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ACORN troubles continue to mount...



September 19, 2009 – Comments (11)

Check out the video.

The times opinion piece focuses on the fact that an amateur reporter caught this on video.  What I took away from it,however, was the fact that an Acorn tax advisor located in Baltimore talked a prostitute and her pimp through the process of writing off condoms as client gift expenses, claiming a Salvadoran illegal immigrant - who is to be an underage prostitute - as a dependent in order to claim child tax credits, and claiming prostitutiton to be an indepedent arts career.

In light of numerous scandals that continue to plague Acorn, the House voted 347-75 to ban all federal funding to Acorn even though Acorn's website explicitly states that "The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now does not apply for nor does it receive any federal grants."  (If someone truly knows where Acorn's funding really comes from, I'd love for you to leave it in a reply below.)[showUid]=161&tx_irfaq_pi1[back]=P2lkPTE3ODU3&cHash=3b5f677fec

While in theory Acorn seems like a good organization that provides many types of invaluble services to lower class families, the mounting number of scandals and inefficiencies seem to be creating more hurdles than the organization may be able to handle.

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 19, 2009 at 1:43 PM, AntiRonChapmanJr (< 20) wrote:

Shocking!    And to think, people were talking bad about ACORN while Obama was running but ignored it because they wanted to see him get into office and give us all this "hope and change".

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#2) On September 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM, Alex1963 (27.69) wrote:

Ok pretty level headed post on this story-rec from me (surprisingly)

I have heard that ACORN has gotten about 50 million from the gov't thru HUD. I don't know if that is facually correct.

" Senate Republicans have said the group has received more than $50 million from the federal government since 1994." 

This from ACORN's website

"The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now does not apply for nor does it receive any federal grants. 

ACORN has had contracts with other nonprofit organizations to perform work on projects which received federal grant support. For example, ACORN has received contracts to:

Identify families eligible to receive food stamps and assist them to apply.Identify homeowners facing foreclosure and deliver them for housing counseling and loss mitigation services.Provide lead paint remediation services to households with children living in older neighborhoods.

The contracts that ACORN receives on these projects are for delivering specific activities, all of which are tax-exempt qualified in accordance with federal grant guidelines. No payments are received until work product has been delivered. 

None of ACORN's contracts to perform work on projects receiving federal grant money has provided funding for voter registration."[showUid]=161&tx_irfaq_pi1[back]=P2lkPTE3ODU3&cHash=3b5f677fec 

My take is that the videos are pretty damning. No doubt. My other take is that considering the unrelenting criticism that many on the right have leveled at them for absolute years that this is really the only credible scandal meaning as far as that the mainstream of the media and americans would agree.. Most of the rest has been IMO the worst kind of hyperbole, innuendo laced and fact free attacking. 

I saw yesterday that Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty both took steps to eliminate all state level funding for ACORN in their MN and LA budgets-except that they apparently don't have any funding for ACORN in their budgets. NONE. Really folks there is actually news of real concern out there. Based in facts and sporting at least a semblance of objectivity and fairness but it's not on the most popular Fix News shows. 

I really do understand and even sympathize that for some people Fox is the one place they may feel coverage really speaks to them. And that occasionally they even unearth factually correct, incontravertable scoops of note which can actually inform the overall electorate. But as someone who monitors them regularly I have to say that IMHO it's pretty rare. Kudos on this one story though. I hope the investigation is very thorough and that any other boneheads like in the video are sent packing. But I still support the overall group and am confident they will continue to be a badly needed resource for the poor and disenfranchised.


My further "hope" is that many more will learn to "change" the channel, at least occasionally, from Cluster Fox. 



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#3) On September 19, 2009 at 5:26 PM, topsecret09 (87.15) wrote:

 Acorn has been In the crosshairs for awhile, check out this report from the Commitee on Government oversight......

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#4) On September 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM, JuliaB55 (< 20) wrote:

We disenfranchised Dems who witnessed firsthand the thuggery, physical and verbal abuse, rules violations, and outright CHEATING perpetrated by ACORN (and SEIU) minions at our Dem caucuses during the primary know full well that ACORN's corruption is endemic, systemic, and continually ignored by Congress. We reported them to our respective secy's of state, every media outlet, the DNC (laughable, since they violated their own rules at the RBC meeting), and on the blogosphere.

