ACORN, a non partisan group that receives no government funding. April Fools!

10-6-08

This is what the group claims on their website…

“ACORN is a non-profit, non-partisan social justice organization with national headquarters in New York, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.  To maintain independence, ACORN does not accept government funding and is not tax exempt.”

Does not accept federal funding huh? That’s odd considering that just about every bill coming out of Congress the last 20 plus years seems to contain language allocating a chunk of taxpayer money to….ACORN in one form or another. The recent “bailout bill” was shot down the first time around precisely because of the efforts of the House Democrats to ram more of the usual “ACORN pork” into the legislation. In fact the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bill that George Bush signed back in July contained millions for this group which operates under several different subsidiaries that supposedly approach low income and minority issues separately. Sure, you bet. Often different advocacy groups under the ACORN umbrella share offices and advertise for the same positions in local newspapers. In fact in some cities the “Project Vote” and ACORN phone numbers are exactly the same! Look, these people can do whatever they want because they have the unwavering support of Congressional Democrats, who they work to get re-elected, and if anyone does step up and try to get to the bottom of the garbage these people are up to then they will instantly be branded a racist. ACORN has had the benefit of learning the race baiting game over the years from some of the best, Jessie Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton, and in fact many years ago after he left Harvard Law School for the Chicago area Barack Obama was asked by leaders of ACORN to help train members and staff.

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ACORN seems to find several ways besides the taxpayers to get their hands on funding. As I mentioned earlier this group has many different entities that they claim are separate from the core unit but in reality the connections are eventually made. Case in point is a group called Citizens Services Inc. that received over $800,000 from Obama’s presidential election campaign for “polling, advance work and staging major events.” At least that is what Obama claimed in his Federal Election Commission reports. Accurate information? Nope. It turns out Obama just happened across yet another group connected to ACORN to perform not “polling, advance work and staging major events” like he said in his report but instead he admitted these people were actually involved in the “get out the vote” drive for his campaign. Since ACORN members have been accused and in many cases indicted and convicted of voter fraud throughout several states, especially the “swing states” that are up for grabs right now, this seems to be just a sneaky backdoor way for Obama to send supporters some payback money for their assistance.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports:

“U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat’s campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports.”

Jim Terry, spokesman for a group that tracks ACORN, said Citizens Services Inc.’s involvement in the Obama campaign raises bigger questions.

“All of this just seems like an awful lot of money and time spent on political campaigning for an organization that purports to exist to help low-income consumers,” said Terry, chief public advocate for Consumers Rights League, a Washington, D.C., advocacy outfit with a libertarian outlook.

“ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain,” Terry claimed. “Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama’s political gain.”

“Obama is the CSI’s first national candidate, although the company has worked for several regional candidates in recent years,” said Jeff Robinson, CSI’s executive vice president.

“Our contracts were relatively small for Obama,” he said, declining to specify amounts because of “proprietary” rights of CSI’s clients. The largest project for Obama was during the Ohio primary, he said.

“That was a very short-term contract for one week of work. In Ohio, they asked us to do canvasses in five cities statewide,” Robinson said.

The Ohio primary was March 4. According to FEC records, the Obama campaign paid Citizens Services Inc. $832,598.29, from Feb. 25 to May 17.

A Trib analysis of campaign finance reports showed Obama paid CSI for services that stood out as unusual. For example, CSI received payments of $63,000 and $75,000 for advance work. Excluding the large payments to CSI, the average amount the Obama campaign spent with other organizations was $558.82 per check on more than 1,200 entries classified as advance work.

Citizens Services Inc. is headquartered at the same address as ACORN’s national headquarters in New Orleans. Citizens Services was established in December 2004 to “assist persons and organizations who advance the interests of low- and moderate-income people,” according to paperwork filed in Louisiana. In a 2006 ACORN publication, Citizen Services Inc. is described as “ACORN’s campaign services entity.

During primary campaigning in February through May, Barack Obama’s campaign paid Citizens Services Inc. $832,598.29, for services including:

• $310,441.20 — Feb. 25, staging, sound, lighting

• $160,689.40 — Feb. 27, staging, sound, lighting

• $98,451.20 — Feb. 29, travel/lodging

• $74,578.01– March 13, staging, sound, lighting

• $18,417.00 — March 28, polling

• $18,633.60 — April 29, staging, sound, lighting

• $63,000.00 — April 8, advance work

• $105.84 — May 2, license fees

• $105.84 — May 2, license fees

• $75,000.00 — May 17, advance work

• $13,176.20 — May 17, per diem

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt indicated all work by CSI would be amended to the category of field work.

