Radicals long have used the judicial system as an effective last-ditch weapon to circumvent decisions by the legislative branch. This past Friday, one of their leading lights, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, showed the advantages of having a sympathetic federal judge in one's corner. This past Friday, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York, a Clinton appointee, issued a preliminary injunction against the recent congressional cutoff of funds for the New Orleans-based nonprofit network.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has a justly earned reputation this decade for voter registration fraud, embezzlement and other illegal acts. Yet according to an eagerly-awaited internal assessment released yesterday, the radical nationwide nonprofit network's main, if not sole, problem is inadequate employee training and oversight. The audit, supervised by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, had been prompted by employees of ACORN offices in different cities caught in a video sting this summer giving advice on how to hide assets and falsify loan documents. The New Orleans-based "anti-poverty" organization and its defenders see vindication. Critics see a whitewash, a set of rigged conclusions. The latter view is hard to avoid.
No organization likes bad publicity. And when allied organizations create it, disavowing ties to them becomes attractive. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has exercised that option - at least on the surface. On Wednesday, September 30, the union's secretary-treasurer, Anna Burger, told a congressional panel that her organization no longer has a working relationship with the New Orleans-based nationwide nonprofit "anti-poverty" network ACORN, an acronym for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. ACORN, as almost everyone in this country with a pulse knows by now, has been the target of federal and state investigations into a wide range of criminal activity. A very embarrassing and widely-aired homemade undercover video hasn't helped its case. Yet all the same, the union's move looks like a case of bait and switch.
With each passing week, the shadowy radical political network that has made possible the career of President Barack Obama is being dragged into the sunlight. And almost all paths of this network, directly or indirectly, lead to or from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a virtual corruption machine of the Democratic Party Left. One of the more disturbing aspects of the Obama-ACORN connection is that the White House political affairs director is one Patrick Gaspard.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is fast becoming radioactive to any organization contemplating doing business (or further business) with it. Federal agencies are no exception to the growing list of entities that recently have dropped their ties to the New Orleans-based nonprofit network. The Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that it no longer would include ACORN as a partner in its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
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.”
One of the defining hallmarks of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is its propensity for using front organizations to advance its goals. The New Orleans-based nonprofit organization has fully 360 subsidiary and adjunct groups. Lately, one of its affiliates, a misleadingly-named nonprofit entity called New York Agency for Community Affairs, Inc. (NYACA), has been at the center of attention. A recent probe by a consortium of New York City newspapers shows NYACA thus far in this year alone has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York state and local taxpayers for political campaign services.
A new book by Barron’s reporter Erin Arvedlund asserts that banking giant JPMorgan Chase became aware of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme months before his arrest, prompting the bank to liquidate its positions in a Madoff-related fund. Yet, the bank continued to accept deposits into Madoff’s main account at the bank from unsuspecting investors who were about to lose everything.
NLPC is a critic of JPMorgan Chase’s support for political and social causes that are contrary to the bank’s interests and hostile to the capitalist system itself, such as ACORN. Although these new revelations are a separate controversy, both reflect an apparent willingness by the firm to work with shady enterprises if it is perceived to be in its own interest.
Jason Sanders was an adviser to the Tides Foundation, a San Francisco philanthropy that for over three decades has been a major funding source for progressive-Left projects on issues such as global sustainability, reproductive justice, and AIDS treatment. What his employer didn't know is that his own favorite cause was himself. This past March 25, Sanders pleaded guilty in San Francisco federal court to embezzling $132,600 from the foundation over a three-year period. He had been indicted last August following an internal audit. From February 2005 to March 2008, federal prosecutors charged, Sanders, now 38, stole funds from the nonprofit group.