Everyone turned a blind eye and a dead ear.  If we don't entirely dismantle ACORN (which has registered a new name) and their 200+ subsidiaries, the Dem primaries will continue to be rigged, and we'll never see a fair and free general election again.

Check out this link to an AP story from yesterday (AP finally put on their big-girl and big-boy underpants and started REAL reporting), and search YouTube for "We Will Not Be Silenced 2008," a documentary by DEMOCRAT Gigi Gaston, in which DEMS of all races and both genders report on the CHEATING in the primary. This liberal says, thank God for those two intrepid kids AND for FOX NEWS. That's right. I said it, and I mean it!

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#5) On September 20, 2009 at 1:26 PM, JuliaB55 (< 20) wrote:

I meant a "deaf" ear. Sorry.

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#6) On September 20, 2009 at 2:46 PM, JuliaB55 (< 20) wrote:

Let's not forget that Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder, Wade Rathke, embezzled a million dollars from ACORN while he was working for them. ACORN president Maude Hurd helped cover up the thievery because knowledge of it would "hurt ACORN." Ya think?

Why do my fellow-sister liberals continue to make excuses, equivocate, and all-around defend this filthy-handed organization (and it's 200+ subsidiaries)? It's as if you're all permanently entrenched in the deep partisan rut you've dug for yourselves and are in so deep that you cannot see the light--i.e., the truth. Climb out of that hole and into the sunlight. The object for all citizens should be as seekers of the truth, regardless of where we find it, and to examine it with pure objectivity.

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#7) On September 20, 2009 at 3:55 PM, Alex1963 (27.69) wrote:


That's a good article you offered. My take was little different in that I took away many positive points about ACORN in it besides the negative which have been more widely reported. I think we'll get more of the true picture as some of these investigations and oversight panels complete their reports. I strongly suspect we'll get a better picture of the videographers too who I understand were also stymied more often than not by staff which has not been reported much yet. I think is a lot more to their story than we know yet. Further, I sincerely doubt that ACORN will be even a 10th of the bogeyman that it has been portrayed as especially on the right.

I must say you are the first "disenfranchised" Dem I have ever read refer to the SEIU as "minions. That sounds very right wing to be honest. But judging from watching the 1st two videos maybe you were a Hilary supporter? FWIW I thought she was great too. it was a tough choice. One of the few elections I can remember thinking "Wow, Dems/liberals really can't lose here-2 stellar candidates"

I'm sorry but those videos did nothing to sway me to thinking that their was fraud or even mistakes so widespread that the wrong candidate was elected. A comment like "Obama wanted a caucus in Michigan because he knew it could be manipulated" is just silly and demonstrates a very convenient lapse of memory IMO as to the whole debacle of their holding their process too early and in violation of DNC rules. Sure it's one person's opinion in the video but not pointing out the actual events shows a heavy handed bias and undercuts Gaston's credibility. As I recall Obama stayed out of that completely and let the DNC and Michigan work it out even when it really could have hurt him had they decided differently. He even opted out of the primary if I remember correctly as the legitimacy was in question with the DNC

"Former Senator John Edwards and Senator Barack Obama withdrew their names from the Democratic ballot because Michigan broke party rules.The Democratic National Committee awarded Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton 69 pledged delegates, or 34.5 pledged votes, and Mr. Obama 59 pledged delegates, or 29.5 pledged votes." 

Her's a summary from the NY Post

"The Democratic National Committee penalized Michigan Democrats for holding an early primary by awarding delegates half a vote each at the national convention. Delegate counts at left reflect the total numbers of pledged and unpledged votes at the convention; 128 pledged delegates and 29 unpledged delegates will attend the convention.

The Democratic National Committeeawarded Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton 69 pledged delegates, or 34.5 pledged votes, and Mr. Obama 59 pledged delegates, or 29.5 pledged votes."

So if Obama meant to "game" the system it didn't work to well. In fact what he could have done to play more by the rules I couldn't even imagine. So again this seems like a dead end position. Maybe I'm missing the point here?

