Much of the malfeasance of ACORN comes from its nebulous relationship with a private company called Citizen's Consulting Inc. CCI is a sort of accounting and financial services firm. CCI also only has one client, or shall I say a series of clients...ACORN and all its affiliates. Whenever ACORN receives any money, be it from the federal government or other resources, it first goes to CCI. Then, CCI filters that money to anyone of ACORN's affiliates. Of course, this creates all sorts of room for malfeasance. If the government were to give money to say Health Care for America Now to provide health care services in poor neighborhoods, that money will first wind up at CCI. Where that money ends up is any one's guess. Why? That's because CCI is a private company and so getting a look at its books is no easy task. In fact, I doubt more than a handful of politicians even know the relationship between ACORN and CCI.
That article and others subsequent to it came from on and off the record conversations with ACORN insiders. In near unanimity, most ACORN insiders told me that at the top of the list of ACORN crimes was their propensity to co mingle funds. By doing so, money earmarked, be it by a charity, individual, or even the government, for something like health care would wind up being used for something totally different like helping a politician win an election.
At the time, those that paid attention to ACORN's crimes were mostly paying attention to their plethora of allegations of voter registration fraud. Beyond this, most confused this voter registration fraud with voter fraud. The latter being a much bigger offense. By focusing almost exclusively on voter registration fraud, many missed ACORN's much more serious malfeasance.
Meanwhile, the MSM was ignoring any and all of their crimes. That all has changed. Ever since the videos came out, ACORN has become a major media story and even the MSM has become to notice.
Documents released by a Senate Republican on Thursday show that leaders of the ACORN community organizing network transferred several million dollars in charitable and government money meant for the poor to arms of the group that have political and sometimes profit-making missions.
ACORN's tax-exempt groups and allied organizations, long a target of conservative ire, used more than half their charitable and public money in 2006 to pay other ACORN affiliates, according to an analysis by the tax staff of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).
On Thursday, Grassley called the transactions a "big shell game" and said ACORN donors may be surprised by how the liberal group known for helping the poor obtain housing and health care was spending their money. He urged the Internal Revenue Service to take a closer look.
According to the Grassley report, charities "are being used to raise monies which are then funneled to other charities or to other organizations for purposes other than what the donor may have intended. . . . Dollars raised for charitable [purposes] appear to be used for impermissible lobbing and political activity."
None of this is new, and nor is any of it surprising to those that have been following ACORN. With the public engaged, the media may start to notice ACORN's multitude of offenses. The WAPO story is based on a Republican Senatorial report headed by Chuck Grassley of Iowa. When their counterparts in House released their own report, there was little notice from the media. Of course, that was then. Now, the public is engaged and they are dragging the media, kicking and screaming, to the story.
The media needs no new crimes to uncover. They only need to report on the ones that have already been discovered and ignored. The Issa Report, for instance, details in depth ACORN's near decade of criminality. If the media even notices one tenth of the crimes ACORN has committed over the last decade, they will have stories for the next couple years. If the MSM has noticed ACORN, then they really have problems.