ACORN wants people to register to vote only as long as they’re Democrats. Republican registrations go right into the garbage.
Here is a first-hand account of how it happens. In February 2008, Fathiyyah Muhammad of Jacksonville, Florida, heard that ACORN was paying people three dollars for each voter they could register. ACORN paid her three dollars for each voter she registered, but Fatiyyah Muhammad says that the group threw out her votes and fired her when she brought them registrations of Republican voters.
Fathiyyah Muhammad voted for Obama. “I’m a Republican,” she says, “and this was the first time that I voted for a Democrat since JFK…. I’m one of those rare birds, a black conservative Republican, and actually this is the black conservative capital of the country, Jacksonville, Florida.” She is an entrepreneur and a great American: she makes custom caps for her businesses Bilal’s Custom Caps and Only in America. She and her James have made custom caps for politicians, sports heroes, musicians, and others. “America,” she says, “is the place you can live your dreams if you work at it.” She’s a can-do woman with a great American spirit, and when she saw what was breaking in the news about ACORN, she came forward; I interviewed her Monday morning.
“This is my first experience” with ACORN, Muhammad said. “This was before Obama got the nomination, long before then….I heard about this group that was paying $3.00 per person, to go out and to get people to sign up to vote. So I went over, I thought that well this is a good way to make some money because I know everybody, you know. I went over there and this guy signed me up and everything, and gave me my little pad, all this stuff.”
She went to work: “Well, I went out and got a lot of people, homeless people, but of course I signed everybody up as a Republican, and I would have put people had they been Democrats.” She was not forcing people to sign up as Republicans: “You could put down anything you wanted.” But when she got back to ACORN, a group leader was not pleased: “So I showed what I had, and he said, “No, no, you a fraud, there can’t be any black Republicans,’ and oh, he just kind of hung me out to dry…. But of course their main aim was to register only Democrats. They’re not interested in registering Republicans.”
She saw ACORN officials in Jacksonville throw out the Republican registrations she made. “They just discarded those, they weren’t valid. All of the registrations… they just threw those out.” Yet she says that she is sure that the people she registered were actually going to vote: “Yes, they all were going to vote, I just didn’t want to get anybody just to get the three dollars, I wasn’t desperate for three dollars.”
ACORN did not honor its agreement to pay three dollars for each registered voter. “He took my papers,” says Muhammad, “didn’t pay me anything and I just left, I just figured that this is just another scam…. Everyone else got paid, all the other people got paid, but I didn’t. And I didn’t make a big deal about it, I just figured that it was another one of life’s experiences.”
Fatiyyah Muhammad didn’t know anything about ACORN at that time. She didn’t know that ACORN has been doing this for a long time. As far back as November 2006 the organization was indicted for some 40,000 illegal voter registrations, and that was before any of the recent revelations.
Now Fatiyyah Muhammad says: “I can’t believe that they got away with it for so long.” And she wants her story to be told: “How are you going to shine a light on the laundry if you don’t want to come out and say what happened?”
Excellent work, Pamela, I hope this gets wide coverage.