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Friday, November 6, 2009

ACORN in New Orleans Raided

Earlier today, officials from the Attorney General's office of Louisiana raided the office of ACORN on Canal Street. Multiple sources of ACORN 8 confirmed this to me. The story is also up on Big Government.

In a fast-breaking development comes word that agents of the Attorney’s General office in Louisiana have raided ACORN’s offices in New Orleans. ACORN’s New Orleans was, for decades, the headquarters of the national community organizing association. News of the raid comes from Marcel Reid and her colleagues at ACORN 8, an association of former ACORN leaders and board members. Many of the individuals involved with ACORN 8 were fired from ACORN for demanding a forensic audit following an embezzlement scandal involving Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN
co-founder Wade Rathke.

Matt Vadum will be appearing on Fox Business at 7 PM Eastern Time to discuss the raid. He'll discuss the implications of the state government taking the lead because of inaction on the part of the federal government.

Here's the statement just released by ACORN 8.

For decades the Crescent City has played hostto one of the most feared and revered political organizations in America,the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).Today, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office executed a search warrant
on ACORN’s National Headquarters at its 2609 Canal Street address.

“We’re looking for corporate records and financial documents”
states Investigator Scott Bailey; which are essentially the same things the
ACORN 8 sought nearly 18 months ago. “We also wanted ACORN real
estate records” states Marcel Reid, President of ACORN 8.

“We sent letters to the entire ACORN Board of Directors last year,
stating that it was either provide this information through the ACORN 8’s
Writ of Mandamus (request for books and records) or we were going to go
to the Police” continues Reid.

“It could not have happened at a better time” states Michael
McCray, National Spokesman for the ACORN 8. “We believe that
ACORN is trying to flee this jurisdiction. Since Louisiana seems to be the
only government agency that is seriously investigating ACORN.”
“If ACORN hopes to survive then the know nothing, see nothing,
do nothing board of directors must by replaced by individuals with the
strength and capabilities to fulfill their fiduciary obligations and the
courage to reign in corruption within ACORN’s senior management
ranks” continues Reid.

“ACORN as we know it today is finished. It’s a 40 year old
business model that never adopted to changing political times or new
technology” McCray continues, “and a do nothing board of directors can
not operate such a high-profile multi-national corporation.”
ACORN is still reeling after a barrage of bad press and negative
government reaction following undercover videos of “pimps and
prostitutes” seeking ACORN assistance; and is desperately struggling to
remove itself from this legal imbroglio.

In a letter that ACORN Attorney Schwartz sent to “ACORN
Friend’s in the Legal Community” stating, “We need some top-notch
bankruptcy advice and maybe representation. The reorganization may
involve the creation of new nonprofit entities in each state where ACORN
functions, as ACORN considers moving from a centralized corporate
structure to a decentralized federated structure. ACORN will need help
from people who have handled rebranding …”

“That’s like putting lipstick on chitterlings” states McCray, “If
ACORN was afraid of the independent audit and forensic examination
which eight ACORN board members demanded, I can’t imagine what
they will do once a U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee is appointed to investigate

“The ACORN 8 have always sought a forensic examination and an
independent audit of ACORN and its related entities. And we were thrown
off the board for attempting to investigate a $1 Million embezzlement”
continues Reid.

Recently, Eric Eve senior vice president of Global Consumer
Group, Community Relations, at Citigroup also unexpectedly resigned
from the ACORN Advisory Council.

The “new” board charged with assisting Bertha Lewis, ACORN
Chief Organizer to investigate and reorganize ACORN. This advisory
council includes John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress,
a liberal think tank; Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees
International Union; and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy

“ACORN’s organizational structure and management culture
creates conflicts for anyone who truly seeks to exercise their fiduciary
obligations for the benefit of the membership and not just to appease
management” concludes Reid.

While not everyone has always approved of ACORN's
confrontational tactics, many know some of the impressive results
achieved for poor people over the years. Living wage laws to fight
poverty. Partnership with unions to assist workers. Housing programs to
get Americans one step closer to the American dream. Those are real,
tangible victories that improve people’s lives.

“We just only hope and pray that ACORN’s mission to serve the
underserved, and give meaningful voice to low and moderate income
families can continue” states McCray. The ACORN 8 is dedicated to
doing just that. Quoting the late Senator Edward Kennedy, an ardent
ACORN supporter, McCray concludes “the work goes on, the cause
endures, hope still lives, and the dream will never die.


This is a continuation of what appears to be an expanding investigation by the Louisiana AG's office.

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