Michael Gaynor
Despite liberal mainstream media, ACORN and Obama are being exposed
By Michael Gaynor
September 10, 2009

Bottom line: Since its creation, ACORN has been a subversive organization that has served for years as an unofficial arm of the Democrat Party and President Obama is a radical, not a "liberal," and ACORN's vehicle for implementing radical change (he calls it "fundamental change") as fast as feasible.

Last October The New York Times killed an ACORN/Obama expose for which ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief was willing to be a named source, so that Obama would be elected.

This year the truth about ACORN is spreading, with a stunning Fox News expose out today, and the truth about Obama eventually will too as more and more people learn what Ms. MonCrief knows and public suspicion about Obama, his appointees and his agenda grows.

Matthew Vadum, in "Exclusive ACORN Expose: Stealing Democracy" (http://townhall.com/columnists/MatthewVadum/2009/09/10/exclusive_acorn_expos%C3%A9_stealing_democracy?page=full&comments=true):

"In the parallel universe occupied by many left-of-center Americans, the increasingly controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is a high-minded poor people's group similar to crusading civil rights groups of the 1960s.

"They believe ACORN is a public-spirited organization that registers the poor to vote and encourages citizen involvement in morally uplifting projects and community development. They believe it spurs production of affordable housing, protects tenants' rights, keeps unjustly exploited borrowers in their homes and rages against predatory lenders. They believe it fights for the rights of workers, immigrants and utility ratepayers."

Those people who claim ACORN is "public-spirited" are either deluded or deliberately deceptive.

Vadum is right about what ACORN is: "ACORN is a huge multi-million dollar international conglomerate that is devoted to undermining democracy and the capitalist system itself."

Vadum is right about "liberals" and ACORN's radical roots:

"Liberals also seem blissfully ignorant of the fact that ACORN was founded not to teach self-reliance but to encourage poor people to get on welfare. By overloading the system, the strategy held, radical change would come to America.

"All of this sounds kind of like a kooky conspiracy theory, doesn't it? Perhaps, but unlike most farfetched-sounding theories it happens to be true."

Vadum is right about what ACORN was created to do:

"ACORN founder Wade Rathke...came to believe in 'welfare rights.' Rathke had been a {National Welfare Rights Organization] activist and became the protégé of its founder.

"In 1970, Rathke created ACORN to carry out the strategy of upheaval and the agenda of welfare entitlement. ACORN's 'People's Platform' reads like a kind of 'Communist Manifesto' for America's community organizers:

'But we have nothing to show for the work of our hand, the tax of our labor. Our patience has been abused; our experience misused. Our silence has been seen as support. Our struggle has been ignored.

'Enough is enough. We will wait no longer for the crumbs at America's door. We will not be meek, but mighty. We will not starve on past promises, but feast on future dreams.'"

Vadum is right that about the radicalness of the inspiration of ACORN, Saul Alinksy:

"As the father of community organizing, Alinsky urged activists to 'rub raw the sores of discontent.' In his book, he praised Lucifer as the 'first radical' who 'rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom.'

"Alinsky said his book was 'a step toward a science of revolution.' He acknowledged, '"The Prince" was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. "Rules for Radicals" is written for the Have-nots on how to take it away.'

"Alinsky believed that in political combat almost anything goes: 'In war the end justifies almost any means.' He wrote, 'The practical revolutionary will understand ... [that] in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one's individual conscience and the good of mankind.'"

But Vadum is wrong to present the rhetoric of Marcel Reid, head of the ACORN 6 and ACORN's DC chapter and former member of ACORN's national board, as descriptive of "the true nature of ACORN."


"Marcel Reid, whom ACORN management expelled from its national board last fall, says [ACORN founder Wade] Rathke is not true to the organizing ideals of Alinsky. 'There's definitely a difference between Wade-ism and Alinskyism,' she said in an interview. 'Alinsky respected poor people, but I think Rathke does not.'

"'Alinsky was trying to empower poor people to leverage the only thing they had, which was their sheer numbers. Alinsky wanted poor people to lift themselves out of poverty; Wade needs poor people to stay in poverty because that allows him to stay paternalistic and it allows him to maintain his power over people,' Reid said. 'Wade wants to help poor people just enough so that they are beholden to him but never capable of breaking away from him and never completely independent.'

"Reid, who lives in Washington, D.C., and Minnesota-based Karen Inman, were booted off the ACORN national board last fall after they asked too many questions. They filed a lawsuit in order to see internal financial documents related to ACORN's eight-year-long cover-up of the million-dollar embezzlement by Rathke's brother Dale. The women maintain their expulsion violates the group's bylaws, which require state chapters to remove those delegated to sit on the national board. The two have since created 'ACORN 8,' a group that aims to reform ACORN and that is pushing for the group to be investigated by authorities and subjected to a forensic audit."

