The infamous community organization ACORN went bankrupt last week, ending with $8.6 million in debt against less than a quarter million in cash. According to Fox News, the organization was pulling in $46 million as recently as 2008, but contributions deflated at an incredible rate after James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles’ shocking hidden-camera exposes, leaving them with only $1.57 million for 2010. Congress terminated federal funding last year, after pumping over thirty million taxpayer dollars into the organization over the past ten years. There are no soft landings when you get tossed off the federal gravy train.
ACORN executives accepted the consequences of their obvious corruption with characteristic grace and professionalism. Writing on their Web site, CEO Bertha Lewis blamed ACORN’s fate on “right-wing media and its proponents,” who wanted to “cast a shadow over the historic 2008 Presidential election, and set up a far right counter offense. “ Besides Uncle Sam, ACORN’s major backers were labor unions and left-wing philanthropies. Who knew they all watched Fox News?
In addition to offering tax advice for pimps, ACORN offered many services to the community, particularly the imaginary voter community. They settled out of the largest voter-fraud case in the history of Washington State, where their operatives grabbed random words out of phone books to assemble fake names on voter registration forms. In Ohio, they paid a worker in cocaine to obtain the voter registrations of Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, and Jive Turkey, plus registration assistance for a crucial Democrat constituency: the dead.
In her farewell Web post, Bertha Lewis applauds ACORN’s role in “making the American dream of home ownership more universal.” You can say that again! The organization pushed hard for loans from Fannie Mae to unqualified buyers, and was rewarded with funding from that fiscal atomic bomb, right up to its detonation in 2008. The American nightmare of foreclosure is much more universal today, thanks in no small part to their efforts. ACORN dealt with that nightmare by breaking into foreclosed homes and occupying them.
Political watchdogs assure us ACORN will be back. Bryan Rudnick of ACORN Watch says bankruptcy was a “shell game”, designed to hide the organization as it “transforms into a new entity.” This is the kind of transformation that would be portrayed in a Fifties horror movie by stop-motion animation and theremin music. It’s difficult to track the organization’s movements, because it’s highly decentralized and avoids leaving electronic footprints. In the months before bankruptcy, it has been selling contact information to smaller community organizations, which are often run by ACORN veterans. Some of them are actually sitting in old ACORN offices, after simply changing the acronym painted on the window glass.
ACORN will return because the services it provides are too valuable to the Democrat Party. There are few repercussions for voter fraud – it’s a nearly cost-free crime that generates huge returns. The leviathan State loves having a remora that tirelessly lobbies it to grow larger. Unfortunately, there are plenty of honest and hard-working community leaders who relied on ACORN for legitimate assistance, and they will be hurt by its painful transformation. Even more unfortunately, they’ll probably wind up in the clutches of whatever new form it assumes.