Why Aren't the Feds Using RICO to Go After ACORN?
In the Saturday afternoon thrillers that occupied us as kids, after the settlers were beset by the rustlers and thieves, the sound of pounding hoofs and a plume of dust heralded that help, in the form of the United States cavalry, was on its way.
As I watch helplessly day after day as exhausted poll workers are swamped by tens of thousands -- possibly hundreds of thousands -- of forged, faked, and illegal voter registrations, preventing them from doing their job and assuring a fair and orderly election, I keep waiting for the cavalry in the form of the FBI and Department of Justice. But I hear no hoof beats and see no dust.
There was a rumor circulating last week that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago was heading up a team looking into RICO prosecutions of ACORN, but it appears to have been wishful thinking. But now AP is reporting that two senior officials with the FBI are looking into the materials seized from ACORN office raids around the country to see if it can find evidence of coordinational national fraud on the part of ACORN.
Could the government use RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act) to stop ACORN's outrageous conduct? I think it could. Briefly, RICO 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1968. is a federal law providing extended penalties for those who commit any two of 35 crimes -- 27 federal and eight state -- within a 10-year period. The underlying crimes range from gambling to terrorism and include some offenses which would seem to cover the reported acts of ACORN (e.g., bribery, mail and phone fraud).