Does this ever go on to addrss ACORN? If so I may try to sit thru more of these videos but so far I would say this presentation is heavily based in speculation, flimsy evidence, hyperbole and innuendo. Plus it seems to be be based primarily on "events" inTexas which even had the results gone for Hilary would not have substantively affected the the outcome of the actual primaries and the election IMO. Plus I'm left wondering what does an adherent to your position want exactly? Hilary declared the winner? Obama declared illegible as president? And whatever it is does it forward the Democratic cause at this point? I hope you aren't a secessionist too! I know that's got some traction in TX.

Lastly the fact that Hilary herself is on board at the White House and indeed seems to be both satisfied in her position and a genuine Obama supporter now, as well as Bill, IMO robs this whole conspiracy theory of much of it's credibility. Or indicates Hilary sold out her supporters for a high profile job. 

I have no doubt there were mistakes in math, errors in registering and even fraud in some cases but no more than in any election. It is a complex system of representation in the U.S. a patchwork of different processes and rules. But over the course of million of votes and thousands of delgates I personally trust the process works. Except in Bush 2000. That was a travesty and did in fact get the national and media attention if deserved for being substantive unlike what I think is presented in the 1st 2 sections of this video

Thank you for sharing though. I wasn't really tuned in to where all this flak from the left was coming from. Now I think I see at least the source of some. I hope president Obama gives you more reason in future to perhaps move beyond the election and support him in the future. We need to try and work together as dems & liberals to try for real solutions. It'd be great to get folks like you back on board a little more.



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#8) On September 20, 2009 at 5:10 PM, JuliaB55 (< 20) wrote:

I watched the RBC meeting, uncut, on CSPAN. Did you? For one thing, they violated the Sunshine Laws by breaking to meet behind closed doors for part of the broadcast. The RBC took 4 delegates from HRC and heaped them on Obama. They then violated the Dem Party constitution by taking 55 delegates from Uncommitted and giving those to Obama.

What happened to rules being sacrosanct?

I believe it's Rule 24.5 that states "Uncommitted is a candidate in its own right, from which NO DELEGATES CAN BE TAKEN." If Obama didn't want to participate in MI, that was his decision. Those delegates did not belong to him. They belonged with "Uncommitted"!

Furthermore, Dr. Lynette Long (matematician and Democrat) has tons of documentation, including affadavits, regarding the rampant and widespread caucus fraud. Her site has been locked since she's been ill, but I'm sure she'd get all her material to the media, if only they'd do their jobs. If you were a caucus-goer, since I suspect you're not, you might have a different take on the matter. It's wrong, regardless of whether it favors or disfavors your candidate. SEIU is corrupt to the core, especially in NV, where I lived at the time of the primary. They're big funders of ACORN, and they perpetrated fruad at the caucuses on the Strip. Should I pretend they--and ACORN--aren't corrupt because I'm supposed to parrot the party line? Apparently so.

My first dealing with ACORN was in 2001 in Jersey City, NJ, another seat of political corruption. No working-poor whites need apply.

Because the mainstream media ignored proof of caucus fraud doesn't mean it wasn't serious enough to turn the nomination--along with the aforementioned delegates heaped on Obama like so many rose petals. If you watched all the videos and heard all the people talk about what happened at their caucuses, and you still can say what you have about them, I fear we're in deep trouble. It is not Gaston's view; the people are speaking for themselves.

Finally, I can't speak to what's in HRC's mind or heart, whether she had something up her sleeve, to be revealed down the road, or if she sold out or whatever else might be propelling her. Frankly, it doesn't make a difference in wanting to root out the problems. In fact, in NV, her campaign filed a claim, attesting to the various manner of cheating and violations, and the Dem. Secy of State Ross Miller IGNORED IT! 

I'd be just as po'd if HRC or any other Dem candidate had done this to Obama. It's never right and should always be investigated to the hilt. 

I was invited to speak on KNPR's "State of Nevada," for an "open discussion," which turned out to be no such thing. It was a bashing session of those who witnessed cheating at the caucuses. However, two weeks after that radio air date, the FBI raided Las Vegas's ACORN offices. And down the road, the state attorney general--a DEM!--filed charges against ACORN. 

I can't wait until the complete truth is out, and we PUMAs will be more than exonerated. I pray for the complete demise of both parties now. After 35 years as a Dem, I am now blissfully independent. I will work and vote for the candidates with the cleanest hands and records. Doesn't matter whether we agree on every single issue. 

I predict that by 2012, a third bipartisan party, larger than both Repubs & Dems combined, will emerge. 

