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Progressive Coalition Comes Out for ACORN

By Carol D. Leonnig
Leaders of several progressive community groups stood up Thursday to defend ACORN, the community organizing group under fire and under threat of losing all federal funding, after some of its employees were caught on videotape appearing to give advice on how to conceal a prostitution business.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has hired a lawyer to investigate its internal operations in the wake of the firestorm that followed a handful of undercover You Tube videos. They aired last month and were filmed in ACORN's housing counseling offices in Maryland, New York and California, and prompted the House and Senate to separately pass bans on future funding for the group.

The liberal groups urged that Congress step back and allow an independent inquiry to be completed before rushing to punish ACORN. They said the organization's work, in helping low-income families get health care, stave off foreclosure, and find jobs, is critical in this recession particularly.

"Nonprofit organizations that stand up for the powerless in our society and that provide vital services in our communities have never been needed more than they are today," said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice. "As ACORN takes steps to get its house in order, Congress should take a deep breath and give this process time to work."

Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, said the significant turmoil within ACORN over finances and an internal embezzlement scandal must be weighed against its other contributions.

"It has won ground-breaking victories for low income communities on issues such as housing, community reinvestment, predatory lending, and living wage standards," he said. "The world is a better place because of the work done by ACORN. For these reasons, ACORN deserves a chance to review and reform its organizational systems and processes."

Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, urged Congress and taxpayers to "keep things in perspective" and noted that ACORN swiftly moved to retrain employees after the embarrassing videos aired but has historically been a critical resource to poor communities.

"ACORN is not the scourge that some right-wing shouting heads would like the public to believe," he said. "It's an organization with a valuable mission that has made some missteps and is trying valiantly to correct them. We support ACORN's efforts to put its house in order. And ACORN deserves the chance to earn the public's trust once again."

Posted at 3:45 PM ET on Oct 1, 2009  | Category:  Cast of Characters
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Hey rnewsome, I'm a small business owner who self insured and I could ensure my family of four for $3708 a year with no more than $5000 out of pocket expense for the whole year. If insurance companies could compete across state lines, you could have my plan. No cost of approx. $1 trillion to the tax payer. All we'd need is for some sociali- I mean democrats to not want to control everything people do from cradle to grave.

Your China comment, however, is spot on. One more reason to not vote democrat. google "Chinagate" and learn how the Clintons sold us down the river for campaign cash. Hillary still has friends there; her first overseas visit was to China.

Republicans suck. The problem is that democrats suck worse.

Posted by: usmcintel | October 3, 2009 10:43 PM

Acorn is a menace. Other organizations not steeped in fraud, embezzlement, voter registration abuse and immoral actions can come forward and take up the banner. We should not accept the unacceptable just because it is leavened with good (largely tax funded) works. How people can support an organization with such a history leaves me stunned.

Posted by: masonjahr | October 2, 2009 6:48 PM

Hitler organized his community for the kids too. Ever see the smiling kids faces loving just to get close to Hitler? Yep, he did it for das jungen. Just for the kids. No other ulterior motives. ACORN is pure socialists for the sake of establishing their socialist agendas. The fact that they hire uneducated black faces to fill the little positions just shows that they are willing to use any pawns they can get their greasy hands on. Seriously, who in their right mind would hire that ignorant toad Bertha to run a legitimate organization?

Posted by: KMichaels | October 2, 2009 5:20 PM

Garak, Health Insurance companies save millions of lives. Not a one life saved by ACORN. Using your idiotic logic.

Posted by: KMichaels | October 2, 2009 5:15 PM

ACORN abuses the poor as pawns in order to follow it's founders' dreams of establishing a socialistic utopia. So please, since they are only trying to get socialism/marxism/communism/Obamaism entrenched in the USA please of please wont you give them more taxpayer money. They will promise to be non-partisan this time, they swear to Obama, I mean god, to be honest and straight. They do it for the KIDS. Pretty darn lame and cheesy to use the do it for the kids schtick.

Posted by: KMichaels | October 2, 2009 5:13 PM

..."Acorn helps the poor."

Please!

Al Capone "helped the poor", supporting dozens of free soup kitchens in Chicago. He had LOTS of public support when on trial, even though he was the biggest crook America ever knew.

This was nothing more than "camoflage" and "political cover" for ACORN's real purpose: Scamming the poor, enriching themselves, getting away with election fraud and electing Democratic Party candidates.

Posted by: hardmanb | October 2, 2009 2:44 PM

Positive Sum-too funny.

