Your ACORN updates

ACORN admits ruin at hands of James O’Keefe

Ian Urbina
The New York Times
3/20/2010

BALTIMORE — The community organizing group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday.

This week, the Maryland chapter announced that it would not reopen its offices, which were shuttered in September in the wake of a widely publicized series of video recordings made by two conservative activists, posing as a prostitute and a pimp, who secretly filmed Acorn workers providing them tax advice. In the videos, Acorn workers told one of the activists, James E. O’Keefe III, how to hide prostitution activities from the authorities and avoid taxes, raising no objections to his proposed criminal activities.

After the activists’ videos came to light and swiftly became fodder for 24-hour cable news coverage, private donations from foundations to Acorn all but evaporated and the federal government quickly distanced itself from the group.

“That 20-minute video ruined 40 years of good work,” said Sonja Merchant-Jones, former co-chairwoman of Acorn’s Maryland chapter. “But if the organization had confronted its own internal problems, it might not have been taken down so easily.”

Read the full NYT story: ACORN on the brink of bankruptcy – The New York Times

H/T The Daily Caller

From little ACORNs, new state-level organizations grow

Matthew Vadum
The Daily Caller
3/19/2010

ACORN’s state chapter in Missouri is the latest to rebrand itself as part of ACORN’s national strategy to distance itself from its negative public image.

The creation of the St. Louis-based Missourians Organizing for Reform Empowerment Inc. (MORE) brings to five the number of ACORN’s state chapters that have shut down and incorporated themselves separately under new names.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is gearing up to begin funding ACORN again despite a congressional ban and an unresolved lawsuit. In a March 16 memo Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Peter Orszag quietly ordered federal agencies to resume funding the group whose employees were caught on hidden camera videos last year apparently encouraging illegal behavior. The memo came after federal judge Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York, a Bill Clinton appointee, made permanent her temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN. Gershon found the denial of funding to ACORN to be an unconstitutional “bill of attainder.”

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. In other words, the administration is pressing ahead with restoring funding to a group that President Obama worked for and represented as a legal client even though the legal case has yet to fully work its way through the judicial system.

The rebrandings come after ACORN was hit by a tsunami of adverse publicity in the fall related to hidden camera videos showing its employees encouraging illegal behavior. After Congress voted to cut off funding to the group and various federal agencies severed ties, ACORN’s leadership resolved to abandon its damaged brand.

Critics say the rebranding process is a ruse.

The article continues at The Daily Caller.

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