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#9) On September 20, 2009 at 5:32 PM, JuliaB55 (< 20) wrote:

P.S. Texas and other states are not "seceding" from the Union. They are claiming sovereignty (a different matter entirely) by invoking their Tenth Amendment rights to do so.

Article X states: "The powers not delegated to the United States [i.e., the federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

In plain English, these 20-something state legislatures are saying that when the fed exceeds its scope and boundaries as set forth by the Constitution, which is pretty clear on the matter, they claim sovereignty from such laws. Here's a link to our state legislature's invocation of the Tenth Amendment rights:

And now I'm sure you'll think I'm a Right-winger, but I don't know any Right-wingers who are in favor of legalizing marijuana or giving gays the same rights AND responsibilities as heteros who marry. I can, of course, prove that I was a registered, loyal, and participating Democrat, and even a ward committeewoman, for 35 years. The day after the RBC meeting, I reregistered as a Nonpartisan, in NV (they have such a designation), and I am now a registered Independent in AZ. 


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#10) On September 20, 2009 at 6:13 PM, JuliaB55 (< 20) wrote:

Sorry: one more thing: are you aware of the ACORN-8? These are 8 ACORN board members of the D.C. office who were barred from the premises when they demanded an audit of ACORN's D.C. books.

They are BRAVE people, to be sure. Have a look at and branch off from links therein. They might be the only people in the entire organization, or its subsidiaries, who are HONEST and DECENT and tried to run the operation according to higher ideals.

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#11) On September 20, 2009 at 9:18 PM, Alex1963 (27.69) wrote:


Did I watch the RBC hearings -no

But in fairness to you your detailed responses I did do some digging and have run into a web of HRC supporter conspiracy theories about those hearings. Also claims and fights from both camps on voter irregularities, suppression and general ugly poltical in fighting. Conspiracy theories enough to go around. I still believe HRCs position was untenable. in the 1st place-she should not have stayed on the ballot and withdrawn as Edwards and Obama did. I spent about 40 minutes looking up links etc but really this seems to be a story high on minutia and low on easy to identify coverage. But are some comments from those who did follow those hearings closely and debated on-line.

Sunshine Laws "Statutes that mandate that meetings of governmental agencies and departments be open to the public at large."

Then this 

 You seem to have a misunderstanding of the sunshine law. Under the sunshine law, closed meetings may be held to set an agenda, this would include, but not limited to, determining what will be talked about, for how long, and under what conditions.

Solutions to problems may be predecided, as long as no final solution is fully enforced before public debate and public vote. In other words, ten solutions can be put forward and 7 be thrown out before any public hearing is held – and yes it’s legal.

In all honesty, you have a lot of conspiracy theory, but I see nothing that shows a law was broken, or that charter rules were violated.

Predetermined agreements can be reached prior to any vote under the sunshine law. 

Plus I trust both Howard dean and Donna Brazile. Here's what a quick search revealed to me of some thoughts from those commenting on the hearings at the time 

"Technically, none (delegates) should be seated. 

Michigan's Democratic Leadership were warned several times of the consequences of moving up their primary. They knew the consequences, and yet they did it anyway. 

Those consequences were that NONE of the delegates would be seated. Hillary, and the rest of the candidates ALL signed a PLEDGE in agreement. 

"You know its clear, this election they're having isn't going to count for anything." - Hillary speaking on Michigan before she lost umpteen states in a row to Obama. 

Still, she kept her name on the ballot while Edwards and Obama removed theirs. Obama and Edwards adhered to Party rules and followed up on their pledge. Hillary did not. 

Only after losing so badly to Obama and falling so far behind did she begin fighting to count the Michigan votes. 

Its a shame that Michigan's voters, and Hillary's supporters will only have half of their votes count. Its equally a shame that Obama's name wasn't even an option. 

48 states followed Party rules. Two did not. Two candidates followed party rules, one did not. 

" That was my feeling at the time and I still feel the same. 

You then say "Because the mainstream media ignored proof of caucus fraud doesn't mean it wasn't serious enough to turn the nomination-"  But it does usually indicates that there isn't really anything all that newsworthy. That would have been a great story to further the battle between the two which was still going strong at that point. You then have to believe, as I guess you do, in either media incompetence, media culpability or a a vast media conspiracy.

