IRS Severs Ties to ACORN in Wake of Scandals, Tax Liens

ACORN logoThe 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. The action comes in the wake of the House and Senate last week overwhelmingly voting to cut off federal funds to the group; the Census Bureau’s announcement that it would not include ACORN members as enumerators for next year’s Census of Population; and the Justice Department’s announcement of plans to review its grants to the organization. ACORN’s efforts at damage control, which now includes a lawsuit, can’t hide its looming implosion.

The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program … Read More ➡

Scott Harshbarger ‘Bad Choice’ to Investigate ACORN

Harshbarger photoACORN announced today that former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger has agreed to head ACORN’s investigation of itself. Leaving aside the valid question of whether any ACORN-funded probe can actually be “independent,” Harshbarger is a particularly bad choice.

Harshbarger has impressive-sounding credentials, but he is well-known for his political and ideological intensity. A quick Google check of his affiliations shows him sharing the program as a speaker at a Campaign Institute event in 2004 with Dan Cantor who is described as “founding executive director of the Working Families Party (WFP),” an ACORN front. See New York ACORN Front Group Based in New Orleans Gets Taxpayer Money.

ACORN board member Maude Hurd was eager to point out today that Harshbarger is “the former President and CEO of Common Cause, the good government organization.”

Harshbarger was indeed head of Common Cause for three years, where he demonstrated a deep political bias. … Read More ➡

Flaherty Warns of White House Plan to Mine Social Network Data

On September 17, 2009, NLPC President Peter Flaherty is interviewed as part of a CNN report by Ines Ferre on Lou Dobbs Tonight. Flaherty warns of a White House New Media office plan to harvest data from social networking websites. NLPC exposed the plan on August 31, 2009. Click here to download a 2-page pdf transcript.

Related:

White House Plan to Mine Social Networks is Dangerous Because of Scope, Secrecy and Context

CNN ‘Expert’ Lamely Claims to ‘Debunk’ NLPC on White House Data Harvesting on Social Networks

Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites


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NLPC Alleges Charles Rangel Hid More Income in Complaint to House Ethics Committee

Rangel photoIn a Complaint filed yesterday, NLPC asks the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to expand its ongoing investigation of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) to include apparent violations of House Rules related to his ownership of a Harlem investment property.

Again, it appears Rangel has failed to disclose income from a rental property.

On his financial disclosure forms, Rangel reported little or no rental income for eight years (1993-2001) on the six-unit Harlem brownstone, even though public records show tenants were living there. Click here to download a 35-page pdf of the Complaint.

NLPC’s exposure of Rangel’s unreported and undisclosed income from his Dominican Republic “villa,” touched off more intensive scrutiny of Rangel’s finances, leading Rangel to revise his filings last month for 2002 to 2006, showing his net worth to be roughly double what he had claimed in the past.

The revised … Read More ➡

White House Plan to Mine Social Networks is Dangerous Because of Scope, Secrecy and Context

Facebook logoWe are happy that our August 31 report on the White House New Media operation to harvest data from social network websites is finally getting some attention. We unearthed the fact that this office is seeking a vendor capable of conducting a massive data harvesting operation, prompting concerns that the White House is seeking to identify friends and enemies.

When we posted our story, we received so many hits that it took down our server and forced us to move to a more powerful machine, but we received scant print and electronic media coverage. Today, the Washington Times covered the story on its front page, above the fold. Drudge and Lucianne linked to the story, giving it high visibility.

As explained by the Times:

The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without notifying or asking

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Flaherty: ‘Deeper Scandal’ is ACORN Finances

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.

Related:

New York ACORN Front Group Based in New Orleans Gets Taxpayer Money


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Rangel Has More Undisclosed Rental Income

Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein report today in the New York Post:

Rep. Charles Rangel reported no rental income for eight years on his rundown Harlem row house, even though public records show tenants were living there.

The powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said he received nothing from 1993 to 2000 on the six-unit building, according to federal financial disclosure forms.

NLPC’s exposure of Rangel’s unreported and undisclosed income from his Dominican Republic “villa,” touched off more intensive scrutiny of Rangel’s finances, leading Rangel to revise his filings last month for 2002 to 2006, showing his net worth to be roughly double what he had claimed in the past.

These amended filings did not show a capital gain of between $500,000 and $1 million when the property was sold in 2004. The amendments did not cover 1993 to 2000 when Rangel claimed no rental income. … Read More ➡

New York ACORN Front Group Based in New Orleans Gets Taxpayer Money

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. In many cases, the lawmakers who earmarked the funds had been locked in close re-election campaigns that used NYACA volunteers. It’s no small wonder that NYACA and ACORN overlap to the point of being nearly indistinguishable.

According to its mission statement, NYACA was founded “to provide a vehicle for … Read More ➡