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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ACORN in the Cross Hairs

The vote in the Senate to defund ACORN has taken this story in a new direction. This was an amendment first introduced yesterday by Nebraska Senator Mike Johannes. It was voted on last evening and voted favorably overwhelmingly 83-7. (Ironically, both my senators, Dick Durbin and Roland Burris, were in the minority) This still has to move through the House but the Senate is supposed to be the deliberative body. Yet, it moved from introduction to vote in less than twenty four hours.

Now, it's unclear just how much of an effect this would have. First, there are so many ACORN affiliates that often politicians have no idea that they are providing funds for that group. So, unless there is serious oversight, anyone of ACORN's multi hundred affiliates can still get money even if this amendment is passed. In fact, insiders have told me that they were always stunned by politicians going on the Congressional floor to rail against ACORN and then turning around to give an affiliate money.

The important thing is not this amendment. What's important is that ACORN is now in the news and that isn't going away anytime soon. ACORN doesn't necessarily want media attention and certainly not this kind of media attention. It's "chief organizer", Bertha Lewis, has been quoted more in the last three days than in the previous six months. Even Michael Shea, President of ACORN Housing Inc., has been quoted in the aftermath of these tapes coming out. Shea is the ultimate ACORN insider and rarely made appearances in the media.

That's how the powers that be at ACORN like it. They want to operate in the shadows. The two people that every ACORN insider has told me are currently in charge, Steve and John Kest, have still not been heard from. Instead, Bertha Lewis is the face of the organization now. She'll likely take the fall if the fallout from this gets to heavy.

Either way, ACORN is again a lead story. The public is waiting breathlessly for the next tape which we all now expect there is. The Republican National Lawyers Association just demanded that HUD's Inspector General do a forensic audit. That's what ACORN 8 has been calling for from the beginning. All of these new pieces of information "advance the story". Stories get stale when there's nothing new to report. Then, the public moves on. In this story, there is something new to report nearly everyday. That's all bad news for ACORN. The last thing they want is this much publicity, and they're in for months of bad publicity. So, I believe that we finally have ACORN in our cross hairs.

Here's my full dossier of ACORN.

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