Then you really mis-state the facts here "In fact, in NV, her campaign filed a claim, attesting to the various manner of cheating and violations, and the Dem. Secy of State Ross Miller IGNORED IT! " 

I'm not sure what the time frame you're referring to here but this just one of many articles I found on this and I do in fact recall some of this from the primaries and the election. So if he/they did ignore the initial complaints it does seem as thought they did investigate right? 

"Mr. Miller investigated Acorn at the behest of the Clark County registrar of voters, Larry Lomax, who noted a high number of forms turned in featuring the names of famous football players and cartoon characters.

“This is not a case of voter fraud, it’s a case of voter registration fraud,” Mr. Miller said. “I’m very confident that none of these fraudulent voter forms found their way into the voter registration rolls or to cast votes.” ..In the final month of the campaign, supporters of Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, charged that Acorn was trying to fraudulently enroll Democratic voters likely to support Mr. McCain’s opponent, Senator Barack Obama. Yet on Monday, Nevada Republicans said they doubted Acorn’s activity had any impact on the outcome of the 2008 election in Nevada. Mr. Obama won the state by 12 percentage points. “It wasn’t that close,” the state Republican chairwoman, Sue Lowden, said.

Actually there was a demonstration in TX advocating literal and further Gov Rick Perry has stated he might consider it 

"This discussion was sparked by Texas Gov. Rick Perry's assertion that Texas has the unique right to secede from the U.S. of A." 

or from this "indisputable" but certainly sympathetic source

Protesters at an event in Austin, TX yesterday just took the vile rhetoric we've seen on display this August one extra step:

"the protesters had Larry Kilgore, a "Christian activist" and candidate for governor who has endorsed executions for homosexuals; Debra Medina, a Ron Paul Republican and a slightly-less long-shot candidate for governor; and Melissa Pehle-Hill, yet another fringe candidate and a member of a self-appointed "citizens grand jury" investigating Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barry Soetoro."

"I hate that flag up there," Kilgore said pointing to the American flag flying over the Capitol. "I hate the United States government. They're an evil, corrupt government. They need to go. Sovereignty is not good enough. Secession is what we need!" 

Exercising a states Tenth Amendment rights is and I'm sorry to be so blunt here, a ridiculous position. Every credible constitution expert I have read and seen dismisses this primarily due to the U.S. Constitution itself. 

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfareof the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Here's Lawrence O'Donnell sitting n for Olbermann commenting on this in detail & then interviewing Jonathan Turley a Constitutional Law professor from George Washington University. You may actually quite like some of his comments. I can offer you more examples from other experts. 

In other words the arguments used by Tenthers to justify their opposition are likely untenable. Programs such as healthcare, stimulus, TARP, even the deficit etc obviously fall under this rather broad definition and are further quite arguably necessary or at least within the purview of the U.S. Gov't-no matter who the president is or whether you supported him and the Supreme Court has historically agreed.

I'm glad you support those other positions. I agree. But honestly and no offense, what you sound like to me is a very bitter Hilary supporter who cannot get past her disappointment and as an immediate result of a huge setback and disappointment is is now off on a whole slew of dubious efforts and fringe movements. I'm being direct but I am not trying to belittle or insult you.

What is tragic and I mean really tragic is that we finally got a progressive, energetic, intelligent and agenda-ambitous president in the white house and he and we can't get anywhere because we have not only the Bush/Cheney true blue right wing  folks and the Lyndon LaRouch crazies we also have the Libertarians and now apparently a whole slew of ex HRC/PUMAs who will not accept him his administration or the important social and economic reforms he is advocating.. Again the Dems, Liberals/progressives will have to fight for every inch even from people who have far too many reasons to mend fences but simply won't.

I sincerely do wish you the best of luck and I'm sorry on behalf of all progressives to lose someone who obviously could be bringing a lot to the table for mainstream liberals/progressives. You seem really smart, committed to your beliefs and not at all a crazy to me for what that is worth. If we stayed away from Obama/Clinton I bet we could have a great talk about politics in general & I bet you could hold your own with anyone. Oh, I tried to find your interview on KNPR but couldn't. It would have been fun to listen-you don't often get to put a voice to the on-line persona LOL. How cool-on the radio. That's all I listen to here in Chicago-WBEZ the local NPR affiliate. You celebrity you!





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