The ACORN Institute operates a countrywide network of ACORN Centers which (sic) provide free tax preparation, benefits enrollment, and foreclosure prevention services. In partnership with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)…
On September 25, NLPC President Peter Flaherty is interviewed on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight as part of a report by Ines Ferre on ACORN’s money flows between nonprofits, political groups and for-profit entities.
Flaherty said, “It looks like ACORN and its affiliates could be one big laundromat. Government money goes in, foundation money goes in, and it comes out as political action and into the pockets of those people running ACORN.” Click here to download 2-page pdf transcript …
Although we have not received a direct reply to our request that Bank of America sever all ties with ACORN and its affiliates, McClatchy newspapers reports:
In a statement, the bank said that it doesn’t condone the actions on the videos and that it is reviewing its work with ACORN.
Bank of America also said it and other banks have allowed ACORN to help tens of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure.
“Overall, we believe our investments have been leveraged to further the company’s commitments and benefit the country,” the bank said in its statement.
You would think with all the problems facing embattled CEO Ken Lewis, Bank of America would run, not walk, away from the ACORN imbroglio. The “statement” cited by McClatchy does not appear on the Bank of America website, or anywhere else on the web. Presumably, it was provided to McClatchy in response to its request …
Bank of America has received $45 billion in taxpayer TARP funds, and has slashed its dividend to a penny. Yet it is one of ACORN and its affiliates’ biggest funders.
Our review of annual tax returns for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc. for the last three years (2006, 2007, 2008) found more than $3.6 million in grants to ACORN and its affiliates. Those grants include a grant of $2 million to ACORN Housing, Inc. last year, and direct grants to ACORN Housing, Inc. offices in Baltimore, Maryland and San Bernardino, California, the locations of undercover video stings.
On its website, ACORN Housing, Inc. describes its relationship with Bank of America as a “partnership.” The Bank of America website lists no less than 26 ACORN offices where:
Bank of America works with Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) Housing to provide special mortgage products to potential homeowners
On CNN’s Lou Dobbs program, reporter Bill Tucker explores the relationships between New York politicians who earmark tax money for ACORN front groups, and the subsequent campaign help they receive from ACORN.
NLPC President Peter Flaherty notes that ACORN is under investigation for voter registration fraud but “the deeper scandal” is ACORN finances. For a transcript, click here.
NLPC has asked JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to end financial support for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), and its affiliates. According to the 2007 tax return for the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the most recent available, ACORN Housing, Inc. was the recipient of a million dollar grant in 2007. Another grant of $25,000 was made to the ACORN Institute. In a letter to Dimon, I warned:
Continued identification with ACORN harms the company’s brand name and reputation, and carries special risks for this company, a recipient of taxpayer TARP funds. The New York Times has identified you as President Obama’s “favorite banker.”
Yesterday, the Senate voted 83-7 to bar grants to ACORN from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If it is inappropriate for HUD to fund ACORN, it is also inappropriate for a public company like JPMorgan Chase to do so.