Once Upon an ACORN: Why ACORN's Internal Audit is a Sham

The announcement by ACORN that it is creating a panel of inquiry consisting of its corrupt friends is a fairy tale. ACORN did the same thing last year after an internal scandal but when the honest people on ACORN’s internal panel began asking uncomfortable questions, it cast them out.

Since it’s a fairy tale, let me tell the story the fairy tale way:

Once upon a time there was a group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). It was run, and continues to be run today, by very bad people who do very bad things while they pretend to make America a better place.fairy 3

They get very upset when people point out the bad things they do. They always lie about those things and call those people who speak against them nasty names like “racist” so those people will get scared and run away. Often it works.

They carry out voter registration drives strictly with a view to meeting predetermined quotas. They don’t give a farthing’s cuss if their canvassers register Mickey Mouse or the dead to vote; in fact, they encourage it. As long as the big fat checks keep coming in from billionaire leftist George Soros and Herb and Marion Sandler everything is OK in their eyes.

They always throw temper tantrums. They blackmail corporations and hold sit-ins at banks until they get their way. They take over forums and congressional hearings by force. When the police get involved they say that they are the real victims: Why are you arresting us? That’s not fair! They pretend to want to help the poor and then throw them overboard by taking massive “grants” from wealthy real estate developers.

Years ago Wade Rathke and his brother Dale Rathke did terrible things that were far worse than all the other things they’d done. Dale, who worked for ACORN, stole close to $1 million. Big brother Wade covered up the whole thing and the senior management at ACORN helped him.

Bertha Lewis, a lady who is now ACORN’s chief organizer, helped the Rathkes cover up Dale’s theft, but she was only one of the management people who helped out. Others helped their boss too.

When Dale’s embezzlement was discovered last year, Wade was forced out of ACORN by ACORN’s national board. It told Wade to stop affiliating himself with ACORN but he didn’t listen. He’s still chief organizer of ACORN affiliate SEIU Local 100 in New Orleans and he’s still trying to bring community organizing to far away places like India and Kenya. Maybe he’ll help President Obama’s half-brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama who lives near Nairobi. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? George is very poor.

Anyway, back when Wade was kicked out of ACORN the group’s national board appointed three board members to investigate the bad things that Wade and Dale did. Together the three people were called the Internal Management Committee (IMC). One of them is a very smart lady named Marcel Reid. Marcel’s father wanted a boy so he gave her that name. She likes her name even though it is a boy’s name.

Marcel started asking questions about the embezzlement, which is what the board told her to do. But when she asked to look at documents related to the embezzlement, management said no. She tried and tried and tried but they still said no. They got very upset with Marcel. Eventually they threw her out of ACORN even though she didn’t anything wrong. They called her a traitor. She was sad.

Now Bertha Lewis, who helped Wade and Dale cover up Dale’s embezzlement, wants the same kind of committee packed with corrupt friends of ACORN to whitewash all the institutional corruption that is the essence of the ACORN network. The network consists of, um, well, nobody knows how many hundreds of individual affiliated groups.

Bertha says that the panel will include

* John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress

* Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Board Member, RFK Foundation, former MD Lt. Governor

* Andrew Stern, International President, Service Employees International Union

* Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman, Cityview

* John Banks, Vice President of Government Relations Con Ed

* Eric Eve, Senior VP of Global Consumer Group, Community Relations, Citigroup

* Harvey Hirschfeld, President, Lawcash

*Dave Beckwith, Executive Director, Needmor Fund

Bertha says the panel will be independent and will do a really good job recommending what should be done to fix ACORN. The problem is Bertha, who is only a figurehead anyway, has been lying for so long she might not even know what’s true and what’s false. That happens when you lie a lot, so you should always tell the truth.

The panel is filled with hardcore leftists who don’t like America’s Constitution and free markets. They want America to be more like France where they eat cheese, or maybe a little like the old Soviet Union where they ate each other. They hate freedom and will do anything to stamp it out. They believe the ends justify the means.

Hey, that’s just like ACORN and its spiritual grandfather, Saul Alinsky, isn’t it? He was very sneaky and very smart.

There’s John Podesta, who was President Clinton’s White House chief of staff. He’ll do anything that needs to be done to protect ACORN because ACORN is very important to progressives. If ACORN were to disintegrate, it would be like losing several army divisions when you’re fighting a war. That would be bad, liberals think.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is not very nice. She is mean. When she ran for governor in Maryland, an overwhelmingly Democratic state, she managed to completely mess things up. She loves calling people racists. It’s what she does. It’s one of the reasons people didn’t like her in Maryland even though she’s a Kennedy, and everybody loves Kennedys.

Andy Stern of SEIU is a longtime crusader for something called “social justice.” Social justice is when you have more toys than your friends, so your friends hit you over the head and take some of your toys away. That way everyone is equal. That’s social justice.

Marcel Reid isn’t buying any of this.

Marcel, who is now a member of a reform group called ACORN 8, told me this earlier today:

As former members of the Interim Management Committee elected by the national board of ACORN, we say that all of the things that this so-called independent panel is going to examine are things that we tried to accomplish. We called for all of these things -an audit, examination of the books, restructuring of the organization– all of this was already demanded by us.

And because we were trying to exercise due diligence as duly constituted directors of ACORN, we were relieved from our positions, forced out by the board under Bertha Lewis’s direction.

We have no idea how an independent, thorough audit of ACORN can be conducted by these people who were not selected by ACORN’s national board but were put in place by the same senior staff who conspired with Wade Rathke to cover up his brother’s embezzlement for eight years and who subsequently silenced any voice that called for truth, transparency and accountability.

You can see that Marcel doesn’t like Bertha very much. Bertha doesn’t like Marcel very much either. Oh well. Not everybody can be friends.

Meanwhile, my friend Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity writes that another phony-baloney panel has been created.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is headed by Phil Angelides who has deep ties to ACORN.

Whatever Angelides does, you can be sure he won’t blame ACORN for any of America’s problems.

And his commission’s report will be a fairy tale too.


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