Keeping The ACORNs In Their Place

by digby

John Fund and Rush Limbaugh have been darkly predicting an outbreak of voter fraud by the ACORN conspiracy that is threatening to take over the world. Indeed, the rank and file is worried that ACORN has even infiltrated the campaign of the teabagging darling Doug Hoffman.

Dave Weigel reports from NY 23:

Outside, two dozen Hoffman supporters lined the sidewalks with signs that attacked Owens as a “Pelosi puppet” and an agent of ACORN.

“I was at a Tea Party, but this is too slow a process for me,” said John Dewitt, a contractor from Adams, N.Y. “I’m more on the violence side. I’m more of the Civil War, revolutionary kind of guy. I’m of the old school–you kick them in the ass and be done with it.”

The Hoffman backers outside of the Biden event all said they’d attended Tea Parties. Some were affiliated with Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project. All worried that ACORN was going to show up in the district, or even at the Biden event–a paranoia that led to some minor awkwardness when an African-American Hoffman worker walked by.

“This guy’s with ACORN,” said Dewitt.

“Definitely, not from around here,” said businessman Erik Dunk.

Those ACORNs are a bunch of shiftless welfare queens who are disenfranchising Real Americans. Crooks and Liars has the goods.

Oh wait:

The teabaggers are turning to threats and intimidation out there in NY-23 land.

Elizabeth Benjamin writes in the NY Daily News:

It's getting ugly out there.

I just got off the phone with former state Democratic Chairwoman June O'Neill, who informed me the police had been called to at least two polling sites in St. Lawrence County due to overzealous electioneering (O'Neill called it "voter intimidation") by Doug Hoffman supporters.

"We've gotten reports that people are standing there, covered with Hoffman stickers and yelling anti-choice stuff at voters," said O'Neill, a St. Lawrence native who has been running the party's GOTV effort for Bill Owens in NY-23.

"Apparently, there's some woman claiming to be a commissioner," O'Neill continued. "Commissioner of what, I don't know. She's from Texas, I think, and she won't leave."

"This is not the way we roll in the North Country."'

O'Neill also said she had received anecdotal reports of problems at polling sites in Gouverneur, which is Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava's hometown. But she couldn't immediately confirm this.

I called over to the St. Lawrence Board of Elections and got GOP Elections Commissioner Debbie Pahler on the line. She confirmed that the police indeed had been called, but she downplayed the incident, saying it's "a routine procedure here in the county."

"We had electioneering within the 100-foot polling marker," Phaler said. "It's my understanding that they were asked to leave and wouldn't leave."

"If people are electioneering within the marker and don't stop when we ask them to, our inspectors are instructed to call law enforcement to assist them. I don't think anybody was arrested."

O'Neill also said she had received anecdotal reports of problems at polling sites in Gouverneur, which is Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava's hometown. But she couldn't immediately confirm this.

As Amato astutely points out, this is just the teabaggers bringing their tried and true townhall methods to the polling booth. There's nothing wrong with people standing outside polling booths intimidating voters and screaming in their faces, right? Uhm. No.

Seriously, I was vaguely supportive of the idea that people should be allowed to scream at their political leaders. They sign on for it and their constituents don't have any obligation to be polite to them. (Packing heat at political events, not so much.) But intimidation outside polling booths is the most undemocratic thing you can do. Election day is the one day when everyone should be dignified and serious and let people vote in peace.

I guess it figures that the party of the deep south would be inclined to resort to this. Vote suppression has long been their preferred method of winning. But listening to them whine about being victims of mythical voter fraud while they are doing everything they can to make voting as difficult as possible for their oppostion is almost more than I can take. The "I know you are but what am I" politics of the right is as exhausting as dealing with a psychopathic five year old.

Update: Hans Von Spakovsky is back in business. Keep your eye on this. Von Spakovsky is one of the leading vote manipulation operatives in the GOP and they are testing out memes in this election.