Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI), the shadowy financial nerve center of the embattled radical activist group ACORN, has filed false lobbying disclosure reports with Congress, according to Ron Sykes, a former ACORN employee.
This revelation is important because, as former ACORN national board member Charles Turner said earlier this year on "The Glenn Beck Program," CCI "is where the shell game begins."
This revelation is vital and important and the reasons get into wonky tax issues. So, I will try and simplify everything for you. CCI, as the article suggests, is the nerve center of ACORN. (I have also reported this and the Issa report reported this as well.)What this means is that almost all monies that are funneled into ACORN, be it private, charity, or government funds, start out at CCI and then get filtered into the rest of the organization. This very fact is unbelievably problematic and leads to all sorts of malfeasance. That's because it becomes very easy for ACORN to have funds meant to feed the hungry go to help the campaign of a Democrat when ALL funds start at one place, CCI. Of course, that's already common knowledge. This latest revelation leaves no doubt. Tens of millions of Dollars have been funneled to ACORN ILLEGALLY.
Now, we learn that Citizens Consulting Inc. is also a registered lobbyist. This has massive ramifications for most of the funds that ACORN receives. Here's why. Let's say you are a charity. You are likely under the tax code 501 (C)3. This tax code makes all your funds tax exempt. That's a huge government concession. After all, we'd all like to keep all our money but we don't. 501 (c)3's do. As such, they are required to do a lot of things with their money that other are not. Better yet, they are inhibited from doing a lot of things with their money that others are not. For instance, you can't engage in partisan activities. In other words, 501(C)3's can't go and contribute to Republicans or Democrats. That's perfectly logical. By being exempt from taxes, you are essentially using tax payer money. As such, that can't be used to support one political party.
Furthermore, government funds certainly can't be used for partisan purposes. Remember, Sarah Palin, in Alaska, blew the whistle on exactly this sort of corruption. While a member of the oil and gas commission, she discovered that a fellow member was using his time on the commission to engage in fundraising. As such, tax payers were paying them to try and elect Republicans. You can imagine how an Alaskan Democrat would feel about that. Similarly, HUD, HHS, etc. can't use government money for partisan purposes. We Republicans wouldn't be terribly happy if we found out that HHS money was used to help elect Democrats.
So, what are we to make of an organization that receives money from 501 (C)3's and the government and it's also a registered lobbyist. That means that tens of millions of Dollars were funneled to CCI illegally. Certainly, going forward, no government agency or charity can send money to ACORN unless they are certain that this money doesn't ever wind up at CCI. At this point, no one can be certain of this.
I can also confirm that until this story was published no member of ACORN 8 knew that CCI was also a registered lobbyist. It's unclear how long they've been registered lobbyists, but that just goes to show how secretive and compartmentalized the group is. ACORN 8 are all former members of the board of ACORN. The primary responsibility of any board is to be a watchdog to that organization. If board members aren't made aware that the same group that receives the overwhelming majority of funds of the group is also a registered lobbyist then that speaks volumes about the transparency of said group.
Now, every 501 (C)3 and government agency that ever gave ACORN any funds has a lot to answer for. Both have a fiduciary duty to make sure their funds aren't misused. Just how much due diligence was done before tens of millions tax payer and tax exempt Dollars were funneled to ACORN through a group that is also a registered lobbyist? Either there was a lack of due diligence or fraud. Either charities and governments didn't do enough due diligence to figure this out or ACORN lied when asked about it. Either way, a serious breach of tax payers trust was committed.
Beyond this, it is absolutely unacceptable for any charity or any government agency to give any money to ACORN moving forward. Whatever their accuses in the past, there is no excuse now. We now know that CCI is a registered lobbyist. So, now, anyone that uses tax payer money, be it actively or passively by being tax exempt, has a fiduciary responsibility to demand a total and INDEPENDENT forensic audit of ACORN, CCI and every ACORN affiliate before giving that group even one more penny. This includes localities like St. Louis and New York, HUD, HHS, and many charities including ones run by George Soros.
This latest revelation is yet another layer of troubling corruption in that group. That CCI was the nerve center for all the funds of ACORN was bad enough. That CCI was also a registered lobbyist means that no more tax funds can be given to that group before a full forensic audit is done. (As such if George Soros wanted to give his own money that would be fine)