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Thursday, September 17, 2009

ACORN: the San Diego Tapes

The latest installment is here.

It's getting difficult to find adjectives and perspective to add. This latest tape is definitely the creepiest if not the most shocking. At this point, there's little to add. It's clear that this behavior isn't isolated. It's clear that this behavior is indicative of a much bigger problem at ACORN. As I said, these tapes didn't even necessarily cover new ground. The evidence that ACORN is a criminal organization is overwhelming. What these tapes did was confirm that in a visual way, and visual is by far the most powerful medium.

Right now, the House Republicans are attempting orchestrate what their colleagues in the Senate already accomplished. ACORN is being investigated in no less than 20 states. ACORN is watching its house crumble on top of it. The walls are closing in. In fact, it's every cliche for a big, big, big problem for ACORN.

The ACORN emperor is really wearing no clothes. They are being exposed little by little for the rotten and criminal enterprise that they are. All I can add at this point is just how these tapes culminated a confluence of events that has brought us here. If you watch news coverage of ACORN, reporters remark as fact that ACORN is really a collection of hundreds of affiliates. Most may not know that this is something that was only discovered in the last year. That happened after the investigation of board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid. They were tasked with investigating ACORN following the disclosure that Dale Rathke had embezzled a million dollars. For their trouble, the two of them were removed from the board of ACORN and eventually formed ACORN 8.

Much of what we know about ACORN comes from the investigation that was started as a result of the embezzlement. We know that Citizen's Consulting Inc. is the financial arm of ACORN because of that investigation. We know that multiple ACORN affiliates share office space as a result. We know that board members often serve on multiple boards of ACORN at once.

This is important because as a result of these investigations the public knows exponentially more about ACORN in the last twelve months than they ever have. The group used to be able to operate in the shadows but that has been lifted. So, after about a year of shocking disclosures, these tapes came out. All of it together has created the perfect storm to watch the full and total downfall of ACORN. That's what we are witnessing as we speak.


In an overwhelming vote, the House voted 345-75 to defund ACORN. I'm also happy to report that unlike my two Senators, my Congressman Mike Quigley voted to cut off funding. Quigley comes the U.S. House with a history of taking on corruption in Cook County and so this vote would have simply been unacceptable. Ed Markey, Jan Schakowski, Charlie Rangel, and Henry Waxman are the most prominent Reps to vote against cutting off funding.

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