Anita Moncrief, former ACORN insider
While the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, remains under investigation for voter registration fraud and related allegations in at least 14 states, one former insider told WND the organization acted as unofficial arm of the Democratic Party during the recent election and used cash operations to keep some financial transactions under wraps.
In 2005, Anita Moncrief began working in the Strategic Writing and Research Department of ACORN Political Operations and its affiliate Project Vote. She said she conducted voter fraud research and census research and worked with political organizers. Moncrief left the organization in January 2008.
“It has always been a Democrat operation,” she told WND. “They’ve never made any secrets about who they support. Their political action committees are usually set up to support these Democratic candidates.”
She said political action committees support Democrat candidates, and the at the same time voter registration drives were being conducted, the group was putting out propaganda in communities telling people not to vote for Republicans.
“They are registering you to vote and then telling you who to vote for and then they pick you up and take you to the polls to do it,” she said. “If you need an absentee ballot, they would get them for you. But there’s no guarantee that the ballots they were getting for the people were ever making it to them.”
She said ACORN officials often used workers from poor and marginalized communities – sometimes people addicted to drugs – who go to welfare and Job Corps programs. They recruited them to conduct the registration drives.
“Anyone who is on senior staff is usually a liberal white with a credit card – which is what they like to say – someone who can afford to go out there and organize people,” she said. “As far as senior staff goes, it is not representative of the actual community they serve in.”
The voter drives garner up to $28 million each year, she said.
Moncrief said Kathleen Barr, former communications director for ACORN, told her that on Election Day there were ACORN employees standing in front of 20 vans that were capable of holding 15 people each. The ACORN employees would send workers out into communities to pick people up and take them to the polls.
“She told me [an ACORN employee] was standing outside on the street corner with $8,000 with two bodyguards handing out money on Election Day,” Moncrief said. “She didn’t give me a lot of details. She was just telling me how weird it was to stand there as the organizers were coming up to her and she was handing them wads of cash at the end of the day for what they had been doing. They did a lot of stuff with cash operations in order to keep things from showing up on records.”
Moncrief said she was in contact with a New York Times reporter who was covering the ACORN embezzlement scandal from July to October 2008. The reporter was allegedly investigating a story about ACORN’s Project Vote receiving a donor list from the Barack Obama campaign, the DNC, the John Kerry campaign and Hillary Clinton campaign so it could mine them for aid.
“This was not the list that was turned over to the FEC,” Moncrief said. “This was the list that included the smaller donors like the $25 or $50 amounts that weren’t required to be turned over. So this was a complete list that was given to ACORN that was not given to the FEC.”
She claims the reporter, Stephanie Strom, went to Washington to uncover e-mail evidence of communication between the campaigns and ACORN.
“She had several nasty run-ins with the campaigns were she decided to back off of the story,” Moncrief said. “She told me her editors told her to stand down.”
While Moncrief said she had been willing to be quoted on record as a source, the Times released a “watered-down version” that didn’t even mention ACORN’s partisanship and spiked half of the story before the election.
“It just kind of glossed over it,” Moncrief said.
The New York Times article references a 14-page report written by ACORN attorney Elizabeth Kingsley.
“I’ve seen that report,” Moncrief said. “The parts she chose to include in her article were not really the most damning things in the report. She could have used it to basically bring down ACORN at the time because it would have shown everything people were saying about them they admitted and their lawyer gave them instructions on how to avoid criminal prosecution and how to avoid having the IRS taking away their 501c3 status.”
Moncrief said she also did a three-tape interview with CNN in November 2008. It never aired.
She has worked with the press to get her story out and has faced opposition from several mainstream media outlets.
“There are some things that are not being put out in the public in the interest of defending ACORN,” she said. “I’m not about that.”
Meanwhile, ACORN has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Moncrief.
While calls for investigation of ACORN have been met with opposition in Congress, Moncrief told Fox News’ Megan Kelly that more must be done to purge the organization of its corrupt leaders.
“ACORN needs to be investigated and almost everyone at the top level needs to be removed,” she said. “The ACORN local offices do a lot of good work, but ACORN national has become corrupt and almost like a cancer on American society.”