Vadum omitted to report that Ms. Reid and the ACORN 8 gave a pass to Obama mentor Madeline Talbott and her husband, Keith Kelleher, in the complaint filed with the United States Justice Department by the ACORN 8, dated January 7, 2009 and posted at the ACORN 8 website (www.acorn-8.net).

The ACORN 8, as "complainants," named Wade Rathke, Dale Rathke, Steven Kest, John Kest, Mike Shea, Zach Pollett, Helene O'Brien, Amy Schur, Liz Wolf, Beth Butler, Mildred Brown, Maud Hurd, Alton Bennett, Bertha Lewis, Beth Kingsley and other unknown individuals as "defendants."

The complaint purports to be a "criminal complaint against ACORN Staff and Executive Board members for fraud, embezzlement, conspiracy and concealment, and civil rights violations," and "possible...other federal offenses...including but not limited to; Title 18 U.S.C. §1341, Mail Fraud, 18 U.S.C. §1001, Presenting a False Document to...an Agent of the United States Government; 18 U.S.C. §1027 False statements and concealment of facts in relation to documents required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and other possible offenses including civil and/or criminal violations."

BUT: A prior signed version of this complaint read: "ACORN Staff members Steven Kest, Jon Kest, Madeline Talbott, Keith Kelleher, Mike Shea, Zach Pollett, Helene O'Brien, Amy Schur, Liz Wolf, Beth Butler, Mildred Brown and Bertha Lewis knew but conspired to conceal the embezzlement and decided to keep the information from the full Association Board and not to alert law enforcement."

On January 6, 2009, Ms. Reid had emailed Ms. MonCrief the prior version of the complaint with this message: "Here is the complaint I would file on January 7, 2009. We don't have all of the exhibits prepared exactly like Zena wants — but I personally would not let that delay us."

Why were these Ms. Talbott and Mr. Kelleher dropped as "defendants" right before the complaint was filed?

Why did Ms. Reid decide NOT to "alert law enforcement" about what she believed at least as late as January 6, 2009 to be "criminal conduct" by Ms. Talbott and Mr. Kelleher?

Then there is what Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman did BEFORE they were ousted from ACORN's national board, as memorialized in the minutes of ACORN's ISM Meeting in Chicago held on July 29, 2008.

Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman are listed among the four ACORN members present.

Under "Wade Rathke's Labilities and other Liabilities Matters," it is stated:

"The Government will and can go after ACORN"

"ACORN could [go] after Wade for being on various boards and conflicts of interest and for mismanagement of funds and for the financial structures and that conflict of interests."

"IF the idea for ACORN to go after Wade is decided upon — the recommendation is to wait until after December — elections, ACORN needs to get their corporation in order, clean house in terms of getting paperwork in order, etc."

Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman wanted Wade Rathke replaced, but they did not necessarily want to go after him publicly ("IF") and certainly not before Election Day 2008!

In addition, the minutes state under "Wade Rathke's Labilities and other Liabilities Matters": "These matters are an issue not to be discussed with other board members, management staff UNLESS they have officially signed the joint defense agreement."

So much for "truth, transparency and accountability" even "within ACORN"!

That joint defense agreement is designed to conceal, not to reveal.


"Roughly echoing White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's infamous never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste quip earlier this year, Reid said, 'ACORN prospers from chaos because chaos presents an opportunity for change.'

"She believes ACORN's ambitious record of electoral fraud is part of a deliberate strategy of misdirection by the group's leadership.

"'What everyone calls voter registration fraud is really funder fraud, because these foundations pay for people to be registered to vote and for every one of these people registered who is not a real person the funders are being defrauded,' she said."

Ms. Reid: "Sometimes you have people showing up for [ACORN] actions not knowing exactly why they're there. They know they're fighting some power, but they don't know which power, because ACORN keeps information on a need-to-know basis right before the action."

NOW Ms. Reid speaks of ACORN operations in ominous terms: "They don't appreciate the prowess that ACORN operates with, that it's mean and lean, that they keep their operating costs down, and they can strike a number of targets simultaneously with military precision."

What did Ms. Reid know, when did she know it and what did she do about it?


"Reid also explained how ACORN targets businesses, which she said follows what's known as Alinsky's Rule 12: 'Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.' Alinsky also taught that it is easier to pressure individuals than institutions.

"Reid said before ACORN targets a corporation, it finds out who on its board of directors is the weakest. 'It's amazingly easy to find. Go for the person with the least power and the most access to knowledge because generally corporations treat the lowest-level employees the worst. You call the receptionist in the corporation and you start a conversation,' she said.

