ACORN wants a cut of the huge international remittance business, valued worldwide at US$444 billion.
So the organized crime syndicate is trying to shake down the financial services companies that handle those international money transfers.
In Canada, the local arm of ACORN is trying to shake down Money Mart and Western Union. ACORN, which used to employ President Obama, is hitting these two companies because it wants them to pay it protection money. The corporate shakedown is just one of the dubious methods ACORN uses to victimize businesses.
ACORN Canada’s new president Kay Bisnath complains the fees banks and other companies charge for money transfers are “exorbitant.” Ostensibly to help poor people, ACORN is demanding that Western Union charge no more than 5 percent for overseas remittances.
Canada’s biggest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, which is left-wing even by Canadian standards, is helping ACORN’s Canadian affiliate by providing political propaganda disguised as news. (Canada’s taxpayer-funded TV network, CBC, is also doing its bit to promote ACORN.) The Red Star, as some Canadian conservatives half-jokingly call it, is home to America-hating socialist writers such as Thomas Walkom and Linda McQuaig.
The pairing actually makes a lot sense. Both the Star and ACORN are on the far left and both have an impressive record of union-busting.
In the latest in a series of pro-ACORN puff pieces, the Star’s immigration reporter, Nicholas Keung, wrote a feature article that used Rassel Mohammad, a Bangladeshi immigrant to Canada, as a prop.
When every three months he visits the Western Union counter at the local Money Mart Mohammad “pays a hefty price to help out his two widowed aunts and six school-age cousins in Bangladesh,” Keung writes. Mohammad has to pay a supposedly outrageous $11 fee to ensure $100 makes its way safely to his relatives in his native country.
But is 11 percent really too much to pay to transfer funds to Bangladesh? There are plenty of reasons why a company might feel it necessary to charge an $11 fee for a money transfer to that troubled developing country.
With close to 159 million people packed into an area smaller than Iowa, 40 percent of Bangladesh’s population lives below the poverty line. Residents are at high risk of contracting food or waterborne diseases such as hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever. They are also at high risk for dengue fever, malaria, and leptospirosis.
A third of the country floods every year during monsoon season. Bangladesh is plagued by political instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, and inadequate power supplies.
Operating a business under such adverse conditions can’t be easy or cheap.
ACORN isn’t pushing for a 5 percent cap on remittance service charges in Canada and other countries to help people. People like Mohammad are merely pawns that ACORN uses to advance its radical political objectives.
The real goal is to extort funds from deep-pocketed corporations. ACORN then uses the ill-gotten gains to fund its subversive political operations.
ACORN doesn’t give a farthing’s cuss about Mohammad or any poor people. Ever since its founding in 1970 the group’s goal has been to overthrow capitalism. As its mission statement, which is essentially a Communist Manifesto for community organizers, says, “We will continue our fight … until we have shared the wealth.”
Ironically, ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who runs the group’s international operations, calls the remittance fees charged by financial institutions “an exploitive cash cow.”
And he ought to know: Rathke himself is a master of exploitation.
Rathke was fired by ACORN in 2008 for gross misconduct. When his brother Dale, ACORN’s chief financial officer, stole close to a million dollars in 2000, Rathke engineered a cover-up that was only discovered eight years later.
Rathke kept his light-fingered brother on ACORN’s payroll the whole time and cooked the books to conceal the theft, as I explain in my new book, Subversion Inc: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.
Under Rathke’s leadership, ACORN engaged in union-busting and sued to be exempted from minimum wage laws and equal employment opportunity laws.
While Rathke was at the helm, ACORN organizers were paid $18,000 a year for 54-hour weeks. Though ACORN says all workers have a “fundamental right” to workplace safety, it routinely sent employees to work alone evenings in dangerous neighborhoods. Some female ACORN workers were sexually assaulted as a result.
But I digress.
The Toronto Star article gets to the point when it notes that ACORN “is targeting Western Union first because of its large share — 17 per cent — of the global cross-border remittance market.”
And if ACORN’s targets don’t cough up the dough, intimidation and violence will follow.
Here’s what ACORN did to another financial services firm based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Liberty Tax Service was targeted by ACORN in 2005. More than 100 angry ACORN members showed up at the company’s headquarters.
ACORN accused the company of charging excessive interest rates on refund anticipation loans for income tax filers. “All of sudden, four bus loads of homeless people pull up in front of our headquarters here in Virginia Beach,” CEO John Hewitt said.
“They came pouring into the building like a Mongolian horde. There was screaming and fighting. One employee was bitten and another was scratched. They both had to go to the emergency room.”
The company agreed to pay ACORN $50,000 a year. “To me, it’s just to stop them from harassing us,” said Hewitt. “Even though I felt dirty by paying them money, I said, you know, it’s a business decision.”
Liberty Tax Service is just one of ACORN’s many victims in the United States.
Now that ACORN has offices in Canada’s national capital of Ottawa and the major cities Toronto, Hamilton, and Vancouver, expect the group’s victims to start piling up north of the border.
ACORN also operates in Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Kenya, India, and South Korea.
* * * * *
America needs to know that ACORN is restructuring in time to help re-elect President Obama in 2012. Obama used to work for ACORN and represented the group in court as its lawyer. These radical leftists who use the brutal, in-your-face, pressure tactics of Saul Alinsky want to destroy America as we know it and will use any means to do it.