Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 1997 S420 Midnight Blue 113,000
Location: New York
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ACORN-At it Again !
ANOTHER ACORN SCANDAL
Posted: 3:43 am
July 13, 2008
The folks at the far-left radical activist group ACORN are embroiled in a financial corruption and cover-up scandal that they managed to keep hidden from their donors and political partners for eight years.
Now their deception has been uncovered for all to see.
But is ACORN's leadership apologetic? Not in the slightest. "We did what we thought was right," said the group's president, Maude Hurd.
ACORN's founder - whose brother perpetrated the fraud - also defended the cover-up, saying publicity would have given the group's critics a "weapon."
As if there wasn't enough ammunition already to discredit ACORN.
The New York Times reports that Dale Rathke - whose brother started the group back in 1970 as a vehicle to help low-income people "take back what's rightfully theirs" - embezzled nearly $1 million from ACORN back in 1999 and 2000.
How did ACORN handle the crime? By disguising it on the books as a loan from one of its contractors and letting Rathke's family make restitution at the rate of $30,000 a year. (An anonymous donor reportedly has agreed to pick up the remaining $800,000 tab.)
Incredibly, ACORN kept Rathke on the payroll as a $38,000-a-year employee until as recently as last month - and only let him go when word of his fraud leaked to donors.
And, the Times reports, most of the people who covered up the embezzlement are still working for ACORN.
Actually, none of this really should surprise. After all, "fraud" has practically been ACORN's middle name.
As Michelle Malkin wrote on these pages last month, the group recently settled the largest case of voter fraud in Washington state history - having submitted thousands of bogus voter-registration forms.
ACORN has been implicated in similar schemes in 14 other states - including Ohio, where a worker traded crack cocaine for fraudulent registrations.
Back in the '80s and '90s, ACORN's tactics included trespassing, illegal seizure of private property, physical harassment, intimidation and outright extortion.
For example, in 1985, ACORN illegally seized 25 abandoned buildings owned by New York City and installed squatters as residents. A weak-kneed City Hall eventually gave the group title to the buildings - proving that crime can pay.
Amazingly, a large chunk of ACORN's budget is provided by taxpayers.
Much of the rest comes from gullible foundations and groups like the United Federation of Teachers - which has partnered up with ACORN in efforts to kill Mayor Bloomberg's school reform.
The Times reports that many of ACORN's philanthropic benefactors have begun taking a close look at the group's finances.
It's long overdue.