Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Looks like the Mud is already Starting to fly.U.S. Senate Candidate R.J. Hadley (D-Conyers) is being accused of having ties to Acorn

RJ Hadley, Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate, issued a statement Saturday saying he has no connection to the activist group ACORN, and calling a Citizen Poll comment inquiring about ACORN campaign funding in local and congressional elections "baseless accusations."

ACORN, or Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, recently came under fire after ACORN workers were caught on videotape encouraging two individuals to falsify information in order to receive federal assistance. News of the videotape circulated around the country by the week of Sept. 14. Since then, the group has been under scrutiny for possible misuse of federal funding. Both houses of Congress and several other contributors have moved to stop any grant support to ACORN.

A comment appeared in the Citizen Poll Saturday asking about financial support from ACORN for local elected officials as well as congressmen and candidates opposing Sen. Johnny Isakson. Hadley, former Rockdale County chief of staff, is seeking election to the Senate seat currently held by Isakson and served as communications chair of the Rockdale Democratic Party.

"I would like to know how much financial support the ACORN organization gave to our local elected officials and to our congressmen and to those that are now running against our current Sen. Isakson," read the comment.

In his e-mailed statement, Hadley objected to the comment and further said in his written response that a member of the local Republican Party had recently stated that Hadley is a member of ACORN.

"I immediately rejected that statement then, and I am rejecting it now," Hadley wrote. "I challenge your reader(s), that GOP member or anyone else to find a credible connection between my current U.S. Senate campaign, my activities as a community organizer or myself to ACORN."

The poll comment shouldn't be credited to the local Republican party, according to Chairwoman of the Rockdale County Republican Party Kellie Pharr, since no member is allowed to speak on behalf of the organization.

"Only the chairman has the responsibility of presenting the party position on any subject matter and the individual Mr. Hadley has named is not speaking our position on this matter," Pharr said, adding that the party found out who made the comment.

"This is typical old-style political smear tactics, and I'm not going to let it stand," Hadley wrote. "We have got to move past these type of deceptive campaign tactics."

ACORN's political action committee endorsed President Barack Obama during last year's campaign, according to ACORN's Web site, but did not directly contribute campaign dollars.

The nearly 40-year-old activist group has defended claims on its "The Truth About ACORN" link by calling Fox News, which has largely reported on the scandal, "part of an aggressive and sustained right-wing campaign."

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