Nevada Files New Voter Registration Charges Against ACORN

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 5, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: New charges filed against the organization that registered voters in the names of "Mickey Mouse" and "Donald Duck," charges against ACORN and two of its former employees in Nevada.

The state alleges that ACORN has policies requiring employees in Vegas to sign up 20 new voters a day or be fired. Is that against the law?

And, if you turn in 21 or more new registrations, you get a blackjack. Is that against the law in Vegas? It's a bonus of $5 per shift. It is Vegas.

ACORN is denying the allegations and its national spokesperson has agreed to appear on this program tomorrow night. He's going to address the charges. But tonight, we're joined by Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

Hello, sir. How are you?


BECK: OK. Is it — I mean, can't they say, "Hey, you bring in 20 people or you're fired"?

Why is that against the law?

MILLER: It's against the law in Nevada to pay individual registrants to register people based on the total number of people that you've registered. That's a Category E felony and was the basis for us filing a criminal complaint in conjunction with the attorney general's office just yesterday.

BECK: OK. You know what, it's like you evil Republicans to just go after because you are a sore loser.

MILLER: The problem is I'm a Democrat.

So, we opened up this investigation in response to some complaints that we had had that ACORN had turned in quite a number of fraudulent forms.

BECK: Well, that's...

MILLER: We executed a warrant.

BECK: That's Larry Lomax. He's got to be — the guy who filed the complaint — he is probably an evil Republican.

MILLER: Larry, to my knowledge, is non-partisan. This is — it didn't have anything to do with politics whatsoever. Obviously, we're just trying to send a strong message that we're not going to tolerate these types of fraudulent practices in the future.

BECK: OK. I understand that there is — ACORN is denying these. They're going to be on tomorrow. And I ain't a fan of ACORN — you might have caught that. But they're denying these charges. But is there such a thing as a handbook, an ACORN handbook that says these things?

MILLER: When we executed the raid on the ACORN headquarters here in Las Vegas, we came across thousands of pages of documents, e-mails. Within those documents, we found their company policy directive that outlined in — for their employees the fact that they were required to meet certain quotas and that these employees were expected to turn in 20 registration forms per day, otherwise they'd be terminated.

They also had in place a blackjack policy, as you mentioned, that gave bonuses if they met a certain quota. That's problematic because the individual field canvassers, they had incentive to try to keep their job. And so, they will go to lengths to try to fraud — you know, submit fraudulent forms so that they can meet and keep their job.

BECK: OK. Here is ACORN's statement or at least partial statement, the rest of it is on the Web site:

"This is the latest in an ongoing assault designed to blame the victim and prioritize media grandstanding above the pursuit of justice." That is really good.

"Our policy all along has been to pay workers at an hourly rate and not pay employees based on any bonus or any incentive program. It is unfortunate that the secretary of state cannot distinguish the victim from the villain."

MILLER: You know, obviously, they're trying to shift the blame here, but they'll have their opportunity to explain their side in court. We think that the case is very strong. It's a very thorough investigation we've had for almost a year now in place, showing that they were compensating their individual canvassers based on the total number of people registered, which is a felony in this state. We filed 39 counts.

You know, I think they're going to have a difficult case to make to the 12 jurors that will ultimately hear this.

BECK: OK, there are 91,000 new voters that they registered. Twenty-eight thousand of them are duplicates?

Is that right?

MILLER: Those are the numbers provided by the Clark County Elections Department. You know, that's what happens when you pay canvassers to go out there and their jobs are dependent upon them turning in a number of forms. They're going to go back to the same people so that they can meet the quota.

BECK: Look, you know what? We did our some of our homework. The Republicans — I mean, they're no ACORN but — what is it — the Young Political Majors, they're GOP out in California, they've gotten snagged doing stuff like this. The Voters Outreach of America in 2004 in Oregon, they got snagged on the right, on the Republican side doing this.

But here is the difference: ACORN is receiving $10 million in federal grants just last year and they're slated to get more even — even more stimulus money. These people are deeply in bed with the power in Washington and are getting all kinds of money for this kind of stuff.

Do you have — if you had one question, sir, to ask the guy from ACORN tomorrow — well, no, I can't ask you on the air, I have to ask you off the air because it gives him time to think about it and come up with a really good answer.

Ross, when does this go — when does this go to court?

MILLER: Well, we filed the criminal complaint just yesterday. So, the court will set a date and then thereafter, a preliminary hearing and ultimately a trial date.

BECK: I have to tell you, sir, when I saw this story, I immediately asked if you were a Republican or Democrat. When I heard you were a Democrat, congratulations. Thank you very much, sir, for just standing up what's right no matter which party or which side it falls on, just do the right thing and apply the law equally. Thank you, sir. I appreciate your time.

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