So That’s What Community Organizers Do

If you’ve ever wondered what the acronym ACORN stands for, it stands for “Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now”. And, as you might imagine, it is an organization of and for community organizers.

As we learned when we took a peek at the original bailout bill put forward by Barney Franks and Chris Dodd, ACORN has some “federal connections”. They’re funded by your taxpayer dollars through a slush account called the Housing Trust Fund – we covered that here.

So what does ACORN do with those dollars? Well, they’re in the lobbying and “activism” business.

Each ACORN office carries out multiple issue campaigns. ACORN members across the country work to raise the minimum wage or enact living wage policies; eliminate predatory financial practices by mortgage lenders, payday lenders, and tax preparation companies; win the development of affordable housing and community benefits agreements; improve the quality of and funding for urban public schools; rebuild New Orleans; and pass a federal and state ACORN Working Families Agenda, including paid sick leave for all full time workers.

Your tax dollars also go toward funding the ACORN Housing Corporation which provides “first time homeowner mortgage counseling and foreclosure prevention assistance, and low income housing development.”

So here’s an organization directly involved in expanding the debacle which has fomented this financial crisis and we find they’re fueled by tax revenues.

ACORN is also involved extensively in voter registration, bragging on their website that they’ve “helped more than 1.7 million low- and moderate-income and minority citizens apply to register to vote.”

Except many of those registrations have been fraudulent. The latest example comes from Nevada where, it seems, the Dallas Cowboy offensive lineup was featured among the ACORN registrations:

Secretary of State Ross Miller said the fraudulent registrations included forms for the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team.

“Tony Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada, and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won’t be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4,” Miller said.

Bertha Lewis, spokesperson for ACORN dismisses this as a systemic problem claiming the organization is intolerant of such activities:

“When we have identified suspicious applications, we have separated them out and flagged them for election officials. We have zero tolerance for fraudulent registrations. We immediately dismiss employees we suspect of submitting fraudulent registrations,” she said. “Today’s raid by the secretary of state’s office is a stunt that serves no useful purpose other than discredit our work registering Nevadans and distracting us from the important work ahead of getting every eligible voter to the polls.”

If that was the only case in which ACORN registrations were questioned and found to be wanting, she might have an argument. But ACORN’s fraud is legion. 5,000 ACORN registrants in St. Louis were sent letters by election officials asking the recipient to contact them. Fewer than 40 responded.

And ACORN’s response? Much like it was in Nevada:

ACORN founder Wade Rathke responded to the Missouri findings by calling the election officials “slop buckets” and accusing them of having “broken the law in trying to discourage new voters illegally.”

In Kansas City, 15,000 ACORN registrations have been questioned and in November, 4 ACORN employees were indicted for fraud. Additionally ACORN officials have been indicted in Wisconsin and Colorado, and there are on-going investigations in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Interesting, other than Tennessee, that they’re all taking place in battle-ground states, isn’t it?

And who has been an advocate for, worked with and trained members of ACORN?

Why “that one” of course. Brad O’Leary puts it all in context for you:

Following the DNC Convention, Saul Alinsky’s son, L. David Alinsky, wrote a letter to the Boston Globe. “Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing his effectiveness,” the son wrote. “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It’s a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

The great community organizing Obama did was through the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN is notoriously known for its radical, and often illegal, practices and adherence to the radical philosophy of Saul Alinsky. According to the Washington Post, Alinsky’s “disciples hired Barack Obama, a 23-year-old Columbia University graduate to organize black residents on the Southside, while learning and applying Alinsky’s philosophy of street level democracy.”

Recently the Obama campaign has sought to distance the Senator from the radical organization, claiming Obama merely represented ACORN in a lawsuit enforcing the Illinois “Motor Voter” law. Apparently the Obama campaign does not want Obama’s ties to an organization that has a “decade long history of voter fraud, embezzlement and misuses of taxpayer funds” that Consumer Rights League Chief Public Advocate, James Terry testified about last month to the House Judiciary. Alinsky wrote: “An organizer works for change…does not have a fixed truth – truth to him is relative and changing.”

Obama trained ACORN activists. A 1995 Chicago Reader article on Obama stated “Obama continues his work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons.” Obama also ran Project Vote, known for widespread voter fraud, which Time magazine called “a non-partisan arm” of ACORN. In a speech to ACORN in 2007, cited by Newsmax, Obama gushed “I have been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois. ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it and we appreciate your work.”

I’m sure he does – especially their work in the key battle-ground states for this election.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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