(continued from Part 1)
Amazingly, ACORN’s 40 years of lawlessness have been heavily subsidized by taxpayers. From the federal government alone, the ACORN network has received at least $79 million in federal taxpayer funding. No one knows how many millions of dollars ACORN has taken in from states and localities. Yet as of November 2009, ACORN was a tax deadbeat, owing more than $2.3 million in back taxes to all levels of government.
[caption id="attachment_55598" align="aligncenter" width="338" caption="Bertha Lewis"][/caption]
You don’t have to take my word that ACORN will soon arise from the ashes. Nathan Henderson-James, longtime director of the group’s online campaigns, confirmed in a leaked February 2010 e-mail that ACORN plans to come back. America’s most notorious nonprofit felt it needed to perform this trick because its employees were caught red-handed repeatedly counseling a fake pimp and prostitute on the finer points of establishing a brothel for pedophiles. ACORN calculated that people would forget the transgressions of the taxpayer-subsidized nonprofit best known for its voter fraud efforts.
In the e-mail that came five months after conservative activist-journalists James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles punked ACORN with their “pimp and pro” routine, Henderson-James explained the group’s ongoing hoax that consists of its state chapters separately incorporating under new, innocuous-sounding names. “It is definitely true that over the next week or so we should see a dozen or more organizations launched on the state level by staff who used to work for ACORN and leaders who developed their skills as ACORN members,” he wrote. “These are not just simple name changes, but reimaginings of how best to organize” low and moderate income constituencies “without any of the legal problems and funding issues dogging ACORN, not to mention the brand damage.” Stepping out of the spotlight for a while is a “tactically smart ... reaction to the global situation that helps the work of building power for poor people to continue,” he wrote.
The secret operation was already underway when Henderson-James bragged about the effort to his radical and liberal friends on Townhouse, an invitation only left-wingers’ online discussion forum run by Matt Stoller, who was senior policy adviser to colorful former Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla. In late 2009 and early 2010, ACORN staffers across America created a plethora of separate organizations aimed at carrying on ACORN’s corrupt affairs.
Among them were Arkansas Community Organizations, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, New England United for Justice, Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment, New York Communities for Change, Pennsylvania Neighborhoods for Social Justice, and Pennsylvania Communities Organizing for Change. Almost all of the “new” groups operate out of old ACORN offices and are run by old ACORN hands. ACORN’s housing bubble generator, ACORN Housing, changed its name to Affordable Housing Centers of America after the undercover video saga. The organization has long served as the ACORN network’s cash cow, funneling millions of dollars to other affiliates in ACORN’s far-flung empire of activism.
ACORN’s court historian John Atlas also confirmed that the undead group plans to resurface under a new name after the 2010 elections. A new entity tentatively called the Community Action Support Center (CASC) will be created “to provide a range of training, technical assistance, and oversight services to the new community organizations,” he wrote last year in his institutional hagiography of ACORN, Seeds of Change. ACORN’s Brian Kettenring will be interim executive director. ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis plans to create a Black Leadership Institute. Executive Director Steve Kest quit ACORN “but will work with the new community groups in a consulting and voluntary capacity.” Kest later became a “senior fellow” at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, which is run by Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta.
“The emerging community organizations will retain ACORN’s commitment to building national power, and are beginning discussions toward a process to federate at some later date, presumably after the 2010 elections or in 2011,” Atlas writes.
The new groups’ focus will be on localities and states. CASC “will support the continuation of organizing around jobs and low-wage work, bank lending and foreclosures, immigration, state fiscal crises, civic engagement, and green jobs and environmental justice.” ACORN leaders are working on “voter engagement activities.” They intend “to engage the surge voters of 2008 and turn them into permanent voters in 2010 and beyond.” ACORN’s fraud-prone Project Vote affiliate continues to operate. It ran a nationwide voter registration and get-out-the-vote drive during the 2010 election cycle.
Despite its history of election fraud, it continues to operate undisturbed, doing business as usual. Project Vote, which used to employ President Obama, even let disgraced ACORN executive Amy Adele Busefink run its 2010 voter drive. Charges were pending against her the whole time she ran the 2010 voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort. Talk about an understanding employer!
Busefink’s job performance in the 2008 election cycle didn’t seem to bother Project Vote. The New York Times reported that Project Vote was forced to admit that 850,000 of the 1.3 million registrations from allegedly new voters were not from new voters at all. About 400,000 of the registrations “were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers.” ACORN acknowledged it fired “829 of the 10,000 canvassers it hired during the election for job-related problems, including falsifying registration forms.”
Busefink and her subordinate were implicated in a massive conspiracy to commit voter registration fraud in Nevada. Her underling took a plea bargain, and Busefink cut her own deal with prosecutors in hopes of avoiding prison time. She entered an “Alford plea,” which is similar to a “no contest” plea. In January 2011, she received a two-year suspended sentence.
(Look on Big Government tomorrow for Part 3. This article is excerpted from “Subversion Inc.: A new book reveals how Obama’s ACORN friends are still ripping off American taxpayers,” by Matthew Vadum which was published in the May 2011 issue of Townhall magazine and is republished here with permission. Copyright 2011 by Matthew Vadum.)
An award-winning investigative journalist, Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. Vadum is author of the new book Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books), from which this piece is adapted. Of the book Andrew Breitbart says, “For too long the institutional left has been allowed to operate under cover of darkness because the Democrat-media complex refuses to hold them accountable. But these radicals who have been sticking it to Americans for decades scatter like cockroaches under the harsh spotlight of Matthew Vadum’s great new book, Subversion Inc.”