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Voter fraud arrest leaves Republicans seething

Posted By Drew Zahn On 10/20/2008 @ 10:47 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

The arrest of a GOP voter registration recruiter on the eve of California’s registration deadline has outraged the state’s Republicans, who now say California’s secretary of state, a Democrat, timed the arrest to distract the public from ACORN’s voter fraud scandals.

Mark Jacoby, 25, was arrested this weekend for allegedly falsifying his own voter registration by fraudulently claiming his parents’ Los Angeles County address so he could legally gather voter signatures in California.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office alleges Jacoby did not live at the address, thereby perjuring himself and committing a felony for falsely claiming voter eligibility. If convicted, Jacoby faces up to 3 years in prison.

Hector Barajas, communications director for the California Republican Party, however, told WND that the charges are bogus, claiming that while Jacoby travels the nation working on voter registrations, his childhood home is still his home.

“He still has his car payment that comes into his parents address, he still has his bills that come into his parents address and he files his taxes here in the state of California,” Barajas said. “It begs the question … where else is an individual supposed to register to vote?”

Further, California Republicans are charging that the arrest of a GOP voting registration worker is a deliberate attempt to distract the public from the abuses of the more Democrat-friendly Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

California Republicans released a statement that reads, “It’s clear that Bowen, herself the recipient of an ACORN endorsement (still displayed on her campaign website), has elevated these issues to achieve maximum political benefit and deflect attention from the Democratic Presidential nominee’s high-profiled problems and associations with the radical community activist group ACORN.

“While we condemn voter fraud in all forms, it is evident that Debra Bowen is using her office to play politics with the public’s perception of political parties. This is inappropriate at least, and an abuse of her office and a willing suspension of her duties at worst,” the statement says.

“Voter registration fraud is a serious issue,” Secretary Bowen said in a statement released immediately following the arrest, “which is why I vigorously investigate all allegations of elections fraud. Where there’s a case to be made, I will forward it to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.”

WND contacted Bowen’s office for comment on the Republicans’ assertions, but our phone call was not returned.

Both Republicans and the ACORN group have made headlines in Southern California in the past week.

On Friday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on ACORN voter registration violations, citing over 1,850 invalid registration cards turned into San Diego County and quoting the county’s chief deputy of voter services saying some of the errors “were intentional because there were people who were being paid to turn in these forms, something similar to what we have been seeing in other parts of the country.”

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times ran a feature story on area voters claiming they were duped into registering as Republicans, a charge the state’s GOP denies.

The Times story focused on Jacoby, whose company, Young Political Majors, was accused of tricking voters.

Late Saturday night, Jacoby was arrested, though not for anything directly tied to the Times story, but on a warrant outstanding since Oct. 3 for allegedly falsifying his own registration card.

“Why go out and arrest an individual the weekend before the deadline of voter registration?” Barajas asked WND. “They had an arrest warrant issued on Oct. 3. … But yet they used nine officers and seven squad cars, they held this individual for 19 hours.”

Barajas told WND he believes Debra Bowen is turning a selective eye upon who she seeks to charge with voter fraud.

“In her statement [Bowen] talked about making sure they protect the integrity of voter registration,” Barajas said. “Where’s her denouncement of ACORN, when this last week the San Diego Union Tribune reported the district attorney found there were a lot of improprieties?”

He added, “Our kids have been assaulted, have been threatened … Where’s the denouncement there? Where’s the press release there? Where are the arrests there?

“The secretary of state is supposed to protect the rights of all. When you have this official engaged in partisan politics and not willing to denounce those on the left … it cries out for foul play in this election,” Barajas said.



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