ACORN, a key culprit in the current economic mess, made Obama a local, statewide and national political success, but awareness of what ACORN really is and how Obama has served it as organizer, trainer, lawyer and funder and received its political support (legal or not) in return can and should put an end to that political success.
Months before this year's national conventions, the prescient Michelle Malkin focused on what should now become Obama's albatross, the innocuously named ACORN.
Michelle, “The ACORN Obama Knows,” June 25, 2008:
“If you don't know what ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is all about, you better bone up. This left-wing group takes in 40 percent of its revenues from American taxpayers -- you and me -- and has leveraged nearly four decades of government subsidies to fund affiliates that promote the welfare state and undermine capitalism and self-reliance, some of which have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and encouraging voter fraud. A new whistleblower report from the Consumer Rights League claims that Chicago-based ACORN has commingled public tax dollars with political projects.
“Who in Washington will fight to ensure that your money isn't being spent on these radical activities?
“Don't bother asking Barack Obama. He cut his ideological teeth working with ACORN as a ‘community organizer’ and legal representative. Naturally, ACORN's political action committee has warmly endorsed his presidential candidacy. ACORN head Maude Hurd gushes that Obama is the candidate who ‘best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about’ -- like ensuring their massive pipeline to your hard-earned money.”
If you read Michelle, you were not surprised when ACORN, a key cause of the bad loans that ultimately resulted in the current financial crisis, shamelessly tried to become a big monetary beneficiary of the rescue/bailout bill.
The good news is that ACORN has not succeeded in that respect.
The best news is that the ATTEMPT to get the money for ACORN instead of to use it to reduce the national debt opened the door to scrutiny of ACORN and its long-term relationship with its favorite presidential candidate, Chicago’s own Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
Michelle on “The ACORN Obama Knows”: “Last July, ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in the history of Washington State. Seven ACORN workers had submitted nearly 2,000 bogus voter registration forms. According to case records, they flipped through phone books for names to use on the forms, including ‘Leon Spinks,’ ‘Frekkie Magoal’ and ‘Fruto Boy Crispila.’ Three ACORN election hoaxers pleaded guilty in October. A King County prosecutor called ACORN's criminal sabotage ‘an act of vandalism upon the voter rolls.’”
An isolated incident?
“The group's vandalism on electoral integrity is systemic. ACORN has been implicated in similar voter fraud schemes in Missouri, Ohio and at least 12 other states. The Wall Street Journal noted: ‘In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained ACORN's practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.’
“In March, Philadelphia elections officials accused the nonprofit advocacy group of filing fraudulent voter registrations in advance of the April 22nd Pennsylvania primary. The charges have been forwarded to the city district attorney's office.”
Nevertheless, ACORN has collected plenty of public money.
“Under the guise of ‘consumer advocacy,’ ACORN has received money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD funds hundreds, if not thousands, of left-wing ‘anti-poverty’ groups across the country led by ACORN. Last October, HUD announced more than $44 million in new housing counseling grants to over 400 state and local efforts. The White House has increased funding for housing counseling by 150 percent since taking office in 2001, despite the role most of these recipients play as activist satellites of the Democratic Party. The AARP scored nearly $400,000 for training; the National Council of La Raza (‘The Race’) scooped up more than $1.3 million; the National Urban League raked in nearly $1 million; and the ACORN Housing Corporation received more than $1.6 million.
“As the Consumer Rights League points out in its new expose, the ACORN Housing Corporation has worked to obtain mortgages for illegal aliens in partnership with Citibank. It relies on undocumented income, ‘under the table’ money, which may not be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Moreover, the group's ‘financial justice’ operations attack lenders for ‘exotic’ loans, while recommending 10-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and risky reverse mortgages. Whistleblower documents reveal internal discussions among the group that blur the lines between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive electioneering activities. The group appears to shake down corporate interests with relentless PR attacks, and then enters ‘no lobby’ agreements with targeted corporations after receiving payment.”
ACORN IS THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION!
Michelle lamented that ACORN’s thuggish tactics had worked well for it:, while acknowledging that might change: “Republicans have largely looked the other way as ACORN has expanded its government-funded empire. But finally, a few conservative voices in Congress have called for investigation of the group's apparent extortion schemes. This week, GOP Reps. Tom Feeney, Jeb Hensarling and Ed Royce called on Democrat Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, to convene a hearing to probe potential illegalities and abuse of taxpayer funds by ACORN's management and minions alike.”
Alas, Chairman Frank was a roadblock to Treasury oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and never convened such a hearing.
Michelle on Obama and ACORN: “Where does the candidate of Hope and Change -- the candidate of Reform and New Politics -- stand on the issue? Barack Obama, ACORN's senator, is for more of the same old, same old subsidizing of far-left politics in the name of fighting for the poor while enriching ideological cronies. It's the Chicago way.“
The Chicago way is NOT the American way!
ACORN, a key culprit in the current economic mess, made Obama a local, statewide and national political success, but awareness of what ACORN really is and how Obama has served it as organizer, trainer, lawyer and funder and received its political support (legal or not) in return can and should put an end to that political success in the nick of time.
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.