ACORN: A Money Laundering Scheme?

Matthew Vadum of the American Spectator investigates:

I have just discovered that three senior ACORN officials have recently given wildly divergent accounts of the size of ACORN’s budget.

ACORN current CEO and chief organizer Bertha Lewis claimed in October that ACORN had an “average budget” between “$20 [million] and $25 million a year for everything, all of the offices combined.”

ACORN national president Maude Hurd reported in the ACORN entry of Erica Payne’s handbook for liberal activists, The Practical Progressive, that ACORN’s annual budget last year was $50 million.

That’s double the figure quoted by Lewis, yet even $50 million seems impossibly low given ACORN’s lucrative ongoing corporate shakedown rackets and other revenue sources. The four main ACORN affiliates alone — ACORN Housing Corp. Inc., Project Vote, American Institute for Social Justice Inc., and ACORN Institute Inc — took in a total of at least $106.9 million in donations from foundations and individuals from 1993 through 2008. And ACORN takes in untold millions every year in member dues from its 400,000 members — a figure that has crept up to 500,000 in Bertha Lewis’s recent public statements.

Well, it does seem curious that a company can be off by $50 million dollars in talking about operating budgets. Then again, these don’t seem to be the brightest people, either–just wise in the ways of manipulating the system. One suspects that those shady operators at the bottom are representative of the institution. That is, if any of these people spent real effort to get a real job, they might actually add value. Instead, ACORN’s prime goal seems to be gaming the system. They might want to try to get in the system and fix it one person at a time. But then, if they did that, they’d be conservatives.

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