Social & Domestic Issues

ACORN Playing Rebranding Game

The radical advocacy group ACORN is playing the biggest April Fool’s joke of all time on the American people.

That’s because the leftist group announced plans to shut down its national operations on April 1 — of all days in the year.

Multiple sources within ACORN have already confirmed to me that the exercise is a hoax. ACORN intends to keep a low profile and then re-emerge in a year or two under a new name, they say.

For decades ACORN has maintained tight control over its supposedly independent network of affiliates through interlocking directorates and massive intra-network financial transfers. There is every indication it plans to use the same top-down management techniques under the new organizational arrangement, they say.

Nathan Henderson-James, director of ACORN’s online campaigns, explained how the group intends to trick the public into believing it has gone away.

A dozen state chapters reincorporated to seem like new, independent organizations will soon spring up to carry on ACORN’s business, he wrote recently in a secret post on Townhouse, an invitation-only discussion forum run by Matt Stoller, senior policy adviser to Rep. Alan Grayson (D.-Fla.).

There will be “a dozen or more organizations launched on the state level by staff who used to work for ACORN and leaders who developed their skills as ACORN members,” Henderson-James wrote.

Right now state chapters are obtaining nonprofit status on their own as advocacy groups under section 501c4 of the tax code. This is significant because 501c4 status allows the new entities to largely conceal their financial activities.

Like grifters who adopt new aliases in order to keep duping victims, so far at least six state chapters have attempted to reinvent themselves.

The latest is ACORN’s Texas chapter which has become Texas Organizing Project.

The other five ACORN chapters that have dumped the ACORN brand are Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Missourians Organizing for Reform Empowerment (MORE), New York Communities for Change, New England United for Justice (Massachusetts) and Arkansas Community Organizations.

Incidentally, ACORN, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was originally called Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now when it was founded in Little Rock in 1970.

Most of the six groups operate out of ACORN offices and are run by ACORN staffers. The president of New England United for Justice, Maude Hurd, was the 20-year national president of ACORN.

But the two most important units of the ACORN network remain open for business and there is no indication they will be shutting down.

Vote fraud manufacturer Project Vote, which employed President Obama in his youthful organizing days, continues to operate undisturbed, conducting business as usual.

The housing bubble generator known as ACORN Housing, whose employees counseled undercover conservative activists last year on the finer points of prostitution, tax evasion, money laundering, and illegal immigrant smuggling has merely changed its name.  The nonprofit affiliate is now called Affordable Housing Centers of America.

Heavily tax-subsidized ACORN Housing is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is a key component of the far-flung ACORN empire of activism which has long used its housing affiliate as a piggy bank.

ACORN Housing funnels funds—possibly including government funds—to ACORN and other affiliates in the ACORN network During the Clinton Administration, ACORN used AmeriCorps used government resources to promote partisan objectives.

Meanwhile, the fiscal floodgates have reopened for ACORN despite a congressional ban on funding the activist group.

In a March 16 memo, Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag quietly ordered federal agencies to resume funding the group.  The memo came a week after liberal federal judge Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York made permanent her temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN.

The memo also came despite the fact that the Department of Justice is planning to appeal Gershon’s ruling and seek a stay pending appeal.

It’s unclear why the Obama Administration isn’t doing the responsible thing and waiting for the case to work its way through the judicial system.

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