Posted by: charliemax | October 2, 2009 1:52 PM

Comment on:
Posted by: scottyp | October 2, 2009 9:46 AM

scottyp's post is a typical uneducated redneck response of a person that did not even take the time to read what he was commenting on. There is nothing racist about my post. I am not even sure where he is coming from at all. I am about as WASP as one can get. For the ignorant ones WASP stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. I have a law degree and I am on the Board of Directors of a Chamber of Commerce and I own a company with 44 employees.

Representative Boehner is the epitome of what is wrong with American politics and the root of what has gone wrong with this country and that is from a white republican conservative that sees this country being damaged for short term gains and policies being set to get re-elected regardless of its long term affect on our great country.

The reason why China is such a danger is that their politicians are concerned with long term success of their country and they don't care if it takes them 300 years to win, everything they do is related to that goal. Boehner and his co-horts are just concerned about the taxes they might have to pay and the next election.

Posted by: rnewsome | October 2, 2009 12:20 PM

To those who defend ACORN “as having done good work” or who say “they really helped lots of poor people” and “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”, you are either a sham, a shill, a crooked politician, or a really easily manipulated and mis-guided person who desperately needs help in ethics.

ACORN needs to be disbanded and taken apart piece by piece. Non profits everywhere should be ashamed to associate with them in any way. A scarlet letter should be placed at ACORN's door and every group associated or like ACORN.

Every complicit officer should be arrested and jailed.

ACORN’s outrage is most heinous of all offenses: co-opting the good will of good people in the name of the poor. This is one of the most sinful things one human can do to another. God will render judgment to those who perpetrated these offenses, but they need to live in hell here on earth and be exposed for all to see what they really are.

ACORN has done nothing to help poor people except: extort, enslave, mis-guide and misuse them and their plight.

As Lyndon B. Johnson said: "These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.

And there you have the mission and directions from the great “father of civil rights” himself.

Don’t be deceived!

Now for all those good people in ACORN who were deceived, swindled, mistreated, and who had their good hearted and well meaning efforts confiscated by a “crime family”; please shower, pray for better direction and a lesson learned on how people will deceive you under the guise of a good cause, learn how to stand up and report corruption everywhere you see it, and get back to helping.

You’re wonderful people who have been misused and lied too, I am sorry for that, but I appreciate your efforts and concerns, God will reward you’re good heart and principles of caring and compassion.

And who will help those who are less fortunate? The same good people who do it every day: legally, fairly, honestly, with compassion and caring. Those same people who use every dollar donated to help the poor and dis-advantaged instead of spending it on lobbyist and “support staff”!

Please people check the books of every organization you volunteer for, be sure you’re not being manipulated.

Please!

Posted by: op2mistic1 | October 2, 2009 10:30 AM

To those who defend ACORN “as having done good work” or who say “they really helped lots of poor people” and “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”, you are either a sham, a shill, a crooked politician, or a really easily manipulated and mis-guided person who desperately needs help in ethics.

ACORN needs to be disbanded and taken apart piece by piece. Non profits everywhere should be ashamed to associate with them in any way. A scarlet letter should be placed at ACORN's door and every group associated or like ACORN.

Every complicit officer should be arrested and jailed.

ACORN’s outrage is most heinous of all offenses: co-opting the good will of good people in the name of the poor. This is one of the most sinful things one human can do to another. God will render judgment to those who perpetrated these offenses, but they need to live in hell here on earth and be exposed for all to see what they really are.

ACORN has done nothing to help poor people except: extort, enslave, mis-guide and misuse them and their plight.

As Lyndon B. Johnson said: "These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.

And there you have the mission and directions from the great “father of civil rights” himself.

Don’t be deceived!

Now for all those good people in ACORN who were deceived, swindled, mistreated, and who had their good hearted and well meaning efforts confiscated by a “crime family”; please shower, pray for better direction and a lesson learned on how people will deceive you under the guise of a good cause, learn how to stand up and report corruption everywhere you see it, and get back to helping.

You’re wonderful people who have been misused and lied too, I am sorry for that, but I appreciate your efforts and concerns, God will reward you’re good heart and principles of caring and compassion.

And who will help those who are less fortunate? The same good people who do it every day: legally, fairly, honestly, with compassion and caring. Those same people who use every dollar donated to help the poor and dis-advantaged instead of spending it on lobbyist and “support staff”!

Please people check the books of every organization you volunteer for, be sure you’re not being manipulated.

Please!

