Michael Gaynor
Obama win does not excuse ACORN sin
By Michael Gaynor
November 9, 2008

"A forensic audit and the investigations will aid in proving my allegations. I also have documents to back up my claims. I have put myself out there in order to keep other poor working moms from having to make hard choices and to keep the promises that ACORN made to its members."

ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief's vote for Obama signified a desire for change and an expression of hope, but not a willingness to whitewash ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

Ms. MonCrief's latest post — "Exposing the Truth About ACORN" — proved that.

Ms. MonCrief:

"Many of you have seen the posts that I put on the March of Dimes website regarding my daughter, Addie. What most people do not realize is that I was employed at ACORN/Project Vote during this time. I was making so little that I was on WIC and Medical Assistance. The health plan that ACORN used as part of the cover up of the embezzlement of Dale Rathke did not cover some of the basic things I needed as a pregnant mom. In fact, I still have medical bills from that time that were not paid by ACORN and the Council (covered procedures). I was not only fighting for the poor, I was of one of them — the working poor — and I truly believed that I could make a difference and change things for the better.

"From the beginning ACORN has abused the trust of its people. ACORN pretends to fight for the interests of people but they are really for hire. It seems like their motto is 'have protesters, will travel.' I have seen ACORN members organized for protests at the behest of organizations like SEIU and often the interests served were not that of the members. I find it hard to understand how so little of the money collected after a series of protests from organizations like H&R Block actually trickles down to the community.

"During 2007, I made some bad choices; I moved to Baltimore to give my daughter a real home and encountered things there that still haunt me. In order to get myself and my daughter out of this situation, I began saving money to move and since I was not making enough to live, I did use their credit card for living expenses like pampers, gas, food, clothes, etc. At $1000 every two weeks, I paid $140 a week in daycare; $993 in rent, plus car note, insurance, food, gas, clothes, formula and utilities. I was desperate to move and did something stupid to have more cash on hand for the deposit. I take full responsibility for my actions and had even begun to pay it back. I have never claimed to be perfect, I made decisions like so many others, the Arthur Anderson's, Dale Rathke's, Dennis Kozlowski's and others, and the only difference is the why.

"My story is not one that reflects the idea of mom and apple pie; it is similar to the people that ACORN is supposed to represent. I have achieved wonderful things by the sheer force of my will and perseverance. When I heard Obama's speech about how people like him said 'yes we can,' when people told them otherwise, I started crying. The tears were of joy and recognition. Recognition of the commonality of our experiences, no one in my neighborhood would have ever thought that I would one day get to work with international figures or host the President of Croatia. I bet the people told Maude Heard that she would never do something and look what she has accomplished.

"I mention this because my past is ACORN's defense against me, my sins. I know that repentant sinners are always welcomed back into the fold, Jesus and the New Testament teaches us that. I came forward with full knowledge that I would have to face my actions and decisions; and I am ready to face any consequence for the truth to be exposed. To state this clearly, I have put my whole life, reputation, and future on the line and it was not for some petty grudge. Some claim that I have a vendetta, but I sacrificed my reputation and opened myself up to attacks. ACORN has attacked my credibility and my family. They have used my daughter in their smear campaigns and their mob-like intimidation tactics must cease. I came forward to expose the truth, and that meant exposing my sins. I am ready to fight ACORN for the truth to be revealed.

"ACORN is the modern day money changer in front of the temples. ACORN is the scourge of the poor; they have taken the trust of the poor and used it against them.

"ACORN is under investigation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for misuse of funds, the FBI, and they have RICO charges filed in Ohio and Indiana. According to the New York Times, ACORN's own lawyers have advised them that their current practices could lead some to suspect criminal activity. I have firsthand knowledge of the co-mingling of funds and resources; and with my access to the accounting system Navision; I saw a lot of questionable transactions. My testimony covered this and the fact that some of ACORN own lawyers suggested that documents were being destroyed.

"In addition to all of this:

Some ACORN organizations like ACORN Institute and the American Institute for Social Justice are not properly registered as charities in some states. Audits and reports have not been done for 2004, 2005, and 2006.

According to a staff meeting in Chicago in July, missing reports and files are being attributed to Katrina, but the staff acknowledged that in truth, it was because of illegal activity.

As a former employee of ACORN it was interesting to hear the employees could possibly sue Wade Rathke for mismanagement of the health and pension funds. Apparently, Rathke was making unilateral decisions without the knowledge of the Trustees. I know that I still have benefit claims that were not handled properly.

ACORN is considering going after Wade, but the cover up artists decided in Chicago to wait until after the election.

Wade Rathke's Chief Organizer Fund appears to have been used to pay off Dale's debt and there is some questions as to if organizations were being charged without their knowledge and where the money was really going.

"I could go on all night but I will leave you with this....

"On October 23rd, The New York Times reported that ACORN claimed to register about the 1.3 million voters:

'But it turns out the claim was a wild exaggeration, and the real number of newly registered voters nationwide is closer to 450,000, Project Vote's executive director, Michael Slater, said in an interview. The remainder are registered voters who were changing their address and roughly 400,000 that were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors, Mr. Slater acknowledged.'

"A forensic audit and the investigations will aid in proving my allegations. I also have documents to back up my claims. I have put myself out there in order to keep other poor working moms from having to make hard choices and to keep the promises that ACORN made to its members."

Will Obama nominate ACORN favorite Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, as Secretary of Labor?

It would not be a wise nomination.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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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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