ACORN Lawyer Thinks It’s Corrupt

1 10 2009
ACORN = Activist Corrupt Obama Radical NetworK

ACORN = Activist Corrupt Obama Radical NetworK

ACORN truly is a corrupt organization — according to one of its lawyers!

More than a year ago, Elizabeth Kingsley, one of ACORN’s attorneys, wrote a legal memo, dated June 19, 2008, warning ACORN about massive internal problems.

But ACORN ignored the warning and let the problems fester.

Here’s what Kingsley wrote in her memo, as reported by Matthew Vadum in today’s American Spectator:

  • The problems within ACORN are systemic, falling into 4 major categories: “respect for corporate integrity, the necessary separation between different types of political work, the niceties of 501(c)(3) tax compliance and accounting for those funds, and a big-picture question about organizational capacity.”
  • There are no institutional firewalls separating ACORN and its hundreds of tax-exempt nonprofit affiliates. Although, for legal purposes, ACORN affiliates claim not to be affiliated, related, or controlled by or with each other, in reality, they are centrally controlled in a highly coordinated manner. This leads to potential conflicts of interest and the appearance that someone is trying to hide something under a byzantine corporate structure. As Kingsley puts it, ACORN has “an organizational culture that resembles a family [Mafia] business more than an accountable organization.”
  • ACORN lacks policies on the following:

• Whistle blower policy [priority: CRITICAL]

• Document retention and destruction policy (simple version prohibiting illegal destruction of documents) [priority: URGENT]

• Contemporaneous documentation of Board and Committee meetings [priority: URGENT]

• Conflicts of interest policy [priority: IMPORTANT]

• Documented process for determining compensation for the CEO and any other officers or key employees [priority: IMPORTANT]

  • ACORN does not keep its political activities separate from other activities, which leads to potential liabilities and problems of proof. Citizens Services Inc. (CSI), an ACORN affiliate that received $832,598 from the Obama campaign for get-out-the-vote work during primary season, is a prime example. Kingsley writes that “within both CSI and ACORN, there needs to be a formal policy adopted and implemented and enforced that separates independent political activity from anything coordinated with a candidate or party.”
  • ACORN's founder-organizer Wade Rathke

    ACORN's founder-organizer Wade Rathke

    ACORN has incestuous hiring practices: Kinsley noted that all corporations with staff should have an anti-nepotism policy, but ACORN doesn’t even have a minimal policy prohibiting immediate family members, domestic partners, or people in a dating relationship to be one another’s direct supervisors. (ACORN’s founder, Wade Rathke engaged in flagrant nepotism. His brother, Dale, embezzled $948,000 from ACORN while working there. Even after Wade covered up the theft, he kept brother Dale on the payroll for 8 years. Wade’s wife, Beth Butler, and reportedly, his two children also work at ACORN. Wade eventually was ousted from ACORN on June 20, 2008.)

  • ACORN affiliates lack proper documentation showing that the ACORN network has been following IRS rules governing nonprofits. There is too much overlap between various employees representing different affiliates and confusion about who is controlling which funds and this can only lead to trouble.
  • Questionable use of ACORN’s pension funds.
  • Questions about the Dale Rathke embezzlement and coverup. A group of ACORN national board members, the “ACORN 8,” was expelled for asking ACORN management to produce documentation on the embezzlement.

+

Although the reference manual for left-wing activists, The Practical Progressive, reports ACORN’s total 2008 budget was $50 million, the real budget is much much higher.

The ACORN network has taken in at least $107 million in donations and $53 million in federal funds since 1993, yet it owes millions of dollars in back taxes and is eligible for up to $8.5 billion in federal funding this year.

No one really knows how big the entire ACORN network’s budget is. One of the reasons is that tracking housing and community development grants administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is difficult. HUD often distributes the money to states and localities, which then allot the funds to many different nonprofit groups. Getting a total financial picture would require enlisting an army of Freedom of Information Act requesters.

~Eowyn

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9 responses

1 10 2009
Ted

Here’s another prophetic legal memo: http://usjf.net/?p=1292

1 10 2009
JupiterSuite

Going Nuts

ACORN: Alien Children Offered Regularly Nationwide
ACORN: Authorities Caught One Registering “Napoleon”
ACORN: Assembly of the Complacent: Organized, Registered & Non-productive!
ACORN: Association of Criminals Obama Represented in the Nineties
ACORN: Assorted Crazies, Oddballs, Reprobates, and Nincompoops
ACORN: “Audacity” and “Change” that Obama Represents Nationally
ACORN: A Crooked, Offensive, Repulsive Nut
ACORN: Agitators, Cheats, Offenders, and Repugnant Nonentities
ACORN: Association of Crooks O’Keefe Revealed in a Nanosecond
ACORN: Advising Criminals, Organizing Radical Nutjobs
ACORN: Assisting Call-girls, Obama, Reid & Nancy
ACORN: Advancing Collectivism, Obamamania, Reparations Now!
ACORN: After Clinton, Obama Retards a Nation
ACORN: Alike Carter, Obama is Regretful and Negative
ACORN: America, Could Obama Resign Now??
ACORN: Against Conservatives, Order, Republicans, and the Nation
ACORN: American Cash Outflows to Rathke’s “Nonprofits”
ACORN: Apparently “Community Organizing” Really is Nefarious
ACORN: Awarding Capital to Objectionable Rent-seeking Noncontributors
ACORN: Apathetic, Crybaby, Odiferous, Rejected Nothings
ACORN: Andrew Clearly Outplayed the Resentful NYT
ACORN: Anyone Can Observe that this is Rank Nonsense
ACORN: Ascent by Creepy Operation / Resented in the Nation
ACORN: Almost as Commendable as an Outflow of Rectal Necrosis
ACORN: Associated Congressmen Ought to be Replaced in November 2010
ACORN: Always Cheating, Often Ruining Neighborhoods
ACORN: Addled Crack-heads and Obnoxious Race-baiting Neurotics
ACORN: Appalling Cesspool; Obscene Revolting Nightmare
ACORN: A Clan of Odious, Ridiculed Nitwits
ACORN: Another Corrupt Obama Run Network

Others? Please suggest!

1 10 2009
Eowyn

That’s ingenious, Jupiter!

So many gems!

My faves:

ACORN: America, Could Obama Resign Now??
ACORN: Appalling Cesspool; Obscene Revolting Nightmare
😉

1 10 2009
Cec Moon

JupiterSuite,

That is a marvelous and and accurate compendium which sums up the total of ACORN’s purpose and subsequent action. One can only hope for discovery of sufficient evidence to close them up for good. Cutting off the funding is not enough; prosecution of illegal activity is necessary as well.

Eowyn,

Great job in making this summary. The loose ends require this type of organizational view. Why do I feel dirty just reading this?

1 10 2009
Eowyn

Thanks, Cec!
As Gio would say, you’re da bomb! 😉

1 10 2009
Eowyn

Woohoo!

California Attorney General Jerry Brown says he is investigating the community organizing group ACORN in response to a request from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1 10 2009
giovanniworld

AG Jerry Brown? Can he be trusted?

Gio-

2 10 2009
Eowyn

Normally, I wouldn’t, but Brown is running for California governor (he was Governor “Moonbeam” years ago when he was much younger).

So, perhaps his running for governor gives him the incentive to really go after ACORN.

We can hope! LOL

1 10 2009
ACORN Lawyer Thinks It's Corrupt « Giovanni's World « Secrets, Uncensored about Lawyers

[…] posted here: ACORN Lawyer Thinks It's Corrupt « Giovanni's World Comments […]

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