Posted by: op2mistic1 | October 2, 2009 10:27 AM

ACORN is a criminal enterprise using its stated goals of helping the poor as cover. I'm really tired of hearing that we should tolerate any and all levels of corruption and incompetence from left-leaning organizations just because they have a noble purpose. Scammers, con-artists and those with even more sinister objectives have always used the basic decency of people against them, by playing to those motives. This organization needs to be dismantled, and many within it need to be in jail - period.

Posted by: johno26 | October 2, 2009 10:01 AM

rnewsome is a Racist Bigot.
get a better job with better health care insurance. Oh sorry 260,000+ more jobs lost, the stimulus is failing, Afghanistan is failing, ACORN and the SEIU(who own Obama) are fraudulent, Iran and No. Korea are spitting in are faces,France and Britain are looking at the POTUS as a Naive fool .
But hey we may get the Olympics in 2016. Oh that won't be corrupt.
So you rip one of the few congressman who actually read these pathetic bills.
rnewsome is a racist bigot

Posted by: scottyp | October 2, 2009 9:46 AM

Acorn helps the poor. Marvel not that evil people will persecute them.
http://bible.cc/proverbs/17-5.htm

Posted by: rooster54 | October 2, 2009 6:08 AM

For those that want to defend ACORN because they honestly believe they are "mostly" innocent.....Why do you think they refused Issa's request to appear before Congress and open their books? If they had nothing to hide, why wouldn't they have taken him up on his offer ASAP and ended this issue instead of allowing their "good" ha" name to be dragged through the mud?

Posted by: cjones210 | October 2, 2009 2:32 AM

Screw waiting for the "independent" investigation. Appear before Congress and Open the Books!! Let voters verify that they have not been cooking the books to allow tax payer money to be used for politics instead of helping the poor.

Posted by: cjones210 | October 2, 2009 2:25 AM

How nice of the WaPo to give the ultra-Leftist org a free ad.
Where in the heck is the voice/opinion of someone other than the like-minded ideologues?
These people have one thing to be grateful for:Eric Holder. No way in hell will he initiate a needed RICO investigation.

Posted by: chesterariley | October 2, 2009 1:33 AM

Mr. Boehner, I am an American. A very good American that has done everything by the book and I WANT THE PUBLIC OPTION ADDED TO HEALTH CARE.

DID YOU READ IT? DID YOU GET IT? NOW YOU HAVE HEARD FROM AN AMERICAN THAT DOES WANT THE “PUBLIC OPTION” IN HEALTH CARE.

I hope that you no longer lie about NOT hearing from any Americans that want the “public option”.

For a family of 4, we are paying $20,400 for medical insurance with a $5,000 deduction. WE NEED THE PUBLIC OPTION!! How can we possibly save money for our retirement when the health insurance company is getting just about everything that is left over. So we will be putting a much bigger burden on the welfare system when we reach the age that we can no longer provide payments to your benefactors: insurance companies.

Did you know that the drug and insurance industry is spending $1.4 million PER DAY to lobby you and other members of Congress? Guess who is “really” paying for those lobbyist, your constituents!

Did you know or do you even care that 18,000 people die every year because of a lack of health insurance? 18,000 die each year but no one cares. Yet when 2,000 people die in a tall building in New York, the whole country is ready to go to war with the entire Middle East. Why isn't everyone willing to go to war with the drug and insurance companies?

Did you know or do you care that 67% of personal bankruptcies are directly related to a health care issue?

Was it the insurance and/or drug lobby that is paying for your golf at the Greenbrier?

Are you signed up for the $503 ANNUAL payment for primary care at the clinic in Congress? No wonder you don’t care about your constituents! Or are you just so out of touch with your constituents?

Speaking “out of touch”, I remember back during the Bush II era, you made a statement to the media that “Rumsfeld was the best thing that ever happened to the Pentagon”; then in less than two weeks, he was fired or removed from office.

Posted by: rnewsome | October 2, 2009 12:16 AM

I love my country and I am willing to fight for it. This administration is a huge joke. 2010 here we come!

Posted by: HollyINTN | October 1, 2009 10:31 PM

For those defending this organization, just how much do you really know about them? Check out CNN where they have reported they are under investigation in over 10 states. Listen to the frequent guest who heads Acorn and hear her continually state they are not under investigation. Watch the TV and see one ACORN member illegally cutting the lock on a house that was foreclosed and letting her back in. I don't know all the good they may have done before but for me when I learned of the organization it has not been a good introduction. They were under scrutiny for voter registrations in the race against Bush/Kerry and now continue under Obama/McCain so how long does it take them to learn not to repeat the same mistakes unless there is a motive behind it.

