Topic category: Government/Politics
ACORN Whistleblower Anita MonCrief: Independent, NOT An ACORN 8 Member
At the website of the San Francisco Examiner are two reader comments posted by ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief on July 6, 2009: "I am not and NEVER have been a member of the ACORN 8" and "I would like everyone to know that I am not part of any group and have always been independent of any organization."
Why did Ms. MonCrief post these comments?
Reporter Kevin Mooney, who either knew or should have known better, had just written an article titled "ACORNís 'Muscle for Money' does the bidding of SEIU" and falsely reported that MonCrief is "now an ACORN 8 member."
It's NOT surprising that the ACORN 8 would be pleased to have others think that Ms. MonCrief IS an ACORN 8 member.
The ACORN 8 are seeking funds and free legal services to support their campaign to take control of ACORN from the group that took control of ACORN from ACORN founder and Chief Organizer (for 38 years) Wade Rathke.
Despite public appeals by Glenn Beck, the ACORN 8 coffers are not overflowing and lawyers are not lining up to help.
But ACORN 8 is still soliciting.
When ACORN affiliate Project Vote filed an action against Ms. MonCrief in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on June 17, 2009, ACORN 8 quickly used that development for its own fundraising purposes by issuing a carefully crafted statement.
The statement, posted at www.acorn-8.net, reads in pertinent part:
"ACORN -vs- Anita Moncrief
"Statement on Recent ACORN Whistleblower Retaliation
"On behalf of the National Board of the ACORN 8, we are all saddened by and express great concern due to the ACORN court action filed against whistleblower Anita Moncrief. While we do not express an opinion on the merits of ACORNís complaint; we as reform advocates decry the tactic of suing whistleblowers Ė especially, low to moderate income people who do not have the financial means to effectively fight back in courts of law. Moreover, this is yet another example of why congress must enact strong corporate, government and tax-payer funded whistleblower protection laws.
"As ACORN reform advocates Ėwe also fear legal retaliation from ACORN due to the reform campaign we are currently engaged in against ACORN. While we anticipate that any such legal action if brought would be baseless and vexatious; it would nevertheless be distracting and expensive. We are already being intimidated through character assassination, cease and desist letters, harassing emails and blogs, and death threats. We need the publicís help to ensure that these bullying tactics wonít work. Please support the ACORN 8, please donate to the A8 Legal Defense Fund at www.acorn8.com"
To repeat: Ms. MonCrief is not and never has been a member of the ACORN 8.
In addition, ACORN 8 is not providing either money or legal services to Ms. MonCrief.
Ms. MonCrief has supported ACORN 8 efforts to expose some of the wrongdoing at ACORN, but Ms. MonCrief's goal is to expose ALL of the wrongdoing and not simply to have one control group replaced with another, with ACORN continuing to function as "an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party," as Ms. MonCrief described ACORN when Bill O'Reilly interviewed her on "The O'Reilly Factor" last May.
The message at the top of the homepage at the ACORN 8 website calls for "Fighting for Truth, Transparency and Accountability Within ACORN."
Ms. MonCrief has been fighting for truth, transparency and accountability BY ACORN.
There's a big difference.
The WHOLE truth, not just the truths the former and current controllers of ACORN don't want to be public knowledge.
Mr. Mooney's calling public attention to the "Muscle for Money" program is welcome, but his misinformation and misleading statements are not.
As Mr. Mooney explained, "Muscle for Money includes multiple techniques for creating highly aggressive, organized efforts both to pressure businesses and officials to support the activistsí agenda or to discredit and intimidate opponents of their agenda, according to present and former ACORN members."
Ms. MonCrief testified about this perverse program last October, in a Pennsylvania case. She was not interviewed by Mr. Mooney in connection with his article and promptly demanded retraction and clarification when she noticed the article.
Mr. Mooney had quoted from notes of an old interview with Ms. MonCrief without mentioning that he was doing that. In that interview, Ms. MonCrief had repeated aspects of her sworn testimony from last October.
"Some of the more prominent Muscle for Money targets to date have included the Carlyle Group, Sherwin-Williams, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax and Money Mart, according to Anita Moncrief, a former ACORN employee and now an ACORN 8 member.
ď'The idea is to go to private homes where wives and children are present and stand outside so the family members of a company official could be harassed and subjected to intimidation,' said MonCrief. 'Protestors would also go to company functions like banquets where they would be as disruptive as possible.'
"ACORN actually had a contract with SEIU to target the Caryle Group, MonCrief said. The most aggressive campaigns directed against this company occurred in the fall of 2007.
ď'The company was building dental centers in downtown D.C. and SEIU wanted some union arrangement but Carlyle would not back down,' Moncrief said."
Mr. Mooney also reported that ACORN 8 leaders and former ACORN national board members Marcel Reid and Karen Inman are currently expressing concern about "Muscle for Money."
Ms. Inman: "...I think this 'Muscle for Money' program really went too far."
"Reid, who now chairs ACORN 8, said she became disillusioned with the program when the shakedown campaign targeted Sherwin Williams four years ago. She said an estimated 400 ACORN members dressed in red shirts stormed into a Sherwin Williams meeting held at the Renaissance Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio.
"'The people in that room were absolutely terrified and I didnít realize it was going to be like this,' Reid said. 'These tactics were really heavy, many of us became disillusioned. The idea is to isolate the target so they donít have time to build up sentiment with neighbors and co-workers. We would intrude into a personís social life.'"
Ms. Reid became disillusioned FOUR YEARS AGO!
Mr. Mooney reported that Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman formed the ACORN 8 (which now claims 30 dues-paying members) last October!
Mr. Mooney did not report why neither Ms. Reid nor Ms. Inman blew the whistle on "the shakedown campaign" years earlier.
A reporter should have asked them why not.
Michael J. Gaynor
Biography - Michael J. Gaynor
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.
Gaynor's email address is email@example.com.