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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some Context on the Shocking ACORN Video

I just got off the phone with an ACORN insider who provided some much needed perspective on this video. First, here again is the video the whole news world is talking about.

Everyone, rightly so, is focusing on the shocking behavior in the video. They should. Here's some much needed context of this video. First, the ACORN employee is performing three different functions in this video. First, she's giving tax advice. Second, she's giving housing advice. Third, she's selling the people on an ACORN membership. Most media has said this occurred at ACORN Housing.

In fact, that's not entirely accurate. This occurred at an office shared by ACORN and ACORN Housing. That's because the two entities, supposedly separate, often share the same office. In this case, it's 16 W. 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (here is ACORN Baltimore's site, and here's ACORN Housing and the addresses are one and the same)

So, in fact, this was most likely an employee of both ACORN and ACORN Housing. We can assume this because she pushed ACORN memberships onto the two investigative reporters. ACORN Housing has no yearly memberships. In fact, only the flagship ACORN has a yearly membership.

Then, there's the issue of taxes. ACORN Housing doesn't do taxes. ACORN Housing does housing related matters. So, why is someone that works for ACORN Housing giving tax advice? That's because they don't merely work for ACORN and ACORN Housing, but for a third entity, ACORN Social Institute. Now, ASI is so under the radar that you won't even find a website. I know this from speaking to insiders.

So, in reality, this same person was likely working for three supposedly separate entities cross selling this supposed prostitute on products from all three entities. That is the genius and sophistication of ACORN. They have created a loosely knit set of about two hundred affiliates. On paper, they're supposed to be separate. Technically, ACORN and ACORN Housing are separate entities. Yet, in 90% of the cities where both exist, they share an office. So, people work for any number of the two hundred or so entities at the same time. As is shown in this video, the same person will market the products of multiple ACORN entities at once. Furthermore, ACORN and ACORN Housing have different tax codes. So, sharing funds would violate all sorts of tax codes. So, after they charged for these services, there would be all sorts of violations.

Let's hypothetically assume that this undercover video actually went until its conclusion. This prostitute would have gotten tax advice from ACORN Social Institute, housing advice from ACORN Housing, and would have been sold an ACORN membership. Yet, she would have never known that the three are supposedly three separate entities.

There's one final reason why this is important. ACORN is already claiming that these folks are rogue employees that don't represent the organization. Yet, this particular employee seemed to know quite a lot about taxes, real estate, and the ACORN subscriptions. So, they can deny that they knew about their corruption in telling the prostitute to call herself a "performance artist", but they can't deny their corruption in allowing one person to work for three organizations all at the same time.

1 comment:

United Citizens Council said...

good post. very good.

I think RICO is in order