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O’Reilly Wants Gov. Pawlenty To Investigate Whether ACORN Stole Election For Franken

Reported by Ellen - October 3, 2009 -

On Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor (10/1/09), guest Laura Ingraham baselessly suggested that ACORN had helped steal the Minnesota Senate election for Al Franken. She had absolutely no evidence that it had happened. In fact, Norm Coleman, Franken’s opponent, who had challenged the vote count, specifically told the Minnesota Supreme Court he was not making any allegations of voter fraud. Nevertheless, O’Reilly said he was going to contact Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and ask him to investigate. With video.

In his scripted introduction, O’Reilly noted that ACORN in Minnesota had signed up 43,000 new voters for the 2008 election and that Franken had won by 312 votes. Then he announced, “Now, some say the fix was in.”

O’Reilly started off as the voice of reason and fairness. “You know that I despise Al Franken… There’s nothing about him that I respect but I think this might be jumping the gun. And I’m a little conflicted about it. There’s no doubt that ACORN signed up 43,000 people in Minnesota… But to make an accusation that, without any proof, that some of the ACORN voters were fraudulent and therefore, Franken didn’t really win legitimately… I don’t know if that’s fair.”

Ingraham had no such compunction. “Look, after what we’ve seen go down in those most recent video tapes… After we’ve seen the judge order ACORN workers in Nevada and the organization, itself, to stand trial in Nevada, we have questions in Oklahoma now. We have the big issue with the Working Families Party in New York, Bill, I think it’s legitimate to ask all these questions.”

“I do think it’s legitimate to ask the question, absolutely,” O’Reilly conceded.

Ingraham continued,“We had 400,000 of the ACORN registrations tossed.”

She made it sound as though 400,000 registrations had been “tossed” because they were fraudulent. In fact, as a Minnesota Star Tribune column with the same meme noted, “The director of Project Vote -- an ACORN affiliate -- acknowledged to the New York Times that election officials had rejected about 400,000 of those (registrations), for reasons including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and (in the Times' words) 'fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors.' " Furthermore, as Media Matters reported, “Justice Department statistics do not support (the) suggestion that fraudulent registrations lead to fraudulent votes.”

Ingraham never told the audience how many of those 400,000 registrations had been “tossed” due to fraud nor did she say how many were from Minnesota. Despite his desire to be fair, O’Reilly did not ask. Nor did anyone mention that while Coleman challenged the vote count, he never made a single allegation of fraud and specifically confirmed to the Minnesota Supreme Court that no voter fraud allegations were being made.

Instead, O’Reilly called for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty “to take a look at it” and “go over all 43,000 ballots… and see if these people actually voted…. If they were alive at the time.”

O’Reilly later added, “This is what disturbs me about this: 43,000 votes, all going to Franken (O’Reilly had earlier announced that it was a given that all ACORN votes had gone to Franken). He wins by 312.” O'Reilly made two baseless assumptions here, not counting his assumption that all ACORN votes had gone to Franken: First, he assumed that all 43,000 people ACORN registered had actually voted. Additionally, he assumed that at least 312 of those registrations were not only fraudulent but that they had resulted in fraudulent votes. Yet, neither he nor Ingraham offered any evidence that that had actually happened.

Rather than correct or clarify the record, Ingraham played the victim card, the one she’d undoubtedly castigate a liberal if he or she said such a thing. “If a Republican only wins an election in the United States by a thousand votes or fewer, you can bet your bottom dollar that by the time they recount those votes… the Democrat will have won.”

Um, did Ingraham forget a little presidential election recount in Florida in 2000?

O’Reilly said he’d ask Pawlenty to look into it and promised to report back on Monday about his response.