The controversial group Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, orACORN, has changed its name to Community Organizations International. The group also threatens a lawsuit to any person who speaks ill of the group, especially if they were former members, which many claim is in attempt to silence dissenters who may threaten the organization’s future. The organization has been investigated in no less than 14 states in relation to voter fraud and members of ACORN have admitted in court to voting multiple times in swing vote states and to registering deceased people, criminals, and those who were not directly contacted by the organization, to vote. Dale Rathke, a prominent member and brother of Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN, embezzled about $1 million through ACORN partner and New Orleans, Louisiana based non-profit Citizen’s Consulting Inc (CCI). ACORN members were one of the organizations behind a push for President Barack Obama’s election and were used to get citizens to register, many in poor and inner-city neighborhoods, and were behind the Project Vote campaign. 40% of ACORN funds come from federal and state funding (meaning your tax dollars), and during the recession last year, they received $11 million, which is enough to keep over 100 teachers in a job. Because Project Vote is a non-profit, it is not supposed to promote partisan activities, but even a lawyer of ACORN, Elizabeth Kingsley, could not confirm whether the Project Vote campaign was conducted in a non-partisan manner or not, and many who have come across Project Vote volunteers feel that it was not. There were also rumors that President Obama was once a “leadership trainer” for ACORN.
ACORN was formed from the old National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) that staged protests at welfare offices during the 1960s. The NWRO’s goal was to eliminate welfare eligibility restrictions, which would mean that anyone could get on the public dole. They wanted to get as many people as possible on welfare, until it caused a radical restructuring of the United States governmental system, and they wanted that shift to move towards a socialistic one. NWRO, and subsequently ACORN, believe that capitalism, the economic system that has allowed our country to move forward to the point that it has, is evil and does not allow the majority to flourish, despite all evidence to the contrary. When appearing on the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox News, O’Reilly asked leaders of ACORN outright if they believed in socialism. The women refused to answer the question. Sol Stern, who wrote an article on ACORN in City Journal, called ACORN an “undisguised authoritarian socialism”. Some have even made a claim that ACORN encouraged subprime mortgage loans, so that it could blame banks in the future when people lost their homes. They are incredibly socialistic and radical in the utmost sense.
ACORN can change its name if it wants, but their socialistic schemes, aimed at taking money out of your pocket and mine, are still there. The public intimidation and corruption is still there. The fact that they are radical even to radicals is still there. ACORN, or COI, needs to be stopped no matter what their name is. They need to be denied public funds which were intended to give all Americans a voice, but instead are being used to give some multiple voices.
Instead of giving their own money to help the poor and the hungry, some wealthy Americans choose to donate money to ACORN and the socialist party to attempt to force money from those less wealthy than they. People in Hollywood are prime suspects for this. While all people should help the poor, no one should be forced to, and we should give to the poor and not Robin Hood wannabees. ACORN should be allowed to die. It is corrupt, too radical for the United States, and almost everywhere else in the world, and does not promote helping individuals, but would rather assist in hurting them for its own political advantages. They are the epitomization of the ideals that the founding fathers were trying to avoid. If you want people that are hungry to no longer be that way, give them your money directly and stop giving it to a corrupt organization whose ultimate goal is not to assist others who are hungry, but to promote a radical idea of government that will take from all of us.
In an effort to show non bias, I posted the article from a lefty news service. Here it is from the Right - for fair and balanced reporting from the Washington Examiner... another good news service.
ACORN drops tarnished name and moves to silence criticsBy: Kevin Mooney
Commentary Staff Writer
06/21/09 5:07 PM EDT
Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) leaders are using the threat of a law suit to silence and intimidate critics, according to current and former members of the liberal activist group.
In a letter dated June 11 an attorney for ACORN advised top whistleblowers that their unauthorized use of the organization’s name could make them liable for monetary damages and injunctive relief.
ACORN executives have also changed their organization’s name, which was tarnished by investigations in at least 14 states of allegations of voter registration fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign, and charges by current and former members of financial mismanagement and misrepresentation.
The new name will let ACORN leaders continue their operations without worrying about prior bad publicity, according to Marcel Reid of ACORN 8, a group of present and former members.
“We’ve known for many months now that the name ACORN is going to be retired,” Reid said. “The name has been so damaged to the point where the leadership knows it simply can’t go on as it has with the ACORN label out front and center, especially after all of the reporting.”
In fact, the process has already begun, she noted. Wade Rathke, who founded the organization, announced on his blog that ACORN International has officially changed its name to “Community Organizations International.”
Reid also said ACORN is in the process of dismantling Citizen’s Consulting Inc. (CCI), a New-Orleans based non-profit, which has been used to maintain centralized financial control, ACORN 8 activists claim. Tax records show that CCI is interlinked with several ACORN affiliates.
Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, embezzled almost $1 million from the organization in 1999 and 2000, while he was employed as the organization’s chief financial officer with the CCI affiliate. For almost a decade Wade Rathke and other staff members concealed the embezzlement from ACORN’s board of trustees, according to the criminal complaint ACORN 8 members filed against the organization.
ACORN’s national leaders withdrew a lawsuit Reid filed with fellow board member Karen Inman last October seeking access to internal financial records. Reid and Inman were also expelled from their board positions; a move they say was illegal. Reid and Inman then came together with six other colleagues to form ACORN 8.
“ACORN has to be decapitated,” Reid said. “The senior staff and current national board should be dismantled. The only way to have reform is for the current leadership to be removed completely. We also need a forensic audit.”
Arthur Schwartz, the general counsel for ACORN, has sent a “cease and desist” letter to Reid and Inman instructing them to discontinue using the name ACORN in a connection with their activities. This same letter threatens legal action if the ACORN 8 members do not provide written assurances that they will comply with this demand by the end of June.
“It is a violation of federal and state law for you to use the ACORN name and mark without the written permission of ACORN,” the letter states. “Should you continue to do so, you will be liable for monetary and injunctive relief.”
Reid told The Examiner that ACORN 8 will not comply.
“We have no intention of not using the name ACORN 8, it is not a trademark infringement,” she said. “This get tough attitude is part of larger attempt to silence people and shut them down. We are not going to be silenced.”
Meanwhile, ACORN’s Project Vote affiliate has filed suit against Anita MonCrief, a former employee, who has testified under oath on voter registration allegations. ACORN is currently under investigation in at least 14 states for electoral irregularities. The Project Vote suit claims that Anita MonCrief and an unidentified accomplice gained access into private e-mails from group executives and stole the group’s name without permission. It also accuses Moncrief of using a company credit card for her own purposes.
“ACORN is attempting to silence me, and the allegations in the lawsuit are false,” MonCrief said in statement emailed to The Examiner.
ACORN 8 has released its own statement on “whistleblower retaliation” through its national spokesman Michael McCray that expresses support for new protective legislation.
“On behalf of the national board of ACORN 8, we are all saddened by and express great concern due to ACORN’s court action filed against whistleblower Anita MonCrief,” the statement reads. “While we do not express an opinion on the merits of ACORN’s complaint; we as reform advocates decry the tactic of suing whistleblowers – 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.”
ACORN 8 has endorsed H.R. 1507, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009.