The Oklahoma chapter of ACORN targeted specific state house and senatorial races in an effort to change control of the state legislature, internal documents show.
Specifically, ACORN concentrated its 2008 election efforts on one Senate seat – District 43; and three House seats – Districts 85, 87 and 93. Two of the House seats were held by Republicans, one by a Democrat, who could not seek re-election.
The number one priority, according to the documents, was removing incumbent Sen. Jim Reynolds, a Republican from the 43rd District.
In a “state assessment” on “how we can take power,” the documents state: “Therefore, the route to power is twofold:
“First, build powerful city organizations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa that can control these municipalities.
“Second, become an influential organization by shaping a handful of strategic legislative districts that, by themselves, can change who controls the state legislature. In other words, by taking credit for controlling some swing seats that return state senate power to progressives in 2008 and the state house to progressives in 2010.”
“Obviously, we’ve seen what ACORN does as a national organization, and they are alive and well in Oklahoma,” said Gary Jones, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. “This is a non-profit organization and they have become a direct political arm of the Democrat Party.”
Repeated phone calls to an ACORN listed number in Oklahoma City were not answered.
ACORN advocates for low- and moderate-income people on fair wage, education and housing issues. They have offices throughout the country. The group also is heavily involved in voter drives.
The group is under investigation in numerous states for alleged voter fraud and other allegations. The organization has been in the news lately after ACORN employees told two undercover videographers how to bypass the law and obtain federal funds. Those employees have since been fired.
Last week the Census Bureau said it would not allow ACORN to participate in the 2010 census. The U.S. House and Senate also have passed bills to deny ACORN any federal funding. By receiving federal funding the organization cannot favor one political party over another.
The internal documents were found in abandoned computers left over after ACORN vacated a building.
“I was able to obtain the contents of the ACORN offices at 25th and South Robinson in Oklahoma City in late summer 2008,” said Rep. Mike Reynolds. “We realized ACORN had targeted my brother, Sen. Jim Reynolds, and so we worked harder on his campaign.”
Jim Reynolds won re-election by 154 votes against David Boren in 2008.
“I believe these documents prove ACORN is involved in the political process in Oklahoma and throughout the U.S.,” Mike Reynolds said. “I look forward to the IRS revoking their non-profit status, Congress de-funding them and the public realizing how many elections were stolen in 2008.”
The documents apparently were written sometime in 2007. Despite the plans outlined in the documents, the group was not successful.
In 2007, the Oklahoma Senate was tied with 24 Republican and 24 Democratic senators. The Republicans held a 57-44 majority in the House. After the election in 2008, Republicans held a 26-22 majority, and a 61-40 majority in the House.
In the targeted races, Republicans maintained the 43rd Senate seat; and also won all three of the House seats.
According to an analysis by state Republicans, of those who registered prior to the 2008 election, about 58 percent registered as Democrats, and about 30 percent registered as Republicans. Usually, those percentages are about equal, they said.