(Underlining added by me)

The Wall Street Journal online reports:

Sen. Obama is especially reliant on registration drives, such as Acorn’s with Project Vote, to help him win the White House. The Illinois Democrat draws his strongest support from blacks, Hispanics and young people, groups that are among the least likely to be registered. After law school, Sen. Obama was the director of Project Vote in Chicago. The Obama campaign, noting that interest groups routinely register voters and endorse candidates through separate efforts, emphasizes that it accepts no donations from the groups’ political action committees.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have helped to steer millions of dollars in housing and other grants from the federal government toward Acorn and groups like it. The groups must qualify and compete for the money, which is typically doled out from the federal government to states and municipalities. The housing package includes a new, permanent source of affordable-housing money that congressional Democrats and grass-roots groups have sought for years. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund will be funded by a tax on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage titans.

That tax eventually will channel upwards of $600 million annually in grants for developing and restoring housing, mostly as low-income rentals, available to Acorn and other groups. Democrats on Capitol Hill and housing groups say the housing-assistance money is vital to helping Americans hit hardest by what some call the largest drop in home values since the Great Depression. But they acknowledge the perception of political conflict in giving federal funds to an organization that does political work.

Clearly ACORN is in no way shape or form “non-partisan,” devoting their efforts, money and energy to getting liberal Democrats elected to office. Their ties to the Democrat party are obvious and irrefutable and that is fine. Nobody should have any problem with that as there are literally hundreds of advocacy groups that do everything they can to get their candidates elected. What is not fine are Congressional Democrats steering millions of taxpayer dollars a year to this group and their affiliates that exclusively support them in elections. If the shoe was on the other foot and Congressional Republicans were funding the National Rifle Association with millions in taxpayers cash I guarantee you that Democrats and liberal groups across the country would be screaming like mashed cats and demanding an immediate end to the subsidies.

Just how cozy is ACORN with the Democrats?

Well let’s take a look at some footage right off ACORN’s website shall we?


    

“They stole the election in 2000, they stole the election in 2004, they are NOT going to steal the election in 2008…”

Jeez, give it up folks. Ever notice that when the liberals lose elections it’s always “stolen” from them? Yet when they win (actually steal via voter fraud) it’s always “the people have spoken” and they have received a mandate from the voters?

How tight is ACORN with Barack Obama? From his website:

NEW ORLEANS, LA — ACORN’s Political Action Committee today announced that it has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for President.

ACORN PAC’s representatives went through an extensive process of interviewing each of the major Democratic candidates. ACORN is a national anti-poverty organization which has hundreds of thousands of members in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in 104 cities.

“Last night, Sen. Obama received the more than necessary two-thirds of the majority needed from our elected national leadership to secure the endorsement,” said Maude Hurd, ACORN’s National President. “Over the past months, we have worked with the leading candidates; ACORN’s members have deep appreciation and respect for Senators Clinton and Edwards and their work on behalf of our communities. What it came down to was that Senator Obama is the candidate who best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about like stopping foreclosures, enacting fair and comprehensive immigration reform, and building stronger and safer communities across America.”

Alicia Russell of Arizona, ACORN’s western regional representative, said Obama relates to the issues facing low- and moderate-income people. “I think he will commit himself to providing us the necessary path for the low-income and moderate-income families to improve their lives,” Russell said. “He’s on the same level as we are, and sees our issues as we do.”

In the past three weeks, Sen. Obama has met with ACORN leaders regarding foreclosure prevention solutions, including a roundtable discussion on Tuesday in San Antonio.

“Texas ACORN members are proud to stand with Senator Obama in calling for fundamental change in our economy to protect homeowners and neighborhoods from the scourge of foreclosures that is sweeping communities across Texas,” said Texas ACORN president Toni McElroy.

When Obama met with ACORN leaders in November, he reminded them of his history with ACORN and his beginnings in Illinois as a Project Vote organizer, a nonprofit focused on voter rights and education. Senator Obama said, “I come out of a grassroots organizing background. That’s what I did for three and half years before I went to law school. That’s the reason I moved to Chicago was to organize. So this is something that I know personally, the work you do, the importance of it. I’ve 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.”

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 350,000 member families organized into 800 neighborhood chapters in 104 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to its members, including better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools.

Thick as thieves, yes indeed.

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One Response to ACORN, a non partisan group that receives no government funding. April Fools!

  1. Pingback: just a regular guy » Obama rakes in record amount of cash for his presidential campaign.

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