Posted by: justmyvoice | October 1, 2009 10:10 PM

I have many friends on the Left, however I regret having to say that ACORN, etc., and the Democratic Party clearly are ongoing criminal enterprises. If it weren't so alarming, it would be amusing to consider how the USA government is lecturing Afghanistan on corruption. How much additional corruption does Afghanistan need?

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | October 1, 2009 9:25 PM

When things go bad we need to have the courage to let them die, it makes room for innovation. Don't hold onto a false fantasy of what you wish ACORN was, ACORN leeched our tax dollars, hurt poor people and hurt our economy. ACORN Housing are same people who were in bed with the banks, telling poor people to apply for mortgages they could not afford, many of those poor people lost their shirts following the bad advice of ACORN - not to mention the part ACORN played in the sub-prime mortgage meltdown hurting everyone 401Ks and prompting the government to sleal even more of our money for TARP.

It takes courage to let something go, but trust in the laws of the universe that something better will fill the nitche. Something with better financial controls, better quality controls and clearly better training for employees.

Posted by: zenmaster1 | October 1, 2009 9:13 PM

While reading this, I'm reminded that you can always tell the crazy people in a crowd. They always jump out and let you know how crazy they are.

They need a bumper sticker that says "NUTS FOR ACORN"

In one breath, the crazies say "this is an isolated incident". In the next, they say "don't punish them, they're getting their house in order".

Um, guys, this is a haphazard organization run by crooks who think they're doing "the little people" a favor by wasting our tax money.

You could save ACORN, but it would be so dramatic, you might as well get rid of it and start again. This time without the con-man and his brother stealing lots of money from them.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | October 1, 2009 8:23 PM

PositiveSum: Pathetic Onslaught of Stupid Insults Terrorizing Innocent Voters Ever Since (2008's) Ultimate Massacre

Posted by: jonfromcali | October 1, 2009 6:48 PM


Going Nuts

ACORN: Alien Children Offered Regularly Nationwide
ACORN: Authorities Caught One Registering “Napoleon”
ACORN: Assembly of the Complacent: Organized, Registered & Non-productive!
ACORN: Association of Criminals Obama Represented in the Nineties
ACORN: Assorted Crazies, Oddballs, Reprobates, and Nincompoops
ACORN: “Audacity” and “Change” that Obama Represents Nationally
ACORN: A Crooked, Offensive, Repulsive Nut
ACORN: Agitators, Cheats, Offenders, and Repugnant Nonentities
ACORN: Association of Crooks O’Keefe Revealed in a Nanosecond
ACORN: Advising Criminals, Organizing Radical Nutjobs
ACORN: Assisting Call-girls, Obama, Reid & Nancy
ACORN: Advancing Collectivism, Obamamania, Reparations Now!
ACORN: After Clinton, Obama Retards a Nation
ACORN: Alike Carter, Obama is Regretful and Negative
ACORN: America, Could Obama Resign Now??
ACORN: Against Conservatives, Order, Republicans, and the Nation
ACORN: American Cash Outflows to Rathke’s “Nonprofits”
ACORN: Apparently “Community Organizing” Really is Nefarious
ACORN: Awarding Capital to Objectionable Rent-seeking Noncontributors
ACORN: Apathetic, Crybaby, Odiferous, Rejected Nothings
ACORN: Andrew Clearly Outplayed the Resentful NYT
ACORN: Anyone Can Observe that this is Rank Nonsense
ACORN: Ascent by Creepy Operation / Resented in the Nation
ACORN: Almost as Commendable as an Outflow of Rectal Necrosis
ACORN: Associated Congressmen Ought to be Replaced in November 2010
ACORN: Always Cheating, Often Ruining Neighborhoods
ACORN: Addled Crack-heads and Obnoxious Race-baiting Neurotics
ACORN: Appalling Cesspool; Obscene Revolting Nightmare
ACORN: A Clan of Odious, Ridiculed Nitwits
ACORN: Another Corrupt Obama Run Network

Others? Please suggest!

Posted by: PositiveSum | October 1, 2009 6:10 PM

This was an isolated incident, and shouldn't destroy ACORN forever. However, those workers stupid enough to buy into the lies that the conservative activists were playing (and then gave really bad advice) deserve to be fired, and better background checks are needed.
ACORN does deserve another chance, for sure, but it had better clean up its act -- now.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | October 1, 2009 5:21 PM

Kurt Browning, the Florida Secretary of State, says there is no evidence that even a single vote was illegally cast due to ACORN.

Nor has ACORN killed anyone by denying health insurance coverage.

Health insurance companies: a couple of thousand this year alone.

ACORN: Zero.

Posted by: Garak | October 1, 2009 4:58 PM

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