the Senator McCain who stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN at a February 20, 2006 immigration reform event.

It is clear for us to see that John McCain was for ACORN before he was against ACORN; he was for reform before he was against reform; and he was a maverick before he became erratic. What is really going here is that Senator McCain and his allies are part of a coordinated effort to engage in what appears to be an unprecedented effort to suppress voter turnout. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, and the McCain campaign has resorted to the worst type of deceptions in regards to ACORN."

The Facts:

- ACORN has helped 1.3 million citizens from all parties and all walks of life apply for voter registration.

- In most states, ACORN is required by law to turn in every voter registration card - even in cases where the cards are not valid.

- It is ACORN that has reported almost all of the issues regarding voter registration cards.

- Invalid voter registration cards do NOT constitute voter fraud. Even RNC General Counsel Sean Cairncross has recently acknowledged he is not aware of a single improper vote cast as a result of bad cards submitted in the course of an organized voter registration effort.

- ACORN hired 13,000 field workers to register people to vote. In any endeavor of this size, some people will engaged in inappropriate conduct. ACORN has a zero tolerance policy and terminated any field workers caught engaging in questionable activity. At the end of the day, as ACORN is paying these people to register voters, it is ACORN that is defrauded.

ACORN's Fight Back Thursday:

Tomorrow, at 11:00 am EST, ACORN will be convening a conference call unveiling a pointed critique to Senator McCain's outlandish assertion that ACORN was responsible for the housing crisis:

Thursday, October 16th: ACORN Call on ACORN Critique of McCain on Housing/Financial Crisis:
Call in #: 800-247-5110, pass code 8388

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