The Centre County, Pa., Republican Party over the weekend distributed campaign literature supporting District Attorney Michael Madeira that says "groups like ACORN have registered 15,000 new Democrats in the State College area alone."
County Democratic Party officials said ACORN did not register voters in Centre County and called the implication on the Republican literature a falsehood designed to appeal to anti-minority sentiment.
"ACORN does not operate here," Democratic Party Chairwoman Dianne Gregg said. "The bulk of this registration was handled by Penn State Students for Obama."
"ACORN and no group like ACORN registered the new voters," said Greg Stewart, a Ferguson Township Democrat who was a leading Pennsylvania volunteer in the Obama campaign last year.
"The voter registration drive was conducted by Penn State student volunteers, not ACORN or any group like ACORN," Stewart added. "Have the Republicans name the group that they claim registered the voters."
ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- represents many minority groups and the poor. It has been the subject of public controversies that include voter registration fraud and a video expose on employee misconduct. Advertisement
The literature referencing ACORN that the Republicans introduced in the district attorney campaign over the weekend has a virtually identical two-paragraph statement from various Republican Party officials, including county Chairwoman Jennifer Myers, Ferguson Township Republican committee member Brent Pasquinelli, Halfmoon Township committee member Doug Hartman and College Township committee member Sally Schaadt.
The only difference is the introductory first sentence, which varies in accordance with which Republican official the message is from. The rest of the message is the same, including these two sentences:
"Your vote means more now than ever since groups like ACORN have registered 15,000 new Democrats in the State College area alone. We cannot permit outside groups to take control (sic) our local and state government."
Myers, Pasquinelli and Hartman could not be reached for comment Sunday, but Schaadt said she had not known that her name was being used on campaign literature.
"I don't know anything about this -- I didn't write anything like that," Schaadt said.
Schaadt said she doubts the ACORN implication is accurate. She said she recalls Joyce Haas -- vice chairwoman of the state Republican Party and chairwoman of the Madeira campaign -- saying that ACORN had been associated with registration fraud in Philadelphia.
"I do remember Joyce Haas saying that ACORN had dumped 15,000 registrations in Philadelphia," Schaadt said. "I don't know that that was the State College area."
Neither Madeira nor Democratic district attorney candidate Stacy Parks Miller could be reached for comment Sunday.
Read more at CentreDaily.com