"'In all corporations the receptionist tends to know the most about the corporation and is the least respected, which means that you can establish a rapport with them and that will eventually give you the information you need,' she said.

"'Once you have identified the weakest board member use Rule 12 and go to their homes and picket and do actions, use direct action to ostracize the person, which softens up the corporation for negotiations,' she revealed.

"Reid also made the point that ACORN uses its mortgage operation, ACORN Housing, as a recruitment tool. Borrowers go to ACORN Housing, get a credit report and then are brought to a meeting where the lending program is explained. The explanation includes a pitch to join ACORN. While membership is not mandatory for borrowers, it is strongly encouraged, Reid said."

Apparently Ms. Reid too did not share with the public critically important information that the public needed to know until after Obama was elected.

Vadum on the connection between ACORN and the financial crisis and the Obama effort to dig the hole deeper:

"Some suggest the actions of ACORN and other Alinsky-inspired organizations that adhere to the Cloward-Piven Strategy helped cause the meltdown on Wall Street. A cheeky conservative might even argue that the crisis on Wall Street is a kind of Reichstag fire but that this time the Communists really are the arsonists.

"Cheered on by ACORN, the Obama administration in June proposed making the CRA tougher. It was an easy sell to President Obama, who has long been a strong supporter of the law. As an ACORN benefactor, organizer and trainer, Obama helped turn up the heat on lenders when he represented plaintiffs in the 1995 class action lawsuit Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank. The suit demanded the bank's mortgage lending be apportioned equally among minority and non-minority applicants. Citibank settled and reportedly took on riskier borrowers.

"Economist Stanley Liebowitz wrote that the current mortgage market debacle is 'a direct result of an intentional loosening of underwriting standards — done in the name of ending discrimination, despite warnings that it could lead to wide-scale defaults.'

"Political activism drove the banks to make irresponsible decisions, and it has put taxpayers on the hook for bank and housing bailout packages costing potentially trillions of dollars."


But, Vadum reports, Ms. Reid "defends the [Community Reinvestment Act]" that led to the financial crisis and describes ACORN members as "not terribly ideological" and "not radical leftists."

Ms. Reid, who was with ACORN for many years, added that "the people at the top of ACORN are."

What does that tell us about Ms. Reid herself?

Bottom line: Since its creation, ACORN has been a subversive organization that has served for years as an unofficial arm of the Democrat Party and President Obama is a radical, not a "liberal," and ACORN's vehicle for implementing radical change (he calls it "fundamental change") as fast as feasible.

Camille Paglia, in "Too late for Obama to turn it around" (www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/09/09/healthcare/):

"Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism."

"...affluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it's invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy League on down, promote 'critical thinking,' which sounds good but is in fact just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms ('racism, sexism, homophobia') when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has been marinating so long in those clichés that it's positively pickled."


Glenn Beck loves to blame Republicans and Democrats equally and urge Americans to follow him, but the truth is that the radical Left has taken control of the Democrat Party, not the Republican Party, and the donor lists that Ms. MonCrief used at ACORN/Project Vote were all Democrat lists (Obama, Clinton, Kerry, DNC).

It's not just ACORN, of course.

ACORN ally SEIU is up to no good too.

Doug O'Brien, in "And You Thought This Was All About Health Care..." (http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/10/and-you-thought-this-was-all-about-health-care/#more-206):

"The Obama campaign spent much of 2008 writing checks to various left-leaning interest groups who saw the opportunity to cash in on long-standing priorities that would finally be achievable with a Democratic Congress and a liberal president. Now, these groups are finding that no one is available to cash these checks as long as the administration is laser focused on reconfiguring one sixth of the American economy.

"But organized labor has sought to turn this situation into a new opportunity. By throwing themselves into the health care debate and mobilizing their resources behind passage of the Democrat proposal, labor has been rewarded with the ability to shape the content of the health care legislation and to begin to collect on its political debt."

"...there are always new ways to achieve your objectives when the President is your loyal supplicant. The Service Employees International Union provided an estimated $160 million to the Obama campaign and related political advocacy groups and put thousands of its paid organizers on the streets to stump for Democrats."

"The simple truth is that for the single biggest advocacy bloc pushing the health care bill, your health is the furthest thing from their mind. Their objective is to use the bill to make it easier to unionize health care workers, which certainly won't enhance patient care, and to advance the larger goals of organized labor as a whole, and use the resulting debt from the administration to push through the noxious 'card check' bill through despite public opposition."

It's all about redistributing wealth, replacing freedom with government control and perpetuating the power of the Far Left in what still is a center-right country that was fooled last year into embracing the Obama myth.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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