MSM Ignores ACORN’s Intricate Web of Deceit and Unusual Financial Practices

The mainstream media is so in the tank for Barack Obama that only in the last few days has it begun to do some serious shoe-leather reporting and trace the connections between ACORN, Barack Obama, William Ayers, ACORN founder Wade Rathke and his embezzling brother Dale, the Weather Underground Organization, and the Democratic Party.

The MSM is still largely downplaying Americans' justifiable fears that ACORN is attempting to steal the election through massive voter fraud. As NewsBusters has exhaustively documented, MSM talking heads say: fears of voter fraud are overblown, ACORN is just an innocent community group, Obama never technically "worked" for ACORN because when he worked for Project Vote it was allegedly an independent organization (that's a fave of Seth Colter Walls at the Huffington Post), and so on.

Sometimes the MSM needs some help.

I wrote the paper, "ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground's Little Brother?" for the November issue of Capital Research Center's Foundation Watch newsletter.

Read it here or read on for a summary.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has become America's most prominent left-wing community group. Little-known until now, ACORN has played a major role in the subprime mortgage mess that has undermined Americans' support for free market problem-solving and set off a worldwide chain of financial troubles. It is also implicated in vote fraud schemes from coast to coast. ACORN aims to give America change that socialists can believe in - by any means necessary. It is deliberately organized to avoid scrutiny. But with an FBI probe underway and a racketeering lawsuit pending, it may finally have to answer for its many misdeeds.

And an excerpt:

 

ACORN's Interlocking Directorates

Understanding how ACORN activists hold key positions in the ACORN network is crucial to understand how ACORN operates.

 

The term "interlocking directorates" describes how individuals can serve as directors on multiple corporate boards. This practice is common in the ACORN family; it is widespread and lawful. But it raises questions about the quality and independence of board decision-making.

 

ACORN's interlocking directorates suggest that even though each ACORN affiliate may be legally separate, it is subject to centralized control. The ACORN network appears to be a "family" of organizations, embodying the ethos of community organizing, which stresses local action and decentralized authority. In fact, ACORN is tightly controlled from the top.

 

News of ACORN's embezzlement scandal has finally begun to stir debate over its structure and organization. Until recently, it's been hard to find public debate about ACORN or criticism of ACORN "chief organizer" Wade Rathke. Pablo Eisenberg, a senior fellow at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, has written that Rathke "sought to put the national organization in control of operations of the group's affiliates." ACORN bylaws gave Rathke "the power to appoint the head organizers of both local and state affiliates."

 

Eisenberg notes although local boards "technically had the authority to overrule his appointments, they rarely did, according to senior staff members," He added: "The decision to keep so much control over the affiliates seems at odds with Acorn's mission - its goal is to empower local people to fight their own battles - but some organizers agree with Mr. Rathke that it is important to centralize operations. They say only a unified network led by headquarters has the power and speed needed to wage successful national advocacy efforts." (Chronicle of Philanthropy op-ed, October 2, 2008)

 

And centralize Rathke did.

 

Capital Research Center discovered that the crowded house on Elysian Fields Avenue is owned by ACORN affiliate Elysian Fields Corp Inc. A filing with the Louisiana secretary of state's office reveals that Wade Rathke is the corporation's president and the ubiquitous Donna Pharr is its treasurer.

 

Ironically, ACORN and its affiliates, all reliable cheerleaders for higher taxes, are longtime tax deadbeats. A search of public records found more than 200 tax liens adding up to more than $3.7 million are associated with groups that share ACORN's address on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans. The most recent lien, in the amount of $23,383, was filed by the IRS against an ACORN affiliate, American Workers Associates Inc., on September 9, 2008.