ACORN’s Bertha Lewis charged Tuesday that accusations about the embattled community organizing group are racist, alleging that a coordinated political effort started by former Bush adviser Karl Rove sought to stop the group from registering minority voters.
“For many years, there’ve been folks who’ve disagreed with our ideology or methodology that [have] gone after us,” Mrs. Lewis, ACORN’s chief executive officer, said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
“I mean we, [going back] to 2004, we now see through e-mails from Karl Rove from the previous administration that ACORN itself was targeted, targeted to go after us so that we would stop doing voter registration because it was said that we were moving too many minorities to vote, changing the power dynamics on the local election and that we needed to be stopped.”
She also labeled as racist the infamous videos that show ACORN workers advising a man and young woman posing as pimp and prostitute how to circumvent the law. “These new filmmakers, [James] O’Keefe himself, told The Washington Post, ‘They’re registering too many minorities; they usually vote Democratic; somebody’s got to stop them,’” Mrs. Lewis said.
But Mrs. Lewis did not mention that The Post was forced to issue a later correction on the story, saying the quote attributed to Mr. O’Keefe was inaccurate.