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ACORN: Obama’s corrupt community organizers

9/17 Update: When you think “ACORN”, think “Obamacare.”

9/11/2009 Update: Child prostitution!

Barack Obama prides himself on his career as a community organizer. Back then, he worked for an organization called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), to which he still has extensive ties. Before digging into Obama’s links to ACORN, it’s important to understand exactly how corrupt and anti-American this organization truly is.
I’ve dug around through tons of resources online to come up with this collection of information that reveals the vast corruption perpetrated by ACORN. Take a few moments to read through the reports and learn about the organization that created Barack Obama.
ACORN’s Hypocritical House Of Cards: How One “Community” Group Helped the Housing Crisis Harm Taxpayers (Consumers Rights League):

This report focuses on the troubling record of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and its tax-exempt offshoot, the ACORN Housing Corporation (AHC). The ACORN/AHC version of consumer advocacy has consisted of a three-decade assault on free enterprise and a history of extracting resources from financial lenders seeking abatement of ACORN’s public relations assaults. Specifically, this report examines ACORN’s impact on the housing problem. Documents provided by internal whistleblowers, cross-checked with public records and recorded events, expose hypocritical lending recommendations tied to ACORN Housing Corporation’s agreements with major banks–agreements that end up harming consumers.
Media reports, combined with information provided by former ACORN employees, show that:

  • ACORN leveraged the Community Reinvestment Act in order to attack lenders’ reputations and secure financial resources for itself; it has also endorsed loans offered by companies that fund ACORN operations
  • ACORN’s decades of lobbying and publicity seeking have contributed to the current housing crisis by lowering lending standards
  • Despite raking in a troubling 40 percent of its revenue from taxpayers over the last three years, ACORN Housing Corporation’s actions range from controversial to borderline illegal:
  • AHC has worked to obtain mortgages for undocumented workers
  • AHC relies on undocumented income, “under the table” money that may not be reported to the Internal Revenue Service
  • ACORN’s “financial justice” operations attack lenders for “exotic” loans, but AHC has recommended ten-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and reverse mortgages (which can be detrimental to senior citizens)
  • AHC may have violated federal law by failing to maintain a proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and the aggressive political activities of ACORN

Voter Turnout or Voter Fraud?: Interest Groups Push for Election Reform (Johnathan Bechtle, Capital Research Center):

In 2004 liberal advocacy groups focused their activism on “getting-out-the-vote.” The groups typically urged all Americans to vote, but their real goal was more explicit. They wanted to count as many anti-Bush votes as possible. At what point did voter turnout become voter fraud?

ACORN makes a point of asserting that lawsuits brought against it have been rejected or withdrawn. But in 2004 its employees were the subject of numerous reports of registration fraud in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Project Vote [a group created by ACORN and led by Barack Obama] denies that it deliberately orchestrated any registration fraud. But a stream of television and newspaper stories reported on the shady practices its workers used to register people to vote.

To make matters worse, taxpayers indirectly pay for these shady efforts. ACORN has a number of affiliates providing mortgage financing and counseling for low-income persons. The principal affiliate, the ACORN Housing Corporation, received over $2.6 million in government grants in 2003-2004. Some state-based ACORN housing affiliates receive smaller amounts of government funding. With this base of taxpayer support, ACORN is free to channel its member dues funds and donor gifts to political activities. Despite its claim to nonpartisanship, ACORN ran a minimum wage ballot initiative drive in the 2004 Florida election that, according to an internal memo revealed in a 2005 report by the American Center for Voting Rights, was run “to help defeat George W. Bush and other Republicans by increasing Democratic turnout …”

Rotten ACORN: America’s Bad Seed (July, 2006, Employment Policies Institute):

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is registered as a non-profit corporation in Arkansas, which does not require public financial disclosure. According to labor activist and scholar Peter Dreier, ACORN’s annual operating budget is around $30 million. The New York Times subsequently reported that the figure is closer to $37.5 million, excluding the non-profit research and housing organizations the group runs. Even this estimate likely does not include the vast resources of the ACORN-run unions or reflect election-year resources given to its ostensibly non-partisan get-out-the-vote efforts.
Because it operates a virtual self-contained economy, ACORN entities exchange millions of dollars every year for goods and services. The scant financial documents available for public inspection paint a picture of a spider web of ACORN-run organizations that trade loans, leases, payments, and grants.

