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Sunday, October 25, 2009

The ACORN Plot Thickens

Last week, longtime of head of ACORN's Louisiana branch, Beth Butler, was summarily fired from ACORN by a directive that came straight from ACORN's chief organizer, Bertha Lewis. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, this had to do with an internal struggle over where the power center would be, near Louisiana or in New York. At the time, I speculated that Butler, the common law wife of Wade Rathke, would join him at Community Organizations International. I was wrong.

Several Louisiana ACORN leaders, including the recently ousted state leader, are expected to announce today that they have started a new organization under the same name after national authorities of the community action network voted to take over the chapter.

A notice of a news conference scheduled for 3 p.m. in Light City Church, 6117 St. Claude Ave., says the event will include "Louisiana ACORN Executive Director Beth Butler, " who was fired from that post Oct. 12 by national ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis.

This sets up an all out civil war within ACORN. There are legal issues, logistic issues, and issues of talent. Obviously if the new organization will be called Louisiana ACORN, there will be all sorts of legal issues surrounding copyrights and trademarks. That will be decided in court but both sides will spend all sorts of money on legal bills. Meanwhile, it appears that either way ACORN's operations in Louisiana are about to disintegrate.

The same source told me that from everything they gathered the firing of Beth Butler had nothing to do with the current troubles at ACORN. It had to do with power struggles and rivalries that have been festering for years. If that's the case, the timing was unfortunate. All this does is put on fast forward to complete and total disintegration of the group. It wasn't only those in Louisiana, within ACORN, that were sympathetic to Butler but most of those located in states that surround Louisiana. As such, it's entirely possible that focuses in states from Texas to Alabama may follow Butler very soon. That splinter will of course put further pressure on the organization and it's already on life support. As such, to say that the firing of Beth Butler was ill advised and poorly timed is quite the understatement.

1 comment:

tsiya said...

I just love a good mud wrasslin' match!