Ratner Family Ties: ACORN and Justice Department Plot Thickens

Following the courageous expose by two young investigative journalists released on the pages of this very blog, there were widespread calls for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the criminal enterprise that is ACORN. One would think there would be swift, decisive action from the administration that promised to be the most transparent in history. Despite the urging of some in congress and action on the regional level, and an internal investigation into funding, terrorist sympathizer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee a criminal investigation of ACORN. There’s no evidence that any internal investigation is ongoing or making any progress since a 2008 request from Indiana’s Secretary of State. Instead, President Obama’s political arm is attempting to dismiss it as a “fear campaign” while ACORN insinuates that it is racist. Yes, they are still playing that card.


What’s Holder’s hold-up? One major factor of course is that ACORN serves as a taxpayer-funded Democrat army. As with unions, it behooves Democrats to ignore corruption amongst the ranks of the powerful forces that elect them. What appears on the surface to be mere political payback for a job well done is in fact much more insidious. One family’s involvement with ACORN and the Obama administration is of particular interest and elucidates the complicated web of connections and cash behind ACORN and this President.

Meet the Ratners.

Bruce Ratner is a New York real estate developer who has given thousands of dollars to Democrats including President Obama. His philanthropy also includes having bailed out ACORN with $1.5 million to pay off their embezzlement debt, a decision he stands by despite ACORN’s recent prostitution scandal and a Congressional report detailing the systemic criminal elements in the organization.

As of late, Mr. Ratner has spent thousands lobbying the Obama administration for stimulus funds for an affordable housing / basketball arena boondoggle called Atlantic Yards. Oh yeah, Ratner owns the Nets who will occupy the new stadium should he have his way. In addition to paying back Mr. Ratner for his generous support over the years, the stimulus funds would benefit, you guessed it, ACORN! What’s more, the project would be seizing property from the very poor ACORN and liberals claims to represent by invocation of the extremely controversial doctrine of “eminent domain.”

With important supporters like these counting on the Obama administration’s stimulus Ponzi scheme, how could the DOJ initiate a criminal investigation of ACORN? To do a thorough investigation would put not only their moocher grassroots force in peril, but campaign funding as well. Moreover, given Democrats’ ties and vested interest in ACORN, the integrity of any internal investigation would be questionable at best.

Far left politicking and activism runs in the family. Bruce’s brother Michael Ratner is a human rights attorney and the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Michael shares some odd sympathies with Eric Holder. He represented Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees in the lawsuit where they gained the right to legally contest their detention. Michael’s other contributions to society include books like The Prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book and a book on guerilla terrorist Che Guevara. Ratner is a vocal critic of the Justice Department and a proponent of political prosecutions – of Bush officials, not Obama officials of course.

Bruce’s other brother, Ronald Ratner, along with many other family members, is an executive at Forest City Enterprises – the parent firm of Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Ratner Companies lobbying for the aforementioned Atlantic Yards boondoggle. It just so happens that Ronald’s son, Matthew Ratner, worked for Obama for America. Today, Matthew enjoys a position in the Obama administration. Can you guess where? The good ole’ U.S. Department of Justice.

In this post-partisan age, only a cynic would imply that this appointment and Bruce Ratner’s business plans might constitute conflicts of interest for DOJ, ACORN, or the White House. Shameless stimulus panhandling and money magic tricks aside, one job this administration can and should “create” is that of a special prosecutor to conduct a fair, unbiased, transparent review of the complex workings of ACORN.