ACORN’s no-holds-barred take on politics originates from its philosophy, which is centered on power. An internal ACORN manual instructed organizers to sign up as many residents as possible because “this is a mass organization directed at political power where might makes right.”

The frequency with which ACORN employees are caught turning in fraudulent or erroneous documents indicates the group cares less about obeying laws than pushing its political agenda. When it is periodically forced to answer allegations of fraud, ACORN downplays the harm of its crimes or shifts blame to supposedly rogue employees, whom the organization then fires.

$1 Million Scandal Latest To Hit ACORN (release from the Consumers Rights League):

ACORN and its affiliates have a multi-decade history of fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds. Recently, the Consumers Rights League released a whistleblower report that uses internal ACORN documents to highlight alleged misuses of taxpayer money by ACORN Housing Corp, which took in 40% of its funds from the government and sent more than a million dollars to ACORN’s affiliate, Citizens Consulting.
Now, The New York Times reports (“Funds Misappropriated at 2 Nonprofit Groups,” June 9)that ACORN has hid since 2001 the embezzlement of nearly $1 million by the brother of ACORN’s founder from that same organization–Citizens Consulting.
Additionally, ACORN is currently under investigation for potential voter fraud all across the nation. With millions of dollars transferred from AHC to these affiliates, it is entirely plausible that taxpayer funds are funding much of this fraud.

ACORN and ACORN fraternal organizations’ multi-decade record of partisanship and misusing public funds is a prime example of a broken system. They continuously turn in faulty, if not false, voter registration forms that threaten to disenfranchise voters on Election Day. They have repeatedly used taxpayer funds to bolster their own political ends. Eventually, taxpayer money ended up in the pockets of the brother of ACORN’s founder and ACORN attempted to hide the truth for years.

Written Testimony Of James Terry, Chief Public Advocate, Consumers Rights League (Wednesday, September 24, 2008):

My name is James Terry and I am the chief public advocate at the Consumers Rights League, a non-profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to preserving consumer choice in a broad array of issue areas.

The Consumers Rights League provides an alternative voice from those organizations that argue for reduced consumer choice or increased government intervention as a policy of first choice. CRL supports all aggressive efforts to educate, motivate, register, and assist all citizens in voting so long as those efforts are legal. Unfortunately, there are some groups that do not seem to share this concern.
As part of CRL’s mandate, we monitor policy debates, news trends and the activities of organizations that style themselves as consumer advocates. Unfortunately, due to their long track record of questionable or corrupt practices with respect to housing and electoral activities, we are constantly forced to act as a watchdog for abuses by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. To be sure, there are some well-meaning individuals who are a part of ACORN.
Unfortunately, they do not appear to be the ones in control. Firsthand accounts from current and former ACORN employees, major news stories, and court cases across the country, expose corruption at every level of ACORN including embezzlement, cover-ups, misuse of taxpayer funds and voter fraud. While all of the reported allegations noted in my statement are found in the public domain, such reports often go unnoticed by the national media.

Whistleblower Documents Reveal ACORN’s Apparent Misuse Of Taxpayer Dollars to Pursue Profitable Political Agenda (June 18, 2008 release from the Consumers Rights League):

Today, the Consumers Rights League (CRL) published a collection of whistleblower documents that suggest the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has reaped substantial financial gains by misusing taxpayer dollars for political ends and by attacking lending corporations for the same “predatory” lending practices it regularly engages in.
The ACORN Housing Association (AHC), an ACORN affiliate that receives over 40% of its funding from government sources, claims to be a consumer advocate. In a newly-released report from CRL, however, a series of documents obtained from a whistleblower source reveals hypocritical and potentially illegal use of taxpayer dollars by ACORN and its related organizations. These documents – which include staff emails and internal organization policies – suggest that ACORN has failed to maintain a proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive political activities.