Michael Gaynor
Alas, ACORN 8 can't have it all
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By Michael Gaynor
February 17, 2009

In the last of the 2008 presidential debates then candidate Obama conveniently lied about his relationship with ACORN and the liberal media establishment managing instead of reporting the news, especially The New York Times, cooperatively reported instead of exposed the lie.

Which is more important to the ACORN 8 and their allies: protecting President Obama or perfecting ACORN?

The ACORN 8 and their allies support President Obama AND reform of ACORN.

But unless the ACORN 8 reveal the whole truth about ACORN's relationship with President Obama and the Obama campaigns, ACORN will not be reformed.

Partial truth and transparency is not truth and transparency.

ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief, in ""ACORN 8 and the Banks: Dangerous Liasons" (February 11, 2009): "A divided ACORN... marches the streets of DC, as board members across the country voice their support for truth and transparency."

Matthew Vadum, senior editor at Washington, D.C. think tank Capital Research Center, in a February 11, 2009 op ed titled "ACORN dissidents sued for embezzlement documents": "Whistleblowers at ACORN are demanding that the Obama administration probe allegations of embezzlement, conspiracy, and corruption at the highest levels in the nation's foremost community-based left-wing activist group."

Those whistleblowers are absolutely right about the need for an investigation of ACORN "at the highest level."

But asking the Obama administration to investigate ACORN and expecting the whole truth and complete transparency is about as naive as asking the RFK-led United States Justice Department during the JFK administration to investigate the voting in Illinois during the 1960 presidential election or Joseph Patrick Kennedy, father of JFK and RFK, for election improprieties would have been.

Mr. Vadum reported that "the 'ACORN 8,' a splinter group founded by expelled national board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid, has asked U.S. attorneys in several states to look into a nearly $1 million embezzlement and the novel business practices of the group that claims to have more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country."

That should be looked into very carefully.

The ACORN 8 claim that ACORN and its 100-plus affiliate organizations is a long-established, ongoing criminal enterprise that focuses primarily on shakedowns and it is now public knowledge and not disputed that Dale Rathke, brother of founder Wade Rathke, systematically stole almost $1 million from ACORN affiliates around 2000 and the Rathke family was allowed to repay the stolen money on a generous installment plan after the theft was discovered, the theft was not reported to the authorities and Dale even stayed on as employee of an ACORN affiliate.

When the embezzlement story finally was reported last year, it was managed carefully and the whole ugly truth about ACORN was not reported.

ACORN 8's Marcel Reid, expelled from ACORN for taking her assigned task of probing ACORN's financial scandal seriously and seeking pertinent financial records in court after she had been denied access: "ACORN has become a cornucopia of power and wealth, wielded by people who patronize and exploit more than empower or even help the poor and moderate income people ACORN purports to serve; and any civil or constitutional right to dissent is a casualty of their intent to retain that control."

If the people learn the full extent of the relationship between ACORN and President Obama and the Obama campaigns, they will appreciate not only that but how ACORN became "a cornucopia of power and wealth, wielded by people who patronize and exploit more than empower or even help the poor and moderate income people ACORN purports to serve; and any civil or constitutional right to dissent is a casualty of their intent to retain that control."

Warner Todd Huston, in a January 12, 2009 article titled "Disgruntled ACORN Employees — Loose Nuts Strike back at the Tree":

"...several ousted members of the ACORN board are seeking a federal criminal investigation into their ouster and Dale Rathke's theft. The self-dubbed ACORN 8, led by Marcel Reid and Karen Inman, were removed from the ACORN board last year after they failed to convince others to join their efforts to instigate a federal probe of the embezzlement.

"This is on top of all the many states that have been investigating, charging, and convicting various ACORN operatives for voter fraud, especially in the last two general elections. ACORN is now or has been under investigation for voter fraud in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and others since 2006. As recently as January 6, for instance, an ACORN employee was charged with voter fraud in Missouri.

"Of course, instead of owning up to the truth, ACORN is pretending this is the work of 'renegades' in its organization."

Mr. Huston astutely advised his readers: "It must be remembered that [ACORN] is the group from which Barack Obama hails and a group that he counts as supporters as well as one whom he owes pay back big time."

The ACORN 8 are kidding themselves if they think they can protect President Obama from the truth becoming public knowledge AND reform ACORN.

In the last of the 2008 presidential debates then candidate Obama conveniently lied about his relationship with ACORN and the liberal media establishment managing instead of reporting the news, especially The New York Times, cooperatively reported instead of exposed the lie.

Will the ACORN 8 fully practice as well as preach "truth and transparency" now that the 2008 election is past?

The Times won't tell, but it's not just up to The Times.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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