Zach Polett, helped found ACORN, then founded Project Vote in 1982 and led it while simultaneously serving as ACORN’s political director. While ACORN has earned much of the scorn of the press and public in recent years, its voter registration arm, Project Vote, is actually the entity that has been conducting the questionable voter registration drives. Project Vote’s actions suggest that its true agenda is more radical” and “aimed at overwhelming, paralyzing and discrediting the voting system through fraud, protests, propaganda and vexatious litigation.
Project Vote has been accused of voter registrations fraud in more than a dozen states. Its parent group ACORN, along with a staff member, are scheduled to be tried for fraud in Nevada. Recently, ACORN was nailed under the RICO Act in Ohio and ordered to never come back to the state. More importantly, the settlement also said ACORN couldn’t simply morph into another organization and cause the same type of trouble in Ohio.
In short, Project Vote is at the root of ACORN’s voter registration fraud problems.
So as ACORN is transforming, Project Vote is transforming, too. According to a new article in The Nation, Frances Fox Piven of “Cloward-Piven Strategy” fame, recently joined the Project Vote board of directors.
On their face, Piven’s views seem harmless – registering low-income people to vote is how it’s framed publicly. But it was Piven’s strategy that served as the impetus for the creation of the National Welfare Rights Organization, led by the radical George Wiley. Wiley had a young protégé, named Wade Rathke, who was eventually dispatched to Arkansas to establish a beachhead in the South for the social justice movement. He founded, of course, ACORN.
The strategy put forward by Piven and Richard Cloward, to overwhelm the welfare system in the late 60s and early 70s, bankrupted New York City.
It was Piven who suggested that people losing their homes to foreclosure should simply refuse to leave. ACORN had been following this strategy to with its Home Defenders program.
And now Piven is going to have a direct influence over the policy and direction of Project Vote.
Perhaps Piven’s strategy of overwhelming the system will now be applied to registering people to vote. As we saw in Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and many other states, Project Vote created chaos for elections workers to sift through. With Piven now guiding this ship, her success at overwhelming the welfare system will now be applied to voter registration